Canadian Solar sees limited shipment increases as capacity constraints hit

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Regardless of its planned manufacturing capacity expansion plans, Canadian Solar has limited ability to boost c-Si module shipments that could stretch through the first half of the year and beyond. The company has updated its shipments and selected financial figures for operations in the first quarter of 2010, which include module shipments expected to reach between 189MW to 191MW compared to previous guidance of shipments reaching between 180MW to 190MW.

In a research note, Barclays Capital financial analyst, Vishal Shah noted that Canadian Solar could be impacted by solar equipment delivery lead times due to over 200 c-Si cell lines currently under construction globally. Shah said that Canadian Solar may not reach its cell capacity expansion plans of 720MW until late August, 2010 due to lead times on equipment.

Canadian Solar was also having problems with expansion of its internal ingot/wafer manufacturing, which could result in wafer capacity only reaching 350MW by the end of the second quarter, compared with plans to reach 500MW.

According to an investor note issued by Mark Bachman, financial analyst at Auriga, Canadian Solar was not adequately hedged against the depreciation of the Euro during Q1, which depreciated by 6.4%. This would cost the company between US$18 and US$20 million in the quarter.

Canadian Solar’s CFO, Arthur Chien said: “Demand for our products was very strong in Q1 and we were able to maintain our raw materials prices as well as our processing costs within the expected range for the quarter. The Euro depreciated dramatically during the quarter and we did not have adequate currency hedging to cover our Euro exposure. We have since taken actions to significantly increase our currency hedging, with approximately 85% of our expected Euro exposure for the second quarter of 2010 now protected.”

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