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Executives

David Tacelli - CEO and President

Mark Gallenberger - VP and CFO

Analysts

Vernon Essi - Needham & Company

Tom Diffely - D.A. Davidson

Patrick Ho - Stifel Nicolaus

Olga Levinzon - Barclays

David Dooley - Steelhead Securities

LTX - Credence Corporation (LTXC) F1Q 2013 Earnings Call November 29, 2012 10:00 AM ET

Operator

Good morning and welcome to LTX-Credence Corporation’s First Quarter Analyst Conference Call. During the presentation, all participants will be in a listen-only mode. After the presentation, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions) At the request of LTX-Credence, this conference call is being recorded. The speakers for today's call will be David Tacelli, Chief Executive Officer and President; and Mark Gallenberger, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Mark Gallenberger. Sir, you may begin.

Mark Gallenberger

Thank you. Welcome to LTX-Credence Corporation's first quarter fiscal year 2013 conference call for the period ended October 31, 2012. Joining me on today’s call is Dave Tacelli, CEO and President. After my introductory comments, Dave will discuss the company’s performance for the first quarter and discuss the business outlook. Then I'll provide further detail on the company’s financial performance during the first quarter as well as provide guidance for the second quarter of fiscal year 2013.

We will take your questions after our prepared remarks. A replay of this call will be made available through December 1 by dialing 855-859-2056 and the pass code is 698-750-60 or you can visit our website at ltxc.com. As a reminder, the only authorized spokespeople for the company are Dave Tacelli, Rich Yerganian and myself.

Now for our Safe Harbor statement. During the course of this conference call, we will make forward-looking statements regarding LTX-Credence's business outlook for the future financial performance of the company. We wish to caution you that these statements such as projected revenues, net income or loss, earnings or loss per share, operating expenses, gross margin, cash flow, non-GAAP measures and breakeven targets are management's current predictions and that these statements are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those stated or implied. The statements provided during this call represent the company's estimates as of this day and the company assumes no obligation to update them after this call. Please refer to our Safe Harbor statement in our earnings release for more information on important factors that could cause actual results to differ.

Now on to the call. Dave?

Dave Tacelli

Thank you Mark and good morning everyone. During today's call, I'll provide a review of the first quarter performance, followed by an update on the progress we've made with our new product introductions, especially the early success of Diamondx. The softening business environment for semiconductor has had a negative impact on the overall semiconductor test equipment market. In our case initial revenue contributions from our new product Diamondx has helped stabilize our business.

Before I provide a more in-depth update on the progress of Diamondx and our other new products, I would like to first give a brief review of the quarter. Our first quarter revenues and EPS were at the midpoint of the guidance, while revenue from microcontrollers and general analog remained flat quarter-over-quarter, testers for both RF power amplifiers and digitally based application specific devices grew by more than 40%.

The number of Diamondx systems taken for revenue in the quarter was in the double-digits, and we remain on track for Diamondx to account for over 20% of product revenues for the fiscal year. Equally important is that Diamondx is hitting the corporate target margins right from initial shipments.

From an end-markets perspective, our mobility in automotive driven product revenues doubled quarter-over-quarter, while our consumer and industrial related business contracted.

The November to January period is usually a seasonally weak quarter for the industry. This seasonality coupled with an uncertain macroeconomic environment, has caused others in our industry to significantly downgrade the near-term outlook and in some cases by as much as 50%. In comparison, we expect second quarter revenues to be down 14% at the midpoint of our guidance, indicating the positive impact that the new account wins are having on our business.

Looking in to next calendar year, our visibility remains limited. But as typical seasonality holds, we expect revenues to grow in our third and fourth fiscal quarters. Our balance sheet remained strong with a $129 million of cash and no debt. During the quarter, we bought back $8.6 million worth of stock, bringing the total of our repurchases through the end of Q1 to approximately $18 million.

To-date we've repurchased over 3.1 million shares under the buyback program. Our new product introductions are the key to the future growth opportunities for the company, and the several new products we’ve brought to the market over the last two years have opened up additional market segments and added new customers.

