Advanced Energy Industries (AEIS)

Q2 2011 Earnings Call

July 26, 2011 8:30 am ET

Executives

Gregg Patterson - Executive Vice President of The Renewables Business Unit and General Manager of The Renewables Business Unit

Danny Herron - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Annie Leschin - IR

Yuval Wasserman - President and Chief Operating Officer

Hans-Georg Betz - Chief Executive Officer and Director

Analysts

Joseph Maxa - Dougherty & Company LLC

Mehdi Hosseini - Susquehanna Financial Group, LLLP

Colin Rusch - ThinkEquity LLC

Mark Bachman - Avian Securities, LLC

Charles Cooper - Oriel Securities Ltd.

Zachary Larkin

Olga Levinzon - Barclays Capital

Krish Sankar - BofA Merrill Lynch

Edwin Mok - Needham & Company, LLC

Peter Rose - Fox-Davies Capital Limited

Timothy Arcuri - Citigroup Inc

Unknown Analyst -

Hunter Hillcoat - Investec Securities (UK)

Presentation

Operator

Hello, and welcome to the Second Quarter 2011 Advanced Energy Industries Earnings Conference Call. I would now like to turn the call over to your host for today, Annie Leschin. Please proceed.

Annie Leschin

Thank you, operator, and good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us this morning for our second quarter 2011 earnings conference call. With me today are Hanz Betz, Chief Executive Officer; and Danny Herron, Executive Vice President and CFO, both of whom will present prepared remarks. Additionally, Yuval Wasserman, President, COO and General Manager of Sales [ph]; as well as Gregg Patterson, EVP and General Manager of Renewables are also with us today and will participate in the Q&A session.

By now, you should have received a copy of the earnings release that was issued last evening. For a copy of the release, please visit our website at www.advanced-energy.com or contact us at (970) 407-4670.

Advanced Energy will be participating in a number of conferences this quarter, including the Pacific Crest Global Technology Forum on August 8 in Vale, Citi Technology Conference on September 8 in New York and the ThinkEquity Growth Stock Conference on September 13 in New York. As other events occur, we will make additional announcements.

I'd like to remind everyone that except for historical financial information contained herein, the matters discussed on this conference call contain certain forward-looking statements subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Statements that include the terms: believes, expects, plans, objectives, estimates, anticipates, intends, targets or the like, should be viewed as forward looking and uncertain. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to the volatility and cyclicality of the industries we serve, the timing of orders received from our customers and unanticipated changes in our estimates, reserves or allowances and other factors listed in our press release. These and other factors are described in Forms 10-K and 10-Q and other reports filed with the SEC. In addition, we assume no obligation to update the information that we provide you during this call, including the third quarter guidance provided during this call and in our press release dated today. Guidance will not be updated after today's call until our next scheduled quarterly financial release. I'll now turn the call over to Hans Betz, CEO of Advanced Energy.

Hans-Georg Betz

Thank you, Annie, and welcome, everyone. As you will have seen from our press release last night and from our release earlier this month, Advanced Energy ran in some of the same headwinds that affected our markets in the first half of the year. So let me begin today's call by giving you a high-level recap of the quarter and the sense of what we are seeing in the markets going forward.

Similar to the last few quarters, we are going to refer to the set of earnings slides that we have posted on the IR section of our website to help walk through the quarterly results and our outlook going forward.

As you will see on Slides 4 and 5, revenues for the second quarter were at $138.2 million, a 38.1% increase over last year, but flat on a sequential basis from $137.7 million in the first quarter. While expectations for our renewables business fell short this quarter, our noteworthy year-over-year growth continues to be driven by renewables and interim sales to the semiconductor market, which are in line with our overall expectations. As we mentioned in our release, our renewables business in the second quarter was affected by several industry dynamics, previously declining end prices, increased competition at the marketplace and temporary changing incentive programs that impacted our results more than we previously anticipated. These trends also had an impact on our solar panel and glass businesses.

So let me begin by talking about these macro increases. As you have undoubtedly been hearing during the quarter, a combination of oversupply in the PV market and weakening demand as a result of regulatory uncertainty in the key global markets, including Germany and Italy, as well as certain U.S. markets, led to an unexpected and sudden decline in margin of prices in the first half of this year, with manufacturers in many parts of the world slashing prices. Our initial view, along with others in the industry, was that these lower prices on margins and panels would have helped encourage demand, which we believe will be the case longer-term. The reality was that the pricing decline was so subtle and steep that in the near-term, many customers postponed projects and delayed margin purchases with the hope of securing lower prices modules at a later date. With module prices dropping 5% a month, developers, commercial buyers and consumers were not rushing to buy panels because even slight delays would result in significant cost savings.

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