Trina Solar's CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Trina Solar Limited (TSL)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

August 21, 2012, 08:04 am ET

Executives

Thomas Young - VP, Investor Relations

Jifan Gao - Chairman & CEO

Terry Wang - CFO

Gary Yu - SVP, Operations

Analysts

Rob Stone - Cohen & Company

Kelly Dougherty - Macquarie

Brandon Heiken - Credit Suisse

Amir Rozwadowski - Barclays Capital

Vishal Shah - Deutsche Bank

Aaron Chew - Maxim Group

Pranab Sarmah - Daiwa Capital Markets

Sanjay Shrestha - Lazard Capital

Mark Bachman - Avian Securities

Timothy Lam - Citigroup

Presentation

Operator

Good morning, my name is Melissa and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Trina Solar second quarter 2012 earnings conference call. All lines have been placed on-mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers remarks there will be a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions) Thank you.

Mr. Thomas Young, Vice President of Investor Relations, you may begin your conference.

Thomas Young

Okay, thank you, operator; good-day to all and welcome to Trina Solar’s second quarter 2012 earnings conference call. This is Thomas Young, VP of Investor Relations. With us today are Trina Solar’s Chairman and CEO Jifan Gao; Chief Financial Officer, Terry Wang; and Senior Vice President of Operations, Gary Yu.

Before I turn the call over to Mr. Gao, may I remind our listener that in this call management’s prepared remarks contain forward-looking statements which are subject to risks and uncertainties and management may make additional forward-looking statements in response to your questions. Therefore, the company claims the protection of the Safe Harbor for forward-looking statements that is contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

Actual results may differ from those discussed today and therefore we refer you to more detail discussion of risks and uncertainties in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, any projections as for the company's future performance represent management’s estimates as of today, [May 23, 2012]. Trina Solar assumes no obligation to update these projections in the future as market conditions change. For those of you unable to listen to the entire call at this time a recording will be made available via webcast for 90 days at the IR Section of our website at trinasolar.com.

And with that, it’s my pleasure to turn the call over to Trina Solar’s Chairman and CEO Mr. Jifan Gao for second quarter commercial overview summary.

Jifan Gao

Thank you Thomas and thank you everyone joining us today. In overview, continued industrial over-capacity and the demand constrains in particular PV market impacted our shipment order. Such industrial environment also led to continued pricing failure in the second quarter which adversely affected our operating margins and the profitability.

Our financial performance was also affected by the equipment and inventory write-downs, AR provisions and FX impact. Market challenges include transitions in traditional feed in tariff markets such as Italy; the US market (inaudible) of ADCVD and project start-up delayed by certain of our US and the China project customers.

To address increasing competition in today’s PV commercial environment, we have recently completed a major restructuring of our group sales organization. The company’s revenue operations will be divided into four regions: the Americas, Europe, China and Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa; whereby the four regional leaders will report to me.

We expect these changes will accelerate the fall of information required in our day-to-day commercial decision making which lets us better respond to either of our four global revenue regions and expanding global customer base.

For our current commercial environment, we are focusing in the following areas: One, expand our geographic presence and the sales channels in the new growth markets such as recently added local operations in Canada, Latin America and the Middle East as well as Japan and South Africa.

Two; market to increasing the segments and the sales channels to expand the total customers with each business through successful efforts which include our expanding Partner Plus Program and the technology driven products like Honey and Trinasmart.

Three; in operational and financial area, managing inventory levels, have great effects in AR collections and to control OpEx.

Four; maintaining our leading manufacturing cost efficiencies. We view these specific areas together with maintaining our balance sheet strength will ensure our industrial leadership and our industrial works through consolidation.

With that, I would now like to turn the call to our CFO Terry Wang to share our second quarter 2012 financial results. Terry?

Terry Wang

Thank you Mr. Gao and welcome everyone to our earning conference call. I would like to present our overview of our second quarter financial results followed by company’s guidance for the third quarter and full year of 2012.

Average Selling Price of PV modules continued to decline in the second quarter due to worldwide production overcapacity, reduction in feed in tariffs programs and the falling raw material costs. To outperform in such a market conditions we work to further lower our non silicon manufacturing cost which were to $0.50 in the second quarter on improved supply chain and production management. In addition, the company minimized its provisions related to US ADCVD tariffs compared to the first quarter.

On the other hand, inventory write-down and accounts receivable provisions adversely impacted our bottomline results. Second quarter shipment was 419 megawatts, in upper-end of our revised guidance of 380 megawatt to 420 megawatts representing approximately 10% of higher volume sequentially.

Our gross profit was $29 million, an increase of 43% sequentially.

Gross margin was 8.4% compared to revised guidance of 7% to 9% and to 5.8% in the first quarter of 2012. We wish to highlight that excluding the effect of the non cash inventory write-down totaling $26.1 million and the impairment for property, plant and equipment of $12.8 million our gross profit and gross margin were $67.9 million and 19.6% respectively.

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