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Fuel Systems Solutions reports surprise 1Q loss

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of alternate fuel company Fuel Systems Solutions Inc. plunged 18 percent Thursday after the company reported an unexpected loss for the first quarter as higher costs ate into gains from rising revenue.

The company said that during the quarter ended March 31, it had a net loss of $1.2 million, or 6 cents per share, compared with net income of $374,000, or 2 cents per share, in the same period a year before.

Analysts had been expecting net income of 6 cents per share in the quarter, according to FactSet.

Revenue rose 7 percent to $97.4 million from $90.8 million as demand for parts rose in international markets. Analysts were expecting $98.1 million in revenue.

The company said that research and development expenses rose, along with administrative costs. Total operating costs rose 15 percent to $21.5 million.

Fuel Systems Solutions makes and sells auto parts that let vehicles run on alternative fuels. The company said that it expects growth in European markets this year. In the United States, Fuel Systems could get a boost in the second half of the year as more vehicles are launched that run on alternative fuels, the company said.

The company is also planning on product rollouts in Asia and Latin America.

Shares dropped $4.36, or 18.5 percent, to close at $19.20. The stock has traded between $15.35 and $29.41 over the last year, and is down 19 percent over the past three months.