Advanced Energy posts 27.9% Q4 inverter revenue decrease


American power conversion technology company Advanced Energy saw its inverter division post a 27.9% year-on-year loss in Q4 2014 as the result of a series of macroeconomic pressures impacted its business.

Inverter revenues for the fourth and final quarter of 2014 came in at $46.8 million, which also represented a 9.8% decrease on sales in Q3, when revenues reached $52 million for the quarter.

The poor showing in Q4 2014 has been attributed to "economic weakness in Europe, pricing pressure, changes in currency exchange rate and increased competition", according to an Advanced Energy press statement.

Overall revenue for the company hit $153 million for the quarter, with the precision power sector taking up most of the inverter slack, enjoying a year-on-year final quarter revenue increase of 16.1%.

"We ended 2014 with a strong quarter," said Advanced Energy’s CEO and president Yuval Wasserman. "Our investment in new semiconductor products targeting key technology inflection points is enabling accelerated growth in existing and new applications, and drove record revenues for the quarter.”

The CEO added that the company is in the process of evaluation "strategic alternatives" for its solar inverter business in response to the near-term challenges facing the industry.

Such challenges have swept through the inverter sector, impacting the bottom lines of most leading suppliers, not least SMA, which recently announced it is to cut its staff by up to one-third in the face of increased price pressure and international competition.

Advanced Energy’s guidance for 2015 anticipates first-quarter sales of between $137 million and $147 million. In December last year, the company announced that it is considering transitioning away from the inverter business following a tough few months financially.