May 30, 2012 / 11:33 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 2-Yingli Green Energy posts loss; shares firm

* Q1 net loss 29 cents/share vs profit 35 cents a year ago

* Revenue off 5 pct to $500 mln

* Shares up 1.4 pct in premarket trading

May 30 (Reuters) - Yingli Green Energy Holding Co, one of China’s largest solar equipment makers, posted a quarterly loss on Wednesday even as strong demand in Germany and the United States lifted solar module shipments.

Steep declines in the price of solar cells and panels since early 2011 have eroded profits across the industry, forcing dozens of solar manufacturers in Asia, Europe and the United States to shut their doors.

Yingli’s net loss for the first quarter was $45 million, or 29 cents per American depositary share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $56.2 million, or 35 cents per share.

The company said it had taken charges of $13.7 million for provisions for new U.S. trade duties and $3.4 million to write down inventories.

Revenue fell 5 percent to $500 million.

Shipments of solar modules rose 44 percent from the fourth quarter, with 80 percent of shipments going to the German and U.S. markets, the company said.

But Chinese sales were soft, largely because of weak seasonal demand, the company said. Demand will rise in the second and third quarter and likely contribute 30 percent of Yingli’s revenues for 2012, it said.

Yingli, like many other Chinese solar makers, is expected to face U.S. import duties totalling nearly 35 percent after two rulings from the U.S. Commerce Department this year.

Its smaller rival Hanwha SolarOne on Wednesday posted a quarterly loss of $48.2 million, or 51 cents per ADS, hurt by a 53 percent drop in its average selling prices over the past year.

SolarOne, whose shipments fell 35 percent to 160.7 megawatts, said it received a $180 million loan in April secured by its parent company, Hanwha Chemical Corp.

Last week, Trina Solar Ltd <TSL.N and Suntech Power Holdings both posted steeper-than-expected quarterly losses.

Shares of Yingli rose 1.4 percent to $2.80 in premarket trading.

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