Solar Earnings Recap: First Solar and MEMC Electronic Mats.

1) First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR): First Solar, Inc. designs and manufactures solar electric power modules using a proprietary thin film semiconductor technology. Net income fell to $61.1 million (70 cents per share) vs. $159 million ($1.84 per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 61.6% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue fell 9.4% to $532.8 million from the year earlier quarter. FSLR fell short of the mean analyst estimate of 93 cents per share. It fell short of the average revenue estimate of $583.4 million. The stock closed down -2.33%.

“First Solar continued to execute in the quarter despite a challenging European market, and our 2011 outlook remains solid due to our differentiated and resilient business model,” said Rob Gillette, CEO of First Solar. “We expect stronger performance in the second half of 2011 as we build projects from our systems pipeline, develop promising new markets, execute our cost reduction roadmaps and continue to improve module efficiencies.”

Competitors to Watch: SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWRA), Suntech Power Hldgs. Co., Ltd. (NYSE:STP), Trina Solar Limited (NYSE:TSL), General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), Yingli Green Energy Hold. Co. Ltd. (NYSE:YGE), MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc. (NYSE:WFR), Evergreen Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:ESLR), Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENER), DayStar Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:DSTI), and Ascent Solar Tech., Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTI).

2) MEMC Electronic Materials (MEMC): Memc Electronic Material manufactures and sells silicon wafers that are used primarily in semiconductor and solar energy technologies. Net income for the company rose to $47.3 million (21 cents per share) vs. $13.8 million (6 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This is a more than threefold rise from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 66.3% to $745.6 million from the year earlier quarter. The company reported adjusted net income of 29 cents per share. By that measure, it beat the mean estimate of 7 cents per share. It beat the average revenue estimate of $702.8 million. MEMC stock fell -7.97% in trading Friday.

“Our second quarter results demonstrate the resilience of our company following the Japan earthquake and in the midst of a severe solar materials downturn,” said MEMC’s CEO Ahmad Chatila. “Our Semiconductor Materials business recovered quickly from the March earthquake in Japan, and 300mm wafer output is now at pre-earthquake levels despite softening demand in underlying semiconductor markets. Responding quickly to market conditions in solar wafers, our Solar Materials business took actions to restructure customer and supplier agreements and right-size the business.”

Competitors to Watch: Daqo New Energy Corp. (NYSE:DQ), AXT, Inc. (NASDAQ:AXTI), First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR), SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWRA), Spansion Inc. (NYSE:CODE), Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), GT Solar Intl., Inc. (NASDAQ:SOLR), Hoku Corporation (NASDAQ:HOKU), Cymer, Inc. (NASDAQ:CYMI), and Photronics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLAB).