Applied Materials' EES revenues suggest very modest recovery in PV equipment industry

Applied Materials reported US$103 million in revenues in its Energy and Environmental Services (EES) segment for its third quarter of fiscal year (FY) 2014, which ended on July 27th, 2014. The division saw $66 million in new orders.

These are big improvements over results in 2013, and the division also reported a 23% operating margin, which represents a return to profitability over the losses it experienced as recently as the first quarter of FY 2014.

These results are consistent with the modest recovery that is being reported by some PV equipment makers. While GT Advanced Technologies hit a three-year low in combined solar and polysilicon revenues in its second quarter results, Meyer Burger reported substantial increases in revenues and orders. However, for both Meyer Burger and Applied revenues and orders are far below levels in 2010 and 2011.

Applied’s EES backlog also grew, and the company mentions that this is due in part to EES re-bookings. However, EES represents only 5% of Applied’s backlog, or around $150 million. In its quarterly results call the division was scarcely mentioned.

Applied also says that it is preparing for its merger with Tokyo Electron, under the new name of Eteris.