Returning to profitability (US$11.8 million) in the first quarter of 2010 was only one aspect in a busy quarter for ReneSola. Revenue of US$206.6 million was reached on record quarterly shipments of 242.4MW (12.6% growth QoQ), both exceeding previous guidance. ReneSola now expects total solar product shipments of 1.0GW to 1.1GW, up from the previous total solar product shipment estimate of 900MW to 950MW. Average cell conversion efficiency rates on monocrystalline and multicrystalline wafers reached 17.4% and 16%, respectively, up from 16% and 15%, respectively. The average amount of power per watt generated by each wafer has increased 5% to 8%, according to the company.
ReneSola noted that gross margin went from negative 0.6% in Q4 2009 to positive 17.1% in the first quarter due to a large decrease in the cost of polysilicon, which went from US$74 per kilogram in Q4 2009 to US$60 per kilogram in Q1 2010, and the strong progress made through manufacturing cost-reduction initiatives.
In Q1 2010, ReneSola increased its wafer manufacturing capacity to 950MW from 825MW in Q4 2009 through improvements in slicing efficiencies using existing equipment and as a result of its adjusted wattage per piece calculation. In Q2 2010, the company expects to add an additional 260MW of capacity, bringing total wafer manufacturing capacity to 1210MW.
Phase 1 of its polysilicon trial production achieved closed-loop manufacturing with the activation of trichlorosilane (TCS) synthesis and hydrogenation in March. ReneSola said that its Phase II trial production commenced in February 2010 and is expected to be fully integrated by Q3 2010.
Total polysilicon production output was approximately 118.5MT in the quarter; once both phases are fully integrated the company plans to produce approximately 1500MT to 1700MT of polysilicon for the full year. This would lead to a poly production cost target of between US$40/kg and US$45/kg.
Wafer ASP increases of approximately 5% were seen when comparing wafer prices in May 2010 to Q1 2010 average prices. This was due to tight wafer supply, which is set to continue for several quarters, according to the company. Wafer ASP (US$/W) was US$0.77 in the first quarter, up from US$0.75 in the previous quarter.
ReneSola reiterated that it had signed three OEM module contracts to supply 700MW of modules to three major global solar companies over a period of three years. Between 200MW to 250MW would e shipped in 2010, the company said.
The company guided total solar product shipments in the second quarter to be between 244MW and 260MW, and expected revenue to be in the range of US$230 million-$250 million.