TEMPE, Ariz. — First Solar Inc., a solar-panel maker born in Toledo and with its sole North American factory in suburban Toledo, said today that it will lay off 1,600 of its 6,000 global workforce as it adjusts some of its plants to make a new type of solar panel.
Exterior of the First Solar plant in Perrysburg. The company is set to lay off 1,600 workers, it said today.
The company made the announcement during its 2017 financial guidance report to industry analysts.
Its planned new thin-film panels would be more efficient, the company indicated.
The company declined to elaborate on how many layoffs would occur at its Perrysburg Township plant, how long they would last, and whether all workers would be brought back afterward. In its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, First Solar said it expected most of the $500 million to $700 million in impairment charges related to the product changeover would occur in the period ending at the end of the year.
In its financial guidance, the company projected sales would be $2.5 billion to $2.6 billion next year, down from its projected $2.8 billion to $2.9 billion this year. Analysts, according to Thomson Reuters, had forecast $2.98 billion next year.
Its impairment charges for the product switch and lost production would hurt this year’s earnings, forecast to be between a loss $2 to $4 a share this year and next year to be between a loss of 10 cents a share to a profit of 45 cents a share.
First Solar was founded in Toledo as Solar Cells Inc. by the late Harold McMaster. In 1999, it was sold to True North Partners LLC and renamed. It is now based in Tempe, Ariz.
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