Tempe, May 03, 2011, First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced its financial results for the first quarter of 2011. Net sales were $567 million in the quarter, a decrease of $42.5 million from the fourth quarter of 2010, due to the allocation of modules to our systems projects in order to meet the project contractual delivery schedules, seven fewer production days, and a full quarter impact of the pricing change implemented in December of 2010. Quarterly net sales decreased slightly from $568 million in the first quarter of 2010, primarily due to lower average selling prices.
First quarter net income per fully diluted share was $1.33, down from $1.80 in the fourth quarter of 2010 and $2.00 in the first quarter of 2010. Quarter over quarter, the net income decrease was primarily driven by lower net sales and gross margin. Year over year, the net income decrease was primarily driven by reduced average selling prices and higher expenses, partially offset by increased module production and lower module cost per watt.
"Despite European market uncertainties, First Solar has good visibility into our demand for 2011," said Rob Gillette, CEO of First Solar. "We continue to execute our cost roadmaps, invest in new module capacity, build our project pipeline and develop promising new markets around the world."
First Solar's updated 2011 guidance is as follows:
Net sales of $3.7 to $3.8 billion
Operating Income of $900 to $970 million
Earnings per fully diluted share of $9.25 to $9.75
$50 to $60 million of manufacturing start-up expenses and $10 to $15 million of factory ramp costs
Total capital spending of $1.0 to $1.1 billion
Operating cash flow of $0.8 to $1.0 billion
First Solar will discuss these results and the outlook for 2011 in a conference call scheduled for today at 4:30 p.m. EDT. Investors may access a live audio webcast of this conference call and the earnings call presentation, which includes guidance for 2011 and additional details regarding the key assumptions relating to this guidance, in the Investors section of the Company's website at http://www.firstsolar.com/.
Source: First Solar, Inc.