Broadwind Energy cuts loss in Q1

Broadwind Energy lowered its first quarter net loss to $1m, or seven cents a share, as wind tower production surged in response to a flood of orders as developers rushed to qualify for a key federal tax credit that expired last year.

Net loss a year earlier was $4.5m, or 32 cents per share. The company expects to become profitable in second quarter this year. It also produces gears, and services wind turbines and provides weldments.

First quarter revenue was $58.8m, up 29% from a year earlier, with $46.7m coming from towers.

“We are off to a solid start in 2014. Our Towers and Weldments segment recorded another solid quarter, improving tremendously as we produce efficiently against the past two quarters’ strong order

Flow,” says chief executive Peter DuPrey.

Company-wide new orders during the first quarter, however, plummeted to $15.8m from $91.9m a year earlier, largely a reflection of uncertainty over whether Congress will renew the renewable electricity production tax credit.

The wind industry believes it will after 4 November national elections, although for how long and with what eligibility criteria is unclear.

Broadwind is much more dependent on the cyclical wind industry than its chief tower manufacturing rival Trinity Industries, which has a diversified portfolio of businesses including railcar production.