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FirstSolar Presents Bullish Guidance for 2H15

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2015 guidance

FirstSolar (FSLR) expects to generate $3.5 billion to $3.6 billion in revenues in 2015. This implies that its revenues in 2H15 should come in at around $2.2 billion. The company expects its gross margins to be around 21–22% for the whole year, implying that its gross profitability will improve substantially in 2H15. Earnings per share are expected to be between $3.30 and $3.60, implying a substantial improvement in net income in 2H15. The company expects to ship around 2.8 to 2.9 gigawatts (or GW) of solar systems for the whole year.

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Analyst expectations

Wall Street analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect the company to report $1.1 billion in revenues in 3Q15 with earnings per share of $1.63. Analysts have upped their projections substantially since the 2Q15 earnings announcement due to the bullish guidance the company presented. Seven out of 16 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg have given a “buy” rating to FSLR, while eight recommend a “hold.” Only one analyst has given a “sell” rating to the company. Analysts expect FSLR’s 3Q15 earnings growth to be better than competitors (TAN) like SunEdison (SUNE), SunPower (SPWR), and Canadian Solar (CSIQ).

The future

While FirstSolar’s immediate priority is to ramp up capacity utilization at current efficiency levels, by 2017, the company expects to achieve higher efficiency, thereby gaining a substantial advantage over silicon-based solar modules—especially in the hot and humid Southeast and south Central regions. FSLR’s thin-film modules work better in hot and humid areas.

As of June 30, 2015, the company had a module shipment pipeline of 3.8 gigawatts (or GW) worth $7 billion. Plus, the company is competing for 16.7 GW in potential booking opportunity around the world.

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