Trina Solar Q3 results reveal first profit for nine quarters

After a run of eight straight quarters of contraction, Chinese solar giants Trina Solar returned to profit in the third quarter of 2013, a turnaround driven by buoyant trade in panel shipments.

Panel sales in China and Japan drove the third quarter recovery for Trina Solar, as evidenced in the company’s recently published financial results, which reveal that third-quarter panel shipments reached 774.6 MW. This figure is double what it was for Q3 2012, propelling revenue toward an impressive 84% gain, or $548.4 million, since the second quarter.

Having lost $33.7 million in net income in the second quarter of 2013, Trina Solar turned its first profit for nine quarters, posting a gain of $9.9 million. Quite a turnaround on 2012, when Q3 net profits last year were revealed as a $57.5 million loss. The last time Trina Solar posted a profit prior to this week was in Q2 2011.

The company’s recovery and projected growth (Trina Solar expects to ship up to 2.62 GW of solar panels by the end of 2013) does not come in isolation. Earlier this month, fellow solar giants Canadian Solar and Jinko Solar posted equally positive financial results, lending further credence to the industry-wide belief that solar has indeed turned a corner.

Stabilizing equipment costs after two years of tumbling prices have helped steady the margins for the industry’s main players, while Asian demand – supported in part by the gathering of interest and cash in emerging markets the world over – has been resurgent. China alone has announced ambitious plans to install as much as 12 GW of PV in 2014, according to a recent forecast by NPD Solarbuzz. The country is expected to account for as much as 30% of Trina’s total shipments for 2013 – a figure that stood at just 13% in 2012.

After Trina Solar’s announcement, shares in the company rose by almost 10% to $17.74 on the NYSE, with the company also announcing plans to increase its presence in the development of solar farms, targeting an average of 100 MW – 200 MW installed globally in each quarter in 2014, according to Reuters.