Suntech Power tops expectations with 3Q earnings

AP News
Posted: Nov 19, 2009 4:50 PM

Shares of Chinese solar energy company Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. closed up 6 percent Thursday as the company signaled improving demand despite a drop in quarterly earnings.

In a statement, Suntech CEO Zhengrong Shi said the company saw a "significant pickup in demand ... largely due to a seasonal rush before end-of-year policy adjustments and improving customer returns on investments in solar projects."

The company, which announced plans this week for a new U.S. headquarters and manufacturing plant in the Phoenix area, also said it expects shipments to grow next year by at least 75 percent.

Suntech reported third-quarter net income of $29.8 million, or 16 cents per share, compared with $42.6 million, or 25 cents per share a year ago. Revenue dropped 20 percent to $473.1 million.

Despite the declines, results came in ahead of Wall Street predictions. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected profit of 8 cents per share on sales of $426.6 million.

Shares of Suntech, which is based in Wuxi, China, closed up 90 cents, or 6 percent, at $15.99.