LDK Solar's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

LDK Solar Co., Ltd. (LDK)

Q4 2011 Results Earnings Call

April 30, 2012 8:00 AM ET


Ellen Davis – The Blueshirt Group, IR

Xiaofeng Peng – Chairman and CEO

Jack Lai – Chief Financial Officer

Sam Tong – Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Yuepeng Wan – Chief Technology Officer


Edwin Mok – Needham and Company

Noah Kaye – ThinkEquity

Sanjay Shrestha – Lazard

Karen Tai – Piper Jaffray

Hari Chandra – Auriga USA

Nitin Kumar – Nomura

Gloria Ho – HSBC



Good day, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for standing by. Welcome to the LDK Solar Company Fourth Quarter 2011 Earnings Call. During today’s presentation, all parties will be in a listen-only mode. Following the presentation, the conference will be opened for questions. (Operator Instructions)

This conference is being recorded today, Monday, the 30th of April 2012. I would now like to turn the conference over to Ellen Davis from The Blueshirt Group. Please go ahead.

Ellen Davis

Good morning. And thank you for joining us on today’s conference call to discuss LDK Solar’s fourth quarter 2011 financial results. This call is being broadcast live over the web and can be accessed on the Investor Relations section of LDK Solar’s website at www.ldksolar.com for 90 days.

On today’s call are Xiaofeng Peng, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; Jack Lai, Chief Financial Officer; Sam Tong, Chief Operating Officer; and Dr. Yuepeng Wan, Chief Technology Officer.

Earlier today, LDK Solar issued a press release discussing the results for the fourth quarter of 2011. We also filed the press release on Form 6-K with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The press release is accessible online at the company’s website, as well as the SEC’s website.

We would like to remind you that during the course of this conference call, LDK Solar’s management team may make projections or other forward-looking statements regarding future events -- the future financial performance of the company made pursuant to the Safe Harbor Provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

Although, LDK Solar believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected.

We refer you to the documents that LDK Solar files from time-to-time with the SEC, specifically the company’s most recent Form F-20 and any Form 6-Ks. These documents identify important factors that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those contained in our projections or forward-looking statements.

And now, I’d like to turn the call over to Mr. Xiaofeng Peng, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer to go over LDK Solar’s corporate and business updates. Chairman, thanks. Please go ahead.

Xiaofeng Peng

Good morning to you all. And thank you for join us on LDK’s fourth quarter 2011 earnings conference call. The fourth quarter was a very challenging period for the entire solar industry, weak market demand and industry over supply continued to negatively affect our business.

Global capacity and high inventory levels significantly lowered the market price for solar products during the quarter. Despite our ongoing cost reduction efforts, lower pricing across the global supply chain led to the continued ASP erosion and together with that impact of inventory write-downs reduced our revenue and margins for the fourth quarter.

As we evaluate these market opportunities, we are encouraged by increasing demand in China and the U.S., while European markets remained difficult. We have been exploring emerging market -- emerging new market in Eastern Europe, Central American, Australia, Japan, India and other Asia -- Asian area.

In March 2011 we acquired 72% of U.S. leased Solar Power Incorporated in Roseville, California. SPI engaged in EPC and building solar project in U.S., as well as developing project in Europe, Central American and rest of the World. In 2011, SPI grew its revenue by 195% to slightly over $100 million. In 2012, we anticipate it will grow another 100% to reach more than $200 million in revenue. This is a very good profit margin.

In April 2012, we acquired 71% of Frankfurt lease of Sunways AG of Germany. By acquiring controlling space in this leading solar technology company, we further strengthened our vertical integration strategy under the agreement. A line of inverters with industry leading brand that we’ll expand our products offering, in our cell and module technology that will improve our product quality, and using based premium brands which we have provided great potential for LDK Solar’s global marketing and sales.

The company is challenging by it is current cash and liquidity position. As a most recent report we have approximately $3.3 billion of interest bearing borrowing, 33.8% are mid to long-term, while remaining 6.2% are short-term. Our financing team has been working with our bank, as well as provincial and [multi-million central government] to provide continued support to LDK Solar.

We are maintaining a constructive relation with our banks and they have committed to work with LDK to assume long-term support by renewing current loans. We are working together on re-placing short-term debt that has been used for long-term applications.

We are evaluating option such as issuing mid-term or long-term commercial paper to refinance our short-term bonds. Apart from these, lower government of [genetic province] and CNC continued to support by offering all portfolio assistance.

We continue to believe that most of critical issues for all solar industry participants are such that cost reduction and managing strong balance sheet. The LDK management team is fully engaged in strengthening our operation and tightening our cash flow management by taking strategic equity investor to optimize our share structure and increase our capital position to lower debt equity ratio, minimize capital expenditure to own spend our manufacturing process, improvement projects.

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