March 13, 2013 / 2:41 PM / 5 years ago

MEMC says solar energy systems sales to slump, shares fall

(Reuters) - Silicon wafer maker MEMC Electronic Materials Inc WFR.N said its sales of solar energy systems would fall in the first quarter from the fourth, sending its shares down 12 percent.

MEMC estimated it would sell 10 megawatts (MW) to 38 MW of solar energy systems in the first quarter ending March 31 on an adjusted basis. It sold 91 MW in the fourth quarter.

The company’s solar energy business designs, installs, finances, operates, monitors and maintains solar power plants for its customers.

Revenue from its semiconductor business, which makes wafers used in semiconductor devices, is expected to be in the range of $228 million to $235 million, compared with $228.5 million in the fourth quarter, the company said.

The St. Peters, Missouri-based company, which plans to change its name to SunEdison Inc, also said it launched a new business that will raise capital to develop, build and finance solar power plants.

Financing for projects is usually provided by development companies and their outside investors but large companies are also entering into the market.

    Google Inc (GOOG.O) has led the way, sinking about $1 billion into solar, while Chevron Corp (CVX.N) is also pouring millions of dollars into funding new projects.

    MEMC’s shares were down 11 percent at $4.82 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday in morning trade.

    Reporting By Kanika Sikka in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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