SAN FRANCISCO—Silicon wafer maker MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. Wednesday (Feb. 15) reported a $1.5 billion fourth quarter net loss, dragged down by charges related to the restructuring the company announced last year.
MEMC (St. Peters, Mo.) reported fourth quarter sales of $717.8 million, up 39 percent from the third quarter and down 16 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2010.
Dragged down by restructuring charges related to the announcement of more than 1,300 job cuts last year, the company reported a loss in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles of $1.5 billion, or 6.44 per share, compared to a net loss of $94.4 million, or 41 cents per share, in the previous quarter and a net income of $12.6 million, or 5 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.
The fourth quarter net loss included $1.4 billion in charges related to restructuring, impairments and other charges, MEMC said.
Fourth quarter sales came in below consensus analysts' expectations, which had pegged them at $770 million, according to Yahoo Finance. Sales exceeded the revised target range of $523 million to $585 million that MEMC outlined when it announced the restructuring in December.
MEMC said revenue in its semiconductor materials business was lower sequentially and year-over-year as softer demand negatively impacted shipments and pricing. Solar materials revenue declined sharply both sequentially and year-over-year due to significantly weaker wafer pricing and volumes, the company said.
"While the semiconductor market remains soft, we see signs of an improved second half of 2012,"said MEMC CEO Ahmad Chatila, in a statement. "As the market recovers, we believe our productivity efforts and 300-mm expansion will pay dividends."
MEMC declined to provide an outlook due to uncertainty in the semiconductor and solar markets. It said it expects the semiconductor down cycle to hit bottom this quarter, with revenue declining 10 to 15 percent sequentially. MEMC said it expects semiconductor orders to pick up in the second quarter.