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Executives

Robert J. Phillippy - Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

Charles F. Cargile - Chief Financial Officer, Senior Vice President and Treasurer

Analysts

James Ricchiuti - Needham & Company, LLC, Research Division

D. Mark Douglass

Lawrence Solow - CJS Securities, Inc.

Mark S. Miller - Noble Financial Group, Inc., Research Division

Dave Kang - B. Riley & Co., LLC, Research Division

Ajit Pai - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc., Research Division

Newport (NEWP) Q4 2011 Earnings Call February 22, 2012 5:00 PM ET

Operator

Good day, everyone, and welcome to the Newport Corporation Fourth Quarter 2011 Financial Results Conference Call. Today's conference is being recorded. At this time for opening remarks and introductions, I would like to turn the conference over to Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Robert Phillippy. Please go ahead, sir.

Robert J. Phillippy

Thanks. Good afternoon, and welcome to Newport's Fourth Quarter 2011 Conference Call. With me is our Chief Financial Officer, Chuck Cargile.

Before we get started, I'd like to remind you that during the course of this conference call, we will be making a number of forward-looking statements that are based on our current expectations and involve various risks and uncertainties that are discussed in our periodic SEC filings. Although we believe that the assumptions underlying these statements are reasonable, any of them could prove inaccurate, and there can be no assurance that the results will be realized.

The fourth quarter provided a strong finish to an outstanding year for the Newport team. For the full year, we delivered record performance in orders, sales and earnings per share. We also advanced our strategic agenda with the acquisitions of Ophir Optronics, High Q Laser and early in January of 2012, ILX Lightwave. This combination of crisp operational execution and effective implementation of our acquisition strategy has become ingrained within the company, leading us to expect another excellent financial performance in 2012.

We're off to a great start, and currently expect our first quarter orders to be by far the largest orders quarter in our history. I'll discuss our outlook for the first quarter and full year of 2012 later in this call.

Our fourth quarter sales were $160.9 million, an increase of 21.1% over the fourth quarter of 2010 and 28.1% sequentially. Our fourth quarter orders totaled $151 million, representing growth of 15.8% versus the fourth quarter of 2010 and 27.3% sequentially. This growth was driven by the additions of Ophir and High Q, which contributed $36.3 million in sales and $29.2 million in orders to these results. For the full year, our sales were $545 million, an increase of 13.6% over 2010, and our new orders were $543 million, an increase of 6.5% over 2010.

The incremental sales and orders contributed by Ophir and High Q enabled us to overcome a challenging macro environment in our end markets, particularly the microelectronics market. Our orders growth in our aerospace and defense and industrial markets in the fourth quarter was due entirely to the addition of Ophir, and our orders growth in our life and health sciences market was due primarily to the addition of High Q.

In addition to enabling this growth, our recent acquisitions have provided Newport with greater balance of our end markets. This was exemplified by our fourth quarter orders of which 37% came from the scientific research and aerospace and defense markets, 25% from life and health sciences, 20% from microelectronics and 18% from industrial and other markets. This balance enables us to participate in a range of very exciting growth opportunities while insulating it somewhat from the inherent cyclicality of some markets.

Our business is becoming more balanced on a regional basis as well, with 37% of our fourth quarter orders coming from U.S. customers, 28% from Europe, 27% from Asia and 7% from the rest of the world. This result comes in part from our strategic initiative to drive organic growth through global expansion and in part from the international contribution of our recent acquisitions.

Now I'd like to take a few minutes to provide an overview of fourth quarter order activity in each of our target end markets. Fourth quarter orders from our scientific research, aerospace and defense customers were $56.3 million, an increase of 29.5% over the fourth quarter of 2010 and 26.9% sequentially. Ophir's contribution was key to this result. Ophir's Optics group is an undisputed leader in infrared optics used for thermal imaging, including night vision, and has a very strong position in a range of aerospace and defense applications.

We also experienced relative strength in the scientific research market, particularly in Europe and China as researchers work to use their budgets before their fiscal year ends. From a product perspective, we saw robust orders in our laboratory solutions for vibration control, fueled by our new Integrity VCS Optical table system. This innovative isolation platform is highly modular and configurable to meet the varying needs of the scientific community. We also achieved another quarter of excellent orders in our ultrafast lasers product line, with the new products we introduced earlier this year receiving broad market acceptance.

Fourth quarter orders from aerospace and defense customers were relatively soft, but have rebounded nicely so far in the first quarter of 2012 and are certainly contributing to our optimism for all-time record orders in Q1. Although order levels in this market can vary significantly from quarter-to-quarter, Ophir is the incumbent supplier on multiple programs at several Tier 1 defense contractors, and we expect to grow our sales to this market going forward.

Orders from customers in our life and health sciences market were $37.1 million, representing growth of 45.4% over the fourth quarter of 2010 and 39.5% sequentially. High Q systems has continued to experience robust growth as their ultrafast laser technology is optimized and well accepted for surgical procedures.

I'm also pleased to report that in the fourth quarter, we began shipping our new InSight DeepSee laser, which is designed for multiphoton imaging applications. With the tuning range almost twice that of competing products, this innovative laser enables an entirely new level of performance in bioimaging. The additions of High Q and Ophir, combined with our increasing position with bioinstrumentation and bioimaging customers, now put us in a leadership position as a photonics technology source for both clinical and laboratory applications in the life and health sciences market. As such, we expect robust growth in this market throughout 2012.

Orders from our microelectronics customers were $30.7 million, representing sequential growth of 4.8% over the third quarter. We were very pleased to see this improvement in our fourth quarter orders from this market. Our expectation and that of many in the industry had been that Q4 and perhaps even the first half of 2012 would continue to exhibit declines in orders. So the rebound, albeit modest, is promising.

Despite this historical cyclicality, the increasing worldwide demand for semiconductors, particularly for mobility solutions including mobile phones, tablets and the new ultrabook category, will drive long-term growth and innovation in this market. We continue to have strong and enduring business relationships with key industry leaders, and participate in the manufacturing process of all major semiconductor device types.

