Silicon wafer maker MEMC Electronic Materials Inc on Wednesday reported a quarterly net loss and lowered its earnings outlook for the year due to a dramatic drop in prices on solar products and soft semiconductor demand.
The company's stock fell 10.6 percent in extended trade to $5.17. A nearly 50 percent drop in the price of silicon wafers this year has hammered MEMC's profits, while its share price is down more than 60 percent from a 52-week high reached in February.
MEMC said it would focus on cutting costs while it rides out the current market turmoil.
It's battening down the hatches and entering survival mode, said Auriga USA analyst Hari Chandra, who has a hold rating on the stock. It means the stock is dead money in the interim.
Aggressive capacity expansions of photovoltaic solar manufacturing capacity combined with declining incentives for solar power in top markets Germany and Italy have wreaked havoc on the fledgling industry this year, sending prices into a tailspin and hurting manufacturers' profits.
MEMC's primary business supplies silicon wafers for the solar and semiconductor industries. But the company has also branched out into solar project development through its 2009 acquisition of SunEdison and its purchase earlier this year of the U.S. arm of Fotowatio Renewable Ventures.
The third-quarter net loss was $94.4 million, or 41 cents per share, compared with net income of $17.6 million, or 8 cents per share, a year ago.
Net revenue rose to $516.2 million from $503.1 million in the year ago period.
Excluding items, the company posted a profit of 3 cents a share, below analysts' average estimate of 10 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Non-GAAP revenue was $859 million, above analysts' average view of $784.78 million.
MEMC forecast full-year earnings before items of 16 cents to 36 cents per share, down from a prior forecast of 80 cents to $1.00.
Analysts had been expecting earnings per share of 83 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company, which is based in St. Peters, Missouri, maintained its non-GAAP sales view for the year of $3.3 billion to $3.6 billion.
(Reporting by Nichola Groom; editing by Carol Bishopric)