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Energy Conversion Devices turns to profit in Q1; provides Q2 and FY09 revenue forecast - Update

Monday, Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ENER), a manufacturer of thin-film flexible solar laminate products, reported net earnings for the first quarter compared to a loss last year, driven by strong demand for solar products. The company also provided revenue guidance for the second quarter and fiscal 2009.

Net income for the quarter was $12.7 million or $0.29 per share compared to a net loss of $7.6 million or $0.19 per share in the corresponding period last year. On average, sixteen analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial expected the company to earn $0.26 per share for the quarter.

Results for the recent quarter included pre-production costs of $2.0 million, or $0.05 per share, and restructuring costs of $0.2 million or less than $0.01 per share. The company said it also recorded an 'other-than-temporary impairment of investment' of about $1.0 million or $0.02 per share to reflect the fall in the market value of a floating rate note issued by Lehman Brothers.

Revenues were $95.8 million, up 104% from $47 million in the corresponding period last year and were in line with Street analysts' consensus estimate of $95.9 million. Solar product sales were $89.5 million, a 124% increase over the prior-year quarter.

Operating cash flow was $26.5 million compared with a use of cash of $14.8 million in the same period last year.

Mark Morelli, the company's president and chief executive officer, said, "Fiscal 2009 is off to a strong start and demand continues for UNI-SOLAR products from our target markets in Europe, Asia and the US."

Looking ahead, the company said revenues for the second quarter are expected to be in the range of $100 million - $108 million, compared with analysts' consensus estimate of $103.61 million. Solar product sales are expected to be between $95 million and $103 million. The company expects to incur restructuring costs of between $1.0 million and $1.4 million in the second quarter.

For fiscal 2009, revenues are expected to be between $455 million and $485 million. Nineteen analysts surveyed by First Call have a revenue consensus estimate of $467.10 million for fiscal 2009. The company sees solar products sales to range between $430 million and $450 million.

ENER closed Friday's regular trading session at $38.09.

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