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First Solar guides for USD 2.3bn-2.5bn in 2018 net sales

First Solar PV plant. Source: First Solar Inc

December 6 (Renewables Now) - US thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules maker First Solar Inc (NASDAQ:FSLR) on Tuesday announced its financial forecast for 2018, including a net sales range of USD 2.3 billion-2.5 billion (EUR 1.94bn-2.1bn).

The company said it expects that next year net sales of solar power systems to comprise 75%-80% of total net sales. Third-party module sales would account for the remainder.

The table below shows First Solar's 2018 projections.

in USD, unless otherwise noted 2018 GAAP Guidance
Net sales 2.3bn-2.5bn
Gross margin (%) 22-23
Operating expenses 400m-410m
Operating income 110m-170m
Earnings per share (EPS) 1.25-1.75
Net cash balance 1.6bn-1.8bn
Operating cash flow 100m-200m
Capital expenditures 650m-750m
Shipments (GW) 2.7-2.8

First Solar noted that its EPS guidance takes into consideration production ramp costs of about USD 60 million and production start-up expenses of around USD 110 million, relating to the deployment of Series 6 capacity in 2018. Furthermore, the range includes projected restructuring related charges of some USD 10 million.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.845)

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