Planar Systems (PLNR) comments on the flat-panel market

| About: Planar Systems, (PLNR)

Planar is the ninth largest manufacturer of flat-panel monitors. (You may have seen Planar flat-panel monitors and TVs for sales by Dell.) About half Planar's sales are to the PC monitor market, while the rest are for medical and industrial applications.

All quotes are from the CCBN StreetEvents transcripts:

… results for the fourth quarter… quarterly sales of $68.0 million, up sequentially… 2% due to growth in the medical and industrial segments offset by a decline in the commercial segment. Year-on-year sales… decreased… 6%...

… medical segment… sales… $22.7 million were up… 12% sequentially and… 6% over last year's fourth quarter.

… industrial business unit… sales… $14.2 million… grew… 8% on a sequential basis but declined $1.2 million year-on-year.

Planar's commercial business recorded sales in the fourth quarter of $31.2 million down $2.2 million sequentially; and $4.3 million year-on-year. As panel supplies shifted from scarcity to surplus, we took in more inventory than we needed. During the fourth quarter we sold much of this at below target margins due to a sharp drop in retail prices.

our expectation for the first quarter of fiscal 2005 are as follows: sales of about $65 million; half of which are expected to come from the commercial segment; gross margin of about 23% of sales anticipating the absence of the inventory and the warranty adjustments made in the fourth quarter and improved commercial segment margins.