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First Solar third-quarter net earnings drop 55 percent

LOS ANGELES, Nov 1 (Reuters) - First Solar Inc, the biggest U.S. solar panel maker, on Thursday posted a 55 percent drop in third-quarter net earnings due to restructuring charges and lower revenue.

Net income was $87.9 million, or $1.00 per share, compared with $196.5 million, or $2.25 per share, a year ago.

Excluding restructuring charges, the company earned $1.27 per share, easily beating the average analyst forecast of $1.04, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue fell 17 percent to $839.1 million from $1.01 billion last year.

First Solar said it expects full-year revenue of $3.5 billion to $3.8 billion, down from a prior view of $3.6 billion to $3.9 billion, due to weather-related disruptions in its supply chain.

Full-year earnings are expected to be between $4.40 a share and $4.70 a share, compared with a prior view of $4.20 to $4.70 per share.

First Solar, like others in the industry, has struggled due to a sharp drop in the price of solar panels that has squeezed profit margins and forced many companies to shut down plants and some to go out of business.

First Solar shares were up 5 percent in extended trade at $26.11 after closing at $24.74 on the Nasdaq.