top of page

First Solar shares drop to lowest level since 2006 IPO

The Arizona-based thin-film manufacturer reported huge first quarter losses as a result of the recently announced restructuring.

First Solar lost $449.4 million on $497.1 million revenue, down from a $116 million profit in Q1 of 2011. This result represents the firm’s second loss ever. According to First Solar, net sales decreased mainly as a result of lower module-only sales and lower average selling prices.

First Solar also had to cover $401 million in charges related to the recently announced restructuring that will eventually lead to the laying off of 30 percent of the company’s workforce.

A First Solar installation in Sinzheim, Germany. Credit: First Solar

“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.

The firm’s share price dropped 6.3 percent to its lowest level since going public in 2006 — and that’s after a decline of 50 percent just in 2012. First Solar did, however, raise its share guidance to $4.00-$4.50, up from $3.75-$4.25, as well as its operating cash flow guidance to $850-$950 million from $800-$900 million.

First Solar concurrently announced that it will be focusing on emerging markets and will aim reach a levelized cost of energy of $0.10 to $0.14 per kWh by 2016.

“Looking forward, we are confident we have the right long-term strategy and the right platform to enable long-term growth and value creation,” said Ahearn.

“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.”


bottom of page