China Sunergy Co., Ltd. (NASDAQ: CSUN) ("China Sunergy" or "the Company"), a specialized solar cell and module manufacturer, today announced its financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2011. The results reflected anemic market demand, faster than expected ASP declines and inventory write-downs.
Third Quarter 2011 Financial Highlights
Total revenue was US$145.8 million, a 1.3% increase over Q2 2011 and a 15.9% year on year increase.
Operational, Technological and Business Highlights in Third Quarter
Mr. Stephen Cai, CEO of China Sunergy, commented: "Our third quarter results were disappointing, and we foresee more difficulties in the fourth quarter and winter months. The whole industry is experiencing pain at the moment. Rapidly falling prices have disrupted demand temporarily, as customers delay purchases while waiting for prices to stabilize. But solar power prices are getting closer to grid parity in comparison to the cost of electricity generated by fossil fuels, and the long term future for survivors in this industry is bright. Companies like China Sunergy, which can move quickly to cut spending and output, while maintaining strong cash reserves and financing arrangements, are in a good position to ride out the storm. Moreover, our efficient and cost-competitive Quasar technology is the crucial factor that will allow China Sunergy to persevere and ultimately thrive."
Third Quarter 2011 Financial Results in Detail
Total Revenue and Shipments
For the third quarter of 2011, revenue amounted to US$145.8 million, a slight increase of 1.3% over the second quarter. The slight increase in revenue was achieved because of an increase in quarterly shipments; however, corresponding revenues were offset by falling ASPs. Sales decreased in mature markets like Europe but increased in certain new markets. Revenue from module sales amounted to US$145.4 million and accounted for 99.7% of total revenue. Shipments for the third quarter were 116.2 MW, including 115.6 MW of solar modules, the Company's highest quarterly shipment volume to date.
Gross Profit / Loss and Gross Margin
Gross losses for the third quarter amounted to US$19.9 million. Gross margin was negative 13.7% for the third quarter of 2011, which is lower than the 4% to 5% level the Company originally estimated. This is mainly because the Company made additional US$26.8 million in inventory provisions due to falling ASPs.
Average Selling Price
Module ASP during the third quarter was US$1.26 per watt, declining from US$1.64 per watt in the second quarter of 2011.
In the third quarter of 2011, blended wafer costs were US$0.54 per watt, representing a sequential decrease of 31.6%. The prices of polysilicon and wafers are expected to continue to decline in the fourth quarter. Non-silicon costs for cells and modules for the third quarter of 2011 were US$0.24 and US$0.30 per watt respectively.
Operating Expense, Operating Profit/Loss and Net Income/Loss
SG&A expenses in the third quarter of 2011 were US$16.2 million, compared to US$13.5 million in the second quarter of 2011. The increase was primarily due to the settlement expense with REC Wafer Norway AS.
Operating expenses were US$17.9 million for the third quarter of 2011, representing 12.3% of total revenue, and increasing by 18.5% over second quarter of 2011. Operating expenses accounted for 10.5% of total revenue for the second quarter of 2011.
For the third quarter of 2011, losses from operations were US$37.8 million and net losses were US$31.3 million.
Inventories at the end of the third quarter of 2011 reached US$84.9 million, after writing inventory down by approximately US$33.8 million to reflect current market valuation. Inventory levels decreased 14.2% over the second quarter of 2011, and the company intends to keep inventory levels as low as possible through year end by planning production strictly according to orders received.
The cash outflow for third quarter was US$92.8 million, largely due to the net losses of US$31.3 million, and increases in accounts receivable and amounts due from related parties. The Company recorded investing cash outflow of US$10.3 million and financing cash inflow of US$174.2 million.
Additional Company Updates Subsequent to Q3 2011
2011 Fourth Quarter and Full Year Guidance
Weak market demand and industry oversupply continued to affect our business in the third quarter, and the challenging conditions in the global solar market are expected to continue in the fourth quarter of the year. The Company announced updated guidance on November 4, 2011 and is taking every action to make meaningful guidance predictions to investors in the future.
In the meantime, to the best of the Company's knowledge at this time, fourth quarter shipments are estimated to be in the range of 95MW to 110MW. The Company expects to breakeven at the gross margin level and forecasts a net loss in the fourth quarter. For the full year 2011, the Company estimates its total shipments to be between 395MW and 410 MW.
China Sunergy will host an earnings conference call on Thursday, November 17, 2011, at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time (Thursday, November 17, 2011, 9:00 p.m.Beijing/Hong Kong time). The management team will be on the call to discuss the Company's results, operating performance and business outlook and to answer questions.
To access the conference call, please dial:
Please ask to be connected to Q3 2011 China Sunergy Co., Ltd. Earnings Conference Call and provide the following passcode: 24929338
Following the earnings conference call, an archive of the call will be available by dialing:
The passcode for replay participants is: 24929338. The telephone replay also will be archived on the "Investor Relations" section of the company's website for seven days following the earnings announcement.
About China Sunergy Co., Ltd.
China Sunergy Co., Ltd. is a specialized manufacturer of solar cell and module products in China. China Sunergy manufactures solar cells from silicon wafers, which utilize crystalline silicon solar cell technology to convert sunlight directly into electricity through a process known as the photovoltaic effect, and assembles solar cells into solar modules. China Sunergy sells these solar products to Chinese and overseas module manufacturers, system integrators, and solar power systems for use in various markets. For more information, please visit our website at http://www.chinasunergy.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical facts in this announcement are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, assumptions, estimates and projections about the Company and the industry, and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to, the Company's ability to raise additional capital to finance the Company's activities; the effectiveness, profitability, and the marketability of its products; litigations and other legal proceedings, including the ultimate outcome of any decisions by the ITC and DOC on the petitions filed; the economic slowdown in China and elsewhere and its impact on the Company's operations; demand for and selling prices of the Company's products, the future trading of the common stock of the Company; the ability of the Company to operate as a public Company; the period of time for which its current liquidity will enable the Company to fund its operations; the Company's ability to protect its proprietary information; general economic and business conditions; the volatility of the Company's operating results and financial condition; the Company's ability to attract or retain qualified senior management personnel and research and development staff; future shortage or availability of the supply of raw materials; impact on cost-competitiveness as a result of entering into long-term arrangements with raw material suppliers and other risks detailed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent occurring events or circumstances, or to changes in its expectations, except as may be required by law. Although the Company believes that the expectations expressed in these forward looking statements are reasonable, they cannot assure you that their expectations will turn out to be correct, and investors are cautioned that actual results may differ materially from the anticipated results.
The following financial information is extracted from the Company's condensed consolidated financial statements for the respective periods.