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Luna raises 2019 forecast on back of ‘strong’ Q3 results

07 Nov 2019

Optical sensor and network test developer buoyant, after revenues of $18.4M for latest three months' trading, up 72% on 2018.

Advanced optical technology developer Luna Innovations has announced its financial results for the three and nine months' trading, which ended September 30, 2019. The latest three months’ performance was hailed as “a quarter of noteworthy accomplishments,” by Scott Graeff, the firm’s President and CEO. “Luna has seen continued margin expansion and our eighth consecutive quarter of double-digit, year-over-year growth in revenues.”

The company, which is headquartered in Roanoke, VA, U.S., offers a variety of capabilities in high-performance, fiber optic-based, test systems for optical telecoms networks, as well as distributed fiber optic-based sensing for aerospace and automotive industries.

“Given the strength of our year-to-date financial results and the visibility we have into the end of this fiscal year, we are again raising our 2019 outlook. We now expect total full-year revenues to be between $69 M to $70 M [up from $66 M to $69 M], and adjusted earnings to be between $8.2 M to $8.6 M.”

Graeff continued, “In addition, Luna has significantly improved and simplified our capital structure with Carilion’s conversion of its preferred shares to common, and the associated termination of preferred dividends. We also initiated and completed a $2 million stock buyback program. As a company, we will continue to focus on the execution of our strategic plan and initiatives that we believe will lead to substantial profitable growth.”

Q3 2019 summary

Financial results for the three months ended September 30, 2019 continued the momentum seen at the beginning of the fiscal year, the company stated. The latest results include inputs from a full quarter of the businesses of both Micron Optics, which was acquired in October 2018, and of General Photonics, acquired in March 2019.

For the three months ended September 30, 2019, Luna's net income from continuing operations was $1.2 M, compared to $1.3 M, for the prior-year equivalent period. Adjusted earnings before tax totaled $2.9 M for the latest quarter, compared to $0.9 M for the prior year equivalent. Growth was driven by revenue growth from both Luna’s legacy business and the Micron Optics and General Photonics acquisitions, and what Luna called "prudent expense management."

Revenue and expenses related to Luna's optoelectronics business, as well as the gains achieved on the sale of that business in July 2018, were classified as "discontinued operations" in Luna's results of operations for the latest three months' trading. Accordingly, net income for Q3 2018 was significantly higher due to the inclusion of $7.6 M of income from the discontinued operations. The company noted that Q3 2019 "will be the last quarter in which discontinued operations comparisons related to Luna’s optoelectronic business and the gain related to the sale of that business will be relevant."

Full details of the three- and nine-month trading figures are available on the Luna Innovations website.

2019 Full-Year Outlook

The company also announced that it is raising its 2019 outlook, as follows:

  • Total revenues in the range of $69M to $70M for 2019, up from $66M to $69M; and
  • Adjusted EBITDA to be in the range of $8.2M to $8.6M for 2019, up from $7.2M to $7.6M.
  • These outlook forecasts do not include any future acquisitions, divestitures, or unanticipated events.

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