GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT) first came to most people’s attention in November of last year, when Apple (AAPL) signed a big contract to ensure long term supply of the company’s sapphire crystals. The assumption was that GTAT’s advanced sapphire materials would be used extensively in Apple’s mobile products before too long. The stock jumped and has continued to do well right up until last week.
Then some analysts ran out of patience. The lack of news about Apple products with sapphire screens led to several downgrades. That, combined with a general pullback in momentum stocks, led to GTAT losing over20 percent from the July 2nd high in a week. All very interesting, you may be thinking, but what has any of this got to do with energy? Simple, in all of the hysteria about i-gizmos, many have lost sight of the fact that GT is a leader in technology surrounding the pholtovoltaic (PV) cells used in solar panels.
I have written about solar energy a couple of times recently as I believe that the industry is maturing and the much hyped potential may soon become reality. A large part of that belief is based on the fact that, as technology advances, so the cost of producing solar power is rapidly becoming more competitive with conventional generation methods. A large part of that cost reduction has come from making the PV cells themselves cheaper to produce, and that is where GTAT comes in.
Their “Hyperion” ion implanter…