Advanced Energy Industries, Inc., developer of power and control technology for the solar industry, semiconductors, flat panel displays, architectural glass and many other advanced applications including thin-film manufacturing, announced its 4Q 09 (ended Dec. 31) financial results today.

CEO of AEIS Hans Betz said that the 4Q 09 figures marked a “high point” for last year, as revenue and additional profits were obtained through a skillful leveraging of strategic cost reductions executed throughout the year.

Hans Betz noted, as chief inputs, a rebound in the semiconductor capital equipment market and penetration into the larger multi-megawatt sector from the Company’s Solaron inverters.

Sales for 4Q 09 were up 28.4% ($66.4M) from 3Q 09, down 1.6% from 4Q 2008.

Sales in the semiconductor capital equipment market were up 59.2% from 3Q 09 to $32.9M (49.6% of total sales), while non-semiconductor also rose, up 8.6% from 3Q 09 to $22M (33.2% of total sales), and service revenue gained as well, up 7.6% from 3Q 09 to $11.5M (17.3% of total sales).

The book to bill ratio was 1.48:1, up from 1.1.6:1 in 3Q 09 on strong bookings of $98M, and ending backlog increased 91.2% from 3Q 09 to $66.2M.

Gross margin rose markedly, up to 36.8% from 30.1% (3Q 09), or 27.2% (4Q 08), on leverage against fixed costs from increasing revenue.

Net income was $1.5M, or earnings per diluted share (EPS) of $0.04, compared to an $8.4M net loss and loss per share of $0.20 in 3Q 09, or an $19M net loss and loss per share of $0.45 in 4Q 08 due to a $18M non-cash income tax charge against deferred assets related to a valuation allowance.

The Company was pleased to end 2009 with $177.5M in cash, investments and cash equivalents, down a paltry $2.6M due to scrupulous cash management.

Sales declined for the year from 2008 due to the global economic crisis, off 43.3% from the flagging semiconductor market which fell as a whole 43.1% from 2008. Net loss for the year was $102.7M, due in large part to a 1Q 09 non-cash goodwill impairment charge of $63.3M.

Mr. Betz projected positive upswing for AEIS and its investors when the “global economy recovers”, driven by growth in multiple markets and technology investments made during the downturn, with anticipated 1Q 2010 sales of $77-83M (EPS $0.13-0.17).

A replay of this morning’s conference call discussing AEIS 4Q 09 financial results is available at the Company’s Investor Relations Page.