14 December 2010

First Solar forecasts 46% sales growth in 2011 to $3.7–3.9bn

First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA, which makes thin-film photovoltaic modules based on cadmium telluride (CdTe) as well as providing engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services, forecasts that in 2011 its net sales will be $3.7–3.9bn (up 46% year-on-year on the midpoint of 2010 guidance, provided on 28 October, of $2.58–2.61bn). This consists of $2.8–2.9bn of module sales and $0.9–1.0bn of EPC/project development sales.

EPS (earnings per fully diluted share) is forecasted to grow to $8.75–9.50 per fully diluted share (compared with guidance for 2010 of $7.50–7.65 for 2010). Consolidated operating income should be $875–975m (compared with 2010 guidance of $595–620m). These forecasts include $80–85m of manufacturing start-up expenses and $15–20m of factory ramp costs associated with plant expansions.

During 2011 First Solar expects to generate $1.0–1.1bn of operating cash flow. The firm also plans to invest $1.0–1.1bn of capital in order to nearly double production capacity by year-end 2012, to maintain existing capacity, and to add infrastructure to support growth.

“First Solar revenue and profit is continuing to grow in 2011,” reckons CEO Rob Gillette. “We are benefiting from diversifying global partner demand and an increase in revenue from utility-scale projects.”

See related items:

First Solar’s sales rise 36% in Q3 to $798m

Tags: First Solar Thin-film photovoltaic CdTe

Visit: www.firstsolar.com

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