In addition to missing Q4 estimates, First Solar (FSLR) is guiding for Q1 revenue of $800M-$900M and EPS of $0.50-$0.60, largely below a consensus of $898.3M and $0.84.
443.7MW of solar modules were produced, +4% Q/Q and -13% Y/Y. Conversion efficiency +10 bps Q/Q and +50 bps Y/Y to 13.4%, cost/watt fell by $0.03 Q/Q and $0.12 Y/Y to $0.56.
Gross margin -420 bps Q/Q and -270 bps Y/Y to 24.6%. SG&A spend +4% Y/Y to $65.7M, R&D +22% to $38.4M. Free cash flow was $137M, down from $284M in Q3 and $253M a year ago.
Expected future module shipments were at 2.7GW at the end of Q4, flat Q/Q and up 100MW Y/Y. Expected future systems/module revenue was at $7.5B, down $300M Q/Q and $500M Y/Y. But potential opportunities rose to 10.6GW from 7.7GW.