Chinese solar PV maker Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd. (NYSE: YGE) posted third-quarter 2014 results before markets opened on Tuesday morning. The company posted a diluted earnings per American Depositary Share (ADS) loss of $0.11, compared with a loss of $0.25 in the year-ago quarter and a consensus estimate for a loss of $0.13 per ADS. Revenues slipped about 7.2% year over year to $515.52 million, which was sharply below the consensus estimate of $655.88 million. One ADS is equal to one ordinary share.
Module shipments rose less than 2% sequentially to 903.4 megawatts in the third quarter, and gross profits rose 34% as gross margins increased from 15.6% in the second quarter to 20.9% in the third quarter. For the first time in 13 quarters the company posted an operating profit, and operating margin rose sequentially from a negative 2.5% to a positive 5.9%. Yingli Solar’s net loss fell from $44.3 million in the second quarter to $18.2 million in the third quarter, primarily as a result of lower administrative costs and sales expenses.
At the end of the second quarter, Yingli Solar forecast full-year module shipments in the range of 3,600 to 3,800 megawatts. In its Tuesday announcement the company has lowered that target to a new range of 3,300 to 3,500 megawatts. That’s still a 3% to 4.6% increase over 2013 shipments.
The company’s CEO said:
Despite the slower than expected development of downstream projects in the first half of 2014, we are progressing well in the downstream in the second half of 2014. In the third quarter, we began to construct 185 MW of downstream projects, bringing our projects under construction to a total of 340 MW, with internal shipments to these projects having reached to 187 MW. In the fourth quarter, we expect to start the construction of 50 to 60 MW of downstream projects in total. Thus we expect to develop approximately 400 MW of downstream projects by ourselves or together with our partners by the end of 2014. We expect to sell about half of these projects upon completion of the construction.
Yingli Solar’s shares are down about 1.3% in Tuesday’s pre-market trading at $2.95 in a 52-week range of $2.43 to $7.45. The consensus price target from Thomson/First Call is $4.35.