- Published: 24 February 2016
- Written by Editor
First Solar, Inc. Announces Fourth Quarter & Full Year 2015 Financial Results
- Record annual net sales of $3.6 billion for 2015. Fourth quarter net sales of $942 million.
- Full year earnings per share of $5.37. Fourth quarter EPS of $1.60.
- Cash and marketable securities of $1.8 billion, net cash of $1.5 billion.
- Maintain 2016 EPS guidance at $4.00 to $4.50.
- Record annual bookings of 3.4GWdc in 2015. 2016 year-to-date bookings of over 160MWdc.
EMPE, Ariz.-- First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2015. Net sales were $942 million in the quarter, a decrease of $329 million from the third quarter of 2015. The decrease in net sales from the prior quarter was primarily attributable to lower revenue from the Desert Stateline project, which achieved initial revenue recognition in the third quarter. In addition, sales of third party module and module plus offerings decreased.
The Company reported fourth quarter earnings per share of $1.60, compared to $3.41 in the prior quarter. The decrease in net income from the third quarter was due to lower net sales, a decrease in gross margins and higher operating expenses. In the third quarter, gross margins and operating expenses benefited from a decrease in the Company’s module collection and recycling obligation. Partially offsetting the decrease in net income versus the prior quarter was a benefit from lower tax expense, which resulted from a favorable mix of jurisdictional income.
Cash and marketable securities at the end of the fourth quarter remained at $1.8 billion. Cash flows from operations were $53 million in the fourth quarter.
“We exit 2015 with record annual revenues, record new bookings and earnings per share of over five dollars,” said Jim Hughes, CEO of First Solar. “As we look back to the 2015 targets first provided to investors at our Analyst Day nearly three years ago, we recognize that we have achieved the efficiency, cost per watt and earnings targets outlined at that time. We enter 2016 with tremendous technology, a strong pipeline and an ongoing commitment to achieve the long-term objectives we have communicated to our investors.”
The Company maintained 2016 earnings per share guidance of $4.00 to $4.50 and updated forecasted financial items as follows:
|Net Sales||$3.9B to $4.1B||$3.8B to $4.0B|
|Gross Margin %||16% to 18%||17% to 18%|
|Operating Expenses||$380M to $400M||Unchanged|
|Operating Income||$260M to $330M||Unchanged|
|Effective Tax Rate||16% to 18%||Unchanged|
|Earnings per Share1||$4.00 to $4.50||Unchanged|
|Net Cash Balance2||$2.0B to $2.3B||$1.9B to $2.2B|
|Operating Cash Flow3||$500M to $700M||$400M to $600M|
|Capital Expenditures||$300M to $400M||Unchanged|
|Shipments||2.9GW to 3.0GW||Unchanged|
|1 – Includes a gain of approximately $200 million, net of tax, from the expected sale of an equity method investment and share of 8point3 earnings|
|2 – Cash and marketable securities less expected debt at the end of 2016|
|3 – Does not include approximately $450 million from the expected sale of an equity method investment treated as an investing cash flow|
First Solar has scheduled a conference call for today, February 23, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. ET to discuss this announcement. A live webcast of this conference call is available at http://investor.firstsolar.com/events.cfm.
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 Tuesday, March 1, 2016 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 8287868. 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. These forward-looking statements include statements, among other things, concerning: effects on our financial statements and guidance resulting from pending tax matters; our business strategy, including anticipated trends and developments in and management plans for our business and the markets in which we operate; future financial results, operating results, revenues, gross margin, operating expenses, products, projected costs (including estimated future module collection and recycling costs), warranties, solar module efficiency and balance of systems cost reduction roadmaps, restructuring, product reliability, investments in unconsolidated affiliates and capital expenditures; our ability to continue to reduce the cost per watt of our solar modules; our ability to reduce the costs to construct PV solar power systems; research and development programs and our ability to improve the conversion efficiency of our solar modules; sales and marketing initiatives; and competition. 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. 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. 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, the matters discussed in Item 1A: "Risk Factors," of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and other reports filed with the SEC.
FIRST SOLAR, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
|Cash and cash equivalents||$||1,126,826||$||1,482,054|
|Accounts receivable trade, net||500,629||135,434|
|Accounts receivable, unbilled and retainage||59,171||76,971|
|Balance of systems parts||136,889||125,083|
|Deferred project costs||187,940||29,354|
|Notes receivable, affiliate||1,276||12,487|
|Prepaid expenses and other current assets||248,977||202,151|
|Total current assets||3,345,586||3,077,654|
|Property, plant and equipment, net||1,284,136||1,419,988|
|PV solar power systems, net||93,741||46,393|
|Project assets and deferred project costs||1,111,137||810,348|
|Deferred tax assets, net||357,693||313,891|
|Restricted cash and investments||333,878||407,053|
|Investments in unconsolidated affiliates and joint ventures||399,805||255,029|
|Other intangibles, net||110,002||119,236|
|Notes receivable, affiliates||17,887||9,127|
|LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY|
|Income taxes payable||1,330||1,727|
|Current portion of long-term debt||38,090||51,399|
|Billings in excess of costs and estimated earnings||87,942||195,346|
|Payments and billings for deferred project costs||28,580||60,591|
|Other current liabilities||57,738||88,664|
|Total current liabilities||960,800||1,000,539|
|Accrued solar module collection and recycling liability||163,407||246,307|
|Commitments and contingencies|
Common stock, $0.001 par value per share; 500,000,000 shares authorized; 101,766,797 and
|Additional paid-in capital||2,742,795||2,697,558|
|Accumulated other comprehensive income||15,480||50,140|
|Total stockholders’ equity||5,548,487||4,991,487|
|Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity||$||7,316,331||$||6,720,991|
FIRST SOLAR, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Three Months Ended
|Cost of sales||710,886||699,611||2,659,728||2,566,246|
|Research and development||36,728||34,944||130,593||143,969|
|Selling, general and administrative||62,887||70,968||255,192||253,827|
|Total operating expenses||99,615||109,161||402,603||402,942|
|Foreign currency loss, net||(1,887||)||(1,269||)||(6,868||)||(1,461||)|
|Interest expense, net||(4,180||)||(553||)||(6,975||)||(1,982||)|
|Other (expense) income, net||(1,773||)||213||(5,502||)||(4,485||)|
|Income before taxes and equity in earnings of unconsolidated affiliates||130,055||202,491||519,835||432,101|
|Income tax benefit (expense)||15,290||(10,545||)||6,156||(31,188||)|
|Equity in earnings of unconsolidated affiliates, net of tax||18,790||1,372||20,430||(4,949||)|
|Net income per share:|
|Weighted-average number of shares used in per share calculations:|
Steve Haymore, +1 602-414-9315
First Solar Media
Steve Krum, +1 602-427-3359