US solar energy firm First Solar said Tuesday it would cut 30 percent of its global workforce due to Europe's financial woes, scaling back operations in Germany and Malaysia.
First Solar, a leading maker of thin-film solar panels, blamed "deteriorating market conditions in Europe," for a decision that will cost 2,000 jobs worldwide.
The firm said it planned to close its manufacturing operations in Frankfurt in late 2012 and "indefinitely" idle four production lines in Kulim, Malaysia, on May 1.
Job losses will also be felt in the United States.
First Solar's share price has fallen over 83 percent in the last year amid a slew of lawsuits over manufacturing faults and as Germany phases out solar-power subsidies.
"After a thorough analysis, it is clear the European market has deteriorated to the extent that our operations there are no longer economically sustainable," said Mike Ahearn, chairman and acting chief executive, in a statement.
"Maintaining those operations is not in the best long-term interest of our stakeholders."
Ahearn insisted the company was committed to doing business in Europe, particularly for large-scale utility projects.
Investors welcomed the news. First Solar shares shot up 12.6 percent to $23.44 in midday trade in New York.
"What happens when you are the de facto king of solar, get an analyst downgrade, have no full-time CEO, announce factory closures, and announce broad layoffs? It might not be a sign of any strength and it may pose a material weakness but the Wall Street reaction is somehow positive," said Jon Ogg at 24/7WallSt.com.