Chinese solar PV maker JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd. (NYSE: JKS) reported results for the company’s first fiscal quarter today, and the results were not pretty. The company, once positioned as a low-cost provider, posted an earnings loss of -$2.55 per US ADS (one ADS is equal to four ordinary shares) on revenue of $168.3 million. The consensus estimate called for a loss of -$1.12/ADS on revenue of $156.8 million.
With only LDK Solar Co. Ltd. (NYSE: LDK) of the Chinese solar makers left to report first quarter earnings, it’s hard to find any positives for China’s big solar makers. Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (NYSE: STP), Trina Solar Ltd. (NYSE: TSL), and JA Solar Holdings Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: JASO) missed either revenue expectations, EPS estimates, or both. US makers First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) and Sunpower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) did no better, with First Solar posting a surprise loss and Sunpower missing EPS estimates.
JinkoSolar reported gross margins of 0.7%, compared with a negative margin of -4.4% in the previous quarter and a margin of 26.2% in the first quarter of 2011. The company attributed the quarter-over-quarter margin improvement to lower costs for polysilicon and improved operating efficiency. The year-over-year decline was the result of a decline in sales prices — no surprise there.
The company did not offer any revenue or earnings forecast for the second quarter, but did say that it expects to ship 200-240 megawatts of solar modules and that in-house production would total 1,200 megawatts by the end of the year. The capacity estimate is identical with the company’s capacity at the end of 2011. The estimate of module shipments is below the 249 megawatts the company shipped in the first quarter.
Shares of JinkoSolar are down about -1.3% in the pre-market this morning, at $4.47 in a 52-week range of $3.62-$27.30.