On Tuesday, shares for solar panel manufacturing company First Solar surpassed analysts’ expectations and rose 12 percent during extended trading. The shares surged after the company announced that its sales had jumped 70 percent in a year-to-year comparison during the third quarter.
First Solar’s earnings per share for the third quarter was $1.45, while its revenue was $928 million, or $285 million more than the previous quarter. FactSet had previously surveyed analysts, who anticipated 63 cents per share and $676.5 million revenue. One year ago, during the same quarter, First Solar earned 29 cents a share and had $546 million revenue.
The company’s restricted cash, cash, and marketable securities for the third quarter stood at $1,671 million, which was $29 million higher than the second quarter of 2020.
First Solar had previously withdrawn its full-year guidance on May 7 because of the coronavirus uncertainty but reinstated it. Now, the company expects that it’ll earn somewhere between $2.6 billion and $2.9 billion for 2020.
In a quarter-to-quarter comparison, revenue jumped 44.5 percent. The rise was mostly due to increased sales of modules to third parties and more international project sales than projected.
CEO Mark Widmar said: “We delivered strong financial results for the third quarter. The dedication we continue to witness from our associates enabled us to expand module segment gross margin, close the sales of our Ishikawa, Miyagi, and Anamizu projects in Japan, and increase earnings per share quarter over quarter.”
Widmar also said that the company’s competitive CdTe modules, along with its manufacturing process and international sales, contributed to the strong third-quarter growth.
Despite First Solar’s winning quarter, Credit Suisse downgraded the power plant provider with an underperform rating due to valuation concerns. So far, in 2020, shares for First Solar are up by 47 percent.