UPDATE 2-Canadian Solar returns to profit, eyes power plant spinoff

Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:47am EST
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* Says turned profitable on sales of power plants

* Third-quarter profit $0.56/share vs loss $1.01/share year earlier

* Expects full-year panel shipments at high end of forecast

* Shares rise 12 pct to four-year high (Adds executive, analyst comments)

By Swetha Gopinath

Nov 13 (Reuters) - Canadian Solar Inc is considering spinning off a unit to operate some of the high-margin solar power plants that helped the company to its first profit in nine quarters.

Canadian Solar's shares rose 12 percent to a four-year high on Wednesday after the company posted a quarterly profit that Chief Executive Shawn Qu said had laid the ground for its first full profitable year since 2010.

By moving into power plant construction, Canadian Solar has cut its dependence on the more competitive business of selling panels and other solar products. Its stock has risen eightfold this year, making it the best performer in the solar industry.

The Guelph, Ontario-based company, which has most of its manufacturing operations in China, plans to create a unit that would hold and operate these plants after construction, Chief Financial Officer Michael Potter said on a post-earnings call.   Continued...