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Broadwind Energy Inc. (NASDAQ:BWEN)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

August 8, 2012 11:00 am ET

Executives

John Segvich – Head-Media & Investor Relations

Peter C. Duprey – President, Chief Executive Officer, Director

Stephanie K. Kushner – Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President, Treasurer

Analysts

Christopher Blansett – JP Morgan Securities LLC

Sanjay Shrestha – Lazard Capital Markets

Pavel Molchanov – Raymond James & Associates

Operator

Welcome to the Second Quarter 2012 Broadwind Energy Incorporated Earnings Conference Call. My name is Christine, and I'll be your operator for today's conference. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later we will conduct a question-and-answer session. Please note today's conference is being recorded. I will now turn the call over to John Segvich. You may begin.

John Segvich

Thank you. Good morning, and welcome to Broadwind Energy's Second Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. With me today are Broadwind's President and CEO, Peter Duprey; and Broadwind's Executive Vice President and CFO, Stephanie Kushner. This morning's earnings news release is available on our website at bwen.com.

Second slide, please. Before we begin today I would like to caution you that this call will include some forward-looking statements regarding our plans and market outlook and also will reference some non-GAAP financial measures. Actual results may differ materially from these forward-looking statements. Please refer to our SEC filings and consider the incorporated risks and uncertainties disclosed there including our Form 8-K, and the attached news release filed with the SEC this morning, and our Form 10-Q which will be filed later today.

We assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statements or information. Having said that, I will turn the call over to our President and CEO,

Pete Duprey

Peter C. Duprey

Thanks, John, and thanks everyone for joining our call. Let's start out on slide three. This morning, we reported second quarter results with reported revenue growing 43% over last year’s Q2 and EBITDA improving by $1 million.

Overall the quarter was strong and both our Gearing and Service businesses demonstrated great progress against a year ago. I'll briefly review the highlights of each of the businesses.

Gearing revenue was up 13%; 98% of that revenue went into industrial markets or to replace wind gearing already installed rather than for new wind turbines. We continue to see strong demand particularly in oil and mining sectors. EBITDA improved by $1.7 million over the same period last year.

In our Services business, revenue was up 141%. As the installed fleet ages, we are seeing strong demand for our non-routine services on blades, drivetrain and the other major components. Our Tower business reported revenue of 51%, but much of the increase was associated with higher steel content versus fabrication only which we discussed in the past. Our small, but fast-growing Weldment business had orders increase of 172% in the first half of 2012 versus 2011.

I’ll highlight some of the things that went well for the quarter and some of the things that we need to improve. The Gearing business successfully navigated through a significant downturn in gearing for frac where $3 million of orders were pushed out late in the fulfillment process.

Services is showing good progress and growing and diversifying its business. During the quarter they made their first service calls on industrial gearing customers. We see nice opportunities to cross-sell customers on the gearbox and fabrication components. This provides greater value add for our customers which should create long-lasting relationships.

Finally, you'll see in the disclosures in the 10-Q that we've made significant progress on the shareholders' suits. The derivative lawsuits were dismissed by the court and then the scope of the remaining suit has been limited. We believe the claims are without merit and we intend to vigorously defend the company against them.

Now Q2 was not without some opportunities for improvement. In Towers, we had four different Tower models going through our Manitowoc plant in Q2. Two of the models were new tower builds for us, which negatively impacted our productivity by more than $1 million. We continue to work through the issues and expect Q3 throughput and productivity to improve.

On a positive note, the productivity in our Abilene Plant is up significantly from a year ago. In services we made good progress in reducing the EBITDA loss. however, we are not yet at breakeven. The renegotiation of the lease continued significant revenue growth and expansion of higher value-added product offerings will help us make progress in the back half of the year.

Let’s move to slide four and talk about orders. Turing to the order flow for the quarter; Tower order flow was particularly light due to uncertainties surrounding the pending PTC expiration. We are quoting a number of projects in the U.S. for 2013, however, the level of activity, as expected is significantly down from a year ago.

The order intake for the quarter included one small Tower order with delivery later in the year, with the remaining orders of $5.9 million relating to Weldments. In Gearing, our order flow was quite strong for the quarter excluding gears used in natural gas fracking. Natural gas fracking market orders were significantly depressed to near zero and orders that were already received were delayed.

We believe that this is a short-term issue and demand for gearing used in oil production in both on and offshore remains strong. Had we not experienced the sudden hiatus in fracking gear orders, our order intake would have been up 13%. Services continues to show strong order growth both year-over-year and against the previous quarter. The graph on the right shows the backlog trend.

Now last quarter we started to show this two-ways. The blue line on the top shows the traditional way it's been reported, which includes multi-year frame agreements. Below, the red line, which is more indicative of the near-term demand as it moves out orders, they are outside the current typical order window. The red line removes the one-remaining multi-year tower frame agreement, and shifts these towers into the period when the delivery date is within six months from the current quarter end; as tower deliveries scheduled for 2013 are not in the red line backlog.

Let’s move onto slide five. As part of our multiyear transformation of Broadwind, in 2011 we established three key initiatives that will improve the overall health and profitability of the business. These initiatives are, reducing the manufacturing footprint. Today we have 1.5 million square feet, which is excessive for a $200 million business.

Our goal is to achieve a 40% reduction by the middle of 2013. The second initiative is diversifying our customer and industry concentrations. The over dependence of the wind industry on economic incentives to grow and prosper is not a good thing, particularly in these times of a dysfunctional political leadership. We are aggressively diversifying out of wind energy into other markets that leverage our core competencies. We are also reducing our customer concentrations within the U.S. wind industry. And the third initiative is to improve our financial flexibility, to reduce debt and to put in place an asset-based borrowing program that is better structured for a business like ours.

I will quickly update the progress relative to each of these initiatives. Page six highlights the progress that we've made selling the logistics business and closing the European office contributed significantly to the plan. We have renegotiated the lease on our service facility in Abilene which will become effective in 2013 and we will save more than $0.5 million a year. We are about a one-third of the way complete through our gearing consolidation. We have slowed down the $4.2 million investment in this project to ensure that we have the capital needed to fund today high level of activity in Towers. Completing our gearing consolidation and selling the idle tower facility are top priorities for us.

Slide seven shows excellent progress in diversifying the business. Gearing has made the most dramatic transformation. Revenue in the first half of 2012 was nearly 80% from industrial customers up from 50% a year ago. This created a tremendous amount of change in the business and a team has managed through the transition well. In Towers and Weldments, Weldment up the order intake in the first half of the year with $8 million and we've added three new tower customers in the past nine months.

So we are now serving 80% of the U.S. market. This coupled with the positive outcomes in the International Trade Commission cases, against China and Vietnam, better position the Tower business going forward. Finally, the services business continues to grow providing non-routine maintenance services on the installed fleet. The business has dramatically moved away from supporting new turbine installations and is focused on the more predictable install base of 36,000 turbines in the United States. So relative to this objective, we have made significant progress and we are focusing our efforts on enhancing and improving customer relationships.

Finally on page eight, we have paid down our debt of $13 million. We are focused on generating positive cash flow from the business. We are completing the negotiation of $20 million, asset-based borrowing line, which will give the company much more of a financial flexibility. We turn to slide nine, and the last thing I'd like to discuss before I turn the call over to Stephanie, is the near-term outlook for our Tower business.

There is no doubt that 2013 is going to be a difficult year. Made consulting case wind forecasts for 2013 is about 2,200 megawatts down from over 10,000 this year. For us this translates into a market of about 1,100 towers down from 5,000 towers in 2012. These types of swings will challenge any manufacturer; however, there are a number of factors working in our favor.

The preliminary dumping margins imposed by the Department of Commerce were quite significant and should level the playing field with the Chinese and Vietnamese tower manufacturers. Approximately one-third of the U.S. tower supply is coming from these two countries. We are increasingly looking outside the U.S. We are producing towers for domestic customers which are being shipped to Central and South American markets. In 2011, 31 towers went to Honduras and we recently picked up an order for 24 towers going into South America starting in Q4 of 2012.

