Suntech Power Holdings
Shipments were down 3% sequentially, and with falling solar prices, it's no surprise revenue fell 7.2% to $877.0 million. But gross margins increased 2.8% sequentially to 19% because of continued vertical integration at the solar giant. That puts margins ahead of competitors JA Solar
The increased margins are from Suntech's acquisitions of silicon ingot and wafer capacity, which are now fully integrated into operations. One GW of wafer capacity is now available in-house and 1.2 GW should be complete by the end of the year.
Solar leaders First Solar
This just in
Hot off the press, Suntech has signed a deal with solarhybrid AG, a solar project developer, to supply 190 MW of solar panels to the company in 2011. Most of the demand will come from Germany and a small amount will be sent to Italy and Slovakia. This is nearly 9% of Suntech's projected production for 2011, so this is a major deal for the company.
Foolish bottom line
With other solar manufacturers mostly moving backward this quarter, it is good to see Suntech's strategy playing out as planned. The company will still be under pressure along with the rest of the industry to keep cutting costs, but at least the company is moving in the right direction.
Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of First Solar. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.