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First Solar plans to sell 8.5M shares

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- First Solar Inc. said Tuesday that it plans to sell 8.5 million shares of stock.

The solar company said the underwriters of the sale will have the option to buy another 1.3 million shares to cover any over allotments. It plans to use the proceeds from the sale for general corporate purposes, potentially including acquisitions or investments.

The company had 87.8 million shares on the market as of May 3.

Earlier Tuesday First Solar backed its annual sales and income guidance but said the sales of some projects in Canada might close in the second half of the year instead of the second quarter. That would hurt its sales in the current quarter. First Solar still expects $4 to $4.50 per share in annual net income and $3.8 billion to $4 billion in revenue.

Analysts expect net income of $4.20 per share and $3.87 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

Shares fell 7.3 percent to close at $52.29 and lost $4.03, or 7.7 percent, to $48.26 in aftermarket trading.

First Solar shares have more than quadrupled in value over the last year. The stock has climbed 29.2 percent since early April, when First Solar offered initial guidance for the year. Its outlook was better than expected, and the company also gave solid predictions for the following two years. It forecast continued growth in module shipments, and some analysts said that suggested the struggling solar industry might soon turn a corner.