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Advanced Photonix gets first industrial THz order

11 Jul 2012

Receives first orders from its value-added reseller, Thermo Fisher Scientific, for its 'T-Gauge' industrial terahertz gauging system.

Advanced Photonix has this week announced that it has received the first orders for its T-Gauge industrial terahertz gauging system from its value-added reseller, Thermo Fisher Scientific. The systems are scheduled to be delivered late in second quarter of this fiscal year.

The T-Gauge measurement systems will be utilized for quality control of multilayer commercial industrial products. The system will measure the layers and provide feedback for adjusting the amount of material to ensure the quality of the product and reduce material costs. Advanced Photonix says that the advantage of the T- Gauge system is that it can measure the layers directly in real-time and closer to the source than other technologies, "making a bigger impact on the manufacturing processes".

The T-Gauge system is designed to be deployed on the industrial factory floor for process and quality control applications requiring non-contact measuring of physical properties such as; multiple layer thickness measurements, density, contamination by foreign substances, sub-surface defects within a product and moisture analysis. The T-Gauge is non-nuclear and operates at speeds that make it ideal for web processing and converting solutions. The system can be used on-line or off-line to help manufacturers to improve quality and reduce costs by collecting more information and tightening tolerances than previously available.

"This marks the first sale of our new T-Gauge measurement system for deployment on the factory floor and our continued penetration into the industrial market with our world leading terahertz instrumentation. This is an exciting time for us and our partners as we are beginning to see real traction in the market," commented Richard Kurtz, President and CEO.

Financial results

Coincident with reporting the new order, Advanced Photonix also reported results for its fourth quarter (Q4) and financial year that ended March 31, 2012.

Net sales for the fourth quarter were $6.5 million, a decrease of $1.4 million (or 17% from the previous year’s equivalent quarter). Sequentially, revenues were flat relative to Q3 of fiscal 2012. Net sales for the fiscal year 2012 were $29.5 million, (up 2% over the previous year). The increase was led by the telecommunication, homeland security and medical markets.

Gross profit margin for Q4 2012 was 34.2% of sales (compared to 43.9% for Q4, 2011). Price pressures in Advanced Photonix’s high-speed optical receiver (HSOR) product line prior to cost reduction efforts and lower volumes affected the rate and gross margin dollars. Gross profit margin for the fiscal year 2012 was 40% relative to 43% in the prior year.

Current quarter net loss was $1.06 million or $0.03 per diluted share, as compared to a quarterly net loss of $563,000 or $0.02 per diluted share for Q4 2011. Net loss for the fiscal year 2012 was $2.1 million or $0.07 per diluted share, as compared to a loss of $1.9 million, or $0.07 per diluted share for the prior year period.

Thailand flood impact

Kurtz added, "The two major natural disasters in Japan and Thailand had a significant effect on our results this last year slowing our growth to 2%. The tsunami in Japan limited our supply from a key vendor, which restricted our first half growth on our 100G HSOR products.

He continued, “The flooding in Thailand did not impact our supply chain directly but did severely impact our customers which resulted in a drop in our telecommunication revenues in the last half of fiscal 2012. We see increasing signs of significant pent up demand in the telecommunications market and increasing adoption of our T-Ray products that lead us to believe that revenues in the second half of our fiscal 2013 should be approximately 35% higher than the first half, assuming our supply chain can respond accordingly. This coming year we look forward to a more normal business environment and continued growth."

Advanced Photonix’s non-GAAP net loss for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 was $654,000 or $0.02 per diluted share, as compared to a Non-GAAP net income of $221,000, or $.01 per diluted share, for Q4 2011. The company reported full-year non-GAAP net loss of $913,000, or $0.03 per diluted share, as compared to a non-GAAP net income of $785,000, or $0.03 per diluted share, for the comparable prior year period.

Adjusted EBITDA was a negative $416,000 for Q4 2012 as compared to positive adjusted EBITDA of $498,000 for Q4 2011. For the fiscal year 2012, the company reported adjusted EBITDA of $257,000 as compared to an adjusted EBITDA of $2.0 million for the comparable prior year period.

The company's total operating expenses for Q4 2102 were $3.2 million, down 11% compared to the $3.7 million reported for the fourth quarter last year. As a percent of revenue, total operating expenses were 49.9% compared to 46.6% for the fourth quarter last year. For the year, total operating expenses were $14.5 million, or 49.2% of revenue, compared to $13.2 million, or 45.7% of revenue last year.

Advanced Photonix finished the year 2012 with $3.2 million in cash compared to $4.7 million as of March 31, 2011 as the Company de-levered by paying down $1.4 million in debt. Working capital as of March 31, 2012 was $7.5 million and the Company reported a current ratio of 2.8 to 1.

About the Author

Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org.

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