The company reported first quarter GAAP earnings per share (EPS) of $0.78, compared to a GAAP loss per share of $(4.14) in the fourth quarter of 2017. Net income increased compared to the prior quarter primarily as a result of lower tax expense, improved net sales, the mix of higher gross profit projects and higher other income.
Cash and marketable securities at the end of the first quarter decreased slightly to $2.9 billion from $3.0 billion at the end of the fourth quarter. The decrease primarily resulted from capital expenditures to support the Series 6 manufacturing ramp.
“Our first quarter earnings and continued bookings momentum provide a positive start to the year,” said Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar. “Our earnings for the quarter were supported by the sale of both domestic and international projects, combined with efficient management of core operating expenses. Customer demand for our Series 6 product continues to be strong as evidenced by our year-to-date net bookings of 3.3GWDC. We also achieved significant technology milestones this month with the start of Series 6 production in Ohio and the first commercial module shipments to systems projects.”