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Tech Earnings: Dow Corning, Rofin-Sinar

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SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) — Both Midland-based Dow Corning Corp. and Rofin-Sinar Technologies Inc. of Plymouth reported earnings this week for the quarter ended Dec. 31.

Dow Corning, a joint venture of Midland’s Dow Chemical Co. and New York’s Corning Inc., reported fourth quarter revenue of $1.59 billion, up 7 percent from $1.48 billion in 2012, and net income of $110 million, vs. a loss of $101 million last year.

For the year, Dow Corning revenue was $5.71 billion, down 7 percent from $5.71 billion in 2012, and net income of $376 million, up from $188 million in 2012.

Dow Corning also reported “adjusted” net income of $103 million for the quarter, up from $69 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, and $304 million for the year, down from $338 million in 2012. Adjusted net income for both 2013 and 2012 excluded gains from long term sales agreements, restructuring expenses and charges for impaired assets. Additionally, adjusted net income for 2013 excluded a gain from a favorable derivative contract.

Dow Corning said pricing pressure continued to limit margins in the company’s silicones segment. Polysilicon segment performance increased as customers purchased high volumes to meet contractual requirements.

“In a year characterized by significant oversupply and pricing pressure in
our industry, Dow Corning competed well to maintain its industry leading
financial foundation,” vice president and CFO J. Donald Sheets said in a statement. “We moved decisively to reduce our cost structure in 2013, providing us the ability to focus on growth through serving our customers in 2014 and beyond. Dow Corning continues to remain strong financially. In the past year we’ve paid down debt and maintained stable cash levels, carrying a strong balance sheet which will enable us to adapt and invest in the growth of our business. “We continue to manufacture and sell high volumes of materials in our silicones segment. Our efforts to continually improve the efficiency of our manufacturing operations have been a significant factor in our ability to compete in this volatile economic environment. In our polysilicon segment, Hemlock Semiconductor Group delivered positive financial performance despite unprecedented pricing and volume pressure as the solar industry deals with excess capacity and awaits resolution of the global trade disputes. In 2014, we are in a strong position to focus on growth by providing our customers with industry leading products and services. We are confident that our product portfolio and talented team are well positioned to help return Dow Corning to the trajectory of growth we expect.”

As for Rofin-Sinar, it reported sales of $121.2 million for its first fiscal quarter ended Dec. 31, down 15 percent from the same quarter a year earlier. Net income was $2.2 million or 8 cents a share, down from $8.9 million or 32 cents a share a year earlier.

The company said selling, general and administrative expenses were $25.4 million, up from $25.2 million a year earlier, while research and development expenses were $11.5 million, up from $11 million a year earlier.

Sales of laser products for macro applications increased 1 percent to $49.1 million. Sales of lasers for marking and micro applications fell 27 percent to $56 million. Sales of components fell 4 percent to $16.1 million.

On a geographical basis, revenues in North America decreased 8 percent, totaling $24.6 million. Sales in Europe fell 2 percent to $59.5 million, while sales fell 33 percent in Asia to $37.1 million.

Order entry for the quarter increased 2 percent to $140.6 million compared to the first quarter of fiscal year 2013, resulting in a backlog of $137.4 million as of Dec. 31.

Rofin-Sinar also announced a share buyback of up to $25 million of the company’s stock between now and Feb. 10, 2015, subject to market conditions.

The company says it expects revenue to be in the range of $123 million to $128 million and earnings per share to be in the range of 8 to 12 cents.

To listen to a confreence call discussing these results, visit http://www.rofin.com.

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