Bloomberg News

Wacker Forecasts Lower-Than-Expected 2012 Profit on Solar

October 24, 2012

Wacker Chemie AG, the fourth biggest marker of polysilicon, forecast full-year profit and sales below analysts’ prediction as competition from Chinese makers of solar products depresses prices.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization will probably be about 750 million euros ($974 million) in 2012, the Munich-based company said today in a statement. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had expected 804 million euros. Wacker fell to the lowest since the company’s initial public offering in April 2006.

Many customers in Europe are “rather cautious and hesitant about placing orders,” Wacker said in the statement. The company, which already cut full-year goals in July, has introduced shorter working weeks for about 650 of the 1,000 employees at its German Burghausen polysilicon site.

“Sustained price competition, high inventories, the difficult financial situation of many market players and the anti-dumping proceedings against Chinese solar manufacturers currently characterize our polysilicon business,” Chief Executive Officer Rudolf Staudigl said in today’s statement.

Wacker declined as much as 80 cents, or 1.8 percent, to 43.55 euros in Frankfurt trading, their lowest since April 2006. The stock traded at 43.70 euros as of 9:34 a.m. The stock has lost 30 percent this year, cutting the company’s market value to 2.28 billion euros.

Sales for the year will probably be 4.6 billion euros to 4.7 billion euros, Wacker said. Analysts (WCH) predicted 4.72 billion euros. Third-quarter operating profit dropped 36 percent to 204.3 million euros, missing a 217.6 million-euro analyst estimate. Quarterly sales fell 6.2 percent to 1.20 billion euros, also missing estimates.

While Wacker’s chemical divisions managed to boost earnings and sales in the quarter, it wasn’t enough to make up for the slump at the polysilicon business, the manufacturer said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sheenagh Matthews in Frankfurt at smatthews6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net


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