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Daqo New Energy Announces Unaudited First Quarter 2021 Results

Daqo New Energy Announces Unaudited First Quarter 2021 Results

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SHANGHAI : 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 2021.

First Quarter 2021 Financial and Operating Highlights

  • Polysilicon production volume was 20,185 MT in Q1 2021, compared to 21,008 MT in Q4 2020
  • Polysilicon sales volume was 21,471 MT in Q1 2021, compared to 23,186 MT in Q4 2020
  • Polysilicon average total production cost(1) was $6.29/kg in Q1 2021, compared to $5.92/kg in Q4 2020
  • Polysilicon average cash cost(1) was $5.37/kg in Q1 2021, compared to $5.04/kg in Q4 2020
  • Polysilicon average selling price (ASP) was $11.90/kg in Q1 2021, compared to $10.79/kg in Q4 2020
  • Revenue was $256.1 million in Q1 2021, compared to $247.7 million in Q4 2020
  • Gross profit was $118.9 million in Q1 2021, compared to $109.5 million in Q4 2020. Gross margin was 46.4% in Q1 2021, compared to 44.2% in Q4 2020
  • Net income attributable to Daqo New Energy Corp. shareholders was $83.2 million in Q1 2021, compared to $72.8 million in Q4 2020
  • Earnings per basic American Depositary Share (ADS)(3) was $1.13 in Q1 2021, compared to $1.01 in Q4 2020
  • EBITDA (non-GAAP)(2) was $128.1 million in Q1 2021, compared to $115.1 million in Q4 2020. EBITDA margin (non-GAAP)(2) was 50.0% in Q1 2021, compared to 46.5% in Q4 2020
  • Adjusted net income (non-GAAP)(2) attributable to Daqo New Energy Corp. shareholders was $86.2 million in Q1 2021, compared to $77.3 million in Q4 2020
  • Adjusted earnings per basic ADS(3) (non-GAAP)(2) was $1.18 in Q1 2021, compared to $1.07 in Q4 2020

Notes:

  1. Production cost and cash cost only refer to production in our polysilicon facilities in Xinjiang. Production cost is calculated by the inventoriable costs relating to production of polysilicon in Xinjiang divided by the production volume in the period indicated. Cash cost is calculated by the inventoriable costs relating to production of polysilicon excluding depreciation expense, divided by the production volume in the period indicated.
  2. Daqo New Energy provides EBITDA, EBITDA margins, adjusted net income attributable to Daqo New Energy Corp. shareholders and adjusted earnings per basic 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.
  3. ADS means American Depositary Share. On November 17, 2020, the Company effected a change of the ratio of its ADSs to ordinary shares from one (1) ADS representing twenty-five (25) ordinary shares to one (1) ADS representing five (5) ordinary shares. The earnings per ADS and number of ADS information has been retrospectively adjusted to reflect the change for all periods presented.

Management Remarks

Mr. Longgen Zhang, CEO of Daqo New Energy, commented, “During the quarter, we continued to see strong momentum in customer demand for high-purity polysilicon, which led to a significant shortage of polysilicon and higher polysilicon ASPs. Our ASP in the first quarter of 2021 was $11.90/kg, approximately 10% higher than Q4 2020.

Due to the elapsed time from contract signing, product shipment, to revenue recognition upon products’ arrival at customers’ sites, it takes time for market prices to be fully reflected in our ASPs during periods of rapid price change.

Based on current customer contracts and product deliveries, we expect our ASP in the second quarter of 2021 to be in the range of $19.00-$20.00/kg, a significant improvement compared to Q1 that better reflects recent market pricing trends. As of today, current market pricing for high-purity mono-grade polysilicon has already reached the level of $23-$25/kg.

With strong end market demand driven by global carbon neutrality commitments by all major economies, major mono-wafer manufacturers continue their capacity expansion and new entrants build new wafer capacity.

As a result, we believe that supply in the polysilicon market will remain tight until the middle of 2022, when the market will finally see some additional supply of polysilicon.”

“During the quarter we produced 20,185 MT of polysilicon which lays a solid foundation for achieving our production target this year and also gives us the confidence to raise our guidance for annual production volume to the range of 81,000 MT to 83,000 MT from 80,000 MT to 81,000 MT.

During the quarter, approximately 99% of our polysilicon products were sold to mono-wafer customers and we already began commercial shipments of N-type polysilicon to four major customers.

Our production cost was up by 4% in RMB terms in the quarter as compared to Q4 2020, primarily due to the rise in the cost of silicon raw material and the impact of lower production volumes.

We expect production costs to stabilize in the coming quarters as the cost of silicon raw material has stabilized for the time being. We will continue our efforts to reduce cost and improve quality as we expect to see the benefit from our newly implemented digital manufacturing system to stabilize production, maximize output and optimize efficiency.”

“On the business development front, we have already sold out our production volume of this year through the long-term supply agreements with customers that span all the major mono-wafer manufactures as well as major integrated solar manufacturers.

More importantly, in connection with these long-term supply contracts, we have received RMB 800 million of prepayments from customers this year to date, which will help us fund our future expansion plans and ensure our future market share.

This shows the tightness of the polysilicon market and the strong momentum in demand growth, as well as the fact that, in our customers’ mind, Daqo is the leading supplier of high-purity mono-grade and N-type polysilicon with high reliability, stability and consistency.”

“In mid-March we began construction for our new Phase 4B project, which will add 35,000 metric ton capacity for high-purity polysilicon. We expect to complete the project by the end of 2021 and ramp up to full capacity by the end of Q1 2022.

Our Phase 4B project and the potential IPO on China’s STAR Market will bring us into a new phase of development and enable us to quickly expand capacity to address the fast-growing demand from the global solar PV market for ultra-high purity polysilicon.”

