GT Solar (SOLR) Destroys Analyst Estimates, Guides Higher, Shares Surging

GT Solar (SOLR) has turned in an outstanding quarter, smashing analyst estimates in the process.  The company reported an EPS of .11/share on revenues of $135 million.  That was more than double the analyst estimates for both the EPS and revenue number.  While the sequential growth isn’t there, quarter over quarter EPS growth comes in at 120% while revenue growth comes in at 88%. 

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CEO Tom Gutierrez commented on the solar industry: “This continued high level of demand and improving solar industry fundamentals provide the foundation for us to increase our expectations for the balance of the fiscal year.  We believe that there is significant potential over the next several years for market expansion within the solar sector and that, with our leading technology in both the DSS furnace and polysilicon reactor businesses, we are very well positioned to compete for future business and capitalize on these opportunities.

The company is updating its fiscal year 2011 guidance with a revenue range of $700 – $775 million and an EPS of .90 – 1.00.  The guidance is way ahead of analyst estimates as well.  Analysts expected just .64/share on revenues of $598 million.  All in all, a very impressive quarter out of SOLR.

I posted last week about SOLR’s acquisition of Crystal Systems which gets them into the LED manufacturing space.  Longer term, this may be an even more exciting opportunity  than its solar business.  CEO Gutierrez commented on the deal: “We are very excited about the growth opportunities this offers GT Solar in the rapidly expanding sapphire market.  Crystal Systems has a rich history of innovation and we believe the combination of their technical expertise with our proven global operating experience and capital resources will accelerate the adoption of new low-cost, high-quality crystalline sapphire solutions and maximize the attractive opportunities we have identified in equipment, LED, and other specialty markets.”

Shares of SOLR are soaring nearly 20% in after hours trading and may want to make a run at the 2009 highs around $9/share.

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