Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of solar manufacturer JA Solar (NASDAQ: JASO) jumped as much as 21% today after reporting earnings. They settled at a 5% gain in mid-day trading.
So what: In the fourth quarter, JA Solar shipped 665.5 MW of solar products, up 33% from the third quarter and beating its own guidance of 550.0 MW. Revenue was up 23% over the same time frame to $357.3 million, gross margin was 15.5%, and net income was $23.0 million, or $0.32 per share.
Now what: China and Japan continued to be a vast majority of sales, which should continue in 2014 because these are two growth markets for solar right now. Management also said it will increase cell and module manufacturing capacity to 2.8 GW per year, which should increase sales and margins in the back half of the year. The profit may not look big but it's significant, especially when you consider the potential to improve the balance sheet in the future. This is one of the better stocks in Chinese solar and investors should expect continued improvement in 2014.