Fourth quarter orders from industrial and other market customers were $26.9 million, an increase of 32.7% over the fourth quarter of 2010 and 46.4% sequentially. Ophir brings a host of new industrial products and customer relationships to the Newport team. For example, Ophir's laser measurement equipment is an industry standard for laser applications of all types. Basically, any laser in the world that needs a reasonable degree of accuracy, regardless of technology, power level, wavelength, benefits from and in many cases requires periodic calibration and characterization. Ophir's product serve these needs in a broad array of industrial applications, including cutting, welding, texturing, drilling and marking.

At the PHOTONICS WEST Trade Show in January, our Spectra-Physics laser division introduced the new Spirit femtosecond laser for scientific and selected industrial applications. This is the first product to use a High Q Laser hardware platform combined with the Spectra-Physics user interface and packaging. This creates a compact, industrial grade laser for use in micromachining, nano structuring and medical device manufacturing. The use of ultrafast lasers can increase speed and enhance precision in many materials processing applications, making the Spirit laser an ideal choice for those customers.

I will now turn the call over to Chuck to comment on other aspects of our financial performance. Chuck?

Charles F. Cargile

Thank you, Bob. First, let me address a few housekeeping items. Much of the information we're discussing during this call is also included in the press release and Form 8-K we issued earlier today, and I encourage you to visit our website at newport.com. And specifically, the section titled Company Investor Information, where we've posted supplemental financial data, which includes historical financial statements, schedules that detail historical trends for our sales and orders by market and the performance of our reporting segments.

For many years, we reported 2 segments. Now we have 3. So our supplementary schedules show our Photonics and Precision Technology segment, which we refer to as PPT; our Spectra-Physics laser segment; and now our Ophir segment.

Included also is a schedule showing supplemental non-GAAP measures and the calculation of our adjusted EBITDA. We've also posted the presentations we've made at the most recent investor conferences we've attended, so there's a wealth of information available on our website for interested investors. Please note that we are discussing certain non-GAAP information during this call, which we believe helps provide a more meaningful comparison of our financial results between periods.

Bob's already discussed our sales for the quarter and full year and the momentum reflected on our new orders for the first quarter so far to date, so I'll focus on other aspects of our financial statements. I recognize that our financial statements for the fourth quarter reflect a number of items that distort comparisons to prior periods and also impact the forward-looking information we've provided. But before I talk about the unusual items, as a baseline, I'd like to call your attention to several important matters to ensure they aren't lost among the other items.

First, let me talk about our Spectra-Physics laser division. Quite simply, Spectra-Physics had the best financial quarter in its history. The segment income was $7.1 million or 13.2% of sales. This was also aided by an excellent contribution from the recently-acquired High Q business, but even without this contribution, Spectra-Physics' operating margin would have been 11.5% of revenue. This excellent result and the momentum we're experiencing across-the-board in our lasers division makes us optimistic for this business in 2012 and beyond.

Switching to our PPT division. PPT has been a stellar financial performer for many years, and 2011 was another great year. For the full year, PPT contributed segment income of 23% of sales. In 2012, we've now added ILX Lightwave to PPT. ILX's revenue in 2011 was approximately $8 million, although none of that was included in Newport's results because the transaction closed in January 2012. ILX has profit characteristics similar to those of our PPT business, just on a smaller scale. This business is a terrific bolt-on to PPT and will benefit from our global scale, including our sales channel and our supply chain.

Due to the market improvement in Spectra-Physics' financial performance and the consistent stellar financial performance of PPT, 2011 would have been a record financial year for Newport even without our strategic acquisitions. Our non-GAAP results throughout the year on a stand-alone basis were in line with our long-term financial goals of 45% gross margin and 12% to 15% operating margin. In the near term, we expect our recent acquisitions to cause us to be below those targets. But in the long term, we believe the value from these acquisitions, including more growth opportunity, greater scale and operational synergies will return us to those profitability levels.

We also improved our credit structure during the quarter. We previously announced the establishment of a $250 million credit facility, including $185 million term loan that currently bears interest at approximately 3% per year. Also, there's an undrawn $65 million revolving line of credit as a part of that. A portion of the proceeds from the $185 million loan was used to extinguish our convertible bonds. In fact, during Q4, we retired convertible bonds with a face value of $114.4 million, and we repaid the remaining $12.4 million of the bonds last week. So we now have no more convertible debt.

We ended the quarter with $72.9 million of cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities. This balance was a little higher than we anticipated back in October and is a reflection of our effective cash generation. It should also be noted that despite the cash requirements of our integration efforts, we generated an excess of $50 million of operating cash flow in the second half of 2011, and our adjusted EBITDA for 2011 was $96.1 million.

Please refer to the supplemental non-GAAP measures table in our press release for the calculation of the adjusted EBITDA. That's the basis for the financial covenant under our new credit facility. Now I'll talk about our tax situation.

You'll notice that we recorded a $32.7 million on a tax benefit in the fourth quarter of 2011. This resulted from the long anticipated reversal of a valuation reserve that we established in prior years. Due to our cumulative profit position and our profitable outlook, it's considered more likely than not to use the GAAP terminology that will benefit from the substantial NOLs that we have. Therefore, the reserve against those assets is no longer required.

Beginning in the first quarter of 2012, we expect to record a tax provision in the range of 32% to 34%. It should be noted, however, that we expect most of the U.S. earnings to be shielded from cash taxes. So although the provision will show the higher tax rate, that higher rate does not reflect the cash that we'll pay. We expect that for 2012, our cash outlay for taxes will remain in the 10% to 15% range. This contributes to our optimism for continued high levels of cash generation in the future.

There's another new noncash expense item that's now included in our income statement is the amortization of intangible assets relating to the new acquisitions. As most of you probably know, when the opening balance sheets were established for acquired companies, an estimate is made of the value of the intangible assets. Examples include customer relationships, existing technologies, patents, trademarks and in-process R&D to name a few. These assets are established on the opening balance sheet and are then amortized over periods of time ranging from a few quarters to as long as 20 years.

It's a testament to the value of the Ophir and High Q businesses that the valuation of their intangible assets is relatively high. What that means is that our noncash amortization expense is expected to increase by a little over $4 million per quarter in 2012. Over time, this amount will decline, but it reflects an incremental noncash expense that was only recently quantified, and therefore is not factored into any of our guidance or any of the expectations of investors or analysts. Let me remind you, this expense is noncash and therefore has no negative impact on our cash generation capability or our adjusted EBITDA.

