JA Solar hits up to 500MW in Q4

China’s JA Solar says its fourth-quarter PV shipments hit 480MW-500MW, far exceeding its prior guidance of 380MW-420MW, in an indication that the imminent solar earnings season may hold some pleasant surprises for the embattled sector.

The upgrade means JA now expects to have notched up full-year shipments of 1.68GW-1.7GW, compared to its previous guidance of 1.55GW-1.65GW.

JA’s stronger-than-anticipated shipments mean it stands a good chance of cracking into the list of the world’s top 10 module suppliers, having diversified aggressively over the past few years from its former incarnation as a pure-play cell maker.

In January JA replaced its chief executive Peng Fang – brought on in 2010 to help with that transition – with chairman Jin Baofang, amid a sweeping cull of chief executives across the Chinese PV space.

JA beat its shipment guidance for third-quarter 2012 widely as well, yet still swallowed an operating loss of 631.3m ($101.2m).

Its New York-listed shares have rallied strongly since late 2012, but remain down 44% over the past 12 months – significantly worse than peers like Yingli or JinkoSolar.

In December JA completed a 40MW order from China Three Gorges New Energy. However, earlier today CTG-NE turned to JA rival JinkoSolar for a 600MW order slated for delivery over the next two years.