* First-quarter loss $0.45/ADS vs est. loss $0.28/ADS
* Panel price falls 2 cents to 61 cents per watt
* Shares down 11 percent
May 16 ReneSola Ltd, a Chinese solar
wafer and panel maker, reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly
loss as it sold fewer solar wafers in the first quarter and
selling prices fell, sending the company's shares down nearly 11
ReneSola, like most of its Chinese peers, has reported a
loss for seven straight quarters as selling prices for panels
have remained depressed.
ReneSola said panel prices had slipped by 2 cents to 61
cents per watt during the first quarter compared to the fourth
quarter. Total wafer and panel shipments fell by 7 percent
during the period.
The fall in prices and shipments sent gross margin into
negative territory in the quarter. Margin fell to negative 2
percent from positive 3.3 percent in the fourth quarter.
First-quarter net loss was $39 million, or 45 cents per
American Depositary Share (ADS). Analysts on average had
estimated a loss of 28 cents per ADS, according to Thomson
First-quarter revenue was $284.2 million.
Lower funding for solar subsidies in top market Europe,
coupled with rapid expansion in Chinese manufacturing capacity,
has sent panel prices into a tailspin in the last two years.
U.S.-listed ReneSola, however, expects panel prices to inch
up 2 to 3 cents per watt in the current quarter, and rise
further to 65 cents per watt in the third quarter.
The company also expects shipments to rise in the current
quarter. It expects wafer and module shipments to increase to
700 to 720 megawatts (MW) in the second quarter from 662.1 MW in
Second-quarter revenue is forecast to be in the range of
$310 million to $330 million, higher than the average analyst
estimate of $296.5 million.
The company also expects gross margins to turn positive in
the second quarter at between 3 percent and 5 percent.
ReneSola is one of the few Chinese solar companies to escape
steep U.S. import duties on solar products that use China-made
cells. The company sources its cells from outside China.
It will employ a similar strategy to bypass recently imposed
EU tariffs on Chinese solar panel imports, the management said
on a conference call with analysts. Europe accounted for about
50 percent of the company's first-quarter shipments.
ReneSola plans to outsource 700-900 MW of production to
locations like South Africa and Poland this year.
The company also said shipments in the second half of the
year would average more than 700 MW per quarter, helping it
reach the target of shipping 2.7 to 2.9 gigawatts (GW) this
The company's sunny outlook for the latter part of the year
failed to assuage investors ReneSola shares were down nearly 11
percent at $1.96 at midday on the New York Stock Exchange.