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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 September 30, 2021
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-20210930_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 October 29, 2021, 106,326,700 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 SEPTEMBER 30, 2021

TABLE OF CONTENTS
  Page



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
September 30,
Nine Months Ended
September 30,
2021202020212020
Net sales$583,504 $927,565 $2,016,058 $2,102,100 
Cost of sales458,924 634,550 1,532,593 1,581,287 
Gross profit124,580 293,015 483,465 520,813 
Operating expenses:
Selling, general and administrative43,476 49,861 131,909 160,218 
Research and development25,426 22,972 69,234 71,068 
Production start-up2,945 13,019 16,014 23,812 
Litigation loss   6,000 
Total operating expenses71,847 85,852 217,157 261,098 
Gain on sales of businesses, net(1,866) 147,284  
Operating income50,867 207,163 413,592 259,715 
Foreign currency loss, net(1,018)(1,852)(4,613)(3,549)
Interest income1,752 2,109 3,996 15,113 
Interest expense, net(2,958)(10,975)(10,577)(21,018)
Other (expense) income, net(2,603)(3,236)2,598 (8,653)
Income before taxes and equity in earnings46,040 193,209 404,996 241,608 
Income tax (expense) benefit(837)(38,107)(67,673)40,894 
Equity in earnings, net of tax (65) 150 
Net income$45,203 $155,037 $337,323 $282,652 
Net income per share:
Basic$0.43 $1.46 $3.18 $2.67 
Diluted$0.42 $1.45 $3.16 $2.65 
Weighted-average number of shares used in per share calculations:
Basic106,320 105,967 106,241 105,830 
Diluted106,899 106,751 106,879 106,537 

See accompanying notes to these condensed consolidated financial statements.
1

FIRST SOLAR, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME
(In thousands)
(Unaudited)
Three Months Ended
September 30,
Nine Months Ended
September 30,
2021202020212020
Net income$45,203 $155,037 $337,323 $282,652 
Other comprehensive (loss) income:
Foreign currency translation adjustments
(1,915)3,242 (11,341)552 
Unrealized (loss) gain on marketable securities and restricted marketable securities, net of tax of $47, $(236), $1,134 and $(822)(3,486)6,148 (19,961)20,826 
Unrealized gain (loss) on derivative instruments, net of tax of $153, $55, $(545) and $(31)118 (1,827)4,284 (1,741)
Other comprehensive (loss) income(5,283)7,563 (27,018)19,637 
Comprehensive income$39,920 $162,600 $310,305 $302,289 

See accompanying notes to these condensed consolidated financial statements.

2

FIRST SOLAR, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(In thousands, except share data)
(Unaudited)
 
 
September 30,
2021
December 31,
2020
ASSETS
Current assets: 
Cash and cash equivalents$1,367,464 $1,227,002 
Marketable securities (amortized cost of $554,897 and $519,844 and allowance for credit losses of $133 and $121 at September 30, 2021 and December 31, 2020, respectively)554,601 520,066 
Accounts receivable trade249,771 269,095 
Less: allowance for credit losses(1,430)(3,009)
Accounts receivable trade, net248,341 266,086 
Accounts receivable, unbilled25,053 26,673 
Less: allowance for credit losses(51)(303)
Accounts receivable, unbilled, net25,002 26,370 
Inventories647,439 567,587 
Assets held for sale 155,685 
Prepaid expenses and other current assets203,478 251,739 
Total current assets3,046,325 3,014,535 
Property, plant and equipment, net2,505,921 2,402,285 
PV solar power systems, net230,423 243,396 
Project assets335,259 373,377 
Deferred tax assets, net108,387 104,099 
Restricted marketable securities (amortized cost of $254,659 and $247,628 and allowance for credit losses of $53 and $13 at September 30, 2021 and December 31, 2020, respectively)251,379 265,280 
Goodwill14,462 14,462 
Intangible assets, net47,935 56,138 
Inventories236,446 201,229 
Other assets492,093 434,130 
Total assets$7,268,630 $7,108,931 
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY
Current liabilities:  
Accounts payable$170,041 $183,349 
Income taxes payable12,984 14,571 
Accrued expenses231,163 310,467 
Current portion of long-term debt37,129 41,540 
Deferred revenue238,810 188,813 
Liabilities held for sale 25,621 
Other current liabilities25,109 83,037 
Total current liabilities715,236 847,398 
Accrued solar module collection and recycling liability140,019 130,688 
Long-term debt241,483 237,691 
Other liabilities341,817 372,226 
Total liabilities1,438,555 1,588,003 
Commitments and contingencies
Stockholders’ equity:
Common stock, $0.001 par value per share; 500,000,000 shares authorized; 106,326,000 and 105,980,466 shares issued and outstanding at September 30, 2021 and December 31, 2020, respectively106 106 
Additional paid-in capital2,865,628 2,866,786 
Accumulated earnings3,053,085 2,715,762 
Accumulated other comprehensive loss(88,744)(61,726)
Total stockholders’ equity5,830,075 5,520,928 
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity$7,268,630 $7,108,931 

See accompanying notes to these condensed consolidated financial statements.

