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
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
2.8GW to 2.9GW
2.6GW to 2.7GW
Includes approximately $100 million of ramp costs
Includes approximately $90 million of production start-up expense
Defined as cash and marketable securities less expected debt at the end of 2018


The following information was filed by First Solar, Inc. (FSLR) on Thursday, October 25, 2018 as an 8K 2.02 statement, which is an earnings press release pertaining to results of operations and financial condition. It may be helpful to assess the quality of management by comparing the information in the press release to the information in the accompanying 10-Q Quarterly Report statement of earnings and operation as management may choose to highlight particular information in the press release.

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