• Net sales of $794 million
  • Net income per diluted share of $2.20
  • Net cash balance of $1.4 billion
  • Maintain full-year 2024 P&L guidance
  • YTD net bookings of 2.7 GW with an average selling price (“ASP”) of 31.3 cents per watt, excluding adjusters
  • Expected sales backlog of 78.3 GW

First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) (the “Company”) today announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2024.

Net sales for the first quarter were $794 million, a decrease of $0.4 billion from the prior quarter. The decrease was primarily driven by an expected historical seasonal reduction in volume of modules sold.

The Company reported first quarter net income per diluted share of $2.20, compared to net income per diluted share of $3.25 in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, restricted cash equivalents, and marketable securities, less debt at the end of the first quarter, decreased to $1.4 billion from $1.6 billion at the end of the prior quarter. The decrease was primarily a result of capital expenditures related to manufacturing capacity expansions in Alabama, Louisiana, and Ohio.

“We are pleased with our start to 2024, with good operating performance, selective bookings with a year to date ASP over 31 cents per watt excluding adjusters, and solid financial results,” said Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar. “Our differentiated technology and balanced business model are enabling us to drive growth, navigate industry volatility and deliver enduring shareholder value.”

Our 2024 guidance has been updated as follows:

 

Prior

Current

Net Sales (1)

$4.4B to $4.6B

Unchanged

Gross Margin (1) (2)

$2.0B to $2.1B

Unchanged

Operating Expenses (1) (3)

$455M to $485M

Unchanged

Operating Income (1) (4)

$1.5B to $1.6B

Unchanged

Earnings per Diluted Share (1)

$13.00 to $14.00

Unchanged

Net Cash Balance (5)

$0.9B to $1.2B

$600M to $900M

Capital Expenditures

$1.7B to $1.9B

$1.8B to $2.0B

Volume Sold (1)

15.6GW to 16.3GW

Unchanged

——————————

(1)

From an earnings cadence perspective, we anticipate our net sales and cost of sales profile, excluding the advanced manufacturing production credit available to us under Section 45X of the Internal Revenue Code (“Section 45X tax credit”), to be approximately 35-40% in the first half of the year and 60-65% in the second half of the year. We forecast Section 45X tax credits of approximately $400 million in the first half of the year and $620 million in the second half of the year. With an operating expenses profile roughly evenly split across the year, this results in a forecasted earnings per share profile of approximately 35-40% in the first half of the year and 60-65% in the second half of the year.

(2)

Assumes $40 million to $60 million of ramp costs and $1.0 billion to $1.05 billion of Section 45X tax credits

(3)

Assumes $85 million to $95 million of production start-up expense

(4)

Assumes $125 million to $155 million of production start-up expense and ramp costs, and $1.0 billion to $1.05 billion of Section 45X tax credits

(5)

Defined as cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, restricted cash equivalents, and marketable securities, less expected debt at the end of 2024

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 Section 45X tax credit 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 first quarter 2024 financial results, 2024 guidance, and financial outlook.

Conference Call Details

First Solar has scheduled a conference call for today, May 1, 2024 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 Friday, May 31, 2024 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 2024, including future financial results, net sales, gross margin, operating expenses, operating income, earnings per diluted share, net cash balance, capital expenditures, expected earnings cadence, volume sold, shipments, bookings, products and our business and financial objectives for 2024; 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 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 new production facilities to support new product lines in line with anticipated timing; evolving corporate governance and public disclosure regulations and expectations, including with respect to environmental, social and governance matters; 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 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, 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)

 

 

March 31, 2024

 

December 31, 2023

ASSETS

 

 

 

 

Current assets:

 

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents

 

$

1,682,081

 

 

$

1,946,994

 

Marketable securities

 

 

308,016

 

 

 

155,495

 

Accounts receivable trade, net

 

 

669,745

 

 

 

660,776

 

Government grants receivable, net

 

 

184,761

 

 

 

659,745

 

Inventories

 

 

970,871

 

 

 

819,899

 

Other current assets

 

 

425,919

 

 

 

391,900

 

Total current assets

 

 

4,241,393

 

 

 

4,634,809

 

Property, plant and equipment, net

 

 

4,915,686

 

 

 

4,397,285

 

Deferred tax assets, net

 

 

169,767

 

 

 

142,819

 

Restricted marketable securities

 

 

194,482

 

 

 

198,310

 

Government grants receivable

 

 

347,845

 

 

 

152,208

 

Goodwill

 

 

28,735

 

 

 

29,687

 

Intangible assets, net

 

 

61,889

 

 

 

64,511

 

Inventories

 

 

265,034

 

 

 

266,899

 

Other assets

 

 

535,751

 

 

 

478,604

 

Total assets

 

$

10,760,582

 

 

$

10,365,132

 

LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

 

 

 

 

Current liabilities:

 

 

 

 

Accounts payable

 

$

239,237

 

 

$

207,178

 

Income taxes payable

 

 

52,060

 

 

 

22,134

 

Accrued expenses

 

 

528,060

 

 

 

524,829

 

Current portion of debt

 

 

200,907

 

 

 

96,238

 

Deferred revenue

 

 

692,675

 

 

 

413,579

 

Other current liabilities

 

 

45,778

 

 

 

42,200

 

Total current liabilities

 

 

1,758,717

 

 

 

1,306,158

 

Accrued solar module collection and recycling liability

 

 

134,250

 

 

 

135,123

 

Long-term debt

 

 

418,695

 

 

 

464,068

 

Deferred revenue

 

 

1,375,407

 

 

 

1,591,604

 

Other liabilities

 

 

170,999

 

 

 

180,710

 

Total liabilities

 

 

3,858,068

 

 

 

3,677,663

 

Commitments and contingencies

 

 

 

 

Stockholders’ equity:

 

 

 

 

Common stock, $0.001 par value per share; 500,000,000 shares authorized; 107,041,246 and 106,847,475 shares issued and outstanding at March 31, 2024 and December 31, 2023, respectively

 

 

107

 

 

 

107

 

Additional paid-in capital

 

 

2,878,330

 

 

 

2,890,427

 

Accumulated earnings

 

 

4,207,682

 

 

 

3,971,066

 

Accumulated other comprehensive loss

 

 

(183,605

)

 

 

(174,131

)

Total stockholders’ equity

 

 

6,902,514

 

 

 

6,687,469

Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity

 

$

10,760,582

 

 

$

10,365,132

 

FIRST SOLAR, INC.