I would like to now spend a few minutes talking about our new products and the impact we expect them to have on our business, as we move through the next business cycle. First, our ASLx product continues to expand both at installed base and customer list. The ASLx is an extension of the ASL 1000 a test platform that has the industry’s largest installed base for testing low complexity analogue and power devices. The ASLx incorporates a subset of test technology from our advanced mixed signal X-Series test platform.

By leveraging technology from the X-Series and extending the capabilities of the ASL 1000 test platform, we can offer some customers increased multi-site test capability resulting in increased throughput. The ASLx also offers an expanded portfolio of instruments that could be configured for testing more complex analogue and power devices. The ASLx has been adopted by multiple customers in the US, Europe and Asia as their primary test platform for these types of devices.

In the RF area, our tax product which is targeted at RF front-end devices like power amplifiers has experienced a steep ramp over the last couple of quarters, fuelled by customers that have been designed into the most popular smartphones and tablets. We have greater than 70% market share in the RF power amplifier test space and count among our customers the market leading companies for these devices.

Even as existing RF front-end device customers are rapidly expanding production capacity with PAx testers, we continue to expand our market share by bringing additional customers on board. The PAx is likely to set the company record on how quickly it reaches the century mark for installed systems.

In other product in the wireless area, DragonRF is our newest full function RF instrument. DragonRF will enable us to further strengthen our position in the RFPA testing as well as grow our ASSP business. DragonRF is platform independent and could be included as part of X-Series including PAx or Diamondx based solution. DragonRF customer’s to-date includes companies from Europe, Taiwan, China and the US.

While the products I have mentioned are important growth drivers for the company. The Diamondx is the most important because it represents essentially $400 million greenfield market opportunity for us. Prior to Diamondx, we had virtually no market share in the digitally based ASSP market.

This represents a significant opportunity for us to grow our business, because any increased revenue from this market segment represents upside to the company's prior cycle top line performance. The Diamondx approaches the challenge of reducing our customers cost to test from three dimensions.

Capital cost, throughput and operating cost, it is designed to meet both the cost of performance goals, so that we can maximize our customers return on investment while delivering superior financial results to our shareholders. We have stated in prior conference calls that we expect Diamondx to contribute greater than 20% of product revenues this fiscal year and we are on track to achieve that.

We believe that Diamondx installations will ramp at an even steeper rate than we experienced with PAx. The types of devices that are either in development or released to production on Diamondx driving this growth are some high volume device types, our partial list include things like basedband processes in RF transceivers, set-top box devices, micro controllers, same chip cell phones ICs, integrated power management devices and flash controller ICs.

The customer list of Diamondx is just as impressive and includes some of the leading semiconductor companies in their respective markets like the largest European wireless communications company, one of the largest IDMs in the US, one of the largest IDMs in Japan and several fabulous companies in both Taiwan and China and a building group of subcontract and assembly suppliers.

The bottom line is Diamondx is well on its way to winning meaningful share in the ASSP market over the next few years. But our new product introductions don't stop with Diamondx. Next month we will officially introduce another new product, one that we believe is just as impressive and ground breaking. This product will bring a completely new approach to solving our customer’s cost challenges and we believe we will have a significant impact on our ability to gain share in the mobility and connectivity space.

So in conclusion, our new products have been well received in the marketplace and we believe they will be a significant contributor of our top line growth over the next several years. Our product line up delivers on both performance and lowest cost of test which positions us to gain share in our targeted market segments.

And finally, we are on track to meet our product revenue objectives for the fiscal year which will help us deliver better performance than the overall industry during what is normally a seasonally slow period.

I would now like to turn the call over to Mark for his detailed comments on the quarter. Mark?

Mark Gallenberger

Thanks Dave. Revenue for the quarter was $43.2 million which is approximately flat from the prior quarter. Gross margin was 54.4% which is down slightly from last quarter’s results of 54.7% due to different product mix. Total operating expenses were $22.4 million which were $200,000 up from the prior quarter.

Amortization of purchased intangible assets associated with the Credence merger was $396,000 which is down from $791,000 last quarter.

Net income for the quarter was $549,000 or $0.01 per diluted share on a GAAP basis. Excluding amortization of $396,000; restructuring expense of $231,000 and a one-time income tax expense of $167,000, our non-GAAP net income for the quarter was $1.3 million or $0.03 per diluted share which is at the midpoint of our EPS street guidance.

