ST. PETERS, Mo.--Despite a fire within its recently acquired Taiwanese partner, silicon wafer maker MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. Wednesday (April 28) reported strong sales of $228.8 million for the 2004 first quarter, compared to $205.0 million for the 2004 fourth quarter and $188.3 million for the 2003 first quarter.
The company reported net income of $35.9 million, or $0.16 per diluted share, for the 2004 first quarter compared to $34.4 million, or $0.15 per diluted share, in the 2003 fourth quarter and $19.7 million, or $0.09 per diluted share, in the 2003 first quarter.
In the 2004 first quarter, MEMC acquired the remaining interest in its joint wafer venture in Taiwan, dubbed Taisil Electronic Materials Corp.
However, in December 2003, Taisil experienced a "small fire," MEMC said. As a result, Taisil incurred losses from business interruption in January 2004, which resulted in the equity loss in the joint venture recognized within MEMC's first quarter. MEMC recognized business interruption insurance claims relating to the fire at Taisil of approximately $1.5 million.
Despite the incident, MEMC attributed the strong results in Q1 to a significant increase in product volumes, partially offset by a decline in overall average selling prices.
Nabeel Gareeb, MEMC's CEO, was bullish. "I think that some of the milestones we achieved this quarter are very noteworthy. Specifically, as of the end of March, we passed the $1 billion annualized net sales run rate for the first time since 1996 and look forward to continued solid net sales and profit growth this year," he said in a statement.
"As we announced last month, we have also crossed the 50,000 300-mm wafers per month capacity milestone in the first quarter of 2004, and we anticipate crossing the 100,000 300-mm wafers per month capacity milestone in the third quarter of this year," he said.
"We expect our net sales in the 2004 second quarter to increase in the high single digit percentage range compared to the 2004 first quarter," he added.