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Orders back on the up at Inrad Optics

21 Nov 2014

Lower operating costs and an SBIR Phase III contract lift prospects at the New Jersey company.

Photonic crystal and component maker Inrad Optics has reported a sharp increase in orders in its latest financial quarter, as well as a narrowing loss thanks to recent restructuring in Florida.

The Northvale, New Jersey, firm posted an operating loss of $142,000 on sales of $2.9 million for the quarter ending September 30, compared with a $193,000 operating loss for the equivalent period last year.

And while sales for the year to date remain significantly down on last year’s running total after a tough start to 2014, CEO Amy Eskilson announced that Inrad had booked new orders totalling $3.8 million in the latest quarter – up nearly 50 per cent on last year.

Eskilson said that this was the highest quarterly booking result for the company in more than three years, and was partly due to a rarely awarded Phase III contract signed with the US Department of Homeland Security. Under that deal, Inrad is aiming to commercialize production of organic stilbene crystals for neutron detection.

Backlog up $2 million
“Backlog at the close of the third quarter is quite healthy, nearly $2 million higher than it was one year ago, up from $4.6 million to $6.5 million,” she reported.

That will come as welcome news after a difficult start to 2014 that included the shut-down of Inrad's facility in Florida as the company moved its metal optics operations to the Northvale headquarters.

According to a filing with the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), Inrad’s sales of laser devices and instrumentation products for the year so far are down by just over 40 per cent compared with the equivalent 2013 figure.

The latest Inrad balance sheet shows the impact of losses that have mounted up during that period, with the company listing $877,000 in cash and equivalents as of September 30 - down from nearly $2.5 million at the start of the year. Since January the company has generated an operating loss of around $2 million.

The balance sheet also lists some significant long-term debts, in the form of two convertible promissory notes agreed with a company called Clarex and an affiliate, plus a five-year loan with Valley National Bank that was secured on new equipment.

The maturity date of the two loan notes, which total $2.5 million and are accruing interest at an annual rate of 6 per cent, was recently extended by two years to April 1, 2017.

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