Kulicke & Soffa Industries' CEO Discusses F2Q12 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Kulicke & Soffa Industries, Inc. (KLIC)

F2Q12 Earnings Call

May 1, 2012 8:00 AM ET

Executives

Joseph Elgindy – IR

Bruno Guilmart – President and CEO

Jonathan Chou – SVP and CFO

Analysts

Krish Sankar – Bank of America/Merrill Lynch

Satya Kumar – Credit Suisse

David Duley – Steelhead

Tom Diffely – DA Davidson

David Wu – Indaba Global Research

Andy Shapic – Private Investor

Amarish Mehta – Tenor

Presentation

Operator

Greetings, and welcome to the Kulicke & Soffa Fiscal Year 2012 Second Quarter Results Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. A question-and-answer session will follow the formal presentation. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, Joseph Elgindy, Manager of Investor Relations for Kulicke & Soffa. Thank you, Mr. Elgindy. You may begin.

Joseph Elgindy

Thank you, Claudia. Good morning, everyone, and welcome to Kulicke & Soffa’s fiscal 2012 second quarter conference call. Joining us on the call today are Bruno Guilmart, President and CEO; Jonathan Chou, Senior Vice President and CFO. Both are available for Q&A after the prepared comments. For those of you who have not received a copy of today’s results, the release is available in the Investor Relations section of our website at kns.com.

In addition to historical statements, today’s remarks will contain statements relating to future events and our future results. These statements are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Our actual results and financial condition may differ materially from what is indicated in those forward-looking statements. For a complete discussion of the risks associated with Kulicke & Soffa that could affect our future results and financial conditions, please refer to our SEC filings, particularly the 10-K for the year ended October 1, 2011 and our other recent SEC filings.

I would now like to turn the call over to Mr. Bruno Guilmart. Please go ahead, Bruno.

Bruno Guilmart

Thank you, Joe and thank you all for joining our call today. We are pleased with our business performance this quarter. Results came in above the high end of our prior guidance. Importantly, the revenue strength was matched by gross margin strength. Our continued success strategy – that exposed our business strategy and our long term road map.

Our focus remains on expanding our technology and market leadership while pursuing areas that can reduce the cyclicality in our business. In immediate terms, we continue to capture all opportunities possible related to yield bearing and broadening position for growth suffered. We are still (inaudible) and capacity. This momentum gives us a distinct business advantage as we move forward.

In terms of strength in the March quarter, we’ve – for normal seasonal recovery as the December quarter’s demand was – is typically lower. Unlike the prior quarter, we are trying to see encouraging data points. This is led by positive equipment inventory trends, capacity levels and end market gross drivers like mobile reputations. Although we continue to see clear signs of the improved demand in the short term, our management team remains focused in tracing the company’s – for long term this includes new product initiatives, ongoing gross margin improvements, operational efficiency gain and overall cash generation.

This ever-present focus on continual improvement has enabled us to better manage our financial performance to the cycle. Over the past three years, our average gross margin exceeded 45%, our average operating margin has been over 17% and we generated nearly $300 million of cash.

For the March quarter, we’ve achieved gross margin of 45.6% on operating profit of $20.2 million and we generated an additional 22.4 million of cash. All this during a period of relatively soft demand combined with a short quarter due to the Chinese New Year holiday.

During the March quarter, we experienced an improvement in our equipment business which was largely driven by a higher ball bonder demand. The increase in ball bonder volumes was largely due to a rebound in demand from OSAT customers. 84.8% of wire bonders sold during this quarter were to OSAT customers, an increase from the prior quarter.

Demand from copper-capable wire bonders continues to remain strong. Approximately 17.4% of our wire bonders were sold as copper-capable. We estimate around 25% of bonder in the field are copper-capable. This implies that we’re still at the early stages of the broadening transition.

We anticipate the trim copper capacity in the field is dramatically lower than the approximately 70% of integrated circuits that make (inaudible) to copper. Considering this future capacity need in addition to our (inaudible) product offering strong OSAT share and sustain on investments, we believe the copper foundation will continue to be a meaningful demand driver for years to come.

Over 8% of our ball bonder store were configured to the LED market. We continue to work with LED customers where our products are technically best suited and where we have a competitive advantage.

Turning to wedge bonders, our volumes were soft in the March quarter compared to the December quarter due to lower demand in all markets and segments including power semiconductors, automotive and industrial. However we have started to see an improvement in demand and we anticipate rapid volumes to increase in the coming months.

In summary, we are pleased with our business performance in the March quarter. We continue to drive revenue margin and operational improvements. At the same time our focus remains on expanding our technology and market leadership while pursuing growth areas that can reduce the uncertainty of our business.

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