EBITDA for the quarter was $4.1 million or 10% of revenue. This calculation excludes the stock based compensation expense of $1.1 million and the $231,000 of restructuring expense.

Next, I will provide a breakdown of the revenue for the quarter. 52% of revenue came from IDMs, while 48% came from subcontract test and fabless companies.

79% of revenue was for product while 21% was for service. For the quarter, we had two customers each represents greater than 10% of revenue.

Now on to the balance sheet, we ended the quarter with net cash of approximately $129 million, excluding the share repurchases of $8.6 million within the quarter, cash was flat from the prior quarter. We finished the quarter with trade accounts receivable of $34.2 million, an increase of $3 million sequentially.

DSOs increased by six days to 71 days primarily driven by more shipments being back end loaded in the quarter. Inventory was $31.5 million which is up $2.6 million from the prior quarter due to increased consignments for customer evaluations.

Net capital expenditures during the quarter were $1.9 million, while depreciation expense was also $1.9 million. We ended the quarter with accounts payable of $17.7 million and stockholders’ equity of $208 million was down sequentially due to the stock repurchases.

Guidance for Q2 is as follows. We expect revenue to be in the range of $35 million to $39 million and non-GAAP net loss per share to be in the range of $0.08 to $0.04, assuming 47.5 million shares outstanding.

The non-GAAP guidance excludes amortization of purchased intangible assets of $396,000. At the midpoint of the guidance range, gross margin is expected to be approximately 53% and EBITDA to be approximately breakeven.

In summary, our revenue guidance suggest we're entering the seasonally slow period for our industry and while our visibility is limited to the next three months, we're encouraged by the adoption of Diamondx products in meeting our objective of delivering greater than 20% of product revenue from Diamondx this fiscal year.

Our balance sheet remains strong with no debt and the business model we've developed has positioned the company for profitable growth once we enter the next growth phase.

This concludes our prepared remarks and at this time, we will take your questions.

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

Thank you. (Operator Instructions) Our first question comes from Vernon Essi of Needham & Company.

Vernon Essi - Needham & Company

I guess you have another product in the work here and I don’t know how much you are going to tell us, Dave, but is there any other clues you can give us other than mobility and connectivity, you said low cost but is there anything else to sort of chew on there in the interim?

Dave Tacelli

As ASLx, PAx and Diamondx were all system related this is more instrument related and what it does its platform independent across all of our products including the X-Series and the Diamond family and it’s used in the connectivity and mobility space. Hope that helps.

Vernon Essi - Needham & Company

That is helpful. And on the Diamondx, you had given some statistics in the past about sort of the customer profile between new and existing, it looks like things are going very well on that front. Can you let us know sort of what your targets are for this year and how that are in this fiscal rather and how that sort of playing out?

Dave Tacelli

In the past, Vernon; we have identified two different sets of numbers. The first was we expected 75% of the sales to come from new customers or new opportunities and 25% would be cannibalization of the existing sales whether they will be X-Series of Diamond. I think in the quarter, the exact number was 60-40 so it’s about 60% from new and about 40% from existing. So very close to the model that we set up but a little bit more slanted towards existing accounts.

Vernon Essi - Needham & Company

Okay. And moving over to Mark just a couple of questions here, first off on the gross margin the guide of 53%, I calculated an incremental gross margin little bit higher than that and on the current quarter I am just wondering sort of what’s going on there I mean obviously overhead is an issue when you are on a negative trajectory here, but any other thoughts around that?

Mark Gallenberger

Nothing in particular. I don't think its anything that to be concerned about. It really, obviously, the gross margin is a function of product mix and so forth and then also with revenues declining, you are going to have more absorption of the fixed cost. So the guidance that we gave as well as the gross margin guidance is consistent with our target breakeven model, so nothing really all that different from what we have talked about in the past.

Vernon Essi - Needham & Company

Okay, and on the balance sheet, the accounts payable it’s a weird to ask I realized, but it jumped quite a lot and just wondering what that was due to.

