- Net sales of $803 million
- Net income per share of $1.96
- Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and marketable securities of $1.8 billion
- YTD net bookings of 4.8 GWDC; 2.9 GWDCsince prior earnings call
- Nameplate manufacturing capacity increased to 7.9 GWDC; top production bin of 455 watts
- Completed sales of U.S. project development and North American O&M businesses
- Maintain 2021 EPS guidance of $4.05 to $4.75
TEMPE, Ariz., April 29, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2021.
“We delivered strong operational and financial results for the first quarter, and demand for our Series 6 technology continues to be robust,” said Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar. “The dedication we continue to witness from our associates enabled us to deliver module segment gross margin in line with our first quarter guidance, complete the sales of our Sun Streams 2, 4, and 5 projects, and close the U.S. project development and North American O&M sales. This, coupled with manufacturing execution, enabled us to deliver solid EPS in the first quarter.”
Net sales for the first quarter were $803 million, an increase of $194 million from the prior quarter, primarily due to an increase in systems revenue driven by U.S. project sales.
Operating income for the first quarter was $252 million, compared to $58 million in the prior quarter. First quarter operating income includes depreciation and amortization of $63 million, share-based compensation of $3 million, charges associated with the initial ramp of our new factory in Malaysia, underutilization expense, and production start-up expense totaling $16 million, and a gain on the sales of our U.S. project development and North American O&M businesses of $151 million.
Net income per share for the first quarter was $1.96, compared to net income per share of $1.08 in the prior quarter.
Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and marketable securities at the end of the first quarter totaled $1.8 billion, which was largely unchanged from the prior quarter. This was primarily due to proceeds from the sale of our North American O&M business and proceeds from the sale of certain securities associated with our end of life module collection and recycling program, which we intend to subsequently reinvest. This was partially offset by an increase in accounts receivable related to our U.S. project development and Sun Streams 2, 4, and 5 sales, along with operating expenses, capital expenditures, and payment of variable compensation.
2021 guidance has been updated as follows:
|Net Sales||$2.85B to $3.0B||$2.85B to $3.025B|
|Gross Margin ($) (1)||$710M to $775M||$695M to $775M|
|Operating Expenses (2)||$285M to $300M||Unchanged|
|Operating Income (3)(4)||$545M to $640M||Unchanged|
|Earnings per Share||$4.05 to $4.75||Unchanged|
|Net Cash Balance (5)||$1.8B to $1.9B||Unchanged|
|Capital Expenditures||$425M to $475M||Unchanged|
|Shipments||7.8GW to 8.0GW||Unchanged|
(1) Includes of $1 million of ramp related expense ($5 million to $10 million previously) and $40 million of underutilization losses (unchanged)
(2) Includes $20 million to $25 million of production start-up expense ($15 million to $20 million previously)
(3) Includes $61 million to $66 million of ramp expense, production start-up expense, and underutilization losses ($60 million to $70 million previously)
(4) Includes a $151 million pre-tax gain related to the sales of the North American O&M and U.S. project development businesses ($135 million to $150 million previously)
(5) Defined as cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities, and restricted cash less expected debt at the end of 2021
Conference Call Details
First Solar has scheduled a conference call for today, April 29, 2021 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.
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 financial results and financial outlook.
An audio replay of the conference call will be available through Thursday, May 13, 2021 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 1713277. A replay of the webcast will also be available on the Investors section of First Solar’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: our financial guidance for 2021, net sales, gross margin, operating expenses, operating income, net income per share, earnings per share, net cash balance, capital expenditures, shipments, bookings, products and our business and financial objectives for 2021. 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 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, 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; 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; 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.
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FIRST SOLAR, INC.
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(In thousands, except share data)
|Cash and cash equivalents||$||972,879||$||1,227,002|
|Marketable securities (amortized cost of $562,880 and $519,844 and allowance for credit losses of $138 and $121 at March 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020, respectively)||562,735||520,066|
|Accounts receivable trade||795,923||269,095|
|Less: allowance for credit losses||(5,827||)||(3,009||)|
|Accounts receivable trade, net||790,096||266,086|
|Accounts receivable, unbilled||27,280||26,673|
|Less: allowance for credit losses||(276||)||(303||)|
|Accounts receivable, unbilled, net||27,004||26,370|
|Assets held for sale||—||155,685|
|Prepaid expenses and other current assets||226,922||251,739|
|Total current assets||3,136,890||3,014,535|
|Property, plant and equipment, net||2,397,986||2,402,285|
|PV solar power systems, net||236,416||243,396|
|Deferred tax assets, net||106,803||104,099|
|Restricted marketable securities (amortized cost of $247,628 and allowance for credit losses of $13 at December 31, 2020)||—||265,280|
|Intangible assets, net||53,404||56,138|
|LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY|
|Income taxes payable||15,351||14,571|
|Current portion of long-term debt||2,453||41,540|
|Liabilities held for sale||—||25,621|
|Other current liabilities||41,437||83,037|
|Total current liabilities||669,341||847,398|
|Accrued solar module collection and recycling liability||128,135||130,688|
|Commitments and contingencies|
|Common stock, $0.001 par value per share; 500,000,000 shares authorized; 106,310,928 and 105,980,466 shares issued and outstanding at March 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020, respectively||106||106|
|Additional paid-in capital||2,853,891||2,866,786|
|Accumulated other comprehensive loss||(84,650||)||(61,726||)|
|Total stockholders’ equity||5,694,780||5,520,928|
|Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity||$||7,108,910||$||7,108,931|
FIRST SOLAR, INC.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(In thousands, except per share amounts)
|Three Months Ended|
|Cost of sales||618,607||449,372||441,786|
|Selling, general and administrative||52,087||62,700||58,587|
|Research and development||19,873||22,670||25,613|
|Total operating expenses||83,314||102,086||88,682|
|Gain on sales of businesses, net||150,895||—||—|
|Foreign currency loss, net||(2,595||)||(1,341||)||(398||)|
|Interest expense, net||(2,996||)||(3,018||)||(6,789||)|
|Other income (expense), net||8,448||(3,279||)||(2,222||)|
|Income before taxes and equity in earnings||256,161||51,582||1,577|
|Income tax (expense) benefit||(46,490||)||66,400||89,215|
|Equity in earnings, net of tax||—||(2,279||)||(88||)|
|Net income per share:|
|Weighted-average number of shares used in per share calculations:|