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First Solar, Inc. Announces Third Quarter 2019 Financial Results

October 24, 2019
  • Net sales of $547 million
  • Net income per share of $0.29
  • Cash, restricted cash and marketable securities of $1.6 billion, net cash of $1.2 billion
  • YTD net bookings of 5.4 GWDC; 1.1 GWDC since prior earnings call
  • Maintain 2019 net sales, EPS and cash guidance

TEMPE, Ariz., Oct. 24, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2019. Net sales for the third quarter were $547 million, a decrease of $38 million from the prior quarter, primarily due to lower systems revenue from project sales in the United States, partially offset by higher module sales volume.

The Company reported third quarter net income per share of $0.29, compared to a loss per share of $(0.18) in the prior quarter.

Cash, restricted cash and marketable securities at the end of the third quarter decreased to $1.6 billion from $2.1 billion at the end of the prior quarter, primarily as a result of higher expenditures for the development and construction of project assets and continued capital investments in Series 6 manufacturing capacity.

“We’re pleased with the ongoing progress of our Series 6 technology platform,” said Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar. “Capacity utilization, throughput and yield continue to improve, resulting in record Series 6 production of approximately 1 GW in the quarter.”

2019 guidance has been updated as follows:

2019 Guidance Prior Current
Net Sales $3.5B to $3.7B Unchanged
Gross Margin % (1) 18.5% to 19.5% 19% to 20%
Operating Expenses (2) $360M to $380M $350M to $370M
Operating Income $290M to $340M $320M to $370M
Earnings per Share $2.25 to $2.75 Unchanged
Net Cash Balance (3) $1.7B to $1.9B Unchanged
Capital Expenditures $650M to $750M Unchanged
Shipments 5.4GW to 5.6GW Unchanged


  1. Includes $70 to $80 million of ramp costs ($60 to $70 million previously)
  2. Includes $40 to $50 million of production start-up expense ($55 to $65 million previously)
  3. Defined as cash, restricted cash and marketable securities less expected debt at the end of 2019

First Solar has scheduled a conference call for today, October 24, 2019 at 4:30 p.m. ET to discuss this announcement. A live webcast of this conference call and accompanying materials are available at

The guidance figures presented above are subject to a variety of assumptions and estimates. Investors are encouraged to listen to the conference call and to review the accompanying materials, which contain more information about First Solar’s third quarter financial results and 2019 guidance.

An audio replay of the conference call will be available approximately two hours after the conclusion of the call. The audio replay will remain available through Thursday, October 31, 2019 and can be accessed by dialing +1 (800) 585-8367 if you are calling from within the United States or +1 (416) 621-4642 if you are calling from outside the United States and entering the replay pass code 8984796. A replay of the webcast will also be available on the Investors section of the Company’s website approximately five hours after the conclusion of the call and remain available for approximately 90 days.

About First Solar, Inc.

First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (“PV”) solar systems which use its advanced module and system technology. The Company's integrated power plant solutions deliver an economically attractive alternative to fossil-fuel electricity generation today. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life module recycling, First Solar’s renewable energy systems 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 safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements in this release, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning: our financial guidance for 2019; the transition to Series 6 module manufacturing in 2019; net sales, gross margin, operating expenses, operating income, earnings per share, net cash balance, capital expenditures, shipments, bookings, products and our business and financial objectives for 2019. These forward-looking statements are often characterized by the use of words such as “estimate,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “project,” “plan,” “intend,” “seek,” “believe,” “forecast,” “foresee,” “likely,” “may,” “should,” “goal,” “target,” “might,” “will,” “could,” “predict,” “continue” and the negative or plural of these words and other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements are only predictions based on our current expectations and our projections about future events and therefore speak only as of the date of this release. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements for any reason, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these statements. These factors include, but are not limited to: structural imbalances in global supply and demand for PV solar modules; the market for renewable energy, including solar energy; our competitive position and other key competitive factors; reduction, elimination, or expiration of government subsidies, policies, and support programs for solar energy projects; the impact of public policies, such as tariffs or other trade remedies imposed on solar cells and modules; our ability to execute on our long-term strategic plans; our ability to execute on our solar module technology and cost reduction roadmaps; our ability to improve the wattage of our solar modules; interest rate fluctuations and both our and our customers’ ability to secure financing; the creditworthiness of our offtake counterparties and the ability of our offtake counterparties to fulfill their contractual obligations to us; the ability of our customers and counterparties to perform under their contracts with us; the satisfaction of conditions precedent in our project sales agreements; our ability to attract new customers and to develop and maintain existing customer and supplier relationships; our ability to successfully develop and complete our systems business projects; our ability to convert existing production facilities to support new product lines, such as Series 6 module manufacturing; general economic and business conditions, including those influenced by U.S., international, and geopolitical events; environmental responsibility, including with respect to cadmium telluride (“CdTe”) and other semiconductor materials; claims under our limited warranty obligations; changes in, or the failure to comply with, government regulations and environmental, health, and safety requirements; effects resulting from pending litigation, including the class action lawsuit against us; future collection and recycling costs for solar modules covered by our module collection and recycling program; our ability to protect our intellectual property; our ability to prevent and/or minimize the impact of cyber-attacks or other breaches of our information systems; our continued investment in research and development; the supply and price of components and raw materials, including CdTe; our ability to attract and retain key executive officers and associates; and the matters discussed under the captions “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Conditions and Results of Operations” of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and our subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, as supplemented by our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


First Solar Investors

First Solar Media


(In thousands, except share data)


  September 30,
  December 31,
Current assets:        
Cash and cash equivalents   $ 878,999     $ 1,403,562  
Marketable securities   661,552     1,143,704  
Accounts receivable trade, net   367,306     128,282  
Accounts receivable, unbilled and retainage   165,013     458,166  
Inventories   576,770     387,912  
Balance of systems parts   68,858     56,906  
Project assets   5,557     37,930  
Prepaid expenses and other current assets   319,435     243,061  
Total current assets   3,043,490     3,859,523  
Property, plant and equipment, net   2,106,968     1,756,211  
PV solar power systems, net   484,593     308,640  
Project assets   566,517     460,499  
Deferred tax assets, net   66,114     77,682  
Restricted cash and investments   305,469     318,390  
Goodwill   14,462     14,462  
Intangible assets, net   66,785     74,162  
Inventories   152,574     130,083  
Notes receivable, affiliate       22,832  
Other assets   247,715     98,878  
Total assets   $ 7,054,687     $ 7,121,362  
Current liabilities:        
Accounts payable   $ 218,088     $ 233,287  
Income taxes payable   15,409     20,885  
Accrued expenses   377,364     441,580  
Current portion of long-term debt   28,240     5,570  
Deferred revenue   93,283     129,755  
Other current liabilities   28,422     14,380  
Total current liabilities   760,806     845,457  
Accrued solar module collection and recycling liability   134,985     134,442  
Long-term debt   452,064     461,221  
Other liabilities   524,349     467,839  
Total liabilities   1,872,204     1,908,959  
Commitments and contingencies        
Stockholders’ equity:        
Common stock, $0.001 par value per share; 500,000,000 shares authorized;
 105,406,367 and 104,885,261 shares issued and outstanding at September 30, 2019
 and December 31, 2018, respectively
  105     105  
Additional paid-in capital   2,835,868     2,825,211  
Accumulated earnings   2,386,028     2,441,553  
Accumulated other comprehensive loss   (39,518 )   (54,466 )
Total stockholders’ equity   5,182,483     5,212,403  
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity   $ 7,054,687     $ 7,121,362  


(In thousands, except per share amounts)

    Three Months Ended   Nine Months Ended
    September 30,
  June 30,
  September 30,
  September 30,
  September 30,
Net sales   $ 546,806     $ 584,956     $ 676,220     $ 1,663,740     $ 1,552,803  
Cost of sales   408,443     507,774     547,093     1,448,083     1,258,936  
Gross profit   138,363     77,182     129,127     215,657     293,867  
Operating expenses:                    
Selling, general and administrative   53,542     50,934     33,539     149,828     125,519  
Research and development   24,912     24,395     22,390     71,184     63,084  
Production start-up   18,605     10,437     14,723     38,564     76,159  
Total operating expenses   97,059     85,766     70,652     259,576     264,762  
Operating income (loss)   41,304     (8,584 )   58,475     (43,919 )   29,105  
Foreign currency gain (loss), net   1,209     1,726     (2,383 )   3,107     (2,478 )
Interest income   11,454     13,510     16,456     39,223     45,145  
Interest expense, net   (4,976 )   (8,921 )   (3,198 )   (24,018 )   (14,445 )
Other (loss) income, net   (3,399 )   (4,438 )   (5,971 )   (4,328 )   7,635  
Income (loss) before taxes and equity in earnings   45,592     (6,707 )   63,379     (29,935 )   64,962  
Income tax expense   (15,035 )   (11,744 )   (2,396 )   (25,385 )   (7,857 )
Equity in earnings, net of tax   65     (97 )   (3,233 )   (205 )   35,105  
Net income (loss)   $ 30,622     $ (18,548 )   $ 57,750     $ (55,525 )   $ 92,210  
Net income (loss) per share:                    
Basic   $ 0.29     $ (0.18 )   $ 0.55     $ (0.53 )   $ 0.88  
Diluted   $ 0.29     $ (0.18 )   $ 0.54     $ (0.53 )   $ 0.87  
Weighted-average number of shares used in per share calculations:                    
Basic   105,397     105,369     104,804     105,272     104,711  
Diluted   106,227     105,369     106,163     105,272     106,211  



Source: First Solar, Inc.

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