Spire shipping first blue light enhanced sun simulators in Q4

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PV equipment supplier Spire Corporation is shipping the first of its 'Spi-Sun Simulator 5600SLP' units, which uses enhanced blue light technology required for advanced solar cell/module performance measurement.

Spire said it had at least one of the new sun simulators, its core product line shipped in the third quarter of 2012, while further shipments were expected in the fourth quarter to customers in China.

The company revealed in its Q3 2012 SEC financial filing that it had deferred cost of goods sold of US$94,000, which related to equipment shipped but revenue not recognised. Spire also had US$2.3 million allocated to work in progress (WIP) and finished goods valued at US$1.2 million at the end of Q3.

Financial results

Echoing other equipment supplier’s plight of drastically reduced order flow, Spire posted Q3 2012 revenue of only US$4.2 million, representing a 48% reduction from $8.2 million for the same quarter of 2011.

On a nine month basis, sales declined 61% to US$13.2 million, compared to US$33.6 million in the same period of 2011. The company said in SEC filings that the declines were due to completed delivery commitments to a solar cell materials contract in the first quarter of 2011, while a decrease in solar module equipment revenue in 2012 was behind the revenue decline in 2012. Apparently, this was only partially offset by an increase in solar R&D related revenue of US$1.1 million in 2012.

The company posted a net loss in Q3 2012 of US$2.3 million, compared to a net loss of US$1.8 million in Q3 2011.

Roger Little, Chairman and CEO of Spire Corporation, said: “The solar industry continued to experience a slowdown in manufacturing expansion driven by worldwide overcapacity as originally projected for the current fiscal year. The company has developed several plans including cost containment efforts and potential strategic alternatives to offset the decline in business due to these global economic conditions.”

The company did not provide guidance for the fourth quarter or provide full-year guidance in a statement regarding Q3 2012 results.

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