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Executives

Jim Fanucchi – IR, Summit IR Group

Alain Couder – President and CEO

Steve Abely – CFO

Jerry Turin – VP of Finance and Corporate Controller

Analysts

John Harmon – Needham & Co.

Tim Savageaux – Merriman Curhan Ford & Co.

Paul Bonenfant – Morgan Keegan

Phil Nima [ph] – Thomas Weisel Partners

John Gruber [ph] – Gruber Group [ph]

Peter Kurer [ph] – Citigroup

Bookham, Inc. (BKHM) Q4 2008 Earnings Call Transcript July 24, 2008 4:30 PM ET

Operator

Good day everyone and welcome to the Bookham fourth quarter and fiscal 2008 financial results conference call. Today’s call is being recorded and will be available for playback through July 31 of 2008. At this time, for opening remarks and introduction, I would like to turn the call over to Jim Fanucchi from Summit IR Group. Please go ahead sir.

Jim Fanucchi

Thank you, operator, and thanks to all of you for joining us. Our speakers today are Alain Couder, President and CEO; Steve Abely, CFO; and Jerry Turin, Vice President of Finance and Corporate Controller of Bookham. During today‘s call we will be referring to non-GAAP financial measures. With respect to any of these non-GAAP measures directly comparable generally accepted accounting principle measures are set forth in a reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP measures including in our earnings release, which is available in the Investor Relations portion of our Web site.

In addition today, we will make forward-looking statements regarding future events or the future financial performance of the company. Any remarks that we make about future expectations, plans, and prospects of the company constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the Safe Harbor provisions under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors including those discussed at our most recent report on Form 10-K and Forms 10-Q which are on file with the SEC. These forward-looking statements represent estimates as of this date July 24, 2008 and should not be relied upon as representing estimates at any subsequent date. While we may like to update forward-looking statements in the future, we disclaim any obligation to do so.

Now, I would like to turn the call over to Alain Couder. Alain?

Alain Couder

Thanks Jim. Good afternoon to everyone. We are very pleased to announce that in the fourth quarter we achieved $62.6 million. This marked the fifth consecutive quarter of revenue growth. On a year-over-year basis, revenue is up 39% while sequentially it increased 5%. In addition, we reduced our adjusted EBITDA loss to a proximity of several hundred thousand dollars this quarter compared to $6 million in the same quarter last year. On an annual basis, we reduced our fiscal 2008 adjusted EBITDA loss to $3.9 million from $38.1 million in fiscal 2007. This really demonstrates our financial improvement and our growth momentum. I am very proud of the Bookham team for their hard work to deliver these results. Jerry will provide you with more details on the quarterly and annual results later.

On the customer side, Nortel was 16% of total revenue while Huawei accounted for 13% of Q4. In addition, our efforts to diversify our customer base are showing results. In addition to Nortel and Huawei, in Q4 we had four customers each accounting for 5% of total revenue.

So, now let’s look at the results by division starting with Telecom. Revenue for this business was $47.4 million or 76% of total revenue. This is up from $43.9 million last quarter. As we announced last week we are supplying Ciena with our 10 gigabit tunable pluggable transceiver. This product integrates our Indium Phosphide technology which delivers a laser, a modulator and a receiver in a small module. This is just one example of how we would extend our market leadership position in the tunable area. We believe Indium Phosphide technology is quickly being recognized as the better solution by the market. Our tunable small form factor transponder which leverages the smaller size of Indium Phosphide component is growing fast, reaching 5% of our Telecom revenue in the June quarter. (inaudible) is around 40 gigabits. We are the (inaudible) supplier of integrated lasers and receivers. The company is shipping today long-haul 40 gigabit products. We also started showing such strategic customers our photonics integrated circuits that will significantly reduce the cost of long-haul and metro 40 gigabits.

Beyond tunables, we recovered strong year-over-year growth of our

980 pump amplifier and subsystems, receivers and (inaudible) application. We continue to believe we will see growth in our telecom revenue in the coming quarters. Pricing pressure across our Telecom business continues to average about 15% a year. However, we continue to improve our overall gross margin including more than15 percentage point improvement in our tunable products last quarter.

