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Fabrinet  (NYSE:FN)
Q1 2019 Earnings Conference Call
Nov. 05, 2018, 5:00 p.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Good day, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Fabrinet's Financial Results Conference Call for the first quarter of fiscal year 2019. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, today's call is being recorded.

I'd now like to turn the call and conference over to your host, Garo Toomajanian, Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

Garo Toomajanian -- Investor Relations

Thank you, operator; and good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining us on today's conference call to discuss Fabrinet's financial and operating results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2019, which ended September 28, 2018. With me on the call today are Seamus Grady, Chief Executive Officer; and TS Ng, Chief Financial Officer. This call is being webcast and a replay will be available on the Investors section of our website located at investor.fabrinet.com.

Please refer to our website for important information, including our earnings press release and investor presentation, which include our GAAP to non-GAAP reconciliation.

I would like to remind you that today's discussion will contain forward-looking statements about the future financial performance of the company. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from management's current expectations. These statements reflect our opinions only as of the date of this presentation, and we undertake no obligation to revise them in light of new information or future events, except as required by law. For a description of the risk factors that may affect our results, please refer to our SEC filings, in particular, the section captioned Risk Factors in our Form 10-K filed on August 22, 2018.

We will begin the call with remarks from Seamus and TS, followed by time for questions.

I would now like to turn the call over to Fabrinet's CEO, Seamus Grady, Seamus?

Seamus Grady -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Garo; and good afternoon, everyone. Revenue in the first quarter came in well above the high-end of our guidance range at $377 million, an all-time record for quarterly revenue. Strong revenue combined with the foreign exchange gain produced non-GAAP net income of $0.92 per share, which was also above the high-end of our guidance. This earnings performance also helps drive strong cash flows with operating cash flow of nearly $35 million in the first quarter and free cash flow of $29 million. We had anticipated that our modest sequential growth in the fourth quarter will continue into the first quarter and our actual performance was considerably better than we had anticipated. And as TS will detail in a moment, we expect fiscal Q2 to represent another quarter of sequential growth.

With the increasing demand, we continue to see components constraints during the first quarter. We were again able to successfully mitigate the shortage risk during the quarter and we will continue to take appropriate steps to manage these supply challenges going forward. In the last several months, there have been a lot of discussions related to tariffs and products coming to the US from China. I can report that we have not seen any negative impact from these tariffs and we don't anticipate that we will in the future. With the vast majority of our manufacturing in Thailand, we could actually benefit from tariffs on products being manufactured in China, if component and equipment makers look for suppliers in other countries.

Looking at our first quarter performance by end-markets, both optical communications and non-optical communications business grew from a year ago. Optical communications revenue of $281 million was up 2% from a year ago and up 16% from the fourth quarter with revenue for both telecom and datacom products growing double digits from the fourth quarter. Telecom revenue was $179 million, an increase of 14% from the fourth quarter; and datacom revenue was $102 million, up 19% from the fourth quarter.

By technology, silicon photonics based optical communications revenue was $83 million, up 19% from the fourth quarter. Variance of the QSFP28 form factor, which can be both silicon photonics and non-silicon photonics based generated revenue of $45 million, which was up marginally from a strong Q4, we saw 20% sequential growth.

By data rates, 100G programs continue to dominate optical communications production and grew slightly faster than optical communications overall to $155 million or 41% of total revenue. Speed related products at 400G and faster data rates represented more than 4% of total revenue.

Turning now to non-optical communications, revenue was $96 million compared to the record $103 million we generated in the fourth quarter. Still, quarterly revenue for non-optical communications was the second highest in our history with industrial lasers, again, delivering a strong performance with revenue of over $49 million. Automotive revenue declined slightly from a record fourth quarter to $22 million. Revenue from sensors and from other products were both up from a year ago, but down from the fourth quarter with sensors at $4 million and other revenue at $21 million, representing normal quarter-to-quarter variability. While this variability is likely to continue, especially in newer programs ramp, we remain optimistic about our long-term growth opportunities in our non-optical communications business.

