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GT Solar Raises Outlook For Fiscal First Quarter; Reiterates Fiscal Year Guidance And Raises Backlog Expectations For Fiscal Year

GT Solar International, Inc. (NASDAQ: SOLR), a global provider of polysilicon production technology, and sapphire and silicon crystalline growth systems and materials for the solar, LED and other specialty markets, today announced an improved outlook for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 ending July 2, 2011, reiterated its full year fiscal 2012 guidance and revised upward its backlog outlook for fiscal 2012.

The company had previously indicated on its last earnings conference call on May 24 that it expected revenues between $140 million to $150 million, EPS fully-diluted in the range of $0.08 to $0.11 and gross margin of approximately 37% for first quarter fiscal 2012.

The company now expects first quarter fiscal 2012 revenue of approximately $225 million based on sooner than expected completion of DSS™650 upgrades in Q1, allowing for Q1 revenue recognition for certain PV orders which had been previously expected in Q2. The fully-diluted EPS for Q1 is now expected to be approximately $0.30, and gross margin for Q1 is now expected to be approximately 43% to 44%.

The company reiterated its full fiscal year 2012 guidance provided on May 24, 2011, which includes: revenue in the range of $1 billion to $1.1 billion; earnings per share of $1.55 to $1.85; gross margin between 42 to 44 percent; operating expenses between $115 million to $125 million; capital expenditures of approximately $25 million to $30 million; and an effective tax rate of approximately 33 percent.

In addition, given the significant number of orders it has received thus far in the first quarter of fiscal 2012, the company now expects its backlog at the end of fiscal 2012 to be at least $1.6 billion. Previously, it had estimated its backlog would be above $1 billion at the end of fiscal 2012.

Sapphire Business Conference Call, Webcast

As previously announced, the company will host a live conference call tomorrow morning, Tuesday, June 14, 2011, at 8:00 am ET to discuss the sapphire business in more detail.

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