First Solar, Inc. Announces Preliminary Third Quarter 2015 Financial Results
By Business Wire News
By Business Wire News
First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced preliminary financial results for the third quarter of 2015. The Company expects to release complete condensed consolidated financial results and file its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q on or prior to November 9th, 2015.
The Company is issuing preliminary results while it completes its analysis of a discrete income tax matter related to a foreign jurisdiction. The Company believes that based on its preliminary analysis, the tax matter could have an adverse financial impact of up to $40 million. Preliminary results are being issued pending the determination of the financial impact of this matter, if any.
Preliminary Financial Results
Net sales were $1.3 billion in the quarter, an increase of $375 million from the second quarter of 2015. The increase in net sales from the prior quarter resulted primarily from initial revenue recognition on the sale of a majority interest in the partially constructed Desert Stateline project. In addition revenue increased due to higher third party module sales and an increase in systems revenue across multiple projects.
The Company reported preliminary third quarter GAAP earnings per fully diluted share of $3.38, compared to $0.93 in the prior quarter. The sequential increase in net income was due to higher gross margins associated with the majority sale of the Desert Stateline project, improvements in systems project costs and a decrease in our module collection and recycling obligation, which reduced cost of sales by $70 million and operating expenses by $10 million.
Cash and marketable securities at the end of the third quarter were approximately $1.8 billion, an increase of approximately $34 million compared to the prior quarter. Cash flows from operations were $21 million in the third quarter. The increase in cash and marketable securities during the quarter was primarily due to cash received related to the majority sale of the Desert Stateline project, partially offset by continued project construction on balance sheet.
“We had tremendous execution in the third quarter from both a financial and bookings perspective,” said Jim Hughes, CEO of First Solar. “We have now exceeded our book-to-bill target for the year, booked over 1GWdc of volume with deliveries after 2016, achieved strong quarterly earnings and have significantly raised our full year earnings guidance. We remain confident in our long term strategy and our ability to execute successfully.”
The Company also provided preliminary updated guidance for 2015. The following guidance is preliminary pending the determination of the financial impact of the tax matter discussed previously.
|2015 Guidance Update||Prior||Current|
|Net Sales||$3.5B to $3.6B||Unchanged|
|Gross Margin %1||21% to 22%||24% to 25%|
|Operating Expenses1||$415M to $425M|
$395M to $405M
|Operating Income1||$330M to $370M||$450M to $490M|
|Effective Tax Rate4||2% to 5%||4% to 6%|
|Earnings per Share1,4||$3.30 to $3.60||$4.30 to $4.50|
|Net Cash Balance2, 4||$1.2B to $1.4B||$1.3B to $1.4B|
|Capital Expenditures||$175M to $200M||Unchanged|
|Working Capital3||$1.1B to $1.3B||$1.1B to $1.2B|
|Shipments||2.8GW to 2.9GW||Unchanged|
|1-||Includes $80M benefit ($70M Gross Margin, $10M Opex) for a reduction in EOL obligation. EPS impact is $0.60|
|2-||Cash & Marketable securities less debt at end of 2015|
|3-||Expected increase in working capital from December 31, 2014|
|4-||Excludes impact of up to $40 million related to pending tax matter|
First Solar has scheduled a conference call for today, October 29, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. ET to discuss this announcement. A live webcast of this conference call is available at http://investor.firstsolar.com/events.cfm.
An audio replay of the conference call will also be available approximately two hours after the conclusion of the call. The audio replay will remain available until Thursday, November 5, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. ET and can be accessed by dialing 888-203-1112 if you are calling from within the United States or 719-457-0820 if you are calling from outside the United States and entering the replay pass code 3562138. A replay of the webcast will be available on the Investors section of the Company’s website approximately two hours after the conclusion of the call and remain available for approximately 90 calendar days.
About First Solar, Inc.
