A123 Cuts Forecast On Fewer Fisker Orders

By SCOTT DOGGETT November 8, 2011

A123 Systems Inc., maker of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, has slashed its revenue forecast for 2011 to $165 million to $180 million, down from $210 million to $225 million, due to fewer than expected orders for battery packs from Fisker Automotive during the fourth quarter. The average of 12 analysts’ estimates compiled byBloomberg news service had expected revenue of $204 million. Shares of A123 fell 10 percent to $3.17 at the close of New York trading shortly after Friday’s announcement and closed at $3.25 Monday. The stock has plunged 67 percent within the past year.

“While we continued to increase our production ramp in the third quarter, we are adjusting our 2011 revenue expectations due to an unexpected reduction in orders for battery packs from Fisker Automotive for the fourth quarter as it balances inventory levels from all suppliers,” A123 CEO David Vieau said in a statement. Vieau said A123’s relationship with Fisker remains strong and he expected that the reduction in volume would be temporary, given the fact that U.S. and European regulators recently cleared the way for Fisker to sell its $96,000 Karma plug-in hybrid sedan.

In addition to Fisker, A123 supplies batteries to General Motors Co., BMW AG, Daimler AG and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. GM announced last month that A123 will supply battery packs for the Chevrolet Spark electric subcompact going on sale in 2013, with expected sales of 15,000 units that year and possibly 20,000 the next. A123, which went public in September 2009, has reported losses in every quarter since 2008. The company’s second-quarter loss widened to $55.4 million, from $34.2 million a year earlier, according to an Aug. 4 statement. Sales were $54.5 million in the six months ending June 30. A123 said it will release results for the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30, before the start of trading on Wednesday.

Scott Doggett:  is an AutoObserver.com Associate Editor.

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