LDK Solar warns of Q3 losses, write downs and lowers 2011 guidance

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Rapidly declining prices for wafers and modules due to overcapacity and weak demand have significantly impacted expected third-quarter results at LDK Solar. The integrated PV manufacturer warned that it expected to write down US$45 to US$50 million of inventories and expected to report negative gross margin between 3.5% and 5.0%. The company lowered revenue guidance to be in the range of US$460–$470 million, down from previous guidance of US$630–$680 million.

LDK Solar cut its third-quarter wafer shipment guidance by as much as 65MW on the low end. Revised guidance was around 285–290MW, compared to 350–400MW as previously guided.

The same revision was made in relation to module shipments. LDK guided module shipments in the range of 185–190MW, down from between 250 and 300MW.

In-house polysilicon production was also reduced slightly. The company had guided production between 2,850 MT and 2,900 MT, compared to previous guidance of between 2,600MT and 2,700MT.

In contrast, in-house solar cell production is expected to increase significantly over previous guidance levels. LDK Solar estimates that production will be in the tight range of 295–300MW, compared to previous guidance of between 200MW and 220MW.

The company also revised and narrowed its guidance for full-year 2011 revenue to be in the range of US$2.20 to US$2.25 billion, down from US$2.5 to US$2.7 billion with gross margins between 15% and 20%.

Total 2011 wafer shipments are expected to in the range of 1.55–1.65GW. Previously, LDK Solar guided wafer shipment to be in the 1.8–2.0GW range.

Module shipments will realistically be in the region between 550MW and 650MW, down from 750–800MW.

In-house cell production for the full year is expected to be between 600MW and 700MW, unchanged from previous guidance. Finally, in-house polysilicon production was guided to be in the range of 10,000–11,000MT, also unchanged from previous guidance.

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