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First Solar Sees Profits Soar, Shares Still Fall

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American solar PV manufacturer First Solar announced its 2014 fourth quarter financial earnings Tuesday, and despite revealing an increase in net sales of $119 million, the company still saw its shares fall 1% in after-hours trading.

Which all goes to show what any business or finance major will tell you — market expectations suck.

first-solar-sets-solar-cell-recordFirst Solar’s net sales for the fourth quarter were $1,008 million, an increase of $119 million over 2014’s third quarter. This massive increase, however, was almost entirely based on the sale of the 150 MW Solar Gen 2 project.

The news comes hot on the heels of the announcement that First Solar and SunPower will seek to create a yieldco together — one of the reasons that First Solar did not sell off any of its current stock of projects nearing completion or already completed. As such, the Desert Sunlight and Topaz projects will remain on the balance sheet, with assumptions being that these projects may be divested to any future yieldco.

These uncertainties led to First Solar providing guidance for the first quarter of 2015 of net sales between $550 to $650 million, a loss of $0.25 to $0.35 per fully diluted share, and cash used in operating activities of between $400 to $500 million.

As a result of these uncertainties, shares fell 1% TO $54.37 in after-hours trading, according to The Wall Street Journal.

News of First Solar’s intention to form a yieldco with SunPower came a day before the company released its financial earnings, in a press release stating that the two companies “are in advanced negotiations to form a joint YieldCo vehicle to which they each expect to contribute a portfolio of selected solar generation assets from their existing portfolio of assets.”

Which would seem to include the Desert Sunlight and Topaz projects.

First Solar have also recently made a Green Energy Commitment to develop 5 GW of capacity by 2019 in India, announced at RE-INVEST.

“India remains one of our most important global markets,” said James Hughes, Chief Executive Officer of First Solar. “Given its economic growth and the need for energy security and energy access, solar presents a very compelling opportunity to the government and the industry today, to demonstrate how it enables a sustainable and affordable energy solution for the 1.2Bn people of this country. First Solar is excited about the vision that the new Indian government has for solar energy, and as a global market leader our commitment demonstrates our intent to work with the government in achieving this goal.”

 
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