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American Superconductor Rises on Grid Sales, Loss Narrows

American Superconductor Corp., a U.S. maker of wind-turbine components and power-grid electronics, climbed the most in more than a month as its quarterly loss narrowed, beating analysts’ expectations.

AMSC increased 3.5 percent to $3.80 at the close in New York, the most since Sept. 26.

Revenue from American Superconductor’s grid business, which provides systems designed to improve energy transmission and distribution, increased 20 percent to $8.9 million in the second fiscal quarter, ending Sept. 30, as total revenue rose 0.5 percent to $20.9 million, the Devens, Massachusetts-based company said in a statement today.

“That is where the strength in the business is coming from,” Pavel Molchanov, an analyst at Raymond James & Associates Inc. in Houston, said by telephone today. “With the hurricane, Sandy, and the epic blackout in India that affected 600 million people in July, if that doesn’t show why it’s so important for major economies to invest in smart-grid infrastructure, nothing will.”

American Superconductor’s net loss in the quarter narrowed to $15.9 million, or 31 cents a share, compared with a loss of $51.7 million, or $1.02, a year earlier, according to the statement. The company was expected to lose 39 cents, the average of five analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales in the current quarter will exceed $26 million, the company said.

Legal Dispute

American Superconductor spent about $300,000 in the quarter on its legal battle with Sinovel Wind Group Co., China’s second-biggest turbine maker, Chief Executive Officer Dan McGahn said today on a conference call with analysts. The company is seeking more than $1.2 billion in damages in Chinese courts, alleging that Sinovel violated sales contracts and stole its technology. China’s highest court agreed in May to hear the case.

“The lion’s share of those expenses are behind us,” McGahn said. “We still believe there will be a positive outcome.”

Sinovel contributed about 70 percent of American Superconductor’s revenue in fiscal 2010 and stopped accepting shipments in March 2011.

Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co. is China’s largest turbine maker by revenue.

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