Solar panels are seen in First Solar's Desert Sunlight Solar Farm in Mojave Desert, Calif., on April 5, 2013.
Tim Rue/Bloomberg via Getty Images
By Reuters
November 2, 2016

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 (fslr) 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 (tri).

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.

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