Tempe, 03. August 2012, First Solar announced financial results for the second quarter of 2012. Net sales were $957 million in the quarter, an increase of $460 million from the first quarter of 2012 and $425 million from the second quarter of 2011. The increases were primarily due to an increase in the number and size of projects under construction meeting revenue recognition criteria during the quarter, including Antelope Valley Solar Ranch 1 in California and Silver State North in Nevada.
The Company reported second quarter net income of $1.27 per fully diluted share, compared to a net loss of $5.20 per fully diluted share in the first quarter of 2012 and net income of $0.70 per fully diluted share in the second quarter of 2011. The second quarter of 2012 was impacted by pre-tax charges of $36 million (reducing EPS by $0.39), relating to restructuring and certain costs in excess of normal warranty.
Cash and Marketable Securities at the end of the second quarter were $744 million, down from $750 million at the end of the first quarter of 2012. Based on reductions in First Solar's ongoing cost structure primarily related to our restructuring initiatives, the Company is increasing 2012 guidance as follows:
- Net Sales of $3.6 - $3.9 billion, compared to prior guidance of $3.5 - $3.8 billion.
- Earnings per fully diluted share to $4.20-$4.70, compared to prior guidance of $4.00-$4.50, in each case excluding restructuring and impairment charges, and certain costs in excess of normal warranty expense.
"Despite market uncertainties, First Solar delivered strong performance in the quarter," said Jim Hughes, CEO. "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."
First Solar Appoints CEO James Hughes to Board of Directors
First Solar, Inc. announced the election of its CEO, James Hughes, to its board of directors. Hughes was appointed CEO in May, succeeding Mike Ahearn, First Solar's founder and Chairman, who had been serving as interim CEO since Oct. 2011.
Hughes, who joined First Solar in March 2012 as Chief Commercial Officer, has nearly 20 years of experience in the global energy industry. Before joining First Solar, he served as the CEO of AEI, which owned and operated power distribution, conventional and renewable power generation, natural gas transportation and natural gas distribution businesses in 19 countries. Prior to that, he was President and Chief Operating Officer for Prisma Energy. Hughes earned a juris doctor from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, a Certificate of Completion in international business law from Queen Mary's College, University of London, and a bachelor's degree in business administration from Southern Methodist University.
First Solar to Develop 139 MW Campo Verde Solar Project
First Solar, Inc. announced it is developing the 139 megawattAC (MW) Campo Verde Solar Project, located near El Centro in Imperial County, Calif. Campo Verde is expected to start construction in the third quarter of 2012 and be completed in 2013, creating about 250 construction jobs. San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) will purchase the project's output under a 20-year power purchase agreement, which was approved on May 24, 2012 by the California Public Utilities Commission.
First Solar will construct the project using its advanced thin film PV modules that generate clean, renewable energy with no emissions, waste or water consumption during operation. The project will generate enough electricity to power approximately 50,000 average California homes, displacing 80,000 metric tons of CO2 per year, the equivalent of taking 15,000 cars off the road.
"First Solar is very pleased to be working with SDG&E for the first time to deliver clean, renewable energy and create hundreds of construction jobs in Imperial County," said Brian Kunz, First Solar Vice President of Project Development, North America.
The Campo Verde project is jointly owned by First Solar and US Solar Holdings LLC, but First Solar has contractual rights to acquire 100 percent ownership interest and is in the process of completing its acquisition.
Source: First Solar, Inc.