JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. (JASO)
Q3 2011 Earnings Conference Call
November 22, 2011, 08:00 a.m. ET
Martin Reidy - IR, Brunswick Group
Peng Fang - CEO
Min Cao - CFO
Ming Yang - VP
Min Xu - Jefferies & Company
Ahmar Zaman - Piper Jaffray
Kelly Dougherty - Macquarie Research
Satya Kumar - Credit Suisse - North America
Brian Gamble - Simmons & Company International
Pranab Sarmah - Daiwa Capital Markets
Mahesh Sanganeria - RBC Capital Markets
Previous Statements by JASO
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I’d now like to turn the meeting over to your host for today’s conference, Mr. Martin Reidy of Brunswick Group.
Thank you. Welcome to JA Solar’s third quarter 2011 earnings conference call. Joining us from the company are Dr. Peng Fang, CEO; Mr. Min Cao, CFO; and Mr. Ming Yang, VP of Business Development and Corporate Communications.
As stated in the press release, the oversimplified transition of CNY into U.S. dollars, which is set at RMB 6.378 to the $1 is meant solely for the convenience of the audience. References to dollars are the lawful currency of the U.S.A. The press release published today provides detailed financial tables for the conversion from CNY to USD.
On this call, Dr. Fang will begin with an overview of our Q3 2011 results covering business and market developments and outlook. Following that, Min will provide details of the company’s financial performance. After prepared remarks we will open up for questions for the remainder of the call. And we expect the entire call to last approximately one hour.
Before we begin the formal remarks, I’d like to remind you that certain statements on today’s call, including statements regarding expected future financial and industry growth are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These statements are made under the Safe Harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
Factors that could cause actual results to differ include general, business and economic conditions in the solar industry, government support for the development of solar power, future shortage or availability of the supply of high purity silicon, demand for end-user products by consumers and inventory levels of such products in the supply chain, changes in demand from significant customers, changes in demand for our major markets, changes in product mix, capacity utilization, level of competition, pricing pressures and declines in average selling prices, delays in the introduction of new product lines, continued success in technological innovation, shortage in supply of raw materials, availability of financing, exchange rate fluctuations, litigation and other risks as described in the company’s SEC filings, including its Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC.
Although the company believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, it cannot guarantee future results. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. All information provided on today’s conference call speaks as of today’s date, unless otherwise stated, and the company undertakes no duty to update such information, except as required under applicable law.
I will now turn the call over to Dr. Peng Fang, CEO of JA Solar.
Thanks, Martin. Hello everyone and welcome to today’s call. We appreciated your interest in JA Solar. This continues to be a challenging period of the Solar industry, but we [are happy] that JA Solar has been able to retain customers and to maintain strong margin share.
In the third quarter, macro concerns and the industry volatility results in overall market demand below the level which has ended the period. The European debt crisis, for example, has made it more difficult for project of developers to secure financing delaying the developments of PV project. As a result, we did not see the expected rebound in demand from major European markets. With price falling quickly customers have more choices of suppliers and the products than before. So, I’m thinking our ability to maintain our market share is the strong testament to the strength of JA Solar’s products and the customer base.
There are two key reasons why customers are choosing our products. Firstly, we have seen that market demand is clearly shifting towards higher powered products that offer a better return on investment and we are well positioned here with our range of cells and modules, powered by our high efficiency (inaudible) technology, which are among the most cost effective high power solutions available to-date, as well as our industry leading conventional sales technology. This obviously competitive advantage is reflected in our module shipments for the third quarter, which rose by approximately 45%, sequentially.
Secondly, (inaudible) become increasingly risk averse in the current financial environment. So, our customers want to work with suppliers who can offer bankability, demonstrated product quality, a strong cash position and the healthy balance sheet. Again JA Solar is very well placed here, and the customers and the target the financial banks recognize that our financial position is amongst the strongest in the industry. While our shipments for the third quarter were healthy, gross margin was negatively affected by inventory provision of approximately US$22 million to reflect the decline in selling price. Excluding the effect of this write-down, gross margin for the quarter would have been positive.