Amtech Systems: Q1 Results

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TEMPE, Arizona - Amtech Systems, Inc. (ASYS), a global supplier of production and automation systems and related supplies for the manufacture of solar cells, semiconductors, and sapphire and silicon wafers, reported results for its second fiscal quarter ending March 31, 2014.

Second Quarter Fiscal 2014 Financial Highlights:

    Unrestricted Cash of $36.7 million, up $6.3 million from December 31, 2013
    Customer orders of $21.5 million (solar $13.6 million), up 125% from a year ago
    Book to bill ratio of 1.7:1 (solar 2.2:1)
    Quarter-end backlog of $31.0 million; solar backlog of $20.5 million
    Net revenue of $12.7 million, up 57% from a year ago
    Net loss of $3.8 million, or $0.39 per share

Mr. Fokko Pentinga, Chief Executive Officer of Amtech, commented, "We are pleased to see much progress in the quarter.  We booked $21.5 million in orders which is the highest level we have had in three years.  We have a healthy backlog as we move into the second half of our fiscal year.  Furthermore, as part of our ongoing R&D partnership, we shipped our Kingstone ion implant system to ECN and expect to install and start development efforts on higher efficiency cell technology in the coming months.  Plus, in February we received our second production order for our PECVD product from a global technology leader indicating the value of its capabilities. Our semiconductor/LED business continues to add value and has greatly improved during the first six months of fiscal 2014 compared to the same period a year ago as evidenced by an 85% increase in orders."

Pentinga continued, "We continue to operate with a strong focus on corporate-wide expense control and diligent cash management.  When the solar market turned down in 2012, we responded quickly and continuously adjusted corporate and manufacturing expenses as market demand weakened.  As a result, we are financially strong today and remain well-positioned to be highly responsive to the improved demand in the global marketplace. We are also proud of our well executed solar research and development programs in the midst of the down-cycle, which resulted in doubling the size of the market we serve. We are optimistic that the second half of 2014 will reflect improved demand for our products."

Net revenue for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 was $12.7 million compared to $14.8 million in the preceding quarter and $8.1 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2013. The increase compared to last year is due primarily to improved demand is all market segments, partially offset by lower recognition of previously-deferred revenue.

Customer orders in the second quarter of fiscal 2014 were $21.5 million ($13.6 million solar), compared to $10.9 million ($3.2 million solar) in the preceding quarter and $9.6 million ($5.8 million solar) in the second quarter of fiscal 2013.

At March 31, 2014, the Company's total order backlog was $31.0 million, compared to total backlog of $23.3 million at December 31, 2013.  Total backlog at March 31, 2014, includes $20.5 million in solar orders and deferred revenue, compared to solar backlog of $14.1 million at December 31, 2013. Backlog includes deferred revenue and customer orders that are expected to ship within the next 12 months.

Gross margin in the second quarter of fiscal 2014 was 23%, compared to 30% in the second quarter of fiscal 2013. The lower margin resulted primarily from lower recognition of previously-deferred profit which was a high percentage of net revenue in the second quarter of fiscal 2013.

Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses in the second quarter of fiscal 2014 were $5.3 million compared to $4.0 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2013. SG&A expenses include $0.2 million and $0.3 million of stock-based compensation expense in the second quarter of fiscal 2014 and fiscal 2013, respectively.  Included in SG&A expense in the second quarter of fiscal 2014 is approximately $1.4 million of bad debt expense.

Research and Development (R&D) expense was $2.2 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2014 compared to $1.9 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2013.  The increase in R&D expense is primarily due to higher activity in the development of additional markets for the ion implant technology.                                           

Depreciation and amortization in the second quarter of fiscal 2014 was $583,000, compared to $683,000 in the second quarter of fiscal 2013.

Income tax expense in the second quarter of fiscal 2014 was approximately zero, due to the effect of book/tax differences and valuation allowances on net operating losses in certain tax jurisdictions in which the company operates.  This compares to a tax benefit of $800,000 in the second quarter of fiscal 2013.

The net loss for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 was $3.8 million, or $0.39 per share, compared to a net loss for the second quarter of fiscal 2013 of $2.1 million, or $0.22 per share.

Total unrestricted cash and cash equivalents at March 31, 2014 were $36.7 million, compared to $30.3 million at December 31, 2013.  The increase in cash and cash equivalents is due primarily to the receipt of a tax refund of $5.5 million and proceeds of $1.1 million from exercise of stock options.

Conference Call

Amtech Systems will host a conference call and webcast today at 5:00pm ET to discuss second quarter fiscal 2014 financial results. Those in the USA wishing to participate in the live call should dial (877) 317-6789. From Canada, dial (866)-605-3852, and internationally, dial (412) 317-6789. Request "Amtech" when connected to the operator. A replay of the call will be available one hour after the end of the conference call through May 14, 2014.  To access the replay please dial US toll free (877) 344-7529 and enter code 10040655. Internationally, dial (412) 317-0088 and use the same code.  A live and archived web cast of the conference call can be accessed in the investor relations section of Amtech's website at www.amtechsystems.com.

About Amtech Systems, Inc.

Amtech Systems, Inc. is a leading global provider of production and automation systems and related consumables used in fabricating solar cells, LEDs and semiconductor devices. These products are part of the circuitry, or electronic components, of many products including solar cells, computers, telecommunications devices, automotive products, consumer goods, and industrial automation and control systems. The Company's wafer handling, thermal processing and consumable products currently address the diffusion, oxidation, and deposition steps in the fabrication of solar cells, LEDs, semiconductors, MEMS and the polishing of newly sliced sapphire and silicon wafers. Amtech's products are recognized under the leading brand names Tempress SystemsTM, Bruce TechnologiesTM, PR HoffmanTM, R2D AutomationTM and Kingstone Semiconductor.  Amtech is leveraging its proven technology, established brands and strong industry presence to further expand its penetration into the large and growing solar, LED and semiconductor markets.

Contact:
Amtech Systems, Inc.
Bradley C. Anderson
Chief Financial Officer
(480) 967-5146
irelations@Amtechsystems.com
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