April 29, 2009 / 4:16 AM / in 9 years

UPDATE 1-Ballard Power posts larger-than-expected Q1 loss

* Q1 net loss $0.22/shr vs consensus loss of $0.14/shr

* Revenue falls 50 pct

* Sees shipments ramping up over second half of year

* Sees FY 09 revenue at low end of growth target (Figures in U.S. dollars unless noted)

April 29 (Reuters) - Canadian fuel-cell maker Ballard Power Systems BLD.TO posted a wider-than-expected quarterly loss, hurt by a 50 percent drop in revenues primarily due to a slowdown in the automotive sector.

The company, which cut 7 percent of its workforce in March, said its revenue growth for the full year is more likely to be at the low end of its 15 percent to 30 percent target given the current economic environment.

For the first quarter, Ballard posted a net loss of $18.6 million or 22 cents a share, compared with a profit of $81 million, or 87 cents a share a year ago.

Excluding certain items, the company’s normalized net loss was 21 cents a share.

Revenue fell to $8.1 million from $16 million in the year-ago quarter. Total product shipments fell 32 percent to 192 units but the company confirmed its full-year forecast of 4,000 units and said it expects shipments to ramp up over the back half of the year.

Analysts on average expected the company to post a loss of 14 cents a share excluding items, on revenue of $13.9 million for the quarter, according to Reuters Estimates. (Reporting by Jennifer Robin Raj in Bangalore; Editing by Lincoln Feast)

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