Suntech Power (STP) Posts Strong Quarter, Raises Guidance

Suntech Power (STP) reported earnings this morning  that were just shy of analyst estimates on the EPS side due to a substantial currency exchange hit on a weakening Euro, but revenues beat analyst estimates and approached the record quarter in Q2 2008.  The company posted an EPS of .11/share vs the analyst estimate of .14/share on revenues of $588 million vs the analyst estimate of $560 million.  That’s a big jump over the year ago quarter on the EPS side even with the Euro hit and revenues increased 87% over the year ago quarter.  All in all, a very strong quarter and you have to believe Suntech will do a better job of hedging in the future. 

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CEO Zhengrong Shi commented on the solar industry: “We are pleased about the solar growth trends that we are seeing across all geographies. Europe’s commitment to achieving 20% renewable energy generation by 2020 is proving to be the foundation for long-term stable growth. Our North American dealer network and utility initiatives should enable us to triple our sales to that region in 2010. And, we are continuing to build our presence in emerging markets. In fact, Asia, Africa and the Middle East represented close to 21% of our sales in the first quarter, and we continued to diversify our geographic sales mix globally. Clear customer recognition of Suntech’s superior track record and highly bankable products is a key driver of our demand in all of these markets.

Looking ahead, they expect single digit % growth in shipments this quarter sequentially and for the full year they are increasing their shipment target from 1.25GW to more than 1.3GW which would be an 85% increase over 2009.

They plan to expand PV cell production capacity to 1.4GW by the end of this quarter to meet demand and will spend about $200 million for the expansion.

Traders clearly aren’t impressed with the earnings report this morning.  The stock is down about 2% despite being crushed in recent months. 

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