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Edited Transcript of KTCC earnings conference call or presentation 29-Jan-19 10:00pm GMT

Q2 2019 Key Tronic Corp Earnings Call

SPOKANE Jan 31, 2019 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Key Tronic Corp earnings conference call or presentation Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at 10:00:00pm GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

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Corporate Participants

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* Brett R. Larsen

Key Tronic Corporation - Executive VP of Administration, CFO & Treasurer

* Craig D. Gates

Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director

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Conference Call Participants

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* George Melas-Kyriazi

MKH Management Company, LLC - President

* Michael E. Hughes

SGF Capital Management, LP - Principal & Portfolio Manager

* William J. Dezellem

Tieton Capital Management, LLC - President, CIO and Chief Compliance Officer

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Presentation

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Operator [1]

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Good day, everyone, and welcome to Key Tronic Second Quarter Fiscal 2019 Conference Call. Today's call is being recorded. At this time, I would like to turn the call over to Mr. Brett Larsen. Please, go ahead.

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Brett R. Larsen, Key Tronic Corporation - Executive VP of Administration, CFO & Treasurer [2]

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Good afternoon, everyone. I am Brett Larsen, Chief Financial Officer of Key Tronic. I would like to thank everyone for joining us today for our investor call.

Joining me here in our Spokane Valley headquarters is Craig Gates, our President and Chief Executive Officer. As always, I would like to remind you that during the course of this call, we might make projections or other forward-looking statements regarding future events or the company's future financial performance. Please remember that such statements are only predictions. Actual events or results may differ materially. For more information, you may review the Risk Factors outlined in the documents the company has filed with the SEC, specifically our latest 10-Q, quarterly 10-Qs -- or latest 10-K, quarterly 10-Qs and 8-Ks.

Please note that on this call, we will discuss historical, financial and other statistical information regarding our business and operations. Some of this information is included in today's press release, and a recorded version of this call will be available on our website.

Today, we released our results for the second quarter ended December 29, 2018. For the second quarter of fiscal year 2019, we reported total revenue of $123 million, up 10% from the same period of fiscal year 2018.

For the first 6 months of fiscal year 2019, our total revenue was $250.5 million, up from -- up 13% from the same period of fiscal year 2018. The majority of the increase in revenue during fiscal 2019 was a result of ramping new customer programs during the past year. However, industry-wide shortages in key electronic components, while improving from previous quarters, continued to adversely affect our overall revenue and productivity. For the second quarter of fiscal year 2019, our gross margin was 8.0% and operating margin was 2.1%, up from 7.9% and 1.5%, respectively, in the same period of fiscal 2018.

The increase in revenue resulted in improved margins when compared to last year's second quarter. However, partially offsetting the incremental profit increase from revenue growth was productivity loss associated with relocating our Arkansas operations to a new facility and high utility costs in Mexico due to recent regulatory changes.

We expect to see gradually improving gross margin as new customer program will -- programs ramp, shortages and electronic components are further reduced and productivity improves within our facilities. We are investing in new production equipment and improved facilities that reduce labor and energy costs, while preparing for future growth and enhancing our global footprint. Recent examples include: relocating to a new facility in Arkansas, providing a better facility and adding new production equipment; leasing additional contiguous space in Minnesota and investing in additional production equipment for growth; and finally, establishing a new production facility in central Vietnam over the coming quarters. We expect that these investments and others will significantly reduce production costs, diversify our global manufacturing base and provide an additional hedge against uncertainty in any lingering or potential future trade wars.

Our growing revenue and improving margins had a positive impact on our bottom line. For the second quarter of fiscal year 2019, we had net income of $1.6 million or $0.15 per share, compared to a loss of $200,000 or a $0.02 loss per share for the same period of fiscal year 2018.

For the first 6 months of fiscal year 2019, net income was $3.2 million or $0.29 per share, up from $200,000 or $0.02 per share for the same period of fiscal year 2018.

Turning to the balance sheet. We continue to maintain a strong financial position. Despite the continued ramp of new programs and delays in shipments due to component shortages, we were still able to decrease our inventory by approximately $18.7 million, a 16.9% reduction during fiscal year 2019.

