QUEBEC CITY, CANADA, July 10, 2019 — EXFO Inc. (NASDAQ: EXFO; TSX: EXF), the communications industry's test, monitoring and analytics experts, reported today financial results for the third quarter ended May 31, 2019.
Sales increased 1.9% to US$73.6 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2019 from US$72.2 million in the third quarter of 2018. After nine months in fiscal 2019, sales improved 8.2% year-over-year to US$216.7 million. Astellia contributed nine months to EXFO’s financial results in 2019 versus four months for the same period in 2018.
Bookings decreased 4.8% to US$69.6 million for a book-to-bill ratio of 0.95 in the third quarter of fiscal 2019 from US$73.1 million for the same period of 2018. After nine months in fiscal 2019, bookings increased 10.9% year-over-year to US$226.9 million for a book-to-bill ratio of 1.05.
Gross margin before depreciation and amortization* amounted to 58.6% of sales in the third quarter of fiscal 2019 compared to 59.9% in the third quarter of 2018.
IFRS net earnings in the third quarter of fiscal 2019 totaled US$21,000, or US$0.00 per share, compared to a net loss of US$6.0 million, or US$0.11 per share, in the third quarter of 2018. IFRS net earnings in the third quarter of 2019 included US$1.7 million in after-tax amortization of intangible assets, US$0.5 million in stock-based compensation costs and a foreign exchange gain of US$0.1 million. After nine months in fiscal 2019, IFRS net loss attributable to the parent interest1 amounted to US$2.3 million compared to US$8.0 million for the same period in 2018.
Adjusted EBITDA* totaled US$7.9 million, or 10.7% of sales, in the third quarter of fiscal 2019 compared to US$2.5 million, or 3.5% of sales, in the third quarter of 2018. After nine months in fiscal 2019, adjusted EBITDA surged 74.5% year-over-year to US$19.4 million.
“I am pleased with our execution so far in fiscal 2019 with significant year-over-year increases in sales, bookings and adjusted EBITDA, including third quarter revenue above the midpoint of guidance and an adjusted EBITDA margin greater than 10% for a second consecutive quarter,” said EXFO's CEO Philippe Morin. "This heightened level of consistency reflects a strong performance against our growth strategy, leveraging fiber buildouts, data center interconnects as well as 5G deployments and network virtualization, while maintaining a sound financial discipline. We are confident that we will at least achieve our adjusted EBITDA target of US$24 million for fiscal 2019.”
Selling and administrative expenses reached US$23.8 million, or 32.3% of sales in the third quarter of fiscal 2019 compared to US$26.0 million, or 35.9% of sales, in the same period last year.
Net R&D expenses attained US$12.0 million, or 16.3% of sales, in the third quarter of fiscal 2019 compared to US$16.1 million, or 22.3% of sales, in the third quarter of 2018.
EXFO forecasts sales between US$66.0 million and US$71.0 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019.
IFRS net results are expected to range between a loss of US$0.02 per share and earnings of US$0.02 per share in the fourth quarter of 2019. IFRS net results include US$0.04 per share in after-tax amortization of intangible assets and stock-based compensation costs.
This guidance, which is a forward-looking statement, was established by management based on existing backlog as of the date of this news release, seasonality, expected bookings for the remaining of the quarter, as well as exchange rates as of the day of this news release.
EXFO will host a conference call today at 5 p.m. (Eastern time) to review third quarter results for fiscal 2019. To listen to the conference call and participate in the question period via telephone, dial 1-323-794-2093. Please take note the following participant passcode will be required: 8949289. Germain Lamonde, founder and Executive Chairman, Philippe Morin, Chief Executive Officer, and Pierre Plamondon, Vice-President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer, will participate in the call. An audio replay of the conference call will be available two hours after the event until 8:00 p.m. on July 17, 2019. The replay number is 1-719-457-0820 and the required participant passcode is 8949289. 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.
EXFO (NASDAQ: EXFO) (TSX: EXF) develops smarter test, monitoring and analytics solutions for fixed and mobile network operators, webscale companies and equipment manufacturers in the global communications industry. Our customers count on us to deliver superior network performance, service reliability and subscriber insights. They count on our unique blend of equipment, software and services to accelerate digital transformations related to fiber, 4G/LTE and 5G deployments. They count on our expertise with automation, real-time troubleshooting and big data analytics, which are critical to their business performance. We’ve spent over 30 years earning this trust, and today 1,900 EXFO employees in over 25 countries work side by side with our customers in the lab, field, data center and beyond.
This news 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 statements that refer to expectations, projections or other characterizations of future events and circumstances are considered forward-looking statements. They are not guarantee 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, including trade wars; our ability to successfully integrate businesses that we acquire; capital spending and network deployment levels in the telecommunications industry (including our ability to quickly adapt cost structures to 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, service assurance and analytics solutions markets and increased competition among vendors; capacity to adapt our future product offering to future technological changes; limited visibility with regard to the timing and nature of customer orders; delay in revenue recognition due to longer sales cycles for complex systems involving customers’ acceptance; 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 and to conduct business internationally; 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 you 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. Gross margin before depreciation and amortization represents sales, less cost of sales, excluding depreciation and amortization. Adjusted EBITDA represents net earnings (loss) attributable to the parent interest before interest and other income/expense, income taxes, depreciation and amortization, stock-based compensation costs, restructuring charges, change in fair value of cash contingent consideration, acquisition-related deferred revenue fair value adjustment, and foreign exchange gain or loss.
These non-IFRS measures eliminate the effect on IFRS results of non-cash and/or non-operating statement of earnings elements, as well as elements subject to significant volatility such as foreign exchange gain or loss. EXFO uses these measures for evaluating historical and prospective financial performance, as well as its performance relative to competitors. These non-IFRS measures are also the financial measures used by financial analysts to evaluate and compare EXFO’s performance against competitors and industry players in the company’s sector.
Finally, these measures help EXFO plan and forecast future periods as well as make operational and strategic decisions. EXFO believes that providing this information, in addition to the IFRS measures, allows investors to see the company’s results through the eyes of management, and to better understand historical and future financial performance. More importantly, it enables the comparison of EXFO’s performance on a relatively similar basis against other public and private companies in the industry worldwide.
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.
The following table summarizes the reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA to IFRS net earnings (loss) attributable to the parent interest, in thousands of US dollars:
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1 Represents net loss excluding share of the net loss attributable to Astellia’s minority shareholders.
2 Includes acquisition-related costs of US$2.1 million for the nine months ended May 31, 2018 (nil in fiscal 2019).