Luna Innovations' CEO Discusses Inc.Q1 2010 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

May.10.11 | About: Luna Innovations (LUNA)

Luna Innovations Inc. (NASDAQ:LUNA)

Q1 2011 Earnings Call

May 11, 2011 5:00 pm ET

Executives

Dale Messick - CFO

My Chung - President and CEO

Analysts

Mark Dalton

Greg Greenberg

Operator

Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the first quarter 2011 Luna Innovations Incorporated Earnings Conference Call. My name is Fanzine and I am your operator for today. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later we will conduct a question and answer session.

(Operator Instructions) I would now like to turn the presentation over today’s call Mr. Dale Messick, Chief Financial Officer. Sir, you may proceed.

Dale Messick

Thank you, Fanzine. Good afternoon and thank you for joining us today as we discuss the first quarter of 2011 and some of our expectations for the remainder of 2011.

Before we proceed further with our presentation, let me remind each of you that the statements made in this conference call and our public filings, releases and web sites, which are not historical facts may be forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change at anytime.

We caution investors that any forward-looking statements made by us are management’s beliefs based on currently available information and should not be taken as a guarantee of future results and performance, which may differ materially as a result of a variety of factors discussed in our earnings release and our latest filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

We disclaim any obligation to update any such factors or to announce publicly the result of any revisions to any of the forward-looking statements to reflect future events or developments.

There is more complete information regarding forward-looking statements, risk and uncertainties in the company’s filings with the SEC available on our Web site. And with that, I’ll turn over to My Chung, President and Chief Executive Officer of Luna Innovations.

My Chung

Thank you Dale. Good afternoon everyone. It is my pleasure to be with you today as I only joined the company a few weeks ago. It’s an exciting time for me as well as for the company.

My first subject is a lot of listening and learning, spending quality time with our employees, customers and shareholders to gain a good understanding of the company’s strengths and weaknesses as well as identify what, where and how, we can potentially accelerate to create additional value.

Luna is a company with very talented individuals and a solid technology foundation. Our expertise across several disciplines such as fiber optics, secured computing and advanced materials to name a few provides us with strong technology platforms that will enable new commercial products and services.

As we reshape Luna’s strategy and culture, we are fortunate to be able to do so within a company that is performing well in many respects. Under the leadership of Dale as acting president, we have achieved our third consecutive quarter of positive cash flow. For the quarter, our product and license revenues increased by 63% compared to the first quarter of 2010.

In our technology development segment, revenues were down slightly compared to the first quarter of 2010 which showed continued improvement over the previous two quarters. As the company discussed in previous calls, our contract win rate suffered during the time of the company's reorganization, but it’s since begun to stabilize.

We expect the effective sourcing of contract research opportunities to continue to play an important part of our strategy for success. With greater focus on builds that are aligned with identified growth opportunities. The company's revenue growth coupled with our active control over operating expenses has resulted in positive-adjusted EBITDA and cash flow for this quarter.

My goal is to make this company even stronger and better. With that I would like to now turn the call back over to Dale to add more color to our financial performance and then we will be happy to take any questions.

Dale Messick

Thank you My. So for the first quarter 2011, we realized a 14% growth in revenues compared to the first quarter 2010 driven by a 63% growth in the product and license segment of our business.

The growth in revenues in the product and license segment was driven by increased sales of our fiber optic test and measurement equipment basically our Optical Backscatter Reflectometer and our Optical Vector Analyzer which increase 85% compared to product sales in the first quarter of the prior year.

Also within segment product development revenues including the work performed for including handset and others grew by 14% versus the first quarter of 2010.

In our technology development segment, revenues decline by 3% for the first quarter versus the first quarter of 2010 and while the revenue was down compared to Q1 of last year revenue has increased sequentially since Q3 of last year indicating some stabilization of revenues in the segment of the company and further reflected in the stave value of contract backlog for segment at $23 million on March 31st of this year compare to $23.1 million on March 31st of last year.

Gross margin improves slightly to 37% in the most recent quarter compared to 36% in the first quarter of last year due to the growth in product sales which typically provides a higher margin than the other areas of our business. Operating expenses increased approximately $300,000 or 8% compared to the same period last year.

