Energy Conversion Devices Inc swung to a quarterly loss as demand for its products continued to fall, sending shares of the solar company down 5 percent.
Demand for solar products in our target markets weakened further from the third quarter into the fourth quarter as commercial construction declined, building owners deferred reroofing projects and project financing constraints continued, Chief Executive Mark Morelli said in a statement.
Energy Conversion, which reported five consecutive profitable quarters prior to a loss in the fourth quarter, makes lightweight, flexible solar laminates for rooftops and buildings that convert sunlight into electricity.
Like many in the solar industry, Rochester Hills, Michigan-based ECD is grappling with a dearth of financing and a global oversupply of solar panels that has sent prices on solar power products tumbling, eroding companies' profits.
Earlier this year, ECD said it would slow expansion plans and cut production to bring supplies into line with weakened demand.
The company, which expects access to capital to continue to be a constraint and average selling prices to remain under significant pressure, forecast fiscal 2010 revenue to be up 10 percent to 15 percent. It sees first-quarter revenue to be in line with fourth-quarter levels.
The company's demand-creation initiatives for large and U.S. utility projects and government stimulus spending will not drive a meaningful increase in revenue until the second half of the fiscal year, ECD said.
Production for the year is expected to come in at about 150 megawatt, with higher volumes in the second half.
For the fourth quarter ended June 30, the company reported a loss of $15.8 million, or 37 cents a share, compared with earnings of $9.9 million, or 24 cents per share, a year ago. Results were hurt by charges totaling $13.6 million.
Revenue fell 38 percent to $51.4 million.
Analysts, on average, were looking for a loss of 8 cents a share, before items, on revenue of $55.0 million, according to Reuters Estimates.
Shares of the company were trading down 5 percent at $11.93 Thursday morning on Nasdaq. The stock is down more than 80 percent from an August 2008 year-high.
(Reporting by Adveith Nair in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal)