First Solar and SunPower Release Disappointing Earnings $SPWRA $FSLR

Both First Solar and SunPower’s third quarter earnings call took place today at the close of the market. First Solar had pre-announced their results last week and both firms had cut their 2011 revenue guidance prior to today’s calls.

First Solar

First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) recently saw the sudden announcement of CEO Rob Gillette leaving the firm. The CEO transition was carried out in a surprisingly (especially for the usually predictable First Solar) sloppy manner.

New CEO, Mike Ahearn led off the call with some strong language, saying that inertia was holding them back and there was too much of a fixation on short term earnings per share. Ahearn reinforced First Solar’s committment to create a product that can generate power economically in non-subsidized markets.

  • The French factory is on indefinite hold, the Viet Nam factory build has been suspended
  • There’s optimism with the Indian market
  • First Solar introduced an 87 watt module
  • Current cost is $0.74 per watt and expected to reach the mid $0.60s in 2012
  • Gross Profit in Q3 was 37.7 percent
  • Average efficiency crept up another 0.1 percent this quarter
  • The average capacity per line reached 70 megawatts

Net sales were $1,006 million in the quarter, an increase of $473 million from the second quarter of 2011. Quarterly net sales increased from $798 million in the third quarter of 2010.

Updated Guidance

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