First Solar Earnings Call Insights: Changing Guidance and 2013 EPS Outlook

First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) recently reported its second quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Changing Guidance

Brandon Heiken – Credit Suisse: This is Brandon Heiken speaking on behalf of Patrick Jobin. I was wondering, if you could quantify each of the different factors that are contributing to the changing guidance, specifically how much do you think of pricing benefit do you expect from holding some of these projects to completion and the other contributions as well, please?

Mark Widmar – CFO and CAO: So the impact on Macho and Solar Gen holding those assets through COD is now reflected obviously in the current year and has had an adverse impact on the current year because we pushed the revenue and the associated earnings out into 2014. But what I would say is that if you look at ABW, if you try and understand the impact of selling down a Notice to Proceed versus DOD, I mean ABW I think is a great example of where we have been to achieve upsized economics by being patient in actually selling an asset that’s up and operational. When you look to the impact to the change in guidance on our operating income we came down about $25 million. $10 million of that is the associated impact of the two acquisitions, so we have incremental R&D expenses for Apollo and as well as incremental costs associated with the Element acquisition. So that’s $10 million. Then $15 million of it was the net impact of movement out of Solar Gen, Macho offsetting by improved economics on a handful of projects plus cost pressures that we are experiencing on AVSR.

2013 EPS Outlook

Brian Lee – Goldman Sachs: So I guess on the two products that you are holding through completion can you quantify the specific impacts that it had to lowering the 2013 EPS outlook? Is it fair to assume these projects are now going to be fully recognized in 2014 and if so, what’s the incremental EPS benefit for the delayed sale?

Mark Widmar – CFO and CAO: Yeah. So, they both will be recognized in 2014. So, it is just moving out of ’13 into ’14, so no issues from that standpoint. We are not quantifying the exact impact of movement of those projects out of the year. However, as I indicated, the aggregate impact of a number of movement of projects whether it’s the impact of Solar Gen and Macho moving out plus the incremental AVSR cost that we’re incurring because of delays in that project, offseted by those improved economics on ABW, improved cost performance on Campo, improved performance on Imperial Valley, all that nets to $15 million. So, I’m not going to give you each of the pieces that add up to the $15 million, but net-net, you lost $200 million of revenue, that fell out of the year, that when you cooperate the whole mix of the portfolio items that I just referenced to you changed our number by about $15 million.

A Closer Look: First Solar Earnings Cheat Sheet>>