March 17 (Bloomberg) -- JA Solar Holdings Co., the biggest solar cell producer, rose after reporting its first profit since the first quarter of 2011 and shipments exceeded its forecast by as much as 33 percent.
JA Solar’s American depositary receipts gained 2.1 percent to $11.66 at the close in New York. Each ADR is worth five ordinary shares.
The company earned 142.3 million yuan ($23.5 million), or 0.38 yuan a share, compared with a loss of 582 million yuan, or 3.01 yuan, a year earlier, according to a statement today. Shipments of 665.5 megawatts of panels and cells exceeded the company’s November forecast of 500 megawatts to 550 megawatts.
Booming demand for solar panels is driving sales and profits in the solar industry after a two-year slump triggered by a global oversupply. Peers including JinkoSolar Holding Co. and Trina Solar Ltd. also reported higher quarterly shipments last week after becoming profitable last year.
“JA Solar ended 2013 on a strong note, as we comfortably exceeded the high end of our shipment guidance and returned to profitability,” Chief Executive Officer Jin Baofang said in the statement. Sales increased 30 percent to 2.16 billion yuan.
Shipments of cells and panels for 2013 rose 22 percent to 2.1 gigawatts from the prior year. The company expects shipments of 2.7 gigawatts to 2.9 gigawatts this year.
To meet this growing demand, the company expects to increase production capacity to 2.8 gigawatts in the second quarter, the company said in the statement. JA Solar was the biggest supplier of solar cells by 2012 capacity, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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