MEMC Electronic Materials (WFR) Misses, Offers No Guidance, Shares Hold Steady

MEMC Electronic Materials (WFR) reported mixed results last night with a non GAAP EPS loss a bit wider than expected at .09 vs the analyst estimate for a .06/share loss, but on better than expected revenues of  $772 million (down 19% over the year ago quarter).  Shares were likely trading up pre-market because the non-GAAP loss wasn’t quite as severe as the company has expected about a month ago.

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The company continues to struggle with its semiconductor and solar wafer business, led by a steep decline in its solar wafer revenue due to continued weak pricing.  The company was salvaged in the quarter with strength in its SunEdison division which was up 32% over last year and 33% sequentially.

Here are a few highlights of comments made by CEO Ahmad Chatila..

– prolonged and severe solar market dislocation
– solar connections doubled in 2011, sees strong growth in 2012
– uncertainty regarding FIT’s and credit markets in Europe remain a challenge

Due to uncertainty in the semiconductor and solar markets the company has not provided guidance, but is providing a general outlook.   They see revenues decreasing 10 – 15% this quarter over last quarter, but orders picking up in Q2.  For the full year, the see revenues picking up in the 2nd half.

Technically, it still appears that the worst is out of the way for shares of WFR.  Even today, with this poor report (missing on EPS, big restructure charge and no specific guidance), shares were up pre-market and holding flat now.  The key is support of that 50 day moving average right around the $4.50 level.  It’s important that the level hold in the coming days or there is considerable risk of the stock retesting the lows.  I do think this is a company that is compelling down here with the big restructuring charge out of the way, but I’d be patient and see how it trades over the next couple weeks.



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