• Net sales of $801 million
  • Net income per diluted share of $2.50
  • Net cash balance of $1.3 billion
  • Maintain full-year 2023 revenue guidance and raise the mid-point of EPS guidance from $7.50 to $7.60
  • YTD net bookings of 27.8 GW; 6.8 GW since second quarter earnings call with an average selling price of $0.30 per watt, excluding India
  • Expected sales backlog of 81.8 GW

First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) (the “Company”) today announced financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2023.

Net sales for the third quarter were $801 million, a decrease of $10 million from the prior quarter. The decrease was primarily driven by a reduction in volume of modules sold.

The Company reported third quarter net income per diluted share of $2.50, compared to net income per diluted share of $1.59 in the second quarter of 2023.

Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, restricted cash equivalents, and marketable securities, less debt at the end of the third quarter, decreased to $1.3 billion from $1.5 billion at the end of the prior quarter. The decrease was primarily a result of capital expenditures related to manufacturing capacity expansions in Alabama, India, and Ohio, offset by operating cash flows and a final drawdown under our India financing facility.

“Since our last earnings call, we have made steady progress, establishing the foundations for our long-term growth journey, including investments in manufacturing and the infrastructure needed to rapidly evolve and scale our technology,” said Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar. “Our growth is underpinned by our points of differentiation and solid market fundamentals, including continued strong demand for our products, proven manufacturing excellence, a uniquely advantaged technology platform, and, crucially, a balanced business model focused on delivering value to our customers and our shareholders.”

Our 2023 guidance has been updated as follows:

 

Prior

Current

Net Sales

$3.4B to $3.6B

Unchanged

Gross Margin (1)

$1.2B to $1.3B

Unchanged

Operating Expenses (2)

$450M to $475M

$440M to $470M

Operating Income (3)

$745M to $870M

$770M to $870M

Earnings per Diluted Share

$7.00 to $8.00

$7.20 to $8.00

Net Cash Balance (4)

$1.5B to $1.8B

Unchanged

Capital Expenditures

$1.7B to $1.9B

Unchanged

Volume Sold

11.8GW to 12.3GW

Unchanged

——————————

(1)

Includes $110 million to $120 million of ramp and underutilization costs and $670 million to $700 million of Section 45X tax benefits

(2)

Includes $75 million to $85 million of production start-up expense and $36 million of litigation losses

(3)

Includes $185 million to $205 million of production start-up expense and ramp and underutilization costs, $36 million of litigation losses, and $670 million to $700 million of Section 45X tax benefits

(4)

Defined as cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, restricted cash equivalents, and marketable securities, less expected debt at the end of 2023

The guidance figures presented above are forward-looking statements that are subject to a variety of assumptions and estimates, including with respect to certain factors related to the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (the “IRA”). Among other things, such factors include (i) the total advanced manufacturing production credit available to us under Section 45X of the Internal Revenue Code and (ii) the timing and ability to monetize such credit. 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 2023 financial results, 2023 guidance, and financial outlook.

Conference Call Details

First Solar has scheduled a conference call for today, October 31, 2023 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 Thursday, November 30, 2023, 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 and entering the replay passcode 99681. A replay of the webcast will also be available on the Investors section of the Company’s website approximately two 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; increased research and development investment; new domestic and international capacity coming online; production and delivery of our new Series 7 modules; our financial guidance for 2023, including future financial results, net sales, gross margin, operating expenses, operating income, earnings per diluted share, net cash balance, capital expenditures, volume sold, shipments, bookings, products and our business and financial objectives for 2023; the availability of benefits under certain production linked incentive programs, and the impact of the IRA including the total advanced manufacturing production credit available to us under Section 45X of the Internal Revenue Code. 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, such as the IRA; the impact of the IRA on our expected results of operations in future periods, which may be affected by technical guidance, regulations, subsequent amendments or interpretations of the law; 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; our ability to incorporate technology improvements into our manufacturing process, including the production of bifacial solar modules and the implementation of our Copper Replacement (“CuRe”) program; 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; 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 arising from and results of pending litigation; future collection and recycling costs for solar modules covered by our module collection and recycling program; supply chain disruptions, including demurrage and detention charges; 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 construct production facilities to support product lines, including Series 6 and Series 7 module manufacturing; our ability to avoid manufacturing interruptions, including during the ramp of our Series 7 modules manufacturing facilities; our ability to attract and retain key executive officers and associates; the severity and duration of public health threats (including pandemics such as COVID-19 and similarly infectious diseases), including the 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 Condition 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, INC.

