JinkoSolar sees huge 2012 losses

In light of struggling European economies, JinkoSolar has set its sights on such markets in China, Japan, the U.S., South Africa and India. Japan and the U.S., in particular, are expected to reap rewards for the Chinese solar company in the coming year.

On the back of its "record" solar shipments and positive gross margins, and despite hefty losses in other areas, JinkoSolar believes its strategy is effective and that it can adeptly adapt to changing environments and market conditions.

Overall, the company recorded a Q4 net loss of RMB 761.1 million (US$122.2 million), down significantly from RMB 114.5 million in Q3, and RMB 366.6 million in Q4 2011. For the FY, net loss dropped from a net income of a RMB 273.3 million in 2011, to a hefty loss of RMB 1.54 billion ($247.6 million).

This led to a Q4 diluted loss per share of RMB 8.58 ($1.38), compared to RMB 1.29 in Q3 2012 and RMB 4.06 in Q4 2011; and RMB 17.38 ($2.79) for the FY, compared to RMB1.23 in 2011.

Total revenues also tumbled, sequentially, from RMB 1.33 billion in Q3 and RMB 1.20 billion in Q4 2011, to RMB 1.17 billion ($187.3 million) in Q4; and annually, from RMB 7.38 billion in 2011, to RMB 4.79 billion ($769.6 million) in 2012.

Operations also took a hit, with Q4 recording a loss of RMB 733.7 million ($117.8 million), compared to RMB 111.3 million in Q3 2012 and RMB 316.1 million in Q4 2011. Overall, 2012 saw an operating loss of RMB 1.23 billion (US$198 million), compared to an income of RMB 315.9 million in 2011.

Q4 operating margin, meanwhile, was significantly down, at -62.9%, compared with -8.4% in Q3 2012 and -26.4% in Q4 2011. For the FY, operating margin hit -25.7%, compared to 4.3% in 2011.

Despite the losses, JinkoSolar did manage to record a gross profit of RMB 44 million ($7.1 million) in Q4, down from RMB 77.6 million in Q3, but up from a gross loss of RMB 52.3 million in Q4 2011. For the FY, gross profit fell from RMB 1.15 billion in 2011 to RMB 232.2 million ($37.3 million).

Gross margin was also positive, although it also declined in comparison to previous results: in Q4, a gross margin of 3.8% was recorded, down from 5.8% in Q3, and -4.4% in Q4 2011. For the FY, gross margin fell to 4.8%, down from 15.6% for 2011.

Solar shipments provided some further light for JinkoSolar, with a "record" 1.2 GW of product shipped in 2012 – up from 950.5 MW in 2011 – of which modules comprised 912.4 MW, silicon wafers 197.4 MW and solar cells, 78.5 MW. Quarterly, however, solar shipments fell slightly, from 335.2 MW in Q3 to 301.9 MW in Q4. They were up on the previous year though, which recorded, 227 MW in Q4 2011.

The company failed to issue any guidance for 2013.