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Press release from Business Wire

First Solar, Inc. Announces First Quarter 2013 Financial Results

<p> <b>Net sales of $755 million</b><br/><b>Non-GAAP EPS of $0.69 per fully diluted share</b><br/><b>GAAP EPS of $0.66 per fully diluted share</b><br/><b>Cash and Marketable Securities of $1 billion</b><br/><b>Maintains full-year 2013 guidance</b> </p>

Monday, May 06, 2013

First Solar, Inc. Announces First Quarter 2013 Financial Results

16:05 EDT Monday, May 06, 2013

TEMPE, Ariz. (Business Wire) -- First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced financial results for the first quarter of 2013. Net sales were $755 million in the quarter, a decrease of $320 million from the fourth quarter of 2012 and an increase of $258 million from the first quarter of 2012. The decrease in net sales from the fourth quarter of 2012 was primarily due to less revenue recognition from our systems business projects primarily related to the Topaz project, while the increase over the first quarter of 2012 was primarily due to higher sales volumes for third-party module sales and an increase in revenue from systems projects.

The Company reported first quarter net income per fully diluted share of $0.66, compared to $1.74 in the fourth quarter of 2012 and a loss of $5.20 in the first quarter of 2012, which included $444 million in pre-tax restructuring charges and costs in excess of normal warranty. The first quarter of 2013 was impacted by pre-tax restructuring charges of $2 million (reducing EPS by $0.03), compared to $25 million (reducing EPS by $0.30) in the fourth quarter of 2012. In both cases the pre-tax charges related to previously announced restructuring actions. The sequential decrease in earnings was primarily due to higher revenue recognition for Topaz in the fourth quarter of 2012, temporary construction delays at the AVSR project, and previously planned lower manufacturing utilization as the Company accelerated efforts to upgrade production lines, which is expected to enable the Company to achieve near term targets on its module cost and efficiency improvement roadmaps.

Cash and Marketable Securities at the end of the first quarter were approximately $1 billion, essentially unchanged compared to the end of the fourth quarter of 2012, and an increase of $262 million over the first quarter of 2012. Cash flows from operations were $66 million in the first quarter, compared to $328 million for the fourth quarter of 2012.

The Company also maintained its full year 2013 financial guidance as issued during the 2013 Analyst Day event held April 9, 2013. Copies of the presentation materials for both the Analyst Day event and the first quarter 2013 earnings call are posted in the Investor section of its website at www.firstsolar.com.

“We demonstrated progress on several fronts during the first quarter, including continued strengthening of our balance sheet and additions to our pipeline,” said Jim Hughes, CEO of First Solar. “We remain on track for the year and reaffirm our full-year 2013 financial guidance and are focused on achieving our goal of new bookings to shipments ratio of one-to-one.”

For a reconciliation of non-GAAP measures to measures presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the U.S. (“GAAP”), see the tables below.

First Solar has scheduled a conference call for today, May 6, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. ET to discuss this announcement. Investors may access a live webcast of this conference call by visiting 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 Friday, May 10, 2013 at 11:59 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 7149955. 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 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 module and systems 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 the safe harbor provisions of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The forward-looking statements in this release do not constitute guarantees of future performance. Those statements involve a number of factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, including risks associated with the Company's business involving the Company's products, their development and distribution, economic and competitive factors and the Company's key strategic relationships and other risks detailed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. First Solar assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information contained in this press release or with respect to the announcements described herein.

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

       

 

March 31, 2013 December 31, 2012
ASSETS
Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents $ 842,753 $ 901,294
Marketable securities 168,993 102,578
Accounts receivable trade, net 279,131 553,567
Accounts receivable, unbilled and retainage 480,131 400,987
Inventories 388,509 434,921
Balance of systems parts 135,374 98,903
Deferred project costs 617,540 21,390
Deferred tax assets, net 41,456 44,070
Assets held for sale 49,521 49,521
Note receivable affiliate 17,725
Prepaid expenses and other current assets 106,518   207,368
Total current assets 3,109,926 2,832,324
Property, plant and equipment, net 1,553,205 1,525,382
Project assets and deferred project costs 573,901 845,478
Deferred tax assets, net 321,420 317,473
Restricted cash and investments 286,325 301,400
Goodwill 68,833 65,444
Inventories 133,264 134,375
Retainage 188,681 270,364
Other assets 58,870   56,452
Total assets $ 6,294,425   $ 6,348,692
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
Current liabilities:
Accounts payable $ 209,019 $ 350,230
Income taxes payable 2,068 5,474
Accrued expenses 430,503 554,433
Current portion of long-term debt 61,106 62,349
Deferred revenue 2,614 2,056
Payments and billings for deferred project costs 778,651 94,535
Other current liabilities 49,480   32,297
Total current liabilities 1,533,441   1,101,374
Accrued solar module collection and recycling liability 228,779 212,835
Long-term debt 501,111 500,223
Payments and billings for deferred project costs 25,746 636,518
Other liabilities 331,366   292,216
Total liabilities 2,620,443   2,743,166
Commitments and contingencies
Stockholders' equity:

Common stock, $0.001 par value per share;
500,000,000 shares authorized;
87,624,484 and 87,145,323 shares issued and outstanding
at March 31, 2013 and December 31, 2012, respectively

88 87
Additional paid-in capital 2,094,104 2,065,527
Accumulated earnings 1,588,875 1,529,733
Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) (9,085 ) 10,179
Total stockholders' equity 3,673,982   3,605,526
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity $ 6,294,425   $ 6,348,692
 
 

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

   
Three Months Ended

 

March 31, 2013   March 31, 2012
Net sales $ 755,205 $ 497,055
Cost of sales 585,879   420,310  
Gross profit 169,326 76,745
Operating expenses:
Research and development 29,931 36,084
Selling, general and administrative 74,465 91,820
Production start-up 1,376 4,058
Restructuring 2,347   401,065  
Total operating expenses 108,119   533,027  
Operating income (loss) 61,207 (456,282 )
Foreign currency gain (loss) 1,618 (984 )
Interest income 4,947 2,911
Interest expense, net (750 ) (920 )
Other expense, net (833 ) (1,211 )
Income (loss) before income taxes 66,189 (456,486 )
Income tax expense (benefit) 7,047   (7,070 )
Net income (loss) $ 59,142   $ (449,416 )
Net income (loss) per share:
Basic $ 0.68   $ (5.20 )
Diluted $ 0.66   $ (5.20 )
Weighted-average number of shares used in per share calculations:
Basic 87,206   86,507  
Diluted 89,377   86,507  
 
 

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

The non-GAAP financial measures included in the tables below are non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP net income per share, which adjust for Restructuring Expense. We believe the presentation of these non-GAAP financial measures, when taken together with the corresponding GAAP financial measures, provides meaningful supplemental information regarding the Company's operating performance. Our management uses these non-GAAP financial measures in assessing the Company's performance to prior periods and investors benefit from an understanding of these non-GAAP financial measures. The use of non-GAAP financial measures has limitations and you should not consider these performance measures in isolation from or as an alternative to measures presented in accordance with GAAP such as net income and net income per share.

Restructuring: Included in our GAAP presentation of operating expenses, restructuring costs represent asset impairment and related costs and severance and termination related costs primarily due to a series of restructuring initiatives intended to align the organization with our Long Term Strategic Plan including expected sustainable market opportunities and to reduce costs. We exclude restructuring costs from our non-GAAP measures because the asset impairment portion of the charges does not reflect our cash position or our cash flows from operating activities, and the restructuring charges overall do not reflect future operating expenses, are not indicative of our core operating performance, and are not meaningful in comparing to our past operating performance.

Three Months Ended March 31, 2013 (In thousands except per share data)
    GAAP     Restructuring     Non-GAAP
Income before income taxes $ 66,189 $ 2,347 $ 68,536
Income tax expense 7,047   25

(1)

 

7,022
Net income $ 59,142   $ 2,372   $ 61,514
 
Net income per fully diluted share (2) $ 0.66   $ 0.03   $ 0.69
 
Weighted-average shares outstanding 89,377   89,377   89,377
 
(1)   Amount adjusts the provision for income taxes to reflect the effect of the non-GAAP adjustments on non-GAAP net income.
(2) Amount is calculated based upon Net income divided by Weighted-average shares outstanding. The sum of Net income per fully diluted share across the table may not equal the calculated amount due to rounding.
 
 
Three Months Ended December 31, 2012 (In thousands except per share data)
    GAAP     Restructuring     Non-GAAP
Income before income taxes $ 170,574 $ 24,839 $ 195,413
Income tax (benefit) expense 16,396   (1,357 )

(1

)

 

15,039
Net income $ 154,178   $ 26,196   $ 180,374
 
Net income per fully diluted share (2) $ 1.74   $ 0.30   $ 2.04
 
Weighted-average shares outstanding 88,549   88,549   88,549
 
(1)   Amount adjusts the provision for income taxes to reflect the effect of the non-GAAP adjustments on non-GAAP net income.
(2) Amount is calculated based upon Net income divided by Weighted-average shares outstanding. The sum of Net income per fully diluted share across the table may not equal the calculated amount due to rounding.
 
 

First Solar Investors
David Brady
+1 602 414-9315
dbrady@firstsolar.com
or
Ryan Ferguson
+1 602 414-9315
rferguson@firstsolar.com
or
First Solar Media
Steve Krum
+1 602-427-3359
steve.krum@firstsolar.com

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