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Brooks Automation Inc (NASDAQ:BRKS)
Q4 2019 Earnings Call
Nov 7, 2019, 4:30 p.m. ET


  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:


Greetings and welcome to the Brooks Automation Q4 Financial Results Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]

I would now like to turn the conference over to Mark Namaroff, Director of Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

Mark Namaroff -- Director of Investor Relations

Thank you, Chris, and good afternoon everyone on the line today. We'd like to welcome you to our fourth quarter and year-end fiscal 2019 earnings conference call. Our earnings press release was issued after the close of the market today and is available on our Investor Relations website, located at brooks.investorroom.com, as are the supplementary PowerPoint slides that will be used during prepared remarks today.

I would like to remind everyone that during the course of the call we will be making a number of forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Litigation Securities Act of 1995. There are many factors that may cause actual financial results or other events to differ from those identified in such forward-looking statements. I would refer to you to the sections of our earnings release titled Safe Harbor Statement, the safe harbor slide on the aforementioned PowerPoint presentation on our website, and our various filings with the SEC, including our annual reports on Form 10-K and our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. We make no obligation to update these statements should future financial data or events occur that differ from our forward-looking statements presented today.

Also today we'll be referring to a number of non-GAAP financial measures, which are used in addition to and in conjunction with results presented in accordance with GAAP. We believe that non-GAAP measures provide an additional way of viewing aspects of our operations and performance, but when considered with GAAP financial results and the reconciliation of GAAP measures, they provide an even more complete understanding of the Brooks business. Non-GAAP measures should not be relied upon to the exclusion of GAAP measures themselves.

And on the call with me today is our President and Chief Executive Officer, Steve Schwartz and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Lindon Robertson. We will open up the call with remarks from Steve on the highlights of the fourth quarter and the fiscal year, and then Lindon will provide a more detailed look into the quarter and fiscal year-end financial results and provide a summary of our financial outlook for the first fiscal quarter of 2020. Then we'll take your questions at the end of the call.

Before turning the call over to Steve, I would like to remind everyone that we completed the sale of the Semiconductor Cryogenics business on July 1st, the first day of our fiscal fourth quarter. Reporting and commentary in this quarter focuses on our continuing operations.

And with that, I'd like to turn the call over to our CEO, Steve Schwartz.

Stephen S. Schwartz -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Mark, and good afternoon everyone. We're pleased to report to you results from another strong quarter, give you some summary comments about our performance from our full fiscal 2019 year, and provide you with thoughts on our outlook for fiscal year 2020.

Q4 capped another strong growth year for Brooks. Revenue of $200 million was, up 25% year-over-year, driven mostly by the addition of GENEWIZ, but with organic growth overall in spite of a down the semiconductor environment. For the full fiscal year, revenue of $782 million was, up 24% over prior year, and we delivered meaningful performance improvements in each business segment. As we've detailed for you over the past year, we completed two M&A transactions in fiscal 2019, including the sale of our Semiconductor Cryogenic vacuum business and the acquisition of GENEWIZ.

But even amid that activity, we remained focused on our ongoing business and we delivered exceptional growth. We gained more market share across the board and we advanced our technology and market leadership positions in both the semiconductor and life sciences markets. We're keenly focused on growth and leadership in our markets. We believe we have positioned each of our businesses in vibrant markets with growth opportunities, and we're invested in the advancement of our technology solutions to solve our customers most critical problems, while we further distance ourselves from competitors.

As we're not too many weeks removed from our Analyst and Investor Day, when we had a chance to give you considerable exposure to our business segments, I'll use my time today to give highlights from the business and our thoughts about how we see fiscal 2020 shaping up, and I'll begin with life sciences.

We had an outstanding growth quarter in life sciences with revenue of $94 million, up $6 million or 7% sequentially, with strong contributions from both sample management and GENEWIZ. And at $94 million, life sciences represented 47% of revenue for the quarter. And though it may not be easy to continue to gain on semi during an up cycle in the semiconductor market, over the long-term we do expect a steady increase in the percentage of our business that comes from life sciences, because of the sheer size of the life sciences market opportunity and our prospects for additional share gains.

In a look at the life sciences sub-segments, I start with sample management, where revenue was $54 million, up 7% sequentially and 10% year-over-year on an organic basis. And importantly, gross margin increased more than 200 basis points, closing in on our model expectations for the year. Some highlights from the quarter give us confidence that we're turning the corner and getting back to our expected growth trajectory. We had a number of key wins, including million-plus dollar deals with two biopharma companies that include both storage and laboratory services. This combination of capabilities is a key advantage that customers see as a differentiator. And we're focused on increasing our GENEWIZ capabilities into a combined offering for customers, and these synergy opportunities are beginning to be part of our targeted sales activities.

