To the numbers
Shipments were down 10.6% for JA Solar, revenue was down 21.4%, and the company barely squeaked out a positive gross margin of 0.5%. That's not good, but when compared to other companies at the bottom of the solar food chain it doesn't look too bad.
|Shipments (sequentially)||Revenue (sequentially)||Gross margins||Net (in millions)|
Source: Company earnings reports.
JA Solar is kind of in no man's land, stuck between top-tier suppliers in China and third-tier suppliers like JinkoSolar, Hanwha SolarOne, and Renesola. That may not be a bad thing, if the company can continue to turn out higher-efficiency panels and cut costs. In fact, of these four, I give JA Solar the best chance at recovering and becoming a long-term solar player.
Where JA Solar does have an advantage, even over the much larger Suntech Power
I'm not ready to vault JA Solar into the ranks of the top Chinese solar manufacturers yet, but the company is making progress compared to some competitors. If that continues for the next quarter or two and we see the consolidation everyone is predicting, this could become a stock worth looking at again.
Fool contributor Travis Hoium does not have a position in any company mentioned. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw.
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