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Summary Box: First Solar posts wide loss in 1Q

Thursday - 5/3/2012, 6:15pm  ET

By The Associated Press

(AP) - BOTTOM LINE: First Solar lost $449 million in the first quarter, mostly due to a restructuring plan. Many solar panel makers are struggling to adapt to sharply lower panel prices.

THE NUMBERS: First Solar said its restructuring will allow it to earn $4 to $4.50 per share for the year, up from its previous estimate of $3.75 to $4.25 per share.

BIG PICTURE: First Solar's thin film panels have long been cheaper than more common panels made from crystalline silicon. Now its price advantage has all but evaporated because the cost of materials needed to make competing panels has fallen.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)