“In the present context of global carbon neutrality goals, major economies in the world including China are launching ambitious policies to mandate the use of clean energy and address climate change.

With the megatrend of the transformation to a low-carbon economy and de-carbonization of the energy sector, we are entering a new era of accelerated growth for the solar industry. We believe Daqo New Energy is very well positioned to benefit from this tremendous opportunity.”

Outlook and guidance

The Company expects to produce approximately 20,000MT to 21,000MT of polysilicon and sell approximately 20,000MT to 21,000MT of polysilicon to external customers during the second quarter of 2021.

For the full year of 2021, the Company expects to produce approximately 81,000 to 83,000 MT of polysilicon, inclusive of the impact of the Company’s annual facility maintenance.

This outlook reflects Daqo New Energy’s current and preliminary view as of the date of this press release and may be subject to changes. The Company’s ability to achieve these projections is subject to risks and uncertainties. See “Safe Harbor Statement” at the end of this press release.

First Quarter 2021 Results

Revenues

Revenues were $256.1 million, compared to $247.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2020 and $168.8 million in the first quarter of 2020. The increase in revenues was primarily due to higher ASPs partially offset by slightly lower polysilicon sales volume.

Gross profit and margin

Gross profit was $118.9 million, compared to $109.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2020 and $56.6 million in the first quarter of 2020. Gross margin was 46.4%, compared to 44.2% in the fourth quarter of 2020 and 33.5% in the first quarter of 2020. The increase in gross margin was primarily due to higher ASPs.

Selling, general and administrative expenses

Selling, general and administrative expenses were $9.0 million, compared to $11.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2020 and $8.9 million in the first quarter of 2020. SG&A expenses during the quarter included $2.5 million in non-cash share-based compensation costs related to the Company’s share incentive plan, compared to $4.5 million in the fourth quarter and $4.0 million in the first quarter of 2020.

Research and development expenses

Research and development (R&D) expenses were $1.2 million, compared to $1.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2020 and $1.7 million in the first quarter of 2020. Research and development expenses can vary from period to period and reflect R&D activities that take place during the quarter.

Income from operations and operating margin

As a result of the foregoing, income from operations was $109.2 million, compared to $98.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2020 and $45.8 million in the first quarter of 2020.

Operating margin was 42.6%, compared to 39.6% in the fourth quarter of 2020 and 27.1% in the first quarter of 2020.

Interest expense

Interest expense was $7.8 million, compared to $8.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2020 and $6.3 million in the first quarter of 2020.

Net income attributable to Daqo New Energy Corp. shareholders and earnings per ADS

As a result of the aforementioned, net income attributable to Daqo New Energy Corp. shareholders was $83.2 million, compared to $72.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2020 and $33.2 million in the first quarter of 2020.

Earnings per basic American Depository Share (ADS) was $1.13, compared to $1.01 in the fourth quarter of 2020, and $0.47 in the first quarter of 2020.

EBITDA (non-GAAP)

EBITDA (non-GAAP) was $128.1 million, compared to $115.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2020 and $63.1 million in the first quarter of 2020. EBITDA margin (non-GAAP) was 50.0%, compared to 46.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020 and 37.4% in the first quarter of 2020.

Financial Condition

As of March 31, 2021, the Company had $227.8 million in cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash, compared to $118.4 million as of December 31, 2020 and $120.8 million as of March 31, 2020.

As of March 31, 2021, the notes receivable balance was $38.5 million, compared to $0.2 million as of December 31, 2020 and $4.4 million as of March 31, 2020.

As of March 31, 2021, total borrowings were $222.2 million, of which $100.4 million were long-term borrowings, compared to total borrowings of $193.7 million, including $123.2 million long-term borrowings, as of December 31, 2020 and total borrowings of $265.6 million, including $149.0 million long-term borrowings, as of March 31, 2020.

Cash Flows

For the three months ended March 31, 2021, net cash provided by operating activities was $159.2 million, compared to $31.1 million in the same period of 2020.

For the three months ended March 31, 2021, net cash used in investing activities was $79.9 million, compared to $12.9 million in the same period of 2020.

The net cash used in investing activities in 2021 and 2020 was primarily related to the capital expenditures on the Company’s polysilicon expansion projects.

For the three months ended March 31, 2021, net cash provided by financing activities was $31.7 million, compared to net cash used in financing activities of $10.0 million in the same period of 2020.

Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

To supplement Daqo New Energy’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 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (“EBITDA”) and EBITDA margin; adjusted net income attributable to Daqo New Energy Corp.

shareholders and adjusted earnings per basic and diluted ADS. Our 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, our 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.

Our 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 our 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 our 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.

The Company uses EBITDA, which represents earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, and EBITDA margin, which represents the proportion of EBITDA in revenues. Adjusted net income attributable to Daqo New Energy Corp. shareholders and adjusted earnings per basic and diluted ADS exclude costs related to share-based compensation.

Share-based compensation is a non-cash expense that varies from period to period. As a result, our management excludes this item from our internal operating forecasts and models.

Our 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.

A reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures to comparable US GAAP measures is presented later in this document.

About Daqo New Energy Corp.

Daqo New Energy Corp. (NYSE: DQ) (“Daqo” or the “Company”) is a leading manufacturer of high-purity polysilicon for the global solar PV industry.

Founded in 2007, the Company is one of the world’s lowest cost producers of high-purity polysilicon. It has a total annual capacity of 70,000 metric tons of high-purity polysilicon, with another 35,000 metric tons polysilicon capacity under construction, which is expected to reach full capacity by the end of the first quarter of 2022.

For more information, please visit www.dqsolar.com

 

Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network