First Solar shares rose as much as 5.5 per cent in after-hours trading on Wednesday
Nov. 2 -(REUTERS) – First Solar Inc, the largest U.S. solar equipment manufacturer, beat analysts’ profit estimate for the sixth straight quarter, and the company raised its full-year gross margin forecast for the fourth time.
The company’s shares rose as much as 5.5 per cent in after-hours trading on Wednesday.
First Solar said it expected 2016 gross margins between 25.5-26 per cent, well above its previous range of 18.5-19 percent.
However, the company cut its net sales forecast to $2.8 billion-$2.9 billion from $3.8 billion-$4 billion, as the company revised the sale timing for its California Flats and Moapa projects. The projects are now expected to be sold in 2017.
The company’s net sales fell 45.9 per cent to $688 million for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, missing analysts’ average estimate of $988.6 million.
First Solar’s net income fell to $154.1 million, or $1.49 per share, in the quarter, from $349.3 million, or $3.41 per share, a year earlier.
Net income in the latest quarter was hit by pre-tax charges of $4 million.
Excluding items, the company earned $1.22 per share, well above the average analyst of 74 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Shares of the company, which had fallen more than 38 per cent this year through Wednesday close, were up 2.1 per cent at $41.44 in after-market trading.
(Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)