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  • How Does Trina Solar's Q2 Earnings Report Impact The Stock? [View article]
    "The more concise answer is Tina has 85% of their projects under construction in China. They have identified more projects that may or may not pan out in which China accounts for 78% of those. The 78% number is proved by Trina but they make no claims as to whether they are permitted or will be completed."

    Actually this must be permitting included. They have well over 1 GW of MOU's. See for example the press release where they plan 1 GW in China:;highlight=

    Also you can just use your brain. We know they recently purchased a 300 MW project - this has already permitting. We know they are currently constructing 310 MW. So it is very safe to say there is now above 600 MW of permitted projects. Also I think that to say 85% will be chinese projects is very wrong when TSL has intention of doing international projects and recently even press released a 50 MW UK project (;highlight=)

    "Slightly lower is lower and it includes projects in the High Teens per the con call. This implies that module margins will drop significantly further as suggested in the con call for various reasons including CVD and China volumes."

    Also wrong. The only intended to be sold is the 23.7 MW of UK projects. This will have a very minor effect on margins so that it implies margins will drop significantly is RUBBISH. TSL themselves guide slightly lower margins. Now we know that revenue will be higher. What does that mean? It means more profit.

    And again you can also just use your brain. We know data from customs of ASP in the regions. Put those together and you see with international shipments TSL is not going to get much lower margins. Yes ASP in china is low. But asp in places as US and EU pull this up while Japan is avg. (also you can just read conference call of competitors to get a good feel for asp in regions.)

    "if shipments were below forecast then it is a miss on company guidance as well as the mid range consensus the company set. According to the slide 7 you mentioned they missed on low end shipments by 6.7MW and missed on shipments to projects by 1.3MW. That is a miss on the very low end in both divisions of the company(modules and downstream) and a mis of ~5% in mid range consensus guidance which is supposed to be the likely."

    If you think that's a miss that's your choice. For those who know to read they missed low end by 1%. I do not see a problem with this at all. We are talking about a very healthy company: Profitable (and continuing to be this in q3 and q4) at very low mcap compared with equity and growing a project pipeline fast while catching up on costs of leaders and going for a lead position in technology. (With less costs in r&d I might add due to several good university cooporation and it really shows in TSL patents they are moving forward very quickly compared with competitors.)
    Sep 4 09:28 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How Does Trina Solar's Q2 Earnings Report Impact The Stock? [View article]
    "85% of the company's downstream projects are in China. TSL has finished projects worth 24 megawatts during this year and still projects worth 310 megawatts are on their way to completion." This statement is full of factual errors.

    Look the presentation for Q2 page 9. 78% projects are currently pipelined in China, not 85%. While 24 MW are completed in UK also in Greece,US and italy another 22,23 MW has been connected to Grid.
    (Source: )

    "For the third quarter the company is expecting a lower gross margin"
    Here lies a very important difference in wording. TSL only reports a "slight lower gross margin"

    "And the share price for TSL stock is estimated to be $15 per share for the year."
    Agree with author on this. For 2014 this is a fair price given the current situation. But for 2015 I think we will have to re-evaluate this. Also note there are new policies coming (already out on several Chinese sites so not really a rumor anymore)

    "The second quarter missed consensus estimates for revenues as solar module shipments were lower than the company's earlier guidance, and it also warned of lower gross profit margin in the third quarter. Trina Solar Limited has reiterated its guidance for the third quarter and stated that the total shipments are now expected to rise but potential shareholders cannot be sure of this statement as the company previously failed to achieve its estimate for the second quarter."

    What did it not achieve of estimates in Q2? According to press release from Q1:
    "In the second quarter of 2014 the Company expects to ship between 950 MW and 1,010 MW of PV modules, of which 150 MW to 170 MW will be shipped to its downstream PV projects. Revenues will not be recognized for the modules shipped to its own developed projects as required by U.S. GAAP regulations. The Company expects that polysilicon prices will remain relatively stable with upward pressure. This will adversely impact its gross margin. The Company will continue to work diligently to reduce its in-house manufacturing costs to mitigate any adverse impact to its gross margin. The Company expects its blended gross margin for the second quarter of 2014 will be in the mid-teens in percentage terms. Such guidance is based on the exchange rate between the Euro and the U.S. dollar as of May 21, 2014. - See more at:"

