Friday, May 25, 2012

First Solar Ups Forecast After Miss

First Solar posted a surprise quarterly loss on Thursday, but raised its full-year profit outlook as it drives down production costs for its solar panels, while peer SunPower slightly beat Wall Street forecasts.

Solar makers have seen profit margins evaporate over the last year as prices for the modules that turn sunlight into electricity have fallen sharply amid a global supply glut and declining government subsidies in Europe, the biggest market.

First Solar [FSLR 14.33 0.11 (+0.77%) ], the industry's lowest-cost solar panel maker, also said it named James Hughes as its new chief executive to replace Rob Gillette, who was ousted by the company in October last year.

Hughes joined First Solar in March as chief commercial officer and will take over from Chairman Mike Ahearn, who had been serving as the interim CEO.

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