Wednesday, October 28, 2009

First Solar: "Sees Q4 Margin Erosion" and "...Battles Rising Receivables" (FSLR)

Two from the Dow Jones blog empire. First up Tech Trader Daily where Tiernan Ray appears to be doing yeoman's work (where's Eric?):

During a conference call with analysts this evening, management of solar energy technology vendor First Solar (FSLR) talked folks through the revenue miss in the third quarter that pushed shares down over 15% this evening.

The dip in revenue from $525 million in Q2 to $480 million in Q3, below analysts’ estimates, was because of a single order that were “not able to be recognized” — in other words, implying cash collected but not able to be recorded on the income statement within the quarter. The company did not make clear when that revenue will be recognized.

In addition to the revenue miss, analysts will be pouring over the gross margin implications....MORE

At Environmental Capital, Journal energy reporterRussell Gold is working the late shift:

Pay Me Later: First Solar Battles Rising Receivables

First Solar, the Arizona thin-film solar powerhouse, has many friends in the investosphere and was recently given a boost when it was added to the S&P 500 Index.

What we want to know is: does it have enough customers who pay on time?

The company reported third quarter results on Wednesday and turned in a $153.3 million profit. We have to admit this is one reason we pay attention to First Solar – it actually makes a profit.

But the company has seen its accounts receivable balloon in recent quarters. They jumped 90.1% — nearly doubling – from $184.8 million in the first quarter to $351.3 million in the second quarter. This can be partly explained by the extension of favorable payment terms by First Solar to some customers.

And so were somewhat cheered when it reported that its accounts received was pretty much flat this quarter at $349 million.>>>MORE