One more item I want to highlight before summarizing the all-in results is Ophir's Q4 results. Recall that we finalized the Ophir transaction in October of this year, so the results shown in our supplementary segment information are for most of Q4. Ophir's revenue in the quarter was $27.6 million, and their segment income was $1.5 million or 5.5% of sales. Their sales and profit were lower than they've achieved historically and lower than we expect in Q1 of 2012 and beyond.

In Q4, the acquisition created unprecedented challenges and disruptions to a company that's been independently successful for 30 years. Ophir is already seeing stronger orders and better results in Q1. We've collaborated with the Ophir leadership team to establish targets for 2012, and we've engaged in extensive integration, organization and strategic discussions and we remain very enthusiastic about the long-term value of this business and the contribution it will make to Newport.

Now I'll summarize the all-in financial results, including the unusual items I referred to. Our net income in accordance with GAAP was $34.5 million or $0.90 per diluted share for the quarter and $79.7 million or $2.06 per diluted share for all of 2012.

Excluding the items highlighted on Page 8 of our press release, our non-GAAP net income for the fourth quarter would have been $9.6 million or $0.25 per diluted share. Now remember, when you compare that number with your model or an analyst model, you'll want to consider that it includes $4.2 million or $0.10 per diluted share of incremental amortization of intangibles. Except for peeling back the onion to provide a more meaningful comparison of our financial results between periods, I hope it's clear that the $160.9 million revenue and the resulting earnings per share were both very consistent with the guidance we've provided at the beginning of the quarter.

For the full year, excluding the items highlighted in our press release, the non-GAAP income would have been $51.2 million or $1.32 per share, including the impact of the incremental amortization which was $0.11 per share for the full year. I appreciate your patience in reviewing all the ins and outs of the financial statements. I know it's a lot to digest. As I noted earlier, we have posted a lot of information on our website that should help to explain them.

In summary, the legacy Newport business turned in record financial performance in 2011. The businesses we acquired are all expected to be accretive to our earnings for 2012 and bring to Newport greater growth opportunities and a more balanced, stable product portfolio. And our foundation for generating cash has never been stronger.

I'll be glad to answer any questions you have after Bob makes a few more comments.

Robert J. Phillippy

Thanks, Chuck. I would now like to provide an update on some other important activities of Newport and then comment on our outlook for 2012. With the completion of 3 acquisitions over the quarter -- over the course of the last 3 quarters, much attention and energy has been focused on integration-related activities. I'm very pleased to report that we're making excellent progress and would like to highlight a few important accomplishments.

In January, we held a full week of sales meetings for our domestic and international sales professionals across the company. The primary agenda item was to provide detailed product training to our teams, including overviews of our new offerings and plenty of hands-on demonstrations. The products of High Q, Ophir and ILX were featured prominently at these sessions, with representatives from each of these businesses providing an overview of their products and capabilities.

These representatives also attended other product training sessions to help them become more familiar with the other Newport businesses. Also, as a result of these sessions, we have established relationships between the sales specialists for our newly-expanded product portfolio as an important first step in our initiative to fully leverage the strength of our global sales channel to accelerate the growth of the acquisitions. We already have a few examples of promising opportunities that have been uncovered by this approach, which I hope to report on as success stories in the future.

As of January 19, we added dozens of the most popular laser measurement and beam profiling products of the Ophir, Spiricon and Photon product lines to the newport.com website. With more than 2.4 million visits in 2011, our website is the most widely accessed Internet commerce site in our industry, and thus provides an effective vehicle to expand the promotion and the sales of these products.

Also in January, the PHOTONICS WEST exhibition was held in San Francisco, which provided us with an opportunity to present the combined capabilities of our company to a number of important scientific and industrial customers. Our trade show booth displayed the products of Ophir, High Q and Newport and signs to communicate that ILX had joined the Newport team just 8 days prior to the start of the show.

The products of Ophir and High Q were presented prominently, and the booth was configured in a way to highlight these new Newport team members. The show also provided us with a forum to coordinate our sales and marketing activities as a single team for the first time. In all, the 2012 PHOTONICS WEST trade show provided us with an excellent vehicle to accelerate our integration process.

As mentioned earlier, we have already introduced Spirit, the first product that combines an ultrafast laser engine from High Q with the user interface and packaging from Spectra-Physics as a new solution for micromachining applications. This happened less than 6 months after the closure of the High Q acquisition. In addition, our Spectra-Physics worldwide sales and service team has received initial training on High Q products to ensure we can effectively support them on a worldwide basis.

From a back-office perspective, we are in the process of establishing global connectivity to our internal network at all of our new locations, and we'll soon be launching a common intranet platform company-wide. We have also outfitted most of our larger sites with videoconference equipment to ensure that we can communicate effectively despite the geographic diversity of our operations.

To summarize our integration status, we are achieving, and in some cases beating, our key milestones in the integration of all 3 companies. As communicated in prior calls, we expect integration activities, especially for Ophir, to continue throughout 2012. Several of our integration projects, such as optimizing our channels, coordinating product road maps, capturing supply chain savings, further integrating IT systems and strengthening and streamlining G&A processes, take time to implement and realize the resulting benefits.

As mentioned previously, the additions of Ophir, High Q and ILX creates significant new growth opportunities for Newport. Together, they expand our served available market by approximately 850 million to a total that approaches 5 billion. Acquisitions have been and will continue to be an important part of our strategy, and in support of this, we have established rigorous processes for identification, closure and integration. 2012 provides us with a good opportunity to demonstrate our integration capabilities as we expect to achieve additional growth and capture additional synergies in each quarter.

I would now like to discuss our outlook for the first quarter and full year of 2012. Following a record orders sales and earnings performance in 2011, our record backlog and strong orders run rate in the first quarter give us confidence that our growth will continue. Further, recent communication with our customers leads us to expect that the current semiconductor equipment market downturn may be less pronounced and shorter in duration than we have previously anticipated. Thus, despite the current uncertainty in the macroeconomic environment, we expect our sales for 2012 to be in the range of $670 million to $685 million. This would represent 23% to 26% growth over 2011, resulting in a Compound Annual Growth Rate over a three-year period of more than 20%, in line with the strategic growth objectives we established in 2009.

