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Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.
PRESS RELEASE: Paid content from Globe Newswire
Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

First Solar, Inc. Announces Third Quarter 2021 Financial Results

November 4, 2021 GMT

  • Net sales of $584 million
  • Net income per diluted share of $0.42
  • Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and marketable securities of $1.9 billion
  • Third quarter production of 2.0 GWDC despite challenging freight and COVID-19 environment
  • Increased top production bin to 465 watts, representing 19% glass area efficiency
  • Started construction and purchased equipment for our next-generation factories in Ohio and India
  • YTD net bookings of 10.5 GWDC; 1.5 GWDC since prior earnings call
  • Maintain 2021 EPS guidance of $4.00 to $4.60

TEMPE, Ariz., Nov. 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2021.

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“I would like to thank our associates for their dedication and continued execution during the third quarter,” said Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar. “Operationally, despite the challenging freight and COVID-19 environment our manufacturing team continues to deliver on their commitments. In the third quarter we produced 2.0 GWDC of modules, and in October we increased our top production bin to 465 watts. In parallel we started construction of the building for our third Ohio factory, and began ordering equipment for our first factory in India. Commercially, we had a good quarter, increasing our record year-to-date bookings to 10.5 GWDC. From a financial standpoint, while extended transit times for ocean freight impacted our third quarter results, we are reiterating our 2021 EPS guidance.”

Net sales for the third quarter were $584 million, a decrease of $46 million from the prior quarter, primarily due to lower systems segment revenue, which was partially offset by an increase in module segment revenue.

Operating income for the third quarter was $51 million. Third quarter operating income included depreciation and amortization of $66 million, underutilization and production start-up of $9 million, and share-based compensation of $6 million.

Net income per diluted share for the third quarter was $0.42, compared to $0.77 in the prior quarter.

Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and marketable securities at the end of the third quarter totaled $1.9 billion, a decrease of $111 million from the prior quarter. This decrease was primarily due to capital expenditures and reinvestment of restricted cash, which was partially offset by operating cash flows and collection of accounts receivables related to legacy systems activities.

2021 guidance has been updated as follows:

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 PriorCurrent
Net Sales$2.875B to $3.1BUnchanged
Gross Margin ($) (1)$695M to $760MUnchanged
Operating Expenses (2)$285M to $300MUnchanged
Operating Income (3)(4)$545M to $625MUnchanged
Earnings per Share$4.00 to $4.60Unchanged
Net Cash Balance (5)$1.35B to $1.45B$1.45B to $1.55B
Capital Expenditures$825M to $875M$675M to $725M
Shipments7.6GW to 8.0GWUnchanged
——————————
 (1) Includes of $1 million of related ramp expense (unchanged) and $40 million of impact due to underutilization and reduced throughput (unchanged)
 (2) Includes $20 million to $25 million of production start-up expense (unchanged)
 (3) Includes $61 million to $66 million of related ramp expense, production start-up expense, underutilization and reduced throughput impact (unchanged)
 (4) Includes a $147 million pre-tax gain related to the sales of the North American O&M and U.S. project development businesses ($149 million previously)
 (5) Defined as cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities, and restricted cash less expected debt at the end of 2021

Conference Call Details

First Solar has scheduled a conference call for today, November 4, 2021 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.

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 financial results and financial outlook.

An audio replay of the conference call will be available through Thursday, November 11, 2021 and can be accessed by dialing +1 (800) 585-8367 if you are calling from within the United States or +1 (416) 621-4642 if you are calling from outside the United States and entering the replay passcode 4672976. A replay of the webcast will also be available on the Investors section of the Company’s website approximately five hours after the conclusion of the call and remain available for 90 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 R&D 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; our financial guidance for 2021, net sales, gross margin, operating expenses, operating income, net income per share, earnings per share, net cash balance, capital expenditures, shipments, bookings, products and our business and financial objectives for 2021. 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; interest rate fluctuations and both our and our customers’ ability to secure financing; 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; the creditworthiness of our offtake counterparties and the ability of our offtake counterparties to fulfill their contractual obligations to us; 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; 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 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; supply chain disruption, including the availability of shipping containers, port congestion, canceled shipments by logistic providers, and the cost of fuel, all of which may be exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic; 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 convert existing or construct production facilities to support new product lines; our ability to attract and retain key executive officers and associates; the severity and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, including its 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 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.

