GT Advanced Technologies remains buoyant over shift to technology buy cycle

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email

GT Advanced Technologies issued revenue results ahead of guidance for its second quarter (FY) results. The company posted US$217.7 million in revenue, compared to US$231.1 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2012. Revenue by business segment was led by photovoltaic with revenue of US$111.2 million, due to large number project completions in the quarter. However, GTAT noted that it cancelled several customer orders and experienced shipment push-outs, while citing weaker than expected demand that would impact annual revenue guidance and backlog.

“On the PV side of the business, the industry downturn is more severe than most expected and as a result we now expect to see additional push outs of PV deliveries into FY13,” noted Tom Gutierrez, president and chief executive officer. “Although we believe our sapphire and polysilicon equipment revenues will strengthen this fiscal year and that we will maintain our leading PV market share, we are adjusting our guidance range to reflect conditions in the PV industry.”

However, GTAT isn’t dependent on PV alone, unlike others in the field, noted Finlay Colville, Senior Analyst with Solarbuzz to PV-Tech.

“GTAT remains well positioned to weather the near-term collapse of the c-Si ingot-to-module capacity freeze. Aside from having an emerging revenue stream within an adjacent market segment [Sapphire], GTAT benefits from a tier 1 customer-base in solar that includes both polysilicon and ingot manufacturers. This is a key feature today, as equipment supply to polysilicon operates on significantly different investment cycles [book-to-bill trends] compared to ingot/wafer and cell/module expansions,” Colville said.

GTAT revised annual revenue down 5% (US$50 million), compared to previous guidance. Fiscal 2012 guidance for revenue is now in the range of US$950 million to US$1.05 billion. The company maintained its gross margin guidance range of 43% to 45%.

Gross profit for the first six months of fiscal 2012 was US$208.5 million or 46.5% of revenue, compared to US$139.0 million or 38.2% of revenue for the first six months of fiscal 2011.

‘MonoCast’ is coming

Gutierrez noted in the call that the PV segment sales wouldn’t recover until the second-half of the year, driven by new innovations in cell efficiencies, which will be driven by a significant move led by GTAT to ‘MonoCast’ (quasi-mono) technology.

He highlighted that GTAT’s monocast technology was producing high-yields, unlike others that have been developing quasi-mono casting techniques. Gutierrez said that GTAT would be offering field upgrades to its installed-base of DSS furnaces to help move the PV industry to the monocast technology.

‘HiCz’ is coming

Having recently acquired Confluence Solar, a developer of ‘HiCz’, a continuously-fed Czochralski (CCz) growth technology for US$60 million, Gutierrez noted that the company had received strong interest for this lower-cost Czochralski method, especially from well-known European-based PV manufacturers. Gutierrez said that he expected the order ramp to start mid-year, 2012.
Critical polysilicon costs v prices

GTAT reported polysilicon segment revenue of US$98.0 million in the quarter, however the as the price for polysilicon continues to fall and is in the low US$30/kg range today, Gutierrez said that the company was expecting big orders to be placed for its polysilicon equipment and services offerings over the next 6-months.

This was being fuelled by the need to reduce production costs after many polysilcion producers were starting to sell product at or near cash cost.

With the drive to higher purity polysilicon, needed for high-efficiency solar cells, customers such as OCI were migrating to GTAT’s Gen 5 SDR technology and that this trend would continue. GTAT had over US$564 million of polysilicon orders booked so far in FY2012. New orders for the second quarter were US$65.4 million and included US$51.0 million of polysilicon orders

Backlog

GTAT reported its order backlog had decreased to US$2.1 billion at the end of the quarter, down from US$2.3 billion. However, with a strong revenue quarter expected in FYQ4 due to significant shipments and reconciliation of polysilicon projects the backlog was in overall good health.

“The sharp decline in DSS furnace new order intake during CY Q3’11 was largely in line with expectations, consistent with the lack of new capacity being committed to for CY 2012. While this downturn alone will have a profound impact on the solar specific backlog of competitors that have been over-dependent on midstream PV investments in the past, GTAT’s solar backlog remains strong owing to its polysilicon supply. During 2012, almost all other PV equipment suppliers will start the year with heavily depleted backlogs awaiting an upturn in midstream order intake,” added Colville.
 

