Topsy-Turvy First Solar Q4 & Full Year Financials Results In Lowered 2016 Guidance

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American solar PV manufacturer First Solar has reported record annual net sales but lowered guidance for 2016 in the wake of the solar ITC extension.

First Solar published its fourth quarter and full year 2015 financial results this week, reporting record annual net sales of $3.6 billion. However, fourth quarter net sales were down on the third quarter, dropping $329 million to sit at a still-respectful $942 million for the quarter. The decrease is primarily attributable to the lower revenue from the Desert Statement project, which achieved initial revenue recognition in the third quarter. Sales of third party module and module plus offerings also decreased, however.

News of the company’s financials sent its shares jumping 12% during Wednesday trading.

“We exit 2015 with record annual revenues, record new bookings, and earnings per share of over five dollars,” said Jim Hughes, CEO of First Solar. “As we look back to the 2015 targets first provided to investors at our Analyst Day nearly three years ago, we recognize that we have achieved the efficiency, cost per watt and earnings targets outlined at that time. We enter 2016 with tremendous technology, a strong pipeline and an ongoing commitment to achieve the long-term objectives we have communicated to our investors.”

The company nevertheless lowered guidance for net sales in 2016 in the wake of the US Congress extending the solar Investment Tax Credit. First Solar no longer needs to rush projects through in 2016 to qualify for the credit, and though this is good news, First Solar decided to make the decision to lower net sales guidance for 2016 from a range of $3.9 billion to $4.1 billion down to a more modest $3.8 billion to $4.0 billion.

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Joshua S Hill

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