Amtech Systems, Inc. reported results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended September 30, 2017.
Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2017 Financial and Operational Highlights:
- Net revenues of $54.7 million (solar $30.1 million)
- Net income of $7.3 million
- Diluted earnings per share of $0.51
- Customer orders of $27.6 million (solar $9.6 million)
- Quarter-end backlog of $102.4 million (solar $81.4 million)
- Book to bill ratio of 0.5:1 (0.3:1 solar)
- Unrestricted cash of $51.1 million
Fiscal Year 2017 Financial and Operational Highlights:
- Net revenues of $164.5 million (solar $87.0 million)
- Net income of $9.1 million
- Diluted earnings per share of $0.68
- Cash provided by operating activities of $11.8 million
- Customer orders of $210.5 million (solar $126.6 million)
- Book to bill ratio of 1.3:1 (1.4:1 solar)
Mr. Fokko Pentinga, Chief Executive Officer of Amtech, commented, "We are pleased to report that shipment of Phase I of the turnkey order and strong shipments of semiconductor products led to strong financial results in the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2017. All three of our businesses delivered very positive earnings in the fourth quarter. Both our solar and semiconductor business units performed well with sequential quarter-to-quarter and year-over year improvements in both revenue and operating profit. The polishing segment also produced higher quarterly profits sequentially and year-over-year. In August, we successfully completed a round of equity financing, which enhanced our financial position as we continue to develop next-generation products and solutions, focus on operational excellence, and the long-term profitable growth of the company."
At September 30, 2017, our total order backlog was $102.4 million (solar $81.4 million), compared to total backlog of $125.7 million (solar $98.2 million) at June 30, 2017. 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 2017 was $54.7 million compared to $47.8 million in the preceding quarter and $42.4 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. The sequential increase is due primarily to increased shipments of our semiconductor equipment. The increase from the prior year quarter is due primarily to shipments relating to the large solar turnkey order, as well as increased shipments of our semiconductor equipment.
Gross margin in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 was 36%, compared to 32% in the preceding quarter and 29% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. Sequentially and compared to prior year, gross margin increased primarily due to higher sales volumes, favorable product and customer mix, and the recognition of previously deferred profit.
Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 were $9.8 million compared to $10.1 million in the preceding quarter and $10.3 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. Sequentially, the SG&A decrease was due primarily to lower severance and employee-related expenses. The decrease in SG&A from prior year is due primarily to a $1.8 million provision for doubtful accounts receivable in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. The fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 included increased commissions and selling expenses on higher sales and higher employee related expenses.
Research, development and engineering (RD&E) expense was $1.8 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 compared to $1.4 million in the preceding quarter and $2.0 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016.
Depreciation and amortization in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 was $0.6 million, compared to $0.6 million in the preceding quarter and $0.7 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016.
Income tax expense in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 was $0.5 million compared to $1.0 million in the preceding quarter and $1.1 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016.
Net income for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 was $7.3 million, or $0.51 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $0.3 million, or $0.02 per share for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 and net income of $3.3 million or $0.25 per diluted share in the preceding quarter.
Unrestricted cash and cash equivalents at September 30, 2017 were $51.1 million, compared to $39.2 million at June 30, 2017.
The company expects revenues for the quarter ending December 31, 2017 to be in the range of $60 to $70 million. Gross margin for the quarter ending December 31, 2017 is expected to be in the mid 20 percent range, with operating margin percentage in the mid-single digits, both influenced by product mix.
The solar and semiconductor equipment industries can be cyclical and inherently impacted by changes in market demand. Additionally, operating results can be impacted by the timing of orders, system shipments and the financial results of the solar and semiconductor businesses. The first quarter of fiscal 2018 ending December 31, 2017 is expected to be positively impacted by the solar business due to the shipment of all Phase II equipment of a large multi-phase turnkey order, followed by softer second quarter shipments and operating results. Depending on the timing of the order for the next phase of the turnkey project, the results for the second half of the year potentially may be in line with the first half of the year. Operating results could also be affected by the net impact of revenue deferral on shipments, and recognition of revenue based on customer acceptances, and progress on the start-up of the turnkey production lines, all of which can have a significant effect on operating results.
A substantial portion of Amtech's revenues are denominated in Euros. The revenue outlook provided in this press release is based on an assumed exchange rate between the United States Dollar and the Euro. A significant decrease in the value of the Euro in relation to the United States Dollar could cause actual revenues to be lower than anticipated.