Tue, Jun 12, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Sales outlook sunny for Taiwan’s solar companies

SILVER LINING:Analysts expect sales to keep growing after a US tariff on Chinese imports and high demand from Italy and Germany boosted last month’s revenues

By Kevin Chen  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan’s solar companies are expected to see sales increase 20 percent to 30 percent in the second quarter from the first quarter due to better-than-expected orders received last month and this month, an analyst said yesterday.

The sequential increase is higher than Grand Cathay Investment Services Corp’s (大華投顧) previous estimate of a 5 percent to 15 percent increase, analyst Rickey Lin (林君曄) said in a note.

Taiwanese solar companies may also see their losses shrink sequentially and could possibly swing into profit next quarter, if solar cell prices continue to rise in the months ahead, Lin added.

Lin’s remark came after several local solar companies posted monthly increases in consolidated sales last month, thanks to the US’ punitive tariffs on Chinese imports announced last month.

“Because of short-term orders from China to circumvent the heavy US import tariff and rush orders from Germany and Italy before current incentive programs expire, most local solar firms posted single-digit growth in monthly sales last month,” Lin said.

According to Lin’s company checks, “orders remain good this month and industry visibility for next month is not too bad.”

However, most companies still registered annual declines in accumulated revenues for the first five months because of an industry-wide oversupply and weak market demand compared with a year earlier.

Based on solar companies’ recent filings to the Taiwan Stock Exchange, DelSolar Co (旺能), a solar cell and module maker, posted the highest monthly increase in consolidated sales last month —50.4 percent — to NT$749 million (US$25.03 million), up 7.64 percent year-on-year.

Another solar cell maker, Solartech Energy Corp (昇陽), reported an 8.99 percent increase in monthly sales of NT$712.83 million last month, down 1.82 percent from a year ago, while local peer Neo Solar Power Corp (新日光) increased its sales by 8.19 percent to NT$1.34 billion last month, although the figures were still 23.47 percent less than a year ago.

Giga Solar Materials Corp (碩禾), a provider of conductive materials for solar cells, saw its sales record a monthly high of NT$386.61 million last month, up 5.56 percent month-on-month and 127.93 percent year-on-year.

The nation’s biggest solar cell maker, Motech Industries Inc (茂迪), reported that its consolidated revenue dropped 4.01 percent to NT$1.58 billion last month, ending four consecutive months of rises. Last month’s figures were down 26.51 percent year-on-year.

Motech announced late last month it was disposing of its money-losing US polysilicon manufacturing unit, AE Polysilicon Corp. Lin said the Tainan-based company’s declining monthly sales were due to falling average selling prices despite increased OEM orders from China.

Gintech Energy Corp (昱晶), the nation’s second-biggest solar cell maker, said its sales fell 7.69 percent month-on-month, but rose 40.2 percent year-on-year to NT$1.37 billion.

Meanwhile, Green Energy Technology Inc (綠能), the nation’s biggest solar wafer maker, posted monthly decline of 0.34 percent and a yearly decline of 27.17 percent as sales came in at NT$985.37 million.

Looking toward this month, market researcher EnergyTrend, a research team at Taipei-based TrendForce Corp (集邦科技), said yesterday Taiwanese solar companies’ revenues would turn strong due to rising prices.

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