3

FIRST SOLAR, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY
(In thousands)
(Unaudited)
Three Months Ended September 30, 2021
 Common StockAdditional
Paid-In
Capital
Accumulated EarningsAccumulated
Other
Comprehensive (Loss) Income
Total
Stockholders' Equity
 SharesAmount
Balance at June 30, 2021106,319 $106 $2,859,108 $3,007,882 $(83,461)$5,783,635 
Net income— — — 45,203 — 45,203 
Other comprehensive loss— — — — (5,283)(5,283)
Common stock issued for share-based compensation
8   — —  
Tax withholding related to vesting of restricted stock
(1) (67)— — (67)
Share-based compensation expense
— — 6,587 — — 6,587 
Balance at September 30, 2021106,326 $106 $2,865,628 $3,053,085 $(88,744)$5,830,075 
Three Months Ended September 30, 2020
 Common StockAdditional
Paid-In
Capital
Accumulated EarningsAccumulated
Other
Comprehensive (Loss) Income
Total
Stockholders' Equity
 SharesAmount
Balance at June 30, 2020105,961 $106 $2,848,928 $2,445,022 $(67,260)$5,226,796 
Net income— — — 155,037 — 155,037 
Other comprehensive income— — — — 7,563 7,563 
Common stock issued for share-based compensation
19   — —  
Tax withholding related to vesting of restricted stock
(5) (289)— — (289)
Share-based compensation expense
— — 7,006 — — 7,006 
Balance at September 30, 2020105,975 $106 $2,855,645 $2,600,059 $(59,697)$5,396,113 

See accompanying notes to these condensed consolidated financial statements.

4

FIRST SOLAR, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY (CONTINUED)
(In thousands)
(Unaudited)
Nine Months Ended September 30, 2021
 Common StockAdditional
Paid-In
Capital
Accumulated EarningsAccumulated
Other
Comprehensive (Loss) Income
Total
Stockholders' Equity
 SharesAmount
Balance at December 31, 2020105,980 $106 $2,866,786 $2,715,762 $(61,726)$5,520,928 
Net income— — — 337,323 — 337,323 
Other comprehensive loss— — — — (27,018)(27,018)
Common stock issued for share-based compensation
554   — —  
Tax withholding related to vesting of restricted stock
(208) (15,877)— — (15,877)
Share-based compensation expense
— — 14,719 — — 14,719 
Balance at September 30, 2021106,326 $106 $2,865,628 $3,053,085 $(88,744)$5,830,075 
Nine Months Ended September 30, 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— — — 282,652 — 282,652 
Other comprehensive income— — — — 19,637 19,637 
Common stock issued for share-based compensation
808 1 1,362 — — 1,363 
Tax withholding related to vesting of restricted stock
(282) (13,053)— — (13,053)
Share-based compensation expense
— — 17,960 — — 17,960 
Balance at September 30, 2020105,975 $106 $2,855,645 $2,600,059 $(59,697)$5,396,113 

See accompanying notes to these condensed consolidated financial statements.

