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First Solar’s Preliminary Q3 Earnings Boast Strong Performance

Originally published on Solar Love.

First Solar has released preliminary guidance on its third quarter earnings, with net income of $346.2 million and recorded sales of $1.3 billion.

The company’s quarterly earnings are “preliminary” due to the need to analyze “a discrete income tax matter related to a foreign jurisdiction.” First Solar “believes that based on its preliminary analysis, the tax matter could have an adverse financial impact of up to $40 million,” but it is still unsure if there will be any impact on results.

Net sales were up to $1.3 billion for the quarter, an increase of $375 million on the second quarter of 2015, and $410 million up on a year earlier, thanks primarily to initial revenue recognition of the sale of a majority interest in the partially completed Desert Stateline project, as well as higher third party module sales and an increase in systems revenue across multiple projects.

Earnings per share were $3.38, compared to $0.93 in Q2’15.

“We had tremendous execution in the third quarter from both a financial and bookings perspective,” said Jim Hughes, CEO of First Solar. “We have now exceeded our book-to-bill target for the year, booked over 1GWdc of volume with deliveries after 2016, achieved strong quarterly earnings and have significantly raised our full year earnings guidance. We remain confident in our long term strategy and our ability to execute successfully.”

First Solar also released guidance for the full-year 2015. Net sales guidance remained unchanged from previous quarters, expected to be between $3.5 billion and $3.6 billion, and similarly unchanged shipment forecasts of between 2.8 GW and 2.9 GW. Gross margin is expected up on previous estimates, to between 24% and 25%, and earnings per share similarly up to $4.30 to $4.50.

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