Revenue from new business reached nearly $138 million, up 10% from $125 million in the fourth quarter. Our new product introduction, our NPI services continue to be an important driver of new business, as these services can turn into long-term programs generating significant revenue over several years. As we have mentioned previously, we are in the process of looking to establish a new product introduction facility in Israel to support our existing customers there as well as to develop new customers. This would enable us to replicate the success we have seen in Fabrinet West and Fabrinet UK. We are working closely with our existing customers in Israel to determine the best approach going forward.

In summary, we're off to a strong start in fiscal 2019 with first quarter revenue and earnings above our guidance ranges. Moreover, with strong momentum across our business, we are forecasting continued growth in the second quarter, which TS will detail in a moment.

Now, let me turn the call over to TS to discuss the details of our first quarter performance and our outlook, TS?

Toh-Seng Ng -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Seamus; and good afternoon, everyone. I will provide you in more details on our performance by end-market and our financial results for Q1, as well as our guidance for Q2 of fiscal year 2019.

Total revenue in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 was $377.2 million, which was $22 million above the high-end of our guidance range. Non-GAAP net income was $0.92 per share and was also above our guidance range. Net income in the first quarter benefited by $0.08 per share from a mark-to-market, foreign exchange gain. Excluding this impact, non-GAAP net income was still slightly above the top of our guidance range.

Note that, as of the first quarters of fiscal year 2019, these results are being reported under ASC 606, though the change had an immaterial impact on our results. Under the previous accounting standard, ASC 605, our revenue would have been $300,000 less or a difference of less than 0.1% and net income would had been the negligible $30,000 less.

Looking at the first quarter in more detail. As Seamus mentioned, we saw strong sequential growth from optical communication programs in first quarter with a pause in the sequential growth of non-optical program after a record fourth quarter. Optical communication increased to 74% of revenue, the highest level in the year with non-optical communication representing 26% of revenue.

Now, turning to the details of our P&L. A reconciliations on GAAP to non-GAAP measures is included in our earnings press release and investor presentation, which you can find on our website. Non-GAAP gross margin in the first quarter was 11.2%, reflecting an anticipated sequential decline in gross margin that we previously discussed as we absorb the impacts of annual merit increase that take effect in the first quarter.

During the quarter, as Seamus noted earlier, we were able to overcome industrywide component supply challenges, which helped us exceed our revenue guidance for the quarter. Notwithstanding this, these component supply challenges cost some operating inefficiencies and less favorable material pricing that negatively impacted our gross margin for the quarter. We remain optimistic, however, in our target range for non-GAAP gross margin remain till to 12.5% and we expect to return to this range on the quarterly basis during fiscal year 2019.

Non-GAAP operating expense was $10.2 million in the first quarter, down slightly both year-over-year and from the fourth quarter. As a result, non-GAAP operating income was $32 million, an increase from the fourth quarter and the years (sic-a year) ago and non-GAAP operating margin was 8.5% compared to 8.6% in the fourth quarter.

Taxes in the quarter were $1.9 million and our normalized effective tax rate was 6.7%. We continue to anticipate an effective tax rate of 6% to 7% for the fiscal year.

Non-GAAP net income was $34.1 million in the first quarter or $0.92 per diluted share, up from $0.81 in fourth quarter and $0.75 a years (sic-year) ago. On a GAAP basis, which includes share-based compensation expenses and amortization of debt issuance costs, net income for the first quarter was $27.9 million or $0.75 per diluted share, a record performance.

Turning to the balance sheet and cash flow statement. At the end of the first quarter, cash and investments were $352.4 million. This represent an increase of $16.7 million from the end of the fourth quarter, primarily from operating cash flow of $34.6 million, offset by a CapEx of $5.4 million with holding tax related to net share settlement of RSUs of $8.9 million, the release of $3.5 million in the restricted escrow related to our Exception UK acquisition and repayments of long-term bank loans of $0.8 million.

Free cash flow, which is operating cash flow less CapEx, was $29.2 million in the first quarter.

