Home Quarter Results Daqo New Energy Announces Unaudited First Quarter 2016 Results
Daqo New Energy Announces Unaudited First Quarter 2016 Results

Daqo New Energy Announces Unaudited First Quarter 2016 Results

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Daqo New Energy Corp. (NYSE: DQ) (“Daqo New Energy”, the “Company” or “we”), a leading manufacturer of high-purity polysilicon for the global solar PV industry, today announced its unaudited financial results for the first quarter of 2016.

First Quarter 2016 Financial and Operating Highlights

  • Polysilicon production volume of 3,405 MT in Q1 2016, compared to 3,547 MT in Q4 2015
  • Polysilicon external sales volume(1) of 2,905 MT in Q1 2016, compared to 3,092 MT in Q4 2015
  • Polysilicon average total production cost(2) of $9.65/kg in Q1 2016, compared to $9.74/kg in Q4 2015
  • Polysilicon average cash cost(2) of $7.62/kg in Q1 2016, compared to $7.69/kg in Q4 2015
  • Average selling price (ASP) of polysilicon was $13.72/kg in Q1 2016, compared to $13.86/kg in Q4 2015
  • Solar wafer sales volume of 22.1 million pieces in Q1 2016, compared to 21.0 million pieces in Q4 2015
  • Revenue of $57.7 million in Q1 2016, compared to $59.3 million in Q4 2015
  • Non-GAAP gross margin(3) of 32.6% in Q1 2016, up from 31.9% in Q4 2015
  • EBITDA (non-GAAP)(3) of $21.9 million in Q1 2016, compared to $23.4 million in Q4 2015
  • EBITDA margin (non-GAAP)(3) of 38.0% in Q1 2016, compared to 39.5% in Q4 2015
  • Net income attributable to Daqo New Energy shareholders of $8.3 million in Q1 2016, compared to $9.6 million in Q4 2015 and $1.2 million in Q1 2015
  • Earnings per basic ADS of $0.80 in Q1 2016, compared to $0.92 in Q4 2015 and $0.12 in Q1 2015
  • Adjusted net income (non-GAAP)(3) attributable to Daqo New Energy shareholders of $11.7 million in Q1 2016, compared to $11.9 million in Q4 2015 and $6.4 million in Q1 2015
  • Adjusted earnings per basic ADS (non-GAAP)(3) of $1.12 in Q1 2016, compared to $1.14 in Q4 2015 and $0.66in Q1 2015

Recent Corporate highlight

  • On April 27, 2016, the Company’s subsidiary, Xinjiang Daqo New Energy Stock Co., Ltd. (“Xinjiang Daqo”) received approval to list its shares on the National Equities Exchange and Quotations, an emerging over-the-counter market in China (the “New Third Board”)

Three months ended

US$ millions

except as indicated otherwise

Mar. 31, 2016

Dec. 31, 2015

Mar. 31, 2015

Revenues

57.7

59.3

41.9

Gross profit

16.7

16.9

8.5

Gross margin

29.0%

28.5%

20.2%

Income from operations

13.3

14.3

4.1

Net income attributable to Daqo New Energy
shareholders

8.3

9.6

1.2

Earnings per basic ADS ($ per ADS)

0.80

0.92

0.12

Adjusted net income (non-GAAP)(3) attributable
to Daqo New Energy shareholders

11.7

11.9

6.4

Adjusted earnings per basic ADS (non-GAAP)(3)
($ per ADS)

1.12

1.14

0.66

Non-GAAP gross profit(3)

18.8

18.9

11.7

Non-GAAP gross margin(3) (%)

32.6%

31.9%

28.0%

EBITDA (non-GAAP)(3)

21.9

23.4

11.4

EBITDA margin(3) (non-GAAP)

38.0%

39.5%

27.3%

Polysilicon external sales volume (MT)(1)

2,905

3,092

1,502

Polysilicon production cost ($/kg)(2)

9.65

9.74

12.80

Polysilicon cash cost (excl. dep’n) ($/kg)(2)

7.62

7.69

10.53

Notes:

(1) Our polysilicon external sales volume excludes internal sales to our Chongqing wafer manufacturing subsidiary, which utilizes polysilicon as raw material for the production of solar wafers. The sales volume is the quantity of goods that have been accepted by customers, and thus the corresponding revenue has been recognized during the period indicated.

