North Coast Solar Stocks

December 14, 2009

JA Solar gives sunny forecast for 4th quarter 2010

Filed under: JASO, STP, TSL — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 7:47 pm

Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:47pm EST

* Shipments in 4th quarter to exceed 210 megawatts

* Expects shipments in 2010 to be 750 MW to 800 MW

* Shares up 6 pct at $5.65 each after closing up 16 pct

LOS ANGELES, Dec 14 (Reuters) – JA Solar Holdings Co Ltd (JASO) expects an uptick in demand to continue, as the company upped its forecast for shipments in the fourth quarter and expects annual shipments to rise 60 percent in 2010.

JA Solar, one of the sector’s lowest-cost producers of the silicon cells that help convert sunlight into electricity, issued on Monday a bright forecast for the full year and gave investors the first glimpse at demand for the company’s products in 2010.

Solar companies struggled for much of 2009 with a dearth of financing and drop in panel prices, but JA Solar and other solar power players have seen demand rebound in recent months.

In particular, JA Solar and other low cost Chinese solar players, such as Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd (STP) and Trina Solar(TSL), have seized on rising demand, parlaying their low cost structures into sales.

In the third quarter, JA Solar saw its shipments surge, lifting the solar cell maker to a profit.

For the fourth quarter, JA Solar expects shipments to exceed 210 megawatts, topping its previous expectations of a range of 170 to 200 MW.

For 2009, JA Solar expects shipments for 2009 to surpass 488 MW, which represents nearly the same amount of power that a traditional coal-fired power plant generates.

The company said it sees “strong shipments” in 2010 and predicted that they would rise more than 60 percent next year and reach a range of 750 MW and 800 MW, citing “robust orders from existing customers and new customer wins.”

“Demand has continued to be strong from our existing customers as well as new customers,” said Baofang Jin, the company’s chairman and chief executive, in a statement.

The news marked a “positive in the short term, but more of a neutral” for the year ahead, said Simmons and Co analyst Burt Chao.

Chao said the forecast for 2010 indicated a strong first half, but was not “far and above” previous expectations.

“Things are better than they used to be but I don’t think they’re all the way back,” Chao said, citing low module prices and issues with financing.

“In a downward trending price environment, the low cost guys are the most insulated. This has been the case,” he said.

JA Solar’s board of directors also moved on Monday to repurchase up to $75 million of its American Depositary Shares, or ADSs. The company plans to buy back the shares on the open market, through negotiations off the market and in block trades “from time to time.”

JA Solar shares were up 6 percent, or 35 cents, at $5.65 each in after-hours trading after closing up nearly 16 percent in regular trading on Monday on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Laura Isensee; editing by Phil Berlowitz, Gunna Dickson and Andre Grenon)

JA Solar Expects Q4 2009 Shipments to Exceed Prior Guidance; Issues Full Year 2010 Guidance

Filed under: JASO — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 4:05 pm

4:05 pm EST, Monday December 14, 2009

SHANGHAI, Dec. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. (JASO), a manufacturer of high-performance solar products, announced today that based on current customer orders and product deliveries, it expects fourth quarter 2009 shipments to exceed the high-end of its prior guidance given on Nov 10, 2009. The company is raising its guidance for the full year of 2009, and issuing shipment guidance for the full year 2010.

Based on strong customer demand for JA Solar’s products, the company currently expects shipments for the fourth quarter of 2009 to exceed 210MW, compared with prior guidance in the range 170MW to 200MW. For the full year 2009, the company expects shipments to exceed 488MW, compared with prior guidance in the range of 448MW to 478MW.

“Demand has continued to be strong from our existing customers as well as new customers,” said Baofang Jin, chairman and CEO of JA Solar. “While we anticipate Q4 2009 to be even stronger than Q3 2009 in terms of shipments, we also expect strong shipments for the full year 2010 based on robust orders from existing customers and new customer wins.”

For the full year 2010, the company currently expects shipments to be in the range of 750MW to 800MW. “We continue to make progress in our global customer development, and are seeing strong demand for our high quality solar products from all major markets, including Germany, China, U.S., Italy, South Korea, Spain and France. We also expect strong growth from our newer markets, such as the Czech Republic and Japan,” said Baofang Jin.

MEMC Electronic Materials: Citi Cuts Target, Estimates On Lower Poly Prices

Filed under: WFR — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 1:19 pm

By Eric Savitz
barrons.com

Citigroup analyst Timothy Arcuri today trimmed his price target on MEMC Electronic Materials (WFR) to $16, from $20, and cut his EPS estimates to reflect lower spot market pricing for polysilicon. He now sees the poly and silicon wafer posting a 2009 loss of 22 cents a share, worse than his previous forecast of a loss of 5 cents. For 2010, he goes to 44 cents, from 57 cents.

Arcuri keeps his Hold rating on the stock.

WFR today is off 7 cents at $12.50.

December 10, 2009

Trony pulls IPO

Filed under: STRI, TRO — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 5:08 pm

Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:08pm EST

* Trony Solar IPO postponed indefinitely — underwriter

By Clare Baldwin

NEW YORK, Dec 10 (Reuters) – Chinese thin film solar company Trony Solar Holdings Co Ltd (TRO) postponed indefinitely its IPO due to weak market conditions, an underwriter said.

“Most liquidity is gone for new names. Books are just closed,” said Morningnotes.com founder Ben Holmes.

Holmes said year-end initial offerings often struggle.

A CROWDED MARKET

Shenzhen, China-based Trony Solar posted increased revenue and profits compared with a year ago, but likely postponed its offering amid concerns about future profit growth, analysts said. The offering would have been worth about $241.5 million, according to a regulatory filing.

Despite signs of a pickup in the industry, solar companies trying to go public are still struggling.

In November, Connecticut-based STR Holdings Inc (STRI), which makes products to hold solar modules together and protect them, priced below an already-reduced expected range. And last week Danish wind and solar park developer Scan Energy 18SE.DE canceled its IPO on weak demand from investors.

Chinese solar manufacturers typically have lower production costs, but tough competition in the sector and sluggish sales for the renewable energy systems outside China likely hurt the launch, said IPO Boutique senior managing partner Scott Sweet.

“The playing field is getting extremely crowded,” Sweet said. “Overseas, the sales have been light and some of the subsidies for solar have been pulled.”

Solar companies have struggled this year as prices for their cells and panels have fallen by half because of oversupply in the market. But demand has begun to pick up, raising hopes the industry will resume its steep growth path in 2010.

Simmons and Co analyst Burt Chao said Trony may benefit by waiting.

“It seems like most people are getting pretty excited about solar headed into the first half of next year. It would behoove management teams to wait a little bit for that to materialize to get a little bit of the upswing and the momentum,” Chao said.

JPMorgan Special Situations (Mauritius) Ltd and Intel Capital Corp, which currently own a combined 11.9 percent of the company, had each planned to sell half of their shares. Underwriters were led by J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse.

Three more IPOs are set to price on Thursday evening, including China-based Concord Medical Services Holdings Ltd, Ellington Financial LLC and KAR Auction Services Inc.

(Additional reporting by Steve Eder, Matt Daily and Laura Isensee; editing by Phil Berlowitz and Andre Grenon)

Trony Solar IPO shelves indefinitely-underwriter

Filed under: STRI, TRO — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 11:01 am

Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:01am EST

* Company has no new timetable for launching IPO

* IPO was expected to price in $9-$11 range

By Clare Baldwin

NEW YORK, Dec 10 (Reuters) – Chinese thin film solar company Trony Solar Holdings Co Ltd has postponed its initial public offering indefinitely due to weak market conditions, an underwriter said on Thursday.

The Shenzhen, China-based company had expected shares to sell for between $9 and $11 apiece, according to its most recent prospectus.

There is no new timetable for the launch of the shares, which were to have traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “TRO.”

Solar companies have struggled this year as prices for their cells and panels have fallen by half because of an oversupply in the market. But demand has begun to pick up, raising hopes the industry will resume its steep growth path in 2010.

Despite the pickup, solar companies trying to go public are still struggling. In November, Connecticut-based STR Holdings Inc (STRI), which provides encapsulants that protect a solar module’s semiconductor circuit, priced below an already-reduced expected range.

Chinese solar manufacturers typically have lower production costs, but tough competition in the sector and sluggish sales for the renewable energy systems outside China likely hurt the launch, said IPO Boutique senior managing partner Scott Sweet.

“The playing field is getting extremely crowded,” Sweet said. “Overseas, the sales have been light and some of the subsidies for solar have been pulled.”

Trony Solar reported revenue of 254.6 million yuan ($37.3 million) for the three months that ended Sept. 30, up 44.8 percent from a year before, and net profit of 72.5 million yuan, up 61.5 percent.

Trony Solar said in a regulatory filing the company planned to sell 15 million American Depositary Shares and shareholders would sell an additional 4.5 million shares, for a total of 19.5 million shares.

JPMorgan Special Situations (Mauritius) Ltd and Intel Capital Corp, which currently own a combined 11.9 percent of the company, are each selling half of their shares.

The offering is being led by J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse.

(Reporting by Clare Baldwin, Steve Eder and Matt Daily; editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Maureen Bavdek)

December 9, 2009

Applied Material’s solar exec sees sector recovery

Filed under: AMAT, STP, TSL — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 4:05 pm

Wed Dec 9, 2009 4:05pm EST

* Says co’s solar unit “on track” for profit in 2010

* Cites China’s solar incentive as top market factor

LOS ANGELES, Dec 9 (Reuters) – Applied Materials Inc (AMAT) expects the world’s solar power industry to rebound over the next two years, the head of its solar unit said on Wednesday.

“It could be substantial,” Mark Pinto, chief technology officer and general manager of Applied’s Energy and Environmental Solutions group, said in webcast remarks.

Applied Materials, the world’s largest chip equipment maker, is relying on its solar equipment arm to boost growth as its traditional chip business falters.

The solar power industry has been affected by the financial crisis and falling prices, but several companies such as Suntech Power Holdings (STP) and Trina Solar Ltd (TSL) see growing demand in 2010.

Pinto added the sector’s recovery depends on what happens at the global climate change summit taking place in Copenhagen and incentives for the renewable resource in China, which he called “the biggest single variable that can affect the total market.”

Applied Materials’s SunFab line of equipment anchors the thin-film photovoltaic portion of its business. Thin-film equipment, a segment of the burgeoning solar equipment market, has been walloped by tightening credit and cutbacks in some government subsidies.

The SunFab line sells at about $1.75 per watt and costs about $1 per watt, Pinto said in a presentation at Barclays Capital technology conference.

Most U.S. and European panel makers are selling panels near $2 per watt, while low-cost Chinese players sell at about $1.85. Thin film panel maker First Solar Inc is the cost leader at about $1.50 or $1.55 per watt.

Applied Materials’ expected revenue in 2010 is “pretty solid” Pinto said adding he was “pretty confident in thin film for this year.” The outlook for 2011 and beyond are not as clear.

The executive reiterated that he expects Applied Materials’ solar unit to turn a profit in 2010.

“We really feel we’re on track,” Pinto said, citing costs, factory performance and plan for profitability.

Pinto said that the company’s acquisition in November of privately held Advent Solar was a move for its intellectual property (IP) and the undisclosed amount paid was not “material” for the company.

“The issue is to take that IP and turn it into a product that would be used by a broader set of customers,” Pinto said.

The executive said he does not expect revenue from the acquisition until the end of 2011.

(Reporting by Laura Isensee in Los Angeles, Ian Sherr in San Francisco, editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

December 7, 2009

Solar ETFs Rally As Climate Talks Start

Filed under: FSLR, JASO, KWT, SPWR, STP, TAN, TSL — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 6:48 pm

By Trang Ho
6:48 pm EST, Monday December 7, 2009

Solar energy stocks led the market higher Monday on several analyst upgrades. In addition, the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, kicked off and the Environmental Protection Agency reported greenhouse gases are endangering people’s health and must be regulated.

Claymore/MAC Global Solar Energy (TAN) rose 3% to 10.07 in a little less than average volume. Shares broke above their 50-day moving average last week in scant volume.

The ETF has traded in a price channel between 8 and 11 for the past seven months. It has returned 27% year to date vs. 22% for the S&P 500. It carries Relative Strength and Accumulation/Distribution Ratings of 54 and B-.

Market Vectors Solar Energy (KWT) surged 4.7% to 15.31 in higher than usual volume. Shares have traded in a sideways band between about 12 and 16 for the past six months.

KWT has gained 18% this year. Its 44 RS and B- Acc/Dis Ratings are technically weaker than TAN’s.

“If both TAN and KWT break out above the channels they are trading in, then expect them to move to the price level of the recent high,” said Tom Bulkowski, a technical analyst and founder of ThePatternSite.com. “That means TAN could run to 11.50 and KWT to 18.”

Industry Developments

Barclays Capital upgraded JA Solar Holdings (JASO), SunPower (SPWRA, SPWRB) and Suntech Power Holdings (STP) Monday to overweight from equal weight. The three companies popped 10% to 12% on the news.

Suntech Power said last week it won a 17-megawatt supply contract for 2010 from a Canadian firm. Its shares have spiked 68% year to date.

A top holding in both ETFs, First Solar (FSLR), added to last week’s gains and closed at 135.05 in average volume. The stock has been trending lower, forming lower lows and lower highs, since May. It trades below both its 200- and 50-day moving averages. It is flat for the year.

Shares rallied Thursday. They continued higher Friday after Collins Stewart upgraded the stock to buy from hold. Pricing pressures in the solar market eased in recent months and demand is beginning to pick up, analyst Dan Ries wrote in a client note. First Solar fared better than its competitors during the recession because its cadmium-telluride panels are cheaper to make than the silicon-based ones that dominate the market.

(more…)

Barclays ups Suntech, SunPower, JA Solar

Filed under: JASO, SPWR, STP — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 1:11 pm

Mon Dec 7, 2009 1:11pm EST

* Barclays analyst upgrades Suntech, SunPower, JA Solar

* Cites improving demand trends in the near term

* Shares of companies up between 7.5 and 9.6 pct

Dec 7 (Reuters) – Barclays Capital upgraded three solar companies, including Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd (STP), and said it expects strong demand to continue into the first -half of 2010, and companies to report improving demand trends in the near term.

Analyst Vishal Shah who raised ratings on Suntech Power, SunPower Corp (SPWRA, SPWRB), JA Solar Holdings Co Ltd (JASO) to “overweight” from “equalweight,” said these three solar stocks were his top picks.

The news lifted shares of the solar companies sharply in trading on Monday.

The analyst upgraded Suntech Power, citing its potential for greater relative cost reduction, and raised his price target on the Chinese company’s stock to $20 from $15.

Shah said U.S. company SunPower’s current valuation is discounting the worst case scenario for 2010 earnings, and concerns over accounting irregularities may be overblown.

The analyst has a $35 price target on the solar panel maker.

On China’s JA Solar, Shah said he expects solar cell prices to stabilize and sees an upside to Street estimates resulting from better-than-expected shipments and cost reduction.

Shah raised his price target to $6 from $4 on JA Solar’s stock.

JA Solar shares were up 9.8 percent at $4.83, and SunPower Power shares were up 9.6 percent at $24.45 in trading on the Nasdaq, while those of Suntech were up 8.3 percent at $16.66 on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Arundhati Ramanathan in Bangalore and Laura Isensee in Los Angeles; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy and Gerald E. McCormick)

December 3, 2009

Energy Conversion Devices Announces Restructuring Plan

Filed under: ENER — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 6:14 pm

6:14 pm EST, Thursday December 3, 2009

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich., Dec. 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD) (ENER), the leading global manufacturer of light weight, thin-film flexible solar laminate products for the building-integrated and commercial rooftop markets, announced today that it has initiated a restructuring plan to better align operating expenses with near-term revenue expectations while positioning the company to more efficiently leverage future growth opportunities.

The specific restructuring actions include additional workforce reductions and the previously announced restructuring related to ECD’s acquisition of Solar Integrated Technologies. In connection with all restructurings, employees will be reduced by approximately 400, representing approximately 20 percent of ECD’s combined workforce.

These actions are expected to create annualized savings of approximately $17 million, with half to be realized in fiscal 2010.

ECD expects to record related charges of approximately $9 million in fiscal year 2010, including the previously announced restructuring costs related to ECD’s acquisition of Solar Integrated Technologies. This restructuring plan will be completed in fiscal 2010.

“We are committed to reducing our cost structure, while still satisfying the increasing demand for our products in the marketplace,” said Mark Morelli, ECD’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We expect our business will strengthen in the second half of our fiscal year, and these steps should lower our overall operating costs for both the near and long terms, and position our company to better capitalize on growth opportunities in our rooftop solar markets.”

December 1, 2009

SunPower Gains On Pacific Crest Upgrade

Filed under: SPWR — Tags: , , — Jason @ 9:56 am

By Eric Savitz
barrons.com

SunPower (SPWRA, SPWRB) shares are trading higher this morning after Pacific Crest analyst Mark Bachman lifted his rating on the stock to Outperform from Sector Perform.

Bachman says the recent “accounting debacle” at the solar company – SPWR found irregularities in the accounting practices of its unit in the Philippines – has provided “a unique buying opportunity.” While conceding that the accounting issue results in considerable risk, he adds that “the current stock price assumes a lower margin profile on future revenue, and thus the formal result from the investigation remains the primary headwind to investing in SunPower.”

He thinks the company can generate 20% gross margins going forward. Bachman says investors should look to 2011 revenue and earnings estimates to value SunPower, “as the stock is fully valued on 2010 estimates.” (Uh, can I just say that this seems like an odd approach to valuing stocks? Company you like looks too dear based on next year’s estimates? No worries. Just look out one more year, and the multiples shrink!)

Bachman lifted his 2010 EPS estimate to $1.44, from $1.31 (he’s still below the Street at $1.79), while introducing a 2011 estimate of $1.93.

SPWRA today is up $1.28, or 6.2%, to $21.95.

November 24, 2009

Yingli Slips As Broadpoint Downgrades

Filed under: YGE — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 10:58 am

By Eric Savitz
barrons.com

Yingli Green Energy (YGE) Shares are trading lower this morning after Broadpoint.Amtech analyst John Hardy cut his rating on the stock to Neutral from Buy.

Hardy says a beat-and-raise solar earnings season is now finished; with “big guidance for Q1,” he writes, the risk is now that the 2010 first half will disappoint.

In particular, he sees risks for Yingli as it gets ready to turn on significant polysilicon manufacturing capacity. “With commercial production expected to begin in Q4, we believe this will likely become an even bigger focus for investors,” he writes. Hardy notes that early cost targets are in line current spot poly pricing at $60/kg, creating risks to margins in the early stages of the project.

Hardy also says that the company’s balance sheet “remains an eyesore,” with $389 million in cash against $820 million in debt. But the stock nonetheless trades in line with other solar companies at about 17.5x 2010. He says paying more than 15x-16x is not warranted ahead of the poly ramp.

“Despite our view that the industry will enjoy a strong [2010 first half] and that YGE will benefit through volumes and firming ASPs, we do not see the risk/reward as favorable ahead of significant poly
manufacturing ramp coupled with current state of the balance sheet,” he writes.

YGE today is down 57 cents, or 4.1%, to $13.29.

November 23, 2009

China’s LDK posts surprise Q3 profit; shares up

Filed under: LDK, STP, TSL — Tags: , , , , , , , — Jason @ 12:50 pm

Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:50pm EST

* Q3 profit $0.27/ADS vs. est. loss of $0.10/ADS

* Sees sequentially higher shipments in Q4

* Sees Q4 sales above estimates

* Shares up 8.4 pct at $8.67 each

LOS ANGELES, Nov 23 (Reuters) – Chinese solar wafer maker LDK Solar Co Ltd (LDK) reported a surprise third- quarter profit on Monday and forecast better-than-expected fourth quarter sales and sequentially higher shipments, sending its shares up 8 percent in regular trading.

For the fourth quarter, LDK forecast sales between $280 million and $310 million, well above analysts’ estimates of $258.7 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company also expects higher wafer shipments of between 320 megawatts to 340 MW, compared with the 320.5 MW it shipped in the third quarter.

The company’s surprise profit was due to stronger gross margins and better material costs, as well as nearly $14 million in government subsidies, Needham and Co analyst Edwin Mok said.

“I am incrementally more positive about the company,” Mok added.

But he noted the balance sheet was “still an investor concern.”

LDK ended the third quarter with $1.1 billion in current assets, including $67.8 million in cash and cash equivalents, and $2.45 billion in current liabilities.

“The results are not as good as they appear at first blush,” Soleil Securities analyst Paul Leming said, adding that government grants and subsidies and other items helped the company’s earnings.

“Their level of debt is extremely worrisome. The fact that they still do not have their polysilicon plant up and running is bothersome.”

The solar wafer maker is working to produce its own polysilicon — a key raw material in the solar industry — in order to reduce costs.

(more…)

LDK Solar Reports Financial Results for Third Quarter 2009

Filed under: LDK — Tags: , , , , , , , — Jason @ 7:00 am

7:00 am EST, Monday November 23, 2009

XINYU CITY, China and SUNNYVALE, Calif., Nov. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — LDK Solar Co., Ltd. (“LDK Solar”; LDK), a leading manufacturer of multicrystalline solar wafers, today reported its unaudited financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2009.

All financial results are reported in U.S. dollars on a U.S. GAAP basis.

Recent Highlights:

* Third quarter 2009 revenue was $281.9 million;
* Shipped 320.5 MW of wafers, up 26.8% year-over-year;
* Gross margin for the third quarter of fiscal 2009 was 20.1%;
* Net income was $29.4 million, or $0.27 per diluted ADS;
* Increased wafer capacity to 1.7 GW and started pilot production at first 5,000 metric ton (MT) train in 15,000 MT polysilicon plant; and
* Sold a 15% ownership stake in 15,000 MT annualized capacity polysilicon plant to Jiangxi International Trust and Investment Co., Ltd. for RMB1.5 billion (equivalent to approximately US$219 million)

Net sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2009 were $281.9 million, compared to $228.3 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2009, and $541.8 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2008.

For the third quarter of fiscal 2009, gross profit was $56.8 million, compared to negative $205.5 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2009, and $122.9 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2008.

Gross margin for the third quarter of fiscal 2009 was 20.1%, compared to negative 90.0% in the second quarter of fiscal 2009 and 22.7% in the third quarter of fiscal 2008.

Income from operations for the third quarter of fiscal 2009 was $37.1 million, compared to a loss of $235.0 million for the second quarter of 2009, and compared to income from operations of $107.8 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2008.

Operating margin for the third quarter of fiscal 2009 was 13.2% compared to negative 102.9% in the second quarter of fiscal 2009 and 19.9% in the third quarter of fiscal 2008.

Income tax expense for the third quarter of fiscal 2009 was $6.6 million, compared to income tax benefit of $29.5 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2009.

Net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2009 was $29.4 million, or $0.27 per diluted ADS, compared to a net loss of $216.9 million, or $2.03 per diluted ADS for the second quarter of fiscal 2009.

LDK Solar ended the third quarter of 2009 with $67.8 million in cash and cash equivalents and $72.7 million in short-term pledged bank deposits.

“We were pleased to see wafer demand strengthen across multiple geographies during the quarter, rebounding from the lower levels seen earlier this year. Our financial results for the third quarter reflect the recent improvement in the operating environment for the solar industry,” stated Xiaofeng Peng, Chairman and CEO of LDK Solar. “During the third quarter, we continued to take steps to further strengthen our business. In addition to reaching important milestones for ramping our polysilicon production, we made great strides to further diversify and grow our business and improve our operating flexibility by increasing our near-term financial resources, while we continued to closely manage costs.

(more…)

November 19, 2009

Shares of Solarfun jump after 3Q profit

Filed under: SOLF — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 1:46 pm

Shares of Solarfun jump after 3Q profit, upgrade by analyst on ‘underappreciated’ stock

1:46 pm EST, Thursday November 19, 2009

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Shares of Solarfun Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (SOLF) jumped Thursday, a day after the Chinese solar cell maker posted a third-quarter profit.

Oppenheimer analyst Sam Dubinsky upgraded Solarfun Thursday to “Outperform” from “Perform,” saying its shares’ risk and reward are more favorable than most stocks in the sector. He said the company’s stock is “underappreciated.”

“Yesterday’s third-quarter results corroborate that turnaround efforts are bearing fruit,” he wrote in a client note.

Solarfun said rising demand pushed third-quarter shipments up 59 percent to a record high of 102.6 megawatts. Improved shipments and a 36 percent decline in the cost of revenue helped widen margins and outweigh the negative impact of declining selling prices, the company said.

Quarterly earnings rose to 136.6 million renminbi ($20 million), or 2.53 renminbi per American Depository Share (37 cents per ADS), compared with a loss of 44.3 million renminbi, or 0.86 renminbi per ADS, during the same period last year.

Dubinsky set a $10 price target, implying he expects the stock to rally 54 percent from Wednesday’s close.

Shares of Solarfun rose 38 cents, or 5.8 percent, to $6.86 in afternoon trading. Meanwhile, the broader markets declined in a sell-off triggered by a stronger dollar and weak economic data.

Oppenheimer raises Solarfun to outperform

Filed under: SOLF — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 11:11 am

Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:11am EST

Nov 19 (Reuters) – Oppenheimer & Co raised Solarfun Power Holdings Co Ltd (SOLF) to “outperform” from “perform,” a day after the Chinese photovoltaic cell maker posted a strong third-quarter profit, saying the stock offered more favorable risk/reward than its peers. While solar companies have indicated a rise in shipments for photovoltaic solar modules, that turn sunlight into electricity, they are now worried about the extent to which the German government might cut its aid to the domestic solar industry, the world’s top market for solar products.

Analysts Sam Dubinsky and Adam Baumgarten, who have a price target of $10 on shares of the company, said Solarfun has adequate earnings power to keep its stock at about $6 if macro conditions worsen.

“We believe a revamped/improving cost structure will lead to attractive gross margins and share gain opportunities in 2010,” the analysts wrote in a note to clients.

Jefferies & Co raised its price target on the stock to $5.75 from $4.50 and re-iterated its “underperform” rating on the stock, saying the company’s outlook for 2010 lacked clear visibility in the face of the challenges in the German market.

Shares of the Shanghai-based company were trading up 7 percent at $6.91 late morning Thursday on Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Antonita Madonna Devotta in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)

Suntech Reports Third Quarter 2009 Financial Results

Filed under: STP — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 6:30 am

Shipments Grow More Than 60% Sequentially
Full Year 2009 PV Shipment Target Increased from 600MW to a Range of 640MW to 660MW

6:30 am EST, Thursday November 19, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO and WUXI, China, Nov. 19 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (STP), the world’s largest crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturer, today announced financial results for its third fiscal quarter ended September 30, 2009.

Third Quarter 2009 Highlights
— Total net revenues increased 47.4% sequentially to $473.1 million in the third quarter of 2009

— Gross profit margin for the core wafer to module business was 20.0% in the third quarter of 2009, compared with 19.1% in the second quarter of 2009

— Consolidated gross profit margin was 17.8% in the third quarter of 2009, compared with 18.6% in the second quarter 2009

— Net income attributable to holders of ordinary shares was $29.8 million, or $0.16 per diluted American Depository Share (ADS). Each ADS represents one ordinary share

— Suntech’s multi-crystalline Pluto-powered module achieved world record conversion efficiency of 16.53%

— Full-year 2009 PV shipment target increased from 600MW to a range of 640MW to 660MW

— Suntech targets to increase total PV cell and module production capacity to 1.4GW by the middle of 2010, of which 450MW will be Pluto-enabled

“We are very pleased to announce strong revenue growth and a healthy bottom line for the third quarter of 2009,” said Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech’s Chairman and CEO. “The significant pick up in demand was largely due to a seasonal rush before end-of-year policy adjustments and improving customer returns on investments in solar projects. It was also due to customer recognition of Suntech’s attractive value proposition of exceptional product performance at a reasonable price.

“Complementing strong growth in the German market, we are particularly pleased to see 100% sequential shipment growth in the U.S. market and the rapid development of a number of non-traditional PV markets such as the Czech Republic, Benelux, China. This demonstrates the ongoing diversification of the solar industry and Suntech’s ability to enter emerging markets.

“During the third quarter we continued to develop Suntech’s industry-leading sales and service infrastructure and to differentiate our products through innovation. In Europe, we strengthened our local team with the addition of four new senior executives; in the U.S. we launched our North American Partner Program; and in China we continued to build one of the nation’s most capable system installation and project development teams.

“On the technology front, our proprietary Pluto technology set another world record conversion efficiency of 16.53% for a commercial grade multi-crystalline silicon module. This record beat all previous records for multi-crystalline silicon modules made in the lab or on commercial production lines and reinforces our dedication to providing the most advanced and cost-effective solar solutions. In addition, we introduced Reliathon(TM), an industry-first integrated utility-scale solar platform combining product and business-term innovations to lower costs and accelerate the path to grid parity.

“Looking forward, we expect the sales momentum to carry into the new year and see potential for at least 75% shipment growth in 2010. To support the increased volume we have decided to move forward with expansion plans and target to reach 1.4GW of PV cell and module production capacity by the middle of 2010. With our commitment to delivering premium quality products at a reasonable price, expanding our global service platform and delivering world-class innovation, we believe we are extremely well positioned to continue to build market share and serve a growing base of solar customers,” concluded Dr. Shi.

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Trina Solar Announces Third Quarter 2009 Results

Filed under: TSL — Tags: , , , , , , , — Jason @ 4:45 am

Shipment Volume, Gross Margin Exceed Company Guidance

4:45 am EST, Thursday November 19, 2009

CHANGZHOU, China, Nov. 19 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ — Trina Solar Limited (TSL; “Trina Solar” or the “Company”), a leading integrated manufacturer of solar photovoltaic (PV) products from the production of ingots, wafers and cells to the assembly of PV modules, today announced its financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2009.

Third Quarter 2009 Financial and Operating Highlights
— Solar module shipments were approximately 123 MW, above the Company’s previous guidance of 90 MW to 110 MW, representing an increase of 91.9% sequentially and 84.7% year-over-year
— Net revenues were $249.7 million, representing an increase of 66.5% sequentially and a decrease of 14.1% year-over-year
— Gross margin was 28.5%, above the Company’s guidance of 23.5% to 26.5%, compared to 27.4% sequentially and 22.4% year-over-year
— Operating income and operating margin were $45.5 million and 18.2%, respectively, compared to $18.6 million and 12.4%, respectively, in the second quarter of 2009
— Net income was $40.1 million, compared to $18.9 million in the second quarter of 2009
— Earnings per fully-diluted ADS was $1.29

“We are very pleased with our strong third quarter performance, which saw the highest shipment volumes and net income in our operating history and exceeded our previous guidance in shipment and gross margin,” said Jifan Gao, Chairman and CEO of Trina Solar. “We are seeing even stronger demand in the fourth quarter, reflecting increasing brand recognition for our products and a further improvement in financing conditions. Additionally, our focused strategy to deliver the highest product quality and performance to a diversified portfolio of end-markets has afforded us with increasing visibility into 2010’s first quarter despite seasonal market effects.

“With our third quarter results, successful follow-on public offering and five-year syndicated credit facility for our East Campus capacity expansion project, we have further strengthened our balance sheet as we continue to improve our market leading manufacturing efficiencies.”

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November 18, 2009

Solarfun Q3 profit beats, sees higher Q4 shipments

Filed under: CSIQ, CSUN, SOLF — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 11:36 am

Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:36am EST

* Q3 income/ADS $0.37

* Q3 revenue $144.6 mln

* Sees higher Q4 shipments

* Shares up 8 percent

By Arup Roychoudhury

BANGALORE, Nov 18 (Reuters) – Chinese photovoltaic cell maker Solarfun Power Holdings Co Ltd (SOLF) reported a third-quarter profit that beat analysts estimates, helped by higher shipment volumes, sending its shares up 8 percent.

Solarfun also forecast fourth-quarter shipments of about 110 megawatts (MW), up 7 percent sequentially. It expects module processing services to account for about 20 percent of the total shipments.

“It was a good quarter, aided by really strong margins… going forward they are guiding towards a pretty strong fourth quarter and first quarter,” Simmons and Co International analyst Burt Chao said by phone.

On a conference call with analysts, company executives said they had good visibility on the key German market for the quarter and that shipments were supposed to rise there too.

Demand for photovoltaic solar modules that turn sunlight into electricity has taken a hit because of the global financial crisis and an oversupply of cells and modules.

Another worry for solar companies is when and by how much will the Germany government cut aid to its solar industry, the world’s top market for solar products.

Analyst Chao said a lot of how Solarfun’s German business grew depended on government policies there.

“Other than that I would think their outlook is pretty positive right now and that they are expanding to other markets in case the German market is to slow down,” he added.

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Solarfun Reports Third Quarter 2009 Results

Filed under: SOLF — Tags: , , , , , , , — Jason @ 6:57 am

6:57 am EST, Wednesday November 18, 2009

SHANGHAI, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Solarfun Power Holdings Co., Ltd. ( “Solarfun” or the “Company”) (SOLF), a vertically integrated manufacturer of silicon ingots, wafers and photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules in China, today reported its unaudited financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2009.

THIRD QUARTER 2009 RESULTS

* Total net revenues were RMB 986.8 million (US$144.6 million) in the third quarter of 2009, representing a decrease of 22.6% from RMB 1,274.8 million in the third quarter of 2008 and an increase of 15.5% from RMB 854.6 million in the second quarter of 2009. The sequential increase was primarily related to higher shipment volumes reflecting improved industry demand.
* PV module shipments reached 102.6 MW in the third quarter of 2009, an increase from 41.8 MW in the third quarter of 2008 and from 64.3 MW in the second quarter of 2009. The increase from the second quarter of 2009 was due to increases in both PV module shipments and PV module processing services. PV module processing services represented approximately 40% of the total PV module shipments in the third quarter of 2009. In the third quarter of 2009, excluding module processing, the Company recorded greater geographic diversity in its sales, with Germany accounting for 60% of the Company’s total PV module shipments, down from 83% in the previous quarter. The Czech Republic, a relatively new market for the Company, continued to grow to 9% of total shipments, and a rebound was seen in Portugal and Spain, representing 11% and 6% of total shipments, respectively. Australia, Italy and Korea combined for another 14% of total shipments.
* Average selling price, excluding module processing services, declined, as expected, to US$2.03 per watt in the third quarter of 2009 from US$2.66 per watt in the second quarter of 2009, primarily due to the decrease in the market prices of PV products.
* Gross profit was RMB 204.4 million (US$29.9 million) in the third quarter of 2009, compared to a gross profit of RMB 46.1 million in the third quarter of 2008 and a gross loss of RMB 53.0 million in the second quarter of 2009. Gross margin was 20.7% in the third quarter of 2009, compared to negative 6.2% in the second quarter 2009. No provision for pre-payments on supply agreements were made in the third quarter of 2009, compared to a provision of RMB 236.5 million in the second quarter of 2009. Gross margin in the third quarter of 2009 reflected lower raw material costs primarily as a result of renegotiated supply agreements and increased spot market purchases. Vertical integration to the ingot and wafer level also led to reduced costs from higher utilization and continued process improvements.
* Operating profit was RMB 129.4 million (US$19.0 million) in the third quarter of 2009, compared to an operating loss of RMB 25.9 million in the third quarter of 2008 and an operating loss of RMB 121.9 million in the second quarter of 2009. The operating margin for the third quarter 2009 was 13.1%. The Company continued to maintain tight discipline on operating expenses, which as a percent of revenues should trend lower as revenues grow.
* Interest expense was RMB 40.8 million (US$6.0 million) in the third quarter of 2009, an increase from RMB 21.6 million in the third quarter of 2008, and an increase from RMB 36.1 million in the second quarter of 2009.
* Fair value of the conversion feature of the Company’s convertible bonds increased by RMB 82.4 million (US$12.1 million) in the third quarter of 2009, due to a number of factors including changes in the Company’s ADS prices during the third quarter of 2009. This line item has fluctuated, and is expected to continue to fluctuate quarter-to-quarter in line with standardized accounting practices, of which the Company has no control.
* Net income attributable to shareholders was RMB 136.6 million (US$ 20.0 million) in the third quarter of 2009, compared to a net loss of RMB 44.3 million in the third quarter of 2008 and a net loss of 319.9 million in the second quarter of 2009. Net income per basic ADS was RMB 2.53 (US$0.37) in the third quarter of 2009, compared to a net loss per basic ADS of RMB 0.86 in the third quarter of 2008 and a net loss per basic ADS of RMB 5.95 in the second quarter of 2009.

Peter Xie, President of Solarfun, commented, “We are extremely pleased with the continued progress achieved in the third quarter of 2009. Of particular note were quarterly shipment volumes exceeding 100 MW for the first time in the Company’s history, gross margins reaching 20%, and a return to profitability. We also improved our capital structure by reducing short-term bank borrowings and raising additional equity capital.”

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China Sunergy Announces Financial Results for the Third Quarter of 2009

Filed under: CSUN — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 6:06 am

Third Quarter Revenues of US$80.1 million; Achieves Upper Range of Guidance with 54.4 MW in Shipments; Gross Margin Improves to 10.2%; GAAP Net Income of $7.8 million

6:06 am EST, Wednesday November 18, 2009

NANJING, China, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — China Sunergy Co., Ltd. (CSUN), (“China Sunergy” or the “Company”) a specialized solar cell manufacturer based in Nanjing, China, announced today its financial results for the third quarter of 2009.

Third Quarter Financial Results

— Revenues were US$80.1 million, a 14.3% increase compared to the second quarter of 2009. Revenues generated from solar cell sales were US$68.5 million, representing a 25.7% increase compared to the second quarter of 2009.
— Gross profit was US$8.2 million for the third quarter, compared to gross profit of US$6.8 million during the second quarter of 2009. Accordingly, gross margin was 10.2%, slightly above the 9.7% reported during the second quarter of 2009.
— GAAP net income was US$7.8 million. Adjusted non-GAAP net loss was US$1.3 million, which excludes share-based compensation and the change in the fair value of foreign currency derivatives. This compares to non-GAAP net income of US$1.2 million in the second quarter of 2009.
— GAAP net income per ADS was US$0.20 on basic basis and US$0.19 on diluted basis. Adjusted non-GAAP net loss per ADS was US$0.03 on both basic and diluted basis, which excludes share-based compensation and the change in the fair value of foreign currency derivatives, compared to a non-GAAP net income of US$0.03 per ADS in the second quarter of 2009.
— Inventory as of September 30, 2009 was $32.0 million, up from $25.0 million as of June 30, 2009. Inventory write-down was $3.3 million, compared to $2.9 million in the second quarter of 2009.
— Operating cash flow in the third quarter was negative US$16.5 million, compared with positive $19.5 million in the second quarter of 2009. As of September 30, 2009, the Company had cash and cash equivalents of US$113.4 million

Please refer to “Reconciliation Tables of GAAP to adjusted Non-GAAP Figures” at the end of this press release.

Technology Development and Operational Highlights

— Shipments in the third quarter amounted to approximately 54.4 MW, representing a 31.1% increase sequentially and a 59.5% increase on a year-over-year basis.
— Utilizing the new technology, China Sunergy has developed a mono-crystalline high efficiency P-type solar cell with target conversion efficiency of over 19%. A test conducted in the third quarter by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Germany has shown the conversion efficiency of 19.04%.
— China Sunergy entered into a series of sales contracts with NUE PTY Ltd, a leading Australian photovoltaic firm. China Sunergy expects to ship up to a total of 10MW of OEM sub-contracted monocrystalline solar modules, to NU Energy, with full delivery scheduled to be completed by early 2010.
— The Company furthered this strategy by entering into a framework agreement related to the delivery of China Sunergy solar products to Opsun Technologies, Inc., a Canadian photovoltaic firm between 2009 and 2014. The framework agreement aims both to facilitate sales of up to 100MW of China Sunergy’s existing of solar cells and modules while enhancing the development of specialized solar cells for future projects.

Commenting on the results, Dr. Allen Wang, CEO of China Sunergy, said:

“We have effectively implemented strategies to benefit from the improved market for our solar products, primarily by building demand channels among new clients and within existing relationships. As a result, we have achieved the upper range of our previously released shipment guidance for the quarter, and an improvement in our gross margin. Although challenges remain given the still uncertain long-term demand, China Sunergy is consistently improving the scope and technological leadership of our products to meet our clients’ needs, and we expect this trend to continue in the coming quarters.”

(more…)

November 17, 2009

Canadian Solar sees doubling shipments in 2010

Filed under: CSIQ — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 1:17 pm

Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:17pm EST

* Q3 shr $0.69 vs est of $0.54

* Backs FY shipment view, sees shipments doubling in ’10

* Says Q3 ASP was “just over” $2, sees Q4 prices below $2

* Sees Q1 ASPs down 7 to 8 pct sequentially, on Euro basis

* Shares rise 7 pct to new year-high

Nov 17 (Reuters) – Canadian Solar Inc’s (CSIQ) third-quarter profit rose sharply on strong demand, comfortably beating estimates, and the company said it expects to more than double shipments in 2010, sending its shares up more than 7 percent to their highest levels in a year.

The company, which backed its 2009 shipment view of about 295 megawatts (MW) to 305 MW, currently sees shipping about 600 MW to 700 MW in 2010.

On a conference call with analysts, the company said it had “reasonable” visibility into the first quarter and 2010.

“We have seen reasonable visibility. Our customers have already given us firm purchase orders for both December and January,” company executives said.

The company added that while the first quarter was usually weak, the first quarter of 2010 will be relatively stronger compared with last year.

Canadian Solar said major markets, including Germany, Italy and the U.S. would drive demand, adding that it expects strong growth from newer markets, such as Canada, Japan and China.

“For 2010…countries such as France and India might prove to be dark horses,” a company executive said.

“Basically our strategy is to improve our position in traditional markets such as Germany, Italy and Spain, while at the same time, diversifying into other significant markets.”

Given strong demand, Canadian Solar said it plans to increase its solar module production capacity to 1 gigawatt by the end of April 2010 from 820 MW currently.

The company, however, warned that average selling prices (ASP) would continue to fall.

“Third-quarter ASPs were just over $2, which reflects the industry average,” the company said, adding that prices in the fourth-quarter would likely come in below $2.

Canadian Solar said it was modelling for a sequential decline of about 7 percent to 8 percent for the first quarter, on a Euro basis.

While a fall in prices might be bad for component companies, customers benefit as the lower prices bring progress towards so-called “grid parity”, the point at which renewables cost the same as fossil fuel-based forms of power generation.

For the latest third-quarter, the company earned 69 cents a share, more than double the 31 cents a share it earned last year, comfortably beating estimates of 54 cents a share.

Sales nearly doubled sequentially to $213.1 million, coming in above Wall Street view.

Shares of the Chinese solar-cell maker rose $1.35 to a year-high of $21.05, before paring gains to trade up 2 cents at $19.72 Tuesday on Nasdaq. The stock has so far risen nearly seven-fold from a March low.

About 3.4 million shares changed hands in intra-day trade, 2.5 times the company’s 10-day moving average.

(Reporting by Adveith Nair in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)

SunPower shares tumble after accounting errors

Filed under: SPWR — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 12:48 pm

Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:48pm EST

* Shares slide after accounting errors discovered

* Analysts cut recommendations on shares

NEW YORK, Nov 17 (Reuters) – The shares of solar power company SunPower Corp (SPWRA, SPWRB) tumbled more than 18 percent on Tuesday after the company said it was investigating millions of dollars in accounting errors.

The company announced on Monday that its audit committee had launched the probe after an internal review found its Philippine operations had overstated expenses and understated costs.

It was not yet clear if the company would need to restate its 2009 quarterly reports or its 2008 annual report.

Analysts at Raymond James, FBR and Caris cut their recommendations on SunPower stock Tuesday morning.

“Any whiff of accounting impropriety is going to be looked at extremely negatively by the market,” Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov said in an interview.

He noted the figure for the errors — $15 million — was not a huge number “in the grand scheme of things” and the news does not change SunPower’s fundamental business or contracts.

“We’re not going to jump to any conclusions, but the market has never been skittish about jumping to conclusions … Until the company can explain what the underlying problem is — what the cause is, who’s responsible — there will be an overhang on the stock. That’s the basis of our downgrade,” Molchanov said.

FBR Capital Markets analyst Mehdi Hosseini said in a note to clients that the accounting errors add “an additional layer of uncertainties” about the company’s cost structure.

Hosseini cut his price target for SunPower’s shares to $30 each from $38.

SunPower shares were down 18.2 percent at $22.28 in midday trading on Nasdaq after hitting $22.97 earlier in the session.

(Reporting by Matt Daily and Laura Isensee in Los Angeles, editing by Dave Zimmerman and Andre Grenon)

SunPower Crumbles; Multiple Downgrades On Accounting Mess

Filed under: SPWR — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 11:21 am

By Eric Savitz
barrons.com

SunPower (SPWRA, SPWRB) shares have cratered this morning after the company late yesterday disclosed an internal investigation of accounting practices at its Philippine operations, warning that it may have to restate results from 2008 and the first three quarters of 2009. In particular, the company said cost of goods sold appears to have been understated for the June and September quarters.

The disclosure has triggered a wave of mostly negative commentary from the Street, including a number of downgrades.

* Caris & Co. analyst Ben Pang cut his rating to Below Average from Average, with a new target of $21, down from $35. “We think the issue calls into question the profitability and earnings trends for the company and could also impact SPWRA’s ability to win certain contracts,” he writes in a note.
* Piper Jaffray analyst Jesse Pichel cut his rating to Neutral from Overweight, with a new target of $31, down from $38. Pichel notes that the stock has been moved to the “penalty box,” given the magnitude of the changes to cost of goods sold from the restructuring, and investor controversy over the company’s higher cost structure relative to Chinese solar companies. “We believe the stock will likely remain penalized until further information is disclosed.”
* FBR Capital analyst Mehdi Hosseini cut his rating to Market Perform, from Outperform. He says it is “prudent to move to the sidelines” until the company provides more details on the issue.
* Raymond James analyst Pavel Moldhanov cut his rating to Market Perform from Outperform. “The broader concern…is the very fact of accounting irregularities, however minor they may be,” he writes.

Meanwhile, analysts already bearish on the stock remain bearish.

* Bank of America/Merrill Lynch analyst Steven Milunovich repeated his Underperform rating. “The even raises questions regarding the containment of this particular issue and the strength of the company’s internal controls,” he writes.
* Pacific Crest analyst Mark Bachman likewise repeated his Underperform rating. “We remind investors that SunPower had to lower EPS guidance by 50 cents roughly one year ago due to accounting issues related to tax planning and foreign currency hedging,” he writes. “Two significant near-term accounting issues should raise investor concerns, and should also call into question whether SunPower has the proper accounting controls in place.”
* Gordon Johnson, Hapoalim Securities: “We believe this move implies further risk to management’s credibility, which, as we have written about before, remains a concern of ours with respect to incremental investment in SunPower,” he writes. Johnson maintains his Sell rating, adding that “at risk of stating the obvious, yesterday’s restatement strongly supports our thesis.”

SPWRA today is down $5, or 18.4%, to $22.23.

SunPower shares tumble as company investigates possible accounting errors

Filed under: SPWR — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 9:23 am

9:23 am EST, Tuesday November 17, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of SunPower Corp. (SPWRA, SPWRB) tumbled in premarket trading Tuesday, following news that it is investigating whether its manufacturing operations in the Philippines made unsubstantiated accounting entries during the first three quarters of 2009.

The maker of solar power products said some of the entries relate to its fiscal year ended Dec. 28, 2008.

Shares fell $3.82, or 14 percent, to $22.90 ahead of Tuesday’s market open. The stock has ranged from $18.50 to $46.30 over the past year.

On Monday after the markets closed, the company said that based on preliminary findings, its audit committee has identified accounting entries that may have overstated expenses by about $1 million on the cost of goods sold in the first quarter of 2009. The entries also may have understated expenses by about $14 million in the second quarter and about $2 million in the third quarter of 2009.

SunPower estimated identified accounting entries totaling about $9 million in understatements should have been recorded in 2008. The company is working with its audit committee to determine if any restatements to its 2009 quarterly reports and 2008 annual results will be necessary.

The company noted that until its probe is complete, there can’t be any assurance that broader issues don’t exist.

“While accounting errors in any company’s financial statements are as welcome as the bubonic plague, SunPower’s early quantification of the adjustments indicates it may be manageable,” said Deutsche Bank analyst Steve O’Rourke, who maintained his “Buy” rating and $31 share price target.

O’Rourke also held to his outlook for the company, as he waits for a full-scope disclosure of the issues. He said the accounting errors call the company’s credibility more into question than its business model.

Collins Stewart analyst Dan Ries maintained a “Hold” rating for the company. He noted that SunPower’s cost of goods sold has been a key concern driving his rating for the solar company.

“If costs were being understated since calendar year 2008, our concerns would only grow,” Ries said in a report to clients.

Canadian Solar Reports Third Quarter 2009 Results and Issues 2010 Guidance

Filed under: CSIQ — Tags: , , , , , , — Jason @ 7:00 am

Q309 Highlights
— 87% increase in net revenues to $213.1 million, compared to Q209 net revenues of $114.2 million.
— 113% increase in shipments of 102.6 MW, compared to Q209 shipments of 48.2 MW, setting a new quarterly shipping record.
— Gross margin of 16.3%, compared to Q209 gross margin of 20.2% and Q308 gross margin of 15.5%.
— Net income of $0.69 per diluted share in Q309, compared to $0.49 per diluted share in Q209. Net profit of $25.3 million sets new quarterly record. Net profit margin reaches 11.9%.

7:00 am EST, Tuesday November 17, 2009

ONTARIO, Canada, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ — Canadian Solar Inc. (the “Company”, “Canadian Solar” or “we”) (CSIQ) today announced its unaudited financial results for the third quarter of 2009 ended September 30, 2009 and its outlook for the fourth quarter of 2009 and the full year 2010.

Net revenues for the third quarter of 2009 were $213.1 million, compared to net revenues of $114.2 million for the second quarter of 2009 and $252.4 million for the third quarter of 2008.

Net income for the third quarter of 2009 was $25.3 million, or $0.69 per diluted share, compared to $17.7 million, or $0.49 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2009 and $11.1 million, or $0.31 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2008.

Shipments for the third quarter of 2009 were 102.6 MW, compared to shipments of 48.2 MW for the second quarter of 2009 and 60 MW for the third quarter of 2008. Third quarter 2009 sales came from all geographic markets important to the solar industry, with Europe continuing to be the Company’s largest contributing geographic market. Sales in that region grew strongly in the quarter, increasing 179% from the second quarter of 2009.

Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar, commented: “We broke our previous records on both MW shipment volumes and net profit in this quarter. The significant increases in sales and earnings were the result of the successful implementation of our global sales strategy combined with our strong brand name recognition, cost control and effective supply chain management. Our flexible vertical integration model allowed us to capture the sharp increase in market demand during the quarter and to raise our module sales faster than the growth of our internal cell capacity. Our R&D capability is another important competitive differentiator for Canadian Solar. During the quarter, three of our solar module products recorded the highest scores for P-type solar modules during the PV USA (PTC) tests, which are mandatory for the California Solar Initiatives. Subsequent to the quarter end, we pre-launched our high-output premium products using our enhanced selective emitter technology. These products are expected to have monocrystalline cell conversion efficiencies of 18.5% and multicrystalline cell efficiencies of 17%. We are also in the process of testing a cost effective two-axis tracker.”

(more…)

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