The Cryo business was a standout in the quarter, with product revenue of $3.6 million, which was comprised of sales to nine new customers, 10 repeat customers, and multi-unit shipments to a biopharma company for cell therapy manufacturing and to an IVF company that's building out a footprint of state-of-the-art clinics that will utilize our automation products for the most dependable solution available. The Cryo business continues to gain traction, and though it will still fluctuate a bit from quarter-to-quarter until the early adopters become more regular repeat customers, we're confident that our automated Cryo products and related services are here to stay and will prove to be transformative to the rapidly developing cell and gene therapy market.

We also had two new customer wins for large automated stores in China after a lull during the trade related slow down. We continue to see great promise from what will become enormous population sample collections that will be located in a number of large metropolitan areas across China.

And finally, business capture was strong with bookings of $62 million, and we added another 72 new customers across all of our sample management offerings. This is good news for us as we're making improvements inside of our sample management business. We're more focused on our go-to-market activities, and we've identified some of the operational actions that are necessary to speed up our internal cycles. We're putting discipline in place to better manage the more predictable conversion of backlog into revenue with improved profitability as a byproduct of these actions.

As we detailed at our Investor Day, we have expectations to grow the sample management business approximately 7% in fiscal 2020, and we intend to be consistently delivering double-digit percentage growth by the fiscal fourth quarter. We anticipate some small amounts of variability during the next few quarters, but we're beginning to have better visibility into the stronger second half of 2020.

Our outlook for Q1 is for revenue to be approximately flat to slightly down from Q4, as we do not expect as strong a quarter from the cryo business. But year-over-year, Q1 revenue should still demonstrate growth, and at this time we are exactly where we anticipated that we would be when we laid out our plans for 2020. That's to say we're off to a good start.

We remain very positive about the sample management business and our position in this market. Our portfolio of capabilities is exactly matched with the needs of our customers. And as this market continues to evolve, our solutions will both the shape the direction and speed with which customers turn management of their samples over to us.

In our GENEWIZ sub-segment, we also had an exceptional quarterly result, with contributions from all segments of the business. Revenue increased $3 million sequentially to $40 million, up 29% from the same quarter one year ago, as measured on a pro forma basis, with strong contributions from both Sanger and next-generation sequencing. Customer capture continued to accelerate as we added more than 270 additional customers in the quarter, and we uncover opportunities at every turn. The business is set up to rapidly assimilate new customers, and our fast turnaround, high quality laboratory services capability secures customer loyalty.

Our broad services portfolio was a key to our rapid and sustained growth in this business. Over time, customers who first engage with us for one service, usually Sanger sequencing, will typically procure additional services. When they realize that they receive the same level of service and quality for those incremental services, the relationships become even more secure. It's in this way that GENEWIZ has a built-in mechanism for additional share gains that result from an initial penetration.

In addition to the high quality, fast turn services customers expect from GENEWIZ, they are particularly enthusiastic about some of the new service offerings that have been developed by our GENEWIZ R&D team, most recently a new innovation that enables us to read through a very complex genetic construct quickly and reliably. This method of continuous improvement of process technology, which is focused on critical scientific challenges, is what our customers have grown to expect from GENEWIZ as one of the attributes that makes us a standout in the market.

I'd like to summarize a few highlights from our first year together with GENEWIZ. On a pro forma basis, fiscal year revenue grew to $144 million, up 20% from fiscal 2018. We added more than 800 new customers to the approximately 4,000 customers, who were part of GENEWIZ one year ago. And in preparation for continued high growth, we've been making investments across the globe. We expanded capacity at two North American sites. We opened a new facility in Germany to serve continental Europe, and we've broken ground on our new building in Suzhou, China, which is expected to come online in spring 2021.

In addition, as we begin to exploit the synergies promised by the combination of GENEWIZ and sample management capabilities, we've initiated the creation of the GENEWIZ lab inside of our Indianapolis BioStorage facility. All of these are welcome, necessary investments that we believe will allow us to sustain an achievable 20% growth rate for GENEWIZ.

I'll now move to highlights from the semiconductor business, where we delivered a fourth quarter much as expected, but once again the makeup consisted of some volatility. Revenue was $106 million, down 9% sequentially and down 3% on a year-over-year comparison. And different from our peer companies in the semiconductor equipment space, this was our first sequentially down quarter in a year.

Furthermore, we believe that this is also a bottom in the semiconductor revenue for the cycle. We are particularly encouraged by our semiconductor bookings in Q4, which topped $145 million, leading to what we see as a more vibrant semiconductor environment, at least in the near-term. And I'll give you some color here. In our automation systems business, we saw the first sequentially down quarter in a year that was due largely to a slowdown in China business, which was a record high in Q3 and a four year low in Q4. Our market share remains very high in China, but there's been a pause as the OEMs shift their systems into new fab projects.

That said, we saw a 30% sequential increase in our vacuum robot shipments, mostly the tier 1 OEMs as they prepare to ship products to support tier 1 foundry investments. Our outlook for vacuum robots is for some sustained improvements in the December quarter, and we believe that our systems business will improve as the market for memory equipment recovers.

