NEW YORK (AP) -- JA Solar Holdings Co. said Tuesday it turned a profit in the most recent quarter, helped by a pick up in demand for solar cells raised shipments to record levels.
The China-based maker of solar cells shipped 177 megawatts of solar cells in the third quarter -- the highest quarterly shipments in the company's history -- up 78.8 percent over levels from the same period last year.
"We also gained significant market share during the quarter and made further progress diversifying our customer base," said Baofang Jin, CEO.
Earnings for the three months ended Sept. 30 rose to 106.8 million renminbi ($15.7 million), or 0.66 renminbi (10 cents) per American Depository Share, compared with a loss of 142.8 million Renminbi, or 2.47 renminbi per ADS, during the same period last year. The loss in the 2008 quarter was driven by hefty nonrecurring losses tied to Lehman Brothers' bankruptcy filing.
Analysts expected a profit of 3 cents per share, according to a Thomson Reuters survey.
Revenue declined 38 percent to 1.32 billion renminbi ($193.3 million) from 2.12 billion renminbi last year. Analysts forecast revenue of $136.2 million.
Prices in the solar industry have been sluggish amid tumbling prices for polysilicon, a key ingredient used in the making of solar cells.
Looking ahead, JA Solar predicted full-year shipments in a range between 448 megawatts and 478 megawatts.
"As demand for solar products has improved significantly across multiple geographies, we are seeing robust demand from our customers with improved visibility," Jin said.
JA Solar also announced the resignation of its Chief Technology Officer Qingtang Jian effective Friday. The company said it has identified qualified candidates for the position and will announce a successor when the appointment is made.
U.S.-listed shares of JA Solar rose 24 cents, or 5.8 percent to $4.36 in premarket trading. The stock has ranged from $1.55 to $6.29 over the past year.