First Solar Inc. lost $449 million in the first quarter as a result of a restructuring that cut 30 percent of its staff and closed a plant in Germany. That’s according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
First Solar also said Chief Commercial Officer James Hughes will replace interim CEO Mike Aheam.
First Solar is struggling as a result of the drop in panel prices from increased worldwide competition and decreased demand. Its stock has fallen to $18 a share from $140 a year ago, Bloomberg BusinessWeek says.
First Solar said its cost-cutting measures will yield $4 to $4.50 per share for the year.
First Solar is building solar panel farms in California, Arizona and Nevada, which is expected to boost its results in 2012 and 2013. These projects have high power rates because they were finalized before panel prices dropped, Aaron Chew, an analyst at Maxim Group, told Bloomberg BusinessWeek. As a result, additional projects may not yield similar results, making it hard for First Solar to remain competitive.
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