We are very pleased to see our net inventory levels gradually come more in line with revenue levels. Trade receivables at the end of second quarter were up $14.8 million from a year ago, and DSOs were about 53 days.

This reflects an increase in sales revenue and a reduction of $5 million in factored receivables during the quarter when compared to the same quarter last year.

Total capital expenditures in the second quarter of fiscal 2019 were approximately $1.9 million. We continued to invest in our production facilities, SMT equipment and sheet metal and plastic molding capabilities, as well as improvements in our facilities in Arkansas, Minnesota and Vietnam.

We plan to have approximately $10 million of -- in total capital expenditures during fiscal 2019.

Moving into the third quarter of fiscal 2019, and continuing over the following few quarters, we expect more of our new customer programs to ramp and move into production. However, one of our large long-standing customers is also forecasting less demand for production during the third quarter as they bring their inventories into balance with their product demand in China. We expect this customer's demand to recover in the fourth quarter. Taking these factors into consideration, we expect that the third quarter of fiscal 2019 will have relatively flat revenue when compared to the second quarter in the range of $120 million to $125 million.

For the third quarter of fiscal 2019, we also anticipate earnings in the range of $0.13 to $0.18 per diluted share. This assumes an effective tax rate of 20%. In summary, we're encouraged by our growth in revenue and earnings this year, new capital investments and by the prospects for future growth. The overall financial health of the company is strong, and we believe that we are well positioned to win new EMS programs and continue to profitably expand our business over the longer term. That's it for me. Craig?

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [3]

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Okay, thanks, Brett. For the second quarter of fiscal 2019, our new programs continue to ramp, driving growing revenues, improved margins and increased profitability. Despite the continued industry-wide shortages for key components, we have made a number of necessary adjustments for improved lead times across our supply chain and have brought inventory levels more in line with revenue levels. During the second quarter, we benefited from the continued ramp of new programs, including SkyBell Technologies, a global leader in patented Wi-Fi, video doorbell technology that improves home and neighborhood safety. As we discussed previously, this important new relationship is projected to expand our customer base and contribute to profitable long-term growth. While our marketplace remains very competitive, we also continue to win significant new business, both from as competitors and existing customers, including new programs involving industrial cleaning equipment, express delivery services and industrial monitoring systems.

Our broader and more diversified customer base significantly lowers the potential future impact of a slowdown by any one customer. At the same time, our productivity continued to be adversely impacted by industry-wide shortages in key components, resulting in delays in delivery, inventory pressure and increased costs.

Moreover, the evolving tariff situation has complex ramifications for Key Tronic. Certainly, for our customers in our Shanghai site, the tariffs are a problem for any product imported back to the USA, where many of our current customers, however, a transition of their business out of our Shanghai site, to or were as domestic sites can be seamlessly facilitated by a centralized command and control. This dramatically reduces the risk and time associated with the move back to our North American sites and thus allow some leeway to respond to the rapidly changing tariff landscape.

Furthermore, we believe that tariffs on production in China have made our Mexican-based production much more appealing to potential new customers. Our North American sites have become extremely competitive for U.S.-bound products subject to the new tariffs. This is resulted in increasing inquiries and request for quotes from prospective customers.

On balance, we're increasingly well positioned for the returning tide of North American-based customers, as they correctively analyze the total cost for overseas production, pushing production into both Mexico and the U.S.

During the second quarter, we signed a letter of intent to lease a new 86,000 square-foot facility in Da Nang, Vietnam. We expect that commencing operations Vietnam will significantly augment our Asian footprint and reduce production costs.

We expect this new facility to provide an additional hedge against uncertainty in a lingering on a future trade war with China. The Da Nang, Vietnam facility will be strategically located in an established industrial park inside a government-sponsored export zone within 5 miles of international port. We expect Vietnam facility to be operational by July of 2019.

As we discussed in our recent calls, we continue to see strong results from our domestic facilities. We believe that this reflects a growing appetite for U.S.-built products and a significant value having highly efficient domestic production facilities. While we are carefully managing our expenses, we are making investments in our facilities, SMT, sheet metal and plastic molding capabilities in both Mexico and U.S.