    -Shipments came in at 943MW I would not exactly call this a miss (7 MW or 1%)
    Apart from this everyone was as guided. If anything TSL is a very stable company who generally do as they guide.
    Sep 4 06:26 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Trina Thrives On Solar Financing [View article]
    Zangnut I have suggested the yieldco model long before it came fashion (I suggested this when I ran for board member position in REC a looong time ago) so I know about yieldco. TSL has stated they plan to sell some and keep some of the projects. Currently they have a small UK project for sale. I have also done research on JKS long before anyone started talking about IPO for its pipeline. (Look up some of my projections that are years old - I used to be a JKS investor.) Anyhow yes yieldco is creating value when sold as IPO (among many many other things.) and in fact sometimes even too much! (I was positively surprised at terraform valuations even when I was a strong backer of doing yieldco.) But that has not so much to do with this article (other than holding a project for longer until IPO creates more risks) - what is important is that the author seems to think China is somewhat more risky than say Canada when I think there is actually evidence suggesting China is one of the better solar project markets. And as a minimum the author (who by the way has many good articles in the past) should research what transactions have been done on Chinese solar projects before stating that this is "largely an untested market"
    Sep 3 01:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Trina Thrives On Solar Financing [View article]
    "China is still largely an untested market in that regard" is especially the part I react to. There are a growing number of projects transactions that has happened in China so the data is clearly there. If the author had bothered he could have dug a bit deeper and looked at this instead of claiming China is a largely untested market. Also many valuable lessons where learned during the previous Wind energy installation boom. I could think of several western markets much more untested and with bigger risks. (example political risks like Spain with retroactive cuts, or even geopolitical risks like Ukraine where in Crimea there is a question of the future of some solar parks.)
    Sep 3 01:08 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Trina Thrives On Solar Financing [View article]
    And to write this about TSL of all - That is funny. They have an international pipeline (granted around 70% currently in China but pipeline in Japan and UK I am sure will grow) and have picked some very good projects in China. I do however agree that for some this will be a problem. But I would definitively not have picked TSL as an example for this article.

    Anyhow this skepticism over Chinese solars is getting far too much now. I have over the years read several of authors articles (on sites both his blog and sites as renewable energy world ) and I have appreciated his writing in the past as he has a good understanding on whats happening in China. But really to discuss a big risk on projects when in China the solar projects is very high on the politics priority lists seems odd to me. Especially since it is also the people in China who will this as well. (Due to the pollution.) Finally signs in recent times have been of several added politics for direct generation and provincial subsidies (see sites like for new politics.) So the signs are clear the support is there.

    I do not see a scenario like in Wind where many projects are stranded due to grid capacity as a general trend. (Keep in mind Jaso mentioned in latest conference call they had to sell a project on the cheap due to this but I would say the grid is in much better shape than say under the wind boom.) I do however see regular risks like natural disasters etc. But like anything else you get insurance for your projects for such things.

    Perhaps author should compare with western countries and realize also here many projects get cancelled and like anywhere else it is who has the best ability and planning who will win going forward. TSL has not made a risk in my mind here - Why? For projects in China there is a long history and track record of successful sold projects generating good returns for the solar company. So clearly the natural question should not be if it will be a problem, but if it will continue to work well? (Shunfeng has recently reduced pipeline from 3 GW to 2 GW due to competition so I think the answer lies in your ability to compete.) When it comes to ability TSL have this in spades. They have a big program for technology development (honey ultra, IBC, HJ and several other advance cell designs) with honey ultra already in pilot lines. They also have good experience now with glass/glass modules and can do 30 year warranties for these compared with 20 year avg. They are just half a cent behind cost leader JKS when using inhouse cost as a metric and have gained on JKS in recent quarters while having a much better (my opinion) technology road map. (not that JKS is not a good company but if we are talking risk they are most exposed since projects are all currently in China and would have been a much better example for the article.) Finally TSL has already recently sold one 50 MW project successfully in China so we know the management has some experience in lining up buyers. (And frankly if you read the history of TSL they have done projects albeit on a smaller scale since day 1)
    Sep 3 12:51 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • JA Solar Catches Chinese Flu [View article]
    I think FSLR/Tetrasun has too low volume to affect asp's in Japan much but good observation to keep in mind for future Casual Analyst. They do have an off take customer for the product as well already so I think it is only adding to demand not taking away from someone else market share. Also did they not say in last CC they are delaying Tetrasun modules due to having accelerated the CDTE roadmap or did I remember that one wrong? (I am not 100% sure)
    Aug 22 11:45 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why First Solar Should Continue Beating The Market [View article]
    I think its a good question. Project income is actually healthy but they have had to delay some project sales and they are holding on to some for yieldco launch so profitability and margins might be down for a few quarters. When it comes to asp of modules I am quite confident the margins are on the way up again. You could read sites like energytrend and look at the 20% gain in thin film asp:
    Aug 18 06:56 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why First Solar Should Continue Beating The Market [View article]
    I think FSLR will be able to buy many project development opportunities in the US that where previously going to use c-si modules but now due to tariffs are not cost effective with this model anymore.

    The technology development of cdte is undoubtedly positive as well but I feel the author of this article does not give a good picture of the situation. The situation is that c-si already has made most tech developments and can get to 25% effiency levels by going for IBC cells and other advance cell designs like HJ or bifacial cells or more near term PERC and all of this techs have been developed over the last decade. They could also do 2 or 3 layers with thin film on top to gain even efficiency somewhat over 35% so efficiency wise it is not a problem for c-si. It is true CDTE is ramping up much quicker in recent times the technology efficiency but they are actually not THE technology leader. I would rather say they are doing great on the CDTE front and driving down to very low costs for a pretty decent high efficiency tech in the future.

