Published on January 7, 2015
EXFO Inc. reported today financial results for the first quarter ended November 30, 2014.
QUEBEC CITY, CANADA, January 7, 2015 — EXFO Inc. (NASDAQ: EXFO; TSX: EXF) reported today financial results for the first quarter ended November 30, 2014.Sales reached US$56.7 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2015 compared to US$56.0 million in the first quarter of 2014 and US$59.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Bookings attained US$54.2 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2015 compared to US$57.9 million in the same period last year and US$57.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. The company’s book-to-bill ratio was 0.96 in the first quarter of 2015.
Gross margin before depreciation and amortization* amounted to 62.6% of sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2015 compared to 62.2% in the first quarter of 2014 and 63.0% in the fourth quarter of 2014.
IFRS net earnings in the first quarter of fiscal 2015 totaled US$1.5 million, or US$0.02 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of US$0.7 million, or US$0.01 per share, in the same period last year and net earnings of US$1.2 million, or US$0.02 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2014. IFRS net earnings in the first quarter of 2015 included US$1.0 million in after-tax amortization of intangible assets, US$0.4 million in stock-based compensation costs and a foreign exchange gain of US$2.0 million. Adjusted EBITDA** totaled US$3.2 million, or 5.6% of sales, in the first quarter of fiscal 2015 compared to US$2.3 million, or 4.1% of sales, in the first quarter of 2014 and US$5.8 million, or 9.6% of sales, in the fourth quarter of 2014.
“Although market demand remained muted, we recorded year-over-year increases in sales, gross margin and earnings in the first quarter of fiscal 2015,” said Germain Lamonde, EXFO’s Chairman, President and CEO. “The telecom industry continued morphing from hardware-centric to SDN and NFV architectures (virtualized networks) and from fixed to mobile networking, while industry consolidation is ongoing in the background. I expect these elements to gradually turn into positive drivers for EXFO as fiscal 2015 unfolds, given our strong solutions offering.”
“At EXFO, we have progressed against our strategic agenda, evolving into a solutions supplier and strengthening our market position and pipeline, especially in the wireless sector and in end-to-end visibility and customer experience assurance solutions,” Mr. Lamonde added. “Considering recent wins at tier-1 network operators, growing business opportunities for our productivity-enhancing, end-to-end solutions and tight internal cost controls, I am pleased with their impact on earnings growth in the first quarter and remain confident EXFO will significantly increase its profitability in fiscal 2015.”
Selected Financial Information
(In thousands of US dollars)
Selling and administrative expenses totaled US$21.0 million, or 37.1% of sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2015 compared to US$21.7 million, or 38.8% of sales, in the same period last year and US$21.5 million, or 35.9% of sales, in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Gross research and development expenses amounted to US$13.3 million, or 23.5% of sales, in the first quarter of fiscal 2015 compared to US$13.3 million, or 23.8% of sales, in the first quarter of 2014 and US$12.5 million, or 20.8% of sales, in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Net R&D expenses totaled US$11.7 million, or 20.6% of sales, in the first quarter of fiscal 2015 compared to US$11.3 million, or 20.1% of sales, in the same period last year and US$10.8 million, or 18.2% of sales, in the fourth quarter of 2014.
EXFO forecasts sales between US$52.0 million and US$57.0 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2015, while IFRS net results are expected to range between a net loss of US$0.03 per share and net earnings of US$0.01 per share. IFRS net loss/earnings include US$0.02 per share in after-tax amortization of intangible assets and stock-based compensation costs.
This guidance was established by management based on existing backlog as of the date of this press release, seasonality, expected bookings for the remaining of the quarter, as well as exchange rates as of the day of this press release.
EXFO will host a conference call today at 5 p.m. (Eastern time) to review its financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2015. To listen to the conference call and participate in the question period via telephone, dial 1-416-641-6700. Germain Lamonde, Chairman, President and CEO, and Pierre Plamondon, CPA, CA, Vice-President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer, will participate in the call. An audio replay of the conference call will be available one hour after the event until 11:59 p.m. on January 14, 2015. The replay number is 1-402-977-9141 and the reservation number is 21753961. The audio Webcast and replay of the conference call will also be available on EXFO’s Website at www.EXFO.com, under the Investors section.
Listed on the NASDAQ and TSX stock exchanges, EXFO is a leading provider of next-generation test, service assurance and end-to-end quality of experience solutions for mobile and fixed network operators and equipment manufacturers in the global telecommunications industry. EXFO’s intelligent solutions with contextually relevant analytics improve end-user quality of experience, enhance network performance and drive operational efficiencies throughout the network and service delivery lifecycle. Key technologies supported include 3G, 4G/LTE, VoLTE, IMS, video, Ethernet/IP, SNMP, OTN, FTTx, xDSL and various optical technologies accounting for more than 38% of the global portable fiber-optic test market. EXFO has a staff of approximately 1600 people in 25 countries, supporting more than 2000 customers worldwide. For more information, visit www.EXFO.com and follow us on the EXFO Blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and we intend that such forward-looking statements be subject to the safe harbors created thereby. Forward-looking statements are statements other than historical information or statements of current condition. Words such as may, expect, believe, plan, anticipate, intend, could, estimate, continue, or similar expressions or the negative of such expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. In addition, any statement that refers to expectations, projections or other characterizations of future events and circumstances are considered forward-looking statements. They are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those in forward-looking statements due to various factors including, but not limited to, macroeconomic uncertainty as well as capital spending and network deployment levels in the telecommunications industry (including our ability to quickly adapt cost structures with anticipated levels of business and our ability to manage inventory levels with market demand); future economic, competitive, financial and market conditions; consolidation in the global telecommunications test and service assurance industry and increased competition among vendors; capacity to adapt our future product offering to future technological changes; limited visibility with regards to timing and nature of customer orders; longer sales cycles for complex systems involving customers’ acceptances delaying revenue recognition; fluctuating exchange rates; concentration of sales; timely release and market acceptance of our new products and other upcoming products; our ability to successfully expand international operations; our ability to successfully integrate businesses that we acquire; and the retention of key technical and management personnel. Assumptions relating to the foregoing involve judgments and risks, all of which are difficult or impossible to predict and many of which are beyond our control. Other risk factors that may affect our future performance and operations are detailed in our Annual Report, on Form 20-F, and our other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Canadian securities commissions. We believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable based on information currently available to us, but we cannot assure that the expectations will prove to have been correct. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. These statements speak only as of the date of this document. Unless required by law or applicable regulations, we undertake no obligation to revise or update any of them to reflect events or circumstances that occur after the date of this document.
EXFO provides non-IFRS measures (gross margin before depreciation and amortization* and adjusted EBITDA**) as supplemental information regarding its operational performance. The company uses these measures for the purpose of evaluating historical and prospective financial performance, as well as its performance relative to competitors. These measures also help the company to plan and forecast for future periods as well as to make operational and strategic decisions. EXFO believes that providing this information, in addition to IFRS measures, allows investors to see the company’s results through the eyes of management, and to better understand its historical and future financial performance.
The presentation of this additional information is not prepared in accordance with IFRS. Therefore, the information may not necessarily be comparable to that of other companies and should be considered as a supplement to, not a substitute for, the corresponding measures calculated in accordance with IFRS.
* Gross margin before depreciation and amortization represents sales less cost of sales, excluding depreciation and amortization.
** Adjusted EBITDA represents net earnings (loss) before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization, stock-based compensation costs and foreign exchange gain or loss.
The following table summarizes the reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA to IFRS net earnings (loss), in thousands of US dollars:
Adjusted EBITDA (unaudited)