The most significant impact of the reduction in our systems business was apparent in the advanced packaging segment, where revenue decreased to $10 million from a record $19 million in Q3. Overall in the year, we finished with $63 million for this segment of the market, an increase of 12% year-over-year, but it's clear there's some digestion going on in the advanced packaging space at this time. We forecast that Q4 should be a bottom, but that it might be early calendar 2020 before we see a meaningful pickup in advanced packaging activity.

In contamination control, we're as busy as ever, as we set a record for revenue -- for quarterly revenue at $33 million. As we mentioned on our last call, we've seen a surge in orders for contamination control systems and we've ramped capability to be able to meet this demand, a majority of which is to satisfy tier 1 foundry expansion for seven nanometer and new capacity for five nanometer technologies. But it's important to note that the breath of our customer and application base continues to expand, as Q4 revenue came from 10 different customers, 15 different fabs, and four different types of manufacturing, a fact that bodes well for the future of this business.

Moreover, we're forecasting another record in the December quarter and continued strength until March as we satisfy unprecedented demand for these new technologies. We're confident that both logic and memory will take more advantage of our contamination control capabilities in the future. For the year, CCS revenue came in at $119 million, up 62% over fiscal 2018 and with incredibly strong momentum heading into fiscal 2020.

Across all of our semiconductor business, our assessment of the market is that the positive momentum in the first half of fiscal 2020 is being driven by foundry spending for seven and five nanometer capacity additions. However, we're also becoming more positive about memory spending awakening in the second half of fiscal 2020, as we've begun to receive orders from some tier 2 Korean OEMs for the first time in several quarters. For the most part, these OEMs largely provide equipment to Korean memory fabs.

For the year, it's noteworthy that our semiconductor revenue was up 3% when the capital equipment industry was down approximately 20%. We knew that our position in contamination control solutions and advanced packaging as secular growth drivers would help us to outgrow the semi market, but we did not have a good way to predict just how fast these technologies would take off. For sure, we're positioned well heading into 2020, as we had a record 130 design-in wins that secure more gains in market share. And although we have very strong market share positions, we're not sitting still.

In each and every area of the semiconductor product portfolio across automation and contamination control, we're currently developing the next generation of products with the latest technologies, which will replace our current market-leading products, but will also increase the capability gap between us and our competitors. As with our life sciences business, our technologies are out in front of our customer needs, but closely aligned to their roadmaps for solutions they need in the future.

To summarize our position, we just concluded another transformative year with a very strong fourth quarter that propels us into another year where we forecast more growth, more profitability, and more share gains from the investments that we've made in products and services that are ahead of our markets. We're enthusiastic about our prospects and committed to delivering on the promise of our exciting markets. We're poised for strong growth from all of our businesses.

In addition, we have a strong pipeline of a prospective acquisition targets and a reset balance sheet that supports more inorganic growth, and we have strong core capability inside of Brooks to absorb and integrate new capabilities as a matter of course. It's with these tools and capabilities that we look into fiscal year 2020 with optimism and confidence, and we look forward to reporting to you on our successes.

That concludes my formal remarks. And I'll now turn the call over to Lindon for more specifics about the quarter and our outlook for Q1.

Lindon G. Robertson -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Steve. And I refer you to the slides on our website. I'll start with summary highlights on Slide three. On a full year basis, our 2019 revenue was 24% higher than 2018, supported by growth in both segments of semiconductor and life sciences.

Our full-year operating margin expanded 130 basis points, as we saw performance improvements in each of our segments. Semiconductor and the life sciences sample management business results each improved year-over-year, and we were further supported by the addition of GENEWIZ to our portfolio.

And we ended the year on a strong note with Q4 delivering revenue growth and margin expansion too. Revenue grew 25% year-to-year, fueled by life sciences with double-digit organic growth in sample management and strong pro forma growth in GENEWIZ. The semiconductor business provided relative stability, compared to the industry, with just a modest decline year-over-year. I will give you more color on the details as we go through the charts.

Our Q4 operating margin expanded 140 basis points compared to one year ago. This improvement was driven by life sciences, which recorded 580 basis points expansion year-over-year, while semiconductor operating margins were stable on lower revenue.

Cash flow from operations followed suit with a strong Q4 finish. We are reporting operating cash flow of $33 million for the fourth quarter, but this includes absorbing $13 million of deal fees related to the closure of the Semiconductor Cryogenics sale. Excluding these one-time fees, adjusted cash flow from operations was $46 million, making it one of the strongest quarters of cash generation the company has seen in many years.

As a final summary point, you will hear a positive outlook, as we are reiterating our targets for 2020 provided during our Investor Day in September, with our confidence only increasing given the positive data points in the semiconductor market and the momentum of our life sciences business.

Let's now move on to Slide four for details of the quarter. Our top line revenue increased 25% from a year ago to $200 million for the quarter. This was driven by an 85% increase in life sciences more than offsetting a 3% decline in semiconductor solutions. In our life sciences business, organic growth increased to double digit range, reaching 10% this quarter. On a sequential basis, the revenue decline of 2% was driven by a 9% sequential decline in semiconductor solutions and a very strong 7% quarter-to-quarter growth in life sciences.