We expect our operating margin for the year to be in the 10% to 12% range, including approximately $16 million or 2.3% to 2.4% of sales of amortization of intangibles associated with our recent acquisitions. Our longer-term operating margin target continues to be 15%, and we expect to begin approach -- and we expect to again approach this number in 2013 once we have completed the integration of our recent acquisitions. Also, please recall that due to the reversal of our deferred tax asset in the fourth quarter of 2011, our tax rate will be normalized to the 32% to 34% range in 2012, although we do not expect to become a U.S. federal cash taxpayer until 2013.

In the first quarter of 2012, we expect our sales to be approximately equal to the $160.9 million we recorded in the fourth quarter, with increasing momentum in our business offsetting the seasonal softness we historically experience in the first quarter of the year. We expect our operating margin to be approximately 7% to 8% of sales, including incremental intangibles amortization of $4.2 million or approximately 2.6% of sales.

We also expect record new orders in the first quarter of 2012, including a $36.7 million order we have already received for ultrafast lasers used in surgical procedures that we expect to ship over the next 2 years beginning this quarter. Finally, going forward in 2012, we expect to deliver sequentially increasing sales and profit in each of the remaining quarters of the year.

That concludes our prepared remarks. We would now like to address your questions. Operator?

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

[Operator Instructions] We will go first to Jim Ricchiuti of Needham.

James Ricchiuti - Needham & Company, LLC, Research Division

Chuck, if I look at the bookings numbers, just to make sure I do have some of the numbers correct, it looks like the combination of Ophir and High Q, the book-to-bill was 0.8, and then the legacy or stand-alone Newport business pre-acquisition, you almost had a book-to-bill of close to 1. Is that pretty much in the ballpark?

Charles F. Cargile

That's right. That's right. Let me spend just a minute clarifying a bit on the 2 acquired businesses because it transitions well into the optimism that we have for Q1. So High Q, we mentioned last quarter that they had virtually no bookings in Q3, that they're very -- have a high degree of customer concentration and that they were working with those customers to establish what the order amounts were going to be. And so again in Q4, High Q, although they had very good output in terms of revenue, only had less than $6 million of new orders. So it's a business that we're expecting to do well over $30 million in revenue. Yet for the first half, the 2 quarters that we owned them, they've only done $6 million. So we knew there was a tremendous amount of pent-up demand in terms of the orders, and that's a big boost to what we see flushing through in Q1. So the excitement that we have for High Q is certainly been reflected in the orders in Q1 and we're starting to see in the revenue in Q4. And Ophir's orders were also down a little bit in Q4 from what we'd expect, and again, we're seeing a lot stronger Q1 orders. So I think with both acquisitions, there's a little bit of temporary disruption in Q4. If we didn't see the strong orders in Q1, we might be a little more concerned. But now that we see it in Q1, we recognize this as a timing issue.

James Ricchiuti - Needham & Company, LLC, Research Division

Okay. And Chuck, just with respect to Ophir on the revenues, interesting. Can you provide some sense as to how that splits between the 2 segments, industrial and scientific? I'm just trying to get a sense as to the contribution in those 2 segments.

Charles F. Cargile

Yes, for Ophir, you're talking revenue, Jim?

James Ricchiuti - Needham & Company, LLC, Research Division

Yes, revenue for scientific research, aerospace and defense and then the industrial piece.

Charles F. Cargile

Yes, for Ophir, the research, aerospace and defense is about 55%, and the industrial and other is about 25% and then the rest is split within life and health sciences and some other markets.

James Ricchiuti - Needham & Company, LLC, Research Division

Okay. And just one question, I'll jump back in the queue. Just in terms of the operating margins at Ophir, and it sounds like there was a little bit of disruption in the quarter. How much of that was also due -- I think the revenue's coming in a little lower than you were expecting?

Charles F. Cargile

Yes, there's definitely, definitely a leverage play there which hurt us in Q4 and should help us in Q1, so we did see the lower gross margins from the lower revenue and then we'll see that come back in Q1.

James Ricchiuti - Needham & Company, LLC, Research Division

Okay. So you're expecting margins to, it sounds like, improve nicely off of Q4 at Ophir?

Charles F. Cargile

Yes, that's correct.

Operator

We will go next to Mark Douglass of Longbow Research.

D. Mark Douglass

On the gross margin levels line, what are we looking at in 1Q '12? Do we expect that it probably bottomed here in the fourth quarter, 41%?

Charles F. Cargile

Yes, first, let me calibrate the gross margin. So if you have the press release in front of you, Mark, on Page 8 of the press release where we identify the non-GAAP measures, you see in the middle of the table at the top there's $7.8 million of acquisition-related charges, there's $1.2 million of restructuring and severance costs, so that's about $9 million of charges. Within that $9 million, there's $3.8 million that goes in the cost of sales, specifically for having written up inventory as a part of the opening balance sheet, and then you flush it out, in this case the first quarter of the acquisition. So the margin, as it's reported for GAAP, is 41.3% with an artificial 3.8% flushing through in the quarter. So if you just exclude that and look at the pro forma gross margin, it would have been 43.7%. So I would still say that that's a low-water mark and we expect it to be higher in Q1, but we're not looking at -- if you -- in a vacuum, if you waited till Q1 and you saw a bounce back over 44%, you might think, wow, that's a huge change from 41%. But you'd need to remember that 3.8% was the pro forma amount that flushed through as part of the opening balance sheet.

D. Mark Douglass

Yes, okay. That was one of my questions. And then the rest would be mostly in SG&As or a little bit in R&D too?

Charles F. Cargile

The remaining $5.2 million is all in SG&A. No charges -- no pro forma charges in R&D. That's why the R&D as a percent of sales, the $8.4 million, is about what you would expect and the other 2 were a little bit distorted because of those charges.

D. Mark Douglass

Okay. Helpful. And then looking at your 10% to 12% OP in '12, how much restructuring and -- or savings from restructuring that you've implemented and cost synergies are baked into that? Or are you not really relying on that and the...