Excluding Brazil which has a strong local content requirement, the Central and South American market is estimated to be 1,800 megawatts in 2013, which is just slightly less than the U.S. market. Canada, and primarily the Province of Ontario, is forecasted to install 2,100 megawatts in 2013. Our Wisconsin facility on a deepwater port is strategically positioned to buy Canadian steel, produce the towers and ship them to Canada still substantially qualifying for local requirements. And finally, we started our diversification program to expand our fabrication business, as reflected in the orders, this is paying off. We are quoting work with a number of new customers in the oil and mining markets. We feel confident that this can be a $20 million revenue business in 2013, and this will partially offset the downturn in the wind market. Therefore, even in a significantly down wind market, we believe Towers and Weldment business can generate $90 million to $125 million in sales and earn an EBITDA of $5 million to $8 million for the year.

I’ll now turn the call over to Stephanie to discus the financials in more detail.

Stephanie K. Kushner

Thanks, Pete, and good morning. Turning to the consolidated income statement on slide 10, Q2 revenue was $56.3 million up sharply from last year. As Pete noted, a significant portion of the increase was due to higher steel content in our towers. If we were to adjust for that it would increase 2011 revenue by $10.5 million and our year-over-year revenue growth would decline to 13%.

We posted a gross profit of $1.7 million for the quarter including $400,000 of restructuring expenses for a 3.7% gross margin. This is about the same as last year's full year rate, reflecting the progress of Gearing and Services offset by lower Tower margins and the impact of a high steel content on Towers. Improving our gross margins continues to be a critical focus area. Our year-to-date gross margin excluding restructuring was 4.2%. Although we expect the rate to improve to about 6% in the second half of the year. We are reducing our expected full year outlook to 5% gross profit margin.

The improvement in operating expenses is more significant, at $5.8 million Q2 operating expenses were well below 2011 with improvements across the board, including lower expenses for legal and other professional fees and lower salary expense. At $12 million for the first six month, we are well-positioned to meet or improve upon our targeted spend of $25 million to $26 million for the year.

Reflecting benefits from a potion of the restructuring actions already completed including the closure of the European office, another reduction. So these savings will probably compensate for the lower gross profit. Our operating loss was $4.2 million including $440,000 of restructuring charges. Adjusted EBITDA totaled $1.1 million up sharply from a $100,000 last year and the loss per share narrow to $0.03.

Moving to slide 11, Towers investment recorded revenue of $37 million in the quarter up sharply from 2011, mainly because of the higher steel content in the towers.

As shown in the table on the bottom right-hand side, if we were to adjust for the estimated $10.5 million in steel, provided by our customers in the second quarter of 2011, the two years would be quite close in terms of activity.

Despite a relatively close comparison, operating income and adjusted EBITDA was down sharply in the current year quarter. This reflects a lower margin mix of towers this year and production and productivity challenges at our Manitowoc, Wisconsin, plant, which costs us $1 million in the quarter.

These problems are being resolved both through some organizational changes and through some engineering adjustments to our welding processes and we expect a better result for the segment in the third quarter.

You could also start to see the development of our Weldment business in the bottom right-hand chart. Although still small, we shipped $2.3 million of Weldments in the quarter and are on track for $10 million for the year. We are booking orders at a still higher pace with $8 million orders in orders in the first half of the year, and as Pete said, we are budgeting Weldment revenue of about $20 million in 2013.

Operating income and EBITDA were below the prior year due to the lower margin mix of the productivity issues, the EBITDA margin was 4.8% for the quarter.

Next slide. Our Gearing comparisons continue to be very positive versus 2011. Revenue of $14.1 million was up 13% from the prior year and as shown in the bottom right-hand graph we are now producing a wide range of industrial customers. The only wind gearing we are making today is for repairs and replacements linked to the installed base of wind turbines.

