Trina Solar ships nearly 6 GW of modules in 2015 (and other notes from Q4 earnings report)

As has already been noted, Trina Solar Limited is one of the top PV module manufacturers in the world. There was this report by GlobalData, as well as a report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) that named Trina Solar Limited the most ‘bankable’ PV module manufacturer globally. In its survey of key PV stakeholders asked about 50 different module brands, 100% of respondents said that Trina Solar was bankable, confirming the company’s leading position in the solar PV market.

TrinasolarThe company gave more specifics on its position in its Q4 and year-end financial results for 2015.

“We are pleased to report another quarter of record shipments and a sequential increase in earnings,” said Jifan Gao, Chairman and CEO of Trina Solar. “Our module shipments during the quarter hit an all-time high of 1.78 GW, which once again exceeded the high-end of our guidance. We continue to maintain our position as the world’s largest solar module manufacturer and a leading solar project developer and operator.”

The company’s downstream business performed basically in-line with expectations, connecting a total of 258.8 MW of PV power projects to the grid in the fourth quarter, including 132.5 MW of utility projects and 126.3 MW of distributed generation (DG) projects in China. For the full year of 2015, we connected a total of 685.9 MW of PV power projects to the grid around the world, of which about one third were DG projects in China.

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“We continue to work diligently to maintain our position as a leading innovator of PV technology in the industry. We also view our R&D work as an important component of our strategy to diversify our product offerings and move our business into higher value-added areas,” Gao continued. “During the year, our R&D team accomplished a number of significant achievements, including three world records for our PERC solar cells and modules, which follow seven world records that we set in 2014. Our pilot line of interdigitated back contact solar cells (IBC) continued to reach new levels of efficiency, enabling us to use IBC solar cells and modules for high-value applications.”

Trina Solar achieved record results on both a sequential and year-over-year basis in each quarter. During the year, the company entered the Indian market and a number of other emerging markets, which helped to expand its global footprint from 43 to 63 countries.

“We also made progress on our global capacity expansion plans,” Gao said. “Our partnered facilities in Vietnam and Malaysia, where we employ a relatively asset light model, helped to meet the growing demand for our products in overseas markets, and we expect our cell and module facility in Thailand to become operational in 2016. Our downstream business experienced more growth in China’s highly competitive environment. All of these efforts have solidified our foundation and leave us well-positioned for 2016.”

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Here is a rundown of the results.

Fourth Quarter 2015

  • Total module shipments were 1,776.3 MW, consisting of 1,579.7 MW of external shipments and 196.6 MW of shipments to the company’s own downstream power projects. This compares with total shipments of 1,703.2 MW, consisting of 1,353.2 MW of external shipments and 350.0 MW of shipments to the company’s own downstream power projects in the third quarter of 2015.
  • Net revenues were $961.9 million, an increase of 21.4% from the third quarter of 2015 and 36.4% from the fourth quarter of 2014.
  • Gross profit was $183.3 million, an increase of 32.7% from the third quarter of 2015 and 65.1% from the fourth quarter of 2014.
  • Gross margin was 19.1%, compared with 17.4% in the third quarter of 2015 and 15.7% in the fourth quarter of 2014.
    Operating income was $81.3 million, compared with $5.8 million in the third quarter of 2015 and $30.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2014.
  • Net income attributable to Trina Solar’s ordinary shareholders was $41.7 million, compared with a net loss of $20.0 million in the third quarter of 2015 and net income of $10.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Full-Year 2015

  • Total solar module shipments were approximately 5.74 GW, an increase of 56.8% from 3.66 GW in 2014.
  • Total net revenues were $3.0 billion, an increase of 32.8% from 2014.
  • Gross profit was $566.6 million, an increase of 47.0% from 2014.
  • Gross margin was 18.7%, compared with 16.9% in 2014.
  • Operating income was $177.0 million, an increase of 47.4% from 2014.
  • Net income attributable to Trina Solar’s ordinary shareholders for the full year was $76.5 million, an increase of 28.9% from 2014.
  • Earnings per fully diluted ADS for 2015 were $0.86, compared with $0.74 in 2014.

 

Manufacturing Capacity

As of Dec. 31, 2015, the company had the following annualized in-house manufacturing capacities:

  • Ingot production capacity of approximately 2.3 GW;
  • Wafer capacity of approximately 1.8 GW;
  • PV cell capacity of approximately 3.5 GW; and
  • PV module capacity of approximately 5.0 GW.

Project Development

In the fourth quarter of 2015, the company connected a total of 258.8 MW PV power projects to the grid, including 132.5 MW of utility projects and 126.3 MW of DG projects in China. The 132.5 MW of utility PV power projects consisted of 42.5 MW in Yunnan, which was a portion of a total 300.0 MW project, 40.0 MW in Xinjiang, 21.0 MW in Hebei, 17.0 MW in Anhui and 12.0 MW in Jiangsu. The 126.3 MW of DG projects consisted of 44.9 MW in Jiangsu, 29.0 MW in Shandong, 20.2 MW in Anhui, 16.5 MW in Hubei, 14.7 MW in Zhejiang and 1.0 MW in Henan.

In 2015, the Company connected a total of 685.9 MW of PV power projects to the grid across the globe, of which, DG projects in China were 200.4 MW, accounting for 29.2%.

The company expects to ship between 1.37 GW to 1.45 GW of PV modules in Q1 2016, all of which will be shipped to third-party customers.

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