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|ReneSola Ltd Announces First Quarter 2011 Results|
Company achieves revenues of US$328.2 million, in line with Company guidance;
Achieves gross and operating profit margins of 30.7% and 23.0%, respectively;
Shipments exceed Company guidance with record solar wafer shipments of 243.5 MW
JIASHAN, China,, April 28, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --
ReneSola Ltd ("ReneSola" or the "Company") (NYSE: SOL), a leading global manufacturer of solar products, today announced its unaudited financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2011.
First Quarter 2011 Financial and Operating Highlights
"Despite a relatively cautious market in terms of demand, we delivered a good set of results in the first quarter of 2011, especially in terms of gross profit margin and operating margin," said Mr. Xianshou Li, ReneSola's chief executive officer. "We have witnessed a sharp decline in module ASPs but wafer pricing held strong during the quarter and our cost-reduction efforts allowed us to maintain a healthy gross margin of 30.7%. We made significant gains in reducing polysilicon cost during the quarter and are on target to increasing production towards the plant's annual capacity of 3,500 MT. As part of our cost-reduction initiatives, we have also ventured horizontally into wafer consumables and expect to launch steel wire production in the second half of this year. Though we hold a cautious outlook for demand in Europe, particularly due to the uncertainty and policy changes in Italy, we will continue to build out our capacities and are confident in our ability to drive down costs and remain an industry leader in low-cost wafers."
Julia Xu, ReneSola's chief financial officer, commented, "Rigorous cost controls, prudent polysilicon purchasing and the replenishing of our balance sheet were our main initiatives during the first quarter. As a result, we were able to maintain our gross profit margin while increasing our operating margin despite a soft macro market in which ASPs declined but raw material prices increased. Our average polysilicon price during the quarter was approximately US$60/kg, and we expect it to remain at a similar level during the second quarter. During the quarter, we also successfully issued a seven-year convertible note of US$200 million, including a US$25 million over-allotment option exercised in the second quarter, to strengthen our balance sheet for long-term expansion requirements as we build out our capacities to match market demand and gain market share."
First Quarter 2011 Results
Total Solar Product Shipments
The sequential decrease in revenues was driven by a decline in the average selling price ("ASP") of solar wafers and modules to US$0.87 and US$1.72, respectively, and a decline in module shipments.
The sequential decrease in gross margin was primarily due to the decline in solar module ASPs and increases in polysilicon prices.
The sequential decrease in operating expenses was primarily due to decreases in other expenses as a result of the one-off sale of recyclable polysilicon in Q4 2010. Operating expenses represented 7.6% of total revenues in Q1 2011, a decrease from 8.6% in Q4 2010.
The Company had a foreign exchange gain of US$4.8 million in Q1 2011, primarily due to the appreciation of the Euro against USD. The Company also recognized a US$19.8 million loss in the fair value of foreign exchange forward contracts as the Euro appreciated to a higher level than the forward rate hedged, compared to a gain of US$10.1 million in Q4 2010.
Net Income Attributable to Holders of Ordinary Shares
The Company's solar wafer business achieved over 30% gross profit margin for a fourth consecutive quarter in Q1 2011, with solar wafer ASPs remaining relatively flat amongst a period of uncertainty and adjustments in European solar policies. In Q1 2011, the Company's non-silicon wafer processing cost was US$0.24 per watt ("W"), the same as the previous quarter despite increases in consumable prices and RMB appreciation. The Company also managed its polysilicon raw material cost to approximately US$60 per kilogram ("kg"), well below market spot rate for polysilicon. The Company will continue its cost reduction efforts through advancements in technology and manufacturing. We expect processing cost to reach US$0.18/W by the end of 2011 as the Company ventures into horizontal expansions such as steel wires and slurry recycling.
Downstream Module Business
Despite softer demand in Europe, the Company delivered solar module shipments of 86.9 MW with an ASP of US$1.72/W in Q1 2011.
The Company's Sichuan polysilicon plant continued to make increasing contributions to profitability in Q1 2011. In Q1 2011, the Company produced approximately 750 metric tons ("MT") of polysilicon, an increase of 23.0% from approximately 610 MT in Q4 2010. The Company's polysilicon production cost was between approximately US$40/kg to US$45/kg during Q1 2011, as compared to US$55/kg to US$60/kg in Q4 2010.
