FormFactor's Q1 Loss Narrower than Expected

Zacks

FormFactor Inc. (FORM) reported first quarter 2014 loss of 9 cents per share, lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 16 cents per share.

Revenue

Revenues of $56.0 million were up 15.3% sequentially and 6.3% from the year-ago quarter. This was ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $55.0 million.

Revenues by End User

System on Chip (SoC) revenues in the first quarter amounted to $29.8 million, a marginal decrease of $0.1 million or 0.3% from the prior quarter. Overall strength in this market is currently being driven by mobile application processors where probe card solutions are more complex and require higher parallelism. The industrial, automotive and wire bond applications are the main drivers of SoC growth, which offsets the seasonally weak PC revenues.

Reported revenues for DRAM products were $22.2 million, an increase of 47.0% or $7.1 million from the previous quarter. The increase was primarily driven by high demand for mobile computing and favorable pricing in the quarter. Furthermore, the revival of business due to better implementation and revitalization at SK Hynix also contributed to the increase.

Flash revenues were $4.0 million in the first quarter, an increase of $0.5 million or 14.6% from the prior quarter. NOR Flash revenues increased $0.9 million in the first quarter to $3.4 million, while NAND Flash revenues decreased $0.4 million to $6 million in the quarter. The decline in NAND Flash revenues was primarily due to lower high parallelism design occasions at consumers.

Margins

Gross profit in the first quarter was $16.6 million compared with a profit of $13.1 million in the year-ago quarter.

Non-GAAP operating loss was at $4.6 million, which narrowed down from a loss of $14.0 million in the previous quarter. The tapering of operating loss is mainly attributable to product mix, restructuring and constant product cutback.

Operating expenses adjusted for restructuring, acquisition, amortization, integration and asset impairment charges came to $21.1 million, down 11.6% from the year-ago quarter.

Pro forma net loss was $4.8 million (9 cents a share) compared with a loss of $9.9 million (18 cents a share) in the year-ago quarter.

Balance Sheet

The company exited the quarter with cash (comprising cash, short-term investments, and restricted cash) of $144.4 million, down $7.1 million from the prior quarter. Cash flow in the first quarter was adversely affected by restructuring cost. Moreover, lesser customer gathering due to the schedule of shipments during the quarter also had a negative impact on cash flow. FormFactor has no debt.

Cash usage for the first quarter was ($7.1) million compared to ($5.2) million of cash generated in the prior quarter.

Guidance

FormFactor provided an encouraging guidance for the second quarter. The company expects revenues in the range of $62.0−$66.0 million. The Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at $63.0 million. Non-GAAP gross margin is expected to be in the range of 31%–34%. Non-GAAP operating expenses are expected to be $19.0–$20.0 million. Cash flow is expected to be break even to positive $3 million.

Our Recommendation

FormFactor posted better-than-expected fiscal first quarter 2014 results with the top line surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate and the bottom line missing the same.

FormFactor is an original equipment manufacturer (:OEM) of automated wafer probe cards used in the semiconductor integrated circuits (ICs) manufacturing process.

The company witnessed strong momentum in the SoC business with escalating customer attention on the company’s product solutions, including its copper pillar test solutions, mainly driven by mobile, industrial and automotive applications. It also made noteworthy progress in recovering from customer-specific DRAM problem that it faced in 2013.

These developments will enable FormFactor to both re-engage with consumers and initiate new technologies into its operational practices. Additionally, management’s recent decision to focus on the mobile segment is likely to be beneficial.

We believe that Form has the product pipeline and cost structure to register robust demand growth in all the markets and profitability going forward.

FormFactor shares carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However, some better-ranked same sector stocks worth considering include PLX Technology Inc. (PLXT) and Rambus Inc. (RMBS), both with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and Avago Technologies Ltd. (AVGO) with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Read the Full Research Report on FORM
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Read the Full Research Report on PLXT


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