Photo: First Solar
UPDATE:Solar panel manufacturer First Solar reported an adjusted net loss of $0.08 per share during the first three months of the year as revenue declined some 12 per cent.
Revenue for the first quarter of 2012 came in at $497.1 million, as prices continued to fall across the industry.
Analysts polled by Bloomberg had forecast top line results of $678.8 million and earnings per share of $0.48.
“First Solar’s performance in the quarter was impacted by an aggressive competitive environment resulting from persistent supply-demand imbalances in the market, as well as restructuring costs that will improve our operating efficiency and help position us for the future,” First Solar Chairman Mike Ahearn said.
Including charges for restructuring, the company reported a net loss of $449 million or $5.20 per share.
The company also said it has named its chief commercial officer, James Hughes, as its new chief executive.
First Solar raised its full-year earnings guidance to a range of $4.00 to $4.50, $0.25 higher than previous estimates.
Solar panel manufacturer First Solar is scheduled to report quarterly results after U.S. markets close today, with Wall Street expecting earnings per share to decline more than 64 per cent year-on-year.
Shares in First Solar have been halted pending the announcement.
Consensus expectations are for earnings per share of $0.48 on top line results of $678.8 million.
The company has faced substantive difficulties since the year began, announcing it would cut its workforce by some 30 per cent as well as face reduced subsidies in some of its largest markets.
The 2,000 job cuts would come as the company closes all of its operations in Frankfurt, Germany and indefinitely idles some production lines in Malaysia, adding to reductions already taking place in Europe and the U.S.
“After a thorough analysis, it is clear the European market has deteriorated to the extent that our operations there are no longer economically sustainable, and maintaining those operations is not in the best long-term interest of our stakeholders,” Interim Chief Executive at First Solar Mike Ahearn said at the time. “The solar market has fundamentally changed, and we are quickly adapting our market approach and operations to maintain and build upon our competitive advantage.”
The news followed a serious blow in February, when Germany’s environment minister Norbert Roettgen said the country would cut subsidies supporting the solar industry by as much as 30 per cent.
The cuts, which had been expected, were far larger than the 15 per cent decrease analysts were anticipating.