First Solar sees $4 billion revenue next year; guidance revised

Thin-film leader First Solar, Inc. hopes to gain $3.7 billion to $4 billion in revenue in 2012 as it lowers expectations for net sales this year.

Citing delays in some projects within the company’s systems business, an issue attributed to weather and other factors, First Solar said net sales for 2011 will now be within the range of $2.8 billion to $2.9 billion. The company’s prior guidance range was from $3 billion to 3.3 billion.

Next year, chief executive Mike Ahearn said the company will recalibrate its business to focus on building and serving sustainable markets rather than pursuing subsidized markets.

Mr. Ahearn had replaced previous C.E.O. Rob Gillette in October in an unexpected company move.

«By channeling our core strength in utility-scale PV systems to markets with immediate need for mass-scale renewable energy, our goal is to earn substantially all of our new revenues from sustainable markets by the end of 2014,» Mr. Ahearn was quoted in a statement as saying.

First Solar expects to generate $900 million to $1.1 billion of operating cash flow and plans for approximately $375 million to $425 million in capital investment in 2012.

First Solar shares have continued to slide down from a year-to-date high of $170.9 to a Wednesday opening of $37.30 on the Nasdaq. – Eric Dorente
 

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