Downgrading exposes Vestas’ confidence crisis

New unrest is not exactly what Vestas needs. Therefore the sudden downgrading causes new worries. Delayed commissioning of a new generator factory may be a long and costly business.

Vestas announced late Sunday evening that problems because of a delayed commissioning of a new generator in Germany compells it to downgrade its expectations for the year’s revenue by EUR 600 million to EUR 6.4 billion. This reduces the EBIT margin from 7 per cent to 4 per cent.

CEO Ditlev Engel promises that the postponed production will be carried out and completed during 2012 and regrets the delays.

This news is certainly not what Vestas needed to tell, share analyst Michael Friis Jørgensen at Alm. Brand Markets said.

 “This is a very week signal. I do not see that the factory problems will only cause a delay of a couple of months. One never knows how long time this kind of thing will take. If Vestas had wanted to present a strong signal, the company would also have announced its expectations for 2012,” he told Børsen.

 “In the general picture, this does not mean all that much, but for the investors this is enormously important. The Vestas pessi
 mists will focus on the fact that the annual expectations will not be met, and this will weaken Ditlev Engel’s credibility further in relation to the investors,” senior share analyst Jacob Pedersen at Sydbank said.

 It had been expected that Vestas would deliver a big loss for the third quarter of the financial year. The result was a loss after tax of EUR 60 million, while cash flow from operating activities amounted to EUR 400 million.

 “Third quarter looks bad but is affected by one-off items. The positive factor is the cash flow which is expected to remain positive this year,” said Michael Friis Jørgensen.

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