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Suntech Power Reports First Quarter 2006 Financial Results
    -- First quarter net revenue exceeds guidance, up 133.5% year-over-year to
       $89.9 million
    -- Net income attributable to holders of ordinary shares up 97.7% to $19.3
       million from fourth quarter 2005
    -- Gross margin increases sequentially to 30.1% driven by higher PV module
       prices and conversion efficiency improvements
    -- Production capacity reaches 180MW

WUXI, China, May 18 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP), one of the world's leading manufacturers of photovoltaic (PV) cells, today announced first quarter 2006 total net revenues of $89.9 million and net income attributable to holders of ordinary shares of $19.3 million, or $0.12 per diluted American Depository Share (ADS).

"During the quarter we continued to improve our solar cell conversion efficiency rates while shifting more production to use thinner 210 micron wafers. This helped us to improve profitability even while silicon wafer prices continued to rise," said Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech's chairman and CEO. "We intend to continue to achieve profitable growth by lowering cost per watt through our R&D efforts, increasing production capacity and expanding our markets as more and more governments worldwide launch initiatives promoting the use of solar energy."

First Quarter 2006 Results

Total net revenues for the first quarter of 2006 were $89.9 million, an increase of 1.0% sequentially and 133.5% year-over-year. The modest sequential growth rate reflected seasonality in production as there was approximately one fewer working week during the first quarter compared to other quarters due to the Chinese New Year holidays.

Breakdown of First Quarter 2006 Net Revenues


                         Q1 2006             % of Q1       Growth       Growth
                                            2006 Net       vs. Q1       vs. Q4
                                            Revenues         2005         2005
    PV Cells             $40.6                45.1 %       +688 %        +28 %
                         million
    PV Modules           $49.3                54.9 %        +48 %        (13%)
                         million
    PV System            $0.03                  --         +128 %        (95%)
    Integration          million
    Total                $89.9              100.0 %       +134 %         +1 %
                         million

During the first quarter of 2006, Suntech shipped total output of 26.8MW and increased its annualized capacity from 150MW to 180MW. Average sales prices of PV cells and PV modules were $3.05 and $3.65 per watt, respectively, compared to $3.12 and $3.49 per watt, respectively, in the fourth quarter of 2005, and $2.63 and $3.29 per watt, respectively, in the first quarter of 2005.

Gross profit for the first quarter of 2006 was $27.1 million, representing an increase of 14.7% over the fourth quarter of 2005 and 102.6% over the first quarter of 2005. Gross margin for the first quarter of 2006 was 30.1% compared to 26.5% in the fourth quarter of 2005 and 34.7% in the first quarter of 2005. Sequentially, gross margins increased due to a rise in the price of PV modules and improved conversion efficiencies. The year-over-year gross margin decrease was primarily due to increases in the cost of raw materials as well as share based compensation.

Operating expenses in the first quarter of 2006 were $7.0 million compared to $11.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2005 and $2.0 million in the first quarter of 2005. The sequential decrease in operating expenses were primarily due to a decline in share based compensation to $2.3 million in the first quarter of 2006 from $5.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2005, as well as fourth quarter operating expenses including certain internal expenses associated with Suntech's restructuring and December 2005 initial public offering. The year-over-year increase in operating expenses reflected growth in the business needed to support the Company's revenue growth as well as share based compensation expenses.

Income from operations for the first quarter of 2006 was $20.1 million, representing a sequential increase of 59.9% and a year-over-year increase of 76.9%. Operating margin was 22.3% compared to 14.1% in the fourth quarter of 2005 and 29.5% in the first quarter of 2005.

Net income attributable to holders of ordinary shares for the first quarter of 2006 was $19.3 million, representing a 97.7% sequential increase and a 93.3% increase year-over-year. Basic and diluted net income per ADS for the first quarter of 2006 were $0.13 and $0.12, respectively, compared with $0.10 and $0.08 in the fourth quarter of 2005, respectively. First quarter 2005 basic and diluted net income per ADS were both $0.11.