First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems which use its advanced module and system technology. The Company’s integrated power plant solutions deliver an economically attractive alternative to fossil-fuel electricity generation today. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life module recycling, First Solar’s renewable energy systems protect and enhance the environment. For more information about First Solar, 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. These forward-looking statements include statements, among other things, concerning: effects on our financial statements and guidance resulting from the pending tax matter described in this release, including our assessment of the likelihood and amount of penalties that may be imposed on us (which penalties, if any, could cause the estimated financial impact to be significantly greater than the estimate provided in this release); our business strategy, including anticipated trends and developments in and management plans for our business and the markets in which we operate; future financial results, operating results, revenues, gross margin, operating expenses, products, projected costs (including estimated future module collection and recycling costs), warranties, solar module efficiency and balance of systems cost reduction roadmaps, restructuring, product reliability, investments in unconsolidated affiliates and capital expenditures; our ability to continue to reduce the cost per watt of our solar modules; our ability to reduce the costs to construct PV solar power systems; research and development programs and our ability to improve the conversion efficiency of our solar modules; sales and marketing initiatives; and competition. These forward-looking statements are often characterized by the use of words such as “estimate,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “project,” “plan,” “intend,” “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. 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. 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 these statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, the matters discussed in Item 1A: “Risk Factors,” of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and other reports filed with the SEC.
FIRST SOLAR, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(In thousands, except share data)
|Cash and cash equivalents||$||1,189,703||$||1,482,054|
|Accounts receivable trade, net||328,927||135,434|
|Accounts receivable, unbilled and retainage||241,119||76,971|
|Balance of systems parts||104,392||125,083|
|Deferred project costs||98,421||29,354|
|Deferred tax assets, net||78,092||91,565|
|Notes receivable, affiliate||1,279||12,487|
|Prepaid expenses and other current assets||210,399||202,151|
|Total current assets||3,251,329||3,169,219|
|Property, plant and equipment, net||1,330,054||1,419,988|
|PV solar power systems, net||93,420||46,393|
|Project assets and deferred project costs||1,030,436||810,348|
|Deferred tax assets, net||264,200||222,326|
|Restricted cash and investments||403,160||407,053|
|Investments in unconsolidated affiliates and joint ventures||299,103||255,029|
|Other intangibles, net||112,470||119,236|
|Notes receivable, affiliates||17,754||9,127|
|LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY|
|Income taxes payable||2,028||1,727|
|Current portion of long-term debt||34,082||51,399|
|Billings in excess of costs and estimated earnings||74,102||195,346|
|Payments and billings for deferred project costs||22,699||60,591|
|Other current liabilities||43,035||88,702|
|Total current liabilities||891,706||1,000,577|
|Accrued solar module collection and recycling liability||164,304||246,307|
|Commitments and contingencies|
Common stock, $0.001 par value per share; 500,000,000 shares authorized; 100,919,021 and
|Additional paid-in capital||2,734,161||2,697,558|
|Accumulated other comprehensive income||28,491||50,140|
|Total stockholders’ equity||5,420,845||5,027,487|
|Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity||$||7,060,642||$||6,720,991|
FIRST SOLAR, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(In thousands, except per share amounts)
Three Months Ended
|Nine Months Ended|
|Cost of sales||786,880||700,023||1,948,842||1,865,098|
|Research and development||29,630||37,593||93,865||109,025|
|Selling, general and administrative||53,716||66,528||192,305||182,859|
|Total operating expenses||86,544||105,527||302,988||293,781|
|Foreign currency (loss) gain, net||(3,726||)||169||(7,674||)||(389)|
|Interest expense, net||(1,775||)||(89||)||(2,795||)||(1,429||)|
|Other expense, net||(1,678||)||(2,476||)||(3,729||)||(5,416||)|
|Income before taxes and equity in earnings of unconsolidated affiliates||395,964||85,661||387,087||230,859|
|Income tax (expense) benefit||(49,644||)||7,108||(10,324||)||(19,579||)|
|Equity in earnings of unconsolidated affiliates, net of tax||(115||)||(4,345||)||1,640||(6,321||)|
|Net income per share:|
|Weighted-average number of shares used in per share calculations:|