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Canadian Solar Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2011 Financial Results
 

ONTARIO, March 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ -- Canadian Solar Inc. (the "Company", or "Canadian Solar") (NASDAQ: CSIQ), one of the world's largest solar companies, today announced financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

Fourth Quarter 2011 Highlights

  • Solar module shipments were 436 MW, an increase of 23% from 355 MW in the third quarter 2011.
  • Net revenue was $474.1 million, compared to $499.6 million in the third quarter 2011.
  • Gross margin was 8.7%, compared to 2.4% in the third quarter 2011.
  • Diluted loss per share was $1.39, compared to diluted loss per share of $1.02 in the third quarter 2011.
  • Operating cash flow was approximately $48.9 million, compared to approximately $94 million in the third quarter 2011.
  • Inventory balance at the end of the quarter was $296.6 million, compared to $406.0 million at the end of the third quarter 2011.

Fiscal Year 2011 Highlights

  • Solar module shipments were 1,323 MW, an increase of 65% from 803 MW in fiscal year 2010.
  • Net revenue was $1.9 billion, compared to net revenue of $1.5 billion for fiscal year 2010.
  • Gross margin was of 9.6%, compared to 15.3% in fiscal year 2010, due to a significant decline in average selling price during 2011.
  • Diluted loss per share was $2.11, compared to earnings of $1.16 per diluted share for fiscal year 2010.
  • Operating cash flow was approximately $46.3 million, compared to negative $58.5 million for fiscal year 2010.
  • Inventory balance at the end of fiscal year 2011 was $296.6 million, compared to $272.1 million at the end of fiscal 2010.

Fourth Quarter 2011 Results

Net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2011 was $474.1 million, down 5.1% from $499.6 million in the third quarter of 2011 and up 4.7% from $452.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2010.  Total solar module shipments for the fourth quarter of 2011 were 436 MW, compared to total module shipments of 355 MW for the third quarter 2011 and 237 MW for the fourth quarter of 2010.  Total solar module shipments for the fourth quarter of 2011 included 16.3 MW used in the Company's total solutions business.

By geography, in the fourth quarter of 2011, sales to European markets represented 46.5% of revenue, sales to North America represented 26.9% of revenue, and sales to Asia and all other markets represented 26.6% of revenue, compared to 61.7%, 16.1% and 22.2%, respectively, in the third quarter of 2011 and 70.9%, 10.3% and 18.8%, respectively, in the fourth quarter of 2010.  Specifically, India, China and the U.S. were markets of notable positive growth for the Company in 2011.

Revenue by Geography

 

Q4 2011

Q3 2011

4Q 2010

FY 2011

FY 2010

US$M

%

US$M

%

US$M

%

US$M

%

US$M

%

Europe

220.5

46.5

308.2

61.7

321.1

70.9

1,232.9

65.0

1,193.70

79.8

America

127.3

26.9

80.6

16.1

46.8

10.3

327.6

17.5

115.7

7.7

Asia and others

126.3

26.6

110.8

22.2

84.8

18.8

326.7

17.5

186.2

12.5

Total

474.1

100.0

499.6

100.0

452.7

100.0

1,895.4

100.0

1,495.60

100.0

Gross profit in the fourth quarter of 2011 was $41.4 million, compared to $11.9 million in the third quarter of 2011 and $77.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2010.  Gross margin was 8.7% in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to 2.4% in the third quarter of 2011 and 17.0% in the fourth quarter of 2010.  The sequential increase in gross profit and margin was due to a reversal of previously recorded non-cash losses on firm purchase commitment of $14.0 million resulting from the termination of a long-term supply contract, as well as the fact that in the third quarter the Company incurred a large non-cash inventory charge that was not repeated in the fourth quarter 2011. The year-over-year decline in gross profit and margin was primarily due to the significant decline in average selling prices during 2011.

Total operating expenses were $62.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to $42.6 million in the third quarter of 2011 and $34.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Selling expenses were $21.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, up 12.9% from $18.7 million in the third quarter of 2011 and up 49.0% from $14.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2010.  The sequential and year-over-year increases in selling expenses were primarily due to increases in freight and other export-related expenses associated with higher shipment volumes.

General and administrative expenses were $36.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to $16.0 million in the third quarter of 2011 and $18.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2010.  The sequential and year-over-year increases in general and administrative expenses were primarily due to a bad debt provision totaling $18.5 million, most of which relates to the termination of the aforementioned long-term supply agreement.

