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First Solar Reported a Q1 Loss, Raised Sales Guidance

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First Solar

First Solar (FSLR) reported its first-quarter earnings on May 2. The company reported total revenues of $532.0 million—a fall 6% year-over-year mainly due to lower systems project revenues in the United States and Japan during the first quarter. In the same quarter last year, the company reported total revenues of $567.0 million. First Solar has missed analysts’ revenue estimates for the last four consecutive quarters. In the fourth quarter of 2018, First Solar reported revenues of $691.0 million.

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Although First Solar’s top line fell, it raised its sales guidance for the year, which might boost investors’ sentiment. First Solar’s revenues fell ~24% in 2018 compared to 2017.

So far, solar stocks (TAN) have been on a solid uptrend this year. First Solar stock has risen more than 40% YTD (year-to-date). First Solar has beat its peers by a fair margin.

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Earnings highlights

First Solar posted a loss of $0.64 per share in the first quarter compared to an EPS of $0.49 in the first quarter of 2018. The company’s management raised its sales guidance midpoint to $3.6 billion for 2019 from $3.35 billion earlier. The EPS guidance remained unchanged at is $2.25–$2.75 for the current year.

First Solar’s innovative and efficient Series 6 PV module could help its performance in 2019. Mark Widmar, First Solar’s CEO, said, “Series 6 demand remains robust, and we are encouraged by the strong year-to-date bookings which are on track to exceed our targeted annual bookings-to-shipments ratio.”

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