It’s earnings season, and so far, solar companies seem to be faring well. First Solar has been the most impressive so far, posting a second-quarter net income that jumped 57 percent (see First Solar Post Blockbuster 2Q and Analysts Bullish on First Solar 2Q).
Thursday saw another round of results:
Solar-cell sales made up 5.6 percent of the company’s total revenue, up from 3.8 percent – and 30.4 billion yen ($281.9 million, converted at today’s exchange rate) – in the same period last year. Solar cells also made up 1.3 percent of the company’s operating income, up from a detraction of 3.9 percent in the year-ago quarter.
Including all of its different businesses, Sharp posted a net income of 24.9 billion yen ($230.9 million), or 21.11 yen (19.6 cents) per share, up 2.8 percent from 24.2 billion yen ($224 million), or 20.71 yen (19.2 cents) per share, in the same quarter of last year.
The result was slightly ahead of analyst forecasts of 24.3 billion yen, according to a Thomson Financial poll of 20 analysts.
But its operating income fell 13.8 percent to 36.4 billion yen ($337.5 million), and its net sales also dropped 6 percent to 747.8 billion yen ($6.93 billion). The company blamed a “decelerating” world economy, and also said lower demand for its cell phones contributed to the decreases.
The bulk of the company’s sales were in audio-visual and communication equipment, including LCD televisions, but the company is the No. 2 provider of solar cells, after Germany’s Q-Cells.
Sharp shares increased 0.6 percent to close at 1,506 yen ($13.96) per share.
Meanwhile, SolarWorld posted a profit of €51.8 million ($80.8 million) from continued operations in the second quarter, nearly double the €26.4 million ($41.2 million) it reported in the same period last year.
The company didn’t separate the quarterly impact of its discontinued operations, but said that its total profit for the first half of the year included €13.6 million from the sale of Gällivare Photo Voltaic shares. That half-year profit amounts to €87.3 million ($21.2 million), or €73.7 million ($114.9 million) excluding discontinued operations.
Sales in the second quarter grew 46.6 percent to €259.6 million ($404.9 million), the company said.
Analysts had expected an income of €41.7 million ($65 million) on sales of €229 million ($ 357.2 million).
On the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, SolarWorld, which trades under the ticker “SWV,” saw shares grow 1.68 percent to reach €30.30 ($47.26) per share. On the Xetra, shares fell 0.76 percent to €30.20 ($47.10) per share.
The company posted a net income of €152.8 million ($238.31 million), or €3.08 ($4.80) per share, up 18 percent from €130 million ($202.7 million), or €2.62 ($4.09) per share, in the year-ago quarter.
Wacker’s earnings before taxes, interest, depreciation and some debt payments came to €317.9 million ($495.8 million), up 22 percent from €260.8 million in the second quarter of last year.
Analysts had expected €293 million, according to a Reuters poll.
Sales rose to €1.12 billion ($1.75 billion), up 17 percent from €959 million last year.
Wacker’s stock, which trades under the ticker symbol “WCH” on the Frankfurt exchange, fell 1.35 percent to €133.30 ($207.92) per share.
Solar companies weren’t alone in posting earnings this week, of course.
Energy-management company Itron (NSDQ: ITRI) on Wednesday posted a second-quarter net income of $13.1 million, or 37 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $23.9 million, or 79 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.
The company – which provides meters that monitor electricity, water, gas and heat, as well as data collection and communication systems, including automated meter reading technology – reported revenues that also grew $514 million, up 28 percent from $402 million in the same period last year.
In a research note Thursday, Lazard Capital Markets analyst Sanjay Shrestha called the results “stellar” and said the “better-than-anticipated performance” reflected strong market conditions that have resulted in high demand. He added that the company should trade at a premium, compared to its peers, because of its leadership position and the attention it’s receiving for large-scale projects.
Itron on Wednesday also announced an agreement to replace or upgrade 2.3 million electric and gas meters for San Diego Gas & Electric.
Shares rose 94 percent to close at $92.33 per share.