First Solar, Inc. Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2022 Financial Results and 2023 Guidance

  • Net sales of $2.6 billion for 2022 and $1.0 billion for the fourth quarter
  • Net loss per diluted share of $0.41 for 2022 and $0.07 for the fourth quarter
  • Year-end 2022 net cash balance of $2.4 billion
  • 48.3 GWDCof 2022 net bookings; 12 GWDCsince third quarter earnings call
  • 2023 net sales guidance of $3.4 billion to $3.6 billion
  • 2023 EPS guidance of $7.00 to $8.00 per diluted share
  • Year-end 2023 net cash balance guidance of $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion

TEMPE, Ariz., Feb. 28, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) (the “Company”) today announced financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2022.

Net sales for the fourth quarter were $1.0 billion, an increase of $0.4 billion from the prior quarter. The increase was primarily a result of increased module sales and the sale of our Luz del Norte project in Chile in the fourth quarter.

The Company reported a fourth quarter net loss per diluted share of $0.07 and full year net loss per diluted share of $0.41.

Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, restricted cash equivalents, and marketable securities, less debt at the end of the fourth quarter increased to $2.4 billion from $1.7 billion at the end of the prior quarter. The increase was primarily a result of advance payments received from customers offset by capital expenditures related to expansion in India and Ohio.

“We finished 2022 with a record contracted backlog, a significant pipeline of bookings opportunities, and a strong balance sheet placing us in a position to respond to emerging opportunities,” said Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar. “This momentum is driven by our points of differentiation, including our unique CdTe technology, vertically integrated manufacturing process, domestic production, and commitment to Responsible Solar. We enter this year in a significantly stronger commercial, operational, and financial position, with increased R&D investment, new domestic and international capacity coming online, and a new Series 7 product.”

Forecasted net sales for 2023 are $3.4 billion to $3.6 billion. Operating income is forecasted to be $745 million to $870 million, which includes production start-up expense of $85 million to $90 million, ramp costs related to expansion projects and underutilization costs related to factory upgrades of $110 million to $130 million, and Inflation Reduction Act Section 45X tax credits of $660 million to $710 million. Forecasted net income per diluted share is $7.00 to $8.00. The year-end 2023 net cash balance is projected to be in the range of $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion. The complete 2023 guidance is as follows:

  2023 Guidance
Net Sales $3.4B to $3.6B
Gross Margin (1) $1.2B to $1.3B
Operating Expenses (2) $415M to $440M
Operating Income (3) $745M to $870M
Earnings per Diluted Share $7.00 to $8.00
Net Cash Balance (4) $1.2B to $1.5B
Capital Expenditures $1.9B to $2.1B
Volume Sold 11.8GW to 12.3GW

(1) Includes $110 million to $130 million of ramp and underutilization costs and $660 million to $710 million of Section 45X tax credits
(2) Includes $85 million to $90 million of production start-up expense
(3) Includes $195 million to $220 million of production start-up expense and ramp and underutilization costs, and $660 million to $710 million of Section 45X tax credits
(4) Defined as cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, restricted cash equivalents, and marketable securities, less expected debt at the end of 2023

The guidance figures presented above are forward-looking statements that are subject to a variety of assumptions and estimates, including with respect to certain factors related to the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Among other things, such factors include (i) the total advanced manufacturing production credit available to us under Section 45X of the Internal Revenue Code and (ii) the timing and ability to monetize such credit. Investors are encouraged to listen to the conference call and to review the accompanying materials, which contain more information about First Solar’s fourth quarter and full year 2022 financial results, 2023 guidance, and financial outlook.

