ST. PETERS, Mo. -- Silicon wafer supplier MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. reported a 14% sequential decrease in net sales to $219.8 million in the first quarter from $255.2 million in Q4 of 2000. MEMC's sales were 14% higher than $193.1 million in the first quarter of 2000.
Consequentially, the St. Peters-based company posted a net loss of $17.6 million in the first quarter this year, compared to a net income of $1.7 million in the prior quarter and a net loss of $27.3 million in Q1 2000.
"Like many other companies in the semiconductor industry, we are feeling the effects of the current slowdown," said Klaus von Horde, chief executive officer of MEMC. "We are taking numerous actions to bring our cost structure in line with demand, including the release of temporary employees and employee layoffs, primarily in the U.S., amounting to approximately 7% of our total workforce, as well as temporary plant shutdowns. Furthermore, we also intend to tightly control capital expenditures in 2001.
"Despite the weakness in the market, our new product and 300-mm sales continue to show strength. We expect sales of our new products to represent about 20% of our revenues in 2001," the CEO added.
While it reported a net loss in Q1, MEMC said it had a "positive free cash flow," after capital expenditures, of $12 million in the first quarter. This was the second consecutive quarter that the company has had positive free cash flow.