(2) Production cost and cash cost only refer to production in our Xinjiang polysilicon facilities. Production cost is calculated by the inventoriable costs relating to production of polysilicon in Xinjiang divided by the production volume in the quarter. Cash cost is calculated by the inventoriable costs relating to production of polysilicon excluding depreciation expense in Xinjiang, divided by the production volume in the quarter.

(3) Daqo New Energy provides non-GAAP gross profit, non-GAAP gross margin, EBITDA, EBITDA margin, adjusted net income (loss) attributable to our shareholders and adjusted earnings (loss) per ADS on a non-GAAP basis to provide supplemental information regarding its financial performance. For more information on these non-GAAP financial measures, please see the section captioned “Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” and the tables captioned “Reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures to comparable US GAAP measures” set forth at the end of this press release.

Commentary

“I would like to thank our entire team for delivering strong operating and financial results for the first quarter of 2016,” said Dr. Gongda Yao, Chief Executive Officer of the Company. “During the quarter, we produced 3,405 MT of polysilicon, representing full utilization of our manufacturing facilities, which surpassed our name plate capacity of 12,150 MT per year. The slight decrease in polysilicon production volume compared to Q4 of 2015 was primarily due to a smaller number of calendar days in Q1 of 2016, and the impact of the Chinese New Year holidays. During the quarter, we sold 2,905 MT to our external customers, compared to 3,092 MT in Q4 of 2015. The difference is primarily due to a greater shipment of polysilicon for use at our Chongqing wafer facilities, which was 520MT in Q1 of 2016, compared to 415MT in Q4 of 2015, as well as lower polysilicon production volume.  As we ramp up our Chonqing solar wafer capacity and aim to increase our wafer production volume from 21 million pieces per quarter in Q4 of 2015 to 25 million pieces per quarter by mid-2016, it is necessary that we ship an increasing volume of polysilicon to our Chongqing wafer manufacturing subsidiary in order to meet its raw material needs. Our polysilicon average total production cost and cash cost were $9.65/kg and $7.62/kg, respectively, during Q1 of 2016. As a result, despite lower ASPs in Q1 this year versus Q4 last year, we were able to achieve better gross margin. We continue to make progress toward our goal to further reduce our production cost and improve quality, and further enhance our profitability and competitive positioning.”

Since February 2016, polysilicon ASPs have improved meaningfully due to strong downstream demand. We saw significant additions of new wafer capacities in the market, which have increased polysilicon consumption and created an environment of relatively tight polysilicon supply.  While spot market poly pricing improved substantially during the quarter, particularly during March, we believe the improvement was not fully reflected in our first quarter ASP, as we are primarily engaged in contracted sales with solar manufacturing customers and there is typically a two or three weeks’ delay from pricing and contracting to subsequent shipping and customer acceptance, which is when revenues are recognized.

During April and May, we saw further improvements in polysilicon market prices, which by now are up by approximately 40% to 45% from the January level, driven by low levels of channel inventory and an increase in downstream customer demand.

As we continue to expand our wafer capacity in Chongqing, our wafer sales volume increased from 21.0 million pieces in Q4 of 2015 to 22.1 million pieces in Q1 of 2016. As a result of the increase in wafer production capacity and sales volume, we also increased shipment of polysilicon to Chongqing during the quarter.  Gross margin of our Chonqing wafer facility, on stand-alone basis, improved to 28.3% in Q1 of 2016, compared to 27.0% in Q4 of 2015.  Our Chongqing wafer operations continue to contribute meaningfully to the Company’s profitability.

“In April, we received the approval to have the shares of Xinjiang Daqo listed on China’s New Third Board. This is very exciting for us, as we believe the listing will afford us more flexibility to fund our future growth as the global cost leader in the high-purity polysilicon manufacturing industry through access to capital in both the Chinese and U.S. capital markets, two of the most active in the world,” commented Dr. Gongda Yao, Chief Executive Officer of the Company.

