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Trina Solar cuts 1st-qtr shipments forecast

NEW YORK (AP) -- Chinese solar panel maker Trina Solar Ltd. on Tuesday cut its estimate for solar module shipments in the quarter that ended in March, sending its shares lower in morning trading.

Trina Solar now anticipates shipments of 390 to 400 megawatts, down from a previous forecast of 420 to 430 megawatts. The company reports full results for the first quarter on May 29, and it may revise its shipments outlook for the year then.

Solar companies have suffered a steep drop in prices for their products after an aggressive push by China into the market, increasing supply even as European governments cut back on solar subsidies. Trina Solar hasn't posted a yearly profit since 2010, and analysts polled by FactSet expect annual losses through 2015.

For the first quarter, Trina Solar expects its gross margin — how much revenue it keeps as profit after costs — of 1 to 3 percent. That's in line with a prior outlook.

Shares of the company dropped 40 cents, or 6.8 percent, to $5.53 in morning trading Tuesday. The stock is off 20 percent in the past 12 months.