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First Solar, Inc. Announces First Quarter 2022 Financial Results

April 28, 2022
  • Net sales of $367 million
  • Net loss per diluted share of $0.41
  • Cash, restricted cash, and marketable securities of $1.6 billion
  • YTD net bookings of 16.7 GW DC ; 11.9 GW DC since prior earnings call
  • Record expected module shipment backlog of over 35 GW DC
  • Reiterated full year 2022 guidance

TEMPE, Ariz., April 28, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2022.

Net sales for the first quarter were $367 million, a decrease of $540 million from the prior quarter, primarily due to a decrease in module sold volume, a decrease in the module average selling price, and lower project revenue in Japan.

The Company reported a first quarter loss per share of $0.41, compared to earnings per diluted share of $1.23 in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Cash, restricted cash, and marketable securities at the end of the first quarter decreased to $1.6 billion from $1.8 billion at the end of the prior quarter. The decrease was primarily a result of capital expenditures related to expansion in India and Ohio and operating expenses.

“We are encouraged by our strong bookings progress, as we booked 11.9 GWDC in less than 60 days since the prior earnings call, bringing our year-to-date bookings total to 16.7 GWDC, further setting ourselves up for 2023 and beyond,” said Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar. “Our agile approach to contracting continues to attract customers looking for long-term certainty and value.”

2022 guidance remains unchanged. The complete 2022 guidance is as follows:

  Prior Current
Net Sales $2.4B to $2.6B Unchanged
Gross Margin (1) $155M to $215M Unchanged
Operating Expenses (2) $365M to $380M Unchanged
Operating Income (3)(4) $55M to $150M Unchanged
Earnings per Diluted Share $0.00 to $0.60 Unchanged
Net Cash Balance (5) $1.1B to $1.35B Unchanged
Capital Expenditures $850M to $1.1B Unchanged
Shipments 8.9GW to 9.4GW Unchanged

——————————

(1)   Includes $10 million to $15 million of underutilization losses
(2)   Includes $85 million to $90 million of production start-up expense
(3)   Includes $95 million to $105 million of production start-up expense and underutilization losses
(4)   Includes $270 million to $290 million pre-tax gain related to the potential sale of the Japan project development and O&M platform
(5)   Defined as cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities, and restricted cash less expected debt at the end of 2022

The guidance figures presented above are forward-looking statements that 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 first quarter 2022 financial results, 2022 guidance, and financial outlook.

Conference Call Details

First Solar has scheduled a conference call for today, April 28, 2022 at 4:30 p.m. ET, to discuss this announcement. A live webcast of this conference call and accompanying materials are available at investor.firstsolar.com. An audio replay of the conference call will be available through Tuesday, May 12, 2022 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 passcode 9984077. 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 90 days.

About First Solar, Inc.

First Solar is a leading American solar technology company and global provider of responsibly-produced eco-efficient solar modules advancing the fight against climate change. Developed at R&D labs in California and Ohio, the company’s advanced thin film photovoltaic (PV) modules represent the next generation of solar technologies, providing a competitive, high-performance, lower-carbon alternative to conventional crystalline silicon PV panels. From raw material sourcing and manufacturing through end-of-life module recycling, First Solar’s approach to technology embodies sustainability and a responsibility towards people and the planet. For more information, please visit www.firstsolar.com

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: demand for our technology; our expected module shipment backlog; the progression of our Japan project development and O&M platform sale discussions; our financial guidance for 2022, 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 2022; our ability to attract customers looking for long term certainty and value. 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,” “contingent” 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 our forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to: structural imbalances in global supply and demand for PV solar modules; our competitive position and other key competitive factors; the market for renewable energy, including solar energy; the reduction, elimination, expiration or introduction 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; interest rate fluctuations and both our and our customers’ ability to secure financing; our ability to execute on our long-term strategic plans; the loss of any of our large customers, or the ability of our customers and counterparties to perform under their contracts with us; our ability to execute on our solar module technology and cost reduction roadmaps; our ability to improve the wattage of our solar modules; the creditworthiness of our offtake counterparties and the ability of our offtake counterparties to fulfill their contractual obligations to us; the satisfaction of conditions precedent in our 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; future collection and recycling costs for solar modules covered by our module collection and recycling program; supply chain disruption, including the availability of shipping containers, port congestion, canceled shipments by logistic providers, and the cost of fuel, all of which may be exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict; 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 convert existing or construct production facilities to support new product lines; our ability to attract and retain key executive officers and associates; the severity and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, including its potential impact on our business, financial condition, and results of operations; 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.

