Echelon's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Echelon (ELON)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

May 09, 2012 5:00 pm ET


Annie Leschin -

Ronald A. Sege - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, President and Member of Stock Option Committee

William R. Slakey - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President


Chip Moore - Canaccord Genuity, Research Division

Joseph A. Maxa - Dougherty & Company LLC, Research Division

Shawn E. Lockman - Piper Jaffray Companies, Research Division

Colin W. Rusch - ThinkEquity LLC, Research Division

Patrick Jobin - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Dale Pfau - Cantor Fitzgerald & Co., Research Division

Pavel Molchanov - Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Research Division



Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Echelon First Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded for replay purposes. I would now like to turn the call over to Ms. Annie Leschin, Investor Relations. Please proceed.

Annie Leschin

Thank you, operator. Hello, everyone, and thank you for joining us this afternoon for Echelon's First Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. With me on today's call are Ron Sege, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; and Bill Slakey, Executive Vice President and CFO both of whom will present prepared remarks.

By now you should've received a copy of the press release that we issued a short time ago. If you would like a copy, please visit our website at Additionally, this quarter, we're going to refer to a set of slides that we have posted on our IR section of our website to help walk through the quarter's results and our outlook for the market.

Before we begin, I'd like to let everyone know that the during the quarter, Echelon will be participating in Deutsche Bank's Clean Tech Conference on May 14 in New York and the Piper Jaffray Internet of Things Conference on June 26 in Chicago. As additional events are scheduled, I will make other announcements.

And now I'd like to remind everyone that during the course of this call, we may make statements related to our business outlook, future operating financial results, accounting matters and overall future prospects. These are forward-looking statements based on certain assumptions and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. We encourage you to read the risks described in our press release, as well as in our SEC reports, including our report on Form 10-Q and subsequent reports on Form 10-K for a more complete disclosure of the risks and uncertainties related to our business.

The financial information presented in this call reflects estimates based on information that is available to us at this time. Actual results may differ materially, and Echelon is to undertake no obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements, and guidance will not be updated after today's call until our next scheduled quarterly financial release.

Now, I'd like to turn the call over to Ron Sege. Ron?

Ronald A. Sege

Thank you, Annie. Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for joining us for our first quarter conference call. I'll begin with a summary of the quarter's results, and then discuss our business outlook and steps we are taking to improve our cost structure to protect our goal of profitability. Finally, I will give you an update on progress with longer-term strategic initiatives.

Turning to Slide 3. First quarter performance met our expectations on the top line and exceeded on the bottom line. Total revenue was $40.3 million, up 42% year-over-year, with 71% coming from our systems business and 29% from sub-systems. We reached non-GAAP breakeven during the quarter, demonstrating our focus on better expense management and gross margin expansion. We ended the quarter with $58.4 million in cash, which was roughly flat from the previous quarter. We continue to ship products in volume to large utility customers and saw momentum in Brazil and China build, but saw lower revenues from our sub-systems business.

Turning to Slide 4. Looking forward, as I mentioned last quarter, we need to convert a certain amount of our systems sales pipeline into 2012 revenues to achieve our full year financial goals. While we remain positive about our progress, especially given pilot activity and other leading indicators, new utility awards in our target markets are being delayed due to the macro environment. As a result, our pipeline is not converting into orders in revenue at the rate we had anticipated. Therefore, as Bill will expand upon, our visibility into the second half of the year is quite limited.

With sustained profitability and the funding of strategic initiatives to drive growth as our highest priorities, we are taking proactive measures in 4 areas to reduce expenses that will benefit us in the second half of the year and beyond. First, we are consolidating development activity around a more focused number of projects, as we continue to converge on our single energy control networking platform. Second, we are expanding our recently announced joint venture with Holley Metering to leverage JV-based R&D to develop products in this lower-cost region. Third, we expect to see benefits from our previously announced sales force reorganization that will reduce field-related expenses without impacting our growth prospects. Finally, we have identified benefits from efficiencies in operations and G&A as a result of ongoing operational excellence initiatives.

The results of all this is that we are reducing our workforce in targeted areas and benefiting from cost savings in other. While a very difficult decision, we are making adjustments to our spending to lower our breakeven level and ensure we can navigate through this period of uncertainty.

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