Our EBITDA margin of 9.5% was slightly below the first quarter but still dramatically higher than the 2011 run rate. During the quarter we incurred about $400,000 in restructuring expense and spent about $640,000 in capital associated with our plant consolidation project. The climate-controlled grinding room is being built which will help our productivity because these sensitive machines will not be exposed to extreme temperature changes as they are today.

Our operating loss of $1.6 million continues to reflect the very high depreciation and amortization we are recording in this segment $2.4 million per quarter or about 17% of sales at the current run rate. The typical gearing company has depreciation close to 3% of sales about in line with the run rate of replacement capital needs.

ROI figure reflects both the heavy capital spending from 2008 and to 2009, and the realizing of the capital base at the time of the Brad Foote acquisition, When these stepped-up depreciation figures run off in 2014 and 2015. Our non-cash charges will be more in line with the industry.

Consequently the EBITDA margin remains the most development metrics in this business. We have decided in this quarter to accelerate the amortization of intangibles associated with one of our wind customer contract. This will add an incremental non-cash charge of $440,000 per quarter for the next four quarters but then get this behind us.

On slide 13. Our Services business made good progress in the quarter more than doubling revenue and narrowing the operating loss. The chart in the bottom-right hand corner shows the key revenue components, Bladework, non-routine maintenance generally taking place in the field. And shop gearbox repair work.

As you can see the growth this quarter came from both our dedicated Blade Group, and our non-routine maintenance activities. The operating loss halved to $1.1 million and the adjusted EBITDA loss reduced to $500,000.

We remain very focused on improving this business by growing sales, implementing better systems, introducing higher margins, proprietary service offerings and managing our cost structure. We are gaining momentum with this business we booked $5.3 million of new orders in the second quarter and another $3.5 million in July alone. Our third quarter sales forecast is to exceed $7 million and we expect to generate positive EBITDA.

Slide 14 please. Our operating working capital rose to 8.7% of trailing three months annualized sales in the second quarter. We again built inventory, up $6.4 million, and steel was received for towers that were not completed in the quarter as planned. In addition to higher inventories, customer deposits declined as expected. These events were partly offset by higher payables. Net total operating working capital rose $3.6 million in the quarter to $20 million. We believe the inventory level has peaked for the year, and both inventories and payables are being reduced in the current quarter.

As shown in the next slide, our debt, excluding grants and forgivable loans, rose slightly to $11.1 million at the end of the quarter, as we entered into two capital leases to support tower manufacturing equipment. These additions, about $2 million in total, more than offset the impact of the continued pay down of our other debt and notes.

The $4.3 million balance shown as the liabilities held for sale is classified on our balance sheet as current because it is a mortgage supporting our [Brandon] tower plant which we are actively engaged in selling. The loan will become due when we finalize the sales transaction. Until that time, we continue to pay down the principle balance at a rate of $250,000 per quarter, I’ve spoken before about the $2.9 million balance of grants and forgivable loans which have little associated interest expense.

Our cash balance declined to $8.3 million to support the higher working capital and we have $7 million drawn on our line of credit as well. As Pete described, we are currently completing due diligence to finalize the $20 million barrowing baseline which will replace our current credit arrangement and provide better liquidity and support for working capital growth in future periods. We expect that transaction to close during the third quarter.

On the final slide, third quarter financial results should improve both sequentially and against last year. We are projecting nearly $60 million in revenue due to better productivity for Towers and further growth for Services off of a recently higher order intake, right.

Adjusted EBITDA should increase from the first half run rate and be significantly ahead of 2011. Forecasting Q4 right now is more difficult. While we expect Gearing and Services to remain strong, and Weldment revenues to continue to grow, we expect our Tower deliveries to taper off in the middle of the quarter, as turbine OEMs rush shipments to get their projects in place before year end. Although we expect to remain EBITDA positive with results that exceed the prior year, it is too early to be more definitive on our Q4 outlook. We will, however, update you further on our Q3 call.

And with this, I’ll turn the call over to Pete, to lead the Q&A.

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

(Operator Instruction) The first question comes from Chris Blansett from JPMorgan. Please go ahead.

