JinkoSolar First Quarter Earnings Miss Estimates

JinkoSolar Factory

JinkoSolar , a global solar PV company,  announced its unaudited financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017.

First Quarter 2017 Highlights

  • Total solar module shipments were 2,068 megawatts (MW), an increase of 19.3% from 1,733 MW in the fourth quarter of 2016 and an increase of 29.3% from 1,600 MW in the first quarter of 2016.
  • Total revenues were RMB5.78 billion (US$839.3 million), an increase of 12.8% from the fourth quarter of 2016 and an increase of 9.4% from the first quarter of 2016.
  • Gross margin was 11.2%, compared with 14.3% in the fourth quarter of 2016 and 20.5% in the first quarter of 2016.
  • Income from operations was RMB56.8 million (US$8.3 million), compared with RMB77.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 and RMB529.1 million in the first quarter of 2016.
  • Net income attributable to the Company’s ordinary shareholders from continuing operations was RMB60.6 million (US$8.8 million) in the first quarter of 2017, compared with RMB145.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 and RMB382.7 million in the first quarter of 2016.
  • Diluted earnings per American depositary share (“ADS”) from continuing operations were RMB1.88 (US$0.28).
  • Non-GAAP net income attributable to the Company’s ordinary shareholders from continuing operations in the first quarter of 2017 was RMB80.0 million (US$11.6 million), compared with RMB228.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 and RMB437.8 million in the first quarter of 2016.
  • Non-GAAP basic and diluted earnings per ADS from continuing operations were RMB2.52 (US$0.36) and RMB2.48 (US$0.36) respectively in the first quarter of 2017.
 Mr. Kangping Chen, JinkoSolar’s Chief Executive Officer commented, “Module shipments during the quarter hit a record high of 2,068MW, a 19.3% increase sequentially while generating US$839.3 million in revenue. We continued to capitalize on the growing recognition of JinkoSolar’s brand and high quality products and services to increase our market share and capture new opportunities during the quarter.”

“Our gross margin contracted to 11.2% from 14.3% last quarter as a result of a slight decline in the average selling prices (“ASP”) of solar modules, increased silicon prices and material costs caused by a shortage of supply in the first quarter. We believe our margins have room to improve in the second quarter and throughout the second half of the year as our mono wafer and PERC cell capacity increases and polysilicon prices stabilize.”

“Demand in China remains strong with growth momentum expected to continue into the next quarter. While the June 30 Feed-in-Tariff has created some uncertainties in China’s utility-scale market, we haven’t seen demand weaken. Our deep involvement in the Top Runner and PV Poverty Alleviation projects as well as distributed generation projects will provide strong support for demand during the second half of the year.”

“We strongly oppose the petition under Section 201 in the US, but believe growth momentum there will continue. ASPs of solar modules in the US have risen slightly in recently months due to strong demand. Demand from India and other emerging markets where we are devoting more resources to expand our leading market share also continue to grow rapidly. With such strong demand from across the globe, we expect module shipments to increase by approximately 25% sequentially in the second quarter of 2017.”

“We continue to ramp up our mono wafer and PERC cell capacity, which will reduce the overall cost of our mono products and help increase our margins. Our mono PERC products are in short supply and have been fully booked out for the rest of the year, demonstrating the strong demand for our high quality products. In the meanwhile, our team is working hard to optimize the cost structure of both our mono and multi products.”

“While we are facing some short-term industry headwinds, the continued development of the global solar industry is irreversible. We are confident in the long-term prospects of the solar industry and our sustainable growth strategy.”

First Quarter 2017 Financial Results

Total Revenues

Total revenues in the first quarter of 2017 were RMB5.78 billion (US$839.3 million), an increase of 12.8% from RMB5.12 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016 and an increase of 9.4% from RMB5.28 billion in the first quarter of 2016. The sequential and year-over-year increases were mainly attributable to an increase in solar module shipments in the first quarter of 2017.

Gross Profit and Gross Margin

Gross profit in the first quarter of 2017 was RMB649.0 million (US$94.3 million), compared with RMB730.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 and RMB1.08 billion in the first quarter of 2016. The sequential and year-over-year decreases were mainly attributable to a decline in the ASP of solar modules in the first quarter of 2017.

Gross margin was 11.2% in the first quarter of 2017, compared with 14.3% in the fourth quarter of 2016 and 20.5% in the first quarter of 2016.

Income from Operations and Operating Margin

Income from operations in the first quarter of 2017 was RMB56.8 million (US$8.2 million), compared with RMB77.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 and RMB529.1 million in the first quarter of 2016. Operating margin in the first quarter of 2017 was 1.0%, compared with 1.5% in the fourth quarter of 2016 and 10.0% in the first quarter of 2016.

Total operating expenses in the first quarter of 2017 were RMB592.2 million (US$86.0 million), a decrease of 9.2% from RMB652.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 and an increase of 6.6% from RMB555.7 million in the first quarter of 2016. The sequential decrease was primarily due to the reversal of an allowance for doubtful accounts because of subsequent collection. The year-over-year increase was mainly due to increased shipping costs which were in line with the increase in solar module shipments.

Total operating expenses accounted for 10.3% of total revenues in the first quarter of 2017, compared to 12.7% in the fourth quarter of 2016 and 10.5% in the first quarter of 2016.