Market outlook and Q2 2016 guidance

Excluding shipments of polysilicon to be used internally by our Chongqing solar wafer facility, the Company expects to sell approximately 2,850 MT to 2,950 MT of polysilicon to external customers during the second quarter of 2016.  The above guidance reflects increased internal consumption of polysilicon by our own wafer subsidiary due to increased wafer production and wafer capacity expansion.  Wafer sales volume is expected to be approximately 23.5 million to 24.0 million pieces for the second quarter. This outlook reflects our current and preliminary view as of the date of this press release and may be subject to change. Our ability to achieve these projections is subject to risks and uncertainties. See “Safe Harbor Statement” at the end of this press release.

First Quarter 2016 Results

Revenues

Revenues were $57.7 million, compared to $59.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 and $41.9 million in the first quarter of 2015.

Revenues from polysilicon sales to external customers were $39.9 million, compared to $42.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 and $27.2 million in the first quarter of 2015.  External sales volume was 2,905 MT during the first quarter of 2016, compared to 3,092 MT in the fourth quarter of 2015.  Lower external sales volume relative to the fourth quarter of 2015 was primarily the result of increase in polysilicon shipment to the Company’s internal wafer facility, as well as lower production volume.  Average selling price (ASP) of polysilicon was $13.72/kg in the first quarter of 2016, decreased from $13.86/kg in the fourth quarter of 2015.The decrease in polysilicon revenue from the fourth quarter of 2015 was primarily due to a lower external sales volume and slightly lower ASPs.

Revenues from wafer sales were $17.8 million, compared to $16.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 and $14.6 million in the first quarter of 2015. Wafer sales volume was 22.1 million pieces, compared to 21.0 million pieces in the fourth quarter of 2015 and 18.1 million pieces in the first quarter of 2015. The increase in wafer revenue from the fourth quarter of 2015 was primarily due to higher sales volume.

Gross profit and margin

Gross profit was approximately $16.7 million, compared to $16.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 and $8.5 millionin the first quarter of 2015. Non-GAAP gross profit, which excludes costs related to the non-operational polysilicon operations in Chongqing, was approximately $18.8 million, compared to $18.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 and $11.7 million in the first quarter of 2015. Gross margin was 29.0%, compared to 28.5% in the fourth quarter of 2015 and 20.2% in the first quarter of 2015.

In the first quarter of 2016, total costs related to the non-operational Chongqing polysilicon plant including depreciation were $2.0 million, compared to $2.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 and $3.3 million in the first quarter of 2015. Excluding such costs, the non-GAAP gross margin was approximately 32.6%, compared to 31.9% in the fourth quarter of 2015 and 28.0% in the first quarter of 2015.

Selling, general and administrative expenses

Selling, general and administrative expenses were $4.1 million, compared to $2.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 and $4.6 million in the first quarter of 2015. The increase in SG&A in the first quarter of 2016 as compared to the fourth quarter of 2015 was primarily due to higher share-based compensation expenses, which are non-cash expenses related to the company’s share-based incentive programs.

Research and development expenses

Research and development expenses were approximately $0.1 million, compared to $0.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 and $0.1 million in the first quarter of 2015.

Other operating income (expense)

Other operating income was $0.7 million, compared to $1.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 and other operating expense of $0.3 million in the first quarter of 2015. Other operating income mainly consists of unrestricted cash incentives that the Company received from local government authorities, the amount of which varies from period to period.

Income from operations and operating margin

Income from operations was $13.3 million, compared to $14.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 and $4.1 million in the first quarter of 2015.

Operating margin was 23.1%, compared to 24.1% in the fourth quarter of 2015 and 9.7% in the first quarter of 2015.

Interest expense

Interest expenses were $3.9 million, compared to $4.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 and $3.2 million in the first quarter of 2015.

EBITDA

EBITDA was $21.9 million, compared to $23.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 and $11.4 million in the first quarter of 2015. EBITDA margin was 38.0%, compared to 39.5% in the fourth quarter of 2015 and 27.3% in the first quarter of 2015.

Net income attributable to our shareholders and earnings per ADS

Net income attributable to Daqo New Energy Corp. shareholders was $8.3 million, compared to $9.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 and $1.2 million in the first quarter of 2015.

