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Published: Friday, 7/31/2009

First Solar Inc. s profit doubles in second quarter

TEMPE, Ariz. First Solar Inc., the solar panel maker with its sole North American factory in Perrysburg Township, yesterday reported its second-quarter profit more than doubled from a year earlier. Nevertheless, an apparently unprecedented rebate program shook investors.

The firm said it had a profit of $181 million, or $2.11 a share, for the quarter, up from $69.7 million, or 85 cents a share, for the period a year ago. Sales were $526 million, up from $267 million a year ago.

First Solar s stock price fell in after-hours trading. Company officials had said they would offer rebates in Germany for its thin-film modules to undercut a competitor s modules. One analyst said no solar firm has ever offered such a rebate. The company said it would cost $40 million to $60 million in the second half of the year.

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