(Adds details from conference call)
Feb 21 U.S. solar company First Solar Inc
raised its 2017 sales forecast due to the timing of the
sale of a major project, but said a large facility in Arizona
had been canceled due to opposition to its location on tribal
First Solar also said it had been forced to write down the
value of its Barilla Solar project in Texas because a slide in
power prices since its construction in 2014 had hurt
Shares of the company, which also reported
better-than-expected profit and revenue, were up less than 1
percent at $36.62 in trading after the bell on Tuesday.
First Solar raised its 2017 net sales forecast to $2.8
billion to $2.9 billion from $2.5 billion to $2.6 billion.
The new revenue forecast allows for full recognition on the
250-megawatt Moapa project sale, located northeast of Las Vegas.
First Solar said the more than 300-megawatt Tribal Solar
project, which was planned for the Fort Mojave Indian
Reservation in Arizona, would not be built. The company's
contract to sell the power to California utility Southern
California Edison was canceled.
Executives described the cancellation as a one-time event
due to the unique concerns of the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe and
said the company had several opportunities to offset the impact
of the cancellation, including new business in Japan.
Solar companies are struggling with a sharp decline in panel
prices since the middle of 2016, but First Solar Chief Executive
Officer Mark Widmar said bookings had picked up since the end of
First Solar said in November it would cut about 27 percent
of its workforce and transition to a new product ahead of
schedule. The company is bringing forward production of its
Series 6 modules to 2018 and abandoning plans for the Series 5
First Solar reported a net loss of $719.9 million, or $6.92
per share, for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a
profit of $164.1 million, or $1.60 per share, a year earlier.
The company said on Tuesday it recorded $728.9 million in
charges in the latest quarter related to plans to abandon the
Series 5 modules and other restructuring.
Excluding items, the company earned $1.24 per share, far
ahead of the average analysts' estimate of 97 cents, according
to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company's net sales nearly halved to $480.4 million, but
beat analysts' estimate of $412.8 million.
(Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj
Kalluvila and Lisa Shumaker)