Charles F. Cargile

Yes, I would say there's very little cost and very little benefit that's baked into that 10% or 12%. So I think as we've mentioned, many of the meaningful synergies that we anticipate, which would come on the sourcing side, supply chain or manufacturing or on the sales channel side, will probably materialize over the course of the year but create benefit more in 2013. So that will be the difference that then gets us to the higher -- gets us back to the higher percentage over time.

D. Mark Douglass

And that's where you're mentioning you think you can really, really step it up by 2013?

Charles F. Cargile

Yes.

D. Mark Douglass

Assuming the world doesn't fall apart and sales keep increasing. Okay. And then final question, looking at the industrial, other, and it seemed fairly weak. Was part of that just because of the revenue miss, I call revenue miss of Ophir, some of the timing issues in Ophir? Or was there something particularly soft in that very broad end market that may be going forward is a little concerned?

Robert J. Phillippy

Mark, this is Bob. So historically, as you know, our industrial market has been a broad array of applications, including industrial manufacturing, but also some telecommunications in there, also some sales to other laser manufacturers in that number. So those kind of just general markets that we participate in were a little bit soft in the fourth quarter, and I think you'd see that looking at the communications from some of the peer companies in our industry and some from our customers. The addition of Ophir injects some pretty significant growth opportunities into our industrial segment. I mentioned one in the prepared remarks and that was industrial laser measurement. Where basically anywhere there's a laser in the world, it needs to be recalibrated periodically and measured. And Ophir has laser measurement products for basically every one of those applications. But also, the Ophir Optics business has what we believe are some very meaningful opportunities for growth in the automotive and commercial security markets. But those are in the fairly early stages of their development where we think that the infrared optics technology they have has the opportunity to build a strong presence in that business. So I guess, as we look in the near term, if you just take a look at the historical portfolio of industrial and the markets that we participated in, we're not exempt from the macroeconomic circumstances. But if you look at the opportunities we have for growth, I think that it's not unreasonable to say that if we considered industrial to be a GDP plus a few points market in general, our opportunities can be much better than that, mid to high-single digits, if you take a look on an all-in basis.

D. Mark Douglass

Okay. And then it's fair to say though with the really significant bump from Ophir, it really is more industrial-like than it has been in the past. Is that fair?

Robert J. Phillippy

No. Chuck went through some of the mix information earlier with Jim Ricchiuti and it's got -- Ophir has a meaningful aerospace and defense component to it as well.

D. Mark Douglass

Oh, no. I guess just looking at the industrial end market, when you add an Ophir as industrial, it really makes it much more industrial rather than...

Robert J. Phillippy

Rather than others. Yes, you can say that.

D. Mark Douglass

Regional [ph] variety of different OEMs.

Robert J. Phillippy

Yes, correct.

Operator

We will go next to Larry Solow of CJS Securities.

Lawrence Solow - CJS Securities, Inc.

In terms of the Ophir performance and the breakout, is some of that impact also isn't -- is the higher amortization actually coming through, it's coming through that segment?

Charles F. Cargile

No. The amortization...

Lawrence Solow - CJS Securities, Inc.

Was that before the G&A, that's before the corporate, before the amortization?

Charles F. Cargile

Yes, we keep that in the corporate department. We don't charge that back to the divisions.

Lawrence Solow - CJS Securities, Inc.

Got you. Got you. And then just in terms of the amortization and actually the D&A fee [ph]. You gave a good amortization outlook. Is the depreciation piece also sliding up a little bit, so at the high 9s, almost $10 million. Is that a good quarterly run rate to look at as you look out into '12 in terms of D&A combined?

Charles F. Cargile

Yes, the depreciation, separate from the amortization, is probably going to run similar to that, a little bit higher than what we had historically. But combined, all in, I think for both depreciation and amortization, you'll be expecting around $11 million a quarter.

Lawrence Solow - CJS Securities, Inc.

Okay. So over $40 million for the year.

Charles F. Cargile

Yes.

Lawrence Solow - CJS Securities, Inc.

Got you. And the amortization you said was $4.2 million incremental this quarter, so I guess you already had like $700,000 essentially.

Charles F. Cargile

That's correct.

Lawrence Solow - CJS Securities, Inc.

Okay. Got you. And in terms of, just so I know, this sort of as you look out into '13, I realize that the amortization piece, their different schedules and whatnot, and I imagine you'll provide it in the K, but is that -- do you expect that to sort of subside as you go out in the out year? Is more of this in cost of goods, or is that sort of evenly split between cost of goods and SG&A in terms of the amortization piece?

Charles F. Cargile

There's a couple of questions in there, Larry. First, it does peak in terms of the amount in 2012. It will come down a little bit, but not a lot. It might come down a couple of million dollars in 2013, and then stays at that level through 2015, knocks off a couple million each year after that. So it's $13 million, figure a couple of million less but none until 2013. And then all of that amortization that we referenced is in SG&A. None of it is in COGS.

Lawrence Solow - CJS Securities, Inc.

None of it's in the -- there's no purchase -- there's no -- none gets to amortization and a little piece in the cost of goods had been in this case.

Charles F. Cargile

No. The only impact in the cost of sales for the opening balance sheet was the inventory that I mentioned earlier.

Lawrence Solow - CJS Securities, Inc.

Got you. Got you. Okay. And then the High Q, so the $36.7 million, that was all for High Q, I guess, that order you received. Is that right?

Charles F. Cargile

Yes.

Lawrence Solow - CJS Securities, Inc.

Right. And that's -- and is that -- you said it's supposed to be filled in the next 2 quarters?

Charles F. Cargile

No, the next 2 years.

Lawrence Solow - CJS Securities, Inc.

Okay. That's where I mixed up. I got you. So you -- okay.

Charles F. Cargile

Next 2 quarters would be very accelerated.

Lawrence Solow - CJS Securities, Inc.

That's only from 1 OEM, right? You were providing 2 OEMs, is that correct? Or is this more than 1 OEM order?

Robert J. Phillippy

The particular order that we referenced was from one of our customers. We do have others, but it is a fairly focused customer base. And the order specifically will ship over the next 2 years, and it will start shipping this quarter and probably have a fairly ratable shipment pattern over the 2 years.

