South Korean solar PV manufacturer Hanwha Q CELLS announced last week its third-quarter financial results for 2018, and it was almost universally bad news with net revenue growth slowing as the company posted operating and net losses and lowered full-year shipping guidance.
It has been an interesting year for Hanwha Q CELLS as the company sought to take itself private in a move that was finalized in October and which was worth $825 million. The transaction was completed in conjunction with a move to simplify the company’s ownership amidst the sprawling Hanwha Group, merging it in September with the company’s Advanced Materials business.
Whether or not the company’s shuffling affected its third quarter is for the financial analysts to decipher, but regardless of what caused it, Hanwha Q CELLS’ third quarter was not a lot to write home about. The company reported net revenues of $559.3 million for the quarter, up 7% on the previous quarter and up only 3% on the same quarter a year earlier, reflecting slowing growth. The company’s revenue was also well down on market expectations, which had put it at between $590 and $610 million.
Hanwha Q CELLS posted an operating loss of $107 million for the quarter, compared with an operating income of $4.8 million in the second quarter and income of $10.6 million in the third quarter of 2017. Similarly, the company reported a net loss of $164.6 million, skyrocketing from the net loss of only $41.3 million recorded in the second quarter and a net income of $5 million in the same quarter a year earlier. Loss attributable to shareholders was $1.98, compared to a loss of $0.50 in the previous quarter and an income of $0.06 a year earlier.
The company was also forced to reduce its full-year shipment guidance, the second time it has had to do so this year. The company started out 2018 providing shipping guidance in the range of 6,000 megawatts (MW) to 6,200 MW, but dropped it to between 5,600 MW to 5,800 MW in May, and dropped it even further last week, down to being in the range of 5,500 MW to 5,700 MW.
In terms of its fourth quarter, Hanwha Q CELLS expects net revenues to be in the range of $590 to $610 million.
The company’s production capacity currently sits at 4,500 MW for both solar cells and solar modules, but it also boasts a further 3,900 MW of module capacity available through its Hanwha Q-Cells Korea Corporation subsidiary — which is also building a new factory in the United States which is expected to boast a nameplate capacity of 1,700 MW by the first quarter of 2019.
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