Shanghai-based solar cell manufacturer JA Solar missed wide on its third-quarter earnings and shipments by experiencing a significant decrease compared to the previous quarter, and causing shares to plummet.
After a second quarter in which JA Solar shipped an impressive 2,389.2 MW (megawatts) — up 88.3% over the same quarter a year earlier, and up 68.3% over the first quarter — and brought in net revenue of RMB 6.0 billion ($878.1 million), a substantial 44.7% year-over-year increase, and 61.2% over the first quarter, JA Solar’s third-quarter was a much different story, and something of a let-down.
JA Solar shipped a total of 1,640.9 MW for the quarter, made up of 1,582.5 MW of solar modules and 37.9 MW of solar cells to external customers, and 20.5 MW of solar modules to the company’s own downstream projects. This was an increase of 31.9% year-over-year, but down 26.3% on the second quarter, and just below the company’s own second quarter guidance.
Net revenue for the third quarter took the most obvious hit, raking in RMB 4.3 billion ($652.6 million), an increase of only 4.3% year-over-year but down a significant 27.1% on the second quarter. Gross profit was RMB 513.6 million ($77.2 million) for the quarter, a 10.6% decrease year-over-year and 33.4% on the second quarter.
“Third quarter results were in-line with our expectations,” said Baofang Jin, Chairman and CEO of JA Solar, working hard to put a rosy spin on an otherwise lacklustre quarter. “Total module shipments during the quarter increased more than 30% year-over-year to approximately 1.6 GW, largely driven by demand from our key markets, including China, the U.S., Europe and Japan. Additionally, we maintained gross margin in the low teens through stringent cost control in an adverse pricing environment of polysilicon and wafers during the quarter.”
Looking forward, JA Solar expects to ship total cell and modules in the range of 1,600 to 1,800 MW, nearly all of which will be external shipments.
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