First Solar, the largest U.S. solar equipment manufacturer, beat analysts’ profit estimate for the sixth straight quarter, and the company raised its full-year gross margin forecast for the fourth time.
The company’s shares
rose as much as 5.5% in after-hours trading on Wednesday.
First Solar said it expected 2016 gross margins between 25.5% to 26%, well above its previous range of 18.5% to 19%.
However, the company cut its net sales forecast to $2.8 billion to $2.9 billion from $3.8 billion to $4 billion, as the company revised the sale timing for its California Flats and Moapa projects. The projects are now expected to be sold in 2017.
The company’s net sales fell 45.9 % to $688 million for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, missing analysts’ average estimate of $988.6 million.
First Solar’s net income fell to $154.1 million, or $1.49 per share, in the quarter, from $349.3 million, or $3.41 per share, a year earlier.
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Net income in the latest quarter was hit by pre-tax charges of $4 million.
Excluding items, the company earned $1.22 per share, well above the average analyst of 74 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters
Shares of the company, which had fallen more than 38% this year through Wednesday close, were up 2.1% at $41.44 in after-market trading.