With respect to integrated electronics and sheet metal-centric programs, we see very strong growth and very few real competitors in North America. We're also deploying innovative new manufacturing equipment in each of our facilities, which makes our production less labor-intensive and more efficient. These investments are expected to enable planned future growth with lower costs and more efficient production of existing business.

Our steady pipeline of new business opportunities continues to be boosted by our unmatched level of vertical integration, our multi-country footprint and the excellence of our manufacturing sites in comparison to other EMS competitors of our size. As OEMs face an increasingly uncertain geopolitical landscape, we are uniquely equipped to offer risk mitigation with our vertical integration and manufacturing facilities located in China, Mexico, the U.S. and soon, in Vietnam.

Although, we continue to face industry supply chain shortages, we expect growth in revenue and earnings. In preparation, we plan to continue to invest in new equipment and processes to be more productive in our Mexico facilities, expand and enhance our highly profitable U.S. facilities and establish our new capabilities in Vietnam. We're optimistic about the opportunities for growth in fiscal 2019 and beyond. This concludes the formal portion of our presentation. Brett and I will now be pleased to answer your questions.

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Questions and Answers

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Operator [1]

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(Operator Instructions) We'll take our first question from Bill Dezellem with Tieton Capital.

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William J. Dezellem, Tieton Capital Management, LLC - President, CIO and Chief Compliance Officer [2]

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As usual, I have a group of questions, and let's start with the 3 wins that you announced. What is the size of each of those? And would you walk us through with each of those wins, why or what the circumstances were surrounding those wins?

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [3]

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Okay. So let me go from $5 million to $15 million per year in annual revenue. See, first one is a client we've been calling on for must be 7, 8 years now.

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William J. Dezellem, Tieton Capital Management, LLC - President, CIO and Chief Compliance Officer [4]

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And Craig, just so that I have this right. Is that the industrial cleaning equipment? You're taking them as listed in the press release?

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [5]

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You bet. I don't know for sure how much more I want to say about that other than that we've been calling on them for a long time. And a number of the factors we talked about in general combined to make them decide that they should start with a relatively small program with us and then, hopefully, continue to move more and more business to us. There's -- the available piece of business is quite a bit larger than the first piece that we won. The next one is for our domestic sites. That one fell out of the sky and is basically due to the fact that the design team is pretty local to our manufacturing site. And then, the third one is kind of a typical drawn-out year-long RFQ, quote, talk, visit, quote, talk, visit, negotiate, win. So it's pretty much in those 3 gambit of our world.

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William J. Dezellem, Tieton Capital Management, LLC - President, CIO and Chief Compliance Officer [6]

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And with each of those, what is the timing that you would anticipate before they begin production?

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [7]

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They are probably, all 3 of them are going to start towards the end of Q4, our Q4, which would be towards the end of June.

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William J. Dezellem, Tieton Capital Management, LLC - President, CIO and Chief Compliance Officer [8]

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And that seems faster than the -- what you have trained me to understand just the typical timeframe of 12 to 18 months. Why are each of these a little bit faster or was I not trained correctly?

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [9]

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You were trained correctly, but I think we're seeing perhaps, a sea change in the speed with which these come on. I'm hoping it's the case, but I'm beginning to feel like our 12 to 18 months might move down to maybe 8 to 12 months. We'll see.

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William J. Dezellem, Tieton Capital Management, LLC - President, CIO and Chief Compliance Officer [10]

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And what do you believe that sea change is all about?

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [11]

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I really don't know. I think it is, in fact, due to -- I think it's due to less and less of the, what we used to call the China google eyes where everybody thought everything had to go to China, and so there was a long run-on argument within our customers as to where they were going. I really can't tell you other than that's my guess and that's what we see.

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William J. Dezellem, Tieton Capital Management, LLC - President, CIO and Chief Compliance Officer [12]

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Great. And then, let's shift to CapEx. Brett, you had mentioned $10 million for the year. What did you do in the first half? So what are the implications for the second half CapEx?

