Friday, December 7, 2012

Suntech Power Reports Results and JinkoSolar Gets Bailout ($STP)

Suntech Power finally commented on quarterly earnings,

"already under pressure from the collapse in the price of its products, said an internal probe concluded the company was defrauded by a partner in a solar development fund [...] Suntech will reduce its 2010 net income by between $60 million and $80 million [...] The company also said revenue fell 18 percent from the second to third quarters because subsidies were cut in Europe, a top solar market. Shipments of photovoltaic solar panels are expected to be lower than planned. Suntech is also weighing alternatives to cover a $541 million convertible bond due in 2013."
Oddly, this "earnings release" does not yet include a balance sheet or an income statement. And there are no details about how the company plans to repay the 2013 notes. Meanwhile, another Chinese solar firm received a government bailout,
"JinkoSolar Holding, a leading global solar power product manufacturer, today announced that JinkoSolar (Switzerland) AG, its Swiss subsidiary, has entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with the Guangdong Branch of China Development Bank, pursuant to which CDB intends to provide financing cooperation to JinkoSolar (Switzerland) AG of an aggregate amount up to US$ 1 billion over a five-year period. The final conditions, terms and amount of the financing under the Strategic Cooperation Agreement is subject to the parties' further approval and will be set out in separate agreements."
Key word of course is "up to", but this is rightly considered bullish for Jinko. What's funny is that one firm receiving a bailout is slightly bearish for the remaining firms, because their odds of receiving one of the limited number of bailouts presumably decreases, since the Chinese government is presumably picking only a handful of 'winners',
"'The agreement is part of the Chinese government’s effort to provide support for selected manufacturers as it picks the companies most likely to survive the current slump,' said JinkoSolar Chairman Li Xiande. 'We believe they chose Jinko because we have a healthy balance sheet and strong business development management in the downstream sector [...]The survivors will be the players who have the advantage in terms of technology, cost and branding. The biggest may not survive.'"
So, the big question is does Suntech look like one of the survivors? From the murmurings behind the scenes, it doesn't sound like the Chinese government is very impressed with Suntech management.

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