Module Manufacturer First Solar Reports Net Loss of $8 Million in Q4 2022

The company registered net sales of $1 billion during the quarter


U.S.-based solar module manufacturer First Solar has recorded a net loss of $8 million in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2022, compared to an income of $131 million year-over-year (YoY).

The company attributed the net loss to depreciation and amortization, production start-up expense, net losses associated with the Luz del Norte project sale, and share-based compensation expenses.

The company registered net sales of $1 billion in Q4 2022, an increase of 10% YoY from $907.32 million. The increase was primarily a result of increased module sales and the Luz del Norte project sale in Chile in Q4 2022.

The company reported a Q4 net loss per diluted share of $0.07.

Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, restricted cash equivalents, marketable securities, and debt at the end of Q4 2022 increased to $2.4 billion from $1.7 billion at the end of the prior quarter. The increase was primarily due to advance payments from customers offset by capital expenditures related to expansion in India and Ohio.

Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar, said, “We finished 2022 with a record contracted backlog, a significant pipeline of bookings opportunities, and a strong balance sheet placing us in a position to respond to emerging opportunities. This momentum is driven by our points of differentiation, including our unique CdTe technology, vertically integrated manufacturing process, domestic production, and commitment to Responsible Solar. We enter this year in a significantly stronger commercial, operational, and financial position, with increased R&D investment, new domestic and international capacity coming online, and a new Series 7 product.”

The company said, “We believe manufacturers of solar cells and modules, particularly those in China, have significant installed production capacity, relative to global demand, and the ability for additional capacity expansion. Accordingly,we believe the solar industry may experience periods of structural imbalance between supply and demand, which could lead to periods of pricing volatility.”

Referring to the financial incentives provided by the Inflation Reduction Act, it said the law would significantly increase demand for modules manufactured in the United States. This could result in localized supply chain constraints and periods of inflationary pricing for raw materials like substrate glass and cover glass.

First Solar-1

Source: First Solar

Full Year 2022

For 2022, First Solar reported a net loss of $44 million compared to a net income of $469 million in 2021.

The company registered net sales of $2.62 billion, a decrease of 10% compared to $2.92 billion in 2021. This decrease resulted from divestitures of project development businesses in the United States and Japan, along with the divestitures of the North American and international O&M businesses.

The company achieved 48.3 GW of net bookings in 2022, a 30.8 GW increase over the 2021 record of 17.5 GW. First Solar has a record backlog of future deliveries of 67.7 GW.

First Solar has completed the construction of the S7 factory in Ohio and is on track to complete its S7 factory in India in the second half of 2023.

The company expects a U.S. nameplate capacity of approximately 10.7 GW and a global nameplate capacity of about 21.4 GW by 2026.

Last November, First Solar announced it had selected Lawrence County, Alabama, to build its fourth solar photovoltaic module manufacturing facility in the U.S.

The company recorded a net loss of $49.17 million in Q3 2022, representing a quarter-over-quarter fall in income by 188%.