Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Guest Klothilde

First Solar (FSLR)

Recommended Posts

Huge miss, but 2019 guidance is good.

2019 Guidance Prior Current
Net Sales $3.5B to $3.7B Unchanged
Gross Margin % (1) 18.5% to 19.5% 19% to 20%
Operating Expenses (2) $360M to $380M $350M to $370M
Operating Income $290M to $340M $320M to $370M
Earnings per Share $2.25 to $2.75 Unchanged
Net Cash Balance (3) $1.7B to $1.9B Unchanged
Capital Expenditures $650M to $750M Unchanged
Shipments 5.4GW to 5.6GW Unchanged

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Luz del Norte said:

Gross margin was 25.3% and virtual all revenue was from third party modules. 2020 guidance should be really good.

 

Any estimates on average ASP? I would think it is pushing around 1.5GW for the quarter at a $0.36 ASP. That would suggest a cost to produce of $0.269.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Klothilde said:

Will end up half a penny above cost target in Q4.

I smell chapter 11.

Chapter 11? So you’re negative on FSLR now? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was irony.  Just preempting the trashing that will ensue on this board once FSLR misses their cost target by half a penny.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Klothilde said:

That was irony.  Just preempting the trashing that will ensue on this board once FSLR misses their cost target by half a penny.

 

Oh I see. Thanks 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems pretty civil so far - never really made sense to me to root against other solars.  Rising tides and all that. Hoping it goes up tomorrow and take the others with it.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Klothilde said:

That was irony.  Just preempting the trashing that will ensue on this board once FSLR misses their cost target by half a penny.

 

OMG, Bankruptcy Court allowed the termination of the PPA that PGE had with First Solar. They now have to re-market the project. That means likely a lower PPA. That would not be good for CSIQ either.

 

Labor/line issues. with respect to the series 6 is still not worked out. Issues may carry into 2020.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just finished listening to the con call. That was one of the most difficult con calls they have had. Lots of negative questions from the analysts.

 

Questions on cost concerns, labor concerns, life expectancy concerns for the Series 6 even so much to ask about a series 7 in the works. They expressed concerns on Bifacial competition on FSLR who had to acknowledge that there are areas where bifacial makes more sense than their modules(Ouch). They even mentioned that a customer is in distress and may require adjusting their line conversions from the S4 to S6 due to that customers issues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whatever you say Klothilde, but FSLR today acknowledged superiority of Bifacial modules over their S6... The mere fact that analysts were asking questions today about "S7" tells a lot... This is the beginning of their end, not good... Looks like the only option for FSLR to stay alive is to go to the bright side of the business - silicon. Very sad... It was promising technology, but not anymore, CdTe tech is dying... 😞

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You guys always post trash and expect me to clean up after you.  I think in my next life I'll be a garbage truck.

Widmar said that in some limited cases bifacial may provide an advantage but that in general he feels comfortable with FSLR's competitivity:

"So we've been able to -- and we feel very confident with our capability of our technology to compete against bifacial modules. Now there could be certain applications in certain geographies that it could be less damaged in or may be disadvantaged; that can happen. But we've never been -- we understand the bifacial technology, the capability relative to our technology. We are confident with our relative competitive position."

And that is logical.  Bifacial arrays are more expensive per watt than monofacial counterparts.  If the extra cost is say 7% and you get 7% of power gains relative to monofacial then it's a zero sum game.  So it's case dependent to begin with.  A commercial array on a white roof and 20% bifacial gain may tilt the balance towards bifacial if the costs are right, that is what Widmar is talking about.

Now regarding the supposed superiority of silicon vs CdTe this is the same lame song I've been hearing since day one when we still had the CN11.  Go to page 1 of this thread and listen to the music.  Fast forward to today and we are down to CN2.  And I have a hunch that in two years time when FSLR is done reaping the zillions from its juicy backlog we will be down to CN1 or CN0.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, SCSolar said:

Questions on cost concerns, labor concerns, life expectancy concerns for the Series 6 even so much to ask about a series 7 in the works. They expressed concerns on Bifacial competition on FSLR who had to acknowledge that there are areas where bifacial makes more sense than their modules(Ouch). They even mentioned that a customer is in distress and may require adjusting their line conversions from the S4 to S6 due to that customers issues.

