UPDATE 1-Q-Cells Q1 EBIT tops expectations, keeps outlook

* Still sees 2010 sales of 1-1.2 bln eur, positive EBIT

* Q1 EBIT loss 9.3 mln eur vs 16 mln eur analyst forecast

* Q1 sales 232.3 mln eur vs 209 mln eur analyst forecast

(adds details, graphic, background)

FRANKFURT, May 11 (BestGrowthStock) – Q-Cells (QCEG.DE: ), the world’s
No.4 solar cell maker, kept its 2010 outlook and joined peers in
releasing mostly better-than-expected results as demand rises
ahead of looming subsidy cuts in Germany, the world’s biggest
solar market.

The company said on Tuesday strong demand led it to keep its
outlook for a positive operating profit and sales of 1-1.2
billion euros ($1.34-1.61 billion) in 2010, chiming with
positive statements made by sector leader First Solar (FSLR.O: )
in late April. [ID:nN28163280]

After a steep fall in prices for solar cells led Q-Cells to
post a record loss of 1.4 billion euros last year, the company
— once sector leader itself — is benefiting from strong demand
in Germany ahead of subsidy cuts coming into effect in July.

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Graphic on market share changes in 2008 vs 2009:

http://graphics.thomsonreuters.com/0210/GLB_SLRSP0210.gif

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Several solar companies including Q-Cells have moved down
the value chain to get closer to end-customers who are buying
solar panels for their roofs — a strong-margin business that
also helped smaller peer Phoenix Solar (PS4G.DE: ) beat
expectations. [ID:nWEA1379]

Chinese solar wafer maker LDK Solar (LDK.N: ) late on Monday
also surprised markets by posting results above market
expectations, as demand in Germany soared. [ID:nN10201246]

After a massive slump in prices last year, investor
sentiment for the sector remains shaky. Spanish renewable energy
firm Renovalia postponed its initial public offering last week
due to volatile financial markets. [ID:nLDE6461IG]

Q-Cells, which is in the middle of a large overhaul, posted
higher-than-expected sales of 232.3 million euros and a loss
before interest and tax that beat the 16 million euro average
estimate in a Reuters poll of analysts.

For an analysis on the company’s management and turnaround
prospects double click on [ID:nLDE63S1GN]

Stock Market Research

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz)

UPDATE 1-Q-Cells Q1 EBIT tops expectations, keeps outlook