Trina Solar posts bigger-than-expected 3Q loss

The Associated Press
Associated Press

Chinese solar panel maker Trina Solar Ltd. Reported a third-quarter net loss Tuesday that was bigger than analysts expected, as it continued to struggle with lower prices in an oversupplied solar industry. It cut its shipments guidance for the full year.

Trina lost $57.5 million, or 81 cents per American depositary share, for the quarter that ended Sept. 30. During the same period last year it lost $31.5 million, or 45 cents per share.

Revenue plunged 38 percent to $298 million.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected a loss of 49 cents per share on revenue of $347.2 million.

On Nov. 12, Trina Solar lowered third-quarter guidance, citing industry wide oversupply and lower prices.

The company said Tuesday that shipments of solar modules fell 9.2 percent from the second quarter. Sales were hurt by the ongoing imbalance between supply and demand, as well as "the irrational pricing practices by some competitors," Chairman and CEO Jifan Gao said in a prepared statement.

Trina has been trying to cut costs, although they rose on a per-watt basis during the most recent quarter compared to the quarter that ended in June. It expects its manufacturing costs to fall in the fourth quarter as it renegotiates deals to buy silicon, the raw material for making solar panels.

Trina has been borrowing more money, too, pushing its interest expense to $13.8 million during the quarter, up from $9.7 million during the same quarter a year ago. The company ended the quarter with $1.12 billion in bank debt, and had $703.4 million in cash and equivalents on hand, including restricted cash.

Trina cut its full-year 2012 module shipment guidance to 1.55 to 1.6 gigawatts from a previous forecast for 1.75 to 1.8 gigawatts.

Trina Solar shares fell 22 cents, or 9 percent, to $2.19 in midday trading. The stock has lost nearly 50 percent of its value in the last six months. As recently as June it traded at $7.10 per share.