Conference Call Details

First Solar has scheduled a conference call for today, February 28, 2023 at 4:30 p.m. ET to discuss this announcement. A live webcast of this conference call and accompanying materials are available at An audio replay of the conference call will be available through Thursday, March 30, 2023 and can be accessed by dialing +1 (800) 770-2030 if you are calling from within the United States or +1 (647) 362-9199 if you are calling from outside the United States. A replay of the webcast will also be available on the Investors section of the Company’s website approximately two hours after the conclusion of the call and remain available for 30 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

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; increased research and development investment; new domestic and international capacity coming online; a new Series 7 product; our financial guidance for 2023, including future financial results, net sales, gross margin, operating expenses, operating income, earnings per share, net cash balance, capital expenditures, volume sold, shipments, bookings, products and our business and financial objectives for 2023; and the impact of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 including the total advanced manufacturing production credit available to us under Section 45X of the Internal Revenue Code. 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; the passage of legislation intended to encourage renewable energy investments through tax credits, such as the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022; the impact of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 on our expected results of operations in future periods, which may be affected by technical guidance, regulations, subsequent amendments or interpretations of the law; interest rate fluctuations and both our and our customers’ ability to secure financing; changes in the exchange rates between the functional currencies of our subsidiaries and other currencies in which assets and liabilities are denominated; 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 satisfaction of conditions precedent in our sales agreements; our ability to attract new customers and to develop and maintain existing customer and supplier relationships; 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 arising from and results of 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; 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 construct production facilities to support product lines, including Series 6 and Series 7 module manufacturing; our ability to attract and retain key executive officers and associates; the severity and duration of public health threats (including pandemics such as COVID-19 and similarly infectious diseases), including the 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 Condition 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
[email protected]

