UPDATE 2-GT Solar’s profit tops Street, stock jumps

* Q3 EPS 25 cents vs consensus 15 cents

* Q3 revenue $173.6 mln vs consensus $145.4 mln

* Shares up 8 percent in extended trade
(Adds analyst comment, CEO comments, forecast for fiscal year
2011, revised 2010 forecast, updates share movement)

LOS ANGELES, Feb 2 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. solar equipment maker
GT Solar International Inc (SOLR.O: ) reported
better-than-expected third quarter earnings on Tuesday, as it
saw higher demand from Asia, and its shares rose 8 percent.

Like other solar companies, GT Solar has been hit by a fall
in prices for solar parts and the credit crisis, which has
dried up financing for new projects.

The company’s net income in the fiscal third quarter fell
to $36.8 million, or 25 cents per share, from $43.1 million, or
30 cents per share, a year ago.

Wall Street analysts had expected on average for the
company to earn 15 cents per share, according to Thomson
Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue fell to $173.6 million from $205.2 million a year
ago but topped analysts’ average estimate of $145.4 million,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

GT Solar’s Chief Executive Tom Gutierrez said that its
Asian customers are “bullish” on the long-term growth of
photovoltaic solar systems that convert sunlight to
electricity.

“As a result (they) are ramping capacity in advance of
demand growth,” Gutierrez said on a conference call.

Yet GT Solar is uncertain whether the current increase in
order rates will continue, Gutierrez said.

The company expects to see $400 million to $600 million in
revenue and to earn between 30 cents and 60 cents per share for
fiscal year 2011.

For the 2010 fiscal year, GT Solar narrowed its forecast
for revenue to $500 million to $550 million from its previous
target of $450 million to $550 million. It expects to earn 52
cents to 60 cents per share during the period.

Investors are looking for the company’s backlog of orders
for solar equipment to grow, which would indicate that the
solar industry is increasing capacity, said Raymond James
analyst Pavel Molchanov.

“We’ve seen a pick-up in orders which was encouraging,”
Molchanov said.

Shares of the Merrimack, New Hampshire-based company were
up 8 percent at $6.50 in extended trade. The shares closed up
3.8 percent at $6 in regular trade on Tuesday on the Nasdaq.

Stock Market Today

(Reporting by Laura Isensee; Editing by Bernard Orr and Carol
Bishopric)

UPDATE 2-GT Solar’s profit tops Street, stock jumps