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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 1, 2012.
First quarter net sales were $16.3 million, up 9.4 percent compared to $14.9 million in the preceding quarter, and down 35.8 percent compared to $25.4 million for the same quarter a year ago. Net loss for the first quarter of 2012 was $2 million, or ($0.21) per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $2.3 million, or ($0.25) per diluted share, in the preceding quarter, and compared to a net income of $1.8 million, or $0.19 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2011.
Commenting on the company’s performance, Paul J. van der Wansem, BTU chairman and CEO, said, “Our electronics business contributed strongly to our revenue improvement from the fourth quarter 2011. On the other hand the worldwide solar industry continues to be in overcapacity with capital investments at a very low level. As during past downturns, the company is taking additional steps to manage the decline in the solar business through further expense reductions which will yield benefits in the third quarter. We are maintaining our focus on selected development projects for both solar and electronics and are working with key solar manufacturers to demonstrate ways in which our technologies can further reduce their manufacturing cost per watt.”
“We expect further weakness for solar equipment orders, in part offset by strong sales to our electronics customers, resulting in second quarter revenues in the $14 to $15 million range. Gross margins and operating expenses are expected to be essentially flat compared with the first quarter of 2012. In spite of the current condition of the solar industry, we expect that capital investment in solar equipment will return to a growth path as costs per watt continue to decline, grid parity comes closer and more countries expand or initiate the use of solar as a renewable energy source,” concluded van der Wansem.