- First Solar (FSLR) is trading near its October highs following its big Q3 beat.
- While systems sales are taking center stage in Q3 report, the performance of First Solar's module ops also improved. Module production (exc. German plant closures) rose 10% Q/Q and 8% Y/Y to 426MW, cost/watt fell $0.08 Q/Q and Y/Y to $0.59, and conversion efficiency, which has historically trailed that of non-thin-film module vendors, rose 30 bps Q/Q and 60 bps Y/Y to 13.3%.
- Capacity utilization was 80% in Q3, +500 bps Q/Q but -600 bps Y/Y. The company's 2013 module-only shipment guidance range has been favorably narrowed to 400MW-500MW from 300MW-500MW.
- On the other hand, First Solar is now guiding for 2013 systems shipments of 1.2GW, down from a prior 1.3GW; that's the main reason for the revenue guidance cut. 50% of Desert Sunlight revenue is now set to be recognized this year, up from ~33%.
- First Solar ended Q3 with $1.5B in cash/investments, up from $1.3B at the end of Q2. Opex rose 19% Y/Y, less than rev. growth of 51%.
- More on First Solar
First Solar resumes trading, shares +8.1% AH; more on Q3
Oct 31 2013, 16:51 ET