EXHIBIT 99.1
downloada06.jpg
 
 
 
 
News Release

First Solar, Inc. Announces Third Quarter 2018 Financial Results
Net sales of $676 million
Net income per share of $0.54
Cash and marketable securities of $2.7 billion, net cash of $2.3 billion
YTD net bookings of 5.2GWDC; 1.1GWDC booked since prior earnings call
Series 6 commercial shipments commenced from third factory location
Earnings guidance lowered primarily due to timing of systems project sale

TEMPE, Ariz., October 25, 2018 First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced financial results for the third quarter of 2018. Net sales for the third quarter were $676 million, an increase of $367 million from the prior quarter primarily due to ongoing construction activities at the California Flats project and the sale of the Willow Springs and Manildra projects.

The Company reported third quarter earnings per share of $0.54, compared to a loss per share of $(0.46) in the second quarter. Net income increased compared to the prior quarter primarily due to improved net sales, the mix of higher gross profit projects, and lower operating expenses.

Cash and marketable securities at the end of the third quarter decreased to $2.7 billion from $3.1 billion at the end of the second quarter. The decrease primarily resulted from ongoing capital investments in Series 6 manufacturing capacity, ongoing factory ramp activities and the timing of cash receipts from certain systems project sales.

“We had good execution in the third quarter as we closed the sales of certain key projects and delivered solid financial results,” said Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar. “In addition, with the start of Series 6 production at our Vietnam factory we now have three locations manufacturing our most advanced product. Demand for Series 6 continues to be resilient as demonstrated by bookings of 1.1GWDC since our prior earnings call. This brings our total contracted volume to 11.3GWDC and provides us with a strong competitive advantage as we move forward.”

Guidance ranges for 2018 have been updated as a result of lower expected module sales, higher manufacturing ramp costs and the revised expectation that the Ishikawa project in Japan will now be sold in 2019. The complete update to 2018 guidance is as follows:
2018 GAAP Guidance
Prior
Current
Net Sales
$2.5B to $2.6B
$2.3B to $2.4B
Gross Margin % (1)
20.5% to 21.5%
18.5% to 19.5%
Operating Expenses (2)
$390M to $400M
$345M to $355M
Operating Income
$120M to $160M
$90M to $110M
Earnings per Share
$1.50 to $1.90
$1.40 to $1.60
Net Cash Balance (3)
$2.2B to $2.4B
$2.0B to $2.2B
Operating Cash Flow
$100M to $200M
$(100M) to $0M
Capital Expenditures
$800M to $900M
Unchanged
Shipments
2.8GW to 2.9GW
2.6GW to 2.7GW
——————————
(1)
Includes approximately $100 million of ramp costs
(2)
Includes approximately $90 million of production start-up expense
(3)
Defined as cash and marketable securities less expected debt at the end of 2018



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First Solar has scheduled a conference call for today, October 25, 2018 at 4:30 p.m. ET to discuss this announcement. A live webcast of this conference call is available at investor.firstsolar.com. 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 1, 2018 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 2947631. 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 will 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. 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: our financial guidance for 2018; the transition to Series 6 module manufacturing in 2018; and our business and financial objectives for 2018. 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” 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 these statements. These factors include, but are not limited to: structural imbalances in global supply and demand for PV solar modules; the market for renewable energy, including solar energy; our competitive position and other key competitive factors; reduction, elimination, or expiration of government subsidies, policies, and support programs for solar energy projects; our ability to execute on our long-term strategic plans; our ability to execute on our solar module technology and cost reduction roadmaps; interest rate fluctuations and both our and our customers’ ability to secure financing; 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, such as Series 6 module manufacturing; 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; 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 attract and retain key executive officers and associates; 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.



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Contacts

First Solar Investors
Steve Haymore
602-414-9315
stephen.haymore@firstsolar.com

First Solar Media
Steve Krum
602-427-3359
steve.krum@firstsolar.com



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FIRST SOLAR, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(In thousands, except share data)
(Unaudited)
 
 
 
September 30,
2018
 
December 31,
2017
ASSETS
 
 
 
 
Current assets:
 
