SemiLEDs Reports 2012 Fiscal First-quarter Revenue

Recently, LED chip and component maker SemiLEDs has reported its fiscal first-quarter 2012 (to end-November 2011) revenue.

The company has reported revenue of $6.75m, down 48% on $13m a year ago but rebounding 27% from $5.3m last quarter (which has been down 5% on the prior quarter). This is also at the high end of the $6-7m guidance given in November).

Sequential growth is due to 93% growth in LED component sales (to about 45% of total revenue). However, revenue from LED chip sales fell 29% (to 30% of total revenue). Other revenue (mainly luminaires, manufacturing of which is outsourced) has risen to 25% of total revenue.

Compared with +51% a year ago, gross margin was negative 12%, although this is an improvement from negative 93% last quarter. Operating margin was negative 95%, compared with 38% a year ago. However, margins have improved slightly from last quarter due to managing expenses. R&D expenditure was cut sequentially by $0.6m to $1.7m. SG&A expenditure was cut by $0.9m to $3.9m (although last quarter included a charge of $1.1m for bad debt reserve).

On a non-GAAP basis (excluding stock-based compensation expense of $0.7m, net of tax), net loss was $7.1m ($0.26 per diluted share), the firm’s fourth consecutive quarter of losses, although cut from $13.6m last quarter. This compares with net income of $3.9m ($0.12 per diluted share) a year ago.

Cash used in operations was $3.5m plus capital expenditure of $5.8m yielded free cash flow of negative $9.3m. Cash and cash equivalents hence fell during the quarter from $83.6m to $74m (a drop of $9.8m, slowing slightly from the decline of $10.8m last quarter).

Currently, the company is still using some 2-inch wafers for R&D and certain legacy products, but SemiLEDs’ production lines in Taiwan are now qualified to produce chips on 4-inch wafers.

Additionally, the China SemiLEDs joint venture in Foshan, Guangdong is running entirely at 4-inch. In fiscal second-quarter 2012 (ending 29 February), SemiLEDs is scheduled to start selling products on the China market that will incorporate chips manufactured by China SemiLEDs and be packaged locally.

SemiLEDs also expects revenue to grow to $7-8m for fiscal second-quarter 2012.

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