The first quarter turned out well for several Chinese and German solar companies that reported earnings last week.
Most met or beat expectations, boding well for Ascent Solar Technologies and EDP Renováveis, which announced plans for initial public offerings.
Ascent said Friday it would offer 3.8 million shares for $14 per share under the ticker “ASTI” during its Nasdaq debut. It will use the money to design, buy and install tools that can produce up to 30 megawatts of thin-film panels per year, as well as for general corporate purchases, according to the announcement.
And Energias de Portugal said it would take its renewable-energy division public, offering 25 percent of the shares of EDP Renováveis in an offering worth nearly $3 billion (see Green Light post).
Earlier this month, Real Goods Solar (NSDQ: RSOL) suffered during its Nasdaq debut after U.S. solar installer Akeena Solar (NSDQ: AKNS) missed expectations and lowered its full-year guidance, citing concerns about whether the U.S. investment-tax credit for renewable-energy projects would be renewed (see Real Goods IPO Suffers From Akeena Solar Fallout).
Here’s a roundup of last week’s results from the first quarter:
Q-Cells (Frankfurt: QCE)
German solar-cell manufacturer Q-Cells on Wednesday announced a first-quarter net income of €54.4 million ($84.61 million), up 61.4 percent from €33.7 million ($52.41 million) in the same quarter a year ago. The profit includes €17.7 million ($27.53 million) from a stake in REC Renewable Energy Corp. and €2 million ($3.11 million) from an option in a deal with Orkla, which was terminated and will be written down in the next quarter. Q-Cells, which trades on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the ticker “QCE,” saw its shares increase 8.2 percent to €77.80 per share (about $121.34) Wednesday, then fall 0.66 percent to €77.29 per share Friday.
LDK Solar (NYSE: LDK)
After market close May 12, Chinese solar-wafer manufacturer LDK Solar reported a first-quarter net profit of $49.8 million, or 45 cents per share, compared with $21.6 million, or 27 cents per share, a year ago (see LDK Warns Investors of Tightening Margins). Analysts expected a profit of 39 cents per share, according to Thomson Financial. But the company also reported a margin that shrunk to 27.7 percent, down from 30.1 percent in the fourth quarter and 38.7 percent in the first quarter of 2007, and forecast that the margin would continue to slip this year. LDK shares fell 4.06 percent to $35.94 per share Tuesday, then rose 3.4 percent to close at $37.16 per share Friday.
Canadian Solar (NSDQ: CSIQ)
China's Canadian Solar on Tuesday posted a first-quarter net income of $19 million, or 61 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $3.9 million, or 14 cents per share, the same quarter a year ago. The company beat analysts' expectations of 31 cents, according to Thomson Financial, and raised its guidance for the second quarter. Shares grew 19.6 percent to close at $40.78 per share on Tuesday, and grew an additional 10.1 percent to close at $44.90 per share Friday.
ReneSolar (NYSE: SOL)
Chinese solar-wafer manufacturer ReneSola on Wednesday posted a first-quarter net income that almost tripled to $17.7 million, or 28 cents per share, from $6.8 million, or 14 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. The company beat analyst expectations of 24 cents per share. According to investment research firm Zacks.com, ReneSola also announced it had signed a six-year wafer-supply agreement with Taiwanese cell maker Gintech Energy Corp. ReneSola shares grew 2.9 percent to close at $22.30 per share Wednesday, and climbed another 16.8 percent to end the week at $26.04 per share.
Solon Corp. (TecDAX: SOO)
German solar-panel maker Solon, on Wednesday published first-quarter earnings of €12.5 million ($19.44 million), before interest and taxes, more than double earnings of €5 million ($7.78 million) in the year-ago quarter. The company, which trades on the German TecDAX under the ticker “SOO,” grew 1.64 percent to €48.26 per share Wednesday, then increased .35 percent to €48.43 per share Friday.
Aleo Solar (Frankfurt: AS1)
German solar-panel maker Aleo Solar on Wednesday posted first-quarter earnings, before interest and tax, of €5 million ($7.78 million), or 26 euro cents (40 cents). That’s up 85 percent from €2.7 million ($4.2 million), or 13 euro cents (20 cents), in the same quarter last year. Shares of the company, which trades on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the ticker “AS1,” grew 3.2 percent to €13 per share Wednesday, then grew .6 percent to close at €13.08 per share Friday.
Phoenix Solar (Frankfurt: PS4)
Phoenix Solar, a Germany company that builds and operates large solar plants, on Wednesday reported first-quarter earnings that increased to €360,000, before interest and taxes, from a net lost of €1.5 million in first quarter of last year. The company, which trades on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the ticker “PS4,” also raised its guidance for the year. The company now expects to earn more than €23 million ($35.8 million) instead of its earlier guidance for €18 million ($35.8 million). Shares grew 10.7 percent to close at €44.20 ($68.93) per share Wednesday, then rose .2 percent to €44.29 ($69.07) per share Friday.
Yingli Green Energy Co. (NYSE: YGE)
Chinese solar manufacturer Yingli Green Energy Co. on Thursday reported a first-quarter net profit of $31.9 million, or 25 cents per share, compared to a loss of $3.2 million, or 5 cents per share, during the first quarter of 2007. About $9.5 million of the profit came from currency gains from the euro, according to Reuters. Yingli shares fell 6.9 percent to close at $25.31 per share Thursday, then fell 1.7 percent to $24.88 per share Friday.
Ersol Solar Energy (TecDAX: ES6)
German solar-cell and thin-film maker Ersol Solar Energy reported Thursday that its first-quarter earnings, before interest and tax, had increased 79.9 percent to €7.7 million ($11.98 million) in the first quarter from €4.3 million ($6.69 million) a year ago. Analysts polled by Reuters expected Ersol, which trades on the GermanTecDAX under the ticker “ES6,” to earn €9 million ($14 million). Shares fell .9 percent to €63.34 per share Thursday, then grew 1.3 percent to €64.19 per share Friday.
-- Editor Jennifer Kho contributed to this story.