First Solar (FSLR) Posts Strong 2011 Guidance, Shares Up

The great divide between the bearish analysts who see a difficult 2011 for solar and the CEOs of these solar companies who see another good year in 2011 continues.  This afternoon it was First Solar’s (FSLR) turn to bang the bullish drum and issue strong guidance for 2011.  The company sees 2011 EPS in the range of $8.75 – $9.50/share which is ahead of the analysts consensus estimate of $8.60/share on revenues of $3.7 – $3.9 billion which is also ahead of the analyst consensus estimate of $3.63 billion.  Compared to the midway point of the company’s recent guidance for 2010, those numbers would represent year over year EPS growth of 15 – 25% and revenue growth of 43 – 50% for 2011.  The company indicated it plans to nearly double capacity by the end of 2012 and will invest about a billion to do so.  Traders like the guidance and are pushing shares up about 3% in after hours trading.

“First Solar revenue and profit is continuing to grow in 2011,” said Rob Gillette, First Solar Chief Executive Officer. “We are benefiting from diversifying global partner demand and an increase in revenue from utility scale projects.”

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