Hanwha Q CELLS Reports Third Quarter 2018 Results

Published on 3 Dec 2018
Hanwha Q CELLS 
Hanwha Q CELLS Co., Ltd. today reported its unaudited financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018. The Company will not be hosting a conference call to discuss these results.

Third Quarter 2018 Highlights

- Net revenues were $559.3 million, compared with $518.4 million in the second quarter of 2018 and $543.0 million in the third quarter of 2017.
- Gross margin was -6.3%, compared with 14.0% in the second quarter of 2018 and 11.6% in the third quarter of 2017. Excluding certain one-time effects, gross margin for the third quarter of 2018 was 13.0%.
- Operating loss was $107.0 million, compared with an operating income of $4.8 million in the second quarter of 2018 and operating income of $10.6 million in the third quarter of 2017. Excluding certain one-time effects, operating income for the third quarter of 2018 was $17.9 million.
- Net loss attributable to the Company's ordinary shareholders was $164.6 million, compared with net loss of $41.3 million in the second quarter of 2018 and net income of $5.0 million in the third quarter of 2017. Excluding certain one-time effects, net loss attributable to the Company's ordinary shareholders for the third quarter of 2018 was $39.7 million. Excluding these one-time effects as well as foreign exchange losses, net income attributable to Company's ordinary shareholders for the third quarter of 2018 was $2.7 million.
- Loss per fully diluted American Depositary Share ("ADS" and each ADS represents 50 of the Company's ordinary shares) was $1.98, compared with loss per fully diluted ADS of $0.50 in the second quarter of 2018 and income per fully diluted ADS of $0.06 in the third quarter of 2017. Excluding certain one-time effects, loss per fully diluted American Depositary Share for the third quarter of 2018 was $0.48. Excluding these one-time effects as well as foreign exchange losses, earnings per fully diluted American Depositary Share for the third quarter of 2018 was $0.03.

Third Quarter 2018 Results of Operations

Net Revenues

- Total net revenues were $559.3 million, up 7.9% from $518.4 million in the second quarter of 2018 and up 3.0% from $543.0 million in the third quarter of 2017. This was due to increased shipment volume, which mitigated the effects of declining ASPs, and an increase in demand for the Company's premium product, the Q.PEAK DUO, which was associated to the Company increasing and expanding its sales network within key regions.

Gross Profit and Margin

- Gross loss in the third quarter of 2018 was $35.3 million, compared to a gross profit of $72.6 million in the second quarter of 2018 and a gross profit of $63.2 million in the third quarter of 2017. Excluding a $108.2 million one-time loss associated with the discontinuation of the Company's China-based ingot manufacturing operations in September, gross profit for the third quarter of 2018 was $72.9 million. The Company concluded that it would be in its best interest to discontinue unprofitable operations and focus on its core business – the manufacturing of cells and modules. This decision was based on the fact that the current scale of ingot operations would preclude the Company from being competitive on a global scale, and while the discontinuation of ingot production resulted in a one-time loss, the Company believes it will improve long-term profitability by allowing us to focus its core competencies.
- Gross margin in the third quarter of 2018 was -6.3%, compared with 14.0% in the second quarter of 2018 and 11.6% in the third quarter of 2017. Excluding the one-time effects related to the discontinuation of ingot manufacturing operations, gross margin for the third quarter of 2018 was 13.0%.

Results of Operations and Operating Margin

- Loss from operations in the third quarter of 2018 was $107.0 million, compared with income from operations of $4.8 million in the second quarter of 2018 and $10.6 million in the third quarter of 2017. Excluding the one-time effects related to the discontinuation of ingot manufacturing operations as well as a $16.7 million allowance for bad debt on certain overdue receivables, operating income for the third quarter of 2018 was $17.9 million.
- Operating margin in the third quarter of 2018 was -19.1%, compared with 0.9% in the second quarter of 2018 and 2.0% in the third quarter of 2017. Excluding the one-time effects related to the discontinuation of ingot manufacturing operations and to certain overdue receivables, operating margin for the third quarter of 2018 was 3.2%.
- Total operating expenses were $71.7 million in the third quarter of 2018, up 5.8% from $67.8 million in the second quarter of 2018 and up 36.3% from $52.6 million in the third quarter of 2017. Excluding the one-time effects related to certain overdue receivables, total operating expenses for the third quarter of 2018 were $55.0 million.
- Selling and marketing expenses were $37.5 million in the third quarter of 2018, down 10.7% from $42.0 million in the second quarter of 2018 and up 22.5% from $30.6 million in the third quarter of 2017.
- General and administrative expenses were $30.0 million in the third quarter of 2018, up 42.9% from $21.0 million in the second quarter of 2018 and up 72.4% from $17.4 million in the third quarter of 2017. Excluding the one-time effects related to certain overdue receivables, general and administrative expenses for the third quarter of 2018 were $13.3 million.
- Research and development expenses were $4.2 million in the third quarter of 2018, down 12.5% from $4.8 million in the second quarter of 2018 and down 8.7% from $4.6 million in the third quarter of 2017.

