First Solar added their own first quarter financial results to the pile on Sunday, reporting net sales growth of $182 million over the fourth quarter of 2013, up to $950 million for 2014’Q1.
On top of successful sales growth, First Solar reported first quarter GAAP net income per fully diluted share of $1.10, compared to $0.64 in 2013’Q4.
“In the first quarter we demonstrated significant progress towards achieving the financial and operational targets we outlined at our recent Analyst Day,” saidJim Hughes, CEO of First Solar. “We delivered strong earnings in the first quarter and are increasing our financial guidance for the year based on these results. We have also made significant progress in new bookings and continue to execute on our technology roadmap.”
Successful first quarter growth has allowed the company to increase their guidance for the full year — see below the break.
First Solar provided the following changes to their full-year 2014 guidance:
- Gross Margin percentage of 17-18%, compared to prior guidance of 16-18%
- Operating Income of $290 to $340 million, compared to prior guidance of $270 to $320 million
- Earnings per fully diluted share guidance of $2.40 to $2.80, compared to prior guidance of $2.20 to $2.60
- Operating cash flow guidance of $300 – $500 million, compared to prior guidance of $250 – $450 million
According to Bloomberg, First Solar’s net income “was more than double estimates” thanks largely to the sale of the 139 MW Campo Verde power plant in southern California.
First Solar have wracked up a host of headlines over the first quarter of 2014, from breaking ground on Australia’s largest utility-scale solar project in January to achieving approval for 550 MW worth of projects in the US in February. First Solar also achieved records for solar cell efficiency for their thin film solar technology and cadmium-telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic (PV) module conversion efficiency.
The company also announced in March that they would be teaming up with GE to combine technologies and create the next generation of utility-scale PV power plants. Such next-gen partnerships are aimed at increasing cost and energy efficiency.
With shared gaining 23% already this year, First Solar is making solar a good looking bet for the future of energy generation across the world.
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