Chinese solar PV manufacturing giant JinkoSolar smashed its previous annual solar module shipping record in 2018, increasing by 16% from 9.8 gigawatts (GW) shipped in 2017 to 11.4 GW shipped in 2018, and the company is ramping up production to ship between 14 GW and 15 GW in 2019.
However, despite impressive shipping numbers, investors were unimpressed as the company missed on its fourth-quarter and full-year revenue figures.
JinkoSolar published its Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2018 Financial Results on Friday, revealing the company shipped 3,618 megawatts (MW) of solar modules in the fourth quarter, a 22.5% increase from the 2,953 MW shipped in the third quarter of 2018 and a 45.8% increase on the 2,481 MW shipped in the fourth quarter of 2017.
This brought the company’s full-year shipments for 2018 up to 11.4 GW — which included 209 MW sent to the company’s downstream business — a 16% increase on the 9.8 GW shipped during 2017.
The company also provided shipping guidance for 2019, expecting total solar module shipments to be in the range of 14 GW to 15 GW. This is backed by the company’s annual production capacity which, as of the end of 2018, sat at 9.7 GW for silicon wafer production, 7 GW for solar cell production, and 10.8 GW for solar module production. The company is also ramping up its production capacity in 2019 and expects to finish the year with annual silicon wafer, solar cell, and solar module production capacity of 15 GW (including 11 GW of mono wafers), 10 GW (including 9.2 GW of PERC cells) and 15 GW, respectively.
“We closed out the year strongly with module shipments hitting another record high of 3,618 MW during the quarter, an increase of 22.5% sequentially and an increase of 45.8% year-over-year,” explained Kangping Chen, JinkoSolar’s Chief Executive Officer. “We shipped a total of 11.4 GW of solar modules in 2018, an increase of 16.0% from 2017.”
However, while the company was able to make ground on shipments, it was not as successful in turning this into financial figures that satisfied investors.
Total revenues for the fourth quarter amounted to RMB7.72 billion (US$1.12 billion), an increase of 15.3% from the third quarter of 2018 and an increase of 21.5% from the fourth quarter of 2017. Net income attributable to shareholders amounted to RMB114.8 million (US$16.7 million) in the fourth quarter of 2018, compared with RMB189.1 million in the third quarter of 2018 and RMB22.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, with GAAP earnings per share of RMB2.92 (US$0.44) in the fourth quarter of 2018. The company’s non-GAAP earnings per share missed market expectations by $0.08, while total revenue missed by $130 million.
For the full-year 2018, JinkoSolar took in revenues of RMB25.04 billion (US$3.64 billion), a decrease of 5.4% from RMB26.47 billion for the full year 2017. Seeking Alpha attributes the company’s 20% plunge in share price to “lower than expected Q4 earnings and revenues.”
“While the Chinese market was impacted by the policies released on May 31st, we were able to continue growing through our diversified global distribution network and further consolidate our leading position in terms of market share,” JinkoSolar’s Chen added. “With global demand recovering strongly, we remain confident in the future prospects of our business and expect module shipments to grow by approximately 30% in 2019.”