SatCon Technology's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

SatCon Technology Corporation (SATC)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

May 09, 2012 05:00 PM ET

Executives

Leah Gibson – Director – IR

Steve Rhoades – President & CEO

Aaron Gomolak – CFO, EVP & Treasurer

Analysts

Ash Birla – Dougherty & Company

Dale Pfau – Cantor Fitzgerald

Adam Krop – Ardour Capital Investments

Carter Driscoll – CapStone Investments

Jeff Osborne – Stifel Nicolaus

Walter Ramsey – Walrus Partners

Presentation

Operator

Good afternoon and welcome everyone to SatCon’s First Quarter 2012 Conference Call. (Operator Instructions). With us today are SatCon’s President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Rhoades, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Aaron Gomolak and Director of Investor Relations, Leah Gibson.

At this time for opening remarks I would like to turn the call over to Ms. Gibson, please go ahead.

Leah Gibson

Thank you and welcome to the call everyone. Before we begin please note that the comments made on this conference call today may include forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. For this purpose any statements contained herein that are not statements of historical fact maybe deemed to be forward-looking statements and may include the words beliefs, anticipates, plans, expects, intends and similar expressions which are intended to identify forward-looking statements. And important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those inferred from such forward-looking statements or set forth under the caption risk factors and SatCon’s Form 10Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2012.

These factors are included there for reference. Once filed with the SEC copies of the 10Q will be available from SatCon upon request and will be posted to the company’s investor relations website at SatCon.com. In addition today’s call is being recorded and a webcast replay will be available on the Investor Relations website.

This conference call and associated recordings belong to SatCon and appear for the benefit of our investors. With that I will turn the call over to our President and CEO.

Steve Rhoades

Thanks Leah. And good afternoon everyone thanks for joining us today. Today I would like to take advantage of our time here to look back on the 2011 solar PV, inverter market, how it affected SatCon strategies and overall performance both last year and in the first quarter of 2012.

Then move on to our Q1, 2012, part of the metrics that we reported today. Then I will give you our look for the current Q2 outlook and in particular, this we have and are in the process of taking to put the company in a position to achieve success in the second half of this year and into 2013 and beyond and we will then take you through our detailed financials before we turn the call back over to the operator for our traditional live question and answer session with all of you attending the call today.

As we look back just over a year ago to the transition from 2010 and 2011 we can see the solar industry that started with all the expectation and fan fair associated with one of the fastest growing, most publicized industries we are planning quickly becoming unpredictable and unstable.

We are at the 2010 our industry saw a hyper growth across all major solar market geographies and where SatCon is able to transition itself from a small technology led regional utility and commercial inverter player into a major global supplier across three continents. January, 2011 suddenly trust a solvent to a hyper competitive battle in every major solar market.

As an example under shifting government programs that once made large ground now solar power plants in Europe extremely lucrative and opened up vast new opportunities for SatCon’s flagship utilities scale of power.

(Inaudible) has maintained in early 2011 in several major countries made development of new utility scale systems firstly impossible to do profitably. The set expected severe change gigawatts of PV panel and inverter capacity and (inaudible). And prices subsequently plummeted as competition rose for the increasingly fewer new development staying content.

While drastically low panel prices across Europe created the economy that would post light commercial and residential solar to new heights, SatCon Solutions which had great success in Europe’s utility solar market segment in 2010 simply didn’t match the requirements of an industry that shifted its demand segment in a matter of months.

Asia, while still on a path of hyper growth for utility solar in 2011, our capacity raised and pricing fall faster than anyone in the world as low price Chinese inverter providers enter the market by dozen and local panel manufacturers looked to sell product locally was not finding demand in their traditional markets abroad.

This created a large volume market for panel and inventory manufactures in China many of them who are willing to operate at razor thin margins. But effectively close the Chinese market to more experienced western manufacturers to focus on long term product quality and service often price the amount of competition.

Despite this volatility abroad North America continued to demonstrate fairly consistent growth across all three major solar segments. Large commercial and utility solar grew in aggressive rate despite the fact that the Canadian solar market struggled to gain the momentum initially predicted after the announcement of their Ontario Feed-In-Tariff.

Looking forward our current U.S. pipeline data suggest continued growth in 10 plus megawatt solar power plant development over the next several years and further strengthening of the commercial rooftop market.

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