Will JinkoSolar Outshine Trina Solar and Yingli Green Energy?

JinkoSolar Holding (NYSE: JKS  ) will release its quarterly report on Monday, and the Chinese solar company has made a spectacular rebound in recent months. But even as the solar industry in China starts to get on stronger footing, JinkoSolar still has to make sure it stays ahead of rivals Trina Solar (NYSE: TSL  ) and Yingli Green Energy (NYSE: YGE  ) , in order to be a long-term survivor in the space.

JinkoSolar has gone through an extremely rough period for Chinese solar companies, as extremely low margins jeopardized the entire industry. Thanks to massive investment programs from the Chinese government and recovering demand in foreign markets like Japan, though, many solar players in China have bounced back from their worst levels. In the ensuing race back to viability, will JinkoSolar make it to the finish line? Let's take an early look at what's been happening with JinkoSolar Holding over the past quarter, and what we're likely to see in its report.

Stats on JinkoSolar

Analyst EPS Estimate

$0.45

Year-Ago EPS

($0.39)

Revenue Estimate

$302.22 million

Change From Year-Ago Revenue

37%

Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters

3

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Can JinkoSolar earnings stay positive?
Analysts have gotten a lot more positive about the near-term prospects for JinkoSolar earnings lately, boosting third-quarter estimates by $0.10 per share, and quintupling full-year earnings projections. The stock has soared, climbing more than 105% since mid-August.

JinkoSolar brought strong momentum into the quarter, with its second-quarter results showing a nearly 45% rise in solar-module shipments that helped boost revenue by 52%. JinkoSolar said it benefited from a rush among European buyers to avoid threatened tariffs, but that even with a trade agreement in place, the company expects a jump in full-year module shipments of 200 to 300 megawatts. Those results put JinkoSolar in an enviably profitable position compared to Trina Solar and Yingli Green Energy, both of which had suffered losses.

JinkoSolar's healthy financials have given it the ability to look for potential new markets. Last month, the company said it would work with a U.K.-based solar utility-project developer to provide panels for a new solar farm in England. Yet, JinkoSolar has also avoided the trap of relying too much on Europe, as doing so has hurt Trina's and Yingli's margins, and arguably kept them from reaching profitability. JinkoSolar received certification from a key Japanese solar player, and its presence in the high-margin Japanese market could help boost its business there even further, as well.

The key to JinkoSolar's continued success is to make sure it never has to deal with the debt woes that some of its competitors face. Yingli Green Energy has nearly $3 billion in debt, and with fellow Chinese peers Suntech Power and LDK Solar missing debt payments at various times this year, prospects for heavily indebted Chinese solar companies look grim. Trina, meanwhile, has done a good job of paying down debt, and could become profitable in the near future.

In the JinkoSolar earnings report, make sure to see if the company can keep boosting its profits and take a more commanding lead in the Chinese solar industry. In a nation of winners and losers, JinkoSolar looks poised to rise to the top of the list of solar companies in China.

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