Suntech Power Reports 2Q Loss on Charge, Doubles Revenue

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Suntech Power Holdings Co. (NYSE:STP) reported a loss in its second quarter from a year-ago profit, as facility restructure and investment impairments heightened expenses, though the solar panel maker still traded up Wednesday on it nearly doubling quarterly revenue and capacity expansion.

The world’s largest producer of crystalline silicon solar panels posted a net loss of $174.5 million, or 97 cents a share, compared with a profit of $9.6 million, or 6 cents a share, in the same quarter last year. The latest quarter included a charge of $1 a share.

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Analyst estimates called for earnings of 3 cents, according to a Thomson Reuters poll.

Revenue for the San Francisco, California-based company was $625.1 million, up 94.8% from $321 million a year ago, and beating the Street’s view of $622.25 million.

Suntech CEO Dr. Zhengrong Shi said the second quarter loss reflected a period of “robust multi-market demand.”

“Strong operational execution ensured that we achieved our 1.4GW capacity target, which drove higher than expected shipment and net revenue growth,” he said, noting the company will expand PV cell and module production capacity by the end of the year

Total PV shipments increased 181.7% year over year, particularly in Germany and other European markets, and the company secured supply agreements with emerging markets, including Thailand, India and Israel.

Suntech’s North American expansion continued to bear fruit, Shi said, as it broadened market share and prepared for US-based manufacturing, expected to commence in the fourth quarter.

Despite the sales growth earnings were impeded by the restructuring of its Shanghai facility and Shunda Holdings investment impairments.

Shi said the adjustments were “necessary” and have no impact on its core manufacturing operations.

“Now that they are behind us, we are in a better position to address the growth we are expecting in our core business,” he said.

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