The Company expects to produce 750 MT to 800 MT with an average production cost of approximately US$40/kg in Q2 2011 and is on target to produce 3,500 MT with a production cost of US$35/kg by the end of 2011. Additionally, the Company plans to expand its polysilicon production capacity to 8,500 MT in order to meet the growing demand of polysilicon requirement as wafer capacities increase in 2011.
Strong Cash Position
Net cash and cash equivalents plus restricted cash was US$435.9 million at the end of Q1 2011, compared to US$324.3 million in Q4 2010. Total debt was US$522.8 million in Q1 2011, excluding the US$200 million of convertible notes offered in the first and second quarters, compared to US$522.3 in Q4 2010.
Capital expenditure spending was US$31.9 million for Q1 2011. Short-term borrowings were US$404.0 million in Q1 2011, nearly flat from US$400.8 million in Q4 2010. Short-term borrowings consisted of US$141.7 million in trade finance, US$182.6 million in short-term facilities and US$79.7 million as the short-term portion of the long-term debt.
2011 Capacity Expansion Plans and Related CAPEX
The Company expects to spend US$350 million in 2011 to expand wafer production capacity from the current 1.3 GW to 1.9 GW while increasing module production capacity from the current 400 MW to 600 MW and expanding polysilicon production from the current 3,500 MT to 8,500 MT, including approximately 500 MT through de-bottlenecking of existing facilities for which the Company does not expect to incur additional capital expenditure.
Offering of US$200 Million of Convertible Senior Notes
In March 2011, the Company successfully offered US$175 million of convertible senior notes due 2018 to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. The notes are convertible into ReneSola's ADSs at an initial conversion rate of 94.8114 ADSs per US$1,000 principal amount of the notes (equivalent to an initial conversion price of approximately $10.55 per ADS), subject to adjustment under certain circumstances. In April, the initial purchasers exercised the US$25 million over-allotment option.
In addition to this offering, the Company also entered into an additional capped call transaction, which covers, subject to customary anti-dilution adjustments, the number of ADSs underlying the option notes. The additional capped call transaction is expected generally to reduce the potential dilution to the ordinary shares and ADSs upon conversion of the option notes. The cap price under the additional capped call transaction was initially US$15.0675 per ADS and is subject to customary anti-dilution adjustments.
The Company maintains a cautious outlook on market demand as a result of uncertainties in government policies related to the solar industry. In Q2 2010, the Company expects total solar wafer and module shipments to be in the range of 330 MW to 350 MW, revenues to be in the range of US$280 million to US$300 million and gross profit margin to be in the range of 25% to 27%.
Conference Call Information
ReneSola's management will host an earnings conference call on Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 8 am U.S. Eastern Time (8 pmBeijing/Hong Kong time).
Dial-in details for the earnings conference call are as follows:
Please dial in 10 minutes before the call is scheduled to begin and provide the passcode to join the call. The passcode is "ReneSola Call".
A replay of the conference call may be accessed by phone at the following number until May 5, 2011:
Additionally, a live and archived webcast of the conference call will be available on the Investor Relations section of ReneSola's website at http://www.renesola.com.
ReneSola is a leading global manufacturer of solar wafers and producer of solar power products based in China. Capitalizing on proprietary technologies, economies of scale, low-cost production capabilities and technological innovations and know-how, ReneSola leverages its in-house virgin polysilicon and solar cell and module production capabilities to provide its customers with high-quality, cost-competitive solar wafer products and processing services. The Company possesses a global network of suppliers and customers that includes some of the leading global manufacturers of solar cells and modules. ReneSola's ADSs are traded on The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: SOL).
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains statements that constitute ''forward-looking" statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Whenever you read a statement that is not simply a statement of historical fact (such as when the Company describes what it "believes," "expects" or "anticipates" will occur, what "will" or "could" happen, and other similar statements), you must remember that the Company's expectations may not be correct, even though it believes that they are reasonable. The Company does not guarantee that the forward-looking statements will happen as described or that they will happen at all. Further information regarding risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements is included in the Company's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's annual report on Form 20-F. The Company undertakes no obligation, beyond that required by law, to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which the statement is made, even though the Company's situation may change in the future.
SOURCE ReneSola Ltd.