We did not repurchase any shares during the first quarter. As such, as of the end of the quarter, $17.6 million remain in our repurchase authorization. Management will continue to evaluate the buyback programs based on the stock market condition and our cash position each quarter.

I would now like to turn to our guidance for the second quarters of fiscal year 2019. While we are now reporting under ASC 606, this guidance is based on ASC 605 and we will provide a reconciliation with our second quarter results. With continued demand in the optical communications market and ongoing momentum in the varieties of non-optical communication program, we are optimistic that our sequential growth will extend into the second quarter. For the second quarters of fiscal year 2019, we anticipate revenue in the range of $380 million to $388 million. From an earnings perspective, we anticipate non-GAAP net income per share in the second quarter to be in the range of $0.91 to $0.94 and GAAP net income per share of $0.77 to $0.80, based on approximately 37.6 million fully diluted share outstanding.

In summary, we are off to a good start in fiscal 2019 with financial results that exceeded our expectations. We are enthusiastic about our momentum, which we expect to continue into the second quarter.

Operator, we will now like to open the call for questions.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Thank you. (Operator Instructions) Our first question comes from Troy Jensen with Piper Jaffray. Your line is now open.

Troy Jensen -- Piper Jaffray -- Analyst

Hey, gentlemen. First of, congrats on another really good quarter here.

Seamus Grady -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Troy.

Toh-Seng Ng -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thank you.

Troy Jensen -- Piper Jaffray -- Analyst

Hey, Seamus, maybe I'll start with you. I guess you've had a little bit more time now to kind of look at options for Fabrinet, just would love to get an update on your -- maybe your M&A strategy? And whether or not do you think 2019 will be a bigger year kind of for strategic moves for the company?

Seamus Grady -- Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. So we continue to evaluate M&A opportunities that come our way. As we've mentioned previously, we're being very flexible, selective and very deliberate in our approach, and I think it's fair to say, we're being picky. We do want to add capabilities, not just revenue. So we continue to look. We're looking for complementary businesses that will contribute to our profitability that we can acquire at a reasonable price and we don't have anything to report at this point, but we continue to evaluate several opportunities. And it still remains a key part of our strategy and we will update once we have some news. But as you can appreciate, Troy, it's not the type of topic we give (multiple speakers) partially we give updates on (technical difficulty) till we have some news. But we continue to look at a lot of opportunities that come our way.

Troy Jensen -- Piper Jaffray -- Analyst

All right. Perfect. Maybe just for TS. Could you talk about -- I understand why the margins kind of got hit here this quarter in September. What do you think they look like maybe over the next two quarters and how quickly do we get back to this 12% to 12.5% range?

Toh-Seng Ng -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

So in our prepared remarks, we still anticipate a return back to the 12% sometime in this fiscal year. So if you look at the guidance we provided, again, if you go backwards, it's pretty close to that level.

Troy Jensen -- Piper Jaffray -- Analyst

It is. Okay. All right. Perfect. I pull that down. Just maybe last question for me. I guess, I'd be curious to know how the automotive business is, TS? I think you gave a revenue number, but I didn't get it, if you could repeat that and would love if you just can update in traction with auto?

Toh-Seng Ng -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. The automotive is $22 million, down from $26 million. Again, $26 million is kind of the pretty high -- I won't say all-time high, but it's one of the historical highs.

Seamus Grady -- Chief Executive Officer

So, Troy, this is Seamus. Our automotive business is made up of, as we've talked about previously, traditional automotive and some of the newer technologies, newer programs we're working on. And the traditional automotive last quarter continues to be very stable. New programs tend to be more variable though as the programs ramp. So the decline you saw last quarter in the overall automotive revenue, as TS said, Q4 was a record quarter for us in automotive and at the time we said not to expect the automotive to grow if you like in a straight line, since the new programs, you can see variability as the ramp and that's really what we saw going on last quarter was variability on the new programs, because it's -- the new program sometimes quite new technology. So there's a little bit more choppiness than with the traditional automotive. That's really what we saw last quarter. We didn't lose any programs, we didn't lose any customers, we actually gained a few programs, but the overall revenue did decline. But it's, like I say, it's more choppiness on newer programs than the overall trend.