Research and development expenses were $5.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to $7.9 million in the third quarter of 2011 and $2.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2010.  The sequential decline reflects a lower level of material consumption for research and development activity as projects related to new product launches and cost reduction were completed. The year-over-year increase in research and development expenses was due to the Company's increased investment in advanced solar technologies to reduce cost, improve cell conversion efficiency and launch innovative new products, compared to the same period of 2010.  

Operating margin was negative 4.5% in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to negative 6.1% in the third quarter of 2011 and positive 9.3% in the fourth quarter of 2010.  The sequential improvement in operating margin was driven by the increase in gross profit partially offset by higher operating expenses. The year-over-year decrease in operating margin was due to lower gross profit and higher operating expenses.

Interest expense in the fourth quarter of 2011 was $11.7 million, compared to $10.8 million in the third quarter of 2011 and $6.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2010.  The sequential increase in interest expense was primarily due to higher borrowing costs partially offset by a reduction in bank borrowings during the fourth quarter of 2011.  The year-over-year increase in interest expense was due to additional bank borrowings and higher borrowing rates.  Interest income in the fourth quarter of 2011 was $1.8 million, compared to $3.0 million in the third quarter of 2011 and $1.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. The sequential decline in interest income was driven by the significant reduction in restricted cash balances from $344 million in the third quarter to $178.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The Company recorded a gain on change in fair value of derivatives of $2.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to a gain of $14.5 million in the third quarter of 2011 and a gain of $3.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2010.  Foreign exchange loss in the fourth quarter of 2011 was $14.1 million, compared to a foreign exchange loss of $23.9 million in the third quarter of 2011 and foreign exchange loss of $1.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Income tax expense in the fourth quarter of 2011 was $16.3 million, compared to income tax benefit of $3.4 million in the third quarter of 2011 and $10.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2010.  The Company's income tax expense in the fourth quarter of 2011 is mainly driven by its tax structure where production is on a cost plus basis, and can result in taxes being owed in some jurisdictions even when the Company incurs an overall loss.

Net loss attributable to Canadian Solar in the fourth quarter of 2011 was $59.9 million, or $1.39 per diluted share, compared to net loss of $43.9 million, or $1.02 per diluted share, in the third quarter 2011, and net income of $25.5 million, or $0.58 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Financial Condition

As of December 31, 2011, the Company had $522.3 million in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash, compared to $621.1 million as of September 30, 2011 and $476.2 million as of December 31, 2010. The sequential decline in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash was primarily due to a decrease in restricted cash to $178.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 from $344.0 million at the end of the third quarter 2011, as the Company reduced short-term borrowing and the corresponding need for cash collateral.

Accounts receivable balance at the end of the fourth quarter of 2011 was $292.2 million, compared to $217.8 million at the end of the third quarter of 2011.  The sequential increase reflects a higher concentration of shipments in the last month of the quarter. Accounts receivable turnover days increased to 50 days in the fourth quarter of 2011 from 47 days in the third quarter of 2011.

Inventories at the end of the fourth quarter of 2011 were $296.6 million, compared to $406.0 million at the end of the third quarter of 2011.  Inventory turnover days were 80 days in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to 85 days in the third quarter of 2011.

Accounts and notes payable were $306.0 million the end of the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to $407.1 million at the end of the third quarter of 2011.  Accounts payable turnover days were 74 days in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to 67 days in the third quarter of 2011.  This increase in accounts payable turnover during the quarter reflects the Company's continued efforts to improve its working capital management and more closely align payments with the current industry practice.

Short-term borrowings at the end of the fourth quarter of 2011 totaled $743.7 million compared to $794.8 million at the end of the third quarter of 2011.  The Company maintains good relationships with several local and regional PRC banks for nearly all of its short-term borrowing needs. These credit lines can be renewed each year and have no restrictive covenants attached to them. As of the date of this press release, the Company has approximately $975 million in unused credit facilities and historically has had no difficulty renewing its credit lines. Long-term debt at the end of the fourth quarter 2011 was $88.2 million, compared to $153.6 million at the end of the third quarter of 2011.

As of December 31, 2011 the Company had $467.0 million in total stockholders' equity, compared to $517.1 million as of September 30, 2011 and $534.3 million as of December 31, 2010.

Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar, remarked: "Canadian Solar continued to execute and thrive in a highly challenging global market and benefit from customers flight to quality.  Our ability to remain focused and to provide customers with innovative, high-quality solar energy solutions, with top notch support, helped us grow our market share.  Shipments for the full year 2011 were up 65%, with a 23% increase in the fourth quarter.  The strength was widely distributed, as we had a very good trend of wins at major clients.  As for specific markets, we had positive growth in the U.S., Europe, China and India in 2011.  China has been our fastest growing market given the lower base it started at, with forecasts calling for a potential 3 GW to 5 GW opportunity in 2012.  Importantly, we made substantial progress in our strategy of building our downstream total solutions business and currently have more opportunities than we could possibly address, which is allowing us to be selective.  We are excited about this area of our business because it clearly differentiates Canadian Solar, it helps increase our visibility, and leverages our expertise and global brand.  Further, the specialization of the solutions business makes it a higher margin business.  Our success was illustrated in December 2011 when we entered into a purchase and sale agreement with TransCanada, in which they will acquire from us in 2012 and 2013, nine utility-scale power plants in Ontario valued at approximately C$470 million.  We see similar opportunities for our solutions business in many other countries including, India, Japan, the U.S. and China."

Michael G. Potter, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Canadian Solar, commented: "During the fourth quarter, we continued our emphasis on working capital management, specifically working to reduce inventory and control receivables levels.   We were successful in reducing our inventory balance by $106.3 million or 26% in the fourth quarter.  We are currently examining our worldwide cost structure to ensure it is properly aligned with our expected shift towards more project business and changes in our targeted geographies.  By closely managing our operating expenses, we are confident we can continue to excel in a challenging global market as the industry continues to mature."

Business Outlook

The Company's business outlook is based on management's current views with respect to operating and market conditions, its current order book, and the challenging global financing environment, which continues to result in customer demand uncertainty.  Management's views and estimates are subject to change without notice.

For the first quarter of 2012, shipments are expected to be in the range of approximately 340 MW to 350 MW, with gross margin expected to be between 5% and 8%.  Despite the challenging global financing environment, which continues to result in customer demand uncertainty for the whole year 2012, the Company expects to ship approximately 1,800 MW to 2,000 MW of solar products. The Company will continue to actively manage manufacturing utilization, inventory and mix levels, and operating expenses as demand levels fluctuate. The Company will also continue to explore ways to increase manufacturing efficiency and yield and to lower processing and consumable costs where opportunities exist.

Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar, remarked: "Canadian Solar is in an excellent position as we pursue future growth.  In addition to our global brand, strong track record of innovation, quality and service, we have one of the most efficient manufacturing models in the industry.  We expect to further improve our financial ratios moving forward as we gain more flexibility to drive our total solutions business.  Our goal remains to expand our engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and solar systems kits business to approximately more than 25% of total revenue in 2012 and greater than 40% of revenue in 2013.  We are a leader in most markets we serve.  Importantly, our commitment to the Canadian market has given us a significant competitive advantage not only in the attractive Canadian market but also in the U.S. market, as we have a fully operational manufacturing base nearby."

Recent Developments

  • On February 23, 2012 the Company announced the supply of 2,800 solar modules for a rooftop system in the Danish city of Virum. The solar installation, north of Copenhagen, has a capacity of 605 kW, which makes it Denmark's largest PV system. SRU Solar AG, based in the city of Berga in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, constructed the pioneering PV system on two roofs of an office complex located in Virum, in cooperation with the young Danish energy company Greengo Energy.
  • On February 22, 2012 the Company announced that it had become a sponsor of the National Hockey League's Los Angeles Kings. The Los Angeles Kings play in the world-famous STAPLES Center in downtown Los Angeles, also home to three other professional sports franchises and the host site of more than 250 events annually.
  • On January 26, 2012 the Company announced an agreement with the Al Fahad Group, a diversified conglomerate with expertise in defense, intelligence, homeland security, networking, communications and power. Under the agreement, Canadian Solar will supply more than 1.5 MW of its solar modules to the Al Fahad Group, which is spearheading one of the largest solar PV projects in Abu Dhabi, considered one of the pioneers for renewable energies in the Middle East.
  • On January 17, 2012 the Company announced that its solar modules passed the most stringent salt spray corrosion test — IEC61701 Ed2 (salt mist corrosion testing) and IEC60068-2-52 Ed.2 (Severity 1, Environmental testing) standards adopted in 2011. Canadian Solar was granted certification by TUV NORD CERT GmbH, based in Germany. The certification covers 33 of the Company's products, with outputs ranging from 13W to 305W.
  • On January 5, 2012 the Company announced the successful completion and grid-connection of a 10 MW ground mounted solar project, a part of a 50MW solar plant, in Hongsibao, Ningxia, in northwest China at the end of 2011.
  • On December 20, 2011 the Company announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Canadian Solar Solutions Inc. (CSSI), entered into a sales agreement with TransCanada Corporation (TSX, NYSE: TRP) (TransCanada), whereby TransCanada will acquire from Canadian Solar a 86 megawatts (MW) AC solar project portfolio for approximately $470 million Canadian dollars.
  • On December 13, the Company announced it had entered into a sales contract with Siemens. Under the agreement, Canadian Solar we will supply 2.5 MW of solar modules for two solar projects -- a rooftop system and a carport -- constructed by Siemens for the University of Murcia, Spain. For both projects, Siemens used Canadian Solar's MaxPower CS6X modules, the company's utility-scale module series. Due to its larger size, power and performance, MaxPower cuts balance of system costs per watt by optimizing tracker and racking space.
  • On December 1, the Company announced that it had supplied solar modules for a 9 MW solar power plant by OPDE Group in Spain. The solar system is scheduled for commissioning in the fourth quarter of 2011 in the town of Ablitas in the Spanish region of Navarra.
  • On November 30, the Company announced the provision of 12,465 high-performing photovoltaic modules for a ground-mount solar power plant installed on a former mining site in the Italian city of Cavriglia (Arezzo).
  • On November 29, the Company announced that it had supplied solar modules for an 8.5 MW power plant in Lindenhof near Neubrandenburg in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Berlin-based saferay expects to complete the project next month.