Christopher Blansett – JP Morgan Securities LLC

Thank you, Pete, quick question about your expectations for the Tower business next year; how do we think about the breakout of U.S. revenue versus, maybe, non-U.S. revenue. Just to kind of get a feel for how much you think is going to come from these new regions?

Peter C. Duprey

I mean, Chris, at this point it's really hard to say. As I mentioned in my prepared remarks, we do have experience shipping towers to South America. So particularly with some of our customers who are active there, I mean, South America is a good market, it's hard to venture right now what exactly, what the breakout would be, I could venture an estimate of potentially a third of our revenue would come from South America, and we are still working through some of the logistics with Canada, but I think it’s looking fairly promising right now.

Christopher Blansett – JP Morgan Securities LLC

And then in general when you think about the EBITDA target of greater than $5 million, how much of that is due to a reduced competitive environment versus maybe the addition of the Weldments, I’m just trying to understand the improvement in the profitability and on the lower overall revenue levels, just to kind of get a feel for what’s really driving that?

Peter C. Duprey

I’ll let Stephanie take that one.

Stephanie K. Kushner

Again, it’s difficult to say. Right now we are assuming certainly a benefit of higher margins from Weldments, and perhaps more intensity in terms of the competition and the pricing on the U.S. towers. So it's difficult to say how those two factors play out, but we think the $5 million number is a conservative number.

Christopher Blansett – JP Morgan Securities LLC

Okay, and then I guess the other question I had is related to, on your Gearing business. Essentially it looks like you are fully transitioned out of selling or producing new gears for new wind turbines, I mean is this the general trend going forward, it’s really, I mean that business for overall purposes is over as far as you can tell we shouldn't expect any ongoing new Tower business there?

Peter C. Duprey

New Gearing business?

Christopher Blansett – JP Morgan Securities LLC

Yeah.

Peter C. Duprey

I would say there will be some replacement gearing for the existing fleet, but I don’t expect that to be significant, maybe 5% of the total revenue intake, but I would say we've now completed the transition to industrial.

Christopher Blansett – JP Morgan Securities LLC

Okay. And the last question I had is with tighter services. How much of the improvement in the second half is associated with the kind of a burst of activity that we are going to see is to get us, when systems installed before the end of the year versus more consistent and ongoing kind of business?

Peter C. Duprey

There are some, what I would call traditional constructions or that’s really becoming less and less a part of the business. It’s really dealing with problems on the existing fleet, replacing gearboxes, a lot of blade work, things related to the drivetrain, so I think that business has been transitioned quite well from maybe where it was three years ago, where it was primarily construction support. So we are very focused on making sure the revenue is coming from the installed base and not new installs.

Christopher Blansett – JP Morgan Securities LLC

All right, thank you.

Peter C. Duprey

Yeah.

Operator

The next question comes from Sanjay Shrestha from Lazard Capital. Please go ahead.

Sanjay Shrestha – Lazard Capital Markets

Well, thank you. Good morning, guys. A couple of questions; first on the 2013, 100 tower that you guys have in the backlog for that year, where is that going and how firm is that backlog considering a bit of an uncertainty related to PTC for that year?

Stephanie K. Kushner

So that backlog gets called off as the specific orders and placements take place, and at this point the first 25 towers for that first quarter have been called off. We know where those are going.

Sanjay Shrestha – Lazard Capital Markets

Yeah.

Stephanie K. Kushner

It’s just about normal for this time of the year, so we have no reason to think that backlog won't be honored as it is.

Sanjay Shrestha – Lazard Capital Markets

Okay, perfect. So guys, given the dynamics in the wind market here in 2012, right, so how do we sort of think about spot opportunity even in Q3 versus, which you talked about and a potential for you guys to really build a very nice cash cushion as you go into a transitional year in 2013. How do you think about that?

Stephanie K. Kushner

I think we’re pretty well sold out for Q3.

Sanjay Shrestha – Lazard Capital Markets

Okay.

Stephanie K. Kushner

I think there could be some opportunity in Q4.

