LDK reins in losses in Q3

03. December 2012 | Global PV markets, Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends | By:  Max Hall

When LDK Solar publishes its quarterly figures there is as much interest in the company balance sheet as in the headline figures. With a staunching in the flow of money out of the debt-ridden manufacturer in Q3, the good news for shareholders is a US$536 million reduction in total liabilities.

LDK Solar branding.

LDK Solar's latest figures show a reduction in losses on its solar photovoltaic modules, cells and wafers.

Liabilities of almost $6 billion at the end of June came in to $5.4 billion by the end of September, although the global giant's total assets also shrank, from $6.4 billion to $5.8 billion, including a $184 million shrinkage of cash and cash equivalents.

As is common across the industry at the moment, LDK's story of reining in the traumatic scale of second quarter losses in the latest figures will be seen as a relative success story, albeit one which saw shareholders left with a net loss of $136.9 million for the last three months.

That loss compares favorably with the $254.3 million lost in the previous quarter and is approaching the $114.5 million deficit on the same quarter in 2011 in a situation echoed across the latest figures.

Net sales of $291.5 million dollars were up on $235.4 million from April to June and compared badly with sales of $471.9 million from July to September 2011.

Those sales led to a gross loss of $32.5 million for the quarter, compared with $92.5 million for Q2 and just $17 million in Q3, 2011, but the figures were hit by an inventory writedown of $37.8 million, based on the plunging price of polysilicon globally.

Although the company expects to ship a similar amount of wafers (200 to 250 MW) in the final three months of the year as in the latest quarter (230.2 MW), it is predicting a sharp contraction in the number of cells and wafers shifted, from 161.9 MW in Q3 to 50 to 80 MW in the final quarter of 2012. In terms of revenue the outlook continues to be bleak with the company expecting revenue to come in somewhere below the Q3 figure with a range of $230 million to $290 million predicted.

For the full year, LDK is expecting revenue of $950 million to $1 billion with LDK inverter shipments of 150 to 200 MW, solar project construction of 200 to 300 MW and project sales and EPC for third parties o to 530 MW of cells and modules.

"We were pleased to deliver third-quarter results that were in line with expectations," said Xingxue Tong, president and CEO of LDK Solar. "While we saw improvement to our top and bottom line in the third quarter, our results continue to reflect the industry-wide pricing pressure and demand weakness that is negatively impacting the entire solar supply chain.

"Over the past several weeks, we have taken a number of steps to increase operating efficiencies and improve our liquidity, including realigning the management team and the share purchase agreement with Heng Rui Xin Energy. We are making progress on our strategy to streamline operations, prudently manage expenses and diversify our business. We plan to continue to actively manage our business to adapt to market developments and position the company for future growth."


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