First Solar records profitable Q1 results

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It is now evident that First Solar’s transition towards project development and integration, as opposed to purely modules manufacture is beginning to bear fruit. It has released a strong outlook for the rest of the year.

In terms of revenues, they skyrocketed 52% to $755 million from $497 million last year. The U.S.-manufacturer is optimistic and expects to make sales of between $3.8 billion and $4.0 billion this year.

Despite a decline in revenues of $320 million, compared to Q4 of 2012, it means an increase of $258 million, when compared with the same period of last year.

The Arizona-based firm has posted a net income of $59.1 million, compared to a loss of $449.4 million recorded one year ago in the same period. Last year’s losses were due to pre-tax restructuring charges and costs in excess of normal warranty. Pre- tax restructuring charges, totaling $2 million, also negatively affected Q1 financial results.

With respect to the decline in revenues, compared to Q4 of 2012, the U.S. firm says that it was "primarily due to higher revenue recognition for Topaz in Q4 of 2012, temporary construction delays at the AVSR project and previously planned lower manufacturing utilization", as it upgraded its production lines. In addition, at the present time, there are also delays in the Antelope Valley Solar Ranch project, which are lowering their revenues.

Looking ahead at the thin-film sales for 2013, the company is trying to show that it still has a place in the crystalline silicon dominated photovoltaic industry. It forecasts shipments of between 1.6 and 1.8 GW.

In this quarter, First Solar has performed well compared to the majority of its industry peers.

It has raised its profit per share to between $4.0 and $4.5. It also has released a strong outlook for 2014 and 2015, with module shipments of 1.8 GW to 2.2 GW, and 2.3 GW and 2.7 GW, respectively.

After First Solar, released their Q1 financial results, their share price went up to almost $48.