Sanjay Shrestha – Lazard Capital Markets

Early on, correct?

Stephanie K. Kushner

Again we’re trying to balance the diversification. We have taken about 20% of our Tower capacity and shifted it to Weldment.

Sanjay Shrestha – Lazard Capital Markets

Yeah.

Stephanie K. Kushner

Because we think that’s important for the long-term health of the business.

Sanjay Shrestha – Lazard Capital Markets

Okay, okay, fair enough. Two more then guys, if I may. So when I was thinking about the Gearing business, right, obviously I think Chris asked earlier about shifting away from wind more into the industrial market and that's a very fragmented market, so as we think 2013 and 2014, two part question. One, the level of profitability for the Gearing business in the industrial world versus the wind market and when you see that business going, looking two to three years out, how big could that business be from a revenue standpoint for you guys?

Peter C. Duprey

Yeah, I think as we look at Gearing business, we are very comfortable with the double-digit growth rate per year and we are seeing a lot of opportunities in mining, oil. We are getting opportunities for what I would be growth enclosed drive, so completed gearboxes, so that should become a bigger part of that business. So manufacturing seems to be strong in the U.S. so I think we’re very comfortable being able to grow that at 10% to 15% a year.

Sanjay Shrestha – Lazard Capital Markets

Okay, great one final question then, guys. On the Service side, right, you guys have done a pretty good job there. It seems like things are going to continue to get better for you guys, but is there a potential risk for the Service business to maybe have somewhat of a negative impact, let's say in 2013 comparing that OEM might also say; well gee, for us to actually kind of offset some of the slowdown in the overall turbine business is try and capture more of that service opportunity. Is that a potential risk? Or given the portfolio offering you bring to the table, you will continue to win your fair share of the business?

Peter C. Duprey

I think we’re actually pretty well positioned to win our fair share of the business. I think a lot of the things that we do is non-routine maintenance service provider.

Sanjay Shrestha – Lazard Capital Markets

Yeah.

Peter C. Duprey

It's something that there aren't a lot of people who are doing out there, something able to swap-out a gearbox, replace gears, overall change trucks or I think the state-of- the-art in the industry. So I think we are actually very well-positioned, we are not doing a lot of O&M, we are not doing a lot of construction of course so we – a couple of years ago we actually did think through where we wanted to position the business side. I think we are well positioned to what we thought a couple years ago.

Sanjay Shrestha – Lazard Capital Markets

All right, that’s all I have. Thank you so much guys.

Operator

(Operator Instructions) The next question comes from Pavel Molchanov from Raymond James. Please go ahead.

Pavel Molchanov – Raymond James & Associates

Hi, guys. Do you thinking about the potential of PTC extension in the lame-duck session, assuming it gets extended that late in the year, in December, perhaps even January. How long a trough period would there be before the industry can ramp back up at a higher activity level? I mean, are we talking kind of just Q1 of next year or could it be potentially a longer trough?

Peter C. Duprey

I think with the lead time on steel you would probably be talking about a full ramp-up sometime in Q2. So a lot of it depends on how quickly you can get steel. I think, as far as our workforce, we can deploy them very quickly, but it’s more of the steel issue.

Pavel Molchanov – Raymond James & Associates

Okay. And just based on what you're hearing from your industry sources right now, what do you think is a realistic level of installations next year, assuming PTC extension and then a downside scenario without PTC?

Peter C. Duprey

There are a lot of scenarios out there right now. I think from what we are seeing in the marketplace right now, there are some developers that are going to build regardless of PTC. So I think the 2,200 megawatts is a reasonable number for next year. So that's what we are planning on, that's what we are working with the OEMs on.

Pavel Molchanov – Raymond James & Associates

So you said 2,200 megs?

Peter C. Duprey

Yes.

Pavel Molchanov – Raymond James & Associates

Okay. That's with our without? Or is that just a base case either way?

Peter C. Duprey

That’s kind of the base case.

Pavel Molchanov – Raymond James & Associates

All right, I understood, appreciated guys.

