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UPDATE 1-Canadian Solar profit rises on sale of power plants

(Corrects headline to remove incorrect reference to profit doubling. Corrects paragraph 1 and paragraph 11 to say profit rose nearly four-fold, not nearly doubled. Corrects paragraph 12 to say revenue rose 86 percent, not 47 percent)

Nov 12 (Reuters) - Canadian Solar Inc's quarterly profit rose more than four-fold as its shift in focus from panel sales to the more profitable business of building solar power plants pays off.

The company's share rose 8 percent in light trading before the bell.

The company said it sold five utility-scale solar power projects in Canada in the third quarter ended Sept. 30.

Despite the change in strategy, the Guelph, Ontario-based company, which has most of its manufacturing operations in China, raised its 2014 panel shipment forecast to 2.73-2.78 gigawatts (GW) from 2.5-2.7 GW.

Canadian Solar also raised its full-year revenue forecast to $2.93 billion-$2.98 billion from $2.7 billion-$2.9 billion and said it planned to add 500 megawatts (MW) of panel-making capacity in China to meet growing demand.

Canadian Solar is looking to expand in emerging solar markets to avoid anti-dumping duties in the United States and Europe.

The company, like its Chinese rivals, was slapped with fresh U.S. duties in July aimed at restricting the flow of cheap China- and Taiwan-made solar products into the United States.

Canadian Solar forecast fourth-quarter gross margins of 17-19 percent, lower than the 22.9 percent it reported in the third quarter, citing the impact of the anti-dumping duties and a rising U.S. dollar.

However, the company said it expects shipments in the quarter to rise to 810 MW-860 MW from 770 MW in the third quarter.

Canadian Solar forecast quarterly revenue of $925 million- $975 million, slightly below analysts' average estimate of $977.43 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net profit attributable to the company rose nearly four-fold to $104.2 million, or $1.75 per share, in the third quarter, well above the average analyst estimate of $1.16 per share.

Revenue shot up 86 percent to $914.4 million, exceeding market expectations of $803.2 million.

Canadian Solar shares closed at $31.47 on the Nasdaq on Tuesday. Up to Tuesday's close, the company's stock had risen nearly 10 percent in the past 12 months.

(Reporting By Swetha Gopinath and Shubhankar Chakravorty in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings)