Canadian Solar reports 2010 revenue of US$1.5 billion: module shipments of 803MW

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Canadian Solar saw revenues jump 137% to US$1.5 billion in 2010, while module shipments reached 803MW, an increase of 159%, compared to the previous year. Net revenues for the fourth quarter were US$452.7 million, compared to net revenues of US$377.2 million for the third quarter of 2010. Canadian Solar said that it expects shipments of approximately 1,200MW to 1,300 MW in 2011, in line with previous guidance.

Canadian Solar reiterated that it was on track to expand module capacity in China to 1.85GW and cell capacity to 1.3GW by mid-2011.  Its new module plant in Ontario was also on track to reach 200MW capacity by mid-2011. 

“2010 was a banner growth year for the Company. Our shipments grew faster than the global market for solar modules; we gained market share and more than doubled our net revenues,” commented Dr. Shawn Qu, chairman/CEO of Canadian Solar. “We also had higher margins than in 2009, primarily due to our increased sales volumes and lower processing costs at our wafer and cell plants.” 

“Concurrently, we continued our geographic diversification strategy and the development of our systems business, with considerable progress in North American and Japan.  We also further expanded our R&D efforts, which allowed us to begin shipping new products, including our New Edge and higher efficiency modules late in the year.  In 2011, we expect to see these products reach the market in much more meaningful volumes.”

Canadian Solar reported net revenue for the fourth quarter of US$452.7 million, compared to net revenues of US$377.2 million for the third quarter of 2010 and net revenues of US$254.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2009.

Net income in the quarter was US$25.5 million, compared to US$20.3 million for the third quarter 2010, and a net loss of US$15.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2009.

Shipments for the fourth quarter were 237MW, including 10MW relating to the delivery of systems kits.

Canadian Solar noted that its market diversification efforts saw sales to non-European markets accounting for 29% of revenue in the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to 23% in the third quarter of 2010 and only 8% in the fourth quarter of 2009. 

The company expects shipments in the first quarter of 2011 would be approximately level with the previous quarter.

However, gross margin is expected to decline in the current quarter due to declines in module ASP, higher costs in certain raw materials, and lower production volume during the Chinese New Year holiday period. Gross margin was expected to be between 14% – 15%, compared to 17.0% for the previous quarter.

According to Jeffries International financial analyst, Jesse Pichel, in a research note, the forecasted gross margin decline was caused by continuing high wafer costs verses lower module ASP. Wafer costs had risen as the module manufacturer added capacity.

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