LDK Solar’s Q1 results remain in the red

LDK Solar remained deep in red ink for the first quarter of the year as its net loss grew slightly to $187.1 million compared to the first three months of 2012 while revenue plunged nearly 50% to $104.3 million year-on-year.

The company partly attributed its loss to an inventory write-down of $15.1 million, which it said was required as a result of the continuous weakness in the market price for polysilicon, wafers, cells and modules caused by industry-wide over capacity and increased market competition. The move negatively impacted first quarter gross margin and results from operations.

Gross margin was negative 57% in the period, compared to negative 65.5% in the same period last year, while operating losses reached $93.2 million, up from a $423.5 million loss in the fourth quarter of 2012 and from $135.8 million a year ago. The Chinese PV manufacturer shipped 240 MW of wafers and 31.4 MW of cells and modules in the first quarter.

The company’s total liabilities totaled $5.3 billion in the first quarter, up from $5.2 billion in the fourth quarter of last year.

"The first quarter operating environment remained challenging for the solar industry," said LDK Solar President and CEO Xingxue Tong, adding that the company was undertaking a number of initiatives to restructure the company.

LDK Solar was working closely with stakeholders and government agencies in an effort to "negotiate solutions," Tong said.

The company is aiming to improve its cost structure by driving down production costs, tightening operating expenses and adapting its overall business to current market demands in order to better position it for long-term growth.

"While China still represents the strongest global growth opportunity, we believe that Southeast Asia, Africa, India and the U.S. are among several emerging markets with additional growth potential," Tong said.

LDK Solar is focusing on increasing its market share in these regions and recently reported a new module supply deal with a leading PV project developer in Thailand.

Looking towards the second quarter, the company management estimates revenue to reach between $100 million and $150 million, wafer shipments between 250 MW and 300 MW and cell and module shipments between 30 MW and 40 MW.