Now, let’s look at our non-Telecom division. This includes R&D market products, precision measurements, high power lasers and (inaudible). Sales increased 18% over Q4 last year while declining by4% sequentially. We are seeing a typical showdown in these markets, both in semiconductor equipment and high power lasers. We currently expect this softness to continue through the end of the calendar year.

As I mentioned last quarter, innovation, drive for suitability and ease of doing business for our customers (inaudible). I make visiting the customer a priority, every time we meet I emphasize the importance of innovation and ease of doing business, and we focus on discussing how we can work together to achieve growth. In response to our customers’ stronger outlook, we have decided to increase our spending on capital equipment in the next two quarters. This investment will push our net cap breakeven goal beyond the end of the September quarter. By making this investment we intend to accelerate our growth and gain market share. We also believe our non-GAAP operating income and our cash flow from operation prior to any capital spending will be positive in the December 2008 quarter.

So, before we review the financial results, as many of you know effective August 1, Jerry Turin became our CFO. Jerry is fully ready to move into his new position. Now, I would like also to mention Steve for his many important contributions since joining the company in 2001 and for making my introduction to Bookham easier, Steve will leave Bookham in a sound financial position. I wish him the best in his future endeavors. With that, I would like to turn the call over to Steve. Steve?

Steve Abely

Being that this is my last earnings call with the company and after seven years of Bookham, I am glad to have this opportunity to let everyone know how proud I am of what has been achieved at Bookham, especially over the last year. I am leaving in a time when we have reached five straight quarters of revenue growth, this has been achieved from a more diversified customer base and a strong portfolio of new products. The revenue growth has been accompanied by significant improvements in our gross margin and adjusted EBITDA.

I am also confident that the company is well positioned to improve. Jerry has played a significant role in getting Bookham to this position and I know he will continue to be a great resource for the company and for investors. With Jerry assuming the CFO position in the next week, I feel it is appropriate that he provides the financial summary for the June quarter. Jerry?

Jerry Turin

Thanks Steve. I am excited to join Bookham’s executive team and to lead the company’s finance operations during the next stage and the evolution of our business into a profitable technology innovator. I would also like to very much thank Steve for all the support and guidance he has provided me over these recent years.

Before I review the June quarter, I think it is important to reflect one more time upon the substantial improvement in our fiscal 2008 results. Our annual revenues of $236 million represent an increase of 16% over the $203 million we recorded in fiscal 2007. Within these results, over $22 million of growth came from our tunable products.

During fiscal 2008, we also began to realize the results of the major cost reduction action and restructurings we have undertaken in recent years. Both the bottom line contribution of our revenue growth along with our improved cost structure and streamlined operations have contributed to the $34.3 million improvement in our adjusted EBITDA and the $60.8 million reduction in our annual net loss. It is important to note that even though our major restructuring efforts are behind us, reducing cost is a continual process for this company, to this end we continue to have cost reduction programs in place including the transition of certain manufacturing activities from our photonics business in San Jose to our Shenzhen, China which we have discussed in a previous call. At the same time though, as Alain mentioned earlier, we are investing in the growth of the company, in particular, in order to address demand opportunities for certain Telecom products including tunables, we plan to increase our spending on capital equipment over the next two quarters from approximately $1.7 million in the June quarter to something in the order of $5 million in each of the next two quarters.

During last quarter’s call, we articulated an overall cash flow breakeven objective for the December quarter. As a result of our anticipated spending on capital equipment, we now expect to use cash in the December quarter, however we are still targeting non-GAAP operating income and operating cash flow breakeven for the December quarter. We believe that increasing our capacity to continue to drive revenue growth is an investment consistent with our establishing and maintaining a long-term profitable business model.

With that overview, let’s now move on to the June quarter results. We recorded revenue of $62.6 million this quarter, this represents an increase of 39% from the same quarter last year and an increase of 5% from Q3. Our fourth quarter non-GAAP gross margin, which excludes stock compensation of approximately $600,000 was 23%. This includes approximately $200,000 of manufacturing overhead cost associated with our transfer of manufacturing from San Jose to Shenzhen. This 23% margin represents an improvement of 6 percentage points over the same quarter last year and is consistent with last quarter. Softness in certain non-Telecom products is discussed earlier which achieved higher-than-average corporate margin, offset improvements achieved in our Telecom gross margins during the quarter.

