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First Solar Announces First Quarter 2011 Financial Results

May 03, 2011

  • Net Sales $567 million
  • EPS $1.33 per fully diluted share
  • Maintain 2011 EPS guidance of $9.25 - $9.75 per fully diluted share

TEMPE, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced its financial results for the first quarter of 2011. Net sales were $567 million in the quarter, a decrease of $42.5 million from the fourth quarter of 2010, due to the allocation of modules to our systems projects in order to meet the project contractual delivery schedules, seven fewer production days, and a full quarter impact of the pricing change implemented in December of 2010. Quarterly net sales decreased slightly from $568 million in the first quarter of 2010, primarily due to lower average selling prices.

First quarter net income per fully diluted share was $1.33, down from $1.80 in the fourth quarter of 2010 and $2.00 in the first quarter of 2010. Quarter over quarter, the net income decrease was primarily driven by lower net sales and gross margin. Year over year, the net income decrease was primarily driven by reduced average selling prices and higher expenses, partially offset by increased module production and lower module cost per watt.

"Despite European market uncertainties, First Solar has good visibility into our demand for 2011," said Rob Gillette, CEO of First Solar. "We continue to execute our cost roadmaps, invest in new module capacity, build our project pipeline and develop promising new markets around the world."

First Solar's updated 2011 guidance is as follows:

  • Net sales of $3.7 to $3.8 billion
  • Operating Income of $900 to $970 million
  • Earnings per fully diluted share of $9.25 to $9.75
  • $50 to $60 million of manufacturing start-up expenses and $10 to $15 million of factory ramp costs
  • Total capital spending of $1.0 to $1.1 billion
  • Operating cash flow of $0.8 to $1.0 billion

First Solar will discuss these results and the outlook for 2011 in a conference call scheduled for today at 4:30 p.m. EDT. Investors may access a live audio webcast of this conference call and the earnings call presentation, which includes guidance for 2011 and additional details regarding the key assumptions relating to this guidance, in the Investors section of the Company's website at

An audio replay of the conference call will also be available approximately two hours after the conclusion of the call. The audio replay will remain available until Sunday, May 8, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. EDT and can be accessed by dialing 888-203-1112 if you are calling from within the United States or 719-457-0820 if you are calling from outside the United States and entering the replay pass code 3266707.

A replay of the webcast will be available on the investor relations section at approximately two hours after the conclusion of the call and will remain available for 90 calendar days. If you are a subscriber of FactSet or Thomson One you can obtain a written transcript.

About First Solar, Inc.

First Solar manufactures solar modules with an advanced semiconductor technology, and is a premier provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) system solutions. The company is delivering an economically viable alternative to fossil-fuel generation today. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life collection and recycling, First Solar is focused on creating value-driven renewable energy solutions that protect and enhance the environment. For more information about First Solar, please visit

For First Solar Investors:

This release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The forward-looking statements in this release do not constitute guarantees of future performance. Those statements involve a number of factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, including risks associated with the company's business involving the company's products, their development and distribution, economic and competitive factors and the company's key strategic relationships and other risks detailed in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. First Solar assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information contained in this press release or with respect to the announcements described herein.



(In thousands, except per share amounts)

Three Months Ended


March 31,


March 27,

Net sales $ 567,293 $ 567,961
Cost of sales 307,628   285,925  
Gross profit 259,665 282,036
Operating expenses:
Research and development 31,351 22,888
Selling, general and administrative 87,000 66,864
Production start-up 11,931   1,143  
Total operating expenses 130,282   90,895  
Operating income 129,383 191,141
Foreign currency gain (loss) 950 (696 )
Interest income 3,023 5,648
Interest expense, net
Other expense, net (349 ) (734 )
Income before income taxes 133,007 195,359
Income tax expense 17,039   23,014  
Net income $ 115,968   $ 172,345  
Net income per share:
Basic $ 1.36   $ 2.04  
Diluted $ 1.33   $ 2.00  
Weighted-average number of shares used in per share calculations:
Basic 85,324   84,505  
Diluted 87,053   86,092  



(In thousands, except share data)



March 31,

December 31,

Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents $ 355,725 $ 765,689
Marketable securities and investments 199,785 167,889
Accounts receivable trade, net 362,695 305,537
Accounts receivable, unbilled 10,582 1,482
Inventories 271,215 195,863
Balance of systems parts 16,021 4,579
Deferred tax assets, net 401 388
Prepaid expenses and other current assets 177,831   143,033  
Total current assets 1,394,255 1,584,460
Property, plant and equipment, net 1,549,529 1,430,789
Project assets 384,376 320,140
Deferred tax assets, net 265,591 259,236
Marketable securities 157,442 180,271
Restricted cash and investments 147,707 86,003
Goodwill 458,808 433,288
Inventories 30,607 42,728
Other assets 45,666   43,488  
Total assets $ 4,433,981   $ 4,380,403  
Current liabilities:
Accounts payable $ 99,398 $ 82,312
Income taxes payable 28,148 16,831
Accrued expenses 228,956 244,271
Current portion of long-term debt 28,169 26,587
Other current liabilities 85,218   99,676  
Total current liabilities 469,889 469,677
Accrued solar module collection and recycling liability 155,570 132,951
Long-term debt 103,531 210,804
Other liabilities 139,142   112,026  
Total liabilities 868,132   925,458  
Stockholders' equity:

Common stock, $0.001 par value per share; 500,000,000 shares authorized; 86,066,220 and
85,843,511 shares issued and outstanding at March 31, 2011 and December 31, 2010,

86 86
Additional paid-in capital 1,834,514 1,815,420
Contingent consideration 1,118 1,118
Accumulated earnings 1,781,532 1,665,564
Accumulated other comprehensive loss (51,401 ) (27,243 )
Total stockholders' equity 3,565,849   3,454,945  
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity $ 4,433,981   $ 4,380,403  

First Solar, Inc.
Mark Widmar
Chief Financial Officer
Larry Polizzotto
Vice President, Investor Relations
Pam Hegarty
Director, Investor Relations
First Solar - (North America)
Ted Meyer or Alan Bernheimer
+1 (602) 414-9361
First Solar - (Europe)
Brandon Mitchener
+49 (0) 6131 1443-399

Source: First Solar, Inc.

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