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II-VI Management Discusses Q4 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

During the current quarter, the company continued to be negatively impacted by the declining pricing of tellurium at its PRM business due to decreased demand in the photovoltaic market. In addition, current quarter declines in pricing of selenium caused by unforeseen reduced demand in Chinese metallurgical applications added to these negative results. Furthermore, the worldwide economy is facing challenge and headwinds due to the uncertainty in Europe and swirling growth in China. This current global economic environment, combined with the unpredictable volatility in pricing of our minor metals, has resulted in a cautious customer base company-wide.

During our fourth quarter, our Infrared Optics segment including HIGHYAG had bookings of $52 million, down 2% compared to the fourth quarter of FY '11, down 12% compared to the third quarter of FY '12, which was a record quarter. Fourth quarter was a record shipment quarter at over $53 million as we shipped against the order rate we experienced in the third quarter. Near the end of the quarter and into the month of July, we have seen softening in most markets with the biggest impact driven by Asia. We continue to be concerned as that softening is occurring at a time of lower customer spending -- lower consumer spending, vacation shutdowns around the world and slightly lower laser utilization as inventories worldwide are being adjusted.

Still in our IR Optics unit at the HIGHYAG group, bookings for the fourth quarter were down 16% quarter-over-quarter but up 28% compared to the fourth quarter of FY '11. We continue to see growth opportunities in all addressable markets and in 1-micron welding being delivery systems and 1-micron laser cutting. We have added capacity, are focused on reducing lead times and are taking advantage of the strong market demand. We had record shipments in the fourth quarter, driven by remote welding heads sold to U.S. auto plants.

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