Polysilicon sales at GT Advanced Technologies hold up weak Q1

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GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT) reported revenue down 44% in the first quarter of 2013.

Revenue of US$57.8 million, which polysilicon equipment sales accounted for US$38.0 million, was the highlight of the quarter. GTAT was able to sell DSS furnace equipment from stock at a heavy discount, bringing sales of US$4.4 million from its PV segment. GTAT previously announced the exit from the PV ingot furnace sector in December 2012.

Management noted in a conference call last week to discuss quarterly results that it also booked further DSS furnace orders from an unidentified leading PV manufacturer based in China. The order was said to be worth approximately US$9 million. Management noted that a further order valued at US$4 million had been secured for DSS systems from an unidentified customer in Taiwan.

The successful clearing of DSS inventory would mean PV segment sales would account for approximately 4% of 2013 revenue, up from previous guidance of only 1%. However, GTAT reiterated full-year revenue guidance remained in a wide window of between US$500 to US$600 million, due to sales volatility in segments served outside polysilicon.

Management noted that polysilicon order backlog was primarily constituted orders from ‘top-tier customers,’ and the US$491 million segment backlog provided good business through 2015.

The company reported and order backlog of US$851 million at the end of the first quarter, which included US$491 million of polysilicon, US$8 million of PV and US$352 million of sapphire segment orders.

Approximately 41% of 2013 revenue is expected to be generated from polysilicon segment sales, which is expected to come from deferred revenue and from and order for reactors that we expect to complete shipping by the end of the second quarter.

The recently announced polysilicon equipment order from Taiwan-based producer, Powertec for 2014 was said to be part of further business opportunities from US$300 – US$500 million.

Management also said that it had been pursuing business opportunities with a number of planned polysilicon plants in the Middle East. 

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