R&D expenses, excluding stock compensation of approximately $700,000, were $7.5 million or 12% of revenue compared to $7.3 million last quarter. Over the next few quarters we expect to gradually increase our R&D spending at a rate consistent with our anticipated revenue growth.

Third quarter SG&A, excluding approximately $1.9 million of stock compensation, was $10.8 million, a decline of $11.1 million from Q3 and we expect SG&A will run at approximately this level over the next several quarters.

Fourth quarter depreciation and amortization were $3,620,000 respectively, this compares to $3,670,000 last quarter. Depreciation should remain around the $3 million level and amortization around the $600,000 for the next few quarters.

Total stock compensation in Q4 was $3.2 million which includes a one-time charge of approximately $1.9 million for performance-based (inaudible). Last quarter’s stock compensation was $1.2 million.

Our Q4 non-GAAP operating loss is $3.7 million compared to $4.1 million last quarter. Our non-GAAP net loss was $1.5 million or $0.01 per share compared to $3.4 million or $0.03 per share last quarter. Restructuring and severance related charges were $1 million this quarter compared to $700,000 in Q3. On a GAAP basis, our operating loss in Q4 declined to $4.7 million compared to $6.7 million last quarter. Our GAAP net loss has improved to $1.9 million or $0.02 per share compared to $5.4 million or $0.05 per share last quarter. Both of these figures for Q4 include a one-time gain of $3.8 million from a legal settlement related to a 2005 real estate transaction. Our adjusted EBITDA declined to negative $718,000 compared to negative $1.1 million last quarter. Our weighted average share count for Q4 was approximately 99.6 million and we expect this to be relatively unchanged in the September quarter.

Now, looking over the balance sheet, our cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments and restricted cash at the end of June, were $51.9 million compared with $54.7 million at the end of March. Our net cash usage declined to $2.9 million from $10 million last quarter.

Even with the increase in our revenues, accounts receivable held relatively steady at $45.7 million compared with $45.6 million last quarter. This improved our days sales outstanding to 66 days from 70 days in March. Inventories came in at $59.6 million compared with $58.6 million last quarter. Our turns improved to 4.2 from 4.1 in Q3.

Now regarding our financial outlook for the September quarter, given what we have just discussed, we expect revenue to increase and be in the range of $64 million to $68 million. Non-GAAP gross margin, which excludes stock compensation and one-time cost related to our transfer of San Jose photonics operations to Shenzhen, to be in a range of approximately 22% to 26%. In adjusted EBITDA, we expect to come in between negative $2 million and positive $2 million.

That concludes our prepared remarks, operator please open up the call for questions.

Question-and-answer Session

Operator

(Operator instructions) Our first question comes from the line of John Harmon with Needham & Company. Please go ahead.

John Harmon – Needham & Co.

Hi, good afternoon.

Steve Abely

Hi.

John Harmon – Needham & Co.

I guess, first of all, I just want to say Steve it’s really been a pleasure working with you and good luck in your next job. That thing said, I need to start off with a tough question, and that is – so, in talking to industry contacts, it is pretty well understood that for me the most accurate way to put it is earlier this year Bookham gave very little resistance to customer requests for lower prices on your tunable lasers. Essentially, you dropped prices. I was just wondering why you did that particularly when the company is working so hard to get to profitability and improve margins.

Alain Couder

We didn’t drop prices at the beginning of the year. In fact, we have seen in the past fiscal year about 15% price pressure and we have decreased our prices less than that, no. So, I know there is some rumor in the industry about that but I can tell you the competition on price is there and we have not dropped price to get market share. In fact, we have clearly a program that in particular our tunable has increased our profitability on those products much better than we were reducing prices.

John Harmon – Needham & Co.

Okay, thank you. Would you view 15% as within the normal range of annual price decline for optical components or would you view that as excessive?

Alain Couder

No, I think this is about what we will be seeing in this picture. I think innovation is there and the Moore’s law that is applied to semiconductor in the start is going to apply for optical components. So, I think we have to push our R&D in the year to find new ways to design products with new ideas that gives better cost, and that is the only way to continue to improve our margin while the fight is we will continue to decide [ph].

John Harmon – Needham & Co.

Okay, thank you. My second question, what have you talked about some capacity constraints on our tunable laser lines, have you solved those or what is the time line for resolving this?

Alain Couder

They are going to be solved for the September quarter and even more for the December quarter and this is part of the additional CapEx investment that we discussed in the call.

John Harmon – Needham & Co.

And regarding that just one last question, you gave guidance in kind of an unusual way saying that you expected to be breakeven or better on the operating line excluding CapEx. Given your guidance of $5 million in CapEx, would that mean you expect a non-GAAP operating income of minus $5 million which would be breakeven excluding that?

Jerry Turin

No, I don’t think that you can draw that direct correlation. In the past I think we gave indications about overall cash breakeven for December and we were more addressing that because of the increased capital spending we want to achieve those levels but that is not to say that every penny of capital spending offsets that direction we’ve given.

John Harmon – Needham & Co.

Okay, thank you very much.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from the line of Tim Savageaux with Merriman Curhan Ford & Company. Please go ahead.

Tim Savageaux – Merriman Curhan Ford & Co.

Hi, good afternoon. Nice quarter and outlook and Steve I wish you well.

Steve Abely

Thank you.

Tim Savageaux – Merriman Curhan Ford & Co.

You are welcome. A couple of questions. On the capacity utilization front, I guess kind of related to the capital spending increase, you have just indicated that some of that is specific to tunables, but given capital utilization in both fabs that I gather is not 85%, but correct me if I am wrong, if this is not a fab related capacity addition or what sort of in the food [ph] chain is driving the increase? Where you add capacity and then throughout the rest of the food chain, what is your capacity utilization at present?

Alain Couder

The fab is very far from full capacity and the CapEx that we are testing does not apply neither to our Zurich fabs nor to the UK fabs. It does apply to Shenzhen. Mostly due to the move from fixed wavelength to tunable where our test equipment in particular are totally different from fixed wavelength. So, in order to increase that tunable capacity we increased our capital expenditures.

Tim Savageaux – Merriman Curhan Ford & Co.

Okay at least it is still further down the manufacturing process. Just to reiterate because the guidance I think is pretty good but a little confusing, you are talking about positive EPS or EPS breakeven for December as a target and I believe you talked about gross margins moving towards 30% previously as kind of a way to get there. Are you still comfortable with that or maybe we will see a little more top line a little less gross margin in our trip to EPS breakeven or positivity?

Jerry Turin

Just to clarify on the EPS, that would be a non-GAAP operating income measure, so non-GAAP EPS.

Tim Savageaux – Merriman Curhan Ford & Co.

Got it, absolutely.

Jerry Turin

And as far as gross margin targets we have cost reduction programs in place that we believe are going to get us to the mid-to-upper 20% range, approaching 30% in that sort of time frame.

Alain Couder

We are also seeing an acceleration [ph] of growth this is also why we are investing in capital equipment.

Tim Savageaux – Merriman Curhan Ford & Co.

I am sorry, I missed out the first part of that. You were saying what?

Alain Couder

We are also seeing an acceleration of growth demand for customer. So, it is not only gross margin improvement it is also a top line improvement.

Tim Savageaux – Merriman Curhan Ford & Co.

My final question is along that front. I think you mentioned Nortel at 16% and Huawei at 13% of revenue. But some increased diversification below that, I imagine Cisco is one of those guys given that he is on the 10% list before but I wonder if you could talk either specifically or more broadly if you will about some of the other customers, you obviously just entered a lease with Ciena all seemed very important as well, but if you can give us a little more color as to where your growth has been driven from a customer standpoint that would be helpful.

Alain Couder

No, we don’t have clearance from those customers to talk about that. Sorry about that.

Tim Savageaux – Merriman Curhan Ford & Co.

Okay, thanks again.

Operator

(Operator instructions). Our next question comes from the line of Paul Bonenfant with Morgan Keegan. Please go ahead.

Paul Bonenfant – Morgan Keegan

My first question is one of clarification. In the prepared remarks, wonder if you could reiterate for me what you said the tunable was as a percentage of revenue.