Looking at the GAAP earnings on the left side of the page, we're reporting $5.69 in earnings per share for the total company basis, largely driven by the gain on the sale of the Semiconductor Cryogenics business in the discontinued operations line. The sale closed for $675 million, approximately 4.5 times the revenue generated in the final 12 months of ownership.

Inside the continuing operations P&L, I will highlight that we reported a $5 million charge, or $0.06 per diluted share, on the July 1st debt extinguishment with the proceeds from the Cryo sale. Earnings per share from continuing operations were $0.08 per diluted share, compared to $0.01 per share last quarter and a loss of $0.02 in Q4 of 2018.

Let's shift over to the right side and address the non-GAAP results. Non-GAAP gross margin came in at 42%, an improvement of 160 basis points from a year ago. This reflects a 480 basis point improvement in life sciences gross margins, and a 20 basis point decline in semiconductor gross margins year-over-year. Gross margin improvement and operating expense management yielded 140 basis point year-over-year improvement in operating margins to reach 10.8% for the quarter. Sequentially, gross margins were lower by 60 basis points, with similar level pressure in each segment on a sequential basis.

In operating expenses, the increase year-to-year was largely driven by the addition of the GENEWIZ operating structure, partially offset with a decline in variable compensation for the company. On a sequential view, operating expense increased 3% with investments in GENEWIZ SG&A and semiconductor research and development.

As highlighted mid-year, the lower cycle in the semiconductor business and the slower growth in sample management this year drove lower variable compensation accruals for our fiscal 2019. If we look into next quarter, we will see approximately $2 million additional operating expense due to resetting variable compensation accruals for the fiscal year 2020 being set back to an expectation for the full target achievement in 2020.

Below operating income, the P&L benefited from lower interest expense in both comparisons, sequentially and year-over-year. In total, net income for the quarter was $17 million or $0.24 per share, a 43% increase year-over-year and 20% increase, compared sequentially to Q3.

Let's turn over to Slide five to review the full-year 2019 performance. We finished the year with revenue of $782 million, a 24% increase over last year. GENEWIZ drove the growth in dollars of $126 million. Sample management drove growth of $11 million and 8% organic growth for the year, and semiconductor $13 million in growth with 3% reported growth for the year. As the semiconductor equipment market has been down approximately 20% this year, we've been very pleased with our level of growth in the semi environment.

On the GAAP side of the page, we see a healthy 100 basis points expansion of operating margin on the strength of gross margins. And below operating income, we see the higher interest expense, the debt extinguishment charges noted earlier, and a larger difference in tax expense year-over-year, due to the $43 million impact of the reversal of a US-based valuation allowance in the prior year.

On the non-GAAP side, you also see solid margin expansion in gross margins and operating income. This reflects performance improvements in semiconductor and sample management, as well as a benefit from adding GENEWIZ to the portfolio. Below operating income, we had $13 million of higher net interest expense. And on the tax line, our rate was 19% for the year, 2.2 percentage points higher than 2018. We expect a non-GAAP tax rate in 2020 at 21% to 25%. In total, we delivered $0.77 of earnings per share, up 20% from last year.

Let's turn now over to Page six and begin our discussion of the segment results. In the fourth quarter, life sciences revenue was $94 million, which was an increase of 85% year-over-year, including the addition of GENEWIZ revenue of $40 million and 10% organic growth in sample management driving that business to another $54 million. The higher growth in sample management was driven by the strength in consumables and instruments and the B III Cryo store systems, which Steve highlighted.

GENEWIZ performance was impressive, with revenue growth at 29% over Q4 last year on a pro forma basis, supported with double digit growth in both sequencing and synthesis. Next-generation sequencing growth has been particularly strong this quarter, as we've seen growth from the combination of new customer wins and the existing GENEWIZ customers, who are now using those next-generation services for the first time.

The gross margin trend you see in the fourth quarter reflects higher performance by sample management on both comparisons, quarter-to-quarter and year-to-year. The GENEWIZ business contributes favorably to mix and the year-over-year margin improvement, and the sequential gross margin decline was driven by investments in GENEWIZ, while gross margins in sample management improved.

Life sciences operating margins came in at the 7.2% that you see, an increase of 580 basis points year-over-year and approximately flat quarter-to-quarter. The year-to-year improvement reflects gross margin improvement in sample management and the leverage benefit of top line revenue on stable operating expense. The addition of GENEWIZ of course also benefited the operating margin line.

The life science summary for the full-year shows revenue growth of 70%, organic revenue growth of 8%, and segment profit that was 5 times greater than fiscal 2018. We have highlighted the transformational dynamics of our GENEWIZ acquisition. And in the fourth quarter, the addition of GENEWIZ and its continued growth, along with the growth of sample management has driven life sciences to be the 47% of total revenue, and it carried with it an improved gross margin profile.

