GT Solar (SOLR) Smashed Estimates, Raised Guidance, Shares Steady

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09:40:36 pm on February 16, 2011

(Please note, I missed this report, so reporting late) GT Solar (SOLR) reported strong earnings after the bell several days ago, beating analyst estimates by a wide margin in the process.  The company reported an EPS number of .46/share on revenues of $262.9 million (vs the analyst estimate for .34/share on revenues of $222.7 million).  That’s good for EPS and revenue growth of 84% and 51% respectively.

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CEO Tom Gutierrez commented on the new sapphire business for LED production: “The integration of our recently acquired sapphire business is nearly complete and our confidence remains high that this business will meet or exceed our expectations,” continued Gutierrez. “In Q3 we booked our first two sapphire furnace orders totaling more than $84 million with affiliates of two of our Chinese solar customers. And, after the close of the quarter, we announced our third sapphire furnace order for an additional $33 million with our customer OCI in Korea.

“Our first generation 85kg Advanced Sapphire Furnace (ASF) has been well received and we are currently in discussions with customers regarding availability of the enhanced ASF100, which we expect will be available for delivery during the third quarter of this calendar year. The ASF100 will increase output to 100Kg per cycle and provide an enhanced form factor that will further increase productivity.

The company is also raising guidance for fiscal year 2011, upping  the revenue range from $775 – $850 million to $835 – $860 million (analyst estimate $850 million).  The EPS estimate is raised as well from $1.08 – $1.18 to $1.15 – $1.19 (analysts predict $1.18).  In addition, the company is providing preliminary guidance for fiscal year 2012 and sees revenues between $850 million and $1 billion.  EPS is expected to come in around $1.35 – $1.50.

All in all, another great quarter out of GT Solar, keeping shares near the highs. 

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