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Advanced Energy Industries Inc (NASDAQ:AEIS)
Q4 2019 Earnings Call
Feb 18, 2020, 8:30 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to the Advanced Energy Industries Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session and instructions will follow at that time. [Operator Instructions]

I would now like to introduce your host for this conference call Mr. Edwin Mok, Vice President of Strategic Marketing and Investor Relations. You may begin.

Edwin Mok -- Vice President of Strategic Marketing and Investor Relations

Thank you, operator. Good morning, everyone. Welcome to Advanced Energy's fourth quarter 2019 earnings conference call. With me today are Yuval Wasserman, our President and CEO; Paul Oldham, our Executive Vice President and CFO; and Brian Smith, our Director of Investor Relations. If you have not seen our earnings press release, you can find it on our website at ir.advanced-energy.com. There, you also find a slide presentation to follow along our discussion today.

Before I begin, I'd like to mention that Advanced Energy will be participating at multiple investor conferences in the coming months. As other events occur, we will make additional announcements. Let me remind you that today's call contains forward-looking statements, which are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially and not guarantees of future performance. Information concerning these risks and uncertainties is found on our filings with the SEC. All forward-looking statements are based on management's estimates, projections and assumptions as of today, February 18, 2020 and the Company assumes no obligation to update them. Long-term targets, including integration targets and aspirational goals presented today should not be interpreted in any respect as guidance.

Today's call also includes non-GAAP financial measures. An explanation of these measures as well as reconciliations between GAAP and non-GAAP measures are contained in our press release and slide presentation. During today's presentation, in additional to our reported financial results, we will provide revenue comparisons on a pro forma basis, which includes full historical revenues of the Artesyn acquisition in prior periods. In addition, we'll provide revenue comparison on an organic basis, which excludes the contribution of Artesyn revenue. We believe these data will help investors better understanding the performance of our results. Details of Artesyn historical revenues by market can be found on our website.

With that, let me pass the call to our President and CEO, Yuval Wasserman. Yuval?

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Thank you, Edwin. Good morning everyone and thank you for joining us on this call.

Before I start, let me touch on the outbreak of coronavirus. We are taking this threat seriously and have assigned an executive-led global team to mitigate risks and manage any impact on our employee base and operations. Since our most important priority is the health and safety of our employees, we are taking a prudent approach in restarting our Chinese production facilities in full coordination and compliance with local government. We have opened all our factories. However, with the uncertainty due to disruption in transportation, government-imposed limitation of people density in commercial buildings, and the slow rate of restarting supply chains after the extended break, our assumption is that our production output would be affected, and for that reason, our Q1 revenue guidance will be set below our growing customer demand. As the situation continues to evolve, we are actively collaborating with our suppliers and customers to mitigate impact on shipments.

Now, let me turn to our business. The fourth quarter marked a strong finish to a transformational year for Advanced Energy. Our quarterly revenue and earnings surpassed the top end of our guidance ranges, driven by market recovery in the semiconductor and data center computing verticals and incremental revenue growth from multiple prior design wins. On a pro forma basis, including a full quarter of Artesyn revenue in prior period, our Q4 total sales grew over 17% sequentially. Our team executed well to meet the increased demand, while at the same time, continuing to focus on expanding our design win pipeline with new products and technologies to support future growth. This quarter we also started shipping products from our new factory in Malaysia, following initial customer qualification, consistent with our strategy and in line with our customers' current and future manufacturing plants.

For the full year 2019, despite sluggish market condition for most of the year, our revenue increased nearly 10% to a record level of $789 million as we generated incremental revenues from our acquisition of Artesyn Embedded Power. Artesyn was solidly accretive to our Q4 results and the integration is going extremely well. Going into Q1, demand for our products remain strong and growing. However, as mentioned earlier, we expect our near-term revenue outlook to be impacted by the evolving situation in China, related to coronavirus outbreak. My forward-looking comments will focus on the demand trends we see across our markets while Paul will provide you with more details around impact of the coronavirus on our operating outlook.

Turning now to our markets and performance in the fourth quarter. Our sales into the semiconductor equipment market grew by 30% sequentially, more than double the anticipated growth rate. Market condition continued to improve during the quarter with strengthening foundry/logic and an increase in memory demand, coupled with an end for the inventory drawdown at key customers. More importantly, design wins we secured previously started to contribute to revenue growth and further strengthened our position at our customers. Our semiconductor service business was about flat sequentially with improved demand in Asia, offset by continued softness in North America. Based on our strong bookings and pull rate quarter-to-date, we expect overall demand in Q1 from the semiconductor equipment market to grow in the mid-teens sequentially.

