Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd., the world’s biggest battery maker, posted third-quarter net income and revenue that missed estimates as a slight cooling of demand for electric vehicles on its doorstep, a price war and rising competition in China eroded earnings.
(Bloomberg) — Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd., the world’s biggest battery maker, posted third-quarter net income and revenue that missed estimates as a slight cooling of demand for electric vehicles on its doorstep, a price war and rising competition in China eroded earnings.
Net income rose 10% from a year earlier to 10.4 billion yuan ($1.4 billion) in the three months through September, CATL said in a filing Thursday, well below analyst estimates of 13.02 billion yuan. Revenue increased 8.2% to 105.4 billion yuan, marking the slowest rate of top-line growth in three years, versus the 110.68 billion yuan average projection from four analysts.
Read More: How China Left the World Far Behind in the Battery Race
CATL, which supplies the likes of Tesla Inc., Volkswagen AG and Hyundai Motor Co., dominates the global battery market, with a 37% share at the end of August, according to Seoul-based SNE Research. But in the Chinese market, CATL’s share slipped to a 17-month low as its rivals muscled in — offering an indication of the difficulties around the cell maker’s third quarter.
The Chinese price of lithium carbonate, a refined form of the metal used in EV batteries, has tumbled about 70% from a November 2022 peak, helping CATL on a critical cost component.
CATL’s broad range of customers helps spread risks of sales slowdowns or other disruptions in certain markets, with international revenues accounting for more than one-third of sales. Though its top customer Tesla Inc. on Thursday reported weaker-than-expected earnings and sales that missed estimates.
One of its highest-profile production deals, a proposed $3.5 billion plant in Michigan to be run by Ford Motor Co. with CATL’s technology, is under scrutiny due to the company’s Chinese roots, and construction has paused. The situation is further complicated by a union labor dispute at automakers in the US.
CATL shares fell about 2% in Shenzhen on Thursday, closing at the lowest since April 2021.
CATL doesn’t just make cells for cars. Energy storage is its fastest-growing business segment, contributing 15% of revenue in the first half of the year, while EV batteries accounted for 74% of revenue.
Technologies unveiled by CATL in recent years include its lithium-iron-phosphate batteries, while it also produces cells that use cheaper raw materials like sodium, and batteries potentially powerful enough to power electric aircraft. The company’s latest creation is a super-fast charging battery.
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