Wednesday, July 30, 2008

First Solar: Initial Reactions (FSLR)

As we said earlier today "So where does it open tomorrow? Beats me, I'm flat." Here are our First Solar posts. I didn't listen to the conference call, I'll wait for the transcript to come out. The post from ClusterStock has copious notes including a chunk of the analyst Q and A. Earnings up 57% is very good but we are starting to see a pattern where nothing is good enough in the solars. Also the stock backed off its afterhours high. More tomorrow.

Here are some early reactions:

From 24/7 Wall Street:
First Solar Lights The Sky (FSLR)

...Lazard's Sanjay Shrestha hit the nail on the head with his hugely positive call yesterday, and you can see what he's expecting ahead since he was considering the second half more important than the first half of 2008....

From Tech Trader Daily:
First Solar FY Q2 Revs, EPS Crush Ests; Stock Soars

...UPDATE: On the company’s post-earnings conference call, FSLR said it sees full year revenue of $1.175 billion to $1.225 billion, well ahead of the Street at $1.04 billion. The company also said that its Malaysia facility is ahead of schedule, and contributed $47.4 million to Q2 sales. Shipments in the quarter were 103.2 megawatts.

From ClusterStock:
First Solar (FSLR) Blows Away Q2 Consensus EPS, Revenue

New Guidance for FY08:

  • 470-485MW of shipments
  • $1.075-1.225B in sales
  • $37M in plant start-up costs
  • $60-$62M (20% to COGS) in stock-based comp.
  • 31-33% GAAP operating margin , tax rate 27%,
  • YE2008 share count remains unchanged 83-84M
  • $550M capex

LIVE COVERAGE: Conference Call (paraphrased)

Michael Ahearn (CEO), Bruce Sohn (President), and Jens Meyerhoff (CFO) will be on today's call.

Michael Ahearn:

Focus remains unchanged, continue ramp up, develop in Europe, utility

114 MW production, 48MW per line annually, 5% increase over Q1 from efficiency improvements

10.7% effieciency up (.1%)

Cost per watt 1.18 ($0.06 of ramp cost)

Construction ramp well $47.4 million to sales (Maylaysia plant 1), expected completion by end of year...MUCH, MUCH MORE