Suntech: 46% Shipment Growth in 2011 $STP

At Suntech Power Holdings, it’s up, up, up, but outsiders add a dose of caution.

The Chinese solar manufacturer said during its analyst day on December 6 that shipments of solar modules will come to 2.2 to 2.4 gigawatts in2011, an increase of 46 percent over shipments of around 1.5 gigawattsin 2010. (The 2010 figure, meanwhile, more than doubled the 700 megawatt mark hit in 2009.) Back in October, Steve Chan, president of Suntech America, predicted shipments for 2011 would come to 2 gigawatts.

Revenue meanwhile, will grow to $3.4 to $3.6 billion in 2011, a 29percent increase over $2.78 to $2.83 billion expected this year. Grossmargins–a sore point for the company lately–will increase to the 20 to 22 percent level in 2011 from the 17 percent level this year.

The expansion in part will come from an increase in factory capacity.Suntech currently has 1.8 gigawatts worth of module and cell capacity.In 2011, that will increase to 2.4 gigawatts. The company also announced a joint venture with Wuxi Industrial Development Group and Wuxi NewDistrict E&D Group that will build a 1.2 gigawatt cell productionfacility on Suntech’s main campus in Wuxi, China. If all goes asplanned, global market share will grow from 11 percent in 2010 to 13percent in 2011. (In 2009 market share came to 9.5 percent.)

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