Thu, Aug. 6, 7:05 PM
- On top of missing Q3 revenue estimates (while beating on EPS), Rubicon (NASDAQ:RBCN) forecasts Q3 revenue will be "at or below" a Q2 level of $7.1M. Consensus is at $9.2M.
- Along with its results/guidance, Rubicon has announced a "resource sharing agreement" for the company's Penang, Malaysia sapphire substrate plant. Rubicon will get access to an unnamed manufacturer's low-cost 4" polishing process, and in return give the manufacturer access to "a portion of its underutilized slicing and polishing capacity."
- The Q2 sales miss is partly blamed on high TV inventories and LED lighting seasonality, along with the related impact on pricing. Patterned sapphire substrate (PSS) sales were a strong point, nearly doubling Q/Q to $900K. PSS sales are expected to rise further in Q3, and a $9M, 12-month, PSS order will begin to be fulfilled in October, but 2" and 4" core wafer visibility is said to be limited.
- Due to weak demand, Rubicon is "temporarily scaling back some of its raw material and crystal growth operations." Rubicon ended Q2 with $36M in cash/short-term investments, down from $41M at the end of Q1.
- Shares have dropped to $1.64 in AH trading, making new 52-week lows in the process.
- Q2 results, PR
Thu, Aug. 6, 4:07 PM
Fri, May 8, 2:09 PM
- While Rubicon (NASDAQ:RBCN) beat Q1 estimates, it forecasts Q2 revenue and EPS will be similar to Q1 levels of $8.9M and -$0.32; that suggests they'll be below a consensus of $9.7M and -$0.32.
- Echoing what has been a common refrain in recent quarters, the LED sapphire wafer/materials provider states Q2 results will be hurt by price pressure, particularly for 2" materials; higher volumes and cost cuts will offset.
- It's more optimistic about 2H15: "[W]e have visibility into growing [patterened sapphire substrate] volumes in the second half of the year. With increased wafer revenue in combination with reducing product costs, we expect a meaningful improvement in operating results by the end of the year."
- Financials: Gross margin (-57.4%) was once more negative in Q1. A $600K Y/Y drop in GAAP operating expenses to $2.8M kept a lid on losses - $2.1M of the spending was on G&A. Rubicon ended Q1 with $41M in cash/short-term investments, and no debt; its market cap is currently $94M.
- Q1 results, PR
Thu, May 7, 4:08 PM
Thu, Feb. 12, 4:06 PM
Wed, Feb. 11, 5:35 PM
Nov. 7, 2014, 4:57 PM
- Initially lower after posting mixed Q3 results and once more providing a downbeat outlook, Rubicon (NASDAQ:RBCN) finished the day up 9.6%.
- The sapphire wafer vendor notes industry oversupply led pricing for 2" core wafers to fall 30% Q/Q in Q3. It's seeing "increasing interest in two-inch material" in Q4, but also declares 4" demand to be "very weak" due to above-normal LED backlighting market seasonality.
- Q4 revenue is expected to be "similar" to a Q3 level of $8M; that puts it below an $11.5M consensus. EPS is expected to be in a range of -$0.38 to -$0.42, below a -$0.35 consensus. Rubicon expects revenue to rise in Q1 2015, aided by improving 4" wafer demand.
- A $9.5M gross loss was seen in Q3 on $8M in revenue. GAAP opex rose 34% Y/Y to $4.4M.
- Rubicon ended Q3 with $53M in cash/investments (compares with a $115M market cap), and no debt.
- Q3 results, PR
Nov. 6, 2014, 4:08 PM
Oct. 22, 2014, 2:50 PM
- Canaccord and D.A. Davidson have downgraded Cree (CREE -16.7%) to neutral ratings after the company offered a weaker-than-expected FQ2 outlook and reported a 580 bps Q/Q gross margin drop.
- Canaccord's Jonathan Dorsheimer, who wasn't quite enthusiastic about reiterating a Buy following Cree's Oct. 2 FQ1 warning: "In spite of the fact that we may be...marking the bottom for CREE shares, we simply fail to see a potentially positive catalyst ... Our thesis was based around the transition from captive to merchant sales in Cree’s components [business], which at best has been pushed by 6-9 months now."
- He adds Canaccord's research confirms Cree has lost LED component share to Philips' Lumileds unit, and that a shift towards mid-power LED sales in China is also taking a toll.
- Cowen's Jeffrey Osborne (Market Perform) thinks margins will stabilize as Cree cuts factory output, continues seeing healthy lighting and power/RF growth, and gets a lighting margin boost from a mix shift to non-bulb lighting products. He's still cautious on account of Cree's near-term LED component challenges, but expects the company's technology strengths will help its cause long-term.
