BTU International, Inc. (Nasdaq: BTUI), a leading supplier of advanced thermal processing equipment to the alternative energy and electronics manufacturing markets, today announced its financial results for the first quarter ended on April 3, 2011.
First quarter net sales were $25.4 million, down 7 percent compared to $27.4 million in the preceding quarter, and up 48 percent compared to $17.2 million for the same quarter a year ago. Net income for the first quarter of 2011 was $ 1.8 million, or a net income of $0.19 per diluted share, compared to a net income of $2.2 million, or a net income of $0.24 per diluted share, in the preceding quarter, and compared to a net loss of $0.3 million, or a net loss of $0.03 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2010.
Commenting on the company’s performance, Paul J. van der Wansem, BTU chairman and CEO, said, “We are pleased with our performance in the first quarter of 2011. Net sales of $25.4 million, in line with our guidance, translated into a bottom line, which was significantly better than street expectations. Sales reflected solid contributions from our alternative energy business, which delivered the majority of our major systems revenue for the first quarter. Gross margins and profit before tax also improved as a percentage of sales over the previous quarter, driven by strong factory utilization in our U.S. and China locations and modestly lower operating expenses.”
“The solar industry is presently going through what we believe to be a short-term cycle. The industry is absorbing a significant amount of capacity additions, coupled with uncertainty about feed-in tariffs in Europe. We believe that inventory levels are higher than expected leading to price pressure for solar panels. Accordingly, we have lowered our short term expectations for the rate of capacity expansion in silicon based solar cells. We remain bullish on the medium and long term outlook.