By Chris Aylott
LDK Solar Co., Ltd. (LDK), a leading Chinese manufacturer of photovoltaic products, today revised its guidance for the fourth quarter of 2011. Additionally, the Company announced that it will report financial results for the quarter before the market opens on Thursday, April 12, 2012. The company will host a corresponding conference call and live webcast at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time the same day.
For the fourth quarter of 2011, LDK Solar revised its guidance for revenue to be in the range of $440 to $450 million, wafer shipments between 215 and 220 megawatts (MW), cells and module shipments between 250 MW and 260 MW, in-house polysilicon production between 2,100 MT and 2,300 MT and in-house cell production between 130 MW and 150 MW.
The company previously forecasted fourth quarter revenue to be in the range of $440 million to $520 million with wafer shipments between 200 MW and 270 MW, and module shipments between 180 MW and 270 MW, in-house polysilicon production between 2,200 MT and 2,800 MT, in-house cell production between 220 MW and 250 MW.
As a result of the rapidly declining market price for wafers and modules during the fourth quarter of 2011, LDK Solar expects to incur a write-down of inventories, realize impairment charges on contractual purchase agreements, and therefore, expects gross margin to be negative. In addition, some provisions for accounts receivable and fixed assets may also be required.
For fiscal 2012, LDK Solar estimates its revenue in the range of $2.0 billion to $2.7 billion, polysilicon production between 12,000 MT and 15,000 MT, of which shipments to 3rd party customers are expected to be between 6,000 MT and 8,000 MT, wafer production between 2.7 gigawatts (GW) and 3.3 GW, of which shipments to 3rd party customers are expected to be between 1.5 GW and 2.0 GW, in-house cell production between 1.2 GW and 1.6 GW, and module production between 1.2 GW and 1.6 GW, with cell and module shipments to 3rd party customers between 1.0 GW and 1.3 GW, inverter shipments between 200 MW to 250 MW. LDK Solar expects PV system project construction to be in the range of 400 MW to 600 MW and to recognize between 270 MW and 360 MW through project sales and EPC services for 3rd party customers.
LDK dropped 2% in pre-market trading this morning. Investors may also want to keep an eye on the Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF (KWT) and the Guggenheim Solar ETF (TAN), which devote 4.43% and 3.94% of their holdings to LDK, respectively.