* Q1 EPS ex-items 44 cents vs Street view 41 cents
* Revenue $443.4 million vs Street view $423.49 million
* Net income included $17.2 mln currency loss
* Reiterates full-year shipment view of 1.2-1.3 GW
(Adds analyst comment, forecasts, byline)
By Nichola Groom
LOS ANGELES, May 11 A hefty foreign exchange
loss hurt solar panel maker Canadian Solar Inc's (CSIQ.O)
first-quarter profit, and shares fell 2 percent in extended
The company backed its shipment forecast for the year and
said it saw "significant declines" in raw material costs this
quarter which would help lessen the impact of falling prices on
Canadian Solar has been expanding in-house production of
solar cells used to make modules to cut costs and expand profit
margins. But the company forecast gross margins of 13 to 15
percent in the second quarter, about the same or lower than the
first quarter's 14.7 percent.
"They are not as low-cost a producer as a Trina TSL.N or
a Yingli (YGE.N) or even a Jinko (JKS.N)," Wedbush analyst
Christine Hersey said. "In the near term, the margin profile is
probably a bit of a concern."
Net income was $5.9 million, or 13 cents per share,
compared with $1.5 million, or 3 cents per share, a year ago.
Excluding a $17.2 million loss from foreign exchange
hedging, the company earned 44 cents a share. On that basis,
analysts were expecting a profit of 41 cents a share, according
to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue rose 31.6 percent to $443.4 million, above
analysts' estimate of $423.49 million, according to Thomson
The Ontario, Canada-based company -- which has most of its
manufacturing in China -- said in March that first-quarter
shipments would be in line with the fourth quarter's 237
megawatts. The company at the time also forecast gross margins
of 14 to 15 percent for the period.
On Wednesday, Canadian Solar reported shipments of 244 MW
and a gross margin of 14.7 percent.
For the full year, Canadian Solar still expects shipments
of 1.2 to 1.3 gigawatts.
In the second quarter, the company said shipments would be
between 245 MW and 255 MW.
Sales volumes to Canada would nearly double this year,
while Japanese demand, hurt by a devastating earthquake, will
return to normal levels in the third quarter, said Canadian
Solar Chief Executive Shawn Qu.
Shares of the company were down 2 percent at $9.60 in after
hours trading after closing at $9.80 on the Nasdaq.
(Reporting by Nichola Groom; Editing by Tim Dobbyn and Robert