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The Associated Press March 8, 2011, 7:22PM ET

Suntech Power 4Q profit boosted by affiliates

Suntech Power Holdings Co., the world's largest maker of solar panels, said Tuesday that its fourth-quarter jumped sharply because of its share of the profits of affiliates.

The company earned $383.4 million, or $2.02 per American depositary share, for the quarter ended Dec. 31, up from $44 million, or 24 cents per ADS, during the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 61.9 percent to $945.1 million, from $583.6 million a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting revenue of $842.4 million.

The net income included $322.9 million in profits from affiliates, mostly because of a $250 million increase in the value of the Global Solar Fund, which completed solar projects during the quarter. Once those projects are sold, they will generate cash for Suntech, the company said.

Income from operations for the quarter rose to $90.2 million, from $87 million a year earlier.

Suntech said it expects first-quarter photovoltaic shipments to be flat compared to the fourth quarter. It expects 2011 revenue of $3.4 billion to $3.6 billion, matching an estimate it gave in December.

For all of 2010, the company earned $262.3 million, or $1.44 per ADS, up from $85.6 million, or 50 cents per ADS, for 2009. Revenue rose 71.3 percent to $2.9 billion, from $1.69 billion a year earlier.

Suntech's U.S.-traded shares jumped 33 cents, or 3.7 percent, to $9.33 in extended trading following the earnings report.

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