First Solar announced its preliminary financial results for the third quarter of 2015. The financial performance was higher than expected so the company announced to update its 2015 guidance.
- Record Quarterly Net sales of $1.3 billion
- Preliminary Quarterly GAAP earnings per fully diluted share of $3.38
- Cash and marketable securities of $1.8 billion, net cash of $1.5 billion
- Raise preliminary 2015 EPS guidance to $4.30 to $4.50
- Record 1.7GWdc of new bookings; Record annual bookings of 3.1GWdc year-to-date
Net sales were $1.3 billion in the quarter, an increase of $375 million from the second quarter of 2015. The increase in net sales from the prior quarter resulted primarily from initial revenue recognition on the sale of a majority interest in the partially constructed Desert Stateline project. In addition revenue increased due to higher third party module sales and an increase in systems revenue across multiple projects.
First Solar reported preliminary third quarter GAAP earnings per fully diluted share of $3.38, compared to $0.93 in the prior quarter. The sequential increase in net income was due to higher gross margins associated with the majority sale of the Desert Stateline project, improvements in systems project costs and a decrease in our module collection and recycling obligation, which reduced cost of sales by $70 million and operating expenses by $10 million.
Cash and marketable securities at the end of the third quarter were approximately $1.8 billion, an increase of approximately $34 million compared to the prior quarter. Cash flows from operations were $21 million in the third quarter. The increase in cash and marketable securities during the quarter was primarily due to cash received related to the majority sale of the Desert Stateline project, partially offset by continued project construction on balance sheet.
For the 2015 guidance, First Solar updates the gross margin from 21-22% to 24-25%, operating expenses from $415-425 million to $395-405 million, operating income from $330-370 million to $450-490 million, EPS from $3.30-3.60 to $4.30-4.50. Net sales and shipments remain the same with the prior expectation.
To read the full report, please visit: FIRST SOLAR, INC. ANNOUNCES PRELIMINARY THIRD QUARTER 2015 FINANCIAL RESULTS