November 30, 2010 / 12:35 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 2-Trina profit jumps, Euro worries knock shares

* Raises FY shipment view to 1 GW from 900-930 MW

* Q3 profit $1.08/ADS vs Wall Street view 87 cts

* Q3 sales more than double to $508.3 mln

* Shares down 4.4 pct (Adds CFO and analyst comments, cost details, share price)

NEW YORK, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Trina Solar Ltd TSL.N easily topped Wall Street’s quarterly profit forecast as shipments of photovoltaic products more than doubled, but its shares fell as worries about European economies knocked the sector lower.

Trina is the latest solar maker to see sales soar. The Changzhou, China-based company benefited from strong demand in the quarter for renewable energy systems, particularly in Germany.

The company said its fourth-quarter shipments would top the 290.5 megawatts of solar modules shipped in the third quarter, and it hiked its 2010 shipment forecast to 1,000 MW from 900-930 MW.

Trina also said it was on track to get its module costs below $1.00 per watt next year, maintaining its position as one of the lowest-cost manufacturers of polysilicon-based solar products.

With demand in key European markets such as Germany and the Czech Republic set to decline next year and likely drive some higher-cost manufacturers out of business, Trina appears well prepared to withstand a tougher environment, according to Cowen & Co analyst Rob Stone.

“If you had to pick one that would make it, I think Trina would make the short list,” he said.

Trina reported third-quarter profit climbed to $82.9 million, or $1.08 per American Depository Share (ADS), from $39.8 million, or 64 cents per ADS, a year ago. The average Wall Street forecast was 87 cents per ADS, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue more than doubled to $508.3 million, well above the $420.6 million analysts had forecast.

But investors, worried about the debt crisis in Europe that has pressured the euro, drove solar stocks lower. Trina shares were down 4.4 percent to $22.83 on the New York Stock Exchange.

FIRM MARGINS

Gross margin for the quarter was 31 percent, compared with 29 percent a year earlier. The company cut its polysilicon and manufacturing costs even as module prices weakened from a year ago.

The current strong demand for solar modules should help the company increase the average selling price of its modules in the fourth quarter, keeping its gross margins above 30 percent.

“We expect ASPs growing in both U.S. dollar and euro terms,” Chief Financial Officer Terry Wang told a conference call.

While many analysts have forecast potentially steep declines in selling prices next year as the industry ramps up manufacturing capacity, Wang said Trina’s lower-priced modules may be protected.

“Higher-priced module producers will see declines before us,” he said.

Trina’s output capacity of cells and wafers in the current quarter could reach 1.1 GW on an annualized basis, and rise to 1.7 GW next year.

Capacity to produce ingot and wafers, which are used to build the modules, will reach 1.2 GW next year. (Reporting by Matt Daily in New York and Krishna N Das in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian and Johnn Wallace)

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