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30 August 2019

First Solar’s sales rise 10% in Q2 to $585m

For second-quarter 2019, First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA – which makes thin-film photovoltaic modules based on cadmium telluride (CdTe) as well as providing engineering, procurement & construction (EPC) services – has reported net sales of $585m, up 10% on $532m last quarter (due primarily to increased module and system sales in the USA and Australia) and up 89% on $309.3m a year ago.

Operating expenses of $85.8m are down on $95.6m a year ago but up from $76.8m last quarter.

Net loss was $18.5m ($0.18 per share), cut from $67.6m ($0.64 per share) last quarter and $48.5m ($0.46 per share) a year ago.

Cash, restricted cash and marketable securities fell from $2.3bn to $2.1bn (including net cash of $1.7bn), due mainly to continued capital investments in manufacturing capacity for the firm’s Series 6 modules.

“We continued to make significant progress in our Series 6 transition during Q2, with improvements across all manufacturing metrics,” says CEO Mark Widmar. “We had record module production and shipments during the second quarter, and with our recent bookings success we are now essentially sold out through 2020, with significant bookings visibility into 2021.”

For full-year 2019, First Solar still expects revenue of $3.5-3.7bn, with shipments of 5.4-5.6GW (year-to-date net bookings are currently 4.3GW). However, guidance for gross margin has been increased from 18-19% to 18.5-19.5% (despite including ramp-up costs of $60-70m, rather than the previously expected $45-55m). Guidance for operating expenses has been cut from $370-390m to $360-380m (including production start-up expenses being reduced from $70-80m to $55-65m). Operating income guidance has hence been raised from $260-310m to $290-340m. However, guidance remains unchanged for earnings per share of $2.25-2.75, capital expenditure of $650-750m, and net cash balance (cash, restricted cash and marketable securities minus debt at the end of 2019) of $1.7-1.9bn.

Tags: First Solar Thin-film photovoltaic CdTe

Visit: www.firstsolar.com

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