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First Solar tops Q4, FY'17 estimates, hikes guidance

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First Solar tops Q4, FY'17 estimates, hikes guidance

First Solar Inc. on Feb. 22 booked a fourth-quarter 2017 GAAP net loss of $432.5 million, or a loss of $4.14 per share, compared to a net loss of $750.8 million, or a loss of $7.22 per share, in the comparable period in 2016.

The non-GAAP net loss in the fourth quarter of 2017 was $26.1 million, or a loss of 25 cents, beating the S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized estimate for the quarter of a loss of 30 cents per share.

First Solar's net sales during the quarter increased to $339.2 million, from $330.8 million a year ago.

For full year 2017, GAAP net loss was $165.6 million, compared to a net loss of $416.1 million in 2016. Non-GAAP net income totaled $272.6 million, or $2.59 per share, in 2017, higher than the S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for the full year of $2.53.

The company raised its revenue, EPS and net cash guidance for 2018 due to the revised systems project sale timing, increased Series 4 production, the expected sale of 8point3 Energy Partners LP and other developments.

First Solar is now expecting EPS in the range of $1.50 to $1.90 from the previous $1.25 to $1.75, operating income in the range of $130 million to $180 million from the previous $110 million to $170 million, net sales in the range of $2.45 billion to $2.65 billion from the previous $2.3 billion to $2.5 billion, and net cash balance in the range of $2.1 billion to $2.3 billion from the previous $1.6 billion to $1.8 billion.