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 fourth quarter and fiscal year ended on December 31, 2011.
Fourth quarter net sales were $14.9 million, down 11.8 percent compared to $16.9 million in the preceding quarter, and down 45.6 percent compared to $27.4 million for the same quarter a year ago. Net loss for the fourth quarter of 2011 was $2.3 million, or ($0.25) per diluted share, compared to a net loss, of $2.2 million, or ($0.23) per diluted share, in the preceding quarter and compared to a net income of $2.2 million, or $0.24 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Net sales for the year were $76.1 million, down 6.7 percent compared to $81.6 million for the year 2010. Net loss for 2011 was $2.7 million, or ($0.29) per diluted share, compared to a net income of $2.2 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, for the year 2010.
Commenting on the company’s performance, Paul J. van der Wansem, BTU chairman and CEO, said,
Based upon key customer inputs, the 2011 year started out with high expectations for continuing strong expansion of the solar cell manufacturers. During the second quarter, the first signals appeared that customers were delaying capacity expansions. It soon became clear that the solar industry started to cope with a large overcapacity. For BTU it meant that we had to significantly change our plans with a shift in business mix from alternative energy to electronics. The company took a number of steps to reduce expenses to manage the downturn in solar without withholding funding from our key development projects for solar and electronics. Our longer term expectations are for solar to return to a growth path as costs continue to decline and the need for subsidies through feed-in tariffs will become less important.”
“We expect first quarter revenues to be in the $15 million to $16 million range with continuing weakness in the solar marketplace offset in part by stronger sales to our electronics customers. Gross margins are expected to improve modestly from the fourth quarter of 2011 due to a reduction in expenses as we continue to focus on cost efficiencies across our product lines. Operating expenses for the first quarter of 2012 are expected to be essentially flat as a percentage of sales compared with the fourth quarter of 2011,” concluded van der Wansem.