Stock-price-soaring First Solar Inc., which has its only North American solar-panel factory in suburban Toledo, yesterday reported an 820 percent increase in its first-quarter profit, to $46.6 million, or 57 cents a share.
The firm, which began in Toledo and now is based in Tempe, Ariz., said its quarterly sales were $197 million, up from $67 million a year earlier. That easily beat predictions by Wall Street analysts, who expected a profit of 48 cents a share and revenues of $188 million.
Its stock jumped $7.07 yesterday, closing at $291.99 a share on the Nasdaq market.
First Solar said it has raised its annual revenue estimate to a range of $975 million to $1.05 billion, up from previous projections of $900 million to $950 million.
The company also said its production costs rose slightly in the first quarter, because of start-up costs for a plant in Malaysia. It spends $1.14 to produce a watt of solar capacity, compared with $1.12 in the fourth quarter of 2007.
The devalued dollar, higher product prices, and a better sales mix led to sharp increases in sales and profit in the first quarter for bottle maker Owens-Illinois Inc., of Perrysburg.
The company said yesterday it had sales of $2 billion for the quarter, compared with $1.7 billion a year earlier, and profits more than tripled to $178 million, or $1.02 a share, from $53 million, or 31 cents a share, a year ago.
Overall, the firm sold fewer tons of its glass bottles used in packaging beer and other food items, and it had a nearly $10 million restructuring charge.
But the price and product-sales mix boosted profit.
Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. Comments that violate these standards, or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, are subject to being removed and commenters are subject to being banned. To post comments, you must be a registered user on toledoblade.com. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.