UPDATE 2-Weak panel prices weigh on Canadian Solar

Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:39am EST
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* Estimates 4th-qtr revenue of $510-$520 mln vs est. $556 mln

* Expects to post fourth-quarter profit

* Shares down 4 pct

By Swetha Gopinath

Feb 11 (Reuters) - Canadian Solar Inc's fourth-quarter revenue estimate missed analysts' estimates as weak panel prices more than offset a rise in demand, sending its shares down 4 percent.

The company, most of whose manufacturing operations are in China, estimated that it shipped between 605 megawatt (MW) and 620 MW of solar panels in the quarter, higher than its target of 480-500 MW.

Still, its fourth-quarter revenue estimate of $510 million-$520 million came in below the average analyst estimate of $556 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Solar companies are seeing increased demand for panels and other products, primarily in China and Japan, but prices remain depressed as excess supplies continue to flood the market.

To cut its dependence on the hyper-competitive business of selling panels, Canadian Solar has made a big push into building solar power plants, a high-margin business.   Continued...