Trina Solar (TSL) Reports Loss But Beats Estimates

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10:35:42 am on March 3, 2009

Trina Solar (TSL) reported results this morning with an EPS loss a bit lighter than expected at .03/share vs the estimate of a .04 loss.  Revenues were a bit better than expected as well at $216 million vs the analyst estimate of $201 million and exceeding the company’s previous guidance of $190 – $210. 

“Despite the challenging global economic and financial climate, we are pleased with our strong performance in the fourth quarter,” said Mr. Jifan Gao,Chairman and CEO of Trina Solar. “The value of and loyalty towards our brand helped us to exceed our quarterly revenue guidance, despite sector-wide declines in the average sales price of modules.”

Highlights:

– The launch of European warehouse operations added to fourth quarter sales by improving delivery response time and services to customers

– significant progress in multicrystalline production with approx cost of $.82/watt cost in 4Q with another 5% cost reduction expected in 1Q 09

– recently ranked by TUV Reinland in the top 2 for specific energy yield

– improving photovoltaic manufacturing process with year end cell efficiency goals of 18.5% and 17.5% for its mono and multicrystalline product lines.  That compares to 17.5% and 16.3% efficiency achieved by the end of last year.

– increasing sales diversification to a total of 18 established and emerging PV markets such as Greece, Czech Republic, Australia and the US

– strong support from Spanish partners that are increasingly active in projects outside of Spain

– new cell production lines placed into commercial operation

– launch of European warehouse operations in Rotterdam, Netherlands

– announced plans for North American operations base in San Francisco

For the first quarter of 2009, TSL expects to ship between 50 MW to 55 MW of PV modules and believes gross margin for the first quarter will likely be in the range of 15% and 17%.  For the full year of 2009 they expect total PV module shipments between 350 MW to 400 MW, representing an increase of 74% to 99% from 2008.

Trina Solar (TSL) is trading up over 5% today off very oversold levels.

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