MEMCs solar materials division performed particularly well, having increased its sales by 17 percent from the last quarter and a massive 107 percent from the first quarter of 2010, to reach $326.3 million. The company attributes the sequential increase to higher wafer volumes, which were partially offset by lower pricing, while the year-over-year increase was said to be the result of "significantly" higher wafer volumes and improved pricing.
In terms of operating profit, a marginal increase was seen in the first quarter of 2011 in comparison to the fourth quarter of 2010, having risen from $38.1 million to $39.4 million. However, from the first quarter of last year, an impressive increase was seen, with operating profit having risen from $12.2 million.
The sequential increase was driven by higher wafer volumes. This was partially offset by a higher operating expense associated with the manufacturing ramp up of the company's wafering facility in Kuching, Malaysia. The year-over-year increase, on the other hand, was reportedly driven by higher wafer pricing and volumes, and lower polysilicon and conversion costs from the company's tolling partners.
SunEdisons GAAP net sales took a tumble from $307.6 million in the last quarter of 2010 to hit a paltry $158.1 million in the first quarter of this year. As with MEMCs solar division though, a sharp year-on-year increase was seen, with net sales having risen from $60.7 million in the first quarter of 2010.
In terms of non-GAAP net sales, MEMC says that $254.8 million was achieved in the first quarter.
In a statement, the company explains: "During the first quarter of 2011, SunEdison sold to First Reserve a 20.4 MW project in Campania, Italy, which was interconnected in December 2010. Of the total sales proceeds, $95.2 million was recognized as GAAP revenue, $109.5 million was recognized as non-GAAP revenue, and $14.1 million of the sales proceeds were not recognized in GAAP or non-GAAP results as a result of minority ownership interest.
"Total 2011 first quarter interconnections were 20.3 MW, including 12.1 MW of direct sales and sale-lease back projects and 8.2MW of debt financed projects."
SunEdison's 2011 first quarter GAAP operating loss hit $6.6 million, compared to an operating loss of $5.9 million in the 2010 fourth quarter, and operating profit of $6.8 million in the 2010 first quarter.
The company's project pipeline has been significantly boosted, having ended the first quarter of this year with a total 1,870 MW of projects. This is an increase of 454 MW or 32 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010 and 1,100 MW or 137 percent from the 2010 first quarter. Meanwhile, SunEdison had 105 MW of solar projects under construction exiting the 2011 first quarter.
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