First Solar badly misses full-year sales target for 2014

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Updated: Leading thin-film PV energy provider First Solar reported 2014 full-years sales of US$3.39 billion, missing previously lowered guidance of US$3.6 billion to US$3.9 billion.

First Solar reported fourth quarter net sales of US$1.0 billion, an increase of $119 million from the third quarter of 2014.

The company guided first quarter 2015 net sales to be in the range of US$550 to US$650 million.

First Solar reported 2014 CdTe thin-film module shipments of 1.5GW, compared to previous full-year shipment guidance of between 1.8GW to 1.9GW.

Management noted in its earnings call that its CdTe module baseline conversion efficiency reached 14.4% in the fourth quarter and that four lines had achieved module conversion efficiencies of 15.8% and further lines would be migrated to the higher efficiencies in future quarters. 

Management also noted that its N-type mono c-Si facility (TetraSun) had started cell and module production and had achieved efficiencies of 20.5%.

First Solar reported fourth quarter thin-film production of 509MW (DC) with an 84% utilisation rate.

The company booked 2.5GW (AC) of new projects in 2014. PV project pipedream has expanded to 13.5GW (AC).

The company produced a total of 1,846MW of modules in 2014.

Net income for the fourth quarter of 2014 was US$191 million.

TetraSun module ramp targeted at 100MW after module certification.

India pledge of 5GW confirmed but not far enough along to give more details.

Lower than expected guided sales in the first quarter of 2015 were attributed to adding projects completed to the balance sheet in anticipation of the successful launch of the joint YieldCo public offering with SunPower. 

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