North Coast Solar Stocks

November 10, 2009

JA Solar posts quarterly profit as shipments surge

Filed under: JASO — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 12:17 pm

Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:17pm EST

* Q3 EPS 10 cts, tops Wall St view of 3 cts

* Quarterly shipments a record high

* Q3 revenue $193.3 mln; Wall Street view $136 mln

* Shares up nearly 2 pct

By Matt Daily and Laura Isensee

NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES – JA Solar Holdings Co Ltd (JASO) reported record high quarterly shipments on Tuesday as demand rebounded, lifting the Chinese solar cell maker to a profit and sending its shares up nearly 2 percent.

Solar companies have suffered through a difficult 12 months as financing for new projects dried up during the global credit crisis and countries cut back on subsidies, leading to a glut of supplies that depressed prices.

Still, JA Solar, one of the sector’s lowest-cost producers of the silicon cells that help convert sunlight into electricity, said it had seen a rebound in demand in September and October that it expects to last into December.

“More important than anything else, the company is gaining traction on securing new customers, but also they’ve smartened up to the fact that it might make sense for them to make modules because their customers keep asking them for modules,” said Simmons & Co analyst Burt Chao.

Chao added that JA Solar’s quarterly results were expected to be good but came in farther ahead of “our already elevated expectations.”

The results reflect the strength of low-cost producers, specifically Chinese solar power players, he said.

JA Solar’s shipments in the third quarter reached 177 megawatts, more than double the 77 MW it shipped in the second quarter and nearly 80 percent above the year-earlier third quarter.

Third-quarter net earnings were $17.3 million, or 10 cents per share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $18 million, or 36 cents per share.

The profit topped analysts’ average forecast of 3 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue fell 38 percent to $193.3 million but beat analysts’ average estimate of $136 million.

Demand outstripped output capacity by nearly threefold, company executives said on a conference call, and sales to smaller Chinese solar module makers increased.

But the company, the market leader inside China, said it expects its average selling price to slip 3 percent to 8 percent in the fourth quarter after a 7 percent decline in the third quarter.

Shipments in the fourth quarter are expected at 170 MW to 200 MW, with full-year shipments at 448 MW to 478 MW.

JA Solar shares rose as much as 10 percent to $4.54 in morning Nasdaq trading before falling back to $4.20, up nearly 2 percent.

(Reporting by Matt Daily in New York and Laura Isensee in Los Angeles; editing by Lisa Von Ahn and John Wallace)

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