Peter C. Duprey

Okay.

Operator

The next question comes from Chris Blansett from JP Morgan. Please go ahead.

Christopher Blansett – JP Morgan Securities LLC

Just want to have a quick question on the additional cost reduction activities you guys are going through, how much of that goes to the COG's line and how much to the SG&A. And I guess what I’m trying to understand is what kind of SG&A expenses should we be thinking about next year on an average run rate since we know your revenue is volatile and then just trying to get a feel for how that should trend?

Stephanie K. Kushner

So most of the restructuring, which is happening gearing now would be on the COGs line, so that's a sort of $1 million a quarter run rate that we should see in terms of an improvement. On the operating expenses, we will flex that a little bit if we see our revenue is going to be down sequentially, but not – there is not a tremendous amount of latitude there, whereas sort of 11% run rate right now, maybe you would might want to model it go down to more or like 10%.

Christopher Blansett – JP Morgan Securities LLC

Okay. And I guess, is that another way of saying, Stephanie, there’s a lot of upside leverage right now?

Stephanie K. Kushner

Yeah, absolutely.

Christopher Blansett – JP Morgan Securities LLC

And then lastly I just want to get a feel for your thoughts on the U.S. wind tower market in general with the subsidies taking outside the penalties for dumping an associated subsidization of foreign tower makers. I mean, is there a more normalized profitable margin we should be kind of thinking about the U.S. wind tower business in itself versus prior years and I guess kind of a lead on is that, we haven’t seen effect I guess in the second quarter results because the rulings by the Department of Commerce were kind of late in the quarter, but when should that start to take effect?

Peter C. Duprey

First, I would say as far as the Department of Commerce ruling, that’s really for 2013, it almost, I mean, early 2012 was pretty much locked up by the time that ruling came out, so that didn’t really help us. So we’re not expecting really any impact or a little impact for 2012 and it is roughly a third of the market. So the Chinese, the Vietnamese towers represented third of the market. So I think going forward, this ruling is very important to us.

Christopher Blansett – JP Morgan Securities LLC

I guess, a simple question on that, a follow-up. I mean, in general I mean how much lower I guess was pricing on average in the market because of this dumping, is there some kind of relative reference you can provide? Single-digit, double-digit, lower than probably what's the rational level of profit or the sustainable level of profitability for this industry?

Stephanie K. Kushner

I think it’s bigger than the imports. So I think you have to look at the whole supply-demand situation. Even within the U.S. there has been oversupply but that’s correcting. So we do think certainly the imports are faster, but I think there are other changes that are going on with the supply base as well. And I think when you take all things into consideration it should start moving this business back to and more normal healthy double-digit gross margin business and but it probably won’t happen materially until we get beyond 2013.

Christopher Blansett – JP Morgan Securities LLC

All right, thank you.

Operator

That concludes the question-and-answer session. I’ll turn the call back to Peter Duprey, for final remarks.

Peter C. Duprey

Great thanks, Christine. I think you can tell from our Q2 results that our Gearing business has kind of turned the corner. Last year, we had an EBITDA loss of $0.5 million and we are on track this year for an EBITDA more like $6 million in the Gearing business. As you can see, that Services is improving and approaching a breakeven and we have spend a lot of time talking about towers and the supply chain. I think the demand or the supply starting to come in line with the demand, which will ultimately lead to a healthier tower market.

As we just mentioned, the tariffs imposed by the Department of Commerce should impacted by the third of the supply and our understanding from kind of the competitive landscape is that three competitors have exited and two have significantly shifted their capacity to other industry. So we believe that these moves will strengthen Broadwind's competitive position going forward and we've grown our tower customer base. We are committed to the market for the long-term and we think over the mid to long term, it will be a very nice market for us.

I appreciate everyone for joining the call and the questions and look forward to talking about more in Q3.

Operator

Thank you for participating in the second quarter 2012 Broadwind Energy Incorporated earnings conference call. This concludes the conference for today. You may all disconnect at this time.

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Source: Broadwind Energy's CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript
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