Net Interest Expense

- Net interest expense was $14.1 million in the third quarter of 2018, compared with $15.2 million in the second quarter of 2018 and $10.0 million in the third quarter of 2017.

Foreign Currency Exchange Gain (Loss)

- Foreign currency exchange loss was $42.4 million in the third quarter of 2018, compared with a loss of $37.8 million in the second quarter of 2018 and a gain of $7.3 million in the third quarter of 2017. This was mainly due to a weak Turkish lira in relation to the U.S. dollar, causing a foreign currency exchange loss both in the second and third quarters.

Gain (loss) on Change in Fair Value of Derivative Contracts

- Loss on change in fair value of derivative contracts was $0.9 million in the third quarter of 2018, compared to a gain of $8.1 million in the second quarter of 2018 and a loss of $0.6 million in the third quarter of 2017.

Income Tax Expense (Benefit)

- Income tax expense was $1.2 million in the third quarter of 2018, compared with an income tax expense of $1.9 million in the second quarter of 2018 and an income tax expense of $2.5 million in the third quarter of 2017.

Net Income (Loss) and Earnings (Loss) per ADS

- Net loss attributable to Company's ordinary shareholders was $164.6 million in the third quarter of 2018, compared with net loss of $41.3 million in the second quarter of 2018 and net income of $5.0 million in the third quarter of 2017. Excluding certain one-time effects, net loss attributable to the Company's ordinary shareholders for the third quarter of 2018 was $39.7 million. Excluding these one-time effects as well as foreign exchange losses, net income attributable to Company's ordinary shareholders for the third quarter of 2018 was $2.7 million.
- Loss per fully diluted ADS on a GAAP basis was $1.98 in the third quarter of 2018, compared with a loss per fully diluted ADS of $0.50 in the second quarter of 2018 and income per fully diluted ADS of $0.06 in the third quarter of 2017. Excluding certain one-time effects, loss per fully diluted American Depositary Share for the third quarter of 2018 was $0.48. Excluding these one-time effects as well as foreign exchange losses, earnings per fully diluted American Depositary Share for the third quarter of 2018 was $0.03.

2018 Third Quarter Financial Position

As of September 30, 2018, the Company had cash and cash equivalents of $197.4 million, compared with $183.4 million as of December 31, 2017. The restricted cash as of September 30, 2018 was $140.2 million, compared with $139.7 million as of December 31, 2017.

As of September 30, 2018, accounts receivable was $554.8 million, compared with $525.4 million, as of December 31, 2017. Inventories were $498.4 million as of September 30, 2018, compared with $293.6 million as of December 31, 2017.

As of September 30, 2018, accounts payable was $665.9 million, compared with $454.8 million, as of December 31, 2017.

Total short-term borrowings (including the current portion of long-term borrowings) as of September 30, 2018 was $729.5 million, compared with $679.5 million as of December 31, 2017.

As of September 30, 2018, the Company had total long-term debt (net of current portion and long-term notes) of $625.5 million compared with $536.2 million as of December 31, 2017. The Company's long-term debt is comprised of bank and government borrowings, to be repaid in installments until their maturities, ranging from one to thirteen years.

Capital expenditures were $11.3 million in the third quarter of 2018.

Operations Updates

Production Capacity

As of September 30, 2018, the Company's in-house, annualized production capacities were 4,500MW for cells and 4,500MW for modules.

Furthermore, the Company has additional module availability of up to 3,900MW (annualized) as of September 30, 2018 from Hanwha Q CELLS Korea Corporation, an affiliate of the Company. Hanwha Q CELLS Korea is expected to have a nameplate capacity of 1,700MW of module capacity in the United States in the first quarter of 2019.

Business Outlook

Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2018 Guidance

For the fourth quarter of 2018, the Company estimates net revenues in the range of $590 to 610 million.

For the full year 2018, the Company provides the following guidance:

- Total module shipments in the range of 5,500 to 5,700MW
- Capital expenditures of approximately $146.0 million for manufacturing technology upgrades and certain R&D related expenditures.


ENF Profiles For Companies Mentioned in This Article

Hanwha Q CELLS (Solar Panels): https://www.enfsolar.com/directory/panel/772
Hanwha Q CELLS (Solar System Installers): https://www.enfsolar.com/directory/installer/772
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