Conference Call Details

The Company will hold a conference call to discuss its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2011 on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 8:00 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time (9:00 p.m. March 7, 2012 in Hong Kong).  The dial-in phone number is +1-617-213-8895 or +1-866-272-9941, with passcode 10107363.  A live webcast of the conference call will also be available on Canadian Solar's website at www.canadiansolar.com.

A replay of the call will be available approximately one hour after the conclusion of the live call until 10:00 a.m. on March 14, 2012, U.S. Eastern Time (10:00 p.m., March 14, 2012 in Hong Kong) and can be accessed by dialing +1-617-801-6888, passcode 75429946.  A webcast replay will also be available at www.canadiansolar.com.

About Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ)

Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) is one of the world's largest solar companies. As a leading vertically integrated provider of ingots, wafers, solar cells, solar modules and other solar applications, Canadian Solar designs, manufactures and delivers solar products and solar system solutions for on-grid and off-grid use to customers worldwide. With operations in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, Canadian Solar provides premium quality, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly solar solutions to support global, sustainable development. For more information, please visit www.canadiansolar.com.

Safe Harbor/Forward-Looking Statements:

Certain statements in this press release including statements regarding our expected future shipment volumes, gross margins, supply cost, manufacturing capacities, and cell conversion efficiencies, are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These statements are made under the "Safe Harbor" provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by such terms as "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "estimates," the negative of these terms, or other comparable terminology. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include the risks regarding the previously disclosed SEC investigation as well as general business and economic conditions and the state of the solar industry; governmental support for the deployment of solar power; future available supplies of high-purity silicon; demand for end-use products by consumers and inventory levels of such products in the supply chain; changes in demand from significant customers; changes in demand from major markets such as Germany; changes in customer order patterns; changes in product mix; capacity utilization; level of competition; pricing pressure and declines in average selling prices; delays in new product introduction; delays in utility-scale project approval process; delays in utility-scale project construction; continued success in technological innovations and delivery of products with the features customers demand; shortage in supply of materials or capacity requirements; availability of financing; exchange rate fluctuations; litigation and other risks as described in the Company's SEC filings, including its annual report on Form 20-F filed on May 17, 2011. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in the forward looking statements are reasonable, it cannot guarantee future results, level of activity, performance, or achievements. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. All information provided in this press release is as of today's date, unless otherwise stated, and Canadian Solar undertakes no duty to update such information, except as required under applicable law.

FINANCIAL TABLES FOLLOW

Canadian Solar Inc.