Troy Jensen -- Piper Jaffray -- Analyst

All right. Understood. Keep up the good work, gentlemen.

Seamus Grady -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank you.

Toh-Seng Ng -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Troy.

Operator

Thank you. (Operator Instructions) Our next question comes from Alex Henderson with Needham. Your line is now open.

Alex Henderson -- Needham -- Analyst

Thanks. Clearly, that's a pretty deeper sequential improvement in gross margins for the 11.2%. I assume that some of that is related to the -- an improvement in the component supply chain where you're getting some the issues resolved on supply constraints. Is that an accurate guess of what's causing that improvement?

Seamus Grady -- Chief Executive Officer

I think so, Alex. I think that's a fairly good assessment. I mean, really we had a couple of -- if you like gross margin headwinds last -- this past quarter, one was the merit increase, which we had talked about previously, but the other was -- then was the component shortage situation. We did manage to exceed our revenue, but had a little bit of a cost. The way we look at it is -- one of the key reasons customers outsourced to us is our ability to deliver on time, including, and maybe especially, in tight supply situations.

When the components that we source are in short supply, we really do everything we can to make sure we get those components and meet our customers' commitments and this is something where we're actually very proud of that our customers ultimately reward us for with more business.

In previous quarters, when we saw the potential for component shortages and again in Q1 we acted very quickly to secure the supply and sometimes that means overlooking volume discounts or other arrangements to make sure we get the products. We want to make sure we get the products for the customers, so that they can make their revenue, and while it did create near term drag on gross margins, we really believe it's absolutely the right thing to do to drive revenue and strong customer relationships. So that component shortage headwind, if you like, it manifested itself really in two ways, one was the, as I mentioned, maybe giving up a little bit on volume discounts and paying a little bit more for components. And also, frankly, we also probably carried some operating inefficiency due to some idle capacity. If you have all the parts except for that last component, if the last component doesn't come in on time, we still incur most of the operating cost. So that's really what drove this past quarter. We do see the situation improving over the next couple of quarters, but that was the primary driver this past quarter.

Alex Henderson -- Needham -- Analyst

So would it be reasonable to think that, at the lower end of your revenue guidance that your gross margins might be a little higher and at the higher end that it ironically it might be a little lower as a result of pushing on that envelope, again, as we go through the December quarter?

Seamus Grady -- Chief Executive Officer

I think it really depends -- it really comes down to the mix. It's hard to say -- unfortunately, it's not quite that straightforward, because I (ph) would just come down to the mix as you can imagine of how the average gross margin last quarter came out to 11.2% within that is a fairly wide range, so it really does come down to the mix at the end of the day, but we do feel we're targeting to get back to that 12% this year and, as TS said, if you reverse engineer the EPS guidance we're giving, they there about this quarter we think.

Toh-Seng Ng -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes.

Alex Henderson -- Needham -- Analyst

The second -- the other line of question I wanted to address is, can you talk a little bit about the uptake of floor space in your new facility? It seems like that's coming on faster than you might have thought, is that a function of people moving -- trying to move at an expedited rate out of China, what's driving that and what is -- what kind of floor space metrics can you provide us in terms of how much of it's taken up at this point? And then finally along the same lines, what juncture would you be considering starting up the process for the next 550,000 square foot facility ?