Net income attributable to holders of ordinary shares excluding share- based compensation expenses (non-GAAP) for the first quarter of 2006 was $22.1 million, an increase of 31.4% from the fourth quarter of 2005, and a 121.6% increase year-over-year. Basic and diluted net income per ADS excluding share- based compensation expenses (non-GAAP) for the first quarter of 2006 were $0.15 and $0.14, respectively. First quarter 2005 basic and diluted net income per ADS excluding share-based compensation expenses (non-GAAP) were both $0.11. (Please refer below to the reconciliation of GAAP net income and basic and diluted net income per ADS to non-GAAP net income and basic and diluted net income per ADS and a detailed discussion of management's use of non-GAAP information.)

As of March 31, 2006, Suntech had cash and cash equivalents of $345.1 million. Net operating cash outflow for the first quarter was $31 million primarily as Suntech made advance payments to suppliers to secure silicon wafers. The operating cash outflow in the first quarter of 2006 was also due to the increase in inventory balance from $40.4 million as of December 31, 2005 to $61.8 million as of March 31, 2006, as Suntech accumulated raw materials for further production expansion. In the first quarter of 2006, depreciation was $1.4 million and capital expenditures were $12.2 million.

    Business Highlights
    -- In the first quarter of 2006, Suntech's multicrystalline silicon PV
       cell conversion efficiency rate, using solar grade raw material,
       increased to 15.4% from 15.2%, and the Company maintained its
       monocrystalline silicon PV cell conversion efficiency rate at 17.0%.
       Suntech continued to expand its pilot production using 18.0% conversion
       efficiency technology with solar grade silicon and is on-track to reach
       20.0% conversion efficiency by 2008.
    -- On May 1, 2006, Suntech announced that it had received Underwriters
       Laboratories (UL) certification, which would expand its ability to sell
       products into the United States, one of the world's largest solar
       markets.
    -- Also on May 1, 2006, Suntech broke ground for its additional
       manufacturing site in Wuxi, China, which is planned to have more than
       66,000 square meters of floor space. The Company anticipates that the
       new building will be ready for equipment installation in early 2007.
    -- Suntech's capacity expansion remains on schedule. The Company added an
       additional 30MW production line that began to ramp production in April.
       The Company anticipates reaching 240MW annualized capacity by the end
       of the third quarter 2006.
    -- In the first quarter of 2006, Suntech won system integration contracts
       in China for a total of approximately 2.2MW.

    Additional Senior R&D Staff

In the first quarter of 2006, Suntech continued to build its R&D capabilities, adding key members to its senior staff:

    -- Dr. Tihu Wang joined Suntech as vice general manager of R&D. Dr. Wang
       has 23 years of experience in leading and conducting advanced
       scientific research on high-efficiency solar cells, semiconductor
       crystal growth, material characterizations, and physical metallurgy.
       Prior to joining Suntech, Dr. Wang worked at the U.S. National
       Renewable Energy Laboratory where he acquired extensive expertise in
       the entire line of silicon photovoltaic technology, from silicon
       feedstock production, crystal growth and solar cell manufacturing, to
       thin-film silicon fabrication.
    -- Mr. Guangchun Zhang, was named Suntech's deputy research director of
       R&D. Mr. Zhang, who has been with Suntech since November 2005,
       specializes in research on high-efficiency solar cell design. He
       previously worked at the Centre for Photovoltaic Engineering and the
       School for Photovoltaic Engineering at the University of New South
       Wales in Australia.

    Outlook for Second Quarter 2006

Suntech expects its total net revenues in the second quarter of 2006 to be in the range of $110 million to $117 million, representing year-over-year growth of 163% to 179%.

Suntech expects its total production output to be in the range of 31MW to 33MW in the second quarter of 2006. Suntech continues to expect its total production output to be between 130MW to 140MW for the full year 2006.

Conference Call Information

Suntech's earnings announcement conference call will take place on May 18, 2006 at 8:00 a.m., Eastern Time, which corresponds to May 18, 2006 at 8:00 p.m., Beijing/Hong Kong time. To access the conference call, please dial +1- 617-213-8898 (in the U.S.) or +852 3002 1672 (in Hong Kong) and ask to be connected to the Suntech earnings call.

A live webcast of the conference call will be available on the investor relations section of Suntech Power's website at http://www.suntech-power.com.

A replay of the conference call will be available for two weeks on the investor relations section of Suntech Power's website or by dialing +1 617 801 6888 (passcode: 66462243).

About Suntech Power Holdings Ltd.

Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. is a leading solar energy company in the world as measured by production output of solar cells in 2005. Suntech provides solar solutions for a green future. Suntech designs, develops, manufactures and markets a variety of high quality, cost effective and environmentally friendly PV cells and modules for electric power applications in the residential, commercial, industrial and public utility sectors. Suntech's customers are located in various markets worldwide, including Germany, Spain, China and the United States. For more information, please visit http://www.suntech-power.com.

Safe Harbor Statement

This announcement contains forward-looking statements. These statements are made under the "safe harbor" provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "will," "expects," "anticipates," "future," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates" and similar statements. Among other things, the business outlook and quotations from management in this announcement, as well as Suntech's strategic and operational plans, contain forward-looking statements. Suntech may also make written forward-looking statements in its periodic reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on forms 20-F and 6-K, etc., in its annual report to shareholders, in press releases and other written materials and in oral statements made by its officers, directors or employees to third parties. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about Suntech's beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward- looking statement, including but not limited to the following: expectations regarding the worldwide demand for electricity and the market for solar energy; Suntech's beliefs regarding the effects of environmental regulation, the lack of infrastructure reliability and long-term fossil fuel supply constraints; the importance of environmentally friendly power generation; expectations regarding governmental support for the deployment of solar energy; expectations regarding the scaling of Suntech's manufacturing capacity; expectations with respect to Suntech's ability to secure raw materials in the future; future business development, results of operations and financial condition; and competition from other manufacturers of PV products and conventional energy suppliers. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in Suntech's registration statement on Form F-1, as amended, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Suntech does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, except as required under applicable law.

About Non-GAAP Financial Measures

To supplement its consolidated financial results presented in accordance with GAAP, Suntech uses the following non-GAAP measures which are adjusted from the most directly comparable GAAP results to exclude only items related to share-based compensation. Management uses these non-GAAP measures internally to make an apples-to-apples comparison of the business and financial performances of first quarter 2006 versus first quarter 2005 for strategic decision making, forecasting future results and evaluating the Company's current performance. Many analysts covering Suntech use the non-GAAP measures as well. Management believes these non-GAAP measures are useful to investors in enabling them to better assess changes in Suntech's core business across different time periods. These non-GAAP measures are not in accordance with or an alternative for GAAP financial data and may be different from non- GAAP measures used by other companies. Suntech computes its non-GAAP financial measures using the same consistent method from quarter to quarter. For more information on these non-GAAP financial measures, please see the tables captioned "Reconciliations of non-GAAP results of operations measures to the nearest comparable GAAP measures" set forth at the end of this release.


                       SUNTECH POWER HOLDINGS CO., LTD.
                        CONSOLIDATED INCOME STATEMENTS
            (In $'000, except share, per share, and per ADS data)

                                          2005            2005          2006
                                           Q1              Q4            Q1
                                         (Note)          (Note)        (Note)

    Net revenues                         38,497          88,989        89,886
    Total cost of revenues               25,144          65,407        62,834
    Gross profit                         13,353          23,582        27,052
    Operating expenses
    Selling expenses                        737             946         1,010
    General and administrative
     expenses                             1,098           8,008         4,904
    Research and development
     expenses                               179           2,084         1,078
    Income from operations               11,339          12,544        20,060
    Interest expenses                      (359)           (773)         (857)
    Interest income                          56             174         1,471
    Other income (expense)                  100            (105)          194
    Income before income taxes           11,136          11,840        20,868
    Tax provision                        (1,132)         (1,500)       (1,589)
    Net income after taxes before
     minority interest and equity
     in earnings of affiliates           10,004          10,340        19,279
    Minority interest                        --             (29)           16
    Equity in (loss) earnings
     of affiliates                          (12)            244            24
    Net income                            9,992          10,555        19,319
    Deemed dividend on Series A
     redeemable convertible
     preferred shares                        --             784            --
    Net income attributable to
     holders of
    ordinary shares                       9,992            9,771       19,319
    Net income per share and
     per ADS:
      -- Basic                             0.11             0.10         0.13
      -- Diluted                           0.11             0.08         0.12

    Shares used in computation
    -- Basic                         90,000,000       98,123,263  147,487,707
    -- Diluted                       90,000,000      132,872,799  156,220,705

Note: The quarterly summary statement of operations data are unaudited. The summary consolidated balance sheet data as of March 31, 2006 is derived from Suntech's unaudited consolidated financial statements. The summary consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2005 is derived from Suntech's audited consolidated financial statements.