At the December Analyst Day event, we outlined our growth strategies across the Company, including details for our semiconductor market. I'm pleased to report solid progress on these growth initiatives. During the quarter, we won a design into multi-wafer chamber deposition tool with AE's unique integrated RF architecture, based on the technical and cost advantages of our solutions. Also, AE penetrated additional customers with our remote plasma source, due to our products' high ion density, superior chamber life, and low cost of ownership.

In addition, we shipped multiple units of EVoS, our beyond RF power solution, to three strategic customers for evaluation. Customers are recognizing the benefits of our pioneering tunable ion energy technology that essentially allows process engineers to tailor the ion energy profile to each specific application. Lastly, we saw good traction with a broad portfolio of semiconductor power solutions, which will continue to drive increased dollar content within our customers' products.

Overall, our strategic decision to accelerate R&D investment over the last several quarters is beginning to pay dividends. Our customers are aggressively developing next-generation process solutions and our products are being adopted into new platforms. As our design win pipeline continues to strengthen, we are confident that our sales into semiconductor applications will continue to outgrow the market.

Turning to our industrial and medical markets, on a pro forma basis, sales were about flat sequentially. Macro market conditions remained challenging, especially in Europe and China as we experienced weak demand from industrial production and auto industries. Demand from solar customers were particularly light in the quarter as we did not see any significant project investment, especially in China. This was offset by near-term improvement in flat panel display, driven by mobile OLED applications and the continued strength in the medical equipment market, across multiple applications such as diagnostic systems, surgical tools, medical lasers, and cosmetic lasers. In addition, our industrial embedded power products saw strength across multiple applications such as motion control, robotics, horticulture, 3D printing and food processing. At the same time, we were successful in converting numerous prior design wins into revenue. In the medical equipment and analytical instrument market, we won multiple design wins, including an important one for a DNA sequencing application. We are gaining momentum in the medical space with our 2019 sales to one of our key medical device customers grew over 30% and in Q4, revenue from another leading customer reached its highest level in the last two years.

And in the industrial space, for advanced power products, we secured new design wins for next-generation glass manufacturing, industrial coating and flat panel displays. Looking forward, we expect demand from industrial and medical vertical to be down sequentially as several large programs were completed in Q4 and from continued overall market weakness. However, long term, we expect solid growth in this market given our design wins and improved market conditions over time.

Demand in the data center computing market was substantially stronger than we anticipated. Our Q4 sales into this market was 70% sequentially on a pro forma basis, driven by faster-than-expected ramp of multiple design wins at hyperscale customers and improvement in the overall data center computing market, after a weak first half in 2019. This quarter, revenue for hyperscale exceeded our expectations as we gained significant share at a Tier 1 hyperscale customer with our customized server power shelf solution. In addition, we gained market share at a key enterprise computing and storage customer, due to our high quality and ability to meet their requirements. Looking forward, although revenues may be lumpy given the large size of hyperscale projects, the successful ramp of existing design wins in our pipeline of new opportunities position us to grow in this vertical in 2020. With an industry-leading efficiency in power density, deep engineering capabilities, and strong application knowledge, we are gaining share in this market.

Turning lastly to telecom and networking, as we projected during our last quarter's earnings call, we saw sluggish market for telecom and networking equipment in Q4. Currently, demand from both telecom infrastructure and networking equipment OEM is weak due to the general slowdown in IT infrastructure investments. Many telecom providers are leveraging their investment in LTE Advanced for their initial 5G deployment, which is pushing out their next-generation 5G infrastructure spending. That said, we're actively engaged on a multiple 5G base station designs. In addition, recent design wins for next-generation enterprise and data center networking application have started to drive sales, partially offsetting the weakness in the market. Overall, we are projecting continued near-term pressure in the telecom and networking vertical and expect demand to approach a trough within the next one quarter to two quarters. Long term, we believe that drivers such as 5G and enterprise refresh would support growth in this vertical.

