Suntech Power (STP) Exceeds Guidance, But Announces Layoffs & Hiring Freeze

Suntech Power (STP) is out this morning releasing preliminary financial results for the 4th quarter in which it expects revenues to exceed previous guidance of 345 – 360 million and come in at 405- 420 million.

As of December 31, 2008, Suntech’s cash and cash equivalents balance was approximately $508 million, which is approximately $113 million higher than the cash and cash equivalents balance at the end of the third quarter of 2008. Cash and cash equivalents increased primarily due to the liquidation of some short term investments and the accelerated collection of some Value Added Tax Recoverable.

Said CFO Amy Zhang, “With our relatively strong financial status, we believe we are well positioned to weather the global economic downturn and capitalize on the long term growth potential of the solar industry.”

Regarding employment, the company announced it cut 800 jobs in the quarter and suspended the hiring of an additional 2000 employees but will consider further expansion and hiring =when market conditions improve. 

The company reports its quarterly and full year financial results on February 18th ahead of the bell.  STP is trading up about 5% today but remains submerged below its 50 day moving average. 

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