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First Solar to Cut Work Force 30 Percent, Reduce Output

Tuesday, 17 April 2012 08:34 AM

First Solar Inc. said it would shut down some manufacturing operations and cut 2,000 jobs, or about 30 percent of its work force, as the largest U.S. solar maker speeds up its cost-cutting efforts.

Solar panel manufacturers have struggled amid a steep decline in selling prices for the solar equipment over the past year. Several companies have gone into bankruptcy.

First Solar, the lowest-cost solar panel maker in the world, said the new cuts would reduce its costs by $30 million to $60 million this year and by $100 million to $120 million annually in future years.

Shares in the company, which makes thin-film solar panels, slipped 1.4 percent in premarket trading to $20.51, near their lifetime low of $20.02 hit last week.

The company said it would shut its plant near Frankfurt, Germany, in the fourth quarter and indefinitely idle four production lines at its manufacturing center in Kulim, Malaysia, at the beginning of May.

First Solar will record charges of $245 million to $370 million, of which $80 million to $120 million will be cash expenditures, in connection with the steps.

© 2018 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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Tuesday, 17 April 2012 08:34 AM
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