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Brett R. Larsen, Key Tronic Corporation - Executive VP of Administration, CFO & Treasurer [13]

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We have started out fairly light here today. I don't have that number right in front of me, but I believe we're approximately $4 million, 6 months in. So the majority of our CapEx going forward, will be to get our Minnesota extra space and some additional production equipment along with setting up shop in Vietnam over the next 2 quarters.

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William J. Dezellem, Tieton Capital Management, LLC - President, CIO and Chief Compliance Officer [14]

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And then, mentioning Vietnam, would you all discuss that Vietnam facility, the initial customer (inaudible) announced that location. I think on the last one, you alluded to India, Indonesia, Vietnam. Since you've settled on this location, kind of what was the thought process? And I guess, share with us much detail as you can? And then, again, what was the initial or, so far, the customer reaction now that you've brought this plan to -- into the public domain?

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [15]

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The overall customer reaction has been extremely positive. We have a number of people who want to go tour the facility right now, even as it sits as an empty building. The really nice part about this move is that one of our largest customers on our Shanghai plant wants to be our first customer in our Vietnam plant, and they're large enough but they will make Vietnam plant self-sustaining as far as profitability goes. So we basically have a if-we-build-that-they-will-come situation already set up, which is really nice when you're trying to get something new started.

The -- almost all of our existing customers are interested in getting quotes out of the Vietnam facility, which is actually pretty easy for us to do since we have this centralized model. All we have to do is change 1 block in the spreadsheet and we can already create a quote for the Vietnam operation.

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William J. Dezellem, Tieton Capital Management, LLC - President, CIO and Chief Compliance Officer [16]

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And relative to -- I'm sorry, I interrupted. Go ahead.

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [17]

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Go ahead. no, I don't remember if I answered all of your questions or not. So go ahead, please.

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William J. Dezellem, Tieton Capital Management, LLC - President, CIO and Chief Compliance Officer [18]

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No, you did. But to follow on, how does the cost in Vietnam compare to the cost in China, excluding the tariff -- the extra tariff component? And then I guess, at this point, we would add an additional 10% to the Chinese cost, is that correct?

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [19]

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Yes, for most of the products that we make in China. So if you were to remove the tariffs and just compare baseline, it looks like Vietnam is going to be 10% less expensive than China on average. Shanghai has gotten more expensive than China on average. So Vietnam, if it were up and running and mature we would expect to see even more than a 10% differential in cost, comparing our current Shanghai facility to what we expect out of Vietnam.

We have been on the horns of a dilemma for the last 3, 4 years because Shanghai continued to increase in cost as did all of China. And we had actually looked at Vietnam a number of years ago because we really didn't want to move into southern China or deeper into China. And that's what has made this move a little bit more efficient and speedy for us compared to other folks since we've already done quite a bit of the groundwork years ago.

But that's how they kind of compare to each other. So we think it's a good move. It is a good move for Key Tronic, tariff or no tariff. If the tariffs persist, it's a fantastic move. What we're also seeing is that there seems to be a more generalized willingness to accept that having all of your production eggs in China perhaps not -- is not that wise of an idea. So we have a number of customers coming to us and say, we don't care if the tariffs go away. This has been a wake-up call for us. The tariffs terrified us, and we realize how fragile we are, our supply chain is. So we would like to investigate moving with you to both Mexico, Vietnam and maybe the States. So we've got a lot of people who are kind of in wake-up mode, I would say, to what we've been preaching for a number of years now.

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William J. Dezellem, Tieton Capital Management, LLC - President, CIO and Chief Compliance Officer [20]

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And do you at all get the indication that some of this could simply be a reaction to tariffs? And as soon as tariff talk goes away, if it does go away, that it will feel like a chicken little situation and they'll just go back to the way things were?

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [21]

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Yes, that's why I anticipated your question by saying that, this has been a wake-up call for people who, a lot of them say, we don't care if the tariffs go away or not, we still need to diversify our supply chain.

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William J. Dezellem, Tieton Capital Management, LLC - President, CIO and Chief Compliance Officer [22]

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Right. And then, one other question relative to Vietnam. The transportation cost or shipping cost from that facility versus the Shanghai, was that incorporated into your answer that Vietnam is 10% less expensive?

