First Solar Cuts Forecast and Staff, Drops In Market

Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar, the manufacturer of photovoltaic solar panels, said today that it has dropped its financial guidance for 2011, to $2.8 to $2.9 billion, down form an earlier estimate of $3.0 to $3.3 billion in sales. The firm blamed delays in "certain projects" in its systems business. The move spurred a drop in First Solar's shares in the market, by more than 20 percent, to the lowest the firm has traded since 2007. As a result of the lowered estimates, First Solar said it would be laying off approximately 100 employees, to accelerate cost reductions at the company. The company said the employees in the workforce reduction represent less than 1.5 percent of its total workforce.