Good Gracious do you think this will impact Q4 EPS?  Cause they are guiding around $3.0 with the Japanese projects and $2.5 without.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Klothilde said:

 

And that is logical.  Bifacial arrays are more expensive per watt than monofacial counterparts.  If the extra cost is say 7% and you get 7% of power gains relative to monofacial then it's a zero sum game.  So it's case dependent to begin with.  A commercial array on a white roof and 20% bifacial gain may tilt the balance towards bifacial if the costs are right, that is what Widmar is talking about.

 

A 7% gain would generate an additional $0.15 in cash per watt at a $0.06 PPA. A 7% cost increase is $0.056 based on an $0.80 build. That is not a zero sum gain.

 

Secondly the cost to manufacture bifacial vs front facing is not $0.05  as GTM suggested for Dual Glass. According to GTM, a dual glass bifacial module has an added $0.05 cost per watt with $0.04 of that being frame changes to acomodate the glass.

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/bifacial-or-bust-engineering-solar-financings-for-the-future

 

Jinko solar however is using a new Dupont transparent backsheet that allows the use of the same aluminum frame. Thus the cost to manufacture is about a penny more. That is only 1.2% added costs as there is nothing required in mounts or anything else.

 

https://www.pv-magazine.com/2019/02/28/if-not-bifacial-then-what/

 

As for your suggestion that commercial would kill First Solars market segment they have penetrated, that is a fact it will kill a once major market segment of FSLR. , It will also make FSLR technology cost inhibitive on grass, dirt sand cement asphalt and white backing with the 5%+  gains in power and lower costs to build a plant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Klothilde said:

 

"So we've been able to -- and we feel very confident with our capability of our technology to compete against bifacial modules.

What do you expect him to say? Yeah your right Bifacial is going to kick our ass and we will lose all market segments due to the advantages BiFacial has over our products?

 

Executives are paid to minimize crap and make rotting stench smell like roses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kloth

 

Can you verify some numbers on modules?

 

FSLR ASP $0.34 and appx 1600MW of moudles

60/40 split S6/S4

960MW S6 

640MW S4

Gross margins modules 40%

Revenue $544 modules

Gross Profits  $544*.4=$217.6

Gross Profits less $80M reversal = 137.6M 

S4 Module costs = $0.27

S4 gross/watt = $0.34-$0.27 = $0.07

S4 Gross profit = 640*.07=$44.8M

S6 Gross profit = $137.6-$44.8=$92.8M

S6 Gross per Watt = $92.8/960 = $0.0967

S6 Costs = $0.34=$0.0967 = $0.2433

S6 margins = $0.0967/$0.34 = 28.4% margins.

 

They have indicated that their target costs are in line with where they were looking at for the end of the year. This does not look like it is inline with $0.21 targets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, SCSolar said:

A 7% gain would generate an additional $0.15 in cash per watt at a $0.06 PPA. A 7% cost increase is $0.056 based on an $0.80 build. That is not a zero sum gain.

LCOE = $ / kWh
If you increase both nominator and denominator by 7% then the fraction stays the same.

2 hours ago, SCSolar said:

Secondly the cost to manufacture bifacial vs front facing is not $0.05  as GTM suggested for Dual Glass. According to GTM, a dual glass bifacial module has an added $0.05 cost per watt with $0.04 of that being frame changes to acomodate the glass.

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/bifacial-or-bust-engineering-solar-financings-for-the-future

Jinko solar however is using a new Dupont transparent backsheet that allows the use of the same aluminum frame. Thus the cost to manufacture is about a penny more. That is only 1.2% added costs as there is nothing required in mounts or anything else.

Dupont has been marketing their backsheets for quite a while now and they haven't been a hit because of durability concerns.

With the current glass prices you end up adding almost two pennies per watt to the module only for the extra pane of glass.
https://www.pvinfolink.com/
Add special junction box, modification to trackers and array architecture and in no time you'll have eaten up a good part of your gains.  I'm not saying bifacial mono-PERC doesn't make sense vs. monofacial mono-PERC, I'm saying that the LCOE reduction is limited and by far not that radical as to throw FSLR out of the game.  

 

2 hours ago, SCSolar said:

As for your suggestion that commercial would kill First Solars market segment they have penetrated, that is a fact it will kill a once major market segment of FSLR. , It will also make FSLR technology cost inhibitive on grass, dirt sand cement asphalt and white backing with the 5%+  gains in power and lower costs to build a plant.