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(In thousands, except share data)

(Unaudited)

 

 

 

September 30, 2023

 

December 31, 2022

ASSETS

 

 

 

 

Current assets:

 

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents

 

$

1,492,958

 

 

$

1,481,269

 

Marketable securities

 

 

329,516

 

 

 

1,096,712

 

Accounts receivable trade, net

 

 

753,520

 

 

 

324,337

 

Accounts receivable unbilled

 

 

33,603

 

 

 

30,654

 

Inventories

 

 

882,787

 

 

 

636,312

 

Other current assets

 

 

331,618

 

 

 

222,137

 

Total current assets

 

 

3,824,002

 

 

 

3,791,421

 

Property, plant and equipment, net

 

 

4,072,857

 

 

 

3,536,902

 

Deferred tax assets, net

 

 

133,407

 

 

 

78,680

 

Restricted marketable securities

 

 

183,700

 

 

 

182,070

 

Government grants receivable

 

 

582,202

 

 

 

 

Goodwill

 

 

28,473

 

 

 

14,462

 

Intangible assets, net

 

 

66,379

 

 

 

31,106

 

Inventories

 

 

261,359

 

 

 

260,395

 

Other assets

 

 

430,266

 

 

 

356,192

 

Total assets

 

$

9,582,645

 

 

$

8,251,228

 

LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

 

 

 

 

Current liabilities:

 

 

 

 

Accounts payable

 

$

110,795

 

 

$

341,409

 

Income taxes payable

 

 

33,583

 

 

 

29,397

 

Accrued expenses

 

 

600,421

 

 

 

382,782

 

Deferred revenue

 

 

372,167

 

 

 

263,215

 

Other current liabilities

 

 

46,730

 

 

 

21,245

 

Total current liabilities

 

 

1,199,105

 

 

 

1,038,048

 

Accrued solar module collection and recycling liability

 

 

130,131

 

 

 

128,114

 

Long-term debt

 

 

464,040

 

 

 

184,349

 

Deferred revenue

 

 

1,349,602

 

 

 

944,725

 

Other liabilities

 

 

137,391

 

 

 

119,937

 

Total liabilities

 

 

3,280,269

 

 

 

2,415,173

 

Commitments and contingencies

 

 

 

 

Stockholders’ equity:

 

 

 

 

Common stock, $0.001 par value per share; 500,000,000 shares authorized; 106,844,040 and 106,609,094 shares issued and outstanding at September 30, 2023 and December 31, 2022, respectively

 

 

107

 

 

 

107

 

Additional paid-in capital

 

 

2,879,412

 

 

 

2,887,476

 

Accumulated earnings

 

 

3,621,827

 

 

 

3,140,289

 

Accumulated other comprehensive loss

 

 

(198,970

)

 

 

(191,817

)

Total stockholders’ equity

 

 

6,302,376

 

 

 

5,836,055

 

Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity

 

$

9,582,645

 

 

$

8,251,228

 

FIRST SOLAR, INC.

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

(In thousands, except per share amounts)

(Unaudited)

 

 

 

Three Months Ended

 

 

Nine Months Ended

 

 

September 30, 2023

 

June 30, 2023

 

September 30, 2022

 

 

September 30, 2023

 

September 30, 2022

Net sales

 

$

801,090

 

 

$

810,673

 

 

$

628,933

 

 

 

$

2,160,049

 

 

$

1,616,928

 

Cost of sales

 

 

424,915

 

 

 

500,253

 

 

 

607,951

 

 

 

 

1,361,403

 

 

 

1,607,683

 

Gross profit

 

 

376,175

 

 

 

310,420

 

 

 

20,982

 

 

 

 

798,646

 

 

 

9,245

 

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Selling, general and administrative

 

 

50,172

 

 

 

46,328

 

 

 

46,368

 

 

 

 

140,528

 

 

 

121,990

 

Research and development

 

 

41,190

 

 

 

36,745

 

 

 

29,183

 

 

 

 

108,445

 

 

 

81,520

 

Production start-up

 

 

12,059

 

 

 

23,377

 

 

 

19,768

 

 

 

 

54,930

 

 

 

40,337

 

Litigation loss

 

 

 

 

 

35,590

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

35,590

 

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

 

 

103,421

 

 

 

142,040

 

 

 

95,319

 

 

 

 

339,493

 

 

 

243,847

 

Gain on sales of businesses, net

 

 

211

 

 

 

135

 

 

 

5,984

 

 

 

 

329

 

 

 

253,272

 

Operating income (loss)

 

 

272,965

 

 

 

168,515

 

 

 

(68,353

)

 

 

 

459,482

 

 

 

18,670

 

Foreign currency loss, net

 

 

(987

)

 

 

(4,652

)

 

 

(4,859

)

 

 

 

(11,586

)

 

 

(12,041

)

Interest income

 

 

23,254

 

 

 

25,026

 

 

 

9,749

 

 

 

 

74,102

 

 

 

14,954

 

Interest expense, net

 

 

(3,734

)

 

 

(1,415

)

 

 

(2,991

)

 

 

 

(5,897

)

 

 

(9,092

)

Other (expense) income, net

 

 

(1,033

)

 

 

997

 

 

 

4,774

 

 

 

 

