Shares of SMA Solar Technology AG (SMTGF.PK) fell around 8 percent in the morning trade on Frankfurt's Xetra after the solar energy equipment supplier said its second-quarter profit plunged on higher expenses and lower sales. Earnings as well as sales also missed analysts' estimates. However, the company lifted the lower end of its fiscal 2012 forecast for earnings and sales.
For the second quarter, consolidated net profit plunged to 29.89 million euros from last year's 63.22 million euros. Earnings before interest and taxes or EBIT declined to 40.83 million euros from 90.01 million euros a year ago and were below analysts' estimates.
Sales for the quarter also were down to 428.74 million euros from prior year's 459.05 million euros.
For the first half, consolidated net profit as well as EBIT declined from last year. The company attributed the decline mainly to higher expenses for risk provisioning, impairment losses on receivables and inventories and higher amortization.
However, first-half sales went up 16.6 percent to 833.7 million euros thanks to its international presence in 21 countries. Gross foreign sales rose 12.1 percent.
During the first half of the year, the company sold PV inverters with a total output of 4.0 gigawatts, higher than last year's 3.1 gigawatts.
During the period, the development of demand was characterized to a decisive extent by the clear changes in subsidy conditions in important European photovoltaic markets, resulting in demand for inverters for PV rooftop systems being brought forward, the company said.
SMA said it achieved or even exceeded its own expectations in many areas despite a difficult market environment. Particularly, the policy of internationalization, adopted at an early stage, resulted in a positive development of international business.
Further, SMA's Managing Board raised the lower end of sales and earnings forecast for 2012. The company now forecasts an operating profit of 100 million euros - 150 million euros, on sales of 1.3 billion euros - 1.5 billion euros. Earlier, annual sales were estimated to lie between 1.2 billion euros and 1.5 billion euros; and EBIT between 60 million euros and 150 million euros.
For the fiscal year, SMA Solar currently sees EBIT margin of 8 percent - 10 percent, versus its previous 5 percent - 10 percent range.
On Frankfurt's Xetra, SMA Solar shares are currently trading at 26.20 euros, down 2.19 euros or 7.73 percent.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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