5

FIRST SOLAR, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
(In thousands)
(Unaudited)
 Nine Months Ended
September 30,
20212020
Cash flows from operating activities:  
Net income$337,323 $282,652 
Adjustments to reconcile net income to cash provided by (used in) operating activities:
Depreciation, amortization and accretion194,606 173,277 
Impairments and net losses on disposal of long-lived assets9,083 24,600 
Share-based compensation14,974 18,189 
Deferred income taxes(13,450)(77,970)
Gain on sales of businesses, net(147,284) 
Gains on sales of marketable securities and restricted marketable securities(11,696)(15,346)
Liabilities assumed by customers for the sale of systems (136,745)
Other, net(2,909)16,289 
Changes in operating assets and liabilities:
Accounts receivable, trade and unbilled79,565 330,090 
Prepaid expenses and other current assets(52,275)8,467 
Inventories(116,017)(142,017)
Project assets and PV solar power systems11,945 183,163 
Other assets(39,264)(30,804)
Income tax receivable and payable22,615 9,160 
Accounts payable879 (58,311)
Accrued expenses and other liabilities(95,685)(720,756)
Accrued solar module collection and recycling liability10,682 (13,136)
Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities203,092 (149,198)
Cash flows from investing activities:
Purchases of property, plant and equipment(345,399)(327,284)
Purchases of marketable securities and restricted marketable securities(1,107,704)(642,993)
Proceeds from sales and maturities of marketable securities and restricted marketable securities1,075,768 1,100,176 
Proceeds from sales of businesses300,499  
Other investing activities(6,453)(13,577)
Net cash (used in) provided by investing activities(83,289)116,322 
Cash flows from financing activities:
Repayment of long-term debt(38,471)(224,643)
Proceeds from borrowings under long-term debt, net of discounts and issuance costs45,138 140,304 
Payments of tax withholdings for restricted shares(15,877)(13,053)
Other financing activities (804)
Net cash used in financing activities(9,210)(98,196)
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash1,687 1,251 
Net increase (decrease) in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash112,280 (129,821)
Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash, beginning of the period1,273,594 1,446,510 
Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash, end of the period$1,385,874 $1,316,689 
Supplemental disclosure of noncash investing and financing activities:  
Property, plant and equipment acquisitions funded by liabilities$50,415 $129,384 

See accompanying notes to these condensed consolidated financial statements.
6

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 and nine months ended September 30, 2021 are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected for the year ending December 31, 2021 or for any other period. The condensed consolidated balance sheet at December 31, 2020 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, 2020 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. Sales of Businesses

Sale of North American O&M operations

Following an evaluation of the long-term cost structure, competitiveness, and risk-adjusted returns of our O&M services business, we received an offer to purchase certain portions of the business and determined it was in the best interest of our stockholders to pursue the transaction. Accordingly, in August 2020, we entered into an agreement with a subsidiary of Clairvest Group, Inc. (“Clairvest”) for the sale of our North American O&M operations.

On March 31, 2021, we completed the transaction. Following certain customary post-closing adjustments, we received total consideration of $149.1 million. As a result of this transaction, we recognized a gain of $115.8 million, net of transaction costs and post-closing adjustments, during the nine months ended September 30, 2021, which was included in “Gain on sales of businesses, net” in our condensed consolidated statements of operations. The assets and liabilities associated with this business were classified as held for sale in our condensed consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2020.

7

Sale of U.S. project development business

Following a separate evaluation of the long-term cost structure, competitiveness, and risk-adjusted returns of our U.S. project development business, we determined it was also in the best interest of our stockholders to pursue the sale of this business. In January 2021, we entered into an agreement with Leeward Renewable Energy Development, LLC (“Leeward”), a subsidiary of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, for the sale of our U.S. project development business, which included developing, contracting for the construction of, and selling utility-scale photovoltaic (“PV”) solar power systems in the United States. The transaction included our approximately 10 GWAC utility-scale solar project pipeline, including the advanced-stage Horizon, Madison, Ridgely, Rabbitbrush, and Oak Trail projects, which are expected to commence construction in the next two years; the 30MWAC Barilla Solar project, which is operational; and certain other equipment. In addition, Leeward agreed to certain module purchase commitments.

On March 31, 2021, we completed the transaction for an aggregate purchase price of $284.0 million. Such purchase price included $151.4 million for the sale of the U.S. project development business and $132.6 million for the sale of 392 MWDC of solar modules, which is presented in “Net sales” on our condensed consolidated statements of operations for the nine months ended September 30, 2021.

During the nine months ended September 30, 2021, we recognized a gain of $31.5 million, net of transaction costs and post-closing adjustments, from the sale of our U.S. project development business, which is included in “Gain on sales of businesses, net” in our condensed consolidated statements of operations. The assets and liabilities associated with this business were classified as held for sale in our condensed consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2020.