Contacts

First Solar Investors
investor@firstsolar.com

First Solar Media
media@firstsolar.com

FIRST SOLAR, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(In thousands, except share data)
(Unaudited)

  September 30,
2021
  December 31,
2020
ASSETS   
Current assets:   
Cash and cash equivalents$1,367,464  $1,227,002 
Marketable securities (amortized cost of $554,897 and $519,844 and allowance for credit losses of $133 and $121 at September 30, 2021 and December 31, 2020, respectively)554,601  520,066 
Accounts receivable trade249,771  269,095 
Less: allowance for credit losses(1,430) (3,009)
Accounts receivable trade, net248,341  266,086 
Accounts receivable, unbilled25,053  26,673 
Less: allowance for credit losses(51) (303)
Accounts receivable, unbilled, net25,002  26,370 
Inventories647,439  567,587 
Assets held for sale  155,685 
Prepaid expenses and other current assets203,478  251,739 
Total current assets3,046,325  3,014,535 
Property, plant and equipment, net2,505,921  2,402,285 
PV solar power systems, net230,423  243,396 
Project assets335,259  373,377 
Deferred tax assets, net108,387  104,099 
Restricted marketable securities (amortized cost of $254,659 and $247,628 and allowance for credit losses of $53 and $13 at September 30, 2021 and December 31, 2020, respectively)251,379  265,280 
Goodwill14,462  14,462 
Intangible assets, net47,935  56,138 
Inventories236,446  201,229 
Other assets492,093  434,130 
Total assets$7,268,630  $7,108,931 
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY   
Current liabilities:   
Accounts payable$170,041  $183,349 
Income taxes payable12,984  14,571 
Accrued expenses231,163  310,467 
Current portion of long-term debt37,129  41,540 
Deferred revenue238,810  188,813 
Liabilities held for sale  25,621 
Other current liabilities25,109  83,037 
Total current liabilities715,236  847,398 
Accrued solar module collection and recycling liability140,019  130,688 
Long-term debt241,483  237,691 
Other liabilities341,817  372,226 
Total liabilities1,438,555  1,588,003 
Commitments and contingencies   
Stockholders’ equity:   
Common stock, $0.001 par value per share; 500,000,000 shares authorized; 106,326,000 and 105,980,466 shares issued and outstanding at September 30, 2021 and December 31, 2020, respectively106  106 
Additional paid-in capital2,865,628  2,866,786 
Accumulated earnings3,053,085  2,715,762 
Accumulated other comprehensive loss(88,744) (61,726)
Total stockholders’ equity5,830,075  5,520,928 
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity$7,268,630  $7,108,931 

FIRST SOLAR, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(In thousands, except per share amounts)
(Unaudited)

 Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended
  September 30,
2021
  June 30,
2021
  September 30,
2020
  September 30,
2021
  September 30,
2020
Net sales$583,504  $629,180  $927,565  $2,016,058  $2,102,100 
Cost of sales458,924  455,062  634,550  1,532,593  1,581,287 
Gross profit124,580  174,118  293,015  483,465  520,813 
Operating expenses:         
Selling, general and administrative43,476  36,346  49,861  131,909  160,218 
Research and development25,426  23,935  22,972  69,234  71,068 
Production start-up2,945  1,715  13,019  16,014  23,812 
Litigation loss        6,000 
Total operating expenses71,847  61,996  85,852  217,157  261,098 
Gain on sales of businesses, net(1,866) (1,745)   147,284   
Operating income50,867  110,377  207,163  413,592  259,715 
Foreign currency loss, net(1,018) (1,000) (1,852) (4,613) (3,549)
Interest income1,752  1,288  2,109  3,996  15,113 
Interest expense, net(2,958) (4,623) (10,975) (10,577) (21,018)
Other (expense) income, net(2,603) (3,247) (3,236) 2,598  (8,653)
Income before taxes and equity in earnings46,040  102,795  193,209  404,996  241,608 
Income tax (expense) benefit(837) (20,346) (38,107) (67,673) 40,894 
Equity in earnings, net of tax  $  (65)   150 
Net income$45,203  $82,449  $155,037  $337,323  $282,652 
          
Net income per share:         
Basic$0.43  $0.78  $1.46  $3.18  $2.67 
Diluted$0.42  $0.77  $1.45  $3.16  $2.65 
Weighted-average number of shares used in per share calculations:         
Basic106,320  106,313  105,967  106,241  105,830 
Diluted106,899  106,836  106,751  106,879  106,537