Evergreen posts loss after plant closure

DEVENS, MASSACHUSETTS - U.S. solar panel maker Evergreen Solar Inc recorded a $411 million net loss for the fourth quarter after taking charges and write-downs for closing its Devens, Massachusetts manufacturing plant.

Net loss for the quarter was $411 million, or $11.99 per share, compared with a net loss of $98.4 million, or $2.88 per share, in the same period a year ago.

Revenue rose 20 percent to $89.3 million from $74.5 million last year.

The company's average selling prices fell 6 percent to $1.90 per watt from $2.02 per watt in the third quarter.

With the closure of its Devens facility, Evergreen is better positioned to become a supplier of low-cost silicon wafers, Chief Executive Michael El-Hillow said in a statement.

Evergreen, which is based in Marlboro, Massachusetts, last month said it would close its Devens factory and cut 800 jobs to preserve cash. Its products have faced stiff competition from cheaper Chinese rivals, and Evergreen has pursued a strategy to outsource manufacturing to China.

Evergreen's string ribbon silicon wafers use half the polysilicon of traditional products, but are still sold at a premium to peers.


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