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MEMC Electronic 1Q Loss Narrows On Better Solar Performance

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES MEMC Electronic Materials Inc.'s (WFR) first-quarter loss narrowed, though adjusted results still missed analysts' estimates, as revenue jumped sharply, helped by strength in the company's solar segments. "Our first quarter results demonstrate continued operating improvement in the face of several unanticipated unfavorable events, including legal verdicts and the Japan earthquake," said Chief Executive Ahmad Chatila. MEMC, which makes silicon wafers for the solar and semiconductor industries, has benefited from increased sales in recent quarters. MEMC reported a loss of $4.5 million, or 2 cents a share, narrowed from $9.6 million, or 4 cents, a year earlier. Excluding items related to its SunEdison segment, earnings were 9 cents from a loss of 3 cents. Revenue jumped 68% to $735.9 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently forecast earnings of 13 cents on $639 million in revenue. Gross margin rose to 15.5% from 13.5%. Sales in both its solar-energy and solar-materials segments more than doubled. Shares rose 1.3% to $11.51 after hours. As of the close, the stock had fallen 8.8% the past year. -By Nathan Becker, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2855;

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