LDK Solar warns of more write downs and revised revenue for 2011

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Citing further pricing pressures in the fourth quarter of 2011, LDK Solar has revised down fourth quarter financial guidance and warned of further inventory write downs, expected to come from its polysilicon production operations.

The company has already made several downward amendments to its expected quarterly results in 2011, resulting in an excess of US$1 billion wiped-off expected revenue and over 1GW in expected wafer shipments alone.

The company said that revenue in the fourth quarter would be in the range of US$440 to US$450 million, down significantly from US$440 million to US$520 million, as previously guided. LDK Solar had reported revenue of US$920.9 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2010.

LDK Solar had reported net sales for the third quarter of 2011 of US$471.9 million, down from previous guidance of between US$630 million to US$680 million. Revenue declined quarter-on-quarter in 2011, giving revised guidance for the fourth quarter. Full-year 2011 revenue could therefore reach US$2,187 million.

With fourth quarter shipments, LDK Solar said wafer shipments had been revised to be in the range of 215MW-220MW, up slightly from the low-point of previous guidance of 200MW but below the upper-end of 270MW.

Solar cell and module shipments are expected to be between 250MW and 260MW, higher than previous guidance of 180MW at the lower guided point but below the higher point of 270MW.

The company also guided in-house polysilicon production to be between 2,100MT and 2,300MT for the fourth quarter, compared to previous guidance of between 2,200MT and 2,800MT.

In-house cell production was guided to be in the range of 130MW-150MW, compared to between 220MW and 250MW in previous guidance given during its third quarter conference call in November 2011.

2012 guidance

LDK Solar also provided 2012 guidance, while making further downward revisions to fourth quarter results. The company said it expected revenue in 2012 to be in the range of US$2.0 billion to US$2.7 billion.

Polysilicon production was expected to be between 12,000MT and 15,000MT, of which shipments to third party customers were expected to be between 6,000MT and 8,000 MT.

LDK Solar guided wafer production in 2012 to be between 2.7GW-3.3GW, of which shipments to third party customers were expected to be between 1.5GW and 2.0GW

In 2012, in-house cell production is expected to be between 1.2GW and 1.6GW and module production between 1.2GW and 1.6GW, with cell and module shipments to third party customers between 1GW and 1.3GW.

With regards to its new product offering of PV inverters, LDK expects shipments between 200MW to 250MW. LDK Solar expects PV system project construction to be in the range of 400MW to 600MW and to recognize between 270MW and 360MW through project sales and EPC services for third party customers.

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