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GT Advanced Plunges on Job Cuts, Sees ‘Challenging’ 2013

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GT Advanced Technologies Inc., a U.S. supplier of manufacturing equipment for solar and energy-efficient lighting products, fell the most in more than five months after saying it will fire 25 percent of its workforce in anticipation of a “challenging” 2013.

GT Advanced fell 15 percent to $4.34 at the close in New York, the most since May 17.

The company, based in Nashua, New Hampshire, said the reorganization plan will save about $13 million a year and will result in a $4.2 million charge in the current quarter, according to a statement today. It’s facing declining sales, especially in Asia, as global demand for solar cells slows and prices fall, Chief Executive Officer Tom Gutierrez said in the statement.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that some of our Asian customers are experiencing severe financial difficulties,” Gutierrez said. “We are taking steps to prepare for what is likely to be a challenging 2013.”

The company said that revenue in the third quarter, ending Sept. 29, will be at the low end of its forecasted range of $110 million to $140 million. That will be down from second-quarter sales of $167.3 million. GT Advanced will report its earnings Nov. 6.

“There’s no question that both of its businesses are experiencing excess capacity -- solar and, to a lesser extent, LED -- and it makes sense to cut fixed costs,” Pavel Molchanov, an analyst at Raymond James & Associates Inc. in Houston, said by telephone.

GT Advanced will consolidate its photovoltaic, polysilicon and sapphire units into a single, so-called Crystal Growth Systems group, according to the statement. The sapphires are used to make light-emitting diodes.

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