Coherent, Inc. (COHR)

F4Q2010 (Qtr End 10/02/2010) Earnings Call

November 4, 2010 4:30 pm ET


Helene Simonet - EVP and CFO

John Ambroseo - President and CEO


Mark Douglass - Longbow Research

Larry Solow - CJS Securities

Mark Miller - Noble Capital Markets

Ajit Pai - Stifel Nicolaus



Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Coherent fiscal quarter four 2010 earnings conference call hosted by Coherent Incorporated. (Operator Instructions) I would now like to introduce Ms. Helene Simonet, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Helene Simonet

Good afternoon and welcome to Coherent's fourth quarter and fiscal year end conference call. On today's call, I will provide financial information and John Ambroseo, our President and CEO, will provide a business overview.

As a reminder, any guidance and any statements in today's conference call pertaining to future guidance, plans, events or performance, are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ significantly. We encourage you to refer to the risk disclosures and critical accounting policies described in the Company's reports on Forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K, as applicable and as filed from time-to-time by the Company.

The full text of today's prepared remarks, which will include references to historical bookings and sales by market, will be posted on the Coherent Investor Relations website. A replay of the web cast will be made available for approximately 90 days following the call.

Bookings for the quarter were $192.5 million, representing an all-time record for Coherent. We ended the fiscal year with a book-to-bill ratio of 1.16 and a record backlog of $262 million. Net sales for the fourth quarter were $166.4 million, leading to revenues for the full fiscal year of $605.1 million. This is slightly higher than our 2008 revenues and represents a growth of 39% when comparing to last fiscal year.

Fiscal 2010 acquisitions accounted for approximately 4% of the annual growth. The fourth quarter pro forma income of $0.59 per diluted share compares to a pro forma loss of $0.04 per share a year ago. The full fiscal 2010 pro forma income of $1.92 per diluted share compares to $0.24 per share last year. We are very pleased with the positive impact from our footprint and restructuring activities, our focus on controlling expenses, the speed of recovery and the level of design wins we achieved during the year.

Our fourth quarter pro forma earnings of $0.59 per diluted share were impacted by a few exceptional items. The recent currency volatility resulted in higher currency exchange losses, reducing our earnings by approximately $0.02 per share. In addition, recent vendor component issues resulted in increased costs, which reduced earnings by about $0.03 per share. We ended the year with a cash balance of $263 million, an increase of $19 million for the year.

During the quarter, the company repurchased approximately 719,000 shares for $26.6 million, bringing the total repurchased shares this fiscal year to almost 1.2 million. The average price per share was $36.21 with total cash spent of $43.3 million. We have $6.7 million outstanding against the $50 million previously approved by the board.

Net sales for the fourth quarter of $166.4 million grew almost 55% compared to the same quarter a year ago and were very similar to the previous quarter. As you may recall, last quarter our sales included solar tool revenues of $13 million compared to none this quarter. The sales mix by market is also very similar when compared to last quarter. The lower solar revenues were offset mainly by increases in the advanced packaging market.

Geographically, Asia represented slightly over 36% of fiscal 2010 revenues, and we anticipate the Asia region to remain strong during the next fiscal year. The company's sales by market application for the fourth quarter are as follows, scientific $33.3 million, microelectronics $69.4 million, material processing $23.8 million, OEM components and instrumentation $39.8 million for a total of $166.4 million.

The fourth quarter gross profit was $69.8 million or 42% of sales and included $3.7 million restructuring and stock compensation charges. As a reminder, the restructuring costs included in cost of goods sold are higher than the prior quarterly run rates due to the inclusion of the loss on the sale of the Finland building. On a pro forma basis, gross profit was 44.2% compared to 35.6% a year ago, and 45.1% last quarter.

The fourth quarter gross profit was negatively impacted by unexpected costs associated with the replacement of non-compliant vendor components. The component issues have been successfully addressed and we anticipate returning to a pro forma 45% gross profit level next quarter. The significant improvement versus last year is the result of the sizeable increase in revenues, the positive impact of the manufacturing restructuring activities, and a more favorable mix towards commercial markets.

Pro forma period expenses of $51.1 million, excluding $3 million for restructuring and stock compensation charges, increased $1.9 million from the previous quarter. As indicated previously, we stepped up R&D project spending, principally to address some large flat panel display opportunities. In addition we are adding headcount, although very selectively, to position us to respond effectively to the positive booking momentum we are experiencing.

Our cash and cash equivalents balance for the quarter was $263 million, representing a sequential increase of $9 million. The cash balance was positively impacted by a stronger Euro versus the dollar, positive cash flow from operations and higher proceeds from stock exercises, partially offset by $27 million stock repurchases and $5 million capital spending.

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