Suntech Power (STP) Rises After Q3 Results and Shipment Outlook (Update)

November 19, 2009 12:36 PM EST
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(Update with comments from analysts )

Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (NYSE: STP) reported a 30 percent decline in third quarter profit; however shares are rising due to the company raising its guidance for full-year shipments.

Third-quarter net profit for the Chinese solar panel maker was $29.8 million, or 16 cents per share, down from $42.6 million or 25 cents per share in the same quarter last year. The third-quarter earnings beat the analyst estimate of 8 cents per share.

"The significant pick-up in demand was largely due to a seasonal rush before end-of-year policy adjustments and improving customer returns on investments in solar projects,” said Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech's Chairman and CEO. “It was also due to customer recognition of Suntech's attractive value proposition of exceptional product performance at a reasonable price.”

Revenue for the company fell to $473.1 million, down 20 percent from the year-ago quarter. The revenue numbers did beat the market consensus of $426.6 million.

Suntech is raising its guidance for shipments in the fourth quarter to 640 megawatts and 660 MW of solar modules from its original estimate of 600 MW. The company expects shipments to rise 10 percent from the third quarter.

Shares for Suntech are up 5.17 percent to $15.87 in mid-day trading.

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Analyst Comments:
Janney Montgomery Scott has maintained an overweight rating on Suntech with a fair value estimate of $17. The analysts are positive on the raised guidance of the company’s shipments for the fourth quarter, saying that this signals that demand, credit and pricing environments are continuing to improve for the company.

The broad-based demand across Europe and the U.S. makes the analysts at Janney confident that despite the artificial demand due to regulatory changes, the natural demand for Suntech products will continue to grow.

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