Brooks Automation (BRKS)

Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference

Feb 29, 2012 04:00 PM ET


Martin Headley - CFO


Unidentified Analyst

Good afternoon everyone and thank you for coming. My name is Ms. Valerie and I'm member of the semiconductor and capital equipment equity research team here at Morgan Stanley. It's my pleasure to welcome Martin Headley, CFO of Brooks Automation. Martin is going to kick us off with some high level comments, opportunities for 2012 and then we'll jump into some Q&A.

Martin Headley

Thank you very much. I think it's best to frame what's top of mind with Brooks by maybe five significant priorities that we have at the moment. Firstly its integrating our new and very exciting Brooks Life Science Systems business into Brooks. This is a business that we entered with the acquisitions of RTF Life Sciences and Nexus Bio Systems during the course of 2011 and followed up with a very exciting product line acquisition of an automated Cytometer called Celigo in December of 2011 and this is a business that we see having a growth potential of over 20% per annum driven by personalized medicine initiatives that are really expanding the amount of biological samples that are being stored on this earth to facilitate those initiatives and we see the amount of samples being stored growing at somewhere between 25% and 30% per year and really being the fuel behind the driver for a fully effective sample management solution that will enable a better yield of the samples available from storage.

In addition to that we're not short changing our core business. Our Brooks Product Solutions business which is focused on semiconductor front end, adjacent market and investor markets, we are looking to grow our market share in that business by about 300 basis points per year and that's fueled by the design wins that we have with our OEM customer base.

About 80% of that business is sold through OEMs where you get designs into the platform and wining that position is critical to the long term growth of the business. We had 79 such design and wins in fiscal 2011. We continued that strong momentum with 22 design wins in the first quarter of our fiscal 2012 for September fiscal year.

We're also looking at the operational aspects of our business. We are spending some not inconsiderable amounts currently with consultants as well as upgrading our critical capabilities within the company to support supply chain operational initiatives where we're targeting the next time we reach $150 million run rate in a quarter to be the 40% gross margin which contrast with just shy of 37% for the calendar year ended December 2012 if you exclude the contract manufacturing business.

We have a very strong balance, just shy of $20 million of cash. We have relatively limited requirements to run our business and as a result we believe that we can utilize this cash very effectively in supporting growth initiatives particularly in the Life Science Systems area where we believe there are a number of smaller acquisitions that can build out this strong footprint that we've started to establish and build further our capabilities in this area. We don’t need to do any further acquisitions in order to get the yield we expected from our existing acquisitions but see this more as future opportunity as well as potentially acquisitions that might add other technical capabilities to our core portfolio even in the other parts of our technology and product solutions business.

And financially in an in-certain world the other thing that we've got ahead of mind, top of mind is maintaining operational and financial nimbleness so that you continue to see a variable margin drop through that surround 40% of every revenue variation so that we can drive the returns that are expected from this business.

Unidentified Analyst

Thank you very much. So just talking about Life Sciences, you had a strong quarter, your trailing 12 month revenues what you mentioned from RTS and Nexus, about $48 million and you indicated about 20% growth and if you take a step back at the highest level, like what kind of a potential market size and opportunity are you talking about?

Martin Headley

If you are look at what we currently address with the Life Science Systems business we address about $150 million market for automated sample management stores and the service of both stores and we address about a $200 million addressable market with our other instrument solutions such as the Celigo Cytometer. If you were to look at the potential for growth in those different aspects, they are little different. The automated sample management area, we see that predominantly driven by growth in the market size, that the market needs to grow rapidly to provide lower temperature automated storage to improve the management of a increasing number of biological samples to be stored and we see that the market growth is the driver behind 20% plus market growth of our business.

If I were to look at the instrument piece of the business, we believe it's predominantly around share growth with our Cytometer being something of a disruptive technology that we believe will be able to displace existing flow Cytometer technologies.

Unidentified Analyst

Right. So in all your acquisitions, can you talk about some kind of operational synergies that you are able to leverage post your acquisitions?

Martin Headley

The synergies that come from putting together our core competencies of automation in a controlled environment, creating very cold environments and tracking things as we do, now where we track wafers with our RFID equipment is that the core competency automated sample management are automation in a very difficult environment, in this case a cold environment. Creating that cold environment and again tracking the samples being a very important core aspect of automated sample management. So levering off those core competencies we were able to develop new solutions that currently are not available in the market and we're working with our R&D teams from our Brooks Product Solutions Group integrated with engineers from the Life Sciences Systems group to pull together next generation product solution, we're able through our existing competencies in mix that priority link which is the essential technology that we use in your minus 80 degree stores, we are able to use on manufacturing and field service engineers to improve the processes of manufacturing of the existing products and the field service of those products, we've already integrated Life Sciences Business to having the back office support from a point of view of finance, human resources, IT that is integral to growth. At this stage the relatively modest levels of operations synergies that we see our folks taking advantage of, that may change in the future.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on