First Solar, one of America’s leading solar PV manufacturers, published its second quarter earnings this week. While net sales were down for US solar PV manufacturer First Solar, the company actually managed to post strong growth in revenue for the quarter, giving the company space to raise its shipments and financial guidance for the full year 2017.
The report revealed net sales of $623 million for the quarter, down $269 million from the first quarter of 2017, and down $311 from the same quarter a year ago. The decrease was attributed to lower system sales, which were partially offset by higher third-party module sales.
First Solar nevertheless reported earnings of $0.50 per share, a significant increase over the prior quarter, up from $0.09 per share. Non-GAAP earnings per share were $0.64, compared to $0.25 per share in the first quarter. The company saw its net income increase thanks to an improved gross margin and a discrete income tax benefit.
“We executed well in the second quarter with solid non-GAAP earnings of $0.64, record quarterly shipments of nearly 900MWdc and bookings of 1.5GWdc since our last earnings call,” said Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar. “We are encouraged by the continuing strong demand for our Series 4 product and are focused on meeting our customers’ current needs. At the same time, our efforts to ensure the manufacturing and market readiness of Series 6 remains our highest priority. With the first Series 6 equipment being installed at our Ohio factory, and an increasing number of mid-to-late stage Series 6 bookings opportunities, we are pleased with our progress thus far.”
Looking forward, First Solar felt comfortable enough in its progress this year to raise guidance and shipping estimates for the full year 2017. Net sales are now expected to be in the range of $3 to $3.1 billion for the full year, up from $2.85 to $2.95 billion. Shipments have been increased from between an estimated 2.4 GW to 2.5 GW, up to between an estimated 2.6 GW to 2.7 GW, while earnings per share have been increased from an originally predicted $(0.30)–$0.40 per share to $1.55–$2.20 per share.
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