Suntech Power loses money in its 1st quarter

May 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Suntech Power Holdings Co. lost money in its first quarter as shipments and prices for its solar panels fell.

The solar sector has struggled recently. A big ramp-up of production in China and weakening demand in Europe, the largest solar market, led to an oversupply of solar panels and drove down prices.

The Chinese solar energy company lost $133 million, or 74 cents per U.S.-traded share, for the three months ended March 31. That compares with a profit of $31.9 million, or 17 cents per U.S.-traded share, a year ago.

Analysts forecast a narrower loss of 49 cents per share, according to a FactSet survey.

Revenue slid 53 percent to $409.5 million from $877 million as shipments dropped and the average selling price of photovoltaic products declined. This met Wall Street’s expectations.

Shipments fell 22 percent from a year ago and 27 percent from the October-December quarter.

Chairman and CEO Dr. Zhengrong Shi said that the company had expected an even worse decline, of 30 percent, from the October-December quarter. Suntech predicted that shipments will rise more than 20 percent from the January-March quarter to the quarter that ends in June on improved demand.

Shares of Suntech, which is based in China, fell 5 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $1.93 in morning trading. Over the past year, the stock has traded in a range of $1.70 to $8.50 per share.

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