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Canadian Solar's quarterly revenue hit by lower average selling prices and US regulation

Canadian Solar has closed down solar panel plants in China and in Canada as it streamlines the business to offset a decline in average selling prices

solar panels
Canadian Solar is introducing new products and scaling down the business

Canadian Solar Inc (NASDAQ:CSIQ) today posted a net loss in the fourth quarter as revenues fell on lower average selling prices.

Shares fell 7.42% to US$12.55 in early US trading.

The company reported a net loss of US$13.3mln attributable to Canadian Solar, compared to net income of US$62.3mln the same time a year earlier, reflecting a US$44.1mln provision for the US Commerce Department’s duties on anti-dumping and countervailing. Excluding the provision, adjusted net income came to US$14.2mln.

The Commerce Department has imposed duties on the company after ruling that US producers of stainless sheet and alloy steel cut-to-length plate are being hurt by dumped and subsidised imports from China. 

The company has ramped-up is production facilities in South East Asia but said it has not imported solar products from China to the US since the ruling in February 2017.

Canadian Solar said it is “vigorously contesting” the preliminary results from the Commerce Department.

Gross margins fell to 7.3% from 17.3%, due to the provision on the Commerce Department’s ruling and a lower module average selling price.

Net revenue fell to US$668mln from US$1.1bn a year ago.

Total solar module shipments reached a record 1,612 megawatts (MW) but 1,581 MW was recognised in revenue, compared to 1,398 MW in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Canadian Solar expects total solar module shipments in 2017 between 1.15 gigawatts (GW) and 1.2 GW, with about  6.17 GW recognised in revenue.

In an effort to cut costs, the company completed the sale of two solar power plants in Canada for C$152.5mln and two solar power plants in China for RMB223.5mln during the quarter. In February, the group completed three additional solar power plant sales in Canada for C$25mln.

Chairman, Shawn Qu, said: "Results for the fourth quarter and full year 2016 were in line with our expectations, other than the unfavourable preliminary ruling on AD/CVD rates by US Department of Commerce.

“Despite strong demand levels, our revenue for both the fourth quarter and full year was lower compared to the prior year's periods due to the industry-wide declines in average selling price that have been persistent all year.”  

Que said the company is trying to offset the negative impact of future declines in average selling prices with the introduction of new products and the scaling down of its business. 

Quick facts: Canadian Solar Inc.

Price: 14.74 USD

NASDAQ:CSIQ
Market: NASDAQ
Market Cap: $873.5 m
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