Amtech posts revenue growth in quarterly results

U.S. based supplier of automation systems for the PV, semiconductor and sapphire industries Amtech Systems Inc. reports that it registered turnover of $33 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2017, which ended on Mar. 31, 2017.

Revenue for the period amounts to $33 million, of which $17 million comes from the solar division. In the same period of 2016, turnover was $22 million, while in the previous quarter sales reached $29 million.

“The sequential increase and the increase from the prior year quarter,” the company explains, “is due primarily to increased demand for our solar plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) and atomic layer deposition (ALD) tools, as well as our semiconductor equipment.”

Amtech makes tools for the PV industry through its Tempress subsidiary which is based in the Netherlands.

Net loss for the quarter was $1.4 million, slightly up from $1.5 million a year earlier. Order intake was $68 million (of which solar tools made up $47 million), while quarter-end backlog reached $87 million (solar $67 million).

“We are pleased with our $68 million of total bookings in the second quarter, including $47 million of solar orders, which is the highest solar bookings since the second quarter of 2011,” Amtech CEO Fokko Pentinga said.

“With those bookings, our March 31, 2017 backlog is $87 million, a 67 percent increase since December 31, 2016 and the highest in six years. As announced on April 25, 2017, we received a follow-on order for the second phase of a multi-phase 1 GW project, in addition to the order for the first phase announced in January 2017.”

At the end of March 2016, the company had cash of $39 million. This compares to $24 million at end of the previous quarter. Improved liquidity, Amtech said, was attributable to customer deposits received from the turnkey order announced on January 24, 2017, and good collection on receivables for both Solar and Semi, partially offset by cash used to begin work on the turnkey order.

Looking forward, the company expects to achieve sales in the range of in the range of $39 to $42 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2017, while gross margin is forecast to be in the low to mid 20% range, with operating margin slightly negative.