First Solar Inc. Financial Report

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First Solar Inc. saw its shares rise more than 5% during the extended session on Tuesday, showing investor optimism for the future of the solar-power company despite a mixed quarter.

Financial Performance

In the fourth quarter, First Solar reported earnings of $349 million, or $3.25 per share, up from $268 million, or $2.50 per share, in the same period last year. The company also disclosed that revenue climbed by $400 million to reach $1.2 billion. Although analysts had expected earnings of $3.19 per share on sales of $1.3 billion, the results exceeded expectations.

Positive Guidance

Looking ahead, First Solar anticipates net sales between $4.4 billion and $4.6 billion in 2024, with earnings per share projected to fall between $13 and $14 for the year. This outlook surpasses FactSet’s predictions of EPS around $13.26 on revenue of $4.56 billion. In 2023, the company achieved net sales of $3.3 billion and EPS of $7.74.

Industry Challenges

While First Solar celebrates its financial success, many other solar-power companies are facing obstacles. SunRun Inc. fell short of expectations in the fourth quarter, while SolarEdge Technologies Inc. provided guidance for current-quarter sales that fell below Wall Street’s projections. Additionally, SunPower Corp. announced the departure of Chief Executive Peter Faricy.

Market Conditions

The solar industry continues to struggle amid declining demand due to high interest rates and regulatory changes in California, alongside increasing inventories. The Invesco Solar ETF (TAN) has seen a 43% decline over the past year, contrasting with the S&P 500 index’s gains of around 28%.

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