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

(In thousands, except per share amounts)

(Unaudited)

 

 

Three Months Ended

 

 

March 31, 2024

 

December 31, 2023

 

March 31, 2023

Net sales

 

$

794,108

 

 

$

1,158,553

 

 

$

548,286

 

Cost of sales

 

 

448,105

 

 

 

656,520

 

 

 

436,235

 

Gross profit

 

 

346,003

 

 

 

502,033

 

 

 

112,051

 

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Selling, general and administrative

 

 

45,827

 

 

 

57,094

 

 

 

44,028

 

Research and development

 

 

42,742

 

 

 

43,862

 

 

 

30,510

 

Production start-up

 

 

15,408

 

 

 

9,847

 

 

 

19,494

 

Total operating expenses

 

 

103,977

 

 

 

110,803

 

 

 

94,032

 

Gain on sales of businesses, net

 

 

1,115

 

 

 

6,554

 

 

 

(17

)

Operating income

 

 

243,141

 

 

 

397,784

 

 

 

18,002

 

Foreign currency loss, net

 

 

(2,858

)

 

 

(9,947

)

 

 

(5,947

)

Interest income

 

 

27,245

 

 

 

23,565

 

 

 

25,822

 

Interest expense, net

 

 

(9,210

)

 

 

(7,068

)

 

 

(748

)

Other expense, net

 

 

(2,799

)

 

 

(27,653

)

 

 

(1,456

)

Income before taxes

 

 

255,519

 

 

 

376,681

 

 

 

35,673

 

Income tax (expense) benefit

 

 

(18,903

)

 

 

(27,442

)

 

 

6,888

 

Net income

 

$

236,616

 

 

$

349,239

 

 

$

42,561

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income per share:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

$

2.21

 

 

$

3.27

 

 

$

0.40

 

Diluted

 

$

2.20

 

 

$

3.25

 

 

$

0.40

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

 

106,910

 

 

 

106,844

 

 

 

106,675

 

Diluted

 

 

107,407

 

 

 

107,558

 

 

 

107,154

 

FIRST SOLAR, INC.

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

(In thousands)

(Unaudited)

 

 

Three Months Ended March 31,

 

 

 

2024

 

 

 

2023

 

Cash flows from operating activities:

 

 

 

 

Net income

 

$

236,616

 

 

$

42,561

 

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

 

 

 

 

Depreciation, amortization and accretion

 

 

90,584

 

 

 

68,855

 

Share-based compensation

 

 

6,791

 

 

 

6,600

 

Deferred income taxes

 

 

(29,033

)

 

 

(55,282

)

Gain on sales of businesses, net

 

 

(1,115

)

 

 

17

 

Other, net

 

 

(814

)

 

 

(698

)

Changes in operating assets and liabilities:

 

 

 

 

Accounts receivable, trade

 

 

17,499

 

 

 

33,933

 

Inventories

 

 

(149,470

)

 

 

(122,996

)

Government grants receivable

 

 

281,889

 

 

 

(70,114

)

Other assets

 

 

(89,610

)

 

 

(60,394

)

Income tax receivable and payable

 

 

26,239

 

 

 

43,646

 

Accounts payable and accrued expenses

 

 

(160,939

)

 

 

(61,552

)

Deferred revenue

 

 

37,978

 

 

 

139,713

 

Other liabilities

 

 

1,108

 

 

 

1,113

 

Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities

 

 

267,723

 

 

 

(34,598

)

Cash flows from investing activities:

 

 

 

 

Purchases of property, plant and equipment

 

 

(413,456

)

 

 

(370,961

)

Purchases of marketable securities and restricted marketable securities

 

 

(569,446

)

 

 

(1,470,600

)

Proceeds from maturities of marketable securities

 

 

416,971

 

 

 

1,196,334

 

Other investing activities

 

 

(2,697

)

 

 

 

Net cash used in investing activities

 

 

(568,628

)

 

 

(645,227

)

Cash flows from financing activities:

 

 

 

 

Proceeds from borrowings under debt arrangements, net of issuance costs

 

 

105,420

 

 

 

136,000

 

Repayment of debt

 

 

(45,771

)

 

 

 

Payments of tax withholdings for restricted shares

 

 

(18,952

)

 

 

(28,314

)

Net cash provided by financing activities

 

 

40,697

 

 

 

107,686

 

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

 

 

(1,938

)

 

 

1,495

 

Net decrease in cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and restricted cash equivalents

 

 

(262,146

)

 

 

(570,644

)

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

 

 

1,965,069

 

 

 

1,493,462

 

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

 

$

1,702,923

 

 

$

922,818

 

Supplemental disclosure of noncash investing and financing activities:

 

 

 

 

Property, plant and equipment acquisitions funded by liabilities

 

$

445,963

 

 

$

330,830

 

Proceeds to be received from asset-based government grants

 

$

154,754

 

 

$

 

Acquisitions funded by contingent consideration

 

$

18,500

 

 

$

 

 

First Solar Investors investor@firstsolar.com

First Solar Media media@firstsolar.com

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