• First Solar, Inc. Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2022 Financial Results and 2023 Guidance

    来源: Nasdaq GlobeNewswire / 28 2月 2023 16:02:00   America/New_York

    • Net sales of $2.6 billion for 2022 and $1.0 billion for the fourth quarter
    • Net loss per diluted share of $0.41 for 2022 and $0.07 for the fourth quarter
    • Year-end 2022 net cash balance of $2.4 billion
    • 48.3 GWDC of 2022 net bookings; 12 GWDC since third quarter earnings call
    • 2023 net sales guidance of $3.4 billion to $3.6 billion
    • 2023 EPS guidance of $7.00 to $8.00 per diluted share
    • Year-end 2023 net cash balance guidance of $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion

    TEMPE, Ariz., Feb. 28, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) (the “Company”) today announced financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2022.

    Net sales for the fourth quarter were $1.0 billion, an increase of $0.4 billion from the prior quarter. The increase was primarily a result of increased module sales and the sale of our Luz del Norte project in Chile in the fourth quarter.

    The Company reported a fourth quarter net loss per diluted share of $0.07 and full year net loss per diluted share of $0.41.

    Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, restricted cash equivalents, and marketable securities, less debt at the end of the fourth quarter increased to $2.4 billion from $1.7 billion at the end of the prior quarter. The increase was primarily a result of advance payments received from customers offset by capital expenditures related to expansion in India and Ohio.

    “We finished 2022 with a record contracted backlog, a significant pipeline of bookings opportunities, and a strong balance sheet placing us in a position to respond to emerging opportunities,” said Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar. “This momentum is driven by our points of differentiation, including our unique CdTe technology, vertically integrated manufacturing process, domestic production, and commitment to Responsible Solar. We enter this year in a significantly stronger commercial, operational, and financial position, with increased R&D investment, new domestic and international capacity coming online, and a new Series 7 product.”

    Forecasted net sales for 2023 are $3.4 billion to $3.6 billion. Operating income is forecasted to be $745 million to $870 million, which includes production start-up expense of $85 million to $90 million, ramp costs related to expansion projects and underutilization costs related to factory upgrades of $110 million to $130 million, and Inflation Reduction Act Section 45X tax credits of $660 million to $710 million. Forecasted net income per diluted share is $7.00 to $8.00. The year-end 2023 net cash balance is projected to be in the range of $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion. The complete 2023 guidance is as follows:

     2023 Guidance
    Net Sales$3.4B to $3.6B
    Gross Margin (1)$1.2B to $1.3B
    Operating Expenses (2)$415M to $440M
    Operating Income (3)$745M to $870M
    Earnings per Diluted Share$7.00 to $8.00
    Net Cash Balance (4)$1.2B to $1.5B
    Capital Expenditures$1.9B to $2.1B
    Volume Sold11.8GW to 12.3GW

    (1) Includes $110 million to $130 million of ramp and underutilization costs and $660 million to $710 million of Section 45X tax credits
    (2) Includes $85 million to $90 million of production start-up expense
    (3) Includes $195 million to $220 million of production start-up expense and ramp and underutilization costs, and $660 million to $710 million of Section 45X tax credits
    (4) Defined as cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, restricted cash equivalents, and marketable securities, less expected debt at the end of 2023

    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. Among other things, such factors include (i) the total advanced manufacturing production credit available to us under Section 45X of the Internal Revenue Code 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 fourth quarter and full year 2022 financial results, 2023 guidance, and financial outlook.

    Conference Call Details

    First Solar has scheduled a conference call for today, February 28, 2023 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 Thursday, March 30, 2023 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. 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 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; increased research and development investment; new domestic and international capacity coming online; a new Series 7 product; our financial guidance for 2023, including future financial results, net sales, gross margin, operating expenses, operating income, earnings per share, net cash balance, capital expenditures, volume sold, shipments, bookings, products and our business and financial objectives for 2023; and the impact of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 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 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; the passage of legislation intended to encourage renewable energy investments through tax credits, such as the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022; the impact of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 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; 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 disruption, including the availability of shipping containers, port congestion, canceled shipments by logistic providers, and the cost of fuel; 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 production facilities to support product lines, including Series 6 and Series 7 module manufacturing; our ability to attract and retain key executive officers and associates; the severity and duration of public health threats (including pandemics such as COVID-19 and similarly infectious diseases), 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 and our subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, as supplemented by our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


    First Solar Investors

    First Solar Media

    (In thousands, except share data)
      December 31,
      2022 2021
    Current assets:    
    Cash and cash equivalents $1,481,269  $1,450,654 
    Marketable securities  1,096,712   375,389 
    Accounts receivable trade, net  324,337   429,436 
    Accounts receivable unbilled, net  30,654   25,273 
    Inventories  621,376   666,299 
    Other current assets  237,073   244,192 
    Total current assets  3,791,421   3,191,243 
    Property, plant and equipment, net  3,536,902   2,649,587 
    PV solar power systems, net  6,242   217,293 
    Project assets  30,108   315,488 
    Deferred tax assets, net  78,680   59,162 
    Restricted marketable securities  182,070   244,726 
    Goodwill  14,462   14,462 
    Intangible assets, net  31,106   45,509 
    Inventories  260,395   237,512 
    Other assets  319,842   438,764 
    Total assets $8,251,228  $7,413,746 
    Current liabilities:    
    Accounts payable $341,409  $193,374 
    Income taxes payable  29,397   4,543 
    Accrued expenses  382,782   288,450 
    Current portion of long-term debt     3,896 
    Deferred revenue  263,215   201,868 
    Other current liabilities  21,245   34,747 
    Total current liabilities  1,038,048   726,878 
    Accrued solar module collection and recycling liability  128,114   139,145 
    Long-term debt  184,349   236,005 
    Deferred revenue  944,725   95,943 
    Other liabilities  119,937   256,224 
    Total liabilities  2,415,173   1,454,195 
    Commitments and contingencies    
    Stockholders’ equity:    
    Common stock, $0.001 par value per share; 500,000,000 shares authorized; 106,609,094 and 106,332,315 shares issued and outstanding at December 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively  107   106 
    Additional paid-in capital  2,887,476   2,871,352 
    Accumulated earnings  3,140,289   3,184,455 
    Accumulated other comprehensive loss  (191,817)  (96,362)
    Total stockholders’ equity  5,836,055   5,959,551 
    Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity $8,251,228  $7,413,746 

