First Solar to Announce First Quarter 2021 Financial Results

  • 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 GW DC ; 2.9 GW DC since prior earnings call
  • Nameplate manufacturing capacity increased to 7.9 GW DC ; 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

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:

 PriorCurrent
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 $300MUnchanged
Operating Income (3)(4)$545M to $640MUnchanged
Earnings per Share$4.05 to $4.75Unchanged
Net Cash Balance (5)$1.8B to $1.9BUnchanged
Capital Expenditures$425M to $475MUnchanged
Shipments7.8GW to 8.0GWUnchanged

——————————
(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

Source: FIRST SOLAR

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