Trina scales back FY shipment guidance

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Just last week, the Chinese photovoltaics manufacturer revised its Q3 guidance downwards, citing oversupply, high inventories and "irrational" pricing practices.

Originally, it was expecting to ship between 450 and 480 MW of modules, however, in total just 380 MW left its warehouses in Q3. This compares to 418.8 MW in Q2, and 370.1 MW in Q3 2011.

While Q3 2012 net revenues were US$298 million (compared to $346 million in Q2 and $481.9 million in Q3), net loss totaled $57.5 million (compared to $92.1 million and $31.5 million in the same period).

Q3 2012 gross profit was hit hard, falling significantly from $29 million in Q2 2012 and $52 million in Q3 2011 to hit just $2.4 million. It was affected by a provision of $13.3 million for non-cash inventory write-down and a $25.8 million reversal of prior provisions related to the U.S. trade case. Meanwhile, Q3 2012 gross margin fell to 0.8%, down from 8.4% in Q2 2012, and 10.8% in Q3 2011.

Overall, Q3 2012 operating loss improved slightly from $78.6 million in Q2, to reach $76 million, but was still down on Q3 2011, which recorded an operating loss of $23.4 million. This quarter was affected by a one-time tax and organization restructuring charge totaling $15.2 million.

Operating margin was also negatively affected, having fallen from – 22.7% in Q2 2012 and – 4.9% in Q3 2011, to reach – 25.5% in Q3.

Looking ahead to Q4, Trina Solar expects to ship between 380 MW to 400 MW of photovoltaic modules. It also predicts a gross margin similar to that achieved in Q3. For the FY, it has revised its shipment guidance down from 1.75 to 1.8 GW, to 1.55 GW to 1.6 GW.

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