Mark Gallenberger

Yeah, that did jump a fair amount, obviously that does is tied into inventory levels as well that did also grow. And I think that was just simply the timing of certain shipments from our outsourced partners and when those invoices need to get paid; they are just going to get paid at the end of the quarter because they weren’t due yet. So, you will see that payables decline probably pretty dramatically back down to typical run rates in the $12 million to $13 million range for Q2.

Vernon Essi - Needham & Company

And certainly it helped your cash conversion cycle on the quarter, so within that system I have other last two housekeeping questions, what was the cash from operations?

Mark Gallenberger

Cash flow from operations for the quarter was just over $2 million or about $2.2 million.

Vernon Essi - Needham & Company

And then depreciation?

Mark Gallenberger

Depreciation is $1.9 million.

Operator

Thank you. And our next question comes from Tom Diffely from D.A. Davidson.

Tom Diffely - D.A. Davidson

Dave, when you look at this year versus say the fiscal second quarter of a year ago. your business today is about 50% higher than it was like than, is it just the new products or is the actual core business is little strong than it was year ago?

Dave Tacelli

I think the core business is neutral to where it was. If we've seen additional strength in the pack systems going out to support, I will call it the ecosystem in the smartphone and tablet market. But I have seen some contraction in other markets mainly in we talked about consumer industrial. So that's overall flat. What's given us the bump up is purely the new product the Diamondx and going after market segments that in the past we didn't satisfy with the existing products we have.

Tom Diffely - D.A. Davidson

And then you talked a little bit about seasonal trends and if you hit normal seasonal trends obviously that will be your trough quarter. Is there anything you can say in the way of test your inventory levels or utilization rates at your customer base versus a year ago? Is it a healthy environment where there's less excess capacity.

Dave Tacelli

Again I think its mixed, but if you look at let's say product supporting that RF front end space, utilization rates are in the high 90s. There are certain markets supporting consumer industrials, probably in the low 70s. So it’s a pretty wide mix between market segment utilization rates going on. I know there was a lot of discussion, it didn't really affect us. It affected more of our competition when it came to 28 nanometer yields on 28 nanometer and companies having to buy more test capacity because those yields are so low. I think that's going to have a far more dramatic effect on our competition moving forward than us because we weren't affected by that.

Tom Diffely - D.A. Davidson

Okay, and what are you seeing in the automotive industry right now?

Dave Tacelli

You know automotive in general is flat. We continue to see positive momentum because of the design we had as far back as two years ago, because the automotive market moved so slowly from a qualification and acceptance standpoint, those devices that we were designed in at like I said upwards of 18 months to 24 months ago it now started to hit production. So its been some good volume for us. Overall automotive volume is not high, but we've seen a little bit pop from our design wins.

Tom Diffely - D.A. Davidson

Okay and it seems like while attending the testing market, it was kind of one year on, one year off or your team goes very strong during this current year was less so. Do you think that 2013 calendar year is more of an on year for more capacity testing?

Dave Tacelli

I have been in the business now for 25 years and I have given up trying to predict on years and off years. What I would say is we had seem to be in an up cycle. We hit a slow period as it approached the back half to this year. I think some of that as I said was seasonality. I think some of that was macroeconomic environment and around the world, but the indication we are getting from customers is as they go through ’13 with the amount of designs we know about and they are trying to get to market. If they are even close to their objective, I think ’13 will be a good year. But I have given up on trying to predict on years and off years.

Tom Diffely - D.A. Davidson

Fair enough. And Mark on the inventory levels a year ago you talked about what I think you described as a temporary up tick in inventory as you consolidated a few facilities. Where are we in that and how has that been impacted by the onset of these new products as well.

Mark Gallenberger

Yeah, now that's a great question and yeah we did talk about temporary up tick and then a slow bleed down back to prior levels by the end of our fiscal year. Obviously that has not happened. The biggest driver for that was one of our decisions throughout the last year was to add a fair number of consignments out there especially with the product launch of Diamondx, and so we saw the success of this product and we're going to continue to leverage that.

So we decided to get more aggressive in investing in that consignment pool. And so that probably the biggest driver why that inventory level has not come down as much as we thought it would a year ago. The other piece of it was, we did model a stronger recovery which quite frankly did not occur and so we still have some of that inventory that is slowly leaving off and is leaving off at a slower rate than we anticipated. So those are the two reasons.

