First Solar Inc.FSLR reported second-quarter 2016 earnings of 87 cents a share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 58 cents by 50%. The reported number also surged 67.3% from the prior-year figure of 52 cents per share on the back of higher sales and gross profits.
Shares of First Solar gained 3.1% during after-hours trading, following the announcement of second-quarter results.
First Solar's revenues in the quarter increased 4.3% year over year to $934.4 million. Growth is primarily attributable to higher revenues from module-only sales, sale of the Kingbird project and revenue recognition across multiple system projects. Reported revenues also came ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $904 million by 3.4%.
Gross profit in the reported quarter was $191.2 million, up from $164.5 million a year ago.
Total operating expenses increased 69.8% to $182.3 million, largely due to higher research and development expenses, along with restructuring and asset impairment costs.
Operating income was $8.9 million, down from $57.1 million in the year-ago quarter.
FIRST SOLAR INC Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
First Solar had $916.7 million of cash and cash equivalents as of Jun 30, 2016, down from $1,126.8 million at 2015 end.
Long-term debt was $161.8 million at the end of the second quarter, compared with $251.3 million as of Dec 31, 2015.
First Solar reaffirmed its revenue guidance in the band of $3.8-$4 billion. However, it raised the low end of both the gross margin projection to the range of 18.5-19% (18-19% guided earlier) and the operating income guidance to $310-$370 million ($300-$370 million projected previously). Meanwhile, the company lowered the high end of its operating cash flow guidance to the $500-$650 million band from $500-$700 million expected earlier.
The company reiterated its panel shipment projection of 2.9−3.0 GW.
Full-year earnings are now expected in the band of $4.20−$4.50 per share ($4.10−$4.50 estimated previously).
Quarterly Results at 8point3 Energy
8point3 Energy Partners LP CAFD , a limited partnership formed by First Solar and SunPower Corp. SPWR , reported earnings of 27 cents per share in the second quarter of fiscal 2016 (ending May 31, 2016). The Zacks Consensus Estimate stood at a loss of 2 cents. The partnership swung into profit with a net income of $10 million in the reported quarter, from a net loss incurred in the year-ago period.
Upcoming Peer Releases
SunPower Corp. is slated to report second-quarter 2016 earnings on Aug 9.
SolarCity Corp. SCTY is scheduled to release its second-quarter numbers on Aug 9.
First Solar presently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
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