First Solar presents $450 Mio. loss in Q1 2012 and increases guidance for the full year
Tempe, USA - First Solar, Inc. announced financial results for the first quarter of 2012.
Net sales were $497 million in the quarter, a decrease of $163 million from the fourth quarter of 2011, primarily due to lower volumes for module-only sales, and $70 million below the first quarter of 2011, primarily due to lower average selling prices and lower volumes for module-only sales, which was partially offset by higher systems revenue.
The Company reported a first quarter net loss of $5.20 per fully diluted share, compared to a net loss of $4.78 per fully diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2011 and net income of $1.33 per fully diluted share in the first quarter of 2011. The first quarter of 2012 was impacted by pre-tax charges consisting of (i) $401 million (reducing EPS by $4.64) related to previously-announced restructuring actions, including asset impairments, and (ii) $43 million (reducing EPS by $0.48) related to costs in excess of normal warranty expense associated with our previously announced 2008 to 2009 manufacturing excursion, including approximately $31 million in accruals which reflect the completion of processing for all remaining claims during the first quarter.
The non-GAAP net loss per fully diluted share, which excludes the charges listed above, was $0.08 for the first quarter. For a reconciliation of these non-GAAP measures to measures presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the U.S. ("GAAP"), see the tables below.
Cash and Marketable Securities at the end of the first quarter were $750 million, down from $788 million at the end of the fourth quarter of 2011. Based on reductions in First Solar's ongoing cost structure related to our restructuring initiatives, the Company is increasing 2012 guidance as follows: Earnings per fully diluted share guidance to $4.00-$4.50, compared to prior guidance of $3.75-$4.25, in each case excluding restructuring and impairment charges, and costs in excess of normal warranty expense; Operating cash flow guidance to $850-$950 million, compared to prior guidance of $800-$900 million.
"First Solar's performance in the quarter was impacted by an aggressive competitive environment resulting from persistent supply-demand imbalances in the market, as well as restructuring costs that will improve our operating efficiency and help position us for the future," said Mike Ahearn, Chairman of the Board. "Looking forward, we are confident we have the right long-term strategy and the right platform to enable long-term growth and value creation. We believe that by executing our strategic roadmaps and completing our restructuring program we can achieve our targets of 2.6 to 3.0 GW of sales in sustainable markets, earning a return on invested capital of 13 to 17 percent by 2016."