(Adds details throughout)
NEW YORK, May 15 (Reuters) - Yingli Green Energy Holding Co Ltd YGE.N posted a first-quarter profit as the photovoltaic solar equipment maker ramped up sales of its clean electricity products, but its stock gave back some of its recent gains.
The Chinese company said on Thursday its net income rose to $31.9 million, or 25 cents per American depositary share, versus a loss of $3.2 million, or 5 cents per ADS, a year ago. Revenue jumped 272 percent to $227.5 million in the quarter.
However, the company said about $9.5 million of the profit increase was related to currency gains in the value of the euro against China’s yuan.
Jesse Pichel, an analyst with Piper Jaffray, said the figures were largely in line with the range of expectations, but added there were worries regarding the company’s ability to secure raw materials next year.
“The market is concerned regarding their 30 percent polysilicon coverage for 2009,” he said.
Polysilicon is the key material in most solar cells that turn sunlight into electricity, and tight supplies of the material have pushed prices sharply higher in the past two years.
However, new polysilicon supplies are expected to come on line later this year, and Pichel said any new supply contracts announced by Yingli would likely propel the stock higher.
Shares in Yingli fell 5.4 percent to $25.72 on the New York Stock Exchange, cutting into a 20 percent rally over the two previous days and outpacing losses in other solar stocks.
Yingli’s solar module sales jumped to 54.6 megawatts in the first quarter, up from 14.6 MW a year ago and 50.9 MW in the fourth quarter.
Gross margins fattened to 24.6 percent in the quarter from 20.9 percent a year ago, but dipped slightly from 24.7 percent in the last quarter of 2007.
The Baoding, China-based company reiterated it expects 2008 module shipments between 255 and 265 megawatts, and revenues between $969 million and $1.02 billion. (Reporting by Matt Daily; Editing by Braden Reddall)