First Solar Inc. Earnings: Reversing to a Loss Following Two Consecutive Quarters of Profit

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) reported its results for the fourth quarter. First Solar 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 Fourth Quarter

Results: Reported a loss of $413.1 million ($4.74 per diluted share) in the quarter. First Solar, Inc. had a net income of $155.9 million or $1.80 per share in the year-earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: First Solar, Inc. reported adjusted net income of $1.26 per share. By that measure, the company fell short of mean estimate of $1.57 per share.

Quoting Management: “First Solar’s performance in the quarter was impacted by an aggressive competitive environment, an uncertain regulatory environment, warranty-related charges, and restructuring costs incurred to help position our business for the future,” said Mike Ahearn, Chairman and interim Chief Executive Officer of First Solar. “Despite these headwinds, we continue to make strides reducing manufacturing costs, increasing module efficiency, and successfully building out our captive project pipeline. These improvements, combined with our recent restructuring and strategic repositioning, enhance our competitive position in a very challenging environment.”

Key Stats:

The company has now come in under analyst forecasts for three quarters in a row. It missed the mark by 42 cents in the third quarter and by 23 cents in the second quarter.

FSLR’s loss in the latest quarter breaks a three-quarter string of profits. The company reported a profit of $196.5 million in the third quarter, a profit of $61.1 million in the second quarter and $116 million in the first.

Looking Forward: The outlook for the company’s results in the upcoming quarter is unfavorable. The average estimate for the first quarter of the next fiscal year is 72 cents per share, down from $1.46 ninety days ago. The average estimate for the fiscal year is $5.87 per share, down from $6.85 ninety days ago.

(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com