February 2, 2011 / 12:48 PM / in 7 years

UPDATE 2-ATS posts surprise Q3 loss on weakness at French unit

* Q3 loss/shr C$0.14 vs est EPS C$0.06

* Q3 revenue C$192.5 mln beats Street view of C$157.6 mln

* (Adds details, share milestone)

Feb 2 (Reuters) - Canada’s ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc (ATA.TO), which makes factory automation systems and solar energy equipment, posted a surprise third-quarter loss, hurt mainly by a weakness at its French unit.

Last month, the company had said that about 95 jobs at its French solar unit, Photowatt International, could be cut under a restructuring plan.

It had also said lower feed-in tariffs for solar power in France and Germany have hurt selling prices. [ID:nN06140299]

For the quarter ended Dec. 26, ATS, which bought Germany’s healthcare systems maker Sortimat Group in June last year, reported net loss of C$11.9 million ($12 million), or 14 Canadian cents a share, compared with net income of C$3.7 million, or 4 Canadian cents a share, a year ago.

Analysts on an average had expected earnings of 6 Canadian cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose to C$192.5 million from C$138.1 million, aided by 59 percent growth in the Automated Systems Group segment.

Analysts had expected revenue of C$157.6 million.

The Cambridge, Ontario-based company’s shares, which have risen 5 percent since the job cuts at the French unit, closed at C$6.92 on Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. ($1=.9919 Canadian Dollar) (Reporting by Amruta Sabnis in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier and Maju Samuel)

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