(1,492

)

 

 

2,679

 

Income (loss) before taxes

 

 

290,465

 

 

 

188,471

 

 

 

(61,680

)

 

 

 

514,609

 

 

 

15,170

 

Income tax (expense) benefit

 

 

(22,067

)

 

 

(17,892

)

 

 

12,512

 

 

 

 

(33,071

)

 

 

(51,788

)

Net income (loss)

 

$

268,398

 

 

$

170,579

 

 

$

(49,168

)

 

 

$

481,538

 

 

$

(36,618

)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income (loss) per share:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

$

2.51

 

 

$

1.60

 

 

$

(0.46

)

 

 

$

4.51

 

 

$

(0.34

)

Diluted

 

$

2.50

 

 

$

1.59

 

 

$

(0.46

)

 

 

$

4.49

 

 

$

(0.34

)

Weighted-average number of shares used in per share calculations:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

 

106,834

 

 

 

106,827

 

 

 

106,596

 

 

 

 

106,795

 

 

 

106,532

 

Diluted

 

 

107,498

 

 

 

107,278

 

 

 

106,596

 

 

 

 

107,326

 

 

 

106,532

 

FIRST SOLAR, INC.

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

(In thousands)

(Unaudited)

 

 

 

Nine Months Ended September 30,

 

 

 

2023

 

 

 

2022

 

Cash flows from operating activities:

 

 

 

 

Net income (loss)

 

$

481,538

 

 

$

(36,618

)

Adjustments to reconcile net income (loss) to cash provided by operating activities:

 

 

 

 

Depreciation, amortization and accretion

 

 

218,303

 

 

 

199,183

 

Impairments and net losses on disposal of long-lived assets

 

 

304

 

 

 

62,793

 

Share-based compensation

 

 

23,209

 

 

 

21,121

 

Deferred income taxes

 

 

(46,053

)

 

 

(4,600

)

Gain on sales of businesses, net

 

 

(329

)

 

 

(253,272

)

Other, net

 

 

89

 

 

 

(6,998

)

Changes in operating assets and liabilities:

 

 

 

 

Accounts receivable, trade and unbilled

 

 

(385,046

)

 

 

177,020

 

Inventories

 

 

(247,729

)

 

 

(164,205

)

Project assets and PV solar power systems

 

 

8,626

 

 

 

(160,300

)

Government grants receivable

 

 

(429,744

)

 

 

 

Other assets

 

 

(149,635

)

 

 

(49,071

)

Income tax receivable and payable

 

 

(16,809

)

 

 

40,902

 

Accounts payable and accrued expenses

 

 

121,382

 

 

 

(42,809

)

Deferred revenue

 

 

472,934

 

 

 

293,872

 

Other liabilities

 

 

(9,889

)

 

 

1,136

 

Net cash provided by operating activities

 

 

41,151

 

 

 

78,154

 

Cash flows from investing activities:

 

 

 

 

Purchases of property, plant and equipment

 

 

(1,039,863

)

 

 

(576,704

)

Purchases of marketable securities

 

 

(3,220,467

)

 

 

(2,278,125

)

Proceeds from sales and maturities of marketable securities

 

 

3,996,439

 

 

 

1,870,973

 

Proceeds from sales of businesses, net of cash and restricted cash sold

 

 

 

 

 

363,898

 

Acquisitions, net of cash acquired

 

 

(35,739

)

 

 

 

Other investing activities

 

 

 

 

 

(2,561

)

Net cash used in investing activities

 

 

(299,630

)

 

 

(622,519

)

Cash flows from financing activities:

 

 

 

 

Proceeds from borrowings under long-term debt, net of issuance costs

 

 

307,214

 

 

 

297,405

 

Repayment of long-term debt

 

 

 

 

 

(75,896

)

Payments of tax withholdings for restricted shares

 

 

(31,100

)

 

 

(12,048

)

Net cash provided by financing activities

 

 

276,114

 

 

 

209,461

 

Effect of exchange rate changes on cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and restricted cash equivalents

 

 

(855

)

 

 

39,866

 

Net increase (decrease) in cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and restricted cash equivalents

 

 

16,780

 

 

 

(295,038

)

Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and restricted cash equivalents, beginning of the period

 

 

1,493,462

 

 

 

1,455,837

 

Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and restricted cash equivalents, end of the period

 

$

1,510,242

 

 

$

1,160,799

 

Supplemental disclosure of noncash investing and financing activities:

 

 

 

 

Property, plant and equipment acquisitions funded by liabilities

 

$

185,064

 

 

$

163,147

 

Proceeds to be received from asset-based government grants

 

$

152,458

 

 

$

 

Acquisitions funded by contingent consideration

 

$

18,500

 

 

$

 

Proceeds to be received from sales of businesses

 

$

208

 

 

$

72,689

 

 

First Solar Investors investor@firstsolar.com

First Solar Media media@firstsolar.com

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