Company Update (NASDAQ:FSLR): First Solar, Inc. Announces Third Quarter 2015 Financial Results

First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) announced financial results for the third quarter of 2015 following preliminary results issued on October 29, 2015. The Company has completed its analysis of the previously announced discrete income tax matter related to a foreign jurisdiction and has filed its complete Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.

The Company is revising previously issued financial statements for the periods presented in the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q to properly record a liability associated with an uncertain tax position related to income of a foreign subsidiary. The revisions to the financial statements resulted in a $36.0 million decrease to accumulated earnings as of December 31, 2014. Additionally, these revisions will be reflected at the time the financial statement for annual and interim periods, and summary financial information, are published in the future. See “Revision of Previously Issued Financial Statements” in Note 1. “Basis of Presentation” to our condensed consolidated financial statements in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for more information.

First Solar’s third quarter 2015 net sales, gross margin and ending cash balances were all unchanged from the preliminary results issued previously. Earnings per fully diluted share increased to $3.41, as compared to the preliminary results.

The Company also affirmed the updated 2015 guidance provided in the preliminary earnings press release.

2015 Guidance Update Current
Net Sales $3.5B to $3.6B
Gross Margin %1 24% to 25%
Operating Expenses1 $395M to $405M
Operating Income1 $450M to $490M
Effective Tax Rate 4% to 6%
Earnings per Share1 $4.30 to $4.50
Net Cash Balance2 $1.3B to $1.4B
Capital Expenditures $175M to $200M
Working Capital3 $1.1B to $1.2B
Shipments 2.8GW to 2.9GW

1- Includes $80M benefit ($70M Gross Margin, $10M Opex) for a reduction in EOL obligation. EPS impact is $0.60
2- Cash & Marketable securities less debt at end of 2015
3- Expected increase in working capital from December 31, 2014 (Original Source)

Shares of First Solar are down 0.22% to $58.26 in after-hours trading. FSLR has a 1-year high of $65.50 and a 1-year low of $39.18. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $50.04 and its 200-day moving average is $50.06.

On the ratings front, First Solar has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on November 5, Argus analyst Michael Burke maintained a Buy rating on FSLR, with a price target of $87, which implies an upside of 49.0% from current levels. Separately, on October 30, Robert W. Baird’s Ben Kallo reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $69.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Michael Burke and Ben Kallo have a total average return of 1.4% and 6.6% respectively. Burke has a success rate of 52.8% and is ranked #1795 out of 3829 analysts, while Kallo has a success rate of 51.1% and is ranked #759.

The street is mostly Bullish on FSLR stock. Out of 8 analysts who cover the stock, 8 suggest a Buy rating . The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $68.25, which represents a potential upside of 16.9% from where the stock is currently trading.

First Solar Inc is a provider of solar energy solutions. It designs, manufactures and sells PV solar modules with a thin-film semiconductor technology. It also manufactures crystalline silicon solar modules.


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