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents
 
$
1,434,883

 
$
2,268,534

Marketable securities
 
1,295,049

 
720,379

Accounts receivable trade, net
 
141,699

 
211,797

Accounts receivable, unbilled and retainage
 
421,134

 
174,608

Inventories
 
296,038

 
172,370

Balance of systems parts
 
51,448

 
28,840

Project assets
 
28,978

 
77,931

Notes receivable, affiliate
 
21,308

 
20,411

Prepaid expenses and other current assets
 
195,552

 
157,902

Total current assets
 
3,886,089

 
3,832,772

Property, plant and equipment, net
 
1,671,129

 
1,154,537

PV solar power systems, net
 
310,493

 
417,108

Project assets
 
463,624

 
424,786

Deferred tax assets, net
 
108,636

 
51,417

Restricted cash and investments
 
341,125

 
424,783

Equity method investments
 
3,192

 
217,230

Goodwill
 
14,462

 
14,462

Intangibles assets, net
 
74,585

 
80,227

Inventories
 
124,266

 
113,277

Note receivable, affiliate
 

 
48,370

Other assets
 
96,954

 
85,532

Total assets
 
$
7,094,555

 
$
6,864,501

LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY
 
 
 
 
Current liabilities:
 
 

 
 

Accounts payable
 
$
154,602

 
$
120,220

Income taxes payable
 
49,941

 
19,581

Accrued expenses
 
433,117

 
366,827

Current portion of long-term debt
 
2,618

 
13,075

Deferred revenue
 
215,900

 
81,816

Other current liabilities
 
12,006

 
48,757

Total current liabilities
 
868,184

 
650,276

Accrued solar module collection and recycling liability
 
133,965

 
166,609

Long-term debt
 
463,485

 
380,465

Other liabilities
 
457,964

 
568,454

Total liabilities
 
1,923,598

 
1,765,804

Commitments and contingencies
 
 
 
 
Stockholders’ equity:
 
 
 
 
Common stock, $0.001 par value per share; 500,000,000 shares authorized; 104,814,322 and 104,468,460 shares issued and outstanding at September 30, 2018 and December 31, 2017, respectively
 
105

 
104

Additional paid-in capital
 
2,816,585

 
2,799,107

Accumulated earnings
 
2,389,438

 
2,297,227

Accumulated other comprehensive (loss) income
 
(35,171
)
 
2,259

Total stockholders’ equity
 
5,170,957

 
5,098,697

Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity
 
$
7,094,555

 
$
6,864,501




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FIRST SOLAR, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(In thousands, except per share amounts)
(Unaudited)
 
 
Three Months Ended
 
Nine Months Ended
 
 
September 30,
2018
 
June 30,
2018
 
September 30,
2017
 
September 30,
2018
 
September 30,
2017
Net sales
 
$
676,220

 
$
309,318

 
$
1,087,026

 
$
1,552,803

 
$
2,602,143

Cost of sales
 
547,093

 
317,376

 
795,226

 
1,258,936

 
2,115,266

Gross profit (loss)
 
129,127

 
(8,058
)
 
291,800

 
293,867

 
486,877

Operating expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Selling, general and administrative
 
33,539

 
50,854

 
50,546

 
125,519

 
147,702

Research and development
 
22,390

 
20,370

 
20,850

 
63,084

 
64,990

Production start-up
 
14,723

 
24,352

 
12,624

 
76,159

 
22,155

Restructuring and asset impairments
 

 

 
791

 

 
39,108

Total operating expenses
 
70,652

 
95,576

 
84,811

 
264,762

 
273,955

Operating income (loss)
 
58,475

 
(103,634
)
 
206,989

 
29,105

 
212,922

Foreign currency (loss) gain, net
 
(2,383
)
 
2,422

 
(3,968
)
 
(2,478
)
 
(6,166
)
Interest income
 
16,456

 
16,865

 
8,392

 
45,145

 
22,364

Interest expense, net
 
(3,198
)
 
(6,065
)
 
(4,149
)
 
(14,445
)
 
(19,692
)
Other (loss) income, net
 
(5,971
)
 
(4,328
)
 
2,018

 
7,635

 
25,180

Income (loss) before taxes and equity in earnings
 
63,379

 
(94,740
)
 
209,282

 
64,962

 
234,608

Income tax (expense) benefit
 
(2,396
)
 
6,164

 
(7,580
)
 
(7,857
)
 
26,769

Equity in earnings, net of tax
 
(3,233
)
 
40,085

 
4,045

 
35,105

 
5,462

Net income (loss)
 
$
57,750

 
$
(48,491
)
 
$
205,747

 
$
92,210

 
$
266,839

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net income (loss) per share:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
 
$
0.55

 
$
(0.46
)
 
$
1.97

 
$
0.88

 
$
2.56

Diluted
 
$
0.54

 
$
(0.46
)
 
$
1.95

 
$
0.87

 
$
2.54

Weighted-average number of shares used in per share calculations:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
 
104,804

 
104,776

 
104,432

 
104,711

 
104,287

Diluted
 
106,163

 
104,776

 
105,660

 
106,211

 
104,889




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