First Solar, Inc. Announces Third Quarter 2020 Financial Results

  • Net sales of $928 million
  • Net income per share of $1.45
  • Cash, restricted cash, and marketable securities of $1.7 billion, net cash of $1.4 billion
  • 1.6 GW DC of bookings since prior earnings call
  • Strong fleet-wide production with capacity utilization averaging over 100% at all factories
  • Reinstate financial guidance for the fourth quarter 2020

PVTIME - First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2020.

“We delivered strong financial results for the third quarter,” said Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar. “The dedication we continue to witness from our associates enabled us to expand module segment gross margin, close the sales of our Ishikawa, Miyagi, and Anamizu projects in Japan, and increase earnings per share quarter-over-quarter. This result reflects the strengths of our competitively advantaged CdTe modules and vertically integrated manufacturing process.”

Net sales for the third quarter were $928 million, an increase of $285 million from the prior quarter, primarily due to international project sales, and an increase in the volume of modules sold to third parties.

Net income per share for the third quarter was $1.45, compared to net income per share of $0.35 in the second quarter of 2020.

Cash, restricted cash, and marketable securities at the end of the third quarter totaled $1,671 million, an increase of $29 million from the prior quarter, primarily due to cash inflows from international project sales and module segment operating cash flows. This was partially offset by capital expenditures and loan repayments associated with international project sales.

Fourth Quarter 2020 Financial Guidance

The Company previously withdrew its full-year 2020 guidance on May 7, 2020 given the significant uncertainties regarding the severity and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the Company’s operations and financial results, as well as on energy and capital markets. As of the date of this release, the Company and its financial results have not been materially impacted by COVID-19. The Company today is reinstating financial guidance for the fourth quarter 2020 and providing implied full-year 2020 guidance based on its financial results through the third quarter 2020 and reinstated guidance for the fourth quarter 2020. The fourth quarter 2020 and implied full-year 2020 guidance are as follows:

  Fourth Quarter 2020 Implied Full Year 2020
Net Sales $540M to $790M $2.6B to $2.9B
Gross Margin % (1) 26.5% to 27.0% 25%
Operating Expenses (2) $90M to $95M $351M to $356M
Operating Income (3) $50M to $120M $310M to $380M
Earnings per Share $1.00 to $1.50 $3.65 to $4.15
Net Cash Balance (4) $1.2B to $1.3B -
Capital Expenditures $123M to $223M $450M to $550M
Shipments 1.8GW to 2.0GW 5.5GW to 5.7GW

(1) Includes $5 million of ramp costs for FY’20;
(2) Includes $15 million of plant start-up expense for Q4’20 and $39 million for FY’20;
(3) Includes $44 million of ramp costs and plant start-up expense for FY’20 and $27 million of Series 4 shutdown and other severance costs for FY’20;
(4) Defined as cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities, and restricted cash less expected debt at the end of 2020.

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