Energy Conversion Devices Inc on Monday reported its second straight quarterly loss, with sales coming in way below estimates, as demand for its solar products remained soft.
Like others in the solar industry, the Rochester Hills, Michigan-based company was also hurt by a dearth of financing and a global oversupply of solar panels that sent prices on solar power products tumbling.
ECD, which reported five consecutive profitable quarters before two back-to-back quarterly losses, makes lightweight, flexible solar laminates for rooftops and buildings that convert sunlight into electricity.
In the first quarter, new construction and reroofing projects continued to be slow, negatively impacting sales through our traditional building-materials channel, Chief Executive Mark Morelli said.
Given the precipitous drop in demand, ECD had earlier this year said it would slow expansion plans and cut production to bring supplies in line.
For the latest first quarter, the solar company reported a net loss of $11.8 million, or 28 cents a share, compared with a profit of $11.8 million, or 27 cents a share, last year.
Results for the quarter include items, which, had a positive impact of about 6 cents a share, ECD said.
Sales more than halved to $42.9 million. Solar product and project sales for the quarter were $36.1 million, compared with $89.5 million last year. This is down nearly 22 percent sequentially.
This comes after larger rival and industry bellwether First Solar Inc also reported quarterly sales far below Wall Street view, and gave an outlook that showed competition was hurting prices, dashing hopes for a sector rebound.
Analysts, on average, were looking for a loss of 31 cents a share, on revenue of about $55 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Separately, ECD said it and MP2 Capital LLC will partner Canadian renewable energy developer Rumble Energy to install rooftop solar projects in Ontario. The companies expect to complete construction of about 10 megawatts by October 2010.
ECD shares were down 44 cents at $11.05 in pre-market trade on Monday. The stock, which is so far down more than 70 percent from a November 2008 year-low, closed at $11.49 Friday on Nasdaq.
(Reporting by Adveith Nair in Bangalore; Editing by Vikram S Subhedar and Pradeep Kurup)