Energy Business

Why First Solar's Q3 Is So Bright

First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) reported its third quarter financial results after the markets closed on Tuesday. The firm said that it had $1.45 in earnings per share (EPS) and $928 million in revenue, versus consensus estimates that called for $0.61 in EPS on $693.13 million in revenue. The same period from last year had $0.29 in EPS and $546.81 million in revenue.

For the quarter, net sales jumped by $285 million sequentially, primarily due to international project sales, and an increase in the volume of modules sold to third parties.

First Solar reported 1.6 gigawatts (GW) of bookings since the prior earnings call. The company also noted strong fleet-wide production with capacity utilization averaging over 100% at all factories.

On the books, cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities totaled $1.67 billion at the end of the quarter, versus $2.16 billion at the end of the previous fiscal year.

Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, the company expects to see EPS in the range of $1.00 to $1.50 and net sales in the range of $540 million to $790 million. Analysts are calling for $1.07 in EPS and $814.63 million in revenue for the coming quarter.

Considering this, First Solar implies full year guidance of $3.65 to $4.15 in EPS and $2.6 billion to $2.9 billion in revenue. Consensus estimates are calling for $2.86 in EPS and $2.67 billion in revenue.

First Solar stock closed Tuesday at $82.52, with a 52-week range of $28.47 to $87.44. The consensus analyst price target is $69.81. Following the announcement, the stock was up 12% at $92.21 in the after-hours session.