MorningStar Updates Star Rating on JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. (ADR)(NASDAQ:JASO) A Close Look

Equity Analyst Stephen Simko, CFA of Investment Research Firm MorningStar issued a research report and updated their star rating on JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. (ADR)(NASDAQ:JASO) On September 30.

According to the report ”With production costs quickly approaching $0.50 per watt including shipping, warranty costs, outsourcing costs, and stock comp, which the company does not count in its own figures) JA Solar is presently near the forefront of solar. Still, JA Solar and the other leading Chinese firms face a serious challenge in pushing costs down further from current levels, as they are nearing the limitations of traditional crystalline silicon, or c-si, technology. We believe that pushing total module costs much below $0.50 per watt during the next few years with today’s technology will prove difficult without major technological or manufacturing advancements.”

JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. (ADR)(NASDAQ:JASO) is the world’s largest solar cell producer[citation needed]. They design, develop, manufacture and sell solar cell and solar module products[3] and are based in the People’s Republic of China. The Company is also engaged in the manufacturing and sales of monocrystalline and multicrystalline solar cells. It sells its products primarily through a team of sales and marketing personnel to solar module manufacturers, who assemble and integrate its solar cells into modules and systems that convert sunlight into electricity. It also manufactures a variety of standard and specialty solar modules. JA Solar Holdings also sells its products to customers in Germany, Sweden, Spain, South Korea, and the United States.

The report continues ”This might seem difficult to believe; after all, leading solar module production costs were above $1.25 per watt just four years ago. But little of this substantial cost reduction was from process/manufacturing/technology improvements. The majority was due to the collapse in polysilicon prices and module companies leaning on their supply chains to cut their pricing. These latter types of cost reductions have both clearly run out of steam: current poly prices are below the cash costs of marginal producers, and the solar module supply chain isn’t very profitable.

Recently JASO said its standard 60-cell double-glass modules successfully passed all the reliability tests required by IEC61215 and IEC61730 standards and obtained at TUV SUD certifications, as well as the launch of mass production of the double-glass modules for global market.

As the installation of solar electricity generation grows at an unprecedented pace world-widely and the performance of PV products gets improved steadily, the demand for PV modules of high quality and reliability that can operate in the harsh environment without rapid degradation has greatly increased. To meet the demand, JA Solar has successfully completed the development of double-glass PV modules and started mass producing the modules from the beginning of August 2015.

On September 9 JASO announced the availability of a new line of easy-to-install Spice frame solar modules. JA Solar modules with Spice frames install faster than ordinary modules with fewer parts, saving rooftop installers time and money on every job.

The Spice version of JA Solar modules utilize 60 cell laminates and a heavy-duty, extruded, aluminum frame. This special, Spice frame is strong enough to allow the modules to be attached directly to the roof, eliminating racking. JA-Spice Solar modules snap together in rows and columns, can handle up to 72″ attachment spans, and need only one grounding point for each array.

JA Solar Chief Technology Officer Wei Shan said “We are delighted to offer JA Solar modules with Spice frames to residential installers in the U.S. By eliminating rails and complicated fasteners, residential installers in the U.S. can dramatically reduce their parts and labor costs on every job. Installers only need to stock one system on their trucks that works on all residential roof types, both portrait and landscape orientations, and all typical wind and snow conditions in the U.S.”

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