Shares of First Solar got killed yesterday when its CEO resigned abruptly with no reason given.
The company was due to report earnings next week, but in light of the turmoil rushed out its numbers just now.
The bottom line: Business is bad, but the company is still profitable.
In fact it sees EPS of $6.50-$7.50 next year, down big from previous guidance of around $9.
First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced financial results for the third quarter of 2011. Net sales were $1,006 million in the quarter, an increase of $473 million from the second quarter of 2011. Quarterly net sales increased from $798 million in the third quarter of 2010.
Third quarter net income per fully diluted share was $2.25, up from $0.70 in the second quarter of 2011 and $2.04 in the third quarter of 2010.
Third quarter Cash and Marketable Securities increased $279 million quarter over quarter to $795 million.
“First Solar’s performance in the quarter reflects our superior technology, strong execution capability, and integrated business model – all of which have enabled us to weather a difficult market environment relatively well,” said Mike Ahearn, Chairman of the Board and Interim Chief Executive Officer of First Solar. “Going forward, our goal is not just to survive the current environment, but to transcend it by creating and expanding markets worldwide that do not depend on today’s subsidy programs. This requires that we re-focus our strategy and commit our resources to solving the pressing energy needs that exist in much of the world.”
With respect to Rob Gillette’s departure, Ahearn said, “We thank Rob for his service, but the Board of Directors believes First Solar needed a leadership change to navigate through the industry turmoil and achieve our long-term goals.”
First Solar’s updated 2011 guidance is as follows:
- Net sales of $3.0 to $3.3 billion
- Operating Income of $650 to $760 million
- Effective tax rate of 13% to 14%
- Earnings per fully diluted share of $6.50 to $7.50
- Manufacturing start-up expenses of approximately $35 million and factory ramp costs of $10 to $12 million
In preparation for 2012, the company is reducing capital expenditures and evaluating opportunities to reallocate overhead expenses to fund increased investments in market development, sales, and R&D.
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