    (In thousands, except per share amounts)
      Three Months Ended Year Ended
      December 31,
     September 30,
     December 31,
     December 31,
     December 31,
    Net sales $1,002,391  $628,933  $907,319  $2,619,319  $2,923,377 
    Cost of sales  941,778   607,951   660,830   2,549,461   2,193,423 
    Gross profit  60,613   20,982   246,489   69,858   729,954 
    Operating expenses:          
    Selling, general and administrative  42,734   46,368   38,411   164,724   170,320 
    Research and development  31,284   29,183   29,881   112,804   99,115 
    Production start-up  32,740   19,768   5,038   73,077   21,052 
    Total operating expenses  106,758   95,319   73,330   350,605   290,487 
    Gain on sales of businesses, net  239   5,984      253,511   147,284 
    Operating (loss) income  (45,906)  (68,353)  173,159   (27,236)  586,751 
    Foreign currency loss, net  (4,373)  (4,859)  (3,362)  (16,414)  (7,975)
    Interest income  18,330   9,749   2,183   33,284   6,179 
    Interest expense, net  (3,133)  (2,991)  (2,530)  (12,225)  (13,107)
    Other income (expense), net  28,510   4,774   (2,284)  31,189   314 
    (Loss) income before taxes  (6,572)  (61,680)  167,166   8,598   572,162 
    Income tax (expense) benefit  (976)  12,512   (35,796)  (52,764)  (103,469)
    Net (loss) income $(7,548) $(49,168) $131,370  $(44,166) $468,693 
    Net (loss) income per share:          
    Basic $(0.07) $(0.46) $1.24  $(0.41) $4.41 
    Diluted $(0.07) $(0.46) $1.23  $(0.41) $4.38 
    Weighted-average number of shares used in per share calculations:          
    Basic  106,606   106,596   106,327   106,551   106,263 
    Diluted  106,606   106,596   107,007   106,551   106,924 

    (In thousands)
      Years Ended December 31,
      2022 2021 2020
    Cash flows from operating activities:      
    Net (loss) income $(44,166) $468,693  $398,355 
    Adjustments to reconcile net (loss) income to cash provided by operating activities:      
    Depreciation, amortization and accretion  269,724   259,900   232,925 
    Impairments and net losses on disposal of long-lived assets  63,338   22,876   35,806 
    Share-based compensation  28,656   20,902   29,267 
    Deferred income taxes  (12,799)  49,847   36,013 
    Gain on sales of businesses, net  (253,511)  (147,284)   
    Gains on sales of marketable securities and restricted marketable securities     (11,696)  (15,346)
    Liabilities assumed by customers for the sale of systems  (145,281)  (85,490)  (136,745)
    Gain on debt forgiveness  (30,201)      
    Other, net  (1,029)  (3,484)  19,297 
    Changes in operating assets and liabilities:      
    Accounts receivable, trade and unbilled  118,724   (96,951)  345,150 
    Inventories  16,693   (136,365)  (145,396)
    Project assets and PV solar power systems  (14,336)  23,402   106,867 
    Other assets  (72,602)  (69,942)  (33,065)
    Income tax receivable and payable  43,592   (13,062)  (177,431)
    Accounts payable and accrued expenses  5,569   48,968   (109,583)
    Deferred revenue  912,946   47,062   (157,284)
    Other liabilities  (11,948)  (139,817)  (391,710)
    Net cash provided by operating activities  873,369   237,559   37,120 
    Cash flows from investing activities:      
    Purchases of property, plant and equipment  (903,605)  (540,291)  (416,635)
    Purchases of marketable securities and restricted marketable securities  (3,375,008)  (2,147,136)  (901,924)
    Proceeds from sales and maturities of marketable securities and restricted marketable securities  2,646,787   2,294,595   1,192,832 
    Proceeds from sales of businesses, net of cash and restricted cash sold  442,302   300,499    
    Other investing activities  (3,050)  (6,707)  (5,500)
    Net cash used in investing activities  (1,192,574)  (99,040)  (131,227)
    Cash flows from financing activities:      
    Repayment of long-term debt  (75,896)  (72,676)  (225,344)
    Proceeds from borrowings under long-term debt, net of discounts and issuance costs  397,380   129,215   156,679 
    Payments of tax withholdings for restricted shares  (12,092)  (15,989)  (13,118)
    Other financing activities        (804)
    Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities  309,392   40,550   (82,587)
    Effect of exchange rate changes on cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and restricted cash equivalents  47,438   3,174   3,778 
    Net increase (decrease) in cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and restricted cash equivalents  37,625   182,243   (172,916)
    Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and restricted cash equivalents, beginning of the period  1,455,837   1,273,594   1,446,510 
    Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and restricted cash equivalents, end of the period $1,493,462  $1,455,837  $1,273,594 
    Supplemental disclosure of noncash investing and financing activities:      
    Property, plant and equipment acquisitions funded by liabilities $315,961  $61,598  $110,576 

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