First Solar Earnings: Shining Outlook for 2011

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) reported its results for the first quarter. First Solar, Inc. designs and manufactures solar electric power modules using a proprietary thin film semiconductor technology.

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First Solar Earnings Cheat Sheet for the First Quarter

Results: Net income for First Solar, Inc. fell to $116 million ($1.33/share) vs. $172.3 million ($2/share) a year earlier. A decline of 32.7% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Fell 0.1% to $567.3 million YoY.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: FSLR beat the mean analyst estimate of $1.16/share. Estimates ranged from 82 cents per share to $1.86 per share.

Quoting Management: “Despite European market uncertainties, First Solar has good visibility into our demand for 2011,” said Rob Gillette, CEO of First Solar. “We continue to execute our cost roadmaps, invest in new module capacity, build our project pipeline and develop promising new markets around the world.”

Key Stats:

Last quarter’s profit decrease breaks a streak of two consecutive quarters of year-over-year profit increases. Net income rose 10.1% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year and 15.3% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year.

Over the last five quarters, revenue has increased 21.7% on average year over year. The biggest increase came in the third quarter of the last fiscal year, when revenue rose 65.9% from the year earlier quarter.

Competitors to Watch: SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWRA), Suntech Power Hldgs. Co., Ltd. (NYSE:STP), Trina Solar Limited (NYSE:TSL), General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), Yingli Green Energy Hold. Co. Ltd. (NYSE:YGE), MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc. (NYSE:WFR), Evergreen Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:ESLR), Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENER), DayStar Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:DSTI), and Ascent Solar Tech., Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTI)

Stock Performance: Shares of FSLR are down 6.8 percent to $125.25 in after hours trading.

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