As we look toward our first fiscal quarter of 2020, we expect life sciences revenue to be in the range of $92 million or better. As referenced last quarter, we are setting our expectation for revenue on a lower basis of expectation than we see as potential for the market growth until we see solid signs of consistent incremental progress in sample management. Our analysis currently indicates Q1 revenue to be flat to down 3% sequentially. But more importantly, this supports 10% year-over-year organic growth for the segment, this in line and on track with our -- is in line and on track with our full-year model shared in September at our Investor Day.

Let's turn to the semiconductor business now on Slide seven. Semiconductor Solutions revenue of $106 million in the quarter decreased 9%, compared to the third quarter of 2019 and 3% year-over-year. This was consistent with our expectations. Continued strength in our contamination control solutions on the wafer carrier side and sequential improvement in vacuum robots supported stability in the business, but that was not enough to offset the softer shipments in automation systems and in the CCS reticle stockers.

We are encouraged by the sequential pickup within the robotics business, which primarily represents our tier 1 OEM sales, and which is expected to continue to pick up in this coming quarter. The continued signs of momentum at the OEM customer front and strong bookings in contamination control solutions provides a good starting position for the first quarter of our 2020 fiscal year.

The semiconductor adjusted gross margin was down about 60 basis points sequentially this quarter at 41.1%, with the result primarily a function of product mix as a result of lower volumes in our systems business. For the full-year, adjusted gross margins increased 60 basis points year-over-year, reflecting slightly favorable mix toward the tier 2 OEMs and systems, and fab end users on the contamination control side. This margin performance, combined with expense controls, resulted in full-year operating income increase of 13% and 140 basis points and operating margin expansion, compared to fiscal 2018.

As we look toward our first fiscal quarter of 2020, we expect semiconductor revenue to be in the range of $112 million to $119 million. We are very encouraged by the backlog strength and the industry indicators, which aligns us for our 2020 growth objectives outlined in September.

Let's turn our to Slide eight for a summary of cash flow. Operating cash flow in the fourth quarter achieved $33 million. As referenced earlier, GAAP accounting requires the payment of M&A fees that were entirely contingent on the closure of the Cryo sale to be reflected as a use of operating cash. So if we remove this, I'm happy to report again cash from operations was $46 million, one of the strongest quarters of cash flow in many years.

Many categories of inventory and purchase obligations were worked down in the first half of the year. And in this quarter, we saw an absolute reduction in fourth quarter inventory by $5 million and an increase of payables of $12 million, making working capital a significant contributor, along with the earnings from sales. As we closed the year, the total of our cash and marketable securities at September 30th stood at $342 million. And excluding debt, we carry a net cash position of $291 million.

Let's turn now over to Slide nine and allow me to comment further on this cash position and what to expect as we review the balance sheet. You could see that the $342 million of cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, marketable securities at the top of the year-end column. Let me draw your attention down to our current liabilities, which shows an increase to $183 million. This includes $95 million of taxes payable, due in January for the gain on the sale of the Cryo business. So net of settling those payments, we have approximately $195 million of cash available for investment in addition to a significantly larger capacity to take on debt if and when it is appropriate. The balance sheet as strong as we enter 2020.

Let's turn to Slide 10 for our guidance for the first fiscal quarter of 2020. Revenue is expected to be in the range of $204 million to $214 million, with semiconductor range between that $112 million to $119 million level and life sciences $92 million or better. Adjusted EBITDA is anticipated to be $29 million to $35 million, non-GAAP earnings per share to be $0.20 to $0.27 per share, and the GAAP earnings per share is expected to be $0.09 to $0.17.

In addition, we provide some additional guidance on this page for the year, expecting a non-GAAP tax rate somewhere between 21% to 25%, and capital expenditures will be in the range of $50 million to $60 million, which includes the building expenditure in China for $20 million and interest expense we expect to be negligible.

Before I turn the call back over to the operator for Q&A, I will reflect on our view of 2020. As indicated in the segment commentary, we're very encouraged with the momentum of the business and the markets as we enter 2020. We always view our semiconductor projections that reach out any further than the next quarter as a model based on our product plans, our indicators from our design-ins, and the customer commentary.

More specifically, we generally have little backlog beyond the current quarter in semi. But in this case, we have seen some longer-term orders come in to reserve capacity for contamination control solutions and were encouraged by the projections of the tier 1 OEM customers. For these reasons and with momentum in life sciences, we've gained additional confidence in our 2020 model as shared in September.

So that concludes our prepared remarks. I'll now turn the call back over to Chris, the operator, to take questions from the line.

Questions and Answers:


Thank you. [Operator Instructions] Our first question is from the line of Craig Ellis with B Riley, FBR. Please go ahead.

