Home Quarter Results Daqo New Energy Announces Unaudited Third Quarter 2015 Results
Daqo New Energy Announces Unaudited Third Quarter 2015 Results

Daqo New Energy Announces Unaudited Third Quarter 2015 Results

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Daqo New Energy Corp.,a leading manufacturer of high-purity polysilicon for the global solar PV industry, recently announced its unaudited financial results for the third quarter of 2015.

Third Quarter 2015 Financial and Operating Highlights

– Polysilicon production volume of 2,689 MT in Q3 2015, an increase of 55.1% from 1,734 MT in Q2 2015
– Polysilicon external sales volume(1) of 2,277 MT in Q3 2015, an increase of 67.1% from to 1,363 MT in Q2 2015
– Polysilicon average total production cost(2) of $11.15/kg in Q3 2015, a decrease of 14.1% from $12.98/kg in Q2 2015;
– Polysilicon average cash cost(2) of $8.71/kg in Q3 2015, a decrease of 17.8% from $10.60/kg in Q2 2015
– Average selling price (ASP) of polysilicon was $14.98/kg in Q3 2015, a decrease of 6.1% from $15.95/kg in Q2 2015
– Solar Wafer sales volume of 19.1 million pieces in Q3 2015, an increase of 4.4% from 18.3 million pieces in Q2 2015
– Revenue of $46.6 million in Q3 2015, an increase of 35.9% from revenue of $34.3 million in Q2 2015
– Non-GAAP gross margin(3) of 23.4% in Q3 2015, compared to 19.6% in Q2 2015
– EBITDA(non-GAAP)(3) of $15.0 million in Q3 2015, an increase of 78.6% from $8.4 million in Q2 2015
– EBITDA margin (non-GAAP)(3) of 32.1% in Q3 2015, compared to 24.6% in Q2 2015
– Net income attributable to Daqo New Energy shareholders of $3.1 million in Q3 2015, compared to net loss attributable to Daqo New Energy shareholders of $0.9 million in Q2 2015 and net income attributable to Daqo New Energy shareholders of $5.9 million in Q3 2014.
– Earnings per basic ADS of $0.29 in Q3 2015, compared to loss per basic ADS of $0.09 in Q2 2015, and earnings per basic ADS of $0.66 in Q3 2014.
– Adjusted net income (non-GAAP)(3) attributable to Daqo New Energy shareholders of $6.3 million in Q3 2015, compared to $2.7 million in Q2 2015 and $9.7 million in Q3 2014.
– Adjusted earnings per basic ADS (non-GAAP)(3) of $0.60, compared to $0.26 in Q2 2015, and $1.09 Q3 2014.

“Our strong quarterly results reflect the success of our phase 2B polysilicon capacity expansion, which we have successfully ramped up to its full annual capacity of 12,150 metric tons at the end of the third quarter.  The ramp up from initial production to full design capacity took only approximately three months, which was the best ever pace for the Company achieving the ramp up.  We executed well on key technology upgrades and process enhancements, delivering cost reductions that were ahead of our expectations, and exceeded our key financial and operating targets for the quarter,” said Dr. Gongda Yao, CEO of Daqo New Energy.

“In the third quarter of 2015,we produced 2,689 MT of polysilicon at an average total production cost of $11.15/kg and cash cost of $8.71/kg, a significant decrease from our production costs in the second quarter.  Through proprietary technology enhancements, our newly commissioned hydrochlorination system and CVD reactors are operating well, at better than their design specifications in terms of production volume and output efficiency.  As a result, we significantly reduced unit electricity consumption and raw material usage, achieving a 17.8% reduction in cash cost in the third quarter as compared to the second quarter of 2015. We believe as we continue to optimize our manufacturing operation and production process, we will be able to continue to improve our cost structure.  As such, we expect to further reduce our average total production cost to less than $10.5/kg in the fourth quarter of 2015, and to less than $10.0/kg in the year of 2016, with corresponding decline in cash cost,” Dr. Yao concluded.

