American Superconductor Management Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

American Superconductor (AMSC)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

August 02, 2012 10:00 am ET


Jason Fredette - Managing Director of Corporate Communications

Daniel Patrick McGahn - Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

David A. Henry - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer, Senior Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer


James Ricchiuti - Needham & Company, LLC, Research Division

Benjamin Schuman - Pacific Crest Securities, Inc., Research Division

Aaron Chew - Maxim Group LLC, Research Division

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

Philip Lee



Good day, everyone, and welcome to the AMSC Conference Call. This conference is being recorded. [Operator Instructions] With us on the call this morning are AMSC President and CEO, Daniel McGahn; Senior Vice President and CFO, David Henry; and Vice President of Communications and Marketing, Jason Fredette. For opening remarks, I would like to turn the conference over to Mr. Jason Fredette. Please go ahead, sir.

Jason Fredette

Thanks, Anthony, and welcome to the call, everyone.

Before we begin, I'd like to note that various remarks management may make on this conference call about AMSC's future expectations, plans and prospects constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the Safe Harbor provisions under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including those discussed in the Risk Factors section of our annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012, which we filed with the SEC on June 6, and subsequent reports that we filed with the SEC.

These forward-looking statements represent our expectations only as of today and should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any subsequent date to today. While AMSC anticipates that subsequent events and developments may cause the company's views to change, we specifically disclaim any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

I also would like to note that we'll be referring on today's call to non-GAAP net loss or net loss before amortization of acquisition-related intangibles, restructuring and impairments, stock-based compensation expense, change in fair value of derivative liability and warrants, noncash interest expense, and other unusual charges. Non-GAAP net loss is a non-GAAP financial metric. A reconciliation of non-GAAP to GAAP net loss can be found in the press release we issued and filed with the SEC this morning on Form 8-K. All of our press releases and our SEC filings can be accessed from the Investors page of our website at

And now, CEO, Dan McGahn, will begin the quarterly review. Dan?

Daniel Patrick McGahn

Thanks, Jason, and good morning to you all. There's been a lot of news out there recently that impacts our business prospects, perhaps, in a very positive way. We'll touch on these topics throughout the call today.

But before getting to the first quarter highlights, similar to the past few calls, let's begin our discussion this morning with an update on Sinovel. For those of you that are new to AMSC, Sinovel is a former AMSC customer, who without prior notice, rejected substantial contracted shipments from us in March of 2011 and was eventually found to have stolen intellectual property from us. As evidenced by the confession and imprisonment of Sinovel's co-conspirator in this crime, the merits of our case really can't be any stronger.

In recent months, the political focus on our conflict with this former customer has been intensifying. With roughly a quarter of our workforce located in Austria, our European ties are significant. Leaders from the European Union have been focusing their attention on ensuring that AMSC receives equitable compensation.

In the United States, leaders such as Senator John Kerry; former Secretary of Commerce and now Ambassador to China, Gary Locke; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; and Vice President, Biden, have been personally pressing our case with their counterparts in the Chinese government.

Meanwhile, we are continuing to press our case to the Chinese courts. The legal proceedings include 3 civil suits and a commercial arbitration case, which in total, amount to about $1.2 billion. Two of our civil cases deal with Sinovel's copyright infringement. The first is in Hainan, a southern province in China, and the second is in Beijing. Sinovel had made motions to dismiss both of these cases saying that they should be added to arbitration. The Hainan courts sided with Sinovel, dismissing our case there. The Beijing courts recently sided with AMSC, rejecting Sinovel's motion.

AMSC and Sinovel have both now filed appeals on these rulings with China's Supreme Court. We are now awaiting a hearing date.

We also are awaiting a court date on our third civil case, which deals with Sinovel's infringement of trade secrets. In this case, our claims amount to more than $450 million. We believe this is the largest intellectual property case ever undertaken in China.

We continue to see progress in our fourth legal proceeding, which is with the Beijing Arbitration Commission. Here, we are seeking payment for approximately $70 million in past product shipments and enforcement of our existing contracts with Sinovel, which amount to more than $700 million.

As we discussed on our last call, we've already completed 2 sessions with the Beijing Arbitration Commission. A third session will be held next week in Beijing. While it is possible that additional sessions may be needed to complete the evidence submission and rebuttals, we are hopeful that the tribunal of arbitrators will begin their deliberations in the not-too-distant future.

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