CIGS solar technology bright spot in Veeco’s 1Q09 results

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Not immune from the current slowdown in semiconductor and related industries equipment spending caused by the current economic downturn, Veeco Instruments reported sales for the first quarter of 2009 at US$62.8 million, compared to US$102.3 million in the first quarter of 2008. The company showed a loss of US$20.9 million, while operating cost reduction initiatives in place since the third quarter have resulted in a 20% decrease in expenses. LED and solar orders were US$28 million, down 26% from the first quarter of last year and 35% sequentially, according to the company.

“While we remain extremely cautious about business conditions, we see early signs of improvement going forward,” commented John R. Peeler, Veeco’s Chief Executive Officer. “These include improved equipment utilization rates, increased quoting activity across our three businesses and no significant additional push-outs. We currently believe that second-quarter orders will improve from the trough levels we experienced in the first quarter.”

The bright spot for Veeco was its sales of equipment for copper-indium-gallium-(di)selenide (CIGS) thin-film PV production.

Peeler noted: “One bright spot in Veeco’s first-quarter order rate is that we continue to build our solar business even in this difficult time: we booked a large, multisystem order from a Korean company entering the CIGS solar market, as well as orders for thermal sources from several leading European CIGS manufacturers.”

Veeco’s second-quarter 2009 revenues are forecasted to be between US$60-$70 million.

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