Amtech Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASYS), a global supplier of production and automation systems and related supplies for the manufacture of solar cells, semiconductors, and sapphire and silicon wafers, has reported results for its third fiscal quarter ending June 30, 2012.
Third Quarter Fiscal 2012 Financial Summary:
Net revenue of $24.3 million
Solar revenue of $15.2 million
Semi revenue of $9.1million
Quarterly bookings of $6.1 million
Quarter-end backlog of $35.6 million; solar backlog $26.1million
Gross margin of 20%
Operating loss of $5.3 million, including $3.7 million of inventory write-down and other reserves, and $3.7 million in R&D expense
Net loss of $3.0 million, or $(0.31) per share
Mr. Fokko Pentinga, Chief Executive Officer of Amtech, commented, "During this time of challenging conditions in the solar industry, we continue to work very closely with our customers to support their pursuit of lower costs and higher cell efficiencies. The number of system acceptances in the quarter reflects both the quality of our customers and the value of our relationships with them. We saw significant interest in the capabilities of our ion implanter and our other technologies when introduced to the market at the Shanghai solar trade show in May. We are pleased to report that discussions with our customers about these new offerings continue to move forward. We believe these technologies are positive advances in the ongoing pursuit of lower total cost of ownership for our customers.
Pentinga continued, "Visibility of a market upturn from this low point in the cycle is limited. Although we are cautious about near-term demand, we continue to invest in our longer-term opportunities. With respect to cash, we are operating within stringent cost control objectives to manage our cash and to fortify our position as a technology leader for the long term."
Net revenue for the third quarter of fiscal 2012 was $24.3 million, up 13% sequentially from $21.6 million for the preceding quarter, and down 66% from $71.9 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2011. The sequential improvement was driven by recognition of previously-deferred revenue resulting from an increase in customer acceptances in the solar industry. Semiconductor revenue totaled $9.1 million, down 17% from semiconductor revenue in the second quarter of fiscal 2012 and 19% lower than the third quarter of fiscal 2011.
Total customer orders in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 were $6.1 million ($0.7 million solar), down from total orders of $18.0 million ($7.2 million solar) in the second quarter. Second quarter orders benefited from selective capacity expansion plans by both solar and semiconductor customers.
At June 30, 2012, the Company's total order backlog was $35.6 million, compared to total backlog of $67.4 million at March 31, 2012. Total backlog at June 30, 2012 includes $26.1 million in solar orders and deferred revenue, compared to solar backlog of $54.1 million at March 31, 2012. Foreign exchange had a negative impact of $3.2 million on backlog in the June 2012 quarter due to the weakening of the Euro versus the US dollar. Backlog includes deferred revenue and customer orders that are expected to ship within the next 12 months. While there were no significant customer order cancellations in the fiscal third quarter, the reduction in backlog reflects the Company's estimate that certain customer orders will not be delivered within the next twelve months.
Gross margin in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 was 20%, compared to 19% sequentially and 36% in the third quarter of fiscal 2011. The slightly higher gross margin compared to the second quarter 2012 reflects higher recognition of previously-deferred revenue partially offset by higher inventory write downs, accruals for potential purchase order cancellation charges and warranty-related items.
Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 were $6.4 million compared to the preceding quarter's $6.0 million primarily due to higher sales and marketing costs associated with trade shows, sales commissions and shipping costs. SG&A expenses in the third quarter of fiscal 2011 were $12.0 million. The decrease in SG&A compared to fiscal 2011 is due to lower commissions and shipping costs, related to lower revenues, as well as lower bonus, consulting and legal expenses and corporate-wide cost control initiatives.
Research and Development expense was $3.7 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 compared to $3.3 million in the preceding quarter and $1.9 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2011. The year-over-year quarterly change is primarily due to investment in the Company's solar ion-implant project and development costs associated with other product and technology development for solar cell manufacturing.
Depreciation and amortization in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 was $727,000, compared to $760,000 in the second quarter of fiscal 2012.
Included in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 results is $438,000 of stock option expense, compared to $356,000 in the fiscal third quarter a year ago and $437,000 in the second quarter of 2012.
Income tax in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 was a benefit of $1.1 million, resulting in an effective tax rate of approximately 21%.
The net loss for the third quarter of fiscal 2012 was $3.0 million, or ($0.31) per share, compared to a net loss of $5.1 million, or ($0.54) per share, for the second quarter of fiscal 2012. The lower loss was primarily due to higher revenue associated with customer acceptances, partially offset by higher inventory write-downs and increased investment in research and development. Net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2011 was $7.3 million, or $0.74 per diluted share.
Total unrestricted cash and cash equivalents at June 30, 2012 were $42.3 million, compared to $48.8 million at March 31, 2012 and $54.9 million at December 31, 2011.