- Fellow LED industry names Rubicon (RBCN -2.3%), Veeco (VECO -3.7%), and Aixtron (AIXG -2.5%) are also lower.
Aug. 7, 2014, 5:19 PM
- Though Rubicon (NASDAQ:RBCN) beat Q2 estimates, it's guiding for Q3 revenue of $8M-$12M and EPS of -$0.39 to -$0.44, far below a consensus of $16.3M and -$0.27.
- The company says it's seeing "very little demand" in Q3 for 2" core sapphire wafers due to excess inventory among polishing clients. It also thinks "recent capacity additions in the sapphire market" related to mobile devices are "temporarily impacting" 2" demand. That's almost certainly a reference to GT Advanced (NASDAQ:GTAT) and its huge sapphire production efforts for Apple.
- 2" demand is expected to improve in Q4. Rubicon also says it's upbeat about initial qualification of its PSS wafers at 3 new clients.
- Q2 gross margin was -50.2% (a $7.3M gross loss on revenue of $14.5M). Rubicon notes 4" core wafer pricing rose 10% Q/Q amid strong LED market demand, but added "idle plant and development costs at our wafering facility continued to be a drag on earnings."
- Q2 results, PR
Aug. 7, 2014, 4:29 PM
May 1, 2014, 4:51 PM
- Due to weak margins caused by idle plant and development costs at its wafering facility, Rubicon (RBCN) expects Q2 EPS of -$0.38 to -$0.46, well below a -$0.20 consensus. Revenue is expected to be "similar" to a Q1 level of $14.3M; the consensus is at $15.2M.
- Rubicon took a $1.1M sapphire wafer inventory charge in Q1, and says wafer costs were "higher than normal due to the large number of [patented sapphire substrate] samples produced and the cost of establishing a four-inch polishing line."
- The company had a Q1 gross loss of $7.5M (up from $3.4M a year ago) on revenue of $14.3M. Opex rose 17% Y/Y to $3.4M (compares with 72% rev. growth).
- Wafer costs are expected to come down in 2H14 as Rubicon shifts from development to production. Wafer revenue is expected to be "meaningfully higher" in Q2, but core revenue is expected to fall due to the exhaustion of sapphire boule inventory.
- Shares also tumbled three months ago due to margin/pricing worries.
- Q1 results, PR
May 1, 2014, 4:26 PM
Apr. 29, 2014, 2:43 PM
- Though Aixtron (AIXG +2.3%) missed Q1 estimates, it reiterated guidance for 2014 revenue to be flat Y/Y. Earnings are expected to improve from 2013 levels, but an EBIT loss is still forecast.
- In addition, the LED equipment maker's orders 2% Q/Q and 26% Y/Y in Q1 to €37.7M. Quarter-ending backlog was €64.2M, -18% Y/Y but +8% Q/Q.
- Gross margin was 25% - down from seasonally strong Q4's 34%, but much better than the year-ago period's -119% (no typo).
- The company notes capacity utilization among LED customers "remains at relatively high levels" amid growing demand, and thinks "sentiment among customers is improving as the growth in the LED market drives the customers' profitability." At the same time, it observes "there was still no noticeable increase in investments in LED manufacturing capacity expansions" in Q1.
- Rival Veeco (VECO +2.5%) and LED wafer vendor Rubicon (RBCN +1.2%) are higher on a good day for tech. Rubicon reports on Thursday, and Veeco on May 5.
- Q1 results, PR
Feb. 19, 2014, 5:01 PM
- Rubicon (RBCN) expects Q1 revenue of $13M, slightly below a $13.5M consensus. More importantly, the company says the recent improvement in (long-depressed) sapphire wafer prices has "temporarily slowed" due to LED backlighting seasonality, and that prices for 2" and 4" wafers are expected to be flat Q/Q.
- In addition, Rubicon states development costs for new wafer orders will "reduce margins in the near-term," though lower idle plant costs should offset much of the impact.
- The company expects its Q1 op. loss to be similar to Q4 levels. With Q4 EPS having come in at -$0.22, that suggests Q1 EPS will be below a -$0.14 consensus. At the same time, Rubicon expects pricing to improve later in 2014, and for wafer orders to accelerate.
- Rubicon had a Q4 gross loss of $5.8M vs. a $912K gross profit in the year-ago period. While revenue fell 43% Y/Y to $11.5M, opex rose 5% to $3.2M.
- Q4 results, PR
Feb. 19, 2014, 4:04 PM
RBCN vs. ETF Alternatives
Rubicon Technology Inc is an electronic materials provider that develops, manufactures and sells monocrystalline sapphire and othercrystalline products for LEDs, RFICs, blue laser diodes, optoelectronics and other optical applications.
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