Seamus Grady -- Chief Executive Officer

So a couple of points there, I think, yeah, I think the uptake is pretty strong on the new building. Right now, we're about 50%, I would say, late-50s, heading toward 60% in terms of a combination of occupied and spoken for in the new building. Once we get to probably 70% to 75%, we will pull the trigger on the next building. We do believe -- so we've started the process of getting the permits in place. Timing-wise, we think in all likelihood we feel we probably will start that process rolling this fiscal year. It really does depend on how quickly some of the new programs ramp and some of the uptick happens. We -- as we said in our prepared remarks, the tariffs in China, they're certainly not a headwind for us, we do think they could be a tailwind and we were not building our business plan based on tariffs. It does hopefully blow some business in our direction as customers who are producing in China come our way, so we are seeing a little bit of that, but it is quite slow as you can imagine, Alex, even when customers in China come our way and ask us to look at building products for them, the qualification process can be quite long, so you could be looking at a kind of a four to six-month qualification process for that to take hold. And, again, the tariff situation could change quickly and that could be no longer a tailwind for us. So, like I said, we're not building our business based on it, but it does certainly help us we think.

Alex Henderson -- Needham -- Analyst

One last question and then I'll cede the floor. The industrial laser business sounded little bit stronger than we had anticipated. There has been a number of other companies in the space that have suggested some weakness, mainly driven off of the semi equipment market slowdown, can you talk about your mix relative to semi equipment versus fiber laser and if that's something that differentiates you from the rest of the market and what you think --

Toh-Seng Ng -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Alex, this is TS. I think your observation is fairly accurate. We see most of the -- in fact, we have the final six customers there. We are gaining market share, so I can tell you that one of the customer we continue to gain more program, but the rest are pretty flat, OK, so to speak. So, because of the gaining market share with one customer and that's why you show (inaudible) growth from $47 million last quarter to $49 million in Q1. But moving forward we believe that the one or two customers we gained market share will continue to grow and the rest will just -- we'll see what's happening with the marketplace on the semiconductor.

Alex Henderson -- Needham -- Analyst

Great. I'll cede the floor, and get back in the queue. Thanks

Toh-Seng Ng -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thank you.

Seamus Grady -- Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Alex.

Operator

Thank you. (Operator Instructions) And Mr. Henderson, your line is back open.

Alex Henderson -- Needham -- Analyst

Wow, that's fabulous. Could you give us some granularity on what you're thinking relative to the optical and the datacom piece in the guidance? You talked a little bit about the mix in the current quarter, but didn't really specify how you see that playing out sequentially.

Toh-Seng Ng -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

So, Alex, the telecom is pretty strong. as you know. We've grew 23% to $23 million quarter-over-quarter, 156 (ph) to 179 (ph), although we don't breakdown guidance for Q2, but we still anticipate -- continue to double-digit growth in the coming quarter, December quarter. For datacom, also grew very nicely, 19% quarter-over-quarter. Moving forward the number in front of me is flat to slightly up a bit, so is that helpful?

Alex Henderson -- Needham -- Analyst

That's really helpful. And I would assume that the mix toward silicon photonics is also accelerating into the upcoming quarter, can you give us any thoughts on how that looks on a prospective basis ?

Toh-Seng Ng -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, we have a very nice growth, up $30 million in silicon photonics sequentially grow $15 million (ph), 19%, and moving forward we anticipate continue to grow. Just looking at a program we have with the customer, we will continue to grow that technology.

Alex Henderson -- Needham -- Analyst

Do you think it's growing faster than your overall optical business at this point as we look forward?

Toh-Seng Ng -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

I would say close, close to that same level.

Alex Henderson -- Needham -- Analyst

Thanks. I will cede the floor again. Thanks.

Seamus Grady -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank, Alex.

Toh-Seng Ng -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. And, with that, I will turn the conference back over to Mr. Grady for closing remarks.

Seamus Grady -- Chief Executive Officer

Okay. Well, thank you for joining our call today. We appreciate the interest in our company. We're excited to deliver strong results and a positive outlook as we continue to position the company for continued growth and diversification over the longer term. We look forward to speaking with you again soon. Thank you, and goodbye.

Operator

Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, that concludes today's conference. Thank you very much for your participation. You may all disconnect. Have a wonderful day.

Duration: 29 minutes

Call participants:

Garo Toomajanian -- Investor Relations

Seamus Grady -- Chief Executive Officer

Toh-Seng Ng -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Troy Jensen -- Piper Jaffray -- Analyst

Alex Henderson -- Needham -- Analyst

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