“The solid execution of our capacity expansion project and technology upgrade enabled us to post strong financial results for the quarter,” said Ming Yang, CFO of Daqo New Energy.  “Although polysilicon ASPs declined by approximately 6% in the third quarter as compared to the second quarter of 2015, we were able to return to profitability and expanded our gross margin, operating income and EBITDA in the third quarter, due to declining production cost and increase in production volume.  We achieved non-GAAP gross margin of 23.4% in the third quarter, as compared to 19.6% in the second quarter of 2015. Operating income was $6.7 million, as compared to $1.2 million in the second quarter of 2015. EBITDA was $15.0 million, up 79% from $8.4 million in the second quarter of 2015.”

“Based on strong customer demand for our wafer products, and encouraging ASP improvements in recent months, we have launched a wafer technology enhancement project at our Chongqing wafer facilities, which is expected to further reduce our manufacturing cost and increase annual wafer production capacity from the current 72 million pieces per year to 100 million pieces per year by the second quarter of 2016.  We have been continuously improving our wafer manufacturing efficiency and cost structure. The gross margin of our wafer manufacturing facility on a standalone basis improved significantly, up from 11.2% in the second quarter to 17.4% in the third quarter of 2015.  We believe this technology enhancement project will best optimize our existing wafer facilities and further improve margins and profitability.”

“We are proud of what we have achieved in the third quarter of 2015.  We have successfully increased our capacity, further reduced our cost structure that is already highly competitive, and achieved substantial improvements in margins and profitability.  We believe we are on track to achieve our goal of becoming a highly-profitable and fast-growing top-tier solar raw material provider in the world.”

Market outlook and Q4 2015 guidance

According to data released by China National Energy Administration, China added 9.9 GW of solar PV installations in the first three quarters of 2015, which has brought China’s cumulative solar PV installation to 38 GW.  We expect the annual installation target of 17.8 GW can be achieved, and China would overtake Germany to become the world’s largest solar power generating country.

Based on feedback from our customers, demand for solar products across the value chain in the fourth quarter is expected to be strong. Most downstream players are running at full production capacity, and the ASPs of downstream products, particularly for solar wafers, are improving. As a result, we expect to see stable demand for polysilicon.  One of our major goals is to continue to lower our polysilicon production cost at a faster rate than ASP declines, in order to achieve margin and profitability improvements.

For the fourth quarter of 2015, the Company expects to sell 2,800 to 3,000 MT of polysilicon to external customers, which excludes internal sales of polysilicon to our wafer manufacturing subsidiary. The Company also expects to sell approximately 20.5 million to 21.0 million pieces of solar wafers. 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 this projection is subject to risks and uncertainties. See “Safe Harbor Statement” at the end of this press release.

Third Quarter 2015 Financial Results

Revenues

Revenues were $46.6 million, compared to $34.3 million in the second quarter of 2015 and $47.3 million in the third quarter of 2014.

Revenues from polysilicon sales to external customer were $34.1 million, an increase of 57.1% from $21.7 million in the second quarter of 2015.  External polysilicon sales volume were 2,277 MT, an increase of 67.1% from 1,363 MT of polysilicon sold in the second quarter of 2015.  The increase in polysilicon revenues as compared to the second quarter of 2015 was primarily due to the increase in polysilicon sales volume, partially offset by lower ASPs. With the ramp up of the Company’s phase 2B polysilicon expansion, the company produced 2,689 MT of polysilicon in the third quarter of 2015, an increase of 55.1% from 1,734 MT in the second quarter of 2015.  The polysilicon ASPs were $14.98/kg and $15.95/kg in the third and second quarter of 2015, respectively.

Revenues from wafer sales were $12.5 million in the third quarter, compared to $12.6 million in the second quarter of 2015. Wafer sales volume was 19.1 million pieces in the third quarter, compared to 18.3 million in the second quarter of 2015. The slight decrease in wafer revenues as compared to the second quarter of 2015 was primarily the result of an increase in mix of wafer volume through OEM service during the third quarter, as the corresponding OEM service revenue only includes processing fees.