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [23]

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Yes.

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Brett R. Larsen, Key Tronic Corporation - Executive VP of Administration, CFO & Treasurer [24]

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Yes.

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William J. Dezellem, Tieton Capital Management, LLC - President, CIO and Chief Compliance Officer [25]

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And then -- Go ahead.

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Brett R. Larsen, Key Tronic Corporation - Executive VP of Administration, CFO & Treasurer [26]

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We have found that the infrastructure within Vietnam has improved significantly, since we looked at them 3 or 4 years ago.

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William J. Dezellem, Tieton Capital Management, LLC - President, CIO and Chief Compliance Officer [27]

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In that short of a time period, you've noticed a difference?

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Brett R. Larsen, Key Tronic Corporation - Executive VP of Administration, CFO & Treasurer [28]

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Absolutely.

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William J. Dezellem, Tieton Capital Management, LLC - President, CIO and Chief Compliance Officer [29]

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Great. And then lastly, you did reference one of your longtime customers that is making some adjustments in the March quarter. Would you talk through that in a bit more detail please?

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [30]

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Well, a market, a consumer product and their demand has been impacted by the economic situation in China. So they've decided to pull back on their inventory levels, run at a lower level. So that's a, hopefully, a onetime drop in their demand from us.

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William J. Dezellem, Tieton Capital Management, LLC - President, CIO and Chief Compliance Officer [31]

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So basically, it's simply an inventory adjustment?

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [32]

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Yes, we hope so. We hope things don't get worse in China.

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William J. Dezellem, Tieton Capital Management, LLC - President, CIO and Chief Compliance Officer [33]

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Right. And so this doesn't have anything to do with the China tariffs directly? I mean, if the China tariffs have impacted Chinese economic activity then may be, but not directly? That's not what you're referring to here?

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [34]

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Right. I call it a second-order effect.

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Operator [35]

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(Operator Instructions) We'll go next to Mike Hughes with SGF capital.

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Michael E. Hughes, SGF Capital Management, LP - Principal & Portfolio Manager [36]

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Just first a follow-up on the last question. It looks like normally, the normal seasonality from December into the March quarter from a revenue perspective is flat to down modestly. And that's kind of what you're guiding this year, even with this Chinese customer issue. So can you just kind of quantify how much of a headwind that's going to be in the March quarter? And has the customer given you any visibility into the June quarter to give you confidence that, that business will come back in June?

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [37]

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The customer has given us all we ever get from them, which is here's what we think is going to happen with no guarantee behind it. So that's what we're basing our statement on that they believe the demand will come back to a more normalized level. I guess, I don't want to give you the actual dollar figure that impacted or is going to impact our revenue growth, our revenue in Q3. It's actually -- the reason we're flat is because of the new programs that are coming on in Q3. So we are able to absorb, so to speak, the loss of this chunk of business as they fix their inventory and replace it with new business that's ramping.

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Michael E. Hughes, SGF Capital Management, LP - Principal & Portfolio Manager [38]

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Okay. And then, this question was asked a few years ago and I wasn't clear .

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [39]

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Whoa.

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Michael E. Hughes, SGF Capital Management, LP - Principal & Portfolio Manager [40]

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I wasn't clear on the answer. The question was just a normal attrition of the business. Meaning, you have end-of-life programs and on occasion, I assume, have some competitive losses. So if you weren't winning new business, how much would your core business that you have right now, the $125 million a quarter, roughly, in revenue, how much would that decline by on an annual basis?

