Renesola (SOL) Misses Big On EPS Due To Plummeting Wafer & Module Pricing, Issues Poor Guidance

Is the worst for solar stocks over?  It’s still too early to make a definitive statement but when you see stocks rising in the face of bad news then you know traders are looking for excuses to buy rather than sell.  That’s one indication a bottom is near.  Perhaps that’s the case for shares of ReneSola (SOL) which reported Q2 results this morning. 

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While the company beat analyst estimates on the revenue side posting $249 million vs the estimate for $238 million, the company missed badly on the EPS side posting a profit of just .02/share vs the expectation for .16/share.  If you’ve been following solar at all, you know the reason… Europe subsidy cuts.

CEO Xianshou Li commented: “Both wafer and module prices fell faster than expected in the second quarter as European subsidy cuts weakened demand and led to oversupply in the industry.  Although this affected both our top and bottom lines, we were able to maintain a gross margin of 18.4% with our industry-low wafer processing costs and growing in-house polysilicon production. Our new Virtus wafer, a multicrystalline wafer that can achieve cell efficiency rates of up to 18.2%, has an even higher profit margin than our existing wafers and has been well-received by clients with its high efficiency-to-price ratio. We expect Virtus wafers to replace all of ReneSola’s existing multicrystalline wafers by the end of 2011. As the solar market matures, we will continue to focus on wafer production to capitalize on our brand name, scale of operations and innovative technologies to lead the industry in cost-competitive solar manufacturing."

Looking ahead to results for this quarter the company expects about a 10% sequential improvement in shipments and revenues in the range of $220 – $240 million vs the analyst expectation for $277 million.  The company has withdrawn guidance for the full year due to poor visibility.

To sum up, I think today’s up move was a move in the right direction, but quite a bit of that had to do with “a  rising tide lifts all boats”.  Given the poor guidance for this quarter and the pulling of full year guidance, I just can’t get behind shares of SOL at this time even at historic lows. 

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