Canadian Solar Beats Second Quarter Guidance, Sending Shares Soaring

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Canadian Solar beat out its own guidance for the second quarter of 2016, with impressive solar module shipments and revenue, to send its shares soaring.

The Ontario-based solar power company presented its second quarter financial results this week, reporting strong growth across the board and beating its own guidance for the second quarter in a row this year. However, citing tornado damage to its Funing County JV solar cell factory, the company was forced to revise its planned manufacturing capacity expansion plans for the third time this year.

Total module shipments for Canadian Solar for the quarter reached 1,290 MW — up from 1,172 MW in the first quarter of 2016, and exceeding previous guidance for the second quarter of between 1,200 MW and 1,250 MW. Similarly, the company’s net revenue for the quarter was up, hitting $805.9 million — up from $721.4 million in Q1’16, and again exceeding its guidance of $710 million to hit $760 million.

These figures not only show solid growth in 2016, but long-term growth as compared to 2015 as well. The second quarter of 2015 saw the company recognize 809 MW shipped and revenue of $636.7 million. As a result, it is somewhat unsurprising that the company’s shares jumped some 17% off the back of the solid and continued growth.

“We are pleased with our results for the second quarter which again came in above our guidance,” said Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar. “Our core solar module and project businesses remain strong, with a healthy balance sheet to support our near and long-term plan.”

“Our strategic decision to no longer pursue a YieldCo reflects the market environment and our primary focus on extracting the highest value for shareholders from our operating assets,” Dr. Qu added, though the decision probably also reflects the YieldCo model’s waning attractiveness to energy companies in the wake of SunEdison’s rather dramatic implosion.

The Americas accounted for 47.6% of Canadian Solar’s net revenue for the quarter, followed by Asia with 39.5%, and Europe and Others making up the remaining 12.9% — figures relatively in line with both the first quarter and only marginally up on Q2’15.

As mentioned, however, there was a slight shadow to the company’s announcement, with Canadian Solar revealing that it was slowing solar module capacity expansion “Based on its latest market assessment.” Canadian Solar is now expecting internal module capacity to reach 5.8 GW by the end of this year, instead of the previously attributed 6.4 GW.

At least partly to blame for the downward revision is the tornado damage taken by Canadian Solar’s solar cell factory in Funing County Jiangsu Province on June 23, 2016. The company was proud to confirm that there had been no casualties, despite “damage to the property and manufacturing equipment” being “severe.”

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Joshua S Hill

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