First Solar has announced the financial results for the first quarter of 2015. The net sales decreased due to, according to First Solar, retaining projects which would otherwise have generated revenue in anticipation of the company’s plans to pursue a YieldCo. The YieldCo partnered with SunPower will be an important part for the company’s developing strategies.
The net sales were $469 million in the quarter, a decrease of $539 million from the fourth quarter of 2014. This is explained through the YieldCo. In addition, delays on multiple projects in the current quarter, a higher mix of module only sales and the sale of the SolarGen 2 project in the prior quarter contributed to the lower revenue. The lower revenue further caused the decrease in net income, which declined from $1.89 in the 4Q14 to ($0.62) in this quarter. The mix of systems projects under construction and a higher proportion of module only and module plus sales are also attributed to the net loss.
The decrease in cash and marketable securities during the quarter, which represented approximately $507 million decline from the prior quarter, was due also to the increase in project construction on balance sheet in preparation for a YieldCo launch.
"As anticipated, the first quarter was a transitional period as we executed on our plans to form 8point3 Energy Partners," said Jim Hughes, CEO of First Solar. "We continue to enhance the overall strength of our business with our lead line now running at 16.3% efficiency and our announced strategic alliance with Caterpillar."
The Company also provided guidance for the second quarter of 2015 as follows:
- Net Sales of $750 to $850 million
- Earnings of $0.45 to $0.55 per fully diluted share, including a non-recurring tax benefit of approximately $0.40
- Cash flow used in operating activities of ($250) to ($350) million
In addition, there are 593MWac of new solar project bookings in the quarter. So far, there has been 905MWac of bookings since the beginning of this year.
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