North Coast Solar Stocks

April 24, 2009

MEMC Electronic shares jump after earnings report

Filed under: WFR — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 11:27 am

Shares of MEMC Electronic shares climb on first-quarter profit

Friday April 24, 2009, 11:27 am EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — MEMC Electronic Materials (WFR) shares jumped on Friday after the silicon wafer maker posted a first-quarter profit helped mainly by a hefty tax gain.

Shares of the company jumped $1.27, or 8.7 percent, to $15.95 in morning trading.

The St. Peters, Mo.-based company, which sells products to the semiconductor and solar industries, said late Thursday it earned $2 million, or a penny per share, compared with a loss of $41.8 million, or 18 cents, in the same period a year earlier.

Excluding nonrecurring items the company posted an operating loss of $26.4 million. Revenue fell by 57 percent in the quarter to $214 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, who typically exclude one-time items, were expecting a loss of 2 cents per share and revenue of $217.3 million, on average.

MEMC cited lower demand and prices for the slump in business.

Jefferies & Co. analyst Paul Clegg recommended the company’s stock, rating it “Buy” and raising his 2009 profit estimate to 62 cents from 56 cents.

“With virtually no debt and solid liquidity, we see MEMC as a clear survivor and eventual beneficiary of a market recovery,” Clegg said.

Lazard Capital Markets analyst Sanjay Shrestha said that while the company’s outlook is “choppy” in the near term, given weak wafer pricing and contract cancellation risks, it has a solid long-term outlook. Shrestha rated the company “Buy” with a price target of $18.

“Near-term volatility will likely persist until visibility improves, the risk for contract renegotiations diminishes and there is a return of investor confidence on earnings accelerations into 2010,” said Shrestha.

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