CATL's First Quarter Net Profit Reaches CNY 105.1 Billion, a 7% Year-on-Year Increase

Technology Author: EqualOcean News, Jiahui Liao Editor: Yiru Qian Apr 17, 2024 01:11 PM (GMT+8)

CATL released its financial report for the first quarter of 2024.


On the evening of April 15, CATL (300750:SZ) disclosed its first-quarter report for 2024. The report revealed that the company achieved an operating income of CNY 79.771 billion in the first quarter, a 10.41% year-on-year decrease. The net profit reached CNY 105.10 billion, marking a 7% year-on-year increase, surpassing analysts' expectations of CNY 100.1 billion. The non-net profit amounted to CNY 92.47 billion, an 18.56% year-on-year increase. Operating cash flow stood at CNY 283.6 billion, reflecting a 35.25% year-on-year rise, with basic earnings per share at CNY 2.39.

CATL's first-quarter battery sales volume reached approximately 95GWh, with energy storage accounting for nearly 20%. According to SNE statistics, in January and February of this year, CATL's global power battery market share was 38.4%, a 5-percentage-point increase year-on-year. According to the Power Battery Alliance data, the company's domestic power battery market share in the first quarter of this year was 48.9%, a 4-percentage-point increase year-on-year.

Regarding the decline in revenue, the company stated during the performance briefing that the year-on-year increase in battery sales volume exceeded 25%, while the decrease in revenue was mainly due to a drop in raw material costs and a corresponding decline in battery prices, with minimal changes in product structure.

Additionally, the company explained that first-quarter research and development expenses decreased by 6.71% year-on-year, mainly due to a noticeable decrease in material prices. CATL indicated that the unit gross margin in the first quarter remained relatively stable. Based on the price linkage mechanism, despite fluctuations in raw material prices over the past few quarters, the unit gross margin has remained relatively stable.

Regarding the operation of overseas factories, CATL stated that the German factory was in the ramp-up phase in 2023 and is expected to break even in 2024. The profitability of the factory is influenced by various factors such as labor costs, energy costs, and capacity utilization levels, making simple comparisons inappropriate.

In emerging application areas such as flying cars, CATL believes that battery performance is a key limiting factor for the development of flying cars, requiring high safety and energy density batteries—areas in which the company excels. For instance, the company's solid-state batteries can be used for the electrification of civil aircraft.

Regarding the supply and demand of lithium carbonate, CATL stated that lithium resources are not scarce globally, with many new projects in development. As additional production capacity is gradually released, a supply-demand reversal began last year, leading to a corresponding decline in lithium prices. The company will continue to establish a global presence in high-quality upstream resources. With the commissioning of its own mining projects, this strategy will facilitate resource supply assurance, smooth cost fluctuations, and reduce the impact of volatile resource prices on the company.

On April 15, international rating agency Moody's released a report, upgrading CATL's issuer rating from Baa1 to A3, while adjusting the rating outlook from positive to stable. Due to the net profit exceeding market expectations, two international investment banks raised CATL's target price. Morgan Stanley increased it by 4.5% to CNY 230, while Jefferies raised the target price to 245 Yuan, maintaining a buy rating.

At the time of writing, CATL's stock was priced at CNY 197.26 per share, with a total market value of CNY 867.7 billion.