Suntech Announces Full Year 2010 and 2011 Guidance and Joint Venture to Expand PV Cell Capacity
Announcements to be discussed at Suntech Investor and Analyst Day 2010
NEW YORK,, Dec. 6, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP), the world's largest producer of solar panels, today announced updated financial guidance for fiscal year 2010, financial expectations for fiscal year 2011 and a joint venture to expand 1.2GW PV cell capacity. Suntech management will discuss today's announcements during its 2010 Investor and Analyst Day today in New York starting at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. A webcast of the speakers' remarks and audience questions will be available at http://ir.suntech-power.com/ along with downloadable presentation decks.
GuidanceFor the fiscal year ending December 31, 2010, Suntech expects to ship more than 1,500MW of solar products and generate revenues of $2.78 billion to $2.83 billion, representing year-over-year revenue growth of at least 64%. Consolidated gross margin for the full year 2010 is expected to be approximately 17%. Operating margin for the full year 2010 is expected to be approximately 6.5%.Suntech expects to achieve 1.8GW of installed cell and module production capacity and 500MW of installed wafer capacity by the end of 2010. Full year 2010 capital expenditures are expected to be approximately $350 million.For the fiscal year ending December 31, 2011, Suntech expects to ship at least 2.2GW of solar products and generate revenues of $3.4 billion to $3.6 billion. Consolidated gross margin for the full year 2011 is expected to be approximately 20% to 22%. Operating margin for the full year 2011 is expected to be in the range of 12% to 14%. Full year 2011 earnings per ADS is expected to be in the range of $1.40 to $1.60, excluding any earnings related to the increase in fair value of Global Solar Fund's (GSF) investments in projects.(1)Suntech expects to achieve 2.4GW of installed cell and module production capacity by the end of 2011, of which 600MW of PV cell capacity will be owned and operated by the joint venture. Suntech expects to achieve 1.2GW of installed wafer capacity by the end of 2011. Full year 2011 capital expenditures are expected to be in the range of $250 million to $270 million.GSF is in the process of constructing 140MW of projects, of which at least 80MW are expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2010 and the remainder will be completed in 2011. As a result, Suntech expects that the fair value of those projects will increase significantly and Suntech will recognize a related gain in earnings of affiliates in the fourth quarter of 2010 and in 2011. As the economics and timing of completion of each of these projects is different it is difficult to provide an accurate estimation of the gains at this time.The 2010 and 2011 guidance is based on an assumed exchange rate of $1.33USD to the Euro.Joint VentureSuntech also announced today it will form a joint venture (JV) with Wuxi Industrial Development Group and Wuxi New District E&D Group to own and operate a 1.2GW PV cell production facility located at the heart of Suntech's Wuxi campus. Suntech will own 40% of the JV and will contribute approximately $60 million towards the equity investment in the JV. 600MW of the PV cell capacity is expected to be completed by mid-2011. The remaining 600MW will be ramped in 2011 or 2012 depending on the demand outlook.Suntech Chairman and CEO Dr. Zhengrong Shi stated, "This joint venture will provide access to cost-effective PV cell capacity utilizing Suntech's high performance technology and reliable manufacturing processes, with reasonable cash outlay. It will also enable us to meet the growing demand for Suntech's premium quality solar products."