UPDATE 2-ECD says business conditions improving; shares rise
* Q3 adj loss $0.64/shr vs est loss of $0.75/shr
* Q3 revenue up 10 pct, beats Street
* Says market conditions improving
* Shares up 8 pct pre-market (Adds details, background; updates share movement)
May 10 (Reuters) - Energy Conversion Devices Inc ENER.O on Monday reported a narrower-than-expected third-quarter loss and said market conditions were improving, sending shares of the solar company up 8 percent in pre-market trade.
"We believe that our business is turning the corner," chief executive Mark Morelli said in a statement.
Since it last reported results, ECD has announced a flurry of contracts, most of them in Europe.
"We continue to make progress elsewhere in Europe and are building a significant project pipeline in the United States," Morelli said.
The company added it could reach conversion efficiency of 20 percent and bring down it cost per watt.
"We are well along our detailed roadmap to deliver 12 percent efficiency while reducing our cost per watt to less than 95 cents in the near term."
The positive sentiments voiced by the company follow a year of dour announcements from ECD, which makes lightweight, flexible solar laminates for rooftops and buildings that convert sunlight into electricity.
Over the last year, the Rochester Hills, Michigan-based company has posted four back-to-back quarterly losses.
Hit by a lack of financing for new projects and a glut of panels, ECD axed a fifth of its workforce and slashed production capacity to 50 percent in the second quarter and to 25 percent in the third.
For the third quarter, the company reported a loss of $384.8 million, or $9.10 a share, compared with a profit of $1.3 million, or 3 cents a share, last year.
The results were hurt by a $358 million non-cash impairment charge, which included $321 million for property, plant and equipment, as well as $10 million related to factory underutilization.
Excluding the charge, ECD's loss for the quarter was 64 cents a share, narrower than estimates of a loss of 75 cents a share.
Sales rose about 10 percent to $72.4 million, comfortably beating estimates of $61.1 million.
Shares of the company were up 8 percent at $6.35 in pre-market trade.
The stock, which closed at $5.88 Friday on Nasdaq, is so far down nearly 70 percent from a June 2009 year-high. (Reporting by Adveith Nair in Bangalore; Editing by Vinu Pilakkott)
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