Bloomberg News

Solarworld Jumps as Earnings Buoyed by Demand: Frankfurt Mover

May 10, 2012

Solarworld AG (SWV), Germany’s biggest solar-panel maker, surged the most in six months in Frankfurt trading after reporting first-quarter results that were almost twice as high as analyst estimates.

Solarworld jumped 13 percent to 1.856 euros a share at the 5:30 p.m. close, the steepest one-day increase since Nov. 11, after earnings before interest and taxes increased to 31.5 million euros ($41 million), topping analysts’ 16.9 million-euro estimate.

“In Germany, our results were affected by pull-forward effects in the first three months, which were once again triggered by politics,” Chief Executive Officer Frank Asbeck said in a statement about the strong demand in its home market.

Germany’s plan to reduce solar subsidies starting April 1 after an installation boom last year caused panel demand to jump in the quarter. The cuts, meanwhile, put longer-term pressure on domestic manufacturers already suffering from depressed margins as Chinese rivals grab market share.

Solarworld’s EBIT result “seems to include high positive one-offs,” Sven-Olaf Kuerten, an analyst with DZ Bank, said in an e-mailed note.

While the earnings were a “positive surprise,” they “come with a major catch, namely that Solarworld’s wafer business totally collapsed in Q1,” Katharina Cholewa, an analyst with WestLB AG, said in an e-mailed note. Both analysts reiterated their “sell” rating.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stefan Nicola in Berlin at snicola2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Randall Hackley at rhackley@bloomberg.net


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