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First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced financial results for the third quarter of 2013. Net sales were $1.3 billion in the quarter, an increase of $746 million from the prior quarter and an increase of $427 million from the third quarter of 2012. The sequential increase in net sales is primarily attributable to higher systems business project revenues, which included initial revenue recognition of Desert Sunlight and the sale of the ABW projects in Canada. Compared to the third quarter of 2012, the increase in net sales was also attributable to the Desert Sunlight and ABW projects and higher sales volume to third-party module-only customers in the third quarter of 2013, partially offset by initial revenue recognition for Topaz, achieved in the third quarter of 2012.
Revenues for the first nine months of 2013 were $2.5 billion compared to $2.3 billion for the first nine months of 2012.
The Company reported third quarter net income per fully diluted share of $1.94, compared to $0.37 in the second quarter of 2013 and $1.00 in the third quarter of 2012. The third quarter of 2013 was impacted by pre-tax asset impairment charges of $56.6 million related to the recently announced agreement to sell the Company’s facility in Mesa, Arizona. The sale of the facility is expected to provide additional liquidity to the Company in the form of cash sale proceeds, net of costs to sell, of approximately $115 million, and is expected to result in a net reduction in annual operating expenses (including both depreciation expense and cash expenditures) of approximately $10 million. The Company expects the Net cash proceeds from the sale to be received in the fourth quarter of this year. Excluding the impact of the asset impairment charge, Non-GAAP net income per fully diluted share was $2.28. The sequential increase in Non-GAAP earnings is primarily attributable to the initial revenue recognition of Desert Sunlight, the sale of the ABW projects, and higher sales volumes to third-party module-only customers in the third quarter compared to the second quarter. The year over year increase in earnings was primarily due to higher systems business project revenue, higher manufacturing utilization and higher module sales to third-party customers in the third quarter of 2013 compared to the third quarter of 2012.