Lawrence Solow - CJS Securities, Inc.

Got you. Got you. Okay. Any other updates on China, how that's progressing, or other areas? Were you looking in other international areas for growth?

Robert J. Phillippy

Yes. China continues to be a pretty great story for us, and we're pretty excited about it. Certainly, we had another record year there. Our business is now on a run rate that approaches $50 million a year. We have continued to expand our Wuxi operation and our sales and service presence in the country. In fact, in total, we just did the math, we have more than 150 people in Greater China now. And it's -- our investments seem to be paying off in terms of the revenue that I just mentioned a minute ago. In 2011, if you just reflect on that, our most recent investments were to expand Wuxi operations, enhance sales and service. We also put in a regional distribution center also in Wuxi, so that we could get products to anywhere in the Asia region a lot more quickly, a lot of our products that we keep in stock on a merchandise basis for customers. We also have another warehouse that is in-country, so that we can serve customers in China quickly. So the whole intent is that customers in that region and in that country can get products from us very, very quickly, and we can be very, very responsive to what they're looking for.

Lawrence Solow - CJS Securities, Inc.

Okay. Two real quickies, the 32% to 34% reported tax rate for Q1. That's, I imagine, a good number to use for the year. I realize that the cash rate will be a lot lower than that, but that's good. And then can you just remind me what ILX, what their revenues were last 12 months or last year or whatever you got?

Charles F. Cargile

Yes, a little less than $8 million.

Operator

We will go next to Mark Miller of Noble Financial.

Mark S. Miller - Noble Financial Group, Inc., Research Division

Just wanted to talk about -- we've been talking about margins, but the laser business did well. But PP&T (sic) [PPT] look like, both sequentially and year-over-year, that they had somewhat lighter terms of contribution. I was just wondering, was that product mix?

Charles F. Cargile

Yes, I always hate to say product mix because it's so generic and it's so hard to confirm, especially when you've got a business with the thousands of product lines they have. But in fact, that is the case, Mark. We've looked at that. The business is very solid. The 23% for the year was excellent. And I think quarter in, quarter out, you'll see a little bit of a fluctuation due to the mix, but that's basically what it is.

Mark S. Miller - Noble Financial Group, Inc., Research Division

And the reason you're expecting a significant and sequential improvement in 2012 in your operating income for first quarter, is that improving sales or mix? I'm just -- if you could give a little more color on that.

Charles F. Cargile

Well, we're expecting Q1 to look a lot like Q4 with the exception of a little bit of higher expenses that you get in the first quarter of the year, a lot of payroll expenses and other expenses are front-end loaded. So there'll be a little bit higher expense level in Q1. But -- and we'll have the full amortization in the quarter. But other than that, Q1 is going to look a lot like Q4. The comment was after Q1, we'll see the sequential improvement in revenue and in profit, and the reason for that is a couple of things. One is there is the seasonally low Q1 dynamic. Two is we know by looking at our backlog and with the orders we're expecting this quarter, the timing of some of those shipments, so that gives us confidence for Q2 through Q4. And also, our experience with acquisitions is that generally, you start to see the benefit after a couple of quarters, and we'll see -- and I think we'll see that this year too. So there's a number of very tangible factors that we can highlight for why we think it'll be increasingly better through the year.

Mark S. Miller - Noble Financial Group, Inc., Research Division

Just one final question, your CapEx in the December quarter and your outlook for this year.

Charles F. Cargile

Yes. For Q4, we have about $6 million of CapEx, and that's combined with all Newport, Ophir, High Q. I expect it will be on average about $4 million to $5 million a quarter in 2012, and that may blip a little bit here and there depending on the timing of some of the spending or they may be investments that we might make as we go through the integration planning. But on average, for our model, I think assume $4 million to $5 million, and if there's something unusual, we'll mention it in advance.

Operator

[Operator Instructions] We will go next to Dave Kang of B. Riley & Co.

Dave Kang - B. Riley & Co., LLC, Research Division

Chuck, how much was stock compensation in Q4?

Charles F. Cargile

Dave, first, I'm going to point you to the place where you can see it because for the first time, we've actually put it in the press release on Page 8, where we show the adjusted EBITDA. And then we're probably going to continue to do now because of the heightened importance of it. But in the adjusted EBITDA table on Page 8, you'll see that it was $1.5 million for Q4. And as we talked about in this call last quarter, that amount is going to increase a little bit in 2012 where we'll expect the stock comp per quarter to move up to something closer to maybe $1.8 million or $2 million.

Dave Kang - B. Riley & Co., LLC, Research Division

Got it. Got it. And then were there any impact from Thai floodings during Q4?

Charles F. Cargile

I didn't understand. Repeat the question, Dave, I didn't catch it.

Dave Kang - B. Riley & Co., LLC, Research Division

Any impact from Thai floods, Thailand floodings?

Robert J. Phillippy

Dave, I guess a little bit of a long-winded answer, we certainly do source some component products there, and I know everyone is aware of the flooding and its impact on the microelectronics and disk drive industries. And we did have a few supply chain challenges. But I guess I'm proud to say that the operations teams at Newport were able to work around this, and so we didn't see any significant impact on our shipping, nor do we expect any significant impact in Q1 as a result of the Thailand floods. There was another related question that was asked similar to that last quarter and I wanted to comment on it as well. On the other side of that, we don't -- we did -- we may receive a few orders to replace damaged equipment, but the majority of our products that are in operation in Thailand were not damaged in the flood. So we don't expect that to be a big driver of orders in any particular quarter going forward. So in summary, it's not a big impact.

Dave Kang - B. Riley & Co., LLC, Research Division

Got it. And then I saw recently your press release about Armstrong serving as your rep of Ophir in the U.K. market. Do you have any more similar maneuvers planned in the pipeline? And is this a preferred rather than you think direct? And how are margin terms differ using direct versus union reps?

