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First Solar's (FSLR) CEO James Alton Hughes on Q1 2016 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Q1 2016 Earnings Conference Call

April 27, 2016 04:30 PM ET

Executives

Steve Haymore - Investor Relations

James Alton Hughes - Chief Executive Officer

Mark Widmar - Chief Financial Officer

Analysts

Vishal Shah - Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc.

Tyler Frank - Robert W. Baird & Co., Inc.

Brian Lee - Goldman Sachs & Co.

Paul Coster - JPMorgan Securities LLC

Sven Eenmaa - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc.

Philip Shen - ROTH Capital Partners LLC

Julien Dumoulin-Smith - UBS Securities LLC

Patrick Jobin - Credit Suisse Securities

Krish Sankar - Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Colin Rusch - Oppenheimer & Co., Inc.

Pavel Molchanov - Raymond James

Operator

Good day, everyone, and welcome to First Solar's First Quarter 2016 Earnings Call. This call is being webcast live on the Investors section of First Solar's website at firstsolar.com. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. As a reminder, today's call is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the call over to Mr. Steve Haymore from First Solar Investor Relations. Mr. Haymore, you may begin.

Steve Haymore

Thank you. Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for joining us. Today, the company issued a press release announcing its financial results for the first quarter of 2016. A copy of the press release and the presentation are available on the Investors section of First Solar's website at firstsolar.com.

With me today are Jim Hughes, Chief Executive Officer; and Mark Widmar, Chief Financial Officer. Jim will provide a business and technology update; then Mark will discuss our first quarter financial results and provide updated guidance for 2016. We will then open up the call for questions.

Most of the financial numbers reported and discussed on today's call are based on U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. Please note this call will include forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from management's current expectations. We encourage you to review the Safe Harbor statements contained in today's press release and presentation for a more complete description.

It's now my pleasure to introduce Jim Hughes, Chief Executive Officer. Jim?

James Alton Hughes

Thanks Steve. Good afternoon and thank you for joining us today. Before we discuss our first quarter operational and financial results, I want to take a few minutes to talk about the leadership transition we announced earlier today.

As you may have seen in our press release, after four years with First Solar as CEO, I have decided that I will step down on June 30 and hand the rams over to our current Chief Financial Officer, Mark Widmar, who will assume role of Chief Executive Office at that time. As part of the transition, I will continue to support the company in an advisory role and as a Member of the Board of Directors.

The board and I worked jointly on the company’s leadership succession plan and Mark was our first and best choice as CEO as for Solar enters its next phase of growth. Mark is strong and capable leader with an extensive knowledge of our business having served as First Solar’s Chief Financial Officer since 2011 and as First Solar’s Chief Accounting Officer from February 2012 through June 2015. Mark and I have worked closely together over the past four years and I expect a seamless transition. I have deep confidence that the company will be in good hands.

It’s been a privilege to leave the First Solar and I am proud of the significant milestones we accomplished as a team. When I joined First Solar in early 2012, the company faced significant challenges from both industry specific and macro-economic factors. My intent from the start and my commitment to the Board of Directors was to work with First Solar leadership to establish a strategic plan that place the company on a trajectory of sustainable success.