First Solar’s Q3 Net Income Surges 446% on Higher Module Prices and Sales in US

The company reported net sales of ~$801 million during the quarter


U.S.-based solar module manufacturer First Solar recorded a net profit of $268.4 million during the third quarter (Q3) of 2023, a year-over-year (YoY) increase of 445.8% compared to a loss of $49.17 million.

The surge in net income was mainly due to higher average selling prices (ASPs) of solar modules, reduced transportation costs for sales, and a greater number of modules being manufactured and sold in the U.S., leading to extra benefits from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

The company reported net sales of $801.09 million, a YoY increase of 27% from $628.93 million.

Sales however dropped by $10 million compared to the previous quarter. The drop is mainly because of lower income from non-module sources.

In the module segment, there was a small decrease in the number of units sold, but this was somewhat offset by higher prices average selling prices (ASP) due to favorable pricing trends.

The company’s operating income in Q3 2023 was $272.96 million, a YoY increase of 299% compared to a loss of $68.35 million during the same period last year.

On the manufacturing and technology front, the third quarter saw a record production of 3.2 GW of solar modules, which included the integration of 721 MW of new Series 7 technology.

The company’s third Ohio factory, a high-volume Series 7 manufacturing model, continues to expand, producing up to 15,000 modules daily, nearly 97% of its nameplate throughput. In Q3, it generated 565 MW, contributing to over one gigawatt year-to-date production of Series 7 modules in the U.S.

In terms of technology, the Series 6 plus bifacial modules passed extensive testing, and their Perrysburg, Ohio plants were converted to produce the world’s first bifacial solar panels using advanced thin film semiconductors.

Furthermore, the India manufacturing facility has commenced production. Meanwhile, expansion projects in Alabama, Louisiana, and Ohio, as well as the construction of an R&D facility, are progressing according to the planned schedule.

Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar, said, “We have made steady progress, establishing the foundations for our long-term growth journey, including investments in manufacturing and the infrastructure needed to rapidly evolve and scale our technology.”

9M 2023

The company reported a net profit of $481.54 million during the first nine months (9M) of 2023, compared to a loss of $36.62 million during the same period last year.

The company reported net sales of $2.16 billion in 9M 2023, registering a growth of 33% compared to $1.62 million in 9M 2022. The company’s net operating income grew to $459.48 million from $18.67 million.

In terms of demand, the year-to-date bookings have amounted to 27.8 GW, and the company currently boasts a total contracted backlog that extends through 2030, totaling 81.8 GW.

Recently, the company secured a five-year revolving credit and guarantee facility worth $1 billion. The facility includes up to $250 million for issuing letters of credit.

In May this year, the company acquired Evolar AB, a Sweden-based company focused on perovskite technology, for an initial payment of around $38 million.