First Solar

(FSLR) - Get First Solar, Inc. Report

said its fourth-quarter profit skyrocketed despite the poor economic outlook during the period.

Shares of First Solar were up 13% to $137.68 in after-hours trading.

First Solar earned $132.8 million, or $1.61 per share, compared with $62.9 million, or 77 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2007. The company generated quarterly revenue of $433.7 million compared with $200.8 million in the year-ago period.

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Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.30 per share and revenue of $410.4 million, according to Thomson Reuters.

The company also announced that its manufacturing cost for solar panel models fell to 98 cents per watt, breaking the $1 per watt price barrier.

"This achievement marks a milestone in the solar industry's evolution toward providing truly sustainable energy solutions," said Mike Ahearn, CEO of First Solar, in a prepared statement.

"Bank lending continues to be slow in almost all markets," Ahearn said in a conference call with investors. "We consider a small number of our customers under financial stress."

First Solar makes solar modules primarily for power companies and renewable energy project developers in Europe. the company's stock has plunged since a historic spike in oil prices last year helped it reach an all-time high of $317 per share.

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