Craig Ellis -- B Riley, FBR -- Analyst

Thanks for taking the question and congratulations on the strong performance in the business, guys. Steve, I'll just start with a follow-up to some of your prepared remarks. So it seems like there are some very encouraging things that are happening in sample management. You outlined at Analyst Day a number of things that you saw in the business that you wanted to improve, and it sounds like you're making progress there. The question is, relative to where you'd like that business to be operating when it's firing on all cylinders, if you will, where are we now and what's left to do to get the business to where you'd like it to be?

Stephen S. Schwartz -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. Thanks, Craig. I think your observations are right. We feel good about the business. We're going to need a couple of quarters of proof points for you, but generally the go-to-market approach is good. We're streamlining some activities inside, and we feel confident that will -- as we come out of 2020 that we'll be back in double digit growth rates. So our assessment is that the opportunity is absolutely still there. The customer demand is there. And from the standpoint of the engagement of the team and the engagement of the customers, things are generally positive.

I mentioned that the revenue in the current quarter, December quarter, will be flat to maybe slightly down. We just -- we want to build a little bit more confidence in -- as we're building backlog, we want to build more confidence in that we can deliver the revenue. But it feels like positive turn for us.

Craig Ellis -- B Riley, FBR -- Analyst

That's really helpful. And then the next question I had is related to semi. So some of your commentary on semi and the fact that the visibility now shows just one quarter of downturn would explain why David was smiling at Analyst Day. But as you look at the business, one, can you frame for us, one, how comfortable you are with just the near-term production capacity in the CCS business, given the strength that you're seeing with orders? Do you have enough capacity? Do you need to make any changes?

And then secondly, you noted that advanced packaging would be a little bit more muted near-term, maybe flatter. What trajectory do you see coming off of some of these more stable near-term trends in that part of the business?

Stephen S. Schwartz -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. Thanks, Craig. First of all, I think maybe the business is always strong because Dave smiles. So I think maybe that's the causal part. A couple things; we got out in front of the contamination control capacity. We started that months ago as we knew that it was coming. I think that we're keeping up pretty well, but I can tell you that it's tight. But customers -- if we could build one more unit, customers would take one more unit. But I think that we have a good understanding of what it looks like for December and March. And we spent a lot of time going out to customers. And it's probably one of the reasons the orders are strong. We've gone to customers and let them know that capacity was going to be constrained, and I think that's why people are trying to get into the queue.

But by and large, the opportunities aren't going by, but the factory is really full, I can tell you that. But it feels like a good balance right now, and it's heavily foundry loaded. But as I mentioned, the balance of customers and the breadth of the applications is really good.

On the advanced packaging, again, we've always said that we don't have particularly good visibility there. But we know that we continue to get new design-in wins, and it feels like just a pause right now. So dropping down to a $10 million level is the lowest we've been in quite some time. But likely, as China business begins to pick up and some of the manufacturers for the advanced packaging continue to go, we feel confident about the business, and I just wish we had more visibility than we do.

It feels like it might be a relatively flat December quarter before we see some pick up hopefully in early 2020. But we are really confident about the share positions that we have and the amount of design activity that we have to support the next generation of advanced packaging. I think the team is all over it, and customers know that we're in the front position there.

Craig Ellis -- B Riley, FBR -- Analyst

And that's great. And then if I could just ask Lindon a clarification. Lindon, thanks for all the financial color. You noted that expenses in the first fiscal quarter would be up as the model embeds more of a full bonus accrual or variable comp impact.

The question is, are there any other items in expenses that would be either positive or negative sequentially? And how should we think about the multi quarter impacts of that line item, given that around the corner in the first calendar quarter we would typically have FICA and other things that would come into the model?

Lindon G. Robertson -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes, it's a great question. So to fine-tune on that, I don't think you're going to see any more than the $2 million pressure. In fact, we're working on some of the structure around sample management and our overall corporate on the stranded cost concept that we've talked about since the divestiture was announced. So I would say we're not going to make it all up, but think of it was $1 million to $2 million of pressure in the quarter, probably, quarter-to-quarter.

Implications on the year, we're not going to constrain investments in GENEWIZ or in the R&D space to do design wins, and we're going to continue to lean things out. But I think you should take the Q1 and probably extrapolate off of that, and I'll just highlight to you that that gets us pretty close to the model that we've described previously. We have afford all of -- we afford that Q1 result extrapolated for the year in the model that we described. And as we tweak it going forward and as margins evolve, we're going to manage this. We're going to manage it to optimize growth, but very focused on operating margins. so...

Craig Ellis -- B Riley, FBR -- Analyst

Very helpful. Thanks guys.

Stephen S. Schwartz -- President and Chief Executive Officer



Our next question is from the line of Paul Knight with Janney. Please go ahead.

Paul Knight -- Janney -- Analyst

Hi, guys. Steve, congrats on the quarter. Can you talk about how much of life science would you attribute to the cell and gene market right now, if you can? And what steps have you taken on the large stores business? Are you half done there to get profitability up?

