Been with GT for 6 years, Top mgt team - very top, headed by chairman Matt Massengil, former CEO of Western Digital. He's the guy who transformed WDC from a sleeply little disc drive maker to a power house. Rode WDC from $3.50 to $50 - it's now $62. World class technology here in furnaces and reactors for solar - and the latest models begin shipping in the 2nd half, just in time for the solar recovery. They bought a saphire chrystal co and that took them into the LED business where a lot of there customers are also ordering furnaces to make that product. Now we see that same technology being applied to glass. They changed their name a couple of years ago and that should give you the biggest hint - gt ADVANCED technologies. These guys are loaded with engineering talent and they are in the right place for any number of products across the world. This is another $50 stock. If you've got $100k to tuck away for 3-4 years you'll be a millionaire.
I like the optimism. I think most of the investors on this board really believe this stock will take off. As far as solar goes, you think that towards the end of 13 GTAT will start to see some orders pick up. I think that could happen. I believe there 2 biggest Chinese customers are STP and YGE and STP looks to be going bankrupt so GTAT needs more customers. If all the pieces come together this stock could rocket. STX is another disk maker that traded in the 2-3 range in 09 plus 40 right now so I know were your coming from.
I've been a GTAT investor for maybe 1 1/2 years, I think. I am certainly no expert, though. As far as the solar end of the business, GTAT is upstream and they do much of their business with China, which is a problem, although they have been working on expanding their customer base. There are a lot of bankruptcies in the Chinese solar companies, because they expanded too fast and acquired a lot of debt. This caused a huge glut in solar panels. The US has put huge tariffs on solar equipment coming from China, because they say that the cheap solar panels from China too much competition for our American made solar panels. Chinese solar companies are in such bad shape financially that they can't even afford to keep updating the equipment that they have bought from GTAT, which has really crippled future sales from GTAT to the Chinese solar companies. Furthermore as a result of this solar panels made in China are no longer competitive with high quality solar panels, such as those made by Sunpower. The solar business isn't dead for them, but it is far from healthy.
The sapphire business could really take off by 2014, however. They have been in this business since before I was an investor and have made money with it, but this new Thermal Technology acquisition that they have made seems like it could really expand their sapphire business. It sounds to me, from what I have read, like that is the area they are concentrating on at this time, although they are not abandoning their solar business, by any means.
As an investor, I wish that I had more specific information about their customer base and also their potential customer base. I think that information would be invaluable, but I don't have it.