Aehr Test Systems' CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Aehr Test Systems (AEHR)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

July 19, 2011 5:00 pm ET


Gary Larson - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer and Vice President of Finance

Lasse Glassen - Senior Vice President of Financial Relations Board Division

Rhea Posedel - Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer


John Nelson - State of Wisconsin Investment Board

Geoffrey Scott



Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Aehr Test Systems Fourth Quarter Fiscal Year 2011 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] This conference is being recorded today, Tuesday, July 19, 2011. And I'd now like to turn the conference over to Mr. Lasse Glassen of the Financial Relations Board. Please go ahead.

Lasse Glassen

Good afternoon, and thanks for joining us to discuss Aehr Test Systems results for the fiscal 2011 fourth quarter and full year. By now, you should have all received a copy of today's press release. If not, you can call my office at (213) 486-6546, and we will get one out to you right away.

With us today from Aehr Test are Rhea Posedel, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; and Gary Larson, Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer. Management will review its operating performance for the quarter before opening the call to your questions.

Now I'd like to turn the call over to Gary Larson. Please go ahead, Gary.

Gary Larson

Thank you, Lasse, and thanks to everyone for joining us today. Before we begin, I'd like to make a few comments about forward-looking statements. Please be advised that during the course of our discussion today, we may make forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties relating to projections regarding industry growth and customer demand for Aehr Test's products, as well as projections regarding Aehr Test's future financial performance. Actual results may differ materially from projected results and should not be considered as an indication of future performance. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation: World economic conditions; the state of the semiconductor equipment market; acceptance by customers of Aehr Test technologies; acceptance by customers of the system shipped upon receipt of a purchase order; the ability of new products to meet customers' needs or performance described; the company's ability to maintain sufficient cash to support operations, the impact of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami upon the company's operations; the company's development, manufacture and marketing of a commercially successful wafer test and burn-in system; and the potential emergence of alternative technologies, each of which could adversely affect demand for Aehr Test's products in the fiscal year 2011. We refer you to our most recent 10-K, 10-Q and other reports from time to time filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a more detailed description of the risks facing our business and factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from projected results. The company disclaims any obligation to update information contained in any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this conference call.

Now I'd like to introduce our Chairman and CEO, Rhea Posedel. Rhea?

Rhea Posedel

Thank you, Gary. Good afternoon, and welcome to our conference call for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011. Net sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 were $3.7 million, slightly higher than the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010, but down 12% on a sequential quarter basis compared to net sales of $4.2 million in the previous quarter. The net loss for the quarter was $144,000, an improvement from the prior quarter's net loss of $946,000.

During the fourth quarter, we benefited from an increase in ABTS system revenues. The balance of the shipments came mostly from FOX-1 WaferPak contactors and system upgrades for wafer sort testing at NOR Flash. These WaferPak shipments indicate to us that Spansion, a key customer and leading NOR flash producer, is achieving ongoing cost and throughput benefits with our FOX full wafer contact solution.

We had a number of additional highlights that I'd like to bring to your attention.

First, Spansion continues to invest in upgrading their FOX-1 full wafer parallel testers and buying WaferPak contactors for new and existing devices. During the fourth quarter, we announced booking over $2 million in orders for FOX-1 WaferPak contactors and services.

Second, we're pleased to report that Spansion has moved all of their FOX-1 testers from TI's facility in Aizu, Japan. About half were moved to their Fab 25 facility in Austin, Texas. Most importantly, a number of FOX-1 testers have been placed at a leading Taiwanese test subcontractor. Having FOX-1s in use at a leading wafer sort test subcon could potentially help us sell FOX-1s and WaferPak contactors to other Taiwanese IC producers.

Third, we are pleased to announce on June 2 that we sold our ownership in ESA, our distributor in Southeast Asia for nearly $1.4 million in cash.

Fourth, we are pleased to report that we received an evaluation PO for a new ABTS-L56i burn-in system from a leading logic and analog integrated device manufacturer. The target application is for burn-in of their high-power logic devices requiring individual temperature control per device. Even though this isn't a booking until our customer validates that the ABTS can pass their qualification process, we believe this is a major milestone. This customer has a high-interest level in the ABTS-L56i because it offers higher capacity at a lower cost per device than competitive systems. If successful with this qualification, which could take 3 to 5 months, we believe this customer has the potential to order significant quantities over a number of years.

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