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Sector Snap: solar cos. trade mostly higher

NEW YORK (AP) -- Solar companies traded mostly higher on Tuesday as Yingli Green Energy Holdings Co. raised its first-quarter solar shipment forecast.

Yingli now anticipates a 6 percent to 7 percent decline in shipments quarter-over-quarter. This is better than its prior guidance, which called for a low to mid-teen percentage drop.

The company's stock rose 59 cents, or 19 percent, to $3.69 in afternoon trading.

Yingli's revised outlook comes one day after Chinese panel maker JA Solar Holdings Co. announced a rare rise in first-quarter revenue and a smaller-than-expected loss for the period.

Shares of JA Solar gained 51 cents, or 5.4 percent, to $10.07.

A worldwide glut of solar panels sent panel prices plummeting in recent years and eviscerated the profits of solar panel makers around the world. The glut was caused by an increase in manufacturing capacity at a time when renewable energy subsidies had begun to shrink, especially in debt-strapped Europe, the world's biggest solar market.

Shares in solar companies suffered as a result, but in recent months investors have snapped up shares on any news that the panel glut could be easing, sales were beginning to rise, or the price drop was beginning to slow.

Here's how some other solar companies are faring on Tuesday:

Trina Solar Ltd. added 67 cents, or 9.9 percent, to $7.45.

LDK Solar rose 20 cents, or 10.9 percent, to $2.03.

SunPower Corp. fell $1.34, or 6.9 percent, to $21.36.

JinkoSolar Holding Co. rose 30 cents, or 3.3 percent, to $9.39.

Canadian Solar Inc. declined 68 cents, or 7.4 percent, to $8.50.

First Solar Inc. gained $1.07, or 2 percent, to $55.96.