American solar PV manufacturer First Solar announced this week that it would be raising its shipping guidance for Full Year 2018 after the Section 201 case increased demand and excluded the company’s Series 4 modules from the 30% tariff.
First Solar announced its Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2017 financial results last week, and there were pieces of news which served to solidify the company’s position in the American market, despite US President Donald Trump’s imposition of a 30% tariff on imported solar cells and modules following a Section 201 trade case. The company was able to report strong, if mixed results, with higher-than-expected earnings but missing on revenue. First Solar also copped a $408 million one-off charge, or a loss of $3.91 per share, due to the United States’ recently announced tax reform. That same tax reform, however, opened the door for the company to float the idea of expanding manufacturing capacity in the US.
As part of First Solar’s financial report, it also revised shipping guidance for 2018. First Solar first announced its Full Year 2018 shipping guidance back in early December, with expected sales of between $2.3 billion and $2.5 billion, earnings per share of between $1.25 to $1.75, and shipments between 2.7 GW and 2.8 GW.
Last week, however, First Solar officials announced that increased demand for its modules and the exclusion of its Series 4 modules from the 30% import duty had allowed it to move forward with restarting two idle production lines at its manufacturing facilities in Perrysburg, Ohio. This means that First Solar was able to increase its shipping guidance for the Full Year 2018, with net sales now expected to be in the range of $2.45 billion to $2.65 billion, earnings per share up to between $1.50 to $1.90, and shipments in the range of 2.9 GW and 3.0 GW.
First Solar’s Chief Financial Officer, Alexander R. Bradley, in an Earnings Call with investors and analysts, confirmed that the increase in shipping guidance was due to the increase in Series 4 production at its Perrysburg production facility.