After falling 44% from the third quarter of 2008 to the first quarter of 2009, revenues rebounded 18% quarter-over-quarter in the second quarter of 2009 to $4.65 billion among publicly traded PV supply chain companies, according to a report from Young Market Research (YMR).
Revenues for cell and module suppliers are growing faster (18% quarter-over-quarter for the second quarter of 2009) than those of polysilicon and wafer suppliers (5% quarter-over-quarter). Polysilicon prices are falling faster than cell/module prices, and cell/module shipments outpace polysilicon/wafer shipments on significant inventory at cell/module suppliers.
Unlike all other regions, North American suppliers' revenues rose from the third quarter of 2008 to the second quarter of 2009 – up 11%, including 25% quarter-over-quarter growth in the second quarter of 2009. According to YMR, this rise is owed to First Solar's cost leadership, rapid capacity growth and high utilization. In addition, only North American suppliers were profitable when aggregated by region, with average gross profits of 38%, operating margins of 19% and net margins of 17%.
The report also found that Chinese cell and module manufacturers experienced the largest declines from the third quarter of 2008 to the first quarter of 2009, down 61%, and experienced the fastest growth in the second quarter of 2009, up 32%. These companies are still off 48% from their results in the third quarter of 2008.
German manufacturers' revenues rose 11% in the second quarter of 2009, but they are still off 33% from the third quarter of 2008, losing less ground than their Chinese competitors. All Taiwan-based suppliers achieved negative operating margins in the second quarter of 2009, the report adds.
Seasonally, the third quarter of 2009 looks to be the strongest quarter of the year, although the development of the U.S. and Chinese markets could potentially enable the fourth quarter of 2009 to be just as strong, the company says. Chinese companies have the highest projected growth rates.
For more information, visit www.youngmarketresearch.com.
SOURCE: Young Market Research