PETALUMA -- Tegal Corp. (Nasdaq: TGAL) today reported its fiscal-year loss decreased by more than half from fiscal 2011, thanks to sales of patents related to the company's former focus on semiconductor chip-making equipment.

Net loss for the year, ended March 31, decreased to $1.43 million, or 85 cents a share, from $3.13 million, or $1.85 a share, in fiscal 2011.

That was thanks to a net gain of $3.1 million on a $4 million sale of patents and writing off its January 2011 investment of $2 million for a 25 percent stake in photovoltaic energy utility facility developer Sequel Power. Tegal recognized its proportionate share of Sequel Power’s fourth-quarter operating loss of $1.545 million.

“Tegal emerges from Fiscal 2012 with a substantially strengthened balance sheet and excellent prospects for additionally monetizing our IP portfolio,” said Thomas Mika, president and chief executive officer. “Our investment focus became more tightly focused on healthcare technologies, whose growth is driven by government mandates and increasing demands for efficiency. We expect healthcare technology to be a significant part of our growth in fiscal 2013.”

Tegal recorded a net loss of $2.23 million in its fiscal fourth quarter. The company is marketing one more group of chip-making patents for sale.

Revenue was $100,000 for the fiscal year, up from $16,000 a year before.

Tegal had $7.8 million in cash at the end of fiscal 2012. The company made a $300,000 investment in NanoVibronix Inc., a medical device company with proprietary low-intensity surface acoustic wave technology.

The price of Tegal's stock opened more than 13 percent higher at $3.80 a share Thursday and has remained there after no other trades so far in the session.