4/8/09

Amtech Announces Preliminary Fiscal 2009 Q2 Revenue of $10.5 Million and Cost Reduction Actions: Reiterates FY2009 Positive EBITDA Guidance; Launch of New Solar Etch Product on Schedule for FY2009 Q3

TEMPE, Ariz.-Amtech Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASYS), a global supplier of production and automation systems and related supplies for the manufacture of solar cells, semiconductors, and silicon wafers, today announced the following financial and operational news:

  • Preliminary fiscal 2009 Q2 revenue of $10.5 million; approximately $3 million of shipments scheduled for Q2 were pushed into Q3 and Q4, due primarily to delays in readiness of customer facilities.
  • Cost reduction actions:
    • Consolidated workforce has been reduced 22% since its peak at September 30, 2008.
    • Amtech executive officers and outside directors have taken a reduction in salary and board meeting fees, respectively, starting April 1, 2009.
    • Bruce Technologies, a wholly-owned subsidiary focused on the semiconductor market, has been restructured to further streamline its operations, which will result in restructuring charges and a probable non-cash impairment charge in Q2 related to Bruce Technologies’ long-lived assets.
  • Operating results and EBITDA for fiscal 2009 Q2 will be negatively impacted by reduced revenue levels, expected restructuring and non-cash impairment charges, and will result in the Company reporting a significant loss from operations and negative EBITDA.
  • Company continues to expect to generate positive EBITDA in fiscal 2009, excluding impairment and restructuring charges.
  • March 31, 2009 cash balance was approximately $37.1 million ($444,000 was used during Q2 to repurchase 143,704 shares of common stock).
  • Backlog at March 31, 2009 of approximately $34.5 million, consisting of orders expected to ship within the next 12 months and deferred revenue.
  • Amtech expects to launch its third solar product, a new solar etch system (PSG removal process) by June 30, 2009.
  • Fiscal 2009 Q2 earnings release and conference call are scheduled to be on or about May 11th.

J.S. Whang, President and Chief Executive Officer of Amtech, commented, “While the push-out of shipments in the March quarter was disappointing, to-date we have not had any order cancellations of significance. We continue to be proactive in managing our operations and achieving our goal of positive EBITDA in fiscal 2009 (excluding restructuring and non-cash impairment charges), as evidenced by the 22% reduction in our workforce and the restructuring of one of our subsidiaries. Our financial position remains solid, with essentially no debt and a strong cash balance.

“We remain focused on executing our solar growth plan, including the launch of our new solar etch product. We are determined to emerge as a stronger player through the current down cycle, and continue to be optimistic about the long-term growth opportunities in the solar market.”

The fiscal 2009 second quarter financial information included in this release is preliminary and subject to change based on the Company’s quarterly close procedures and external review performed by its outside auditors. Operating results, including EBITDA, for future quarters could be impacted by the timing of system shipments, the net impact of revenue deferral on those shipments, and recognition of revenue based on customer acceptances, all of which can have a significant effect on operating results.

About Amtech Systems, Inc.
Amtech Systems, Inc. manufactures capital equipment, including silicon wafer handling automation, thermal processing equipment and related consumables used in fabricating solar cells and semiconductor devices. Semiconductors, or semiconductor chips, are fabricated on silicon wafer substrates, sliced from ingots, and are part of the circuitry, or electronic components, of many products including solar cells, computers, telecommunications devices, automotive products, consumer goods, and industrial automation and control systems. The Company's wafer handling, thermal processing and consumable products currently address the diffusion, oxidation and deposition steps used in the fabrication of solar cells, semiconductors, MEMS and the polishing of newly sliced silicon wafers.

Statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts may be forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Litigation Reform Act. Such statements may use words such as "proposed," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "predict," "project" and similar expressions as they relate to Amtech Systems, Inc. or our management. When we make forward-looking statements, we are basing them on our management's beliefs and assumptions, using information currently available to us. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward looking statements are reasonable, these forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions including the risks discussed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. If one or more of these risks materialize, or if our underlying assumptions prove to be incorrect, actual results may vary materially from what we projected. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release reflect our current views with respect to future events and are subject to these and other risks, uncertainties and assumptions relating to our operations, results of operations, growth strategy and liquidity. We have no intention, and disclaim any obligation, to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future results or otherwise.

Contacts:

Amtech Systems, Inc
Bradley C. Anderson
Chief Financial Officer
(480) 967-5146
MKR Group, Inc.
 Investor Relations
Todd Kehrli or Jim Byers
 (323) 468-2300


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