July 31, 2012 / 12:47 PM / in 5 years

UPDATE 1-Canadian Solar raises quarterly profit margin view

July 31 (Reuters) - Canadian Solar Inc trimmed its estimate for second-quarter sales, but raised its outlook for profit margins, sending its shares rallying on Tuesday.

The company, which is based in Canada but has most of its operations in China, said its sales would come in between 410 and 420 megawatts for the quarter, down from the 430 to 450 MW it had forecast in May.

Gross profit margins, however, climbed to an estimated range of 12 percent to 12.5 percent, helped by one-time items that are expected to add 4 percentage points, the company said. It had previously forecast margins of 8 percent to 10 percent.

On Monday, rival Trina Solar Ltd cut its estimate of second-quarter profit margins to a range of 7 percent to 9 percent from 10 percent. It said sales would be between 390 and 420 MW, lower than its previous target of 500 to 520 MW.

Solar companies have been stung by a sharp drop in panel prices over the past 18 months, which has shrunk their profit margins and forced many weaker players to close factories.

Shares of Canadian Solar were up 13 percent at $2.99 in premarket trading.

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