Interest Expense, Net

Net interest expense in the first quarter of 2017 was RMB57.1 million (US$8.3 million), a decrease of 23.4% from RMB74.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 and a decrease of 25.7% from RMB76.9 million in the first quarter of 2016.The sequential decrease was due to the repurchase of US$61.1 million in convertible senior notes. The year-over-year decrease was due to the repurchase of US$184.0 million in convertible senior notes and the repayment of US$17.4 million in bond payables.

Exchange Gain / (Loss), Net

The Company recorded a net exchange loss of RMB5.2 million (US$0.8 million) in the first quarter of 2017, compared to a net exchange gain of RMB17.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 and a net exchange gain of RMB29.5 million in the first quarter of 2016.

Income Tax Expense / (Benefit), Net

The Company recorded an income tax expense of RMB1.5 million (US$0.2 million) in the first quarter of 2017, compared with an income tax benefit of RMB49.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 and an income tax expense of RMB100.3 million in the first quarter of 2016. The sequential change was mainly due to the successful renewal of a National High and New Technology Enterprise license which grants one of the Company’s subsidiaries a preferential tax rate. The year-over-year change was due to one of the Company’s overseas subsidiaries receiving a tax exemption for a five-year period starting from August 2015.

The Company adopted ASU 2015-17, “Income Taxes (Topic 740): Balance Sheet Classification of Deferred Taxes” in 2017, which is effective for annual and interim periods beginning after December 15, 2016, and prospectively classified deferred tax liabilities and assets as noncurrent in the financial statements during the quarter ended March 31, 2017.

Net Income and Earnings per Share

Net income attributable to the Company’s ordinary shareholders from continuing operations in the first quarter of 2017 was RMB60.6 million (US$8.8 million), compared with RMB145.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 and RMB382.7million in the first quarter of 2016.

Basic and diluted earnings per ordinary share from continuing operations were RMB0.48 (US$0.07) and RMB0.47 (US$0.07), respectively, during the first quarter of 2017. This translates into basic and diluted earnings per ADS from continuing operations of RMB1.92 (US$0.28) and RMB1.88 (US$0.28), respectively.

Non-GAAP net income in the first quarter of 2017 was RMB80.0 million (US$11.6 million), compared with RMB228.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 and RMB437.8 million in the first quarter of 2016.

Non-GAAP basic and diluted earnings per ordinary share from continuing operations were RMB0.63 (US$0.09) and RMB0.62(US$0.09), respectively, during the first quarter of 2017. This translates into non-GAAP basic and diluted earnings per ADS from continuing operations of RMB2.52 (US$0.36) and RMB2.48 (US$0.36), respectively.

Financial Position

As of March 31, 2017, the Company had RMB1.71 billion (US$249.0 million) in cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash, compared with RMB2.82 billion as of December 31, 2016.

As of March 31, 2017, the Company’s accounts receivables due from third parties were RMB5.93 billion (US$860.9 million), compared with RMB4.75 billion as of December 31, 2016.

As of March 31, 2017, the Company’s inventories were RMB5.37 billion (US$780.2 million), compared with RMB4.47 billion as of December 31, 2016. The strategic increase in inventories was primarily due to strong anticipated demand during the second quarter of 2017.

As of March 31, 2017, the Company’s total interest-bearing debts were RMB6.10 billion (US$886.0 million), compared with RMB6.44 billion as of December 31, 2016.

First Quarter 2017 Operational Highlights

Solar Module Shipments

Total solar module shipments in the first quarter of 2017 amounted to 2,068 MW.

Solar Products Production Capacity

As of March 31, 2017, the Company’s in-house annual silicon wafer, solar cell and solar module production capacity was 5.0 GW, 4.0 GW and 6.5 GW, respectively.

Recent Business Developments

  • In May 2017, JinkoSolar was the only Chinese company invited to participate in The Business 20 (B20) Summit held in Berlin, Germany.
  • In April 2017, JinkoSolar supplied 42 MW of solar modules to Asunim for use in two PV power plants in Izmir Province, southwest Turkey.
  • In March 2017, JinkoSolar, in partnership with GRID Alternatives, donated over 620 kW of high-efficiency solar modules to support GRID Alternatives’ work brining solar power and job training to underserved communities.
  • In March 2017, JinkoSolar partnered with CleanFund Commercial PACE Capital to offer long-term project financing to US commercial project customers through the SolarPACETM program.
  • In March 2017, JinkoSolar and Marubeni Corporation entered into a Power Purchase Agreement with the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Company for the Solar PV Independent Power Project located at Sweihan, Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
  • In February 2017, JinkoSolar completed the repurchase of certain 4.00% Convertible Senior Notes due in 2019 at the option of holders of the Notes.
  • In February 2017, JinkoSolar supplied 106.4 MWdc of PV modules to sPower for the Solverde 1 solar project in California.

Operations and Business Outlook

Second Quarter and Full Year 2017 Guidance

For the second quarter of 2017, the Company estimates total solar module shipments to be in the range of 2.5 GW to 2.6 GW.

For the full year 2017, the Company estimates total solar module shipments to be in the range of 8.5 GW and 9.0 GW.

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