Advanced Energy Industries Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Advanced Energy Industries (AEIS)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

July 31, 2012 8:30 am ET

Executives

Annie Leschin

Garry W. Rogerson - Chief Executive Officer and Director

Yuval Wasserman - President of The Thin Films Business Unit

Gordon Tredger

Danny C. Herron - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Analysts

Krish Sankar - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Edwin Mok - Needham & Company, LLC, Research Division

Colin W. Rusch - ThinkEquity LLC, Research Division

Mark W. Bachman - Avian Securities, LLC, Research Division

Mehdi Hosseini - Susquehanna Financial Group, LLLP, Research Division

Olga Levinzon - Barclays Capital, Research Division

Mark Delaney - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Presentation

Operator

Welcome to Advanced Energy's Second Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, today's conference is being recorded for replay purposes. And I would now like to turn the conference over to Annie Leschin, Investor Relations. Ms. Leschin, you may begin.

Annie Leschin

Thank you, operator, and good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us today for our Second Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. With me on today's call are Garry Rogerson, Chief Executive Officer; Danny Herron, Executive Vice President and CFO; Yuval Wasserman, President of the Thin Films Business Unit; and Gordon Tredger, President of the Solar Energy business unit.

By now, you should have received your copy of the earnings release that was issued yesterday evening. For a copy of the release, please visit our website at advanced-energy.com, or call us directly at (970) 407-4670.

This quarter, Advanced Energy will be participating in the Needham Advanced Industrial Technologies Conference on August 7 in New York, the Pacific Crest Annual Leadership Forum on August 14 in Vail, Colorado, and the City Technology Conference on September 6 in New York.

Finally, I'd like to remind everyone that except for the historical financial information contained herein, the matters discussed on this call contain certain forward-looking statements subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Statements that include the terms believes, expects, plans, objective, estimates, anticipates, intends, targets or the like, should be viewed as forward-looking and uncertain. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the volatility and cyclicality of the industries we serve, the timing of orders received from our customers and unanticipated changes in our estimates, reserves or allowances, as well as other factors listed in our press release.

These and other risks are described in Forms 10-Q 10-K and other reports filed with SEC. In addition, we assume no obligation to update the information that we did provide you during this call, including the third quarter guidance provided today and in our press release. Guidance will not be updated after today's call until our next scheduled quarterly financial release.

I'd now like to turn the call over to Garry Rogerson, CEO of Advanced Energy. Garry?

Garry W. Rogerson

Good morning, and thank you for joining us. I will begin today with a summary of the quarterly results and an update on the progress we've made on our strategic plan, including cost reductions and next steps to maximizing customer relationships and growing revenue.

Let me begin with Slide 4. Our second quarter performance was sound, with a 9% sequential increase in revenue to $116 million, a substantial improvement over last quarter, and profit stability of $0.18 of non-GAAP earnings per share. These results reflect our unwavering focus on lowering our cost structure and keeping those costs under control, regardless of market fluctuation. Again, we do not see these costs returning in the future.

Having lowered our quarterly breakeven to the stop of $100 million revenue level, we are now seeing the direct benefit of higher volumes equating to stronger profit. We continue to manage our working capital very well, and in the quarter, with $149 million of cash. We believe the second quarter of 2012 represented a turning point for AE, demonstrating the powerful potential of our new developing operating model.

From here, our next internal goal is to reach a $2 earnings per share target for 2014 that we laid out on our Analyst Day. The strong outlook for our Solar Energy business, combined with the return of our Thin Films market, should be sufficient to reach those levels.

We are though working, however, on a variety of ways to ensure that we achieve this internal goal, from server cost reductions to product and market expansion, either organically or inorganically, and other ways to utilize our cash.

Turning to Slide 5. Step 1 in our strategic plan was to reduce our cost structure by $16 million to $20 million annually. Having instilled a more cost-conscious culture across the organization, we have already far exceeded that, reaching upwards of $30 million in annualized cost savings, with the opportunity for more.

Now, we are moving onto step 2, finding new ways to lower our cost of manufacturing, while maintaining product quality and performance. With an experienced supply chain team in place in Shenzhen, we are just beginning to see the potential for outsourcing many of our materials and components to even lower-cost areas and utilizing modern manufacturing tools to gain greater efficiencies and lower cost.

While these savings will take longer to materialize, we believe we have the ability to save another $15 million to $20 million in manufacturing cost throughout the organization. Overall, I'm quite proud of the incredible stride the entire AE team has made in reducing our cost and achieving our 3 main goals: One, balancing the cyclicality of our business; two, reaching profitability in our Solar business; and 3, improving margins and bringing more profit to the bottom line. With our further effort, we should have the opportunity to break at -- to lower our breakeven yet further.

Turning to Slide 6. During the quarter, we generated over $33 million in cash, excluding repurchases. In addition, we completed our $75 million stock repurchase plan, buying back a total of 6.4 million shares. By lowering our cost and managing our cash more effectively, we're now looking at how best to reinvest some of those dollars, position us closer to our customers and grow our revenues.

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