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UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549

Form 10-Q

(Mark one)

 QUARTERLY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the quarterly period ended March 31, 2020
or
 TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from to

Commission file number: 001-33156
fslr-20200331_g1.jpg
First Solar, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware20-4623678
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

350 West Washington Street, Suite 600
Tempe, Arizona 85281
(Address of principal executive offices, including zip code)

(602414-9300
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each classTrading symbol(s)Name of each exchange on which registered
Common stock, $0.001 par valueFSLRThe NASDAQ Stock Market LLC

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filerAccelerated filerNon-accelerated filer
Smaller reporting companyEmerging growth company

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes  No 

As of May 1, 2020, 105,907,134 shares of the registrant’s common stock, $0.001 par value per share, were outstanding.




FIRST SOLAR, INC.

FORM 10-Q FOR THE QUARTERLY PERIOD ENDED MARCH 31, 2020

TABLE OF CONTENTS
  Page




Table of Contents
PART I. FINANCIAL INFORMATION

Item 1. Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements (Unaudited)

FIRST SOLAR, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(In thousands, except per share amounts)
(Unaudited)
Three Months Ended
March 31,
20202019
Net sales$532,124  $531,978  
Cost of sales441,786  531,866  
Gross profit90,338  112  
Operating expenses:
Selling, general and administrative58,587  45,352  
Research and development25,613  21,877  
Production start-up4,482  9,522  
Total operating expenses88,682  76,751  
Operating income (loss)1,656  (76,639) 
Foreign currency (loss) income, net(398) 172  
Interest income9,330  14,259  
Interest expense, net(6,789) (10,121) 
Other (expense) income, net(2,222) 3,509  
Income (loss) before taxes and equity in earnings1,577  (68,820) 
Income tax benefit89,215  1,394  
Equity in earnings, net of tax(88) (173) 
Net income (loss)$90,704  $(67,599) 
Net income (loss) per share:
Basic$0.86  $(0.64) 
Diluted$0.85  $(0.64) 
Weighted-average number of shares used in per share calculations:
Basic105,595  105,046  
Diluted106,386  105,046  

See accompanying notes to these condensed consolidated financial statements.
1

Table of Contents
FIRST SOLAR, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME
(In thousands)
(Unaudited)
Three Months Ended
March 31,
20202019
Net income (loss)$90,704  $(67,599) 
Other comprehensive loss:
Foreign currency translation adjustments
(8,064) (1,142) 
Unrealized gain (loss) on marketable securities and restricted marketable securities, net of tax of $389 and $977
2,852  (3,347) 
Unrealized gain (loss) on derivative instruments, net of tax of $(79) and $(27)
896  (58) 
Other comprehensive loss(4,316) (4,547) 
Comprehensive income (loss)$86,388  $(72,146) 

See accompanying notes to these condensed consolidated financial statements.

2

Table of Contents
FIRST SOLAR, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(In thousands, except share data)
(Unaudited)
 
 
March 31,
2020
December 31,
2019
ASSETS
Current assets:   
Cash and cash equivalents  $929,355  $1,352,741  
Marketable securities (amortized cost of $586,628 and allowance for credit losses of $215 at March 31, 2020)
579,340  811,506  
Accounts receivable trade  293,612  476,425  
Less: allowance for credit losses  (3,331) (1,386) 
Accounts receivable trade, net  290,281  475,039  
Accounts receivable, unbilled and retainage  122,332  183,473  
Less: allowance for credit losses  (1,223)   
Accounts receivable, unbilled and retainage, net  121,109  183,473  
Inventories  479,792  443,513  
Balance of systems parts  44,718  53,583  
Project assets  403  3,524  
Prepaid expenses and other current assets  302,845  276,455  
Total current assets  2,747,843  3,599,834  
Property, plant and equipment, net  2,244,175  2,181,149  
PV solar power systems, net  470,709  476,977  
Project assets  388,511  333,596  
Deferred tax assets, net  213,600  130,771  
Restricted marketable securities (amortized cost of $242,156 and allowance for credit losses of $30 at March 31, 2020)
246,410  223,785  
Goodwill  14,462  14,462  
Intangible assets, net  63,918  64,543  
Inventories  182,259  160,646  
Other assets  377,254  329,926  
Total assets  $6,949,141  $7,515,689  
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY
Current liabilities:        
Accounts payable  $173,762  $218,081  
Income taxes payable  8,287  17,010  
Accrued expenses  296,796  351,260  
Current portion of long-term debt  81,807  17,510  
Deferred revenue  136,998  323,217  
Accrued litigation  13,000  363,000  
Other current liabilities  21,785  28,130  
Total current liabilities  732,435  1,318,208  
Accrued solar module collection and recycling liability  138,009  137,761  
Long-term debt  390,588  454,187  
Other liabilities  519,487  508,766  
Total liabilities  1,780,519  2,418,922  
Commitments and contingencies  
Stockholders’ equity:  
Common stock, $0.001 par value per share; 500,000,000 shares authorized; 105,905,580 and 105,448,921 shares issued and outstanding at March 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019, respectively
106  105  
Additional paid-in capital  2,844,055  2,849,376  
Accumulated earnings  2,408,111  2,326,620  
Accumulated other comprehensive loss  (83,650) (79,334) 
Total stockholders’ equity  5,168,622  5,096,767  
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity  $6,949,141  $7,515,689  

See accompanying notes to these condensed consolidated financial statements.
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FIRST SOLAR, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY
(In thousands)
(Unaudited)
Three Months Ended March 31, 2020
 Common StockAdditional
Paid-In
Capital
Accumulated EarningsAccumulated
Other
Comprehensive (Loss) Income
Total
Stockholders' Equity
 SharesAmount
Balance at December 31, 2019105,449  $105  $2,849,376  $2,326,620  $(79,334) $5,096,767  
Cumulative-effect adjustment for the adoption of ASU 2016-13
—  —  —  (9,213) —  (9,213) 
Net income—  —  —  90,704  —  90,704  
Other comprehensive loss—  —  —  —  (4,316) (4,316) 
Common stock issued for share-based compensation
733  1    —  —  1  
Tax withholding related to vesting of restricted stock
(276)   (12,679) —  —  (12,679) 
Share-based compensation expense
—  —  7,358  —  —  7,358  
Balance at March 31, 2020105,906  $106  $2,844,055  $2,408,111  $(83,650) $5,168,622  
Three Months Ended March 31, 2019
 Common StockAdditional
Paid-In
Capital
Accumulated EarningsAccumulated
Other
Comprehensive (Loss) Income
Total
Stockholders' Equity
 SharesAmount
Balance at December 31, 2018104,885  $105  $2,825,211  $2,441,553  $(54,466) $5,212,403  
Net loss—  —  —  (67,599) —  (67,599) 
Other comprehensive loss—  —  —  —  (4,547) (4,547) 
Common stock issued for share-based compensation
767  1    —  —  1  
Tax withholding related to vesting of restricted stock
(299) (1) (15,663) —  —  (15,664) 
Share-based compensation expense
—  —  4,567  —  —  4,567  
Balance at March 31, 2019105,353  $105  $2,814,115  $2,373,954  $(59,013) $5,129,161  

See accompanying notes to these condensed consolidated financial statements.

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FIRST SOLAR, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
(In thousands)
(Unaudited)
 Three Months Ended
March 31,
20202019
Cash flows from operating activities:  
Net income (loss)$90,704  $(67,599) 
Adjustments to reconcile net income (loss) to cash used in operating activities:
Depreciation, amortization and accretion56,279  48,872  
Impairments and net losses on disposal of long-lived assets1,288  352  
Share-based compensation7,204  5,019  
Equity in earnings, net of tax88  173  
Remeasurement of monetary assets and liabilities(18) 800  
Deferred income taxes(80,404) 397  
Gains on sales of marketable securities and restricted marketable securities(15,088) (15,016) 
Other, net16,606  239  
Changes in operating assets and liabilities:
Accounts receivable, trade, unbilled and retainage242,680  (82,896) 
Prepaid expenses and other current assets(13,387) (28,400) 
Inventories and balance of systems parts(48,896) (87,102) 
Project assets and PV solar power systems(50,756) (73,402) 
Other assets(54,925) 26,481  
Income tax receivable and payable(9,425) (16,512) 
Accounts payable(38,161) (15,066) 
Accrued expenses and other liabilities(609,218) 53  
Accrued solar module collection and recycling liability565  167  
Net cash used in operating activities(504,864) (303,440) 
Cash flows from investing activities:
Purchases of property, plant and equipment(112,546) (149,168) 
Purchases of marketable securities and restricted marketable securities(405,794) (260,715) 
Proceeds from sales and maturities of marketable securities and restricted marketable securities
628,936  270,091  
Other investing activities(14,150) 21  
Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities96,446  (139,771) 
Cash flows from financing activities:
Repayment of long-term debt(325) (2,703) 
Proceeds from borrowings under long-term debt, net of discounts and issuance costs  106,503  
Payments of tax withholdings for restricted shares(12,679) (15,663) 
Other financing activities(436) (299) 
Net cash (used in) provided by financing activities(13,440) 87,838  
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash(5,774) (625) 
Net decrease in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash(427,632) (355,998) 
Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash, beginning of the period1,446,510  1,562,623  
Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash, end of the period$1,018,878  $1,206,625  
Supplemental disclosure of noncash investing and financing activities:  
Property, plant and equipment acquisitions funded by liabilities$76,298  $135,520  

See accompanying notes to these condensed consolidated financial statements.
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FIRST SOLAR, INC.

NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
(Unaudited)

1. Basis of Presentation

The accompanying unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements of First Solar, Inc. and its subsidiaries in this Quarterly Report have been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America (“U.S. GAAP”) for interim financial information and pursuant to the instructions to Form 10-Q and Article 10 of Regulation S-X of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). Accordingly, these interim financial statements do not include all of the information and footnotes required by U.S. GAAP for annual financial statements. In the opinion of First Solar management, all adjustments (consisting only of normal recurring adjustments) considered necessary for a fair statement have been included. Certain prior period balances have been reclassified to conform to the current period presentation.

The preparation of condensed consolidated financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP requires us to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the financial statements and accompanying notes. Despite our intention to establish accurate estimates and reasonable assumptions, actual results could differ materially from such estimates and assumptions. Operating results for the three months ended March 31, 2020 are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected for the year ending December 31, 2020 or for any other period. The condensed consolidated balance sheet at December 31, 2019 has been derived from the audited consolidated financial statements at that date, but does not include all of the information and footnotes required by U.S. GAAP for complete financial statements. These interim financial statements and notes should be read in conjunction with the audited financial statements and notes thereto for the year ended December 31, 2019 included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K, which has been filed with the SEC.

Unless expressly stated or the context otherwise requires, the terms “the Company,” “we,” “us,” “our,” and “First Solar” refer to First Solar, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries, and the term “condensed consolidated financial statements” refers to the accompanying unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements contained in this Quarterly Report.

2. Recent Accounting Pronouncements

In June 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board issued Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) 2016-13, Financial Instruments – Credit Losses (Topic 326), to provide financial statement users with more useful information about expected credit losses. ASU 2016-13 replaces the historical incurred loss model with a model that reflects current expected credit losses (“CECL”), which requires consideration of a broader range of information to measure credit losses and determine the timing of when such losses are recorded. The CECL model is applicable to certain financial assets measured at amortized cost that subject us to credit risk, including cash equivalents, trade accounts receivable, unbilled accounts receivable and retainage, and notes receivable. In addition, ASU 2016-13 amended certain aspects of the accounting for available-for-sale debt securities, including the presentation of credit losses as an allowance against, rather than a write-down of, the fair value of such securities. Furthermore, a credit loss is only considered when a security is in an unrealized loss position, is limited to the difference between such security’s fair value and amortized cost basis, and is recorded directly to “Other (expense) income, net.” Any remaining unrealized loss is recorded to “Accumulated other comprehensive loss” until realized.

We adopted ASU 2016-13 in the first quarter of 2020 using the modified-retrospective approach, which resulted in the recognition of an initial allowance for credit losses for our various financial assets through a cumulative-effect adjustment that decreased retained earnings by $9.2 million, net of tax, as of January 1, 2020.

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The allowance for credit losses is a valuation account that is deducted from a financial asset’s amortized cost to present the net amount we expect to collect from such asset. We estimate allowances for credit losses using relevant available information from both internal and external sources. We monitor the estimated credit losses associated with our trade accounts receivable and unbilled accounts receivable based primarily on our collection history and the delinquency status of amounts owed to us, which we determine based on the aging of such receivables. For our notes receivable, we determine estimated credit losses through an assessment of the borrower’s credit quality based primarily on quarterly reviews of certain financial information, including financial statements and forecasts. We estimate credit losses associated with our marketable securities and restricted marketable securities based on the external credit rating for such investments and the historical loss rates associated with such credit ratings, which we obtain from third parties. Such methods and estimates are adjusted, as appropriate, for relevant past events, current conditions, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and related containment measures, and reasonable and supportable forecasts. We recognize writeoffs within the allowance for credit losses when cash receipts associated with our financial assets are deemed uncollectible.

See Note 3. “Cash, Cash Equivalents, and Marketable Securities,” Note 4. “Restricted Marketable Securities,” and Note 5. “Consolidated Balance Sheet Details” to our condensed consolidated financial statements for further information about the allowance for credit losses associated with our various financial assets.

3. Cash, Cash Equivalents, and Marketable Securities

Cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities consisted of the following at March 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019 (in thousands):
March 31,
2020
December 31,
2019
Cash and cash equivalents:
Cash$929,014  $1,345,419  
Money market funds341  7,322  
Total cash and cash equivalents929,355  1,352,741  
Marketable securities:
Foreign debt292,569  387,820  
Foreign government obligations  22,011  
U.S. debt54,567  66,134  
Time deposits232,204  335,541  
Total marketable securities579,340  811,506  
Total cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities$1,508,695  $2,164,247  

The following table provides a reconciliation of cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash reported within our condensed consolidated balance sheets as of March 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019 to the total of such amounts as presented in the condensed consolidated statement of cash flows (in thousands):
Balance Sheet Line ItemMarch 31,
2020
December 31,
2019
Cash and cash equivalents  Cash and cash equivalents  $929,355  $1,352,741  
Restricted cash current
Prepaid expenses and other current assets  47,915  13,697  
Restricted cash noncurrent
Other assets  41,608  80,072  
Total cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash
$1,018,878  $1,446,510  

During the three months ended March 31, 2020, we sold marketable securities for proceeds of $130.8 million and realized losses of less than $0.1 million on such sales. See Note 8. “Fair Value Measurements” to our condensed consolidated financial statements for information about the fair value of our marketable securities.