Alain Couder

I don’t think it was in the prepared remarks but it was in the June quarter 17%.

Paul Bonenfant – Morgan Keegan

I thought I heard you – maybe what I heard was the small form factor being 5% of Telecom?

Jerry Turin

Yes, correct, yes.

Alain Couder

That (inaudible) 17%.

Paul Bonenfant – Morgan Keegan

17%. Okay, thank you. Next question, you alluded to your non-Telecom revenue experiencing some slowdown, you referenced semiconductor high-power lasers and softness through the end of calendar year ’08, should we think of the revenue line for that segment as decreasing sequentially throughout the year?

Alain Couder

I don’t have a crystal ball to tell you whether it is decreasing. But it certainly is not increasing right now.

Paul Bonenfant – Morgan Keegan

Okay, fair enough. You also mentioned 40 Gb/s [ph] in your press release. Relative to one of your top customers Nortel, without divulging what types of products, would you be participating in Nortel’s 40 Gb/s roll out of the new products that were announced with some 14 or 16 now I think carrier wins?

Alain Couder

We didn’t refer to Nortel specifically in our press release. What we referred to is that from all the company shipping 40 Gb/s, we are either a provider a laser (inaudible).

Paul Bonenfant – Morgan Keegan

Okay, my final question. You had talked on previous calls about customer hesitancy and I am wondering if you are seeing anything along those lines perhaps relative to cutbacks or any kind of CapEx trimming that is going on at the carrier level?

Alain Couder

Not in the second half of this calendar year.

Paul Bonenfant – Morgan Keegan

Okay, thank you for taking my questions and Steve, wish you all the best.

Steve Abely

Thanks Paul.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from the line of Ajit Pai for Thomas Weisel Partners. Please go ahead.

Phil Nima – Thomas Weisel Partners

Hi. This is Phil Nima [ph] I am calling in for Ajit. Have a couple of quick questions. First one is last quarter you spoke about specific cost reduction initiatives, cold you give an update on that and how much you guys still have to achieve or lower costs on those initiatives?

Jerry Turin

Most of those initiatives were ramping up through the September quarter with most of the benefits to be recognized in the December quarter. We are largely on track with most of those. I would say that the transfer of the photonics operation to Shenzhen is probably six to eight weeks behind that had to do with visa timing issues and getting some Chinese employees over here for training. Otherwise I think we feel that we are pretty much on track with what we laid out last quarter from a timing and opportunity point of view.

Phil Nima – Thomas Weisel Partners

So, in terms of the next quarter, what is the amount of overlay [ph] what should we now aim to do in terms of gross margin and operating expense in fact?

Jerry Turin

From a positive point of view, I think you look to the range of guidance we gave on the gross margin line.

Phil Nima – Thomas Weisel Partners

But in the manufacturing overall you have about $1 m which will be due to the software [ph].

Jerry Turin

Yes, I know. Guidance we refer to a non-GAAP gross margin including the transfer cost and you look to something in the range of $1 million is the cost that we will incur to execute that transfer.

Phil Nima – Thomas Weisel Partners

Great. The second question I have has to do with the other income item on the income statement. Could you please provide us a break down what is included there?

Jerry Turin

Yes, the vast majority of that other income is foreign currency translation on intercompany balances. It has a non-cash impact and it is more of an accounting entry than an economic entry and that’s the substantial portion of that large other income item.

Phil Nima – Thomas Weisel Partners

Then the final question I already have is in terms of a 980 pumps, what was the growth in that business during the current quarter?

Alain Couder

We don’t give the gross of our formed [ph] business but I can tell you that we continue to make good progress in particular. We are getting design wins with new customers in the submarine market.

Phil Nima – Thomas Weisel Partners

Great. Thank you.

Operator

(Operator instructions) Our next question comes from the line of Shaun Parker [ph] with Lease [ph] Capital Management. Please go ahead.

Shaun Parker – Lease Capital Management

My questions have been answered. Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. The next question is a follow-up from the line of Tim Savageaux with Merriman Curhan Ford & Company. Please go ahead.

Tim Savageaux – Merriman Curhan Ford & Co.