Gross profit and margin

Gross profit was approximately $8.6 million, compared to $3.6 million in the second quarter of 2015 and $11.6 million in the third quarter of 2014. Non-GAAP gross profit, which excludes costs related to the non-operational polysilicon operations in Chongqing, was approximately $10.9 million, compared to $6.7 million in the second quarter of 2015 and $15.0 million in the third quarter of 2014.

Gross margin was 18.4%, compared to 10.5% in the second quarter of 2015 and 24.5% in the third quarter of 2014. The improvement in gross margin was primarily due to our continuous cost reduction effort in polysilicon manufacturing, partially offset by polysilicon ASP decline.In the third quarter of 2015, total costs related to the non-operational Chongqing polysilicon plant including depreciation were $2.3 million, compared to $3.1 million in the second quarter of 2015 and $3.4 million in the third quarter of 2014. Excluding such costs, the non-GAAP gross margin was approximately 23.4%, compared to 19.6% in the second quarter of 2015 and 31.7% in the third quarter of 2014.

Selling, general and administrative expenses

Selling, general and administrative expenses were $2.9 million, compared to $2.8 million in the second quarter of 2015 and $2.5 million in the third quarter of 2014.

Research and development expenses

Research and development expenses were approximately $0.1 million, compared to $0.2million in the second quarter of 2015 and $0.2 million in the third quarter of 2014.

Other operating income (expense)

Other operating income was $1,115 thousand, compared to $667 thousand in the second quarter of 2015 and $574 thousand in the third quarter of 2014.

Operating income and margin

Operating income was $6.7 million, compared to $1.2 million in the second quarter of 2015 and $9.5 million in the third quarter of 2014. Operating margin was 14.3%, compared to 3.6% in the second quarter of 2015 and 20.0% in the third quarter of 2014.

Net Interest expense

Net interest expenses were $3.0 million, compared to $2.5 million in the second quarter of 2015 and $3.5 million in the third quarter of 2014.

EBITDA

EBITDA was $15.0 million, compared to $8.4 million in the second quarter of 2015 and $16.4 million in the third quarter of 2014. EBITDA margin was 32.1%, compared to 24.6% in the second quarter of 2015 and 34.7% in the third quarter of 2014.

Net loss / income attributable to our shareholders and loss / earnings per ADS

Net income attributable to Daqo New Energy shareholders was $3.1 million, compared to net loss attributable to Daqo New Energy shareholders of $0.9 million in the second quarter of 2015 and net income attributable to Daqo New Energy shareholders of $5.9 million in the third quarter of 2014.Earnings per basic ADS were $0.29, compared to loss per basic ADS of $0.09 in the second quarter of 2015, and earnings per basic ADS of $0.66 in the third quarter of 2014.

Financial Condition

As of September 30, 2015, the Company had $68.7 million in cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash, compared to $95.1 million as of June 30, 2015 and $30.0 million as of September 30, 2014. The decrease in cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash was primarily due to loan repayment. As of September 30, 2015, the accounts receivable balance was $15.4 million, compared to $7.0 million as of June 30, 2015. As of September 30, 2015, the notes receivable balance was $16.5 million, compared to $38.3 million as of June 30, 2015. As of September 30, 2015, total borrowings were $259.1 million, of which $143.9 million were long-term borrowings, compared to total borrowings of $266.0 million, including $100.0 million long-term borrowings as of June 30, 2015.

Cash Flows

– For the nine months ended September 30, 2015, net cash provided by operating activities was $65.6 million, compared to $47.7 million in the same period of 2014.

– For the nine months ended September 30, 2015, net cash used in investing activities was $82.7 million, compared to $81.0 million in the same period of 2014.

– For the nine months ended September 30, 2015, net cash provided by financing activities was $38.1 million, compared to $38.1 million in the same period of 2014.

Use of 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 and adjusted net income per basic share.  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 provides 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 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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