Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ) reported a 46% jump in second-quarter earnings despite revenue tumbling by the same amount as the China-based solar-cell maker reported higher margins and results that smashed analysts' downbeat expectations.
Canadian Solar shares closed Wednesday at $16.12 and were up 14% premarket. The stock, which has more than doubled this year, is still down 43% from a year earlier.
Chairman and Chief Executive Shawn Qu said the company "benefitted from robust customer orders around the world. We are glad that we took a conservative financial management strategy" in the prior two quarters, allowing Canadian Solar to see higher margins amid low material and financing costs.
The company also boosted its 2009 shipment target to 260 to 270 megawatts from 200 to 220. Still, that is lower than the 300 to 350 megawatts projected before Canadian Solar slashed expectations in May.
The solar industry saw demand slump late last year and early 2009 as the credit crunch and tumbling commodity prices sapped demand, at least temporarily, for alternative-energy products.
Earnings rose to $17.7 million, or 49 cents a share, compared with $12.1 million, or 41 cents a share, a year earlier. Shares outstanding rose 27%.
Revenue slumped to $114.2 million, but that's more than double the first quarter's figure.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, on average, had projected a 9-cent loss on revenue of $94 million.
Gross margin rose to 20.2% from 15.6%.