First Solar Results No Shocker

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First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) reported first-quarter 2013 results after the markets closed today. The solar panel maker posted quarterly adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.69 on revenues of $755 million. In the first quarter of 2012, the solar panel maker reported an EPS loss of $0.08 on revenues of $497 million. The Thomson Reuters estimates has called for EPS of $0.75 and $725.26 million in revenue.

On a GAAP basis, First Solar posted EPS of $0.66, which included a charge of $0.03 for restructuring.

Shares of First Solar jumped 27% in one day early last month following the company’s upward revision of it fiscal year 2013 guidance. The company guided revenues and EPS well higher, and today’s report is probably a small disappointment to analysts and investors. Shares posted a new 52-week high today in anticipation of earnings.

The company’s CEO said:

We demonstrated progress on several fronts during the first quarter, including continued strengthening of our balance sheet and additions to our pipeline. We remain on track for the year and reaffirm our full-year 2013 financial guidance and are focused on achieving our goal of new bookings to shipments ratio of one-to-one.

That reaffirmed guidance calls for revenues in the range of $3.8 to $4 billion and EPS in the range of $4.00 to $4.50. The consensus estimates for the year come in at revenues of $3.84 billion and EPS of $4.27. For the second quarter the consensus estimates call for EPS of $1.16 on revenues of $952.64 million.

What the company has to say during its conference call will make a lot of difference in how today’s results are interpreted.

After posting a new 52-week high of $47.78 and closing up 3.7% at $47.69 today, shares are up another 1% after hours at $48.18. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $35.00 before today’s report.

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