Tom Diffely - D.A. Davidson

Okay, and then finally when you look at the accounts payable and [taxes] to come down next quarter, any rough estimate what cash (inaudible) going to be in the fiscal second quarter?

Mark Gallenberger

Yeah, it is going to decline quite a bit, probably a use of cash of probably $5 million on the AP line in itself, but inventory levels are expected to come down so that will be a source of cash. So when I do some of my internal modeling right now, I am expecting slight increase to working capital. So I would expect the overall cash position to come down maybe $2 million quarter-over-quarter.

Operator

Thank you. And our next question comes from Patrick Ho from Stifel Nicolaus.

Patrick Ho - Stifel Nicolaus

Dave in terms of the seasonality and some of the market uncertainty out there, you are holding better than your peers. Can you describe or maybe give a little color on the market segments that are providing some of the support in the January quarter?

Dave Tacelli

Yes, it’s a wide range. Mainly, all the devices that you can think of in the ASSP market segments, set top box has been very good for us. Complex micro controllers where they have started to add additional features and functionality. We have seen an up tick with Diamondx and single chip cell phone and some of the products that’s been designed in there, and I would say the last piece as I said is the other power amplifier front end market for tablets and cell phones.

Those are really the markets mainly Diamondx, but also PAx specific that hold up pretty well, and consistent through the whole year Patrick I’ve got a question earlier about automotive has been, we have been shipping a constant supply of testers to the automotive wins we’ve had and that has also helped.

Patrick Ho - Stifel Nicolaus

Great, going to the Diamondx obviously it looks like you guys are getting some really good traction early on. Just may be from a color perspective, given that it is a big marketplace that you are targeting, what markets may have surprised you in terms of some of the early traction that you are getting right now, again like what has surprised you from the positive side what we have done better in this area than we initially thought.

Dave Tacelli

I don’t think anything surprises us because when we designed the product we were excited about what it could bring to the marketplace. We were excited about what it meant for the company to enter a new market. If anything I was hopeful that the economy would have been a little bit better, because I think the traction would have been even faster. So I don’t think surprised by where it’s been accepted or surprised by the part that it’s been testing or surprised by the reduction in cost that it offers our customers. I would like to see the economy improve a little bit and I think the acceleration of the Diamondx is going to be probably the best product in the company’s history.

Patrick Ho - Stifel Nicolaus

Okay, great and then just a follow up on that. Do you believe some of the purchases of the Diamondx or when the volume ramp of some of this is going to become, is going to be dictated more by the macro economy or is it just getting, I guess those devices that are being tested ramped up, it was a mix of both?

Dave Tacelli

I think it’s a mix of both, we are going to see the ramp of Diamondx happen even if the economy or the macro economy is not robust because that we are designed into so many different devices at so many different customers right now that even if they go into market place with lower than lower expectations, we are going to see a ramp of shipments. That ramp will accelerate based on the macro economic situation.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from CJ Muse from Barclays.

Olga Levinzon - Barclays

Olga calling in for CJ thanks you taking for taking my question. Just wanted to follow-up, I guess regarding your outlook into next year, one of your competitors has talked about that SOC test markets declining about 8% to 15% year-on-year. I was wondering how you view the underlying SOC test markets. And in the back job of attraction you are getting on Diamondx. Can you talk about what sort of revenue level you could see of those SOC market rates and how much of that is incremental to your existing business versus replacing and existing test that you ship into a customer?

Dave Tacelli

Yeah, Olga our view of the overall SOC market isn't much different than our competitors’ view. We see, if I were be optimistic a flat market in ‘13 overall more than likely it will be down and we can all guess as to what percent that is 5%, 8%, 10% down a year-over-year.

What we are looking at is the amount of products and ICs that either we then designed into or are now rolling out into production or evaluations that are underway for Diamondx that will be positive for us and our customer’s expectations of launching and when they are going to launch those devices into production for their end customers gives us confidence when we talk about Q3, our fiscal Q3 and fiscal Q4 ramping up.

So not much different than our competitors on the overall market but we see us performing better based on the launch of the product.

