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Published: Wednesday, 5/4/2011

Earnings, sales decline in quarter at First Solar


TEMPE, Ariz. — First Solar Inc. reported a decline in first-quarter sales and profits Tuesday. The drops were caused in part by lower selling prices of its thin-film solar panels.

The Arizona company, with its only U.S. manufacturing plant in suburban Toledo, reported sales of $567.3 million for the quarter, down from $568 million a year earlier. The company had a quarterly profit of $116 million, or $1.33 a share, down from $172.3 million, or $2 a share, a year ago.

In addition to lower pricing, the Toledo-born company said its first-quarter performance was hurt by increased expenses.

First Solar Tuesday downgraded its earnings guidance for the year, forecasting operating income of $900 million to $970 million compared with an earlier projection of $910 million to $980 million.

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