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [41]

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Yes, so I understand why you didn't understand the question and the answer last -- 2 years ago, I should say. Because it's a really hard one to answer. Our business is so lumpy and it's made up by individual events that the only way I could answer would be go back over a 10-year period and look at everything and try and average it up. And even then it would just be an average. It wouldn't be what to expect. So there have been years where we look ahead 12 months and we're shaking in our boots because we know that we're in danger of losing a customer due to some competitive situation. We've been able to look ahead and realize that a certain product is nearing end-of-life, and we can no longer depend on it. We can look ahead and see that a customer is about to be bought or just was bought by a larger OEM, who we know is going to move the business to a large CM. And there are other known events like that, that we can see on the horizon that have profound impacts on our revenue when they happen. Then there's the normal churn or aging out of customer relationships that I guess in the natural order of things, go sour or management turns over and they want to bring in a trusted CM or whatever. And that's a much smaller percentage of the impact that we see on a year-in-year-out basis on our revenue. So out of interest, I'll go back before our next quarterly call and look at the average and try and give you, in those 2 categories, an average over the 10 years of the leakage of the bottom of the bucket, but with the proviso, you have to understand that this is an average and it has got a massive distribution of error in it, depending on what's going happen that year. I can tell you that right now, looking out, we don't see any of those terrifying changes that we're scrambling to try to either backfill or prevent.

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Michael E. Hughes, SGF Capital Management, LP - Principal & Portfolio Manager [42]

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Okay, okay, that 10-year average would be really helpful and then your second comment about the -- your current visibility is even more helpful. So what I'm kind of driving at is, on the August call, the year-end call, you said you had 11 major new wins, and the average size was $5 million to $15 million. So if we use $10 million per program. That's $110 million in revenue that you're going to layer on over time. And you're saying that some of those programs are ramping more quickly than in the past. So I'm trying to figure out when are we going to hit that inflection point where those new programs overwhelm stuff that's running off and maybe these Chinese customer issues? It sounds like that's maybe the June or September quarter?

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [43]

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Well, I think it's already happened. If you look back the year ago to today, there is already been some nice growth even if you take out the $7 million that was due to the accounting changes, there's still over 10% growth. And that's the combination of business dying and leaving and new business coming on. I don't think there's going to be -- I think we've already passed the inflection point, if you want to call it that, where we return to growth on an annualized basis every quarter is, you know, God knows what's going to happen, but I think we've passed that inflection point. If you've been around for years, you know that we lost 1 massive customer in -- can I say their name yet? I still can't? That's not fair, I should be able to. Anyway, we lost that 1 major customer. And it's taken us 3 years to basically replace them. And now that, that's replaced, everything we layer on should be growth after you take out the natural shrinkage that occurs or leakage at the bottom of the bucket. So I guess that's a long answer to your question. I think we've already hit the inflection point. It looks to me like it's going to continue to accelerate. Certainly, our funnel of new business from the top of the funnel all the way down to where dollars drain out the bottom is in much better shape than I've ever seen it.

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Michael E. Hughes, SGF Capital Management, LP - Principal & Portfolio Manager [44]

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Okay, and then -- I'm sorry, go ahead.

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [45]

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I was going to say that, that's due to a number of factors all of which -- not all of which but a good chunk of which are in our control. So we've added dramatically to our sales team over the last 6 months. We've added dramatically to our quoting abilities over the last 6 months. We've integrated the acquired Ayrshire more fully into the former existing Key Tronic, much more in the last year than we've done before. And then, we've got a couple of nice tailwinds. One is the tariff situation, and that's layered on top of people's beginning to understand that the cost out of China had been going up even before that. So there are number of things that are all pushing in the right direction that make it seem like not only have we crossed the point of inflection, the slope of the curve should continue to increase also.

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Michael E. Hughes, SGF Capital Management, LP - Principal & Portfolio Manager [46]

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Okay. I think on the last call or the prior call, you said that SkyBell was at $4 million in revenue. Was that a quarterly number? And would you be willing to say where that number is now, does it continue to ramp?

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [47]

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That was I think our first quarter of building them. And I'm not sure, we are supposed to be sharing our revenue with SkyBell. So I'm not going to, if I did the first time, I am probably in trouble.

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Brett R. Larsen, Key Tronic Corporation - Executive VP of Administration, CFO & Treasurer [48]

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It has grown substantially since that first quarter.

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Michael E. Hughes, SGF Capital Management, LP - Principal & Portfolio Manager [49]

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Is there an opportunity to still grow that business significantly? Or is it kind of plateaued at this point?