 

You are boasting to have perfect clarity on a possible outcome  that may materialize 3-4 years down the road at the soonest.

What is highly certain for the time being, i.e. over the next two years is that:
a) FSLR will decrease S6 costs significantly below the 21-22 cts of Q4
b) FSLR will increase fleet efficiency significantly from where they are right now
c) FSLR will generate $1.5-$2B in cash from their current module backlog and project pipeline.

The above will enhance their competitive position tremendously vs. today (Q4) where they already are at par with the lowest cost competition (21-22 cts including freight and warranty).

Compare that to the CN2 where the chit will start hitting the fan once ASPs drop to current spot levels in Q1 or so.  JKS risks being drawn into a YGE-like debt spiral and CSIQ will start bleeding at the latest once the legacy Japanese projects are sold off come 2021.

Help me out here, what is your FSLR EPS estimate for 2020?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, SCSolar said:

Can you verify some numbers on modules?

I sure will a bit later.  I think the calcs are a bit more complex.  They indicated Q3 module sales contain a large chunk of Q2 shipments (payment terms) which were produced at a higher cost (1/3 of 1.4GW or 466MW I think).  Equally Q4 mod sales will contain a large chunk of Q3 mod shipments.  Look up their 2019 guidance presentation to see the cost progression.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Klothilde said:

LCOE = $ / kWh
If you increase both nominator and denominator by 7% then the fraction stays the same.

Dupont has been marketing their backsheets for quite a while now and they haven't been a hit because of durability concerns.

With the current glass prices you end up adding almost two pennies per watt to the module only for the extra pane of glass.
https://www.pvinfolink.com/
Add special junction box, modification to trackers and array architecture and in no time you'll have eaten up a good part of your gains.  I'm not saying bifacial mono-PERC doesn't make sense vs. monofacial mono-PERC, I'm saying that the LCOE reduction is limited and by far not that radical as to throw FSLR out of the game.  

 

 

You are boasting to have perfect clarity on a possible outcome  that may materialize 3-4 years down the road at the soonest.

What is highly certain for the time being, i.e. over the next two years is that:
a) FSLR will decrease S6 costs significantly below the 21-22 cts of Q4
b) FSLR will increase fleet efficiency significantly from where they are right now
c) FSLR will generate $1.5-$2B in cash from their current module backlog and project pipeline.

The above will enhance their competitive position tremendously vs. today (Q4) where they already are at par with the lowest cost competition (21-22 cts including freight and warranty).

Compare that to the CN2 where the chit will start hitting the fan once ASPs drop to current spot levels in Q1 or so.  JKS risks being drawn into a YGE-like debt spiral and CSIQ will start bleeding at the latest once the legacy Japanese projects are sold off come 2021.

Help me out here, what is your FSLR EPS estimate for 2020?

Klothilde, seems to me, run out of arguments against Canadian solar... The only thing you constantly use against them is "CSIQ will start bleeding at the latest once the legacy Japanese projects are sold off come 2021" The whole year (2019 - up to now) they didn't sell any Japanese project and post profit every quarter... Don't be ridiculous, find something tangible against them? Will you? In the meantime, I think, it will be exactly Recurrent (Canadian solar) who will spoil blood for FSLR in USA with bifacial modules... 

Edited by MVA
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, my "dramatic" outburst was pretty on point.  I don't claim to be a genius or even wholly correct, it's just this happens about every quarter.  More of the same, kicking the can down the road.  Wait for next quarter!  Good times are coming!  Having said that...

I didn't have quite as negative a take on the conference call.  Sure, there are some obvious headwinds they were clear on. Once again, I came away feeling like things are on track overall.  At the same time, it seemed pretty obvious to me they're gonna miss 2019 earnings by the .50 below guidance they set us up for, because of Japan.  I suspect they didn't want to lower guidance on the back of this terrible looking quarter to make the report look even worse.  It'll be much easier to stomach a .50 EPS miss in February when they're also able to guide 2020 margins and revenue which should look very nice and at the same time have a juicier Q1 number to accompany assuming the Japanese situation works itself out by then as they expect.  So the EPS miss will potentially be ignored at at that point.

