updated 11/9/2010 7:15:53 AM ET 2010-11-09T12:15:53

Solar Revenue Increases 77% Over Prior Year
Gross Margin Increases to 18%
Total Cash and Investments Position Improves to $206 Million
Technology Roadmap Updated to 14% Efficiency and $0.65 Cost per Watt

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich., Nov. 9, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD) (Nasdaq:ENER), a leading global provider of thin-film flexible solar laminate products and systems to the building-integrated, commercial and residential rooftop markets, today announced financial results for its first fiscal quarter of 2011, ended September 30, 2010.

Total consolidated revenue for the quarter was $68.4 million, an increase of 59% over the first fiscal quarter of 2010, and a decrease of 21% from the previous quarter. Solar product and system sales were $65.0 million, an increase of 77% over the previous year, and a decrease of 20% from the previous quarter. Consolidated gross margin for the quarter was 18% or $12.5 million, as compared to 3% or $3.0 million in the prior quarter. During the quarter, ECD shipped 30.6 megawatts of its UNI-SOLAR® brand PV laminates, and produced 33.6 megawatts.

The company reported a net loss of $13.5 million, or $0.29 per share. This compares to a net loss of $12.0 million, or $0.28 per share, in the first fiscal quarter of 2010, and a net loss of $20.9 million, or $0.49 per share, in the prior quarter.

As of September 30, 2010 the Company had $206.5 million in cash, cash-equivalents, restricted cash and short-term investments, an increase of $1.8 million over the prior quarter's ending balance. Operating cash flow for the quarter was $19.2 million driven by strong working capital management.

Included in the company's first quarter results were $0.5 million of restructuring charges, and $1.0 million of costs including expenses associated with the company's facilities consolidation which are included in selling, general and administrative costs. The company also recognized a $1.2 million non-cash gain from the early retirement of long-term debt.

Mark Morelli, ECD's President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "We continue to make progress on our path to profitability. Our capacity utilization was higher and our net loss was lower as compared to our previous quarter; this was the third straight quarter of improvement on these two very important metrics. Our higher gross margin was driven primarily by a reduction in our cost per watt, but also continuing stability in pricing."

"We expect to realize further cost reductions due to high factory utilizations and the execution of the initial stages of our technology roadmap. First shipments of our new PowerBond product will begin in the first half of calendar year 2011 and our High Frequency 10% aperture-area efficiency products will begin production in the summer. We anticipate that once fully ramped, end of next year, we will achieve a $1.15 cost per watt for this technology," Morelli continued.

The Company also updated the future stages of its technology roadmap, which includes the introduction of its proprietary Nano-Crystalline cell structure in the fall of 2012. "The introduction of Nano-Crystalline technology allows us to provide outstanding energy density while maintaining our flexible, lightweight, non-penetrating core rooftop product attributes. We now believe that we can achieve 14% aperture-area efficiency at a production cost of $0.65 per watt by 2015," said Dr. Subhendu Guha, Chairman of United Solar, and Chief Technology Officer of ECD.

The company provided guidance for its second fiscal quarter of 2011 and adjusted its guidance for the full fiscal year as follows:

Morelli concluded, "Our guidance reflects the continued traction that our business model is gaining around the world, but especially in our core markets of Italy, France and North America. We are adjusting our full year guidance with confidence in our expanding pipeline and market share growth going into calendar year 2011. We have increased the lower end of our full year revenue guidance to $290 million, and we have increased our gross margin guidance range to 16-20%. We have also increased our capital expenditures to reflect the acceleration of the upgrade of our next High Frequency line to improve our path to higher energy density and lower cost products. The strengthening of the markets where our products perform best, the continued adoption of our BAPV product offerings and the growth in the U.S. residential market represent significant opportunities for our company. Despite any quarterly unevenness, we believe the trend of our revenue is up, our costs are down, and we continue to expect a return to profitability in calendar year 2011."

Conference Call / Webcast Details

Management of Energy Conversion Devices will review these financial results on a conference call on Tuesday, November 9, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. ET. To participate in the conference call, please dial (877) 858-2512 or (706) 643-3219 (international) at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the call. Callers will need to reference conference ID number 18689375. The conference call will be webcast live over the Internet and can be accessed in the Investor Relations – Events section of the company's website at www.energyconversiondevices.com .

An audio replay of the call will be available approximately two hours after the conclusion of the call. The replay will remain available until 11:59 p.m. EST November 11, 2010 and can be accessed by dialing (800) 642-1687 or (706) 645-9291 (international) and providing conference ID number 18689375. The webcast will also be archived on the Company's website.

About Energy Conversion Devices

Energy Conversion Devices is a leading global provider of thin-film flexible solar laminate products and systems for the building integrated, commercial and residential rooftop markets. The company manufactures, sells and installs thin-film solar laminates that convert sunlight to energy using proprietary technology. ECD's UNI-SOLAR® brand products are unique because of their flexibility, light weight, ease of installation, durability, and real-world efficiency. The company also designs, manufactures and installs rooftop photovoltaic systems which enable customers to transform unused space on the rooftop into a value-generating asset. In addition, ECD's Ovonic Materials Division is the pioneer in NiMH battery technology and other material science technologies for the alternative energy industry. For more information, please visit www.energyconversiondevices.com .

This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Safe Harbor Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include statements concerning our plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events, future net sales or performance, capital expenditures, financing needs, plans or intentions relating to expansions, business trends and other information that is not historical information. All forward-looking statements are based upon information available to us on the date of this release and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside of our control, that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements. Risks that could cause such results to differ include: our ability to maintain our customer relationships; the worldwide demand for electricity and the market for solar energy; the supply and price of components and raw materials for our products; and our customers' ability to access the capital needed to finance the purchase of our product. The risk factors identified in the ECD filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, could impact any forward-looking statements contained in this release. Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. assumes no responsibility to update any forward-looking statements contained herein.

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