Chinese-based solar manufacturer Trina Solar reported its 3rd quarter earnings this week, well and truly missing its own shipping and revenue guidance for the quarter, but beating market analysts’ expectations.
Trina Solar has obviously run afoul of the current malaise affecting the global solar PV market, with total solar module shipments of 1,361.2 MW for the 3rd quarter, well down on the 1,658.3 MW shipped in the 2nd quarter, the 1,703.2 MW shipped in the 3rd quarter of 2015, and even down on its own guidance provided the previous quarter of between 1,550 MW and 1,650 MW. Net revenue was similarly down, at only $125.6 million, compared with $176.3 million in the 2nd quarter of 2016 and $138.2 million in the 3rd quarter of 2015.
The slowdown was expected, though the company seems to have underestimated just how severe the slump would be. In the company’s 1st quarter earnings report, published in May of this year, the company said it expected a slowdown in the second half of the year.
Based on reported quarterly shipments, Trina Solar is sitting at around 4442.8 MW of modules shipped so far this a year while it intended to ship between 6,300 MW and 6,550 MW, meaning the company would need to ship at least 1,850 MW in the final quarter of the year to meet that target.
Unsurprisingly, therefore, Trina Solar refrained from providing any guidance for the 4th quarter in its published “Third Quarter 2016 Results” — though, that might have more to do with the company’s decision to go private, announced back in August.
“Largely as expected, we had a slowdown in the third quarter as a result of an oversupply and increasing inventory levels of modules in the market, as well as weak demand in China following a strong first half of the year as developers rushed to place orders prior to a subsidy policy adjustment,” explained Mr. Jifan Gao, Chairman and CEO of Trina Solar.
The company’s shares were relatively unaffected, a likely result of outperforming market expectations for what is turning out to be a mostly global lull (caused in part by oversupply) in the global solar market. However, a large portion of the market has possibly just accepted that Trina Solar is going private soon and is either in on the stock till the end or staying away from it.
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