Olga Levinzon - Barclays

And regarding the attraction that you are seeing on the Diamondx, would you qualify the wins that you've gotten so far at the expense of both the key competitors or the more skew to one versus the other?

Dave Tacelli

The easiest way to define it is in that ASSP space, the other two major competitors in the market; they have enjoyed the majority of that share over the last few years. So it depends on the customer that we go after and we attack. We are seeing both and let's say I guess that's the easiest way for me to describe it.

Operator

(Operator Instructions). Our next question comes from David Dooley from Steelhead Securities.

David Dooley - Steelhead Securities

Just a couple of questions from me, what do you think are the key things that have to happen to get back to your $75 million or $90 million peak run rate now that you've got some success with the Diamondx either applications or in markets, help to understand what its going to take to get back there?

Dave Tacelli

That's a really good question Dave. Depending on and I just answered the question that talked about the market being in an optimistic view flat in 2013 to down which is consistent with my competitors. I would think you need to see some level of growth in the market year-over-year and I think you would need to see for us and I will think to go above the last peak not only to get back you need to see some of the products that we've been designing and be successful in the marketplace for our customers.

So those are the two elements. One is going to be macro economic related and the other one would be our customers success with their new designs because as you know, when you are brought on to test the product and you are designed into a product, it usually is a next generation design, it’s not a conversion from an existing product. So they have got to be successful with that socket.

David Dooley - Steelhead Securities

So perhaps just help us frame which end markets --- which are the markets did you cover or to achieve the $75 million to $90 million?

Dave Tacelli

Yeah I think the end markets that need to recover. I think we need to see a little (inaudible) in industrial. I think we need to see what I would call a little bit more consumer digital. I think we need to see micro controllers start to pick up a little bit more. You know we've made tremendous progress in that space. Our goal was to try and make the micro controller market for us like the PA front end modular market.

We've accomplished our objectives on the consumer front. We just need the economy to cooperate and I think you would see us start to really gain significant market share in that market. And I would call it just general purpose analogue. We like to see that pick up a little bit more. So that combination starts to drive us back to the peak we had before and beyond because of the product and the new markets we are in.

David Dooley - Steelhead Securities

Okay and just a housekeeping question, I was kind to write it down, just in your prepared remarks you mentioned in the commentary on kind of all these end markets. Could you just review that really briefly in the (inaudible)?

Dave Tacelli

Yeah, I think what I said is that that markets that, you talk about Diamondx?

David Dooley - Steelhead Securities

Its in total through the company. I thought you mentioned like you know consumer and something else was down?

Dave Tacelli

Okay, alright. Yeah, I mentioned that the RF front end module market was strong. I mentioned, we had some stable revenue in automotives and then I talked about consumer and industrial being down. I think that’s what you're referring to.

David Dooley - Steelhead Securities

Right. Now, with the Diamondx in the past, you've given an installed base number or the number of units that are out there evolved, you have a similar number this time?

Dave Tacelli

What I did say and I am trying to be, not trying to be cute, I apologize, is that I said we've now shift and taken for revenue in this quarter, double-digits and I am trying not to give specific numbers any more because of the competitive nature of what we're working on.

David Dooley - Steelhead Securities

And in the future, in order to attract this, I think you mentioned 20% of product revenues will come from the Diamondx. Are you going to be giving that percentage or how you will be able to attract that going forward?

Dave Tacelli

I will be giving you enough data so that as we move forward the investment community has a handle on kind of approximately where we are with that product. It won’t be exact but it will be enough information for the analysts and everyone to triangulate around the number.

David Dooley - Steelhead Securities

Okay and it seems in your remarks, kind of --- upcoming quarter is the tough quarter and the quarter beyond that should ramp up, is that solely because the Diamondx and the visibility in that product line or do you have some other stuff circulating in another product line?

Dave Tacelli

Combination.

Operator

Thank you. (Operator Instructions) No questions at this time, I would like to hand the conference back over for any closing remarks.

Dave Tacelli

Okay. Well, thank you very much for listening in and joining us today. Have a good day and we will see you in the near future.

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen thank you for participating in today’s conference. This concludes the program. You may all disconnect and have a wonderful day.

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