January 30, 2008 / 9:47 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Evergreen Solar posts unexpected profit, shares up

(Recasts, adds revenue, forecasts, background)

LOS ANGELES, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Solar power company Evergreen Solar Inc ESLR.O on Wednesday reported an unexpected quarterly profit thanks to strength at its EverQ joint venture with Q-Cells AG QCEG.DE and Renewable Energy Corp ASA (REC.OL).

The company’s shares rose 2.7 percent following the announcement.

Fourth-quarter net income was $788,000, or a penny per share, compared with a loss of $3.7 million, or 4 cents per share, a year ago.

Wall Street analysts, on average, had been expecting a net loss of 4 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Evergreen Solar is a maker of so-called thin-film solar products, which require less of the costly silicon that is traditionally used to make solar cells and panels. EverQ manufactures solar wafers, cells and panels using Evergreen’s “String Ribbon” technology.

Revenue in the fourth quarter was $22.2 million, above Wall Street’s average estimate of $20.2 million, according to Reuters Estimates. EverQ accounted for $5.3 million of the company’s revenue. In the same period last year, Evergreen recorded revenue of $18.2 million.

    For the first quarter, Evergreen forecast revenue of $21.5 million to $22 million, including $5 million of fees and royalty payments from EverQ.

    Analysts are expecting revenue of $20.2 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

    Evergreen forecast a first-quarter net loss of $7 million to $8 million.

    Evergreen shares rose to $12.30 after closing at $11.98 on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Nichola Groom; Editing by Gary Hill)

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