Solar-panel maker First Solar cut its profit forecast on Tuesday as restructuring charges and lower sales pushed it to a larger-than-expected loss over the past quarter.
The company, which has seen increasing competition weigh on its share price, reported results for the three-month period ending December 31 that largely fell short of Wall Street’s expectations. It clocked a net loss for the quarter of $719.9m, translating to a $6.92 loss per share, compared to the $604.1m loss – or $5.87 per share – that analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had expected.
Net sales were a bright spot, however, with $480m in revenue exceeding the $404.5m analysts predicted.
The company blamed the loss on lower net sales and higher restructuring charges, as well as a higher tax expense.
“Despite the difficult restructuring decisions that we undertook in the fourth quarter, we ended the year with strong operational results,” said chief executive Mark Widmar.
First Solar also unveiled revised guidance for the full year. It now expects $2.8bn-$2.9bn in revenue, compared to previous estimates of $2.5bn-$2.6bn. It is also forecasting lower profits, with its operating income now expected to be within a range of losses as steep as $40m to profit as high as $25m, compared to a previous range of $30m-$75m in profit.
It is also projecting losses per share to come in as deep as 80 cents per share to as little as 5 cents per share, versus a previous range of a loss of 10 cents to a profit of 45 cents.
First Solar shares have fallen 43 per cent over the past 12 months. It shares rallied 1.77 per cent in after-hours trading on Tuesday.
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