Suntech Power Holdings Co. on Thursday said the company earned nearly $50 million in the fourth quarter after reducing expenses while boosting shipments of solar products to the U.S. The company posted a loss in the same period of 2008.

The Chinese solar company reported net income of $49.9 million, or 27 cents per American depositary share, for the final three months of 2009. That compares with a loss of $109 million, or 69 cents per ADS, a year earlier.

Revenue grew 41 percent to $583.6 million.

Analysts had expected earnings of 12 cents a share on revenue of $468.3 million, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

For the full year, Suntech reported earnings of $91.5 million, or 53 cents per ADS. That compares with earnings of $32.5 million, or 20 cents per ADS, in 2008. Annual revenue slid 12 percent to $1.69 billion.

This year, Suntech said it expects to boost shipments in the first quarter by 5 to 10 percent, compared with the fourth quarter of 2009. It plans to ship more than 1.25 gigawatts of solar products by the end of the year.

The company also expects to increase capital spending by about 40 percent to $200 million this year.

Suntech shares increased 77 cents, or 5.6 percent, to $14.45 in afternoon trading.