Despite seeing unit shipments increase, Kemet Corp. reported a net loss of $43.3 million, or 50 cents per diluted share on sales of $100.1 million in its second 2004 fiscal quarter ended September 30th. In the year-ago quarter, the Greenville, S.C., capacitor supplier lost $11.1 million, or 13 cents per share on sales of $113.1 million.
Average selling prices declined 12% in the September quarter as excess capacity in the global capacitor industry continued, according to Jeff Graves, Kemet's president and chief executive. This offset a 31% sequential rise in unit shipments during the September quarter, on top of a 14% rise the previous quarter, he noted.
Also contributing to Kemet's poor showing were $46.6 million in pretax charges related to manufacturing relocation and employee termination, asset impairment involved with closing several North American plants, and a lowered market valuation for tantalum powder inventory under long-term supply agreements.
On an encouraging note, Kemet's capacity utilization rose to 65% after hovering at much lower rates the past few years. The company saw particularly strong sales in Asia, which accounted for 35% of Kemet's sales during the quarter.