Our operating expenses in the first quarter of 2011 included approximately $300,000 associated with the added cost of defending a potential proxy contest in conjunction with our upcoming shareholders meeting and accelerated recognition of the remaining costs associated with the consulting agreement we have with our former CEO.

Our net loss improved to $1.1 million or $0.08 per share for the first quarter of this year compare to $1.3 million or $0.10 per share last year and was also ahead of our previous guidance for the quarter.

Adjusted EBITDA which is reconciled for you in our press release today declined by approximately $200,000 compared to the first quarter of last year, due to those incremental costs of proxy matters and the consulting agreement I mentioned just a moment ago. Absent those costs, adjusted EBITDA would have also improved versus last year.

We achieved our third consecutive quarter of positive cash flow with $300,000 improvement in cash compared to year-end. Over the past three quarters, we have a cumulative positive cash flow of nearly $1.3 million.

Looking forward to Q2 and the remainder of the year, we currently expect our revenue for the second quarter to be in the range of $9 million to $10 million and a net loss to common stockholders in the range of $300,000 to $600,000.

For the year, we continue to expect results to fall within our previous guidance of revenues ranging from $37 million to $39 million and a net loss for the year in the range of $2 million to $2.5 million.

And with that, I would like to now turn the call back to My.

My Chung

Thank you, Dale. And Fanzine, we would like to now open up the call for questions.

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

(Operator Instructions) Our first question comes from the line of [Mark Dalton]. Please proceed.

Mark Dalton

Yes, congratulations on your good quarter numbers. I was wondering if you could comment just briefly on why the company is against Mr. Murphy’s proxy ballot, please?

Dale Messick

Well, the company has gone through the normal process of letting candidates through its nominating governance committee. The committee can serve the areas of the Board where we could best use additional talents to supplement the resource that we probably have on the Board and the committee came to the conclusion that the candidates that were identified in our proxy statement were the best suited for the needs of the company.

Mark Dalton

Okay. And you also – you folks at the company itself is against Mr. Murphy’s motion to limit the current Board, so it'd be fair to say that company is in favor of possibly increasing the size of the Board if necessary?

Dale Messick

Yes. That’s correct. We like to keep that option open to expand the Board. Again, as the company identifies additional needs where it can make benefit of additional resource on the Board, additional talents of new Board members. We would like to have that flexibility.

Mark Dalton

Okay. Thank you and to your knowledge is that proxy contest still on-tap for the shareholders meeting?

Dale Messick

Mr. Murphy has not filed any documents at this point.

Mark Dalton

Okay. Thank you very much and congratulations again.

Dale Messick

Thank you very much, Mark.

Operator

(Operator Instructions) We have a question coming in from the line of [Greg Greenberg].

Greg Greenberg

Yes hi, I am a little bit new to the company. I was wondering if you can describe what are the revenue opportunities available from fill-up sub-licensing, the royalty fee from here?

Dale Messick

Okay. So, we talked about on our last call, Greg, I am not sure if you were able to join that or not, but so on the last call we mentioned that Philips had entered into an agreement with Hansen Medical where Hansen sub-licensed to Philips certain rights to IP that we gave to Hansen as a part of the litigation settlement.

So that is not a direct relationship between Luna and Philips. We have had some conversations with Philips. We would certainly be very interested in a broader relationship with Philips to expand the use of our technology, but there’s just nothing for us to, there’s no deal that’s been executed. We’ve had some conversation with Philips, I think that both parties are interested and some relationships in the future but it will take us sometime to work through that.

Greg Greenberg

Can you update on the nanomedicine division?

Dale Messick

Nothing significant to update there. That group is still working through. It's NIH Grants related to the contract agent, but there’s not been any significant new developments there.

Operator

We have no further questions in the queue.

My Chung

Okay. So, what I would like to do is thank you everyone for your participation today. As a reminder, our annual shareholder's meeting will be held in Roanoke on Tuesday, May 24. I hope to have the opportunity at that time to meet you there. We will now conclude today's call.

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your participation in today's conference. This concludes the presentation. You may now disconnect and have a great day.

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