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The following tables summarize the unrealized gains and losses related to our available-for-sale marketable securities, by major security type, as of March 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019 (in thousands):
 As of March 31, 2020
Amortized
Cost
Unrealized
Gains
Unrealized
Losses
Allowance for Credit LossesFair
Value
Foreign debt$298,861  $55  $6,250  $97  $292,569  
U.S. debt55,462  58  936  17  54,567  
Time deposits232,305      101  232,204  
Total$586,628  $113  $7,186  $215  $579,340  

 As of December 31, 2019
Amortized
Cost
Unrealized
Gains
Unrealized
Losses
Fair
Value
Foreign debt$387,775  $551  $506  $387,820  
Foreign government obligations21,991  20    22,011  
U.S. debt65,970  176  12  66,134  
Time deposits335,541      335,541  
Total$811,277  $747  $518  $811,506  

The following table presents the change in the allowance for credit losses related to our available-for-sale marketable securities for the three months ended March 31, 2020 (in thousands):
Marketable Securities
Balance as of December 31, 2019$  
Cumulative-effect adjustment for the adoption of ASU 2016-13207  
Provision for credit losses180  
Sales and maturities of marketable securities(172) 
Balance as of March 31, 2020$215  

The contractual maturities of our marketable securities as of March 31, 2020 were as follows (in thousands):
Fair
Value
One year or less$320,765  
One year to two years157,337  
Two years to three years101,238  
Total$579,340  


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4. Restricted Marketable Securities

Restricted marketable securities consisted of the following as of March 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019 (in thousands):
 
 
March 31,
2020
December 31,
2019
Foreign government obligations$126,491  $126,066  
U.S. government obligations119,919  97,719  
Total restricted marketable securities$246,410  $223,785  

Our restricted marketable securities represent long-term marketable securities held in custodial accounts to fund the estimated future costs of collecting and recycling modules covered under our solar module collection and recycling program. As of March 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019, such custodial accounts also included noncurrent restricted cash balances of $0.7 million and less than $0.1 million, respectively, which were reported within “Other assets.” As necessary, we fund any incremental amounts for our estimated collection and recycling obligations on an annual basis based on the estimated costs of collecting and recycling covered modules, estimated rates of return on our restricted marketable securities, and an estimated solar module life of 25 years, less amounts already funded in prior years. To ensure that amounts previously funded will be available in the future regardless of potential adverse changes in our financial condition (even in the case of our own insolvency), we have established a trust under which estimated funds are put into custodial accounts with an established and reputable bank, for which First Solar, Inc.; First Solar Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.; and First Solar Manufacturing GmbH are grantors. Trust funds may be disbursed for qualified module collection and recycling costs (including capital and facility related recycling costs), payments to customers for assuming collection and recycling obligations, and reimbursements of any overfunded amounts. Investments in the trust must meet certain investment quality criteria comparable to highly rated government or agency bonds.

During the three months ended March 31, 2020, we sold certain restricted marketable securities for proceeds of $115.2 million, realized gains of $15.1 million on such sales, and repurchased $114.5 million of restricted marketable securities as part of our ongoing management of the custodial accounts. During the three months ended March 31, 2019, we sold certain restricted marketable securities for proceeds of $47.9 million and realized gains of $15.0 million on such sales as part of efforts to align the currencies of the investments with those of the corresponding collection and recycling liabilities and disbursed $14.9 million of overfunded amounts. See Note 8. “Fair Value Measurements” to our condensed consolidated financial statements for information about the fair value of our restricted marketable securities.

The following tables summarize the unrealized gains and losses related to our restricted marketable securities, by major security type, as of March 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019 (in thousands):
 As of March 31, 2020
Amortized
Cost
Unrealized
Gains
Unrealized
Losses
Allowance for Credit LossesFair
Value
Foreign government obligations$127,528  $133  $1,140  $30  $126,491  
U.S. government obligations114,628  5,291      119,919  
Total$242,156  $5,424  $1,140  $30  $246,410  

 As of December 31, 2019
Amortized
Cost
Unrealized
Gains
Unrealized
Losses
Fair
Value
Foreign government obligations$129,499  $  $3,433  $126,066  
U.S. government obligations99,700    1,981  97,719  
Total$229,199  $