UPDATE 1-Trina Solar sees higher 2nd-qtr shipments, margins

Wed May 23, 2012 7:15am EDT

May 23 (Reuters) - China-based Trina Solar Ltd posted a quarterly loss on a drop in solar module prices but forecast higher shipments and margins for the second quarter as it looks to reduce its manufacturing costs.

Lower subsidies in Europe, the key solar market, hurt demand for solar modules last year, leading to a 50 percent fall in their prices.

Trina Solar, one of China's largest solar equipment makers, expects to ship 500 megawatt (MW) to 520 MW modules in the second quarter, higher than its first-quarter shipments of 380 MW. It expects shipments of 2-2.1 gigawatt (GW) in this year, versus 1.51 GW last year.

Trina forecast second-quarter gross margin, including the impact of provisions for potential countervailing and anti-dumping duties, of about 10 percent. By that measure, margins were 5.8 percent in the first quarter.

The U.S. Commerce Department set punitive tariffs of around 30 percent last Thursday after ruling in favor of the local firms that said Chinese exporters were dumping cut-price panels on their market.

Trina Solar said it expects a sequential reduction in manufacturing costs in the second quarter after it renegotiates a chunk of its long-term silicon supply agreements.

First-quarter net loss was $29.8 million, or 42 cents per American Depositary share (ADS), compared with an income of $47.7 million, or 63 cents per ADS, in the year-ago quarter.

Revenue fell 37 percent to $349.9 million.

Trina Solar shares, which have plummeted 76 percent in the last year, closed at $5.33 on Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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