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MEMC Electronic Materials' CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Please note that this call will include forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from management's current expectations. We encourage you to review the Safe Harbor statement contained in the earnings release and in the slides published today for a more complete description.

And now, I will turn the call over to Ahmad Chatila, our Chief Executive Officer.

Ahmad R. Chatila

Thanks, Chris. Good afternoon, everyone. In my remarks today, I will discuss the performance of our 2 business units in the first quarter, provide an update on our restructuring and comment on our current positioning.

In our Semiconductor business, we believe the market bottomed in the first quarter and is now beginning to recover. We are seeing improved order volumes in the second quarter. We are fully committed to our Semiconductor business and will invest judiciously to further our market position. We are executing on our cost reduction plan and with improved efficiencies will lower our breakeven revenue level and increase profitability in the next up cycle. These actions will leave us well positioned to drive meaningful improvement in EBITDA and free cash flow generation as we move into the second half of 2012.

Our priorities in Semiconductor business for 2012 remain unchanged. We plan to continue to lower costs through manufacturing efficiencies, labor productivity and SG&A reductions. Also, expand capacity largely through increased factory productivity as well as prudent capital expenditures and finally, maintain our market share while optimizing price.

In our Solar Energy business, the market, while still volatile, is showing signs of stabilization. Price reductions continue but the rate of decline has slowed. Even so, we expect the market environment to remain challenging throughout 2012. Our Solar Energy business continues to focus on executing our pipeline of projects while reducing costs, improving efficiency and minimizing capital expenditures. These efforts and the favorable positioning of this business around the world continue to help us strengthen our position as a leader in the worldwide solar energy.

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