Some good news in solar today.

First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) just announced full-year 2013 guidance on its 2013 analyst day in New York and came in far above consensus with a revenue guidance of $3.8 billion to $4.0 billion on shipments between 1.6 gigawatts and 1.8 gigawatts. An estimated $3.6 billion in the firm's sales will come from sales of systems. First Solar expects gross margin to be between 20 percent and 22 percent. According to a memo from its analyst day, First Solar looks to generate $0.8 billion to $1.0 billion of operating cash flow in 2013.   

The company also announced that its manufacturing cost will be $0.63 to $0.66 per watt in 2013 and will plunge to $0.40 per watt by 2017.

First Solar shares jumped on the news and trading was actually halted because of the stock's volatility. Other solar stocks such as SPWR, TSL, LDK, STP, and WFR also climbed higher today.

First Solar furnished its outlook for 2014 and 2015:

First Solar announced these milestones in its recent earnings call:

  • Acquired Solar Chile and established subsidiaries in India, the Middle East, South Africa and Thailand;
  • Achieved a world-record 18.7 percent CdTe cell efficiency;
  • Improved its average module efficiency to 12.9 percent in Q4 2012 from 12.2 percent in Q4 2011;
  • Cut its best average module manufacturing line cost to $0.64 per watt (excluding underutilization) from $0.69 in Q4 2011;
  • Put over 250 megawatts (AC) on the grid at Agua Caliente, making it the world's largest operational solar power plant; and
  • Reached over 7 gigawatts (DC) cumulative production.

Tags: agua caliente, arizona, california, cdte, chile, desert sunlight, first solar, fslr, india, middle east, opex, pg&e, residential solar, solar power plant, south africa