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First Solar Shares Heat Up on Q3 Earnings and Reinstated FY Guidance

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First Solar shares traded 11% higher and established a new 52-week high after the company reported Q3/20 financial results that included a nearly 70% increase in year-over-year revenue.

After U.S. markets closed for trading yesterday, photovoltaic solar energy manufacturer First Solar Inc. (FSLR:NYSE) announced financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2020.

The company's CEO Mark Widmar commented, "We delivered strong financial results for the third quarter...The dedication we continue to witness from our associates enabled us to expand module segment gross margin, close the sales of our Ishikawa, Miyagi and Anamizu projects in Japan and increase earnings per share quarter-over-quarter. This result reflects the strengths of our competitively advantaged CdTe modules and vertically integrated manufacturing process."

The company reported that net sales in Q3/20 were $928 million, compared to $642 million in Q2/20 and $547 million in Q3/19. The firm indicated that the 44% sequential increase of $285 million versus Q2/20 was mostly attributable to international project sales and an increase in third party volume of modules sold.

First Solar also advised that net income per share for Q3/20 was $1.45, compared to $0.35 in Q2/20 and $0.29 in Q3/19.

The firm noted that it had previously withdrawn its full-year 2020 guidance due to the many uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, but the company now reports that "its financial results have not been materially impacted by COVID-19." Therefore, First Solar advised that it is reinstating financial guidance for Q4/20 and FY/20 based upon results achieved through the first nine months of this fiscal year.

The company advised that it now estimates that Q4/20 net revenue will be in the range of $540-790 million and FY/20 net revenue will be between $2.6 and $2.9 billion. The firm also stated that it expects Q4/20 net income per share of $1.00-1.50 and FY/20 net income per share of $3.65-4.15.

First Solar is based in Tempe, Ariz., and is a global provider of photovoltaic (PV) solar energy products and solutions. The firm creates, manufactures and markets both PV solar modules and PV power systems. The company is focused on delivering integrated power plant solutions that offer economical alternatives to fossil-fuel generated electricity.

First Solar began the day with a market capitalization of around $8.7 billion with approximately 106.0 million shares outstanding. FSLR shares opened 12% higher today at $92.33 (+$9.94, +12.06%) over yesterday's $82.39 closing price and reached a new 52-week high this morning of $97.93. The stock has traded today between $90.21 and $97.93 per share and is currently trading at $92.24 (+$9.85, +11.96%).

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