Suntech Power Holdings Goes Negative

Suntech Power Holdings (NYS: STP) reported earnings on March 8. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Suntech Power Holdings beat expectations on revenues and missed expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue shrank significantly and GAAP earnings per share dropped to a loss.

Margins contracted across the board.

Revenue details
Suntech Power Holdings reported revenue of $629.0 million. The 24 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated sales of $598.1 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 33% lower than the prior-year quarter's $945.1 million.

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Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
EPS came in at -$0.76. The 18 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated -$0.31 per share. GAAP EPS was -$0.76 for Q4 compared to $1.82 per share for the prior-year quarter.

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Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 9.9%, 630 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was -8.3%, 1,600 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was -21.8%, 5,970 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $511.8 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is -$0.29.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $2.41 billion. The average EPS estimate is -$0.78.

Investor sentiment

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Suntech Power Holdings is underperform, with an average price target of $3.40.

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