3. Cash, Cash Equivalents, and Marketable Securities

Cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities consisted of the following at September 30, 2021 and December 31, 2020 (in thousands):
September 30,
2021
December 31,
2020
Cash and cash equivalents:
Cash$1,367,462 $1,227,000 
Money market funds2 2 
Total cash and cash equivalents1,367,464 1,227,002 
Marketable securities:
Foreign debt147,445 214,254 
U.S. debt18,710 14,543 
Time deposits388,446 291,269 
Total marketable securities554,601 520,066 
Total cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities$1,922,065 $1,747,068 

8

The following table provides a reconciliation of cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash reported within our condensed consolidated balance sheets as of September 30, 2021 and December 31, 2020 to the total of such amounts as presented in the condensed consolidated statements of cash flows (in thousands):
Balance Sheet Line ItemSeptember 30,
2021
December 31,
2020
Cash and cash equivalentsCash and cash equivalents$1,367,464 $1,227,002 
Restricted cash current
Prepaid expenses and other current assets1,181 1,745 
Restricted cash noncurrent
Other assets17,229 44,847 
Total cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash
$1,385,874 $1,273,594 

During the nine months ended September 30, 2021, we sold marketable securities for proceeds of $5.5 million and realized gains of less than $0.1 million on such sales. During the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020, we sold marketable securities for proceeds of $27.6 million and $188.1 million, respectively, and realized gains of less than $0.1 million and $0.2 million, respectively, 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.

The following tables summarize the unrealized gains and losses related to our available-for-sale marketable securities, by major security type, as of September 30, 2021 and December 31, 2020 (in thousands):
 As of September 30, 2021
Amortized
Cost
Unrealized
Gains
Unrealized
Losses
Allowance for Credit LossesFair
Value
Foreign debt$147,312 $133 $ $ $147,445 
U.S. debt19,009 13 309 3 18,710 
Time deposits388,576   130 388,446 
Total$554,897 $146 $309 $133 $554,601 
 As of December 31, 2020
Amortized
Cost
Unrealized
Gains
Unrealized
Losses
Allowance for Credit LossesFair
Value
Foreign debt$213,949 $367 $46 $16 $214,254 
U.S. debt14,521 22   14,543 
Time deposits291,374   105 291,269 
Total$519,844 $389 $46 $121 $520,066 

The following table presents the change in the allowance for credit losses related to our available-for-sale marketable securities for the nine months ended September 30, 2021 and 2020 (in thousands):
Nine Months Ended
September 30,
20212020
Allowance for credit losses, beginning of period$121 $ 
Cumulative-effect adjustment for the adoption of ASU 2016-13 207 
Provision for credit losses, net329 215 
Sales and maturities of marketable securities(317)(374)
Allowance for credit losses, end of period$133 $48 

9

The contractual maturities of our marketable securities as of September 30, 2021 were as follows (in thousands):
Fair
Value
One year or less$538,879 
One year to two years6,034 
Two years to three years 
Three years to four years 
Four years to five years4,813 
More than five years4,875 
Total$554,601 

4. Restricted Marketable Securities

Restricted marketable securities consisted of the following as of September 30, 2021 and December 31, 2020 (in thousands):
 
 
September 30,
2021
December 31,
2020
Foreign government obligations$71,603 $149,700 
Supranational debt10,944  
U.S. debt145,151  
U.S. government obligations23,681 115,580 
Total restricted marketable securities$251,379 $265,280 

Our restricted marketable securities represent long-term investments to fund the estimated future cost of collecting and recycling modules covered under our solar module collection and recycling program. 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. As of September 30, 2021 and December 31, 2020, such custodial accounts also included noncurrent restricted cash balances of $0.6 million and $0.7 million, respectively, which were reported within “Other assets.” 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. 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.

During the nine months ended September 30, 2021, we sold all our restricted marketable securities for proceeds of $258.9 million and realized gains of $11.7 million on such sales, and repurchased $255.6 million of restricted marketable securities as part of our ongoing management of the custodial accounts. During the nine months ended September 30, 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. See Note 8. “Fair Value Measurements” to our condensed consolidated financial statements for information about the fair value of our restricted marketable securities.

10

The following table summarizes the unrealized gains and losses related to our restricted marketable securities, by major security type, as of September 30, 2021 and December 31, 2020 (in thousands):

 As of September 30, 2021
Amortized
Cost
Unrealized
Gains
Unrealized
Losses
Allowance for Credit LossesFair
Value
Foreign government obligations$68,081 $5,280 $1,747 $11 $71,603 
Supranational debt11,416  472  10,944 
U.S. debt150,500  5,312 37 145,151 
U.S. government obligations24,662  976 5 23,681 
Total$254,659 $5,280 $8,507 $53 $251,379 
 As of December 31, 2020
Amortized
Cost
Unrealized
Gains
Unrealized
Losses
Allowance for Credit LossesFair
Value
Foreign government obligations$131,980 $17,720 $ $ $149,700 
U.S. government obligations