GT Solar International Inc.'s (SOLR) fiscal first-quarter profit jumped 51% on surging margins and higher revenue.
The company said it was "on track" to meet its fiscal-year targets. But revenue grew at its slowest pace in roughly a year and sales came in far short analysts' expectations.
Following the news, shares dropped 4.1% to $5.67 in after-hours trading. The stock has more than doubled this year, after slumping in the second half of 2008 amid broad concerns about the near-term growth opportunities amid the solar sector.
The supplier of photovoltaic equipment has posted surging margins and revenue over the past year, as demand remains strong despite some near-term concerns about growth in the solar sector. U.S.-based solar companies have reported mixed results in recent weeks, but GT Solar is the only one to report results so far off Wall Street's expectations.
For the quarter ended June 27, GT Solar reported earnings of $7.8 million, or 5 cents a share, up from $5.1 million, or 3 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue increased 26% to $71.8 million. GT Solar earns most of its revenue in Asia, with modest sales from Europe and North America.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected per-share earnings of 6 cents on revenue of $86 million.
Gross margin grew to 48.7% from 42.6%.
Backlog fell 5.1% during the quarter to $1.12 billion.