Stephen S. Schwartz -- President and Chief Executive Officer

So, Paul, I probably owe you an answer a little bit later on the fraction that's cell and gene. But out of the $94 million, I think we could probably attribute $5 million to that, just to give you a rough idea. However, the investments we're making, as you're aware, in the B III Cryo, in the Cryo pod and the transport and handling, is pretty significant. We store in Indianapolis in BioStorage now a considerable amount of customer cell lines and cells in Indianapolis. And the offerings that we have in GENEWIZ are now getting more redirected around some of the applications that support cell and gene.

So, I think it's a really good question for us to give you a little bit better answer. But right now it's certainly in the 5% range, and we'll be a little more crystal about that as we go forward.

Paul Knight -- Janney -- Analyst

And then on the stores business?

Stephen S. Schwartz -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes, on the large automated stores, I think we're making good progress. I think there's a lot of -- there's been a lot of focus on that over the past quarters anyway. But the activity related to the installations, the activity related on the purchasing and on the manufacturing side, I think are getting streamlined. And when you start to see gross margin improvements, a lot of that's coming from the activities in stores.

We're 25%. If I had to guess, we're 25% of the way that we're going to be. And as we exit 2020, that'll be a lot more fit business. But the team is really focused around the kinds of things that improve the efficiency that bring the cost down, and specifically getting the performance of the tools out of the chute in the install phase. And I think there's a lot of good activity there. So I'd say we're 25% accomplished, but 75% energized around it.

Paul Knight -- Janney -- Analyst

And then lastly, Steve, it seems like GENEWIZ with that 29% year-over-year pro forma was -- I think that's the best number I've heard coming out of GENEWIZ. Is it you've added square footage on the lab space? What would you attribute that level of growth to?

Stephen S. Schwartz -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Paul, every day we're impressed more and more by the service level capability of the GENEWIZ team. These are incredibly strong scientists solving important problems for customers. And every time they solve one, a customer brings them another one. And what we find is -- we talk about adding 270 new customers just in North America and Europe. The customer capture speaks for the capabilities of this team. And like Lindon said, we're not going to constrain them, we're going to just keep adding capacity and capability because they seem to be able to bring it in and deliver. So we're really pleased by the performance. We don't know how long we'll sustain it, but it's as good a team as the numbers show.

Lindon G. Robertson -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Paul, I'll add a little color to that too. Just operationally, this is a space where we have the conversation pretty regularly as what is the capacity requirements for the next quarter and are we making -- do we see any pinch points. And so this is a focus that we never turn away a customer in that sequencing space, because we know, once we turn somebody away, you've got to invite them back pretty wholeheartedly. So we'd like to keep them, so we watch the capacity pretty carefully.

Paul Knight -- Janney -- Analyst



Our next question is from the line of Patrick Ho with Stifel. Please go ahead.

Patrick Ho -- Stifel -- Analyst

Thank you very much. Steve, maybe first off on the life sciences end, you mentioned the go-to-market strategy is seeing some tangible effects, particularly in the consumables and service side of things. Is that strategy having an impact across the board? And is that what is giving you more confidence that 2020 is heading for a potential growth year?

Stephen S. Schwartz -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes, Patrick. I think it's a combination of everything. I think the offerings are really strong. And when we were at the Investor and Analyst Day, we talked specifically about how do we have the people who are out capturing business doing more of that, and how do we support them internally so that they don't spend so much time inside the company, but are rather out with customers, and that we can support the things that they bring in with internal capability.

I think that's been the first part of it, is how do we let the salespeople go sell. And I think that's been -- that had the biggest impact. And I think we've streamlined the offerings to make sure that we're going after business that we really ought to be capturing. And we have more work to do there. That's not something we turn particularly quickly. But the team is really engaged. The go-to-market activities that we have we think are solid. And we do have more salespeople to add to the company, and it's active right now. We've made some progress and we're going to keep bringing some people who can help us to add more to the backlog and then ultimately get product shipped to customers.

Patrick Ho -- Stifel -- Analyst

Great, that's helpful. And my follow up on the semiconductor side of things, you mentioned that you're starting to see a recovery on the top tier vacuum robots business, which is not a major surprise given some of the turns that we're starting to see in the wafer fab equipment spending market. Given that we're starting to also see some new tools both on the etch and deposition side, I guess hit high volume at these leading edge nodes. Can you characterize how you're seeing design-ins that you may have had over the past year or two now starting to hit high volume with your top tier customers?

Stephen S. Schwartz -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes, I think the answer's in the question there, Patrick. So I think without question we've been able to gain share. Some of the technologies that we brought in the latest generation of robots really relate to much higher temperature, much more severe contamination that's in a tool, and in particular the very precise placement of the wafers. And those are wins that we've been accumulating over the past couple years.

And indeed, we're beginning to see those tools shipped, so the share gains that Dave Jarzynka talked about are beginning to show up. And we anticipate that as those new tools begin to hit the market here in 2020 that we'll be able to report increased share gains and better profitability out of the vacuum robot business.

Patrick Ho -- Stifel -- Analyst

Great, thank you very much.

Stephen S. Schwartz -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Patrick.


[Operator Instructions] Our next question is from the line of Jacob Johnson with Stephens. Please go ahead.

Jacob Johnson -- Stephens -- Analyst

Hey, thanks. Steve, maybe following up on your salespeople commentary just now, these new salespeople you're adding in sample management, is this working to sell more into existing customers, or is this more about adding new customers in terms of those initiatives?

Stephen S. Schwartz -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes, Jacob. I think the thing that we want to focus on in particular is we mentioned that we've got some large accounts that we can expand to have other accounts of like characteristics also be large accounts for us. So it's mostly for new and deeper penetrations at customers where we ought to have a greater presence.

So the teams that are covering accounts currently are doing an exceptional job, and they'll continue to win more business from those accounts. What we're really after, how do we continue to approach customers, who are not currently customers in the same way that some of the large accounts are.

Jacob Johnson -- Stephens -- Analyst

Got it. And then obviously really nice organic growth on the sample management business this quarter, but I would be interested if you could kind of tease out how that flowed down to sample management margins in the quarter.

Lindon G. Robertson -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Jacob, could you tie that question back together for me again?

Jacob Johnson -- Stephens -- Analyst

Yes. I guess my question is this. You saw nice margin expansion in life sciences in the quarter. I think GENEWIZ was a help, and I think sample management margins probably also expanded. But to the extent you would want to quantify that, I'm just interested to kind of understand how sample management margins performed on a year-over-year basis?

Lindon G. Robertson -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes. So actually, it's a good question because we didn't have GENEWIZ a year ago. So in the quarter, we're up almost 600 basis points, about 580 basis points year-over-year in the segment. And our op income this quarter at 7.2%, it's really similar operating income margins between the two businesses this quarter. So fluctuation in GENEWIZ is still taking place one quarter to the next, but they happen to be pretty similar this quarter.

We're encouraged exactly on the point that -- the strength in sample management, and we're equally encouraged by the amount of profit that GENEWIZ has brought into the company. One thing to note, that just year-over-year, if you look at the operating income of the company, it was up a total of about $26 million. $17 million of that on the year-to-year difference came from life sciences, the addition of GENEWIZ, but also significant improvement in sample management. So it's the diversification going to -- finishing the year at 47% of our revenue in life sciences. I know early in our life cycle of this transformation, people questioned is this going to have the impact, when will it have the impact. Well, I think we're seeing the impact now.

So I think your margin question is absolutely right. I'll highlight that sample management still has more leverage to be had as we grow it. We don't see the need as much for the operating expense structure to expand on GENEWIZ, where we have higher gross margins. We'll continue to fuel that with SG&A, and you'll continue to see leverage out of that. But it's out of top line growth and higher gross margins.

Jacob Johnson -- Stephens -- Analyst

I appreciate that, Lindon. And maybe a last question and give you a chance to answer Paul's question, if you have the answer. But just on cell and gene therapy, obviously a lot going on there. I'd just be interested what areas of your life sciences segment where you're seeing sort of the most strength from these customers?

Stephen S. Schwartz -- President and Chief Executive Officer

So right now the one we can quantify is on the BioStorage, so on the Cryo stores and in biostorage. So we're beginning to handle more cells. And what we find is that the cell and gene therapy research institutions understand that handling the samples is really critical. And again, we need a breakdown for the gene side of the business. It's not as obvious or as clear, but we'll work on that for sure. But what we're seeing is, in the developments in the handling and the storage of retains on the cell therapy side, we think along the manufacturing chain and ultimately on the dosing side, there's going to be an opportunity for a significant expansion in the automated stores.

Jacob Johnson -- Stephens -- Analyst

Got it. Congrats on the quarter. Thanks for taking the questions.

Stephen S. Schwartz -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Jacob.

Lindon G. Robertson -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Jacob.


And there are no further questions on the phone lines at this time.

Lindon G. Robertson -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

So, Chris, with that, I'd just like to express my thanks to you, but the audience here that gives us their attention and their research hours, as well as the investments and confidence in Brooks. We couldn't be more pleased with the way we wrapped up the fiscal year. We're excited.

Obviously, two weeks before we finished this we outlined the Investor Day, so it shouldn't be any surprise that there were no surprises to us as we wrapped up, as well as that we're on track in this first quarter. We feel like we're in a really good spot, and we just so appreciate the time and confidence that you all give us. We wish you all the best as you head toward a holiday season, and we look forward to talking to you at the -- in the January timeframe. Thank you very much.


[Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 54 minutes

Call participants:

Mark Namaroff -- Director of Investor Relations

Stephen S. Schwartz -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Lindon G. Robertson -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Craig Ellis -- B Riley, FBR -- Analyst

Paul Knight -- Janney -- Analyst

Patrick Ho -- Stifel -- Analyst

Jacob Johnson -- Stephens -- Analyst

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