Energy Business

LDK Solar Slashes Forecasts (LDK, HSOL, SOL)

Solar panel maker LDK Solar Co. Ltd. (NYSE: LDK) has revised its fourth quarter 2011 forecast and announced its guidance for the company’s 2012 fiscal year. The company will announce fourth quarter and full-year 2011 earnings on April 12th.

LDK lowered its fourth-quarter revenue forecast from a range of $440-$520 million, to $440-$450 million. Wafer shipment estimates were also cut, from 200-270 megawatts to 215-220 megawatts; module shipments were cut from a previous range of 180-270 megawatts to 250-260 megawatts. But that’s not all:

As a result of the rapidly declining market price for wafers and modules during the fourth quarter of 2011, LDK Solar expects to incur a write-down of inventories, realize impairment charges on contractual purchase agreements, and therefore, expects gross margin to be negative. In addition, some provisions for accounts receivable and fixed assets may also be required.

Negative gross margins, just like Hanwha SolarOne Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: HSOL) and Renesola Ltd. (NYSE: SOL) reported last week.

The company also offered its outlook for 2012, forecasting revenue of $2.1-$2.7 billion, as well as estimates on product shipments. It did not say whether margins would turn positive next year.

Paul Ausick