Let me now give you an update on our progress with our Artesyn acquisition. In the first few months since the close, we have already made significant progress. Leveraging strength across the combined company, we are building an integrated company with a functional organization for efficiency, speed, and accelerated innovation. Recently, we combined our sales force into a single team, which will drive key account and channel synergies, global reach, and efficiency. We've also integrated our manufacturing operation under a single new leadership team, which will enable us to drive factory consolidation and efficiency across the company and supply chain leverage. While the full impact will take several quarters, we are already seeing tangible benefits from combined supply chain activity. Further, I am pleased to report that our cross-selling efforts have yielded our first bookings for our embedded power products for use in auxiliary power applications in wafer fab equipment. This win gives us the confidence that over time, we will gain share in this $170 million new market opportunity. As we go through 2020, I'm increasingly confident in our ability to deliver on our target synergies and to create value to all our stakeholders.

In summary, I'm very excited that our Q4 performance ahead of expectations, our design win successes, the stronger constitution of our operating team, and the solid progress we are making in integrating Artesyn Embedded Power. While the coronavirus is impacting our operations and supply chain in near term, demand from our market is strengthening, driven by the growing need for solutions that enable the fourth industrial revolution. Our continued focus on enabling our customers innovation through our technologies and products is driving our growth pipeline of design wins and contributing to our revenue growth. Our strategy to be the pure play leader in precision electrical power is resonating with our customers. We are executing our profitable growth wins by targeting growth markets, gaining share across our verticals, and expanding into new and exciting opportunities. All these position us to deliver meaningful growth in revenue and earnings in 2020.

I'd like to thank our customers, shareholders, partners and our valued employees for your support. I look forward to seeing many of you in the upcoming quarter.

With that, let me turn the call over to Paul. Paul?

Paul Oldham -- Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Thank you, Yuval, and good morning everyone.

Total revenue for the fourth quarter of 2019 was $338 million, up from $175 million in Q3 which only included a partial month of Artesyn. Excluding Artesyn, organic revenue grew 18% sequentially and 3% year-over-year to $159 million. On a pro forma basis, including a full quarter of Artesyn revenue in prior periods, Q4 revenue grew 17% sequentially and 8.5% year-over-year, driven by strong growth in semiconductor equipment and data center computing. For the full year 2019, we recognized record revenues of $789 million, reflecting 9.7% growth over 2018. Excluding Artesyn, our 2019 revenues were $569 million, down 21% from 2018, primarily due to the downturn in the semiconductor equipment market in the first three quarters of the year and ongoing macro weakness affecting our industrial products.

Before I talk about our sales by markets, I want to note that my forward-looking comments for Q1 reflect our demand outlook, not revenue. I will cover our revenue outlook at the end of my comments, given the potential impact on our operations of the evolving situation in China. Semiconductor equipment revenue for Q4 was $125 million, up 30% from last quarter and 16% year-over-year. On a pro forma basis, semi revenues were up 28% sequentially, driven by 41% sequential growth in semi product sales. We saw continued growth in OEM demand, driven by investment in foundry/logic, some recovery in memory, and incremental contribution from our prior design wins. For the year, semi revenues were $403 million, down from $534 million last year. Looking to Q1, we expect demand in semi to grow sequentially in the mid-teens with growth from both foundry/logic and memory applications. This outlook would represent year-over-year growth of greater than 45%.

Revenue from our industrial and medical markets was $97 million, up significantly sequentially and year-over-year due to the addition of Artesyn. On a pro forma basis, revenues were down less than 1% sequentially. During the quarter, we saw continued macro weakness in several of our industrial sectors, but we were able to largely offset these macro trends with shipments of specific programs resulting from prior design wins for both existing and new embedded power products. Artesyn products contributed $61 million of sales into the industrial and medical markets in Q4, which was up 3.3% from Q3 on a pro forma basis. For the full year, industrial and medical revenues were $246 million, up from $185 million in 2018. Excluding Artesyn, 2019 revenues were $169 million, with a decline due mainly to weaker demand in flat panel display, consumer electronics related decorative and optical coatings, and glass manufacturing in Europe and China. Looking to Q1, we expect demand from this market to be down sequentially on normal seasonality and the absence of the one-time projects in Q4. Data center computing revenue was $78 million with significant growth versus the partial quarter recorded in Q3. On a pro forma basis, revenues were up about 70% sequentially and 27% year-over-year, based on the significant share gains, particularly in hyperscale that Yuval discussed earlier. In Q1, we expect demