JA Solar Smashes Own Shipping Guidance In Strong Second Quarter

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Shanghai-based solar cell manufacturer JA Solar has reported its second quarter earnings this week, revealing that it smashed its own second quarter shipping guidance by well over 50%.

JA Solar shipped an impressive 2,389.2 MW (megawatts) in the second quarter, made up of 2,147.5 MW of modules and 167.2 MW of cells to external customers, and 74.5 MW of modules to JA Solar’s own downstream projects. External shipments were up an impressive 88.3% over the same quarter a year earlier, and up 68.3% over the first quarter. Further, total shipments for the second quarter were well above the company’s own guidance of between 1,550 and 1,650 MW, due primarily to a stronger than expected set of orders from China.

Net revenue for the quarter was RMB 6.0 billion ($878.1 million), an impressive 44.7% year-over-year increase, and 61.2% over the first quarter. Earnings for shareholders was $0.42 per share, the same as a year earlier but well up on the $0.03 posted in the first quarter, testament to a very impressive second quarter.

“Second quarter results exceeded our expectations,” said Baofang Jin, Chairman and CEO of JA Solar. “Robust shipments in China, primarily attributable to accelerated activity ahead of subsidy reductions, drove our year-over-year double-digit revenue growth in the quarter. Additionally, better-than-expected average selling price and lower blended costs resulted in 120 basis-point sequential improvement in gross margin.”

Given the way the global solar market is behaving of late — increased shipments but cheaper prices — it is unsurprising that JA Solar’s phenomenal second quarter has only resulted in a minor increase to the company’s guidance for full year shipping. “We remain cautious on our business outlook as we enter the second half of 2017, given the slowdown in demand in our domestic market, coupled with the uncertainty around the Section 201 trade case in the US,” Mr Jin added.

Looking forward, then, JA Solar expects to ship cell and modules in the range of 1,600 to 1,700 MW, of which nearly all are expected to be external shipments. For the full year, the company is raising its shipments up from between 6 to 6.5 GW to be in the range of 6.5 to 7 GW.

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Joshua S Hill

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