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First Solar posts profit, backs 2013 view

(Reuters) - First Solar Inc reported a first-quarter profit after a loss in the previous year, helped by higher sales of solar modules, and the company maintained its full-year outlook.

The U.S. solar company posted a net profit of $59.1 million, or 66 cents per share, for the first quarter. This compares with a loss of $449.4 million, or $5.20 per share, in the year-ago period, which included $444 million in restructuring charges and costs in excess of normal warranty.

Excluding items, First Solar earned 69 cents a share, below the 75 cents expected on average by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 52 percent to $755.2 million, above Wall Street expectations of $725.3 million.

"We remain on track for the year and reaffirm our full-year 2013 financial guidance," Chief Executive Jim Hughes said in a statement.

First Solar shares, which have gained 55 percent this year, rose a little more than 1 percent in extended trade. On April 9, the stock notched its biggest single-day gain after the company said revenue and earnings for the next three years will come in well above Wall Street estimates at the time.

The company is based in Tempe, Arizona.

(Reporting By Kanika Sikka in Bangalore; Editing by Anthony Kurian and Steve Orlofsky)

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