viewFirst Solar, Inc.

First Solar sinks on project delay, Q1 miss



First Solar  (NASDAQ:FSLR) plunged 10.7 percent on Tuesday after the second largest U.S. maker of solar panels said a weather-related project delay would push most of its earnings into the second half of the year, and it posted weaker-than-expected first-quarter earnings.

The shares fell to as low as $42.61 before rebounding to $43.18 at 1:46 p.m. in New York on Tuesday, paring this year's gains to 40 percent.

First solar said late Monday that the 230-megawatt Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One project in California is now expected to be completed in the fourth quarter, instead of the second quarter. It also said it would cut about 150 jobs, or 3 percent of its workforce, as it grapples with low panel prices.

The Tempe, Arizona-based company said it swung to profit in the first quarter, but missed analysts expectations. Net income in the three months that ended March 31 was $59.1 million, or 66 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $449 million, or $5.20 a share, the company said in a statement after market closed on Monday. Stripping out one-time expenses, the company earned 69 cents, below the 75 cents a share average prediction by 18 analysts.

Quarterly sales jumped 52 percent to $755.2 million, above the $725.3 million expectation.

The company reiterated its forecast of sales of $3.8 billion to $4 billion this year. That will generate 2013 income of $4 to $4.50 a share. Analysts, on average, are modeling $4.27 a share on $3.84 billion in sales.

"We remain on track for the year and reaffirm our full-year 2013 financial guidance," Chief Executive Jim Hughes said in a statement.

The stock has 17 "hold", 7 "underperform" and one "strong buy", "buy" and "sell" recommendations from analysts.


Quick facts: First Solar, Inc.

Price: 56.21 USD

Market: NASDAQ
Market Cap: $5.95 billion

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