American Superconductor (AMSC) Beats, Narrows Guidance

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10:27:55 am on February 3, 2009

American Superconductor (AMSC) is up just a bit this morning after reporting a smaller loss than expected.  The company reported a loss of .18/share (matches the year ago quarter) in the quarter vs estimates of a .20/share loss on revenues that were slightly higher than expected at 41.3 million (a 27% increase over the year ago quarters).  Not exactly a great quarter but not awful either.

The company attributed the year-over-year reduction in gross margin primarily to higher than expected costs on certain long-term turnkey SVC and wind turbine design contracts, a charge for excess inventory related to PowerModule(TM) PM1000 subassemblies at one of AMSC’s subcontractors, and unfavorable foreign exchange effects.

The backlog increased significantly in the past year from 168 million at the end of 07 to 602 million at the end of last year. 

“Our two core growth drivers – the Chinese wind power market and the U.S. power grid market – remained strong through our third fiscal quarter, a trend we expect to continue for the foreseeable future,” said Greg Yurek, AMSC’s founder and chief executive officer. “Wind continues to be our growth engine; however, more than $27 million of our $46 million in third-quarter bookings were for our D-VAR(R) Smart Grid solutions. With these new orders, we now have more than $175 million out of the total of $602 million in backlog that we expect to recognize as revenue in fiscal 2009. Our backlog position for both fiscal 2009 and the following two fiscal years and the strength of our core markets position us for strong growth in fiscal 2009 and beyond.”

The company narrowed its full fiscal 2008 revenue guidance from a range of $175 – $185 million to $178 – $182 and expects an EPS loss of .40 – .42/share

“For fiscal 2009, we continue to expect that we will generate a GAAP profit on more than $225 million in revenues. While the investments we intend to make in fiscal 2009 to help achieve our long-term growth plans may limit us to earnings of a few cents per share for full fiscal 2009, profitability is our top priority,” Henry concluded.

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