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MEMC Earnings Fall

Revenue rises.

MEMC Electronic Materials


, a producer of wafers for the semiconductor industry, said its first-quarter earnings fell 16.1%, despite rise in revenue.

The St. Peters, Mo.-based company earned $67.8 million, or 30 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $80.8 million, or 36 cents a share, a year ago. Assuming an effective cash tax rate of 19%, earnings were 36 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 35 cents a share in the most recent quarter.

First-quarter revenue rose 36.3% to $339.9 million as against analysts' expectation of $320.4 million.

Higher revenue was led by increased product volumes and higher selling prices, the company said.

The company expects its second-quarter sales to grow 5% to 7% over the first quarter. It also targets 200 to 300 basis point improvement in the gross and operating margins over the previous quarter.

"The pricing environment continued to improve during the quarter due to increased volumes, high utilization rates, and a polysilicon supply chain that continues to be constrained," the company said.

The company also named Ken Hannah as senior vice president and chief financial officer, effective April 27. Hannah will replace Tom Linnen, who is planning to retire. Hannah served recently as senior vice president of operations at

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