GT Solar sales increase as customer wafer production expansions continue

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Sales of DSS crystalline growth systems dominated sales in GT Solar’s most recent quarterly earnings. DSS furnace shipments were at record levels, with more than 480 units shipped in the quarter. Significant expansion of wafer capacity, primarily in Asia, fueled revenue 15% higher than its second financial quarter. Revenue reached US$262.9 million, compared to US$229.3 million in the previous quarter – a new record for the company.

“We are very pleased with the performance of our business this quarter,” said Tom Gutierrez, president and chief executive officer. “Revenue was at a record level for the second consecutive quarter, bookings were healthy, DSS furnace shipments were also at record levels, with more than 480 units, gross margins were above our new long-term target of 40 to 42%, and our cash position continues to provide the company with significant strategic flexibility.”

Order backlog was US$1.23 billion, with US$601.2 million in the polysilicon segment, US$529.1 million in the PV segment and US$96.2 million in the sapphire segment. Included in the total backlog was US$388.1 million of deferred revenue.

New orders for the quarter were reported to be US$330.7 million, which included US$73.9 million in polysilicon, US$167.9 million in PV and US$88.9 million for sapphire. GT Solar noted that it expected US$794 million to roll off the backlog over the next 12 months.

The company raised its fiscal year 2011 guidance for revenue to within the range of US$835 million to US$860 million, up from the previously provided range of US$775 million to US$850 million.

GT Solar provided a preliminary outlook for its fiscal year 2012, which ends on March 31, 2012. For FY 2012, the company expects revenue in the range of US$850 million to US$1 billion, and gross margins of 40 to 42%. 

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