Earnings per basic ADS were $0.80, compared to $0.92 in the fourth quarter of 2015 and $0.12 in the first quarter of 2015.

Financial Condition

As of March 31, 2016, the Company had $35.7 million in cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash, compared to$33.6 million as of December 31, 2015 and $32.2 million as of March 31, 2015.

As of March 31, 2016, the accounts receivable balance was $15.4 million, compared to $19.9 million as of December 31, 2015 and $8.8 million as of March 31, 2015.

As of March 31, 2016, the notes receivable balance was $25.3 million, compared to $11.1 million as of December 31, 2015 and $48.4 million as of March 31, 2015.

As of March 31, 2016, total borrowings were $241.3 million, of which $114.8 million were long-term borrowings, compared to total borrowings of $242.5 million, including $118.5 million long-term borrowings, as of December 31, 2015, and total borrowings of $222.2 million, including $74.2 million long-term borrowings, as of March 31, 2015.

As of March 31, 2016, the notes payable balance was $28.1 million, compared to $20.2 million as of December 31, 2015 and $34.9 million as of March 31, 2015.

Cash Flows

For the three months ended March 31, 2016, net cash provided by operating activities was $22.5 million, compared to $1.3 million in the same period of 2015.

For the three months ended March 31, 2016, net cash used in investing activities was $17.5 million, compared to$16.3 million in the same period of 2015. The net cash used in investing activities during the first quarter of 2016 was primarily related to the capital expenditure of Xinjiang polysilicon facilities.

For the three months ended March 31, 2016, net cash used in financing activities was $3.3 million, compared to net cash provided by financing activities of $22.7 million in the same period of 2015.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

To supplement Daqo’s consolidated financial results presented in accordance with United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“US GAAP”), the Company uses certain non-GAAP financial measures that are adjusted for certain items from the most directly comparable GAAP measures including non-GAAP gross profit and non-GAAP gross margin; earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (“EBITDA”) and EBITDA margin; adjusted net income attributable to our shareholders and adjusted earnings per basic ADS.  Management believes that each of these non-GAAP measures is useful to investors, enabling them to better assess changes in key element of the Company’s results of operations across different reporting periods on a consistent basis, independent of certain items as described below. Thus, management believes that, used in conjunction with US GAAP financial measures, these non-GAAP financial measures provide investors with meaningful supplemental information to assess the Company’s operating results in a manner that is focused on its ongoing, core operating performance. Management uses these non-GAAP measures internally to assess the business, its financial performance, current and historical results, as well as for strategic decision-making and forecasting future results.  Given management’s use of these non-GAAP measures, the Company believes these measures are important to investors in understanding the Company’s operating results as seen through the eyes of management.  These non-GAAP measures are not prepared in accordance with US GAAP or intended to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for the financial information prepared and presented in accordance with US GAAP; the non-GAAP measures should be reviewed together with the US GAAP measures, and may be different from non-GAAP measures used by other companies.

Non-GAAP gross profit and non-GAAP gross margin includes adjustments for costs related to the non-operational polysilicon assets in Chongqing. Such costs mainly consist of non-cash depreciation costs, as well as utilities and maintenance costs associated with the temporarily idle polysilicon machinery and equipment, which will be or are in the process of being relocated to the Company’s Xinjiang polysilicon manufacturing facility. The Company would expect a majority of these costs, such as depreciation, will continue to occur as part of the production cost at the Xinjiang facilities subsequent to the completion of the relocation plan. Once these assets are placed back in service, the Company will remove this adjustment from the non-GAAP reconciling item. The Company also uses EBITDA, which represents earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, and EBITDA margin, which represents the proportion of EBITDA in revenue.  Adjusted net income attributable to our shareholders and adjusted earnings per basic ADS excludes costs related to the non-operational polysilicon assets in Chongqing as described above.  It also excludes costs related to share-based compensation. Share-based compensation is a non-cash expense that varies from period to period. As a result, management excludes this item from its internal operating forecasts and models. Management believes that this adjustment for share-based compensation provides investors with a basis to measure the company’s core performance, including compared with the performance of other companies, without the period-to-period variability created by share-based compensation.

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Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network

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