Hi, couple of kind of revenue growth related questions, one relatively near term, one longer term. First, Alain in your commentary and really implicitly through your guidance, I think it is fair to conclude you talked about the potential for sequential growth into the December quarter as well. I wonder if you can comment on trends in lead time and visibility, booking metrics, whatever sort of trends or metrics that you might use to gauge visibility and what the movement in those have been of late? Obviously you have talked about capacity constraints in tunables, well they seemed to have got pretty good lead times there but maybe more broadly across the business, desired support sort of an outlook for continued growth in December, and then you have just finished a year where you have grown 16% but that was sort of over bumpy the last couple of years with revenues pretty volatile. As you look at that number and kind of what your plans are for the first couple of quarters in the next fiscal year, where do you gauge sort of the – what shall we expect in kind of the longer term what will be the income growth rate for Bookham to be?

Alain Couder

We don’t forecast beyond, we don’t give guidance beyond the next quarter. It is very clear that –

Tim Savageaux – Merriman Curhan Ford & Co.

You kind of did actually.

Alain Couder

It is very clear from what you said on the standard quarter we will not achieve this result without goals. But beyond that I cannot give you any direction except that the demand for our products, tunable, receiver, (inaudible) and things like that is very strong. And I don’t see any reason why with demand we just dry out in six months.

Jerry Turin

I think I could act historically, if you go back over some of those bumpy periods, I think we have discussed in the past that revenue trends excluding Nortel, and so I think we have had fairly consistent growth in historical revenue trends if you take out the bumpiness of Nortel.

Tim Savageaux – Merriman Curhan Ford & Co.

Sure enough. Okay. Thanks.

Operator

Thanks. Our next question comes from the line of John Gruber [ph] with Gruber Group [ph]. Please go ahead.

John Gruber – Gruber Group

Hi guys. This question might have been asked, I tuned in a little late, but what was the sequential growth in the tunables and then what do you expect it to be within the midpoint of your guidance for the September quarter?

Jerry Turin

The growth rate of tunables was 17%, I don’t think that we are speaking specifically to the anticipated growth rate next quarter although we are investing in capital equipment in that area significantly in September and December so clearly we see there is demand for tunables going forward.

John Gruber – Gruber Group

And a follow-on, you announced the Ciena order the other day, can you sort of size that for us?

Alain Couder

I can’t give you a forecast of Ciena, they have their own information. But what I can tell you is that we now on the pluggable that we go into several of their products and I think we are the first company to ship a pluggable which has the same functionality as a small pump (inaudible) pluggable.

John Gruber – Gruber Group

Okay, thank you.

Operator

Thank you. The next question comes from the line of Peter Kurer [ph] with Citigroup. Please go ahead.

Peter Kurer – Citigroup

Hi. In the past I think you talked about tunable growth, a little bit of a challenge for gross margins just because you had some, I think it was yield issues on it or some manufacturing issues that you were working through to improve margins on those products, wonder if you could just help us think about where you are in terms of margin improvement on tunable?

Alain Couder

We have been catching up till now and despite the pressure that was mentioned before in the call. Now, tunable has been on the outer [ph] edge of our Telecom products. Therefore the growth on tunable will not be a drag on gross margin going forward.

Pete Kurer – Citigroup

Could you just – I guess as a follow-up to that as we think about the guidance for 22% to 26%, can you give us just some sense of what would maybe put you at the upper end of that versus the lower end of it? Is it just volume driven or is there anything else?

Jerry Turin

I think volume and mix that would be the metric that determines it.

Peter Kurer – Citigroup

Do you have any color on that? In other words, where do you think those volumes, I guess, where are your upside volumes coming from or where would you upside mix most likely be coming from and where would the – is there potential that you could add some volume on lower mix products? I guess any color on that would be helpful.

Jerry Turin

I think the only colors we have mentioned softness in the non-Telecom tends to have higher-than-average margins but other than that we cannot really give much color without breaking down the details of our margins like product lines within Telecom, which I don’t think we are going to deal.

Peter Kurer – Citigroup

Thank you.

Operator

Management, I am afraid there are no further questions. I will turn it back to you for closing comments.

Jerry Turin

Thank you everyone for participating in today’s call. We look forward to speaking with you when we announce our September quarter results. Thank you.

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