19 July 2022
As New South Wales is gearing up to become a renewable energy superpower, an exciting clean energy event is coming to Sydney. Energy Next is a free-to-attend industry event focusing on the latest renewable energy and energy management technologies, which will be held from 19-20 July 2022 at the ICC Sydney in Darling Harbour. Organised by the same people behind the country’s largest clean energy event, All-Energy Australia, Energy Next will bring a quality exhibition and technical session series to NSW. Energy Next will also host the Clean Energy Council’s Solar Masterclass with a program developed for solar designers and installers. Across two days, Energy Next will provide an extensive exhibition, workshops and networking opportunities for those working in the renewable energy industry to meet with leading suppliers, discover the latest technologies and gain an understanding of how to successfully launch new clean energy projects.
21 July 2022
The rooftop solar PV market is set for significant growth, but installers are being held back by complicated design software that is slow, cumbersome and fails to take into account rooftop shading, module compatibility and energy storage. Huawei’s SmartDesign 2.0 is a web-based PV and energy storage system tool that promises to solve all of those issues, and much more. This webinar will provide a live demonstration of the SmartDeisgn 2.0 tool, showing how installers can quickly complete Huawei PV & ESS system designs and assemble a professional report with 3D site view for potential customers, streamlining the design and sales service.
23 August 2022
Intersolar South America, South America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry, takes place at the Expo Center Norte in São Paulo, Brazil, on August 23–25, 2022, and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. At the accompanying Intersolar South America Conference, renowned experts shed light on hot topics in the solar industry. In 2021 – despite the Covid-19 pandemic – Intersolar South America welcomed more than 28,000 visitors and over 1,000 conference attendees over 3 days. 200+ providers showcased their products. Combining local and international expertise, Intersolar South America brings together the PV and solar thermal sector to discuss the current status and strategic trends for Latin American PV markets, as well as technology innovations and new business opportunities. Overall, distributed generation is still driving momentum in the Brazilian market.
6 September 2022
Intersolar Mexico sits at the cross-section of photovoltaics, solar heating & cooling technologies, and energy storage. The event serves as the industry’s go-to source for invaluable technology trends and premier B2B contacts in the promising Mexican solar market. From September 6–8, 2022 Intersolar Mexico together with the co-located The GREEN Expo® and Aquatech Mexico will take place in Centro Citibanamex, Mexico City.
19 September 2022
RE+ 2022 is the umbrella event that includes SPI, ESI, RE+ Power, and RE+ Infrastructure. As North America's largest renewable energy event, it's a catalyst for industry innovation that's supercharging business growth in the clean energy economy.
20 September 2022
From source to generation, from grid to consumer, the boundaries of the sector are blurring and this evolution is being shaped by established players, external disruptors, innovative start-ups and the increasingly engaged end-user. Enlit Asia is the unifying brand for POWERGEN Asia and Asian Utility Week, showcases expert knowledge, innovative solutions and foresight from industry leaders, coherent with Asian strategy to achieve a smooth transition towards a low carbon energy supply. This year, Enlit Asia will be co-located with Sustainable Energy Technology Asia (SETA) & Solar & Storage Asia (SSA).

Read Next

July 1, 2022
Hanwha Qcells’ power plant division Q ENERGY Europe has teamed up with newly rebranded Q ENERGY France to establish umbrella company Q ENERGY Solutions SE as it seeks to deepen its ties to the European market where it has a 12GW development portfolio.
July 1, 2022
The US Supreme Court has restricted the federal government’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants in a ruling that critics have warned will hit renewables deployment and hobble the Biden administration’s climate agenda.
July 1, 2022
Off-grid pay-as-you-go solar provider Bboxx has partnered with telecommunications company Orange to launch a new solar mini-grid project to help accelerate clean energy access for households across the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
PV Tech Premium
July 1, 2022
PV Tech Premium spoke with Cypress Creek Renewable Energy and AES Clean Energy to discuss the newly formed US Solar Buyer Consortium, its objectives, market challenges and the potential advantages it holds for US manufacturing and project development.
July 1, 2022
Energy management software company Cleartrace has secured US$20 million in a financing round to accelerate the growth of its platform.
June 30, 2022
Investor CleanCapital has acquired renewable energy developer BQ Energy, adding 300MW of late-stage solar development to its pipeline.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
October 4, 2022
New York, USA
Solar Media Events
October 11, 2022
Virtual event