I enjoy reading all the commentary and math on here, but you know, I come away from all of this and that thinking this is totally in the hands of big money and what story they want to write.  Do they 1) roll with the Klothilde thought that 2020/2021 look highly predictable due to the pipeline and order book being full - with an upward trajectory, thus sending the stock price up over the next year or so?  or 2) do they start thinking about 2021/2022 and Series 7 and panic that bi-facial is going to chew them up?  

Either case can justifiably be made.  

So i'll continue to feel like I'm in a casino here and at the mercy of whatever big money decides to do with the stock.  

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I grit my teeth, held in the vomit trying to escape my stomach and doubled down this morning.  Good luck to all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MVA said:

...The whole year (2019 - up to now) they didn't sell any Japanese project and post profit every quarter... Don't be ridiculous...

"Net loss attributable to Canadian Solar was $17.2 million, or $0.29 per diluted share..."
http://investors.canadiansolar.com/news-releases/news-release-details/canadian-solar-reports-first-quarter-2019-results

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, Klothilde said:

"Net loss attributable to Canadian Solar was $17.2 million, or $0.29 per diluted share..."
http://investors.canadiansolar.com/news-releases/news-release-details/canadian-solar-reports-first-quarter-2019-results

This is not serious, common.... Just sell your 100% stake in looser company and buy real gem - Canadian solar! And your days will be much happier than today... 🙂 Have a good weekend!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Klothilde said:

"Net loss attributable to Canadian Solar was $17.2 million, or $0.29 per diluted share..."
http://investors.canadiansolar.com/news-releases/news-release-details/canadian-solar-reports-first-quarter-2019-results

Yes, you are correct for that 1 quarter.  Now look at the past 4 (in other words, the TTM) for FSLR vs. CSIQ:  -.04 vs. 3.63, according to Yahoo Finance.  I think MVA's point is valid in general.  You've been negative on CSIQ and positive on FSLR for some time now.  During that time, CSIQ has performed quite well, while FSLR has floundered.  That's not to say that can't change in the future, but your past track record is not confidence-inspiring.

Just sayin'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, solarpete said:

...while FSLR has floundered. 

If you think First Solar has floundered over the past year I really don't know what to say. The company has built three brand new factories and converted 2 others. It has met all of its targets and is sold out for the next two years. While daytraders might fret that analysts incorrectly guessed the quarter some projects would sell in, the overall picture is now more in focus and its a pretty nice view.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Luz del Norte said:

If you think First Solar has floundered over the past year I really don't know what to say. The company has built three brand new factories and converted 2 others. It has met all of its targets and is sold out for the next two years. While daytraders might fret that analysts incorrectly guessed the quarter some projects would sell in, the overall picture is now more in focus and its a pretty nice view.

Well in the case of FSLR he strangely refuses to look forward a single inch and judges the company exclusively based on ttm.  But switch to ENPH and he will postulate future earnings that are 4 times analyst consensus.  And should you dare question his estimates you will have him replying in ALL CAPS in no time.

Just sayin'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Luz del Norte said:

If you think First Solar has floundered over the past year I really don't know what to say. The company has built three brand new factories and converted 2 others. It has met all of its targets and is sold out for the next two years. While daytraders might fret that analysts incorrectly guessed the quarter some projects would sell in, the overall picture is now more in focus and its a pretty nice view.

I'd call barely breaking even over the past year floundering.

That's not to say they aren't setting the stage for future performance--but that's what they said LAST quarter.  And the one before that.  And the one before that.

One of these quarters, they're bound to be right.  Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.  (Well, once if you're on military time.)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Klothilde said:

Well in the case of FSLR he strangely refuses to look forward a single inch and judges the company exclusively based on ttm.  But switch to ENPH and he will postulate future earnings that are 4 times analyst consensus.  And should you dare question his estimates you will have him replying in ALL CAPS in no time.

Just sayin'.

The difference is the performance of ENPH vs. FSLR the past year.  Look at the trend in earnings for ENPH vs. FSLR.  It wouldn't surprise me to see ENPH earnings this quarter actually surpass FSLR.  One business is clearly executing their strategy for growing their earnings.  The other is still working on it.

As for the all caps, when you ask me the same question for the third time, I will presume you're hard of hearing, and therefore give you the courtesy of shouting at you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...