Contacts

First Solar Investors
investor@firstsolar.com

First Solar Media
media@firstsolar.com

FIRST SOLAR, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(In thousands, except share data)
(Unaudited)

    March 31,
2022
  December 31,
2021
ASSETS        
Current assets:        
Cash   $ 1,326,363     $ 1,450,654  
Marketable securities     223,091       375,389  
Accounts receivable trade, net     293,357       429,436  
Accounts receivable unbilled, net     28,764       25,273  
Inventories     840,750       666,299  
Other current assets     282,668       244,192  
Total current assets     2,994,993       3,191,243  
Property, plant and equipment, net     2,785,824       2,649,587  
PV solar power systems, net     214,386       217,293  
Project assets     391,774       315,488  
Deferred tax assets, net     61,794       59,162  
Restricted marketable securities     220,167       244,726  
Goodwill     14,462       14,462  
Intangible assets, net     42,769       45,509  
Inventories     237,854       237,512  
Other assets     435,202       438,764  
Total assets   $ 7,399,225     $ 7,413,746  
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY        
Current liabilities:        
Accounts payable   $ 146,233     $ 193,374  
Income taxes payable     4,759       4,543  
Accrued expenses     334,975       288,450  
Current portion of long-term debt     4,701       3,896  
Deferred revenue     218,923       201,868  
Other current liabilities     25,399       34,747  
Total current liabilities     734,990       726,878  
Accrued solar module collection and recycling liability     137,455       139,145  
Long-term debt     247,354       236,005  
Other liabilities     404,251       352,167  
Total liabilities     1,524,050       1,454,195  
Commitments and contingencies        
Stockholders’ equity:        
Common stock, $0.001 par value per share; 500,000,000 shares authorized; 106,583,300 and 106,332,315 shares issued and outstanding at March 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021, respectively     107       106  
Additional paid-in capital     2,863,318       2,871,352  
Accumulated earnings     3,141,200       3,184,455  
Accumulated other comprehensive loss     (129,450 )     (96,362 )
Total stockholders’ equity     5,875,175       5,959,551  
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity   $ 7,399,225     $ 7,413,746  
 

FIRST SOLAR, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(In thousands, except per share amounts)
(Unaudited)

    Three Months Ended
    March 31,
2022
  December 31,
2021
  March 31,
2021
Net sales   $ 367,040     $ 907,319     $ 803,374  
Cost of sales     355,577       660,830       618,607  
Gross profit     11,463       246,489       184,767  
Operating expenses:            
Selling, general and administrative     36,728       38,411       52,087  
Research and development     27,108       29,881       19,873  
Production start-up     7,338       5,038       11,354  
Total operating expenses     71,174       73,330       83,314  
Gain on sales of businesses, net     1,907             150,895  
Operating (loss) income     (57,804 )     173,159       252,348  
Foreign currency loss, net     (4,198 )     (3,362 )     (2,595 )
Interest income     2,325       2,183       956  
Interest expense, net     (2,865 )     (2,530 )     (2,996 )
Other (expense) income, net     (212 )     (2,284 )     8,448  
(Loss) income before taxes     (62,754 )     167,166       256,161  
Income tax benefit (expense)     19,499       (35,796 )     (46,490 )
Net (loss) income   $ (43,255 )   $ 131,370     $ 209,671  
             
Net (loss) income per share:            
Basic   $ (0.41 )   $ 1.24     $ 1.98  
Diluted   $ (0.41 )   $ 1.23     $ 1.96  
Weighted-average number of shares used in per share calculations:            
Basic     106,412       106,327       106,088  
Diluted     106,412       107,007       106,890  

 


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Source: First Solar, Inc.
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