Chinese solar maker Renesola Ltd. (NYSE: SOL) reported results this morning that missed earnings estimates, but managed to beat the estimate on revenues. Given the state of the solar panel market that’s not especially good news.
Renesola’s fourth quarter earnings loss per ADS totaled -$0.43, compared with an estimate for a loss of -$0.24. Revenue totaled $187.7 million, solidly above the consensus estimate of $146.7 million. But like Hanwha SolarOne Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: HSOL), which reported results yesterday, Renesola posted a negative gross margin.
Renesola’s gross margin for the quarter was -23.1%, worse than the -4% gross margin of the third quarter, but much better than Hanwha’s negative gross margin of -61.8%. The company shipped 340 megawatts of wafers and modules in the fourth quarter. For the full year, Renesola shipped 1,295 megawatts of wafers and modules.
For the first quarter, the company forecast shipments of 400-420 megawatts and revenue of $180-$190 million. Gross margins won’t rise under that scenario, unless Renesola dramatically reduces costs. It looks like another tough quarter ahead.