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Published: Thursday, 2/24/2011 - Updated: 4 years ago

First Solar 4th-quarter profit increases 10%


First Solar Inc., the world’s largest maker of thin-film solar modules that began in Toledo, said Thursday its fourth-quarter profit rose 10 percent as panel demand climbed and manufacturing costs declined.

It said its profit for the quarter was $155.9 million, or $1.80 a share, from $141.6 million, or $1.65, a year earlier. Its revenue for the period fell 5 percent to $610 million. For all of 2010, it reported a profit of $664 million on sales of $2.6 billion, up from a profit of $640 million on sales of $2.1 billion in 2009.

For 2011, the Tempe, Ariz., reduced the top end of its Dec. 14 sales guidance to $3.8 billion from $3.9 billion and said profit will be $9.25 a share to $9.75 a share. First Solar reduced its production costs 11 percent last year to 75 cents a watt, one of the lowest in the industry, by adding manufacturing lines and increasing the output of each panel.

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