North Coast Solar Stocks

April 30, 2009

Evergreen Solar Posts Large Q1 Loss On Loan Writedown

Filed under: ESLR — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 4:36 pm

Posted by Eric Savitz

Evergreen Solar (ESLR) this afternoon posted Q1 revenue of $55.8 million, ahead of the Street consensus of $49.2 million. But the company posted a loss for the quarter of 40 cents a share, much larger than the Street consensus of 8 cents. The miss largely reflects a $43.9 million write-off of a loan and related interest to a “future silicon supplier,” as well as $3.5 million in startup-costs for manufacturing facilities and $1.8 million in costs related to the shutdown of a facility in Marlboro, Mass.

The company said it it produced 18.2 MW in the quarter, up from 8.5 MW in Q4, and sold 17.3 MW at an average selling price of $3.13 per watt, down from $3.39 in Q4.

In a sign that solar demand remains weak, despite the impressive results yesterday from First Solar, Evergreen also said that while it could meet its production goal of 30 MW in Q2, “softness in demand due to tight credit markets and uncertain economic conditions,” will likely result in production and sales in the 20-25 MW range. The company said it is on target to reach capacity of 40 MW of production at its Devens plant by the end of 2009, with manufacturing costs of about $2 a watt.

Gross margin in the latest quarter fell to 1.2%, from 4.6% in Q4, and 33.6% a year ago.

Meanwhile, the company also announced an agreement to expand production with a subcontractor in Wuhan, China. The facility there is expected to have capacity for 100 MW at launch in Q2 2010, with capacity for 500 MW by 2012. The new facility will cost between $40 million and $50 million, the company said. Evergreen said it will seek financing for about two third of that. The company said the facility should be able to produce panels in the range of $1.40 to $1.50 a watt initially, with a reduction to $1 a watt by the end of 2012.

In late trading, ESLR is down 32 cents, or 13.2%, to $2.11.


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