UPDATE 1-ReneSola expects revenue above estimates as prices stabilize
* Expects first-quarter revenue of $260-$270 mln vs est $204.2 mln
* Forecasts positive margins for the first quarter
* Full-year shipments to rise to 2.7-2.9 GW
* Fourth-quarter revenue rise 63 pct to $306.5 mln
* Shares rise 9 pct (Adds details, share movement)
March 13 (Reuters) - ReneSola Ltd, a Chinese solar wafer and panel maker, forecast bigger-than-expected revenue for the current quarter as selling prices begin to stabilize after a sharp fall over the past two years, sending its shares up 9 percent.
Solar companies have been hit by an excess supply and a fall in demand in Europe, the biggest market for solar products, that sent prices for solar panels plunging nearly 30 percent in 2012 on top of a more than 30 percent slump in 2011.
ReneSola said weak prices offset the gains from a doubling of shipments to 713.2 megawatts (MW) in the fourth quarter, pushing the company to its sixth straight quarterly loss.
Unlike many China-based solar companies, ReneSola sources cells from outside the country. This has helped it escape steep U.S. import duties on solar products using China-made cells. Continued...