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Brett R. Larsen, Key Tronic Corporation - Executive VP of Administration, CFO & Treasurer [50]

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Yes.

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [51]

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No, it's nowhere near plateau.

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Michael E. Hughes, SGF Capital Management, LP - Principal & Portfolio Manager [52]

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And that business was especially exposed to the components issue, right? And it sounds like, in some respects, at least you rectified that situation. So will that business ramp more quickly now?

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [53]

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We are still limited by component availability. We could probably be selling twice as many as we are today if we could manage to get a hold of parts. So we continue to -- and it's kind of a ratcheting situation. We need to have commitments from SkyBell's customers for increased volume in order to go out and buy parts. SkyBell's customers have to be convinced that the Key Tronic manufacturing capabilities are the real deal, and we can actually get parts before they want to make commitments to us for parts. So we're kind of ratcheting along here in a pretty steep upward curve. But what we're making today is basically only for one customer of SkyBell. And there are a number currently in the wings. There are a number who are working -- we're working with on design changes to fully integrate the doorbell with SkyBell's customer's products. So this has got a lot more potential and what we're seeing today limited mainly by, still, parts availability.

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Michael E. Hughes, SGF Capital Management, LP - Principal & Portfolio Manager [54]

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Okay. And then, 2 other quick questions. The move to Vietnam seems very important, strategically. I guess, the negative flip side is, naturally, if you're going to take a large customer from China and move them to Vietnam, now we have under absorption in China. That plant presumably is going to be less profitable or is there a way to backfill it with Chinese-based customers or customers that aren't exposed to the tariffs. So just how are you going to address that issue in China?

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [55]

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Well, we're going to hope, and we are trying to backfill. But if we can't backfill, we'll have to scale. And that's part of the life of being a CM as you have to scale and you have to have the ability to scale. So we do and we will if that's our only options.

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Michael E. Hughes, SGF Capital Management, LP - Principal & Portfolio Manager [56]

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Okay. And then last question on Vietnam. I've read, I'm not sure if they have committed at this point or not, but Foxconn was looking at building capacity in Vietnam. Do you happen to know is it in the area that you're located? If so, was there any concern about wage pressures from their presence?

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [57]

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I don't know if it's in our area, but they came into Juarez and we were a little bit concerned at first, but we haven't seen any kind of an issue there. So I don't expect any issue in Vietnam either. One piece of data I can share is that, to me, our biggest risk in Vietnam was the maturity of the workforce and particularly in the management and technical staff. And we're far enough down the road with our hiring efforts that I can be pretty confident that, that's not going to be an issue. And if you've done as many greenfields as I have, you know that the people are really what matters, the rest of it's kind of overcome-able, but if you can't get good people you're in big trouble. So that was my biggest concern about Vietnam, and you never really know until you go out and start trying to hire folks, but it's looking very encouraging so far.

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Michael E. Hughes, SGF Capital Management, LP - Principal & Portfolio Manager [58]

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And you made me think of one last question, I promise. Are there any start-up cost that we should think about in either the March quarter or June quarter or following quarters related to Vietnam?

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [59]

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We've got all of those baked into our projections.

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Michael E. Hughes, SGF Capital Management, LP - Principal & Portfolio Manager [60]

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Would the start-up cost increase in June? So I'm just trying to build out my model. I'm just trying to think how I could build the EPS up?

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Brett R. Larsen, Key Tronic Corporation - Executive VP of Administration, CFO & Treasurer [61]

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It's nothing earth shattering in the amount that we're going to have to invest until we get into production into the first part of our next year fiscal first quarter. But there will be some escalating expenses in Vietnam, of course, during our fourth quarter.

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Michael E. Hughes, SGF Capital Management, LP - Principal & Portfolio Manager [62]

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So was it a couple of hundred thousand dollars a quarter?

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Brett R. Larsen, Key Tronic Corporation - Executive VP of Administration, CFO & Treasurer [63]

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Yes. That's about what it is.

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Operator [64]

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(Operator Instructions) We'll go next to George Melas with MKH Management.

