Home PV Manufacturing Amtech Reports Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2015 Results

Amtech Reports Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2015 Results

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Amtech Systems, Inc., a global supplier of production equipment and related supplies for the solar, semiconductor, and LED markets, recently reported results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended September 30, 2015.

Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2015 Operational and Financial Highlights

– Completed sale of majority interest in Kingstone bringing cash back to Amtech and new capital into ion implant business; $8.8 million pre-tax gain
– Customer orders of $18.8 million (solar $2.8 million)
– Net revenue of $28.2 million (solar $12.8 million)
– Quarter-end backlog of $34.6 million (solar $19.6 million)
– Net income of $1.3 million, or $0.10 per share

Fiscal Year 2015 Financial Highlights

– Net revenue of $104.9 million ($50.2 million solar), up 86% from a year ago
– Bookings of $109.9 million ($52.7 million solar), up 79% from a year ago
– Net loss of $7.8 million or $0.65 per share, compared to a net loss of $13.0 million or $1.34 per share a year ago

Mr. Fokko Pentinga, Chief Executive Officer of Amtech, commented, “Much progress was made during our fiscal year 2015 including the successful integration of BTU, the successful close of the Kingstone transaction, ongoing alignment of our costs with the evolving market environment and the important advancement of our technologies to build upon our strong product portfolio and leading market positions.  Although we experienced an anticipated lull in fourth quarter equipment orders, we are pleased to report a 79 percent increase in bookings from one year ago and robust quoting activity with both current and prospective customers.  While the marketplace is being selective in their capital expenditure plans, investment in next generation, higher efficiency cell and module solutions is necessary to address interest in residential, commercial and utility-scale solar solutions by both private and public interest groups around the globe.  Amtech’s ongoing research and development, innovation culture and product development capabilities position us well to be a choice partner in the pursuit of industry-leading, next-generation, higher efficiency solar cell and module solutions.”

Financial Results

Customer orders in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 were $18.8 million, compared to $30.2 million in the preceding quarter and $11.2 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014.At September 30, 2015, the Company’s total order backlog was $34.6 million compared to total backlog of $46.9 million at June 30, 2015 and $28.5 million at September 30, 2014.  Total backlog at September 30, 2015, includes $19.6 million in solar orders and deferred revenue compared to solar backlog of $32.4 million at June 30, 2015 and solar backlog of $20.9 million at September 30, 2014. Backlog includes deferred revenue and customer orders that are expected to ship within the next 12 months.

Net revenue for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 was $28.2 million, a decrease of 30% compared to $40.0 million in the preceding quarter, and an increase of 42% compared to $19.8 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014. The sequential decrease is due primarily to lower volumes in the Company’s solar segment following strong volumes in the third fiscal quarter. The increase from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 is due primarily to the inclusion of BTU revenues.

Gross margin in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 was 23%, compared to 25% in the previous quarter and 13% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014. The lower margins sequentially resulted primarily from lower volumes in our solar and polishing businesses offset by a slight improvement due to semiconductor product mix. Compared to the same quarter in fiscal 2014, gross margins improved primarily as a result of higher volumes in our solar business and was supplemented by the inclusion of BTU in the fiscal 2015 results.

Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 were $9.1 million compared to $10.1 million in the preceding quarter and $4.9 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014.  Sequentially, the decrease results primarily from lower shipping expense and lower commissions on lower sales volume.  Compared to the same quarter in fiscal 2014, the increase results primarily from inclusion of BTU’s SG&A since January 30, 2015, and higher selling expenses related to higher revenues. SG&A expenses include $0.3 million, $0.3 million and $0.2 million of stock-based compensation expense in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, third quarter of fiscal 2015 and fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, respectively.

Research, development and engineering (RD&E) expense was $3.0 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 compared to $1.3 million in the preceding quarter and $1.8 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014.  The sequential increase in RD&E expense is primarily due to lower recognition of government grant funding during the fourth fiscal quarter compared to the third fiscal quarter.  Compared to the same quarter in fiscal 2014, RD&E expense increased due primarily to the inclusion of RD&E expense of BTU and SoLayTec.In September 2015 the Company recognized a pre-tax gain of approximately $8.8 million resulting from the previously announced Kingstone transaction. The gain was the result of the sale of shares and the fair value of the Company’s remaining interests in Kingstone.

Depreciation and amortization in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 was $869,000, compared to $847,000 in the preceding quarter and $613,000 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014. The increase compared to the same quarter in fiscal 2014 is primarily due to amortization of intangible assets related to the acquisitions of BTU and SoLayTec.Income tax expense in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 was $1.3 million compared to $0.3 million in the preceding quarter.  The sequential increase is due primarily to taxes on the Kingstone gain. The Company had an income tax benefit in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 of $645,000.

Net income for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 was $1.3 million, or $0.10 per share, compared to a net loss of $1.6 million or $0.12 per share in the preceding quarter and a net loss for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 of $3.2 million, or $0.33 per share.Total unrestricted cash and cash equivalents at September 30, 2015 were $25.9 million, compared to $23.7 million at June 30, 2015.  The increase in cash is due primarily to strong fiscal year-end collections of accounts receivable and partial payment on the sale of a portion of the company’s investments in Kingstone.

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Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network

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