Canadian Solar Earnings Aren’t Enough for Investors

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Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) reported its third-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Monday. The company said that it had $0.29 in earnings per share (EPS) and $657.3 million in revenue. There were consensus estimates that called for $0.27 in EPS and $685.28 million in revenue. The same period from last year had $0.53 in EPS and $849.81 million in revenue.

Total solar module shipments were 1,185 MW (megawatts), of which 1,161 MW was recognized in revenue, compared to 1,290 MW recognized in revenue in the second quarter of 2016, and third quarter guidance in the range of 1,200 MW to 1,300 MW.

At the end of September, the company’s late-stage pipeline totaled 2.0 GWp (gigawatts) of utility-scale solar project pipeline, which included 940 MWp in the U.S., 597 MWp in Japan, 390 MWp in Brazil, 38 MWp in China, 63 MWp in Mexico, 15 MWp in the United Kingdom and 6 MWp in Africa.

Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash balances at the end of the quarter totaled $986.0 million, versus $1.0 billion in the same period from last year.

Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar, commented:

Our solar module shipments and revenue came in at the low end of our guidance, due to the dislocation of the global solar market during the quarter and the quarter-end logistic disruption caused by the bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping in September. Our team has effectively managed the supply chain and our own production output to offset the macro impact of solar module ASP declines in the broader market. We achieved a gross margin of 17.8%, which was well above our guidance and reflects our strong inventory management and continued improvement in manufacturing efficiencies.

He added:

During the quarter, we continued to develop our downstream energy business. At the end of the quarter, our late-stage solar project pipeline stood at 2.0 GWp and our portfolio of solar plants in operation totaled 948 MWp. Our footprint now covers the world’s most attractive markets: the U.S., Canada, Japan, Brazil, China, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Africa. Investor interest in our high-quality project pipeline remains robust.

Shares of Canadian Solar closed Friday at $11.70, with a consensus analyst price target of $18.84 and a 52-week trading range of $10.25 to $29.83. Following the release of the earnings report, the stock was down over 2% at $11.42 in early trading indications Monday.