• First Solar, Inc. Announces Third Quarter 2022 Financial Results

    Source: Nasdaq GlobeNewswire / 27 Oct 2022 16:02:00   America/New_York

    • Net sales of $629 million
    • Net loss per diluted share of $0.46
    • Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and marketable securities of $1.9 billion
    • YTD net bookings of 43.7 GWDC
    • 16.6 GWDC of net bookings since prior earnings call
    • Record expected module shipment backlog of over 58 GWDC
    • Reduce FY 2022 earnings guidance primarily to reflect unforeseen logistics costs

    TEMPE, Ariz., Oct. 27, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2022.

    Net sales for the third quarter were $629 million, an increase of $8 million from the prior quarter, primarily due to increased module sales.

    Operating loss for the third quarter was $68 million, compared to operating income of $145 million in the prior quarter. Third quarter operating income decreased primarily due to a gain on the sale of the Company’s Japan project development platform recorded in the prior quarter and higher logistics charges in the third quarter.

    The Company reported a third quarter loss per diluted share of $0.46, compared to income per diluted share of $0.52 in the prior quarter.

    Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and marketable securities at the end of the third quarter remained at $1.9 billion, consistent with the prior quarter. Capital expenditures for Series 7 expansions were funded by operating cash flows and disbursements under the Company’s credit facility with the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation supporting the financing of the India manufacturing plant.

    “Our focus continues to be on setting the stage for long-term growth, and from this point of view, 2022 has so far proven to be foundational,” said Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar. “This year we have developed the potential for our CdTe semiconductor technology by progressing our next-generation Series 7 and bifacial platforms, set in motion plans to scale our global manufacturing capacity to over 20 GWDC by 2025, and secured record year-to-date bookings of 43.7 GWDC with deliveries extending into 2027.”

    The complete 2022 guidance has been updated as follows:

    Net Sales$2.55B to $2.8B$2.6B to $2.7B
    Gross Profit (1)(2)$115M to $165M$75M to $110M
    Operating Expenses (3)$350M to $365M$345M to $360M
    Operating Income (2)(4)(5)$5M to $70M$(30)M to $20M
    Earnings (Loss) per Diluted Share$(0.25) to $0.25$(0.65) to $(0.35)
    Net Cash Balance (6)$1.3B to $1.5B$1.6B to $2.0B
    Capital Expenditures$850M to $1.1B$800M to $1.0B
    Shipments8.9GW to 9.4GW9.1GW to 9.4GW

       (1)   Includes $10 million to $15 million of underutilization losses
       (2)   Includes $45 million to $50 million of losses associated with a legacy systems business asset in Chile
       (3)   Includes $80 million to $85 million of production start-up expense
       (4)   Includes $90 million to $100 million of production start-up expense and underutilization losses
       (5)   Includes $245 million pre-tax gain related to the sale of the Japan project development and O&M platforms
       (6)   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 third quarter 2022 financial results, 2022 guidance, and financial outlook.

    Conference Call Details

    First Solar has scheduled a conference call for today, October 27, 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 Friday, November 26, 2022, 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 five 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 research and development 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 anticipated sale of our Luz del Norte project in Chile; our financial guidance for 2022, including future financial results, operating results, net sales, gross margin, operating expenses, operating income, earnings per share, loss per share, net cash balance, capital expenditures, shipments, bookings, products and our business and financial objectives for 2022; bookings momentum; and the strength of our backlog of future expected deliveries. 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; 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 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; 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, demurrage, and detention charges, 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.


    First Solar Investors

    First Solar Media

    (In thousands, except share data)

      September 30,
     December 31,
    Current assets:    
    Cash and cash equivalents $1,150,982  $1,450,654 
    Marketable securities  776,213   375,389 
    Accounts receivable trade, net  325,421   429,436 
    Accounts receivable unbilled, net  35,149   25,273 
    Inventories  810,660   666,299 
    Other current assets  240,325   244,192 
    Total current assets  3,338,750   3,191,243 
    Property, plant and equipment, net  3,124,079   2,649,587 
    PV solar power systems, net  153,915   217,293 
    Project assets  27,827   315,488 
    Deferred tax assets, net  64,101   59,162 
    Restricted marketable securities  182,208   244,726 
    Goodwill  14,462   14,462 
    Intangible assets, net  36,631   45,509 
    Inventories  239,644   237,512 
    Other assets  311,200   438,764 
    Total assets $7,492,817  $7,413,746 
    Current liabilities:    
    Accounts payable $188,280  $193,374 
    Income taxes payable  25,771   4,543 
    Accrued expenses  333,140   288,450 
    Current portion of long-term debt  5,435   3,896 
    Deferred revenue  235,293   201,868 
    Other current liabilities  28,349   34,747 
    Total current liabilities  816,268   726,878 
    Accrued solar module collection and recycling liability  120,173   139,145 
    Long-term debt  254,224   236,005 
    Other liabilities  473,815   352,167 
    Total liabilities  1,664,480   1,454,195 
    Commitments and contingencies    
    Stockholders’ equity:    
    Common stock, $0.001 par value per share; 500,000,000 shares authorized; 106,605,913 and 106,332,315 shares issued and outstanding at September 30, 2022 and December 31, 2021, respectively  107   106 
    Additional paid-in capital  2,880,243   2,871,352 
    Accumulated earnings  3,147,837   3,184,455 
    Accumulated other comprehensive loss  (199,850)  (96,362)
    Total stockholders’ equity  5,828,337   5,959,551 
    Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity $7,492,817  $7,413,746 

    (In thousands, except per share amounts)

      Three Months Ended   Nine Months Ended
      September 30,
     June 30,
     September 30,
      September 30,
     September 30,
    Net sales $628,933  $620,955  $583,504   $1,616,928  $2,016,058 
    Cost of sales  607,951   644,155   458,924    1,607,683   1,532,593 
    Gross profit (loss)  20,982   (23,200)  124,580    9,245   483,465 
    Operating expenses:           
    Selling, general and administrative  46,368   38,894   43,476    121,990   131,909 
    Research and development  29,183   25,229   25,426    81,520   69,234 
    Production start-up  19,768   13,231   2,945    40,337   16,014 
    Total operating expenses  95,319   77,354   71,847    243,847   217,157 
    Gain on sales of businesses, net  5,984   245,381   (1,866)   253,272   147,284 
    Operating (loss) income  (68,353)  144,827   50,867    18,670   413,592 
    Foreign currency loss, net  (4,859)  (2,984)  (1,018)   (12,041)  (4,613)
    Interest income  9,749   2,880   1,752    14,954   3,996 
    Interest expense, net  (2,991)  (3,236)  (2,958)   (9,092)  (10,577)
    Other income (expense), net  4,774   (1,883)  (2,603)   2,679   2,598 
    (Loss) income before taxes  (61,680)  139,604   46,040    15,170   404,996 
    Income tax benefit (expense)  12,512   (83,799)  (837)   (51,788)  (67,673)
    Net (loss) income $(49,168) $55,805  $45,203   $(36,618) $337,323 
    Net (loss) income per share:           
    Basic $(0.46) $0.52  $0.43   $(0.34) $3.18 
    Diluted $(0.46) $0.52  $0.42   $(0.34) $3.16 
    Weighted-average number of shares used in per share calculations:           
    Basic  106,596   106,586   106,320    106,532   106,241 
    Diluted  106,596   107,056   106,899    106,532   106,879 

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