First Solar Media
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(In thousands, except share data)
    December 31,
    2022   2021
Current assets:        
Cash and cash equivalents   $ 1,481,269     $ 1,450,654  
Marketable securities     1,096,712       375,389  
Accounts receivable trade, net     324,337       429,436  
Accounts receivable unbilled, net     30,654       25,273  
Inventories     621,376       666,299  
Other current assets     237,073       244,192  
Total current assets     3,791,421       3,191,243  
Property, plant and equipment, net     3,536,902       2,649,587  
PV solar power systems, net     6,242       217,293  
Project assets     30,108       315,488  
Deferred tax assets, net     78,680       59,162  
Restricted marketable securities     182,070       244,726  
Goodwill     14,462       14,462  
Intangible assets, net     31,106       45,509  
Inventories     260,395       237,512  
Other assets     319,842       438,764  
Total assets   $ 8,251,228     $ 7,413,746  
Current liabilities:        
Accounts payable   $ 341,409     $ 193,374  
Income taxes payable     29,397       4,543  
Accrued expenses     382,782       288,450  
Current portion of long-term debt           3,896  
Deferred revenue     263,215       201,868  
Other current liabilities     21,245       34,747  
Total current liabilities     1,038,048       726,878  
Accrued solar module collection and recycling liability     128,114       139,145  
Long-term debt     184,349       236,005  
Deferred revenue     944,725       95,943  
Other liabilities     119,937       256,224  
Total liabilities     2,415,173       1,454,195  
Commitments and contingencies        
Stockholders’ equity:        
Common stock, $0.001 par value per share; 500,000,000 shares authorized; 106,609,094 and 106,332,315 shares issued and outstanding at December 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively     107       106  
Additional paid-in capital     2,887,476       2,871,352  
Accumulated earnings     3,140,289       3,184,455  
Accumulated other comprehensive loss     (191,817 )     (96,362 )
Total stockholders’ equity     5,836,055       5,959,551  
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity   $ 8,251,228     $ 7,413,746  
(In thousands, except per share amounts)
    Three Months Ended   Year Ended
    December 31,
  September 30,
  December 31,
  December 31,
  December 31,
Net sales   $ 1,002,391     $ 628,933     $ 907,319     $ 2,619,319     $ 2,923,377  
Cost of sales     941,778       607,951       660,830       2,549,461       2,193,423  
Gross profit     60,613       20,982       246,489       69,858       729,954  
Operating expenses:                    
Selling, general and administrative     42,734       46,368       38,411       164,724       170,320  
Research and development     31,284       29,183       29,881       112,804       99,115  
Production start-up     32,740       19,768       5,038       73,077       21,052  
Total operating expenses     106,758       95,319       73,330       350,605       290,487  
Gain on sales of businesses, net     239       5,984             253,511       147,284  
Operating (loss) income     (45,906 )     (68,353 )     173,159       (27,236 )     586,751  
Foreign currency loss, net     (4,373 )     (4,859 )     (3,362 )     (16,414 )     (7,975 )
Interest income     18,330       9,749       2,183       33,284       6,179  
Interest expense, net     (3,133 )     (2,991 )     (2,530 )     (12,225 )     (13,107 )
Other income (expense), net     28,510       4,774       (2,284 )     31,189       314  
(Loss) income before taxes     (6,572 )     (61,680 )     167,166       8,598       572,162  
Income tax (expense) benefit     (976 )     12,512       (35,796 )     (52,764 )     (103,469 )
Net (loss) income   $ (7,548 )   $ (49,168 )   $ 131,370     $ (44,166 )   $ 468,693  
Net (loss) income per share:                    
Basic   $ (0.07 )   $ (0.46 )   $ 1.24     $ (0.41 )   $ 4.41  
Diluted   $ (0.07 )   $ (0.46 )   $ 1.23     $ (0.41 )   $ 4.38  
Weighted-average number of shares used in per share calculations:                    
Basic     106,606       106,596       106,327       106,551       106,263  
Diluted     106,606       106,596       107,007       106,551       106,924  
(In thousands)
    Years Ended December 31,
    2022   2021   2020
Cash flows from operating activities:            
Net (loss) income   $ (44,166 )   $ 468,693     $ 398,355  
Adjustments to reconcile net (loss) income to cash provided by operating activities:            
Depreciation, amortization and accretion     269,724       259,900       232,925  
Impairments and net losses on disposal of long-lived assets     63,338       22,876       35,806  
Share-based compensation     28,656       20,902       29,267  
Deferred income taxes     (12,799 )     49,847       36,013  
Gain on sales of businesses, net     (253,511 )     (147,284 )      
Gains on sales of marketable securities and restricted marketable securities           (11,696 )     (15,346 )
Liabilities assumed by customers for the sale of systems     (145,281 )     (85,490 )     (136,745 )
Gain on debt forgiveness     (30,201 )            
Other, net     (1,029 )     (3,484 )     19,297  
Changes in operating assets and liabilities:            
Accounts receivable, trade and unbilled     118,724       (96,951 )     345,150  
Inventories     16,693       (136,365 )     (145,396 )
Project assets and PV solar power systems     (14,336 )     23,402       106,867  
Other assets     (72,602 )     (69,942 )     (33,065 )
Income tax receivable and payable     43,592       (13,062 )     (177,431 )
Accounts payable and accrued expenses     5,569       48,968       (109,583 )
Deferred revenue     912,946       47,062       (157,284 )
Other liabilities     (11,948 )     (139,817 )     (391,710 )
Net cash provided by operating activities     873,369       237,559       37,120  
Cash flows from investing activities:            
Purchases of property, plant and equipment     (903,605 )     (540,291 )     (416,635 )
Purchases of marketable securities and restricted marketable securities     (3,375,008 )     (2,147,136 )     (901,924 )
Proceeds from sales and maturities of marketable securities and restricted marketable securities     2,646,787       2,294,595       1,192,832  
Proceeds from sales of businesses, net of cash and restricted cash sold     442,302       300,499        
Other investing activities     (3,050 )     (6,707 )     (5,500 )
Net cash used in investing activities     (1,192,574 )     (99,040 )     (131,227 )
Cash flows from financing activities:            
Repayment of long-term debt     (75,896 )     (72,676 )     (225,344 )
Proceeds from borrowings under long-term debt, net of discounts and issuance costs     397,380       129,215       156,679  
Payments of tax withholdings for restricted shares     (12,092 )     (15,989 )     (13,118 )
Other financing activities                 (804 )
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities     309,392       40,550       (82,587 )
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and restricted cash equivalents     47,438       3,174       3,778  
Net increase (decrease) in cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and restricted cash equivalents     37,625       182,243       (172,916 )
Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and restricted cash equivalents, beginning of the period     1,455,837       1,273,594       1,446,510  
Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and restricted cash equivalents, end of the period   $ 1,493,462     $ 1,455,837     $ 1,273,594  
Supplemental disclosure of noncash investing and financing activities:            
Property, plant and equipment acquisitions funded by liabilities   $ 315,961     $ 61,598     $ 110,576