Charles F. Cargile

Well, any time we acquire businesses, one of the first things we do is evaluate the sales channel. And often because of the investment that we've made over decades in our direct sales channel, we have opportunities when we do the integration. But every acquisition in every region is treated uniquely and depends on their own situations. We generally will find a savings if there's enough revenue volume, and that's what we'll look at. And generally, we'll see a little bit of improved pricing because we're not giving some of that back to the rep. With a little bit higher potential for expense bases if we have to add people. Even though we already have the channel or the facility, the location, sometimes we have to add people to it. So it's dependent upon each example -- or each situation.

Dave Kang - B. Riley & Co., LLC, Research Division

Got it. Just a couple of more. You talked about your expectations for growing revenues and profits sequentially. Just wanted to drill a little bit more. What are your assumptions or dynamics especially in the second half, Q3 and Q4? Any kind of particular end market such as microelectronics coming back? Any more color there?

Charles F. Cargile

Yes. Well, first, I want to highlight the fact that it is nice to be able to have had a pretty good Q4 in revenue and then say and Q1 is going to be about the same. Dave, you followed us long enough that you know traditionally, we have a strong Q4 and then we say Q1 is going to be 5% to 10% down. And it's nice that we don't have to say that now, and that's reflective of the balance and the strength that we get from the businesses that we acquired. So it's nice to get off to a start to a new year that's at least equal to the way you ended the year before. And then we're not factoring a lot of growth from the semi space. Certainly, when you consider it on a year-over-year perspective, there might be growth from the fourth quarter level that's already down. But recall the first half of 2011, we are averaging over $40 million a quarter. So in order for us to be flat 2012 versus 2011, we've got to have -- it's got to pick up quite significantly from where it is today. So the growth that we're anticipating is separate from that. So if we see semiconductor come back to be flat or higher, then there could be upside in the revenue that we see today. What we're seeing is the successful penetration that we have in life and health sciences, and we're seeing opportunities with Ophir in the commercial part of the industrial business. And we're seeing success in some of the initiatives that Newport's had internationally in the investments that we've made. So it's just a lot of good things coming together, and we see it materialize and are expected to materialize throughout 2012.

Dave Kang - B. Riley & Co., LLC, Research Division

Sure. So since you've already touched upon the semi space, as you know, some of the larger OEMs such as AMAT and KLA, they are getting more bullish about 2012 CapEx spending. Now that you guys are one level below there, providing subsystems and modules, so if Q4, Q1 if the industry bottom down, can we expect may be Q1, Q2 to be your bottom for your microelectronics or semi business?

Robert J. Phillippy

Dave, this is Bob. Let me make a couple of comments related to that. First of all, I want to make sure we put our semiconductor business in context. Given the acquisitions of Ophir, High Q and ILX, none of which have any meaningful position in the semiconductor equipment industry, our mix has changed a little bit. So in the fourth quarter,microelectronics represented 20% of our orders and 22% of our sales. So it's -- we're not diversifying away from semi, but our recent acquisitions do create a better balance with our end markets. So with that said, just to talk about the outlook, you're exactly right. That is, is that when we communicated in our October earnings call, we had been running, as Chuck mentioned, at $40 million plus per quarter in orders and in Q3, it dropped below $30 million. And that wasn't a surprise. It just led us to believe that it was the start of a typical down cycle, and those typical down cycles last 4 to 6 quarters. However, based on some of the recent news you cite, CapEx, expenditure forecast with some of the big semiconductor companies and more bullish outlooks from some of the semiconductor equipment companies, we're led to believe that this particular cycle might be less severe and shorter in duration than previous cycles. So while we're not going to be the ones that are going to pick the inflection points, we're certainly prepared to respond to it, and it would be welcome news if it came back sooner than we had expected, which was in kind of a midyear range.

Dave Kang - B. Riley & Co., LLC, Research Division

Got it. Got it. And my last question is regarding High Q. High Q's revenue spiked up last year, and it appears to be off to a good start this year. What's driving that? Is it a function of new products or market share gains? Just give some color on that side.

Robert J. Phillippy

Yes, it's increasing adoption in the clinical space of life and health sciences for lasers, for surgical applications. And they've been working on this for quite some time, and it's just starting to become better adopted I guess, I should say. And some of their customers are beginning to see success of their products in the marketplace, which of course as an OEM supplier, helps our revenue streams as well. I want to make a statement related to that.

Dave Kang - B. Riley & Co., LLC, Research Division

What's a typical sales cycle -- go ahead.

Robert J. Phillippy

I'm sorry?

Dave Kang - B. Riley & Co., LLC, Research Division

What's the typical sales cycles in the medical industry?

Robert J. Phillippy

It's a bit longer than what you're maybe accustomed to with working with us for a while on the semiconductor equipment side because particularly in clinical applications, there's regulatory authorities that need to review things. I'd say that in clinical applications, it's at least 2 years because some of the things that are coming to fruition now have been in the works for at least that long.

Dave Kang - B. Riley & Co., LLC, Research Division

So how's the pipeline then? I mean sounds like you have few customers right now. I mean, how's the pipeline for broadening customer base for High Q?

Robert J. Phillippy

Exciting. I guess that leaves me to the other point that I wanted to make and that is that the way you've characterized Newport in the past, the way we've characterized Newport in the past, is that we've kind of benchmarked our performance relative to the bioinstrumentation industry and we've performed well and been proud of our performance relative to that benchmark. But that's primarily for us providing components and light engines and bioimaging accessories into the bioinstrumentation and bioimaging markets for laboratory applications. With the entry of High Q and Ophir, with their Optimet business that's involved in the emerging field of digital dentistry, we now begin to participate in the clinical space. And that particular piece is going to be more related to the adoption of the technology than the growth characteristics of the market. You see what I'm saying? Is we've got some fairly early-stage development efforts where if the technology and our products that are related to it penetrate that space, the markets are significant. I mean, dentistry and surgical applications are huge things if the technology gets to be adopted, and it's pretty exciting what we see in the pipeline right now.

Operator

We will go next to Ajit Pai of Stifel, Nicolaus.

Ajit Pai - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc., Research Division

Just looking at the $36.7 million for the ultrafast lasers that you talked about within this quarter, so I think from an order perspective, that almost doubled the size of your life and health sciences business sequentially in the first quarter. So how are you going to record it? Is that attributable in 2 years? So in the next quarter, you're only going to record like half of it because you said it's fairly linear over the 2 years. How do you plan to deal with that?

