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TECHNOLOGY Shares of GT Advanced rise on sapphire use

Sapphires may replace glass on mobile phones and tablet

Bloomberg
August 18, 2012

New York: GT Advanced Technologies Inc., a US supplier to solar manufacturers and energy-efficient lighting companies, rose to the highest in three months after announcing mobile device makers may use its sapphire technology.

GT Advanced, based in Merrimack, New Hampshire, gained 6.7 per cent to $6.55 at the close in New York, the highest price since May 2.

Sapphires may replace glass on mobile phones and tablets, chief executive officer Thomas Gutierrez said at a Canaccord Genuity conference on Friday. GT Advanced, which makes tools to grow sapphires, has sought non-solar applications for its technology as a global glut of panels reduced demand for systems that make polysilicon and photovoltaic wafers, Gutierrez said in May.

“They indicated that if 5 per cent of mobile phones and tablets adopt sapphire instead of glass, that would lead to demand for 5,000 tools, assuming 5 per cent penetration in 2016,” Jeff Osborne, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus & Co. in New York, said in an email on Saturday. “Each tool is about $600,000 to $700,000. The stock in the past was always exposed to solar and LED. That appears to be starting to change.”

Osborne rates the shares a buy, with a 12-month price target of $8. Jonathan Dorsheimer, a Canaccord analyst in Boston, on Saturday upgraded GT Advanced to buy, raising his price target to $9 from $5.

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