    The much more interesting discussion is who can produce this cells cheapest $/watt or even more important with lowest cost to the power provider (LCOE costs) I think CDTE is on track for success but I have not ruled out the leaders of C-si for this as well either. For example JASO with a cost structure around 0.53 (I say around as it is unknown how much the advanced cell design is in cost compared with the average but we do know they guide for under 0.4 cost for processing by end of 2014 and with an assumed poly cost of 0.1 this is a cost of 0.5 end of year.) with 20,4% efficiency mono cells in mass production seems to suggest c-si cannot be ruled out anytime soon. (this compares with FSLR fleet avg of 14% currently per q2);highlight=

    In comparisson CDTE at current plans is 16,5% efficiency (granted for a module but even reducing from cell to module the percium of JASO should be much higher) in 2015 in the technology update of FSLR. So from an absolute effiency standpoint even factoring temperature coefficency it is not a leader. But among the leaders yes surely as not all c-si producers are changing to perc or more advanced cell designs.

    On the other side of the coin of things you could argue cdte is producing cheaper, albeit at much less efficiency thus BoS costs will be higher even if FSLR has done tremendous strides in driving down BoS cost it cannot compete with say 1,2$/watt costs for a Chinese best in class project (located in China.) Or say the low cost recycling c-si producer jks who are going to be around 0.44-0.45 cost end of year if poly prices does not spike too much and with q1 cost of 0.47. And these c-si modules have a better efficiency even if you include temperature coefficiency into the equation or look at LCOE.

    With that said I agree with the author first solar as a western pv company has still attractive P/E values and the yieldco and project growth should defend higher MCAP going forward. FSLR is definitively on the up and up and CDTE prices has been rising steadily recently due to the tariffs. FSLR Is on my watch list as I currently have better opportunities to invest in compared with MCAP but it is certainly a great company and I wish the stockholders all the best going forward with great technology updates and driving down cost of solar for the benefit of all of humanity.
    Aug 17 01:07 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Beaten-Down Trina Solar Is A Growing Value Play [View article]
    1. Fair enough and a reasonable worry - but if dilution causes shareholder value growth it can be a good thing.
    2. DG will take this growth. Expect several news on DG in a short time span from now (months)
    3. Even if Japan turned around today they still have a 70 GW pipeline so I would not worry much about this.
    4. TSL just held a dg conference and is going into this sector going forward. With the pilot lines on very high cell efficiencies (IBC, HJ, Honey) they are well equiped to be among leaders in this segment going forward.

    Great to have worries discussion ianwood. Hopefully your long position will be a smashing success in the near future.
    Aug 15 09:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Beaten-Down Trina Solar Is A Growing Value Play [View article]
    And to author. Good write up. Simple and great overview. For an introduction to the current state of TSL I think it was a fine piece of writing. I am sure others or perhaps even the author himself can detail more about TSL in future articles. I would recommend a view to the technology TSL is investing into and doing pilot lines on and also how well it does on sustainability compared with Peers even while at the same time being among the leaders in costs.
    Aug 14 06:07 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Beaten-Down Trina Solar Is A Growing Value Play [View article]
    Tomchorba I would add that TSL already is a GTAT customer and recently upgraded furnaces from gtat from g5 to g6 furnaces (see annual report for this.) Ì believe Merlin + TSL would be a great combination and agree wholeheartedly. Especially for someone wanting to sell in US market having a US made wire mesh that cuts costs, increase output and drives down BoS costs and freight as well I think its a true match. I also wonder how tariff duties would look if TSL did module manufacturing in US - they can cut the whole laminator segment if they use Merlin and since this is produced in US the module will also be produced in US. They then only need a cell or wafer from a third country to at least apply for EU without tariff. Anyhow this is just speculation from me but perhaps some smart trade lawyer should look a bit into this if it is possible or not.
    Aug 14 06:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Smart Solar Module Is On The Way To Mainstream [View article]
    Good article. Dont forget JKS also has smart module solution.
    Aug 6 09:05 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Solar Industry: U.S. Duties, WTO Ruling And The Obvious Winners [View article]
    I would like to add the following:
    Since 2012 there seems to be an agreement in the works between several nations&regions - among them EU, US and China has been in the work to cut tariffs for renewable energy goods to a maximum of 5 % by 2015. See for example

    For the 5% maximum see for example:
    Jul 18 08:07 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment

    19000 MT umgs. I have put 30k MT in UMGS for the report. (Elkem and calisolar are major producers.)
    Jul 16 07:57 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solar stocks drop; China reportedly thinking of cutting targets [View news story]
    Instead of a news based on a twitter tweet from god knows who how about some actual industry news:

    "Beijing plans to increase the subsidy on power sales by rooftop solar farm developers to state-owned power distributors by up to 55 per cent, and compel the latter to act as an agent for collecting power bills if the developers directly sell to local customers.

    The consensus plan was reached after a meeting two weeks ago among state-backed financial institutions, bank regulators and the National Energy Administration (NEA)."
    Jul 8 10:11 AM | 16 Likes Like |Link to Comment