About Non-GAAP Financial Measures

To supplement its consolidated financial results presented in accordance with GAAP, Suntech uses the following non-GAAP measures which are adjusted from the most directly comparable GAAP results to exclude only items related to share-based compensation. Management uses these non-GAAP measures internally to make an apples-to-apples comparison of the business and financial performances of first quarter 2006 versus first quarter 2005 for strategic decision making, forecasting future results and evaluating the Company's current performance. Many analysts covering Suntech use the non-GAAP measures as well. Management believes these non-GAAP measures are useful to investors in enabling them to better assess changes in Suntech's core business across different time periods. These non-GAAP measures are not in accordance with or an alternative for GAAP financial data and may be different from non- GAAP measures used by other companies. Suntech computes its non-GAAP financial measures using the same consistent method from quarter to quarter. For more information on these non-GAAP financial measures, please see the tables captioned "Reconciliations of non-GAAP results of operations measures to the nearest comparable GAAP measures" set forth at the end of this release.


                           Three months ended March
                                   31, 2005
                              GAAP          Adjustment           Non-GAAP
                             Result          Results              Results
    Gross Profit              13.4                0                13.4
    Gross Margin              34.7 %                               34.7 %

    Income from Operations    11.3                0                11.3
    Income from Operations
     Margin                   29.5 %                               29.5 %

    Net Income attributable
     to holders of ordinary
     shares                   10.0                0                10.0
    Net Income Margin         26.0 %                               26.0 %

    Net Income per share
     and per ADS
    -- Basic                  0.11                                 0.11
    -- Diluted                0.11                                 0.11


                              Three months ended
                                 December 31,
                                     2005


                             GAAP           Adjustment            Non-GAAP
                            Result                                Results
    Gross Profit             23.6               1.2                 24.8
    Gross Margin             26.5 %                                 27.9 %
    Income from Operations   12.5               7.1                 19.6
    Income from Operations
     Margin                  14.1 %                                 22.0 %
    Net Income attributable
     to holders of ordinary
     shares                   9.8               7.1                 16.8
    Net Income Margin        11.0 %                                 18.9 %
    Net Income per share
     and per ADS
    -- Basic                 0.10                                   0.17
    -- Diluted               0.08                                   0.13


                           Three months ended March
                                   31, 2006


                            GAAP             Adjustment          Non-GAAP
                           Result                                 Results
    Gross Profit             27.1               0.5                 27.6
    Gross Margin             30.1 %                                 30.7 %
    Income from Operations   20.1               2.8                 22.9
    Income from Operations
     Margin                  22.3 %                                 25.5 %
    Net Income attributable
     to holders of ordinary
     shares                  19.3               2.8                 22.1
    Net Income Margin        21.5 %                                 24.6 %
    Net Income per share
     and per ADS
    -- Basic                 0.13                                   0.15
    -- Diluted               0.12                                   0.14
    (*) The adjustment is only for share-based compensation.


    For more information, please contact:

     In China:
     Cindy Shao
     Suntech Power Holdings Ltd.
     Tel:    +86-510-8534-5000
     Email:  ir@suntech-power.com

     Philip Lisio
     Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide
     Tel:    +86-10-8520-6550
     Mobile: +86-1350-1166-560
     Email:  philip.lisio@ogilvy.com

     In the United States:
     Thomas Smith
     Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide
     Tel:    +1-212-880-5269
     Email:  thomas.smith@ogilvypr.com
SOURCE  Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd.
    -0-                             05/18/2006
    /CONTACT:  In China - Cindy Shao of Suntech Power Holdings Ltd., +86-510-
8534-5000, or ir@suntech-power.com , or Philip Lisio of Ogilvy Public
Relations Worldwide, +86-10-8520-6550, or mobile, +86-1350-1166-560, or
philip.lisio@ogilvy.com , In the United States - Thomas Smith of Ogilvy Public
Relations Worldwide, +1-212-880-5269, or thomas.smith@ogilvypr.com /
    (STP)

CO:  Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd.
ST:  China
IN:  CPR
SU:  ERN CCA





YM
-- CNTH019 --
1637 05/18/2006 08:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com