Charles F. Cargile

Our long-standing policy is that when we book an order -- or when we receive an order, we book all of that order and then we clearly delineate in our backlog that which is scheduled to ship in the next 12 months and that which is longer. So we'll do that with this one as well. One of the things that we're seeing with High Q, and also to some degree with Ophir, is more multiyear orders. So if that becomes a bigger part of our business, we might reevaluate the policy. But right now, we're sticking with the long-standing Newport policy.

Ajit Pai - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc., Research Division

So that would mean that life and health sciences as a percentage of your orders in the first quarter is likely to be almost -- probably the percentage in all-time record for the company is already setting a record in absolute numbers. So could you give us some color? I think this is a one quarter phenomenon and you talked about where the pipeline is rich. There's no probability that you're getting -- there's low probability of you getting a similar-sized order in the next couple of quarters. Could you give us some color very broadly about where you could see the percentage of life and health sciences going as a percentage of your orders and revenue over the next couple of years?

Charles F. Cargile

Sure. Let me make a comment on just a couple of numbers, and then I'll let Bob talk about it more broadly and the outlook for High Q. You're right. The Q1 -- this order will certainly make Q1 life and health sciences astronomical. It will be double what it's ever been in the past. But I think it's important to know when you say Q4, we did $37 million of new orders in life and health sciences with not a full contribution coming from High Q. As I mentioned, that order was delayed until Q1. So if you pull out High Q and Ophir in our Q4 numbers, the traditional or legacy Newport did $29 million of orders in life and health sciences, and that's an all-time record. So even though now the great strength that we see coming from High Q and to some degree from Ophir in life and health sciences in some ways is masking the fact that we were still clipping along very, very nicely in Newport and gaining traction there. $29 million would have been about 10% higher than the previous high. So we've really had a lot of leverage to pull now in life and health sciences that we didn't have before.

Robert J. Phillippy

[indiscernible] go ahead.

Ajit Pai - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc., Research Division

Did you have something to add over there?

Charles F. Cargile

Yes, just in terms of characterizing the overall market, and you and I have at one of the conferences touched on this in the past, and that is that because of the fairly long gestation period in some life and health sciences programs, we have pretty good visibility in a very, very macro sense about how things are going. And that's why I said that we're excited about the pipeline and we expect robust growth going forward. But the order patterns are going to vary significantly from quarter-to-quarter. So to your point, we don't expect another order of that size and scope. It would be welcome news, but we don't expect another one of that size and scope in the very, very near term. What we have continued to do, and remember that this is kind of a replay of some communication that we had back in the 2009 time frame, what we have continued to do is work with customers very closely for collaborative development activities where we get integrated into a customer's product. And that's, now with the new dimension of High Q and Ophir, that's on the clinical side as well as the laboratory side. And those programs will take some time to develop, and we just had one that has come to fruition in the early part of Q1 and there are others in the pipeline, but it's just suffice to say that the order patterns are going to be variable.

Ajit Pai - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc., Research Division

Right. Can you give us some color as to how significantly different in size the clinical market is relative to the laboratory?

Robert J. Phillippy

Well in this case, it's not so much the clinical market in total. It's just the parts of the clinical market that we address, which is primarily the digital dentistry piece for optical scanning and then secondly, lasers for surgical procedures. And in both of those cases, it's, as I mentioned earlier, it's really not a case of market size. It's a case of adoption of technology and more specifically of our products. Because the markets by themselves, I mean, we don't even worry about the growth dynamics per se because the markets are very, very large that the technology and our products are adopted. So what we're trying to do is make sure that we stay focused on developing products and technology that hits the sweet spot of our customers' needs so that we can increase the adoption rate and then the growth, albeit from a relatively small base, can be significant over the next couple of years.

Ajit Pai - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc., Research Division

Got it. And then just shifting over to the research and aerospace and defense side, excluding the acquisitions, the core traditional sort of Newport business, could you give us some color as to what you expect the end market spending trends to be over this next year? Are things sluggish and you expect it to remain sluggish? Or do you expect some stabilization or improvement there?

Robert J. Phillippy

Yes, Ajit, the research market continues to be a story of mixed influences. A couple of data points. Number one is that the fiscal 2012 budget is finalized in the U.S., and the agencies that are most directly influential on our business, and I would just name a couple, NIH and the Department of Energy Office of Science and National Science Foundation, their budgets came out essentially flat. I think there might have been a very, very modest decrease. But the big issue there is that it remains to be seen how that funding will be allocated. But in fairness, having experienced these kinds of Spartan budget environments in the U.S. before, the research market is remarkably resilient to them. And just another example, even though everybody's heard a lot about macroeconomic uncertainty, we had an excellent year in Europe in the research market. And as I mentioned earlier, we continue to see robust growth in China, and that's China for all products. But in particular, the research market, we continue to see strong growth. So the way we characterize it is a bit of a mixed bag, and we have certainly anticipated low to mid-single digit growth during the course of 2012, in part based on the fact that we don't expect any meaningful decline in the market and in part because we like our position with a number of new products that continue to gain traction.

Operator

And as there are no further questions, I will turn the call back to our moderators for any additional or closing remarks.

Robert J. Phillippy

Thanks, and thanks again for your participation in today's call and your interest in Newport.

In 2011, the Newport team combined crisp tactical execution and effective implementation of our strategic agenda to continue to build a company that now has greater scale, extended global reach, more balanced end market exposure and an even stronger financial foundation. We are better-positioned than ever before to achieve strong financial returns for our shareholders and add greater value for our customers.

The enabler of this excellent performance are the talented and resourceful members of our employee team. This quarter, we welcome the employees of ILX Lightwave to the Newport family, who will now use their experience and expertise on behalf of our global team, which now includes more than 2,500 people. My sincere appreciation goes out to all of my Newport colleagues around the world for your continued support and steadfast resolve to continue our quest to be the world's premier source for photonics technology and products.

So with that important note, 2012 should be a great year for Newport, and we look forward to reporting on our continued progress next quarter. Bye now.

Operator

This does conclude today's conference call. We thank you for your participation, and have a wonderful day.

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