Unaudited Condensed Consolidated Statement of Operations

(In Thousands of US Dollars, Except Share And Per Share Data And Unless Otherwise Stated)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Months Ended

 

Twelve Months Ended

 

Item

2011-12-31

2011-9-30

2010-12-31

2011-12-31

2010-12-31

Net revenues

474,060

499,639

452,719

1,898,923

1,495,509

Cost of revenues

432,675

487,735

375,743

1,716,639

1,266,737

Gross profit

41,385

11,904

76,976

182,284

228,772

Selling expenses

21,094

18,685

14,161

69,341

47,109

General and administrative expenses

36,794

16,037

18,655

86,268

54,520

Research and development expenses

5,012

7,885

2,064

19,839

6,843

Total operating expenses

62,900

42,607

34,880

175,448

108,472

Income (Loss) from operations

(21,515)

(30,703)

42,096

6,836

120,300

Interest expenses

(11,737)

(10,795)

(6,476)

(43,844)

(22,164)

Interest income

1,763

3,040

1,397

8,446

6,936

Investment income (loss)

(134)

309

(2,912)

(44)

(2,853)

Gain (Loss) on change in fair value of derivatives

2,407

14,494

3,158

(5,751)

1,657

Exchange loss

(14,097)

(23,949)

(1,192)

(40,008)

(36,294)

Income (Loss) before taxes

(43,313)

(47,604)

36,071

(74,365)

67,582

Income tax expenses(benefit)

16,269

(3,379)

10,286

16,540

16,754

Net income (loss)

(59,582)

(44,225)

25,785

(90,905)

50,828

Less: Net income (loss) attributable to non–controlling interest

306

(348)

249

(99)

259

Net income (loss) attributable to CSI

(59,888)

(43,877)

25,536

(90,806)

50,569

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic earnings (loss) per share

($1.39)

($1.02)

$0.60

($2.11)

$1.18

Basic weighted average outstanding shares

43,155,767

43,154,552

42,889,124

43,076,489

42,839,356

Diluted earnings (loss) per share

($1.39)

($1.02)

$0.58

($2.11)

$1.16

Diluted weighted average outstanding shares

43,155,767

43,154,552

43,714,853

43,076,489

43,678,208


Canadian Solar Inc.

Unaudited Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheet

(In Thousands of US Dollars)

 

December 31, 2011

December 31, 2010

Assets

 

 

 

 

Current assets

 

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents

 

343,995

 

288,652

Restricted cash

 

178,270

 

187,595

Accounts receivable, net of allowance for doubtful accounts

 

292,176

 

169,657

Amount due from related parties

 

19,836

 

1,356

Inventories

 

296,568

 

272,097

Value added tax recoverable

 

16,974

 

42,297

Advances to suppliers

 

11,309

 

27,321

Foreign currency derivative assets

 

2,727

 

2,183

Project assets

 

88,504

 

-

Prepaid and other current assets

 

45,217

 

43,508

Total current assets

 

1,295,576

 

1,034,666

Property, plant and equipment, net

 

510,069

 

330,460

Intangible assets

 

10,781

 

2,695

Advances to suppliers

 

258

 

13,946

Prepaid land use right

 

13,805

 

13,378

Investments

 

11,008

 

5,671

Deferred tax assets — non current

 

23,227

 

16,725

Other non-current assets

 

15,084

 

5,826

Total assets

 

1,879,808

 

1,423,367

Current liabilities

 

 

 

 

Short term borrowings

 

743,687

 

540,520

Accounts and Notes payable

 

305,998

 

123,373

Other payables

 

84,676

 

47,876

Advances from customers

 

65,216

 

8,971

Amounts due to related parties

 

3,008

 

2,445

Foreign currency derivative liabilities

 

-

 

2,452

Provision for firm purchase commitment  

 

-

 

15,889

Other current liabilities

 

33,863

 

33,807

Total current liabilities

 

1,236,448

 

775,333

Accrued warranty costs

 

47,021

 

31,225

Contingent contract liability

 

27,862

 

-

Liability for uncertain tax positions

 

12,301

 

11,460

Convertible notes

 

950

 

906

Long term borrowings

 

88,249

 

69,458

Total liabilities

 

1,412,831

 

888,382

Common shares

 

502,403

 

501,146

Additional paid in capital

 

(53,331)

 

(57,392)

(Accumulated deficit) Retained earnings

 

(28,695)

 

62,111

Accumulated other comprehensive income

 

45,556

 

28,462

Total Canadian Solar Inc. stockholders' equity

 

465,933

 

534,327

Non-controlling interest

 

1,044

 

658

Total equity

 

466,977

 

534,985

Total liabilities and equity

 

1,879,808

 

1,423,367

SOURCE Canadian Solar Inc.

Investor Relations: Ed Job, CFA, Director, Investor Relations of Canadian Solar Inc., ir@canadiansolar.com; or David Pasquale of Global IR Partners, +1-914-337-8801, or csiq@globalirpartners.com