Cost per watt at First Solar falls to US$0.76 cents

First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced its financial results for the second quarter ended June 26, 2010. Quarterly net sales were $587.9 million, up 12% from $525.9 million in the second quarter of 2009, due to increased production volumes and systems revenue, partially offset by a decline in pricing and lower euro exchange rates. S

econd quarter 2010 net sales increased $19.9 million from the first quarter of 2010, primarily due to increased turnkey system sales.

Second quarter net income per fully diluted share was $1.84, down from $2.11 in the second quarter of 2009 and down from $2.00 in the first quarter of 2010. Year over year, the declines were primarily driven by lower module average selling prices, and higher operating expenses that were partially offset by increased module production and lower module cost per watt. Quarter over quarter, the declines were primarily driven by higher operating expenses.

PV module manufacturing cost was reduced to $0.76/watt, down $0.05 from the prior quarter and 13% year over year. Annual throughput per line was up 6% quarter over quarter to 59.0 MW. This increases announced or operating capacity from 2.1 to 2.2 GW by 2012.

For 2010, First Solar forecasts net sales of $2.5 to $2.6 billion, reflecting reallocation of module capacity from our systems business to meet stronger module demand by our European customers.

Earnings per fully diluted share are increased to a projected range of $7.00 to $7.40 which includes a $0.20-$0.23 reduction for a foreign exchange assumption change from $1.30/euro to $1.20/euro and $0.09-$0.10 per share dilution for the completed acquisition of NextLight Renewable Power, LLC.

Total capital spending is projected to be $575 to $625 million. The company expects to generate $575 to $625 million of operating cash flow.