Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Motech claims no effect from Renesola polysilicon wafer output trim

Renesola's trimming of its annual polysilicon wafer output target by 20% has aroused concern for Motech Industries' material sufficiency in the second half of 2007, however, Motech has responded in saying that its contract with Renesola is not affected.

Renesola announced it will trim its silicon wafer output to 120-125 peak megawatt (MWp) in 2007, down from the originally expected 150MWp, citing production suspension due to a wafer size adjustment during the second quarter.

Responding to concerns about Motech's shipments target in 2007, the solar-cell maker stressed that Renesola is still following its agreed terms. The company reiterated confidence over its material supply in the second half of 2007.

Under the three-year contract between Motech and Renesola, the China-based silicon wafer maker committed to supply no less than 80MWp wafers to Motech. Based on Motech's planned shipments target of 170MWp in 2007, Renesola's silicon wafer supply accounts for about 15% of Motech's output.

In related news, Motech announced its financials for the first half of 2007. The company saw its sales rocket by 149% on year to NT$6.98 billion (US$266.6 million) with net profits also growing by 88% on year to NT$1.29 billion. Earnings per share (EPS) were NT$8.57. Gross margins in the second quarter were 21% and Motech believes that profitability is set to pick up in the third quarter.

Goldman Sachs has agreed with Motech's expectations for improved gross margins, citing expected polysilicon deliveries in the second half of 2007. If the solar-cell maker is able to land the expected 35-45MWp of polysilicon supply from its signed contracts, the material supply breakdown between contract and spot market will be 45:55, versus 30:70 in the first half of 2007.

JP Morgan, although also agreeing that Motech is likely to see a mild bounce in gross margins in the third quarter, noted that it is "premature" to call a bottom on margins for solar cell makers, given that polysilicon supply should remain tight in the medium term.

Motech achieved an output of 80MWp in the first half of 2007 on an installed capacity of 240MWp. Respective shipments in the first and second quarter were 37MWp and 43MWp.

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