Canadian Solar shipments soar

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Better than expected market demand, across multiple regions in the fourth quarter of 2011 has led to Canadian Solar significantly increasing its module shipment guidance, ahead of releasing Q4 and full-year results on March 7. Previously, the company guided fourth quarter shipments were expected to be in the range of 340MW – 360MW, inline with third quarter shipment levels and in contrast to many of its tier 1 rivals. However, the company expects shipments to be in the range of 430MW – 440 MW.

The quarterly increase means full-year shipments are expected to be in the range of 1,316MW – 1,326MW, compared to prior guidance in the range of 1,200MW – 1,300MW.

“Canadian Solar continues to successfully execute on our business strategy. We are increasing shipments to customers in key markets worldwide, while at the same time aggressively reducing our manufacturing costs,” commented Dr. Shawn Qu, chairman and chief executive officer of Canadian Solar. “In the market place we are winning by stressing our global brand, product quality, high performance, reliability and customer service. We are seeing continued gains in both solar module shipments to installers and in shipments related to our expanding project business. As an illustration of our business momentum, we recently signed agreement for Canadian Solar to develop and sell 9 fully-operational and commissioned utility-scale solar projects in the Province of Ontario, which are expected to contribute to the Company's revenue and profitability between late 2012 and mid-2013.”

Canadian Solar also reiterated that gross margin for the fourth quarter of 2011 remained in-line with prior guidance of 5% to 8%.

Update

According to an investor research note by Avian Securities analyst, Mark Bachman believed Canadian Solar must have had plenty of inventory on-hand to meet the stronger than expected demand from customers. Bachman also noted that the company had issued its prior guidance in late November, which should have indicated that it should have had better visibility into the order trends for the remainder of Q4. 
 
The financial analyst believed the market share gain the revised guidance portrays would therefore be short-lived. Increased shipments were said to have been concentrated in the US and China, according to Bachman. 

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