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Q1 Solar Results: SunPower, Q-Cells, JA Solar

|Includes: JASO, QCLSF, SunPower Corporation (SPWR)

 Numerous solar companies reported on 1Q10 financials yesterday.

Profits for California-based SunPower (Nasdaq: SPWRA) fell short of Wall Streetexpectations, while Germany's Q-Cells (QCE.DE) and Shanghai-based JA Solar (Nasdaq: JASO) both performed better than forecasts.

SunPower reported 1Q earning of $13.5 million ($0.05 per share)--an improvement over losses of $4.4 million a year ago. But analysts predicted $0.08 per share, according to Thomson Reuters, and share prices dropped after the market closed on Tuesday and continued downward Wednesday morning, losing about 7%. 

The company's revenues for the quarter were up 64% from a year ago, and SunPower maintained its 2010 revenue guidance between $2 billion and $2.25 billion. 

During the quarter, SunPower announced plans to build its first US manufacturing facility in California.

Q-Cells Continues Turnaround

After suffering a dismal 2009, Germany's Q-Cells' restructuring efforts seem to be paying off. 

For the first time since 1Q09, the company showed positive earnings of EUR 18.8 million before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) with the amount.

The operative result (EBIT) was EUR -9.3 million outperforming previous results of EUR -163.8 million in 3Q09 and EUR -274.5 million in 4Q09.

A core element of the company's strategic restructuring is the production and market introduction of crystalline solar modules in addition to subsidiary Solibro's thin-film modules. Q-Cells will start its new crystalline module busines in the second quarter 2010.

Nedim Cen, CEO and CFO of Q-Cells SE said the new product portfolio will allow the company to offer products for all market segments. 

According to a Reuters report, Q-Cells, Centrotherm (CTN.DE), Phoenix Solar (PS4.DE) and SolarWorld (SWV.DE), Germany's largest solar company by sales, held their 2010 outlooks steady.

"None of the companies changed their 2010 guidance, despite better-than-expected worldwide demand trends in the first half of 2010, mostly due to ongoing uncertainties around the impact of second-half German feed-in tariff cuts," Bryan, Garnier & Co analyst Ben Lynch wrote in a note. (Reuters reporting)

JA Solar Posts Record Sales

Like many solar companies JA Solar benefited from increased demand in 1Q as German developers increased installations ahead of subsidy cuts expected later this year. 

The Chinese solar company posted record sales, leading to a 17.1% increase in 1Q revenue of $279.2 million. That beat analysts average forcast of $265.3 million, as reported by Thomson Reuters. 

Net income for 1Q was $38.4 million ($0.24 per ADS) compared to a loss of -$201 million a year ago. 

The company raised its guidance for full-year shipments from 900 MW to more than 1 gigawatt. 

Read more on Green Investing.

Disclosure: no positions