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JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. (JASO - Free Report) posted third-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings of 13 cents per American Depositary Share (ADS) missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 18 cents by 27.8%.

Total Revenues

JA Solar’s revenues in the reported quarter were $652.6 million, comfortably surpassing the consensus mark of $610 million by 7%. The reported figure was also up 4.5% compared with the year-ago level.

Q3 Shipments

Total shipments in the third quarter of 2017 were 1,640.9 megawatts (“MW”) including 1,582.5 MW of modules and 37.9 MW of cells shipped to external customers. Consequently, external shipments surged 30.6% year over year.

The year-over-year improvement in external shipments was attributable to a 31.9% upside in module shipment, partially offset by a 7.3% decline witnessed in cells shipment.

The increase in shipments came on the back of strong demand from China, which constituted 47.3% of the quarter’s total shipment. Shipments to Europe rose to 14.1% of the total from 6.5% in the year-ago quarter. North America also witnessed a considerable growth, having contributed 17.2% to total shipments compared with 13% a year ago.

However, Asia-Pacific (excluding China) witnessed a slowdown in shipments, which constituted 16.3% of the total, reflecting a drop from 9.5% a year ago. South America too saw a decline in shipments, constituting 0.4% of the total in the reported quarter compared with 20.2% in the year-ago quarter.

JA Solar Holdings, Co., Ltd. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

JA Solar Holdings, Co., Ltd. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | JA Solar Holdings, Co., Ltd. Quote

Highlights of the Release

Gross profits were $77.2 million, down 10.3% year over year. Gross margin contracted 200 basis points year over year to 11.8%.

Total operating expenses of $51.7 million represented 8.7% of revenues compared with the year-ago figure constituting 7.9% of the same. Operating profit was $25.5 million, up 40.1% from the year-ago quarter.

Interest expenses totaled $12.1 million, up from $11.3 million a year ago.

Financial Condition

At the end of the reported quarter, JA Solar had a cash balance of $309.1 million compared with $370.1 million at 2016-end. As of Sep 30, 2017, total long-term borrowings were $288.7 million compared with $464.7 million as of Dec 31, 2016.

Guidance

JA Solar expects to ship 1,600-1,800 MW of cells and modules in the fourth quarter of 2017, with essentially all being external shipments.

Zacks Rank

JA Solar carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here

Peer Releases

SunPower Corp. (SPWR - Free Report) reported third-quarter 2017 earnings of 21 cents per share. The Zacks Consensus Estimate was pegged at a loss of 36 cents. In the year-ago period, the company had reported earnings of 88 cents per share.

First Solar Inc. (FSLR - Free Report) reported third-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings of $1.95 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 85 cents by a whopping 129.4%. The reported number also improved 60% from the prior-year figure of $1.22.

8point3 Energy Partners LP (CAFD - Free Report) reported earnings of 27 cents per share in third-quarter fiscal 2017 (ended Aug 31), which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 65 cents by 58.5%. The bottom line also declined 40.7% from 38 cents in the year-ago period.

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