JA Solar Executive Insights: ASP Outlook, Costs

On Tuesday, JA Solar Holdings Co., ADR ADR (NASDAQ:JASO) reported its first quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call. Here’s what executives shared.

ASP Outlook

Jesse Pichel – Jefferies: What is the Company’s strategy once the solar world WTO case extends to the EU? Will you move your manufacturing lines or will you continue to trade for Taiwanese cells?

A Closer Look: JA Solar Earnings Cheat Sheet>>

Peng Fang – CEO: We have good relationship with some customers in EU and some of them have manufactured capability locally in Europe and if that really happens so far, we didn’t see it has to happen. So, if that really happen, we can shift our partnership or even have some investment relationship with our customers who have manufactured facility over there. So, we are thinking – management is looking into this possibility and also we’re trying to prepare the countermeasures.

Jesse Pichel – Jefferies: If I have a follow-up question, it would be what is use your outlook for ASPs and cost as we look for the rest of 2012?

Ming Yang – VP: Jesse, this is Ming, thank you for your question. So, in terms of ASP we’re actually looking at a fairly wide range for the second half of this year as we end the year. So, depending on various market the pricing can be quite wide for Europe and China, for example, we’re probably looking in the low $0.78 to the high $0.60 – $0.68, $0.70 type of range. So, for markets like Japan ASP could be $1,000 or higher and then for markets like U.S. that remains in the $0.90 to $1 range. The various markets are very different pricing and that really is driven by the geographic distribution of our sales.

Costs

Brandon Heiken – Credit Suisse: This is Brandon Heiken speaking on behalf of Satya Kumar. I was wondering if you could clarify what – you mentioned that ASPs dropped significantly at the end of the first quarter, are you able to say what the ASPs were in the first quarter and also ASPs for sale. And if I could follow-up on that Jesse’s question about your cost in the first quarter and target for the year?

Min Cao – CFO: So, I guess, ASP in terms of overall Q1 versus the Q4 it was down approximately 18% and most of that drop occurred towards the end of the quarter, but ASP was actually relatively flat, it was down in the low single-digit percentage range. What was your second question, I am sorry?

Brandon Heiken – Credit Suisse: For costs, if you could talk about costs for the first quarter and for the rest of the year, please?

Min Cao – CFO: So, in terms of overall costs for the Q1, we have some high-cost inventories that has to be (indiscernible). But I think if you exclude the cost of high inventories, I would say the overall manufacturing cost is probably in the high $0.60 to $0.70 type of range and I believe we can lower gross margin production cost and we can lower that cost to probably around the $0.60 range in the second half of this year for our margins.

Brandon Heiken – Credit Suisse: What about cell?

Min Cao – CFO: So, we have never disclosed the cell processing cost. The cell processing cost did come down during the quarter.