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George Melas-Kyriazi, MKH Management Company, LLC - President [65]

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Let me try to find my questions, I'm sorry. Okay. Last quarter, we talked a little bit about the shortage of key components and how that maybe impacted revenue by $10 million or $15 million, not just in that quarter, but as a matter of pent-up demand. Is that still about the case now? Or do you feel like the pent-up demand has declined? And I understand that with the SkyBell situation, for example, it's very hard to know what the pent-up demand is, but maybe you can still give us some color there?

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [66]

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Yes, if we were to take the SkyBell situation out of it, it's probably about a $5 million to $10 million impact this time around.

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George Melas-Kyriazi, MKH Management Company, LLC - President [67]

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Okay. And do you have the sense whether that's a onetime thing? Or if it's just pent-up demand? And then, we'll just go back to what we had before?

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [68]

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I think it's more a case of a -- I don't know how to answer your question. I don't know what you meant. But what I believe it to be is that if we had those parts, we would've got a onetime increase and then it would've settled back to the steady state.

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George Melas-Kyriazi, MKH Management Company, LLC - President [69]

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Okay, okay, great. I'm going to try to ask, I mean, the same question that Bill and Mike asked earlier, but maybe you can answer them slightly differently. If you look at the ramp of new customers, just the contribution of those new programs, should that -- and I'm looking at sequentially quarter-over-quarter, understanding the lumpiness of things. But should that add $3 million, $4 million, $5 million on a sequential basis? And by that, I mean, March over June or June over September, would that be a way to look at how these customers ramp? And that does not exclude the churn that, that's a different dynamic?

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [70]

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I think that's a reasonable guess. Somewhere between $3 million to $5 million a quarter extra, but that's really averaged out because I know all of the ones that are ramping and some big ones are going slow and some big ones are going fast. And so everything that happens here, you guys and I too, would like to be able to put a line on the chart and say, that's what's going to happen, but it won't. But that $3 million to $5 million a quarter, is a reasonable number the way we see it right now, excluding SkyBell, excluding SkyBell.

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George Melas-Kyriazi, MKH Management Company, LLC - President [71]

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Excluding SkyBell, okay. Because I would -- then, I was going to ask how does that sort of reconcile with those 11 new customers last year that were between $5 million and $15 million in revenue that Mike talked about?

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [72]

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Yes, and that's part of the nomenclature that we get in debates with Bill about all the time is, do we quote the number that relates to that particular SKU that we've just started to ramp? Do we quote the number that relates to the family of products that we've begun to ramp? Or do we quote the numbers that relates to the size of the overall business that the customer and we have discussed as having been won? So we're always a bit confused on what we ought to be doing. And it's hard to tell when you actually win the piece of business, what the right number is to give you guys.

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George Melas-Kyriazi, MKH Management Company, LLC - President [73]

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Right, right, which number do you tend to give for instance?

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [74]

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We tend to go towards the high end of the middle. So we don't just give you the SKU, we give you the family and maybe a little bit of belief in the overall size that they've told us the business is going to be.

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George Melas-Kyriazi, MKH Management Company, LLC - President [75]

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Got it, okay. I actually have a question for Brett. You were the talking about Mexican utility cost. I think the last quarter, there was a bump in cost of roughly $400,000. Are we on a steady-state basis now in Mexico utility cost? Or did it get worse?

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [76]

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We think we've got that mitigated by contracting that we don't know when that's going to kick in but the costs themselves have actually gone down a little bit. I think as they realize that competition is coming.

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Brett R. Larsen, Key Tronic Corporation - Executive VP of Administration, CFO & Treasurer [77]

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So we actually did see a rate reduction during the month of December. Doesn't get us back to where we were nor what we are targeting through a different contract, but there was a bit of relief.

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Operator [78]

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And with no further questions in the queue. I would like to turn the call over to Craig Gates for any additional or closing remarks.

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Craig D. Gates, Key Tronic Corporation - President, CEO & Director [79]

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All right. Thanks again for participating in today's conference call. Brett and I look forward to speaking with you next quarter. Thanks, and have a good day.

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Operator [80]

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This does conclude today's conference. We thank you for your participation. You may now disconnect.