First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) announced it tripled its income in the fourth quarter of 2014 and increased sales by 3%. The company sold its 150MW solar gen 2 projects in California and also started receiving revenue from its 250MW Silver State South project that is still under construction. Income was posted at $192 million or $1.89 per share. That was based on revenue of $1 billion. For the full fiscal year2014 the company showed revenue of $768 million that gave them a nice $65 million profit, or $3.91 per share. Both showed strong same-period growth and reinforced the company’s ability to profitably generate clean energy.
Earlier this month they announced that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) made a $848 million commitment from Apple for its clean energy California Flats Solar Project. Apple will get 130MWfrom the solar project under the deal that covers a 25-year period. This is considered to be the largest commercial contract for clean energy in the history of the industry. Apple’s choosing of First Solar is a strong statement to the company’s business model. The contract is for a long-term timeline and this adds at least two decades of stability to the company’s balance sheet and revenue line.
FirstSolar also collaborated on news with SunPOwer to create Yieldco, a dividend generating revenue stream for the two companies. They will IPO the unit and use it to hold profitable entities and share the profits. They intend to file the registration with the SEC as soon as both boards and shareholders approve the deal. This brings added value to shareholders in both companies and also provides a joint operation they can both contribute and benefit from. This method of protecting profits and innovatively distributing them is becoming more common in the green energy marketplace.
The stock exploded to the $57 level which filled the gap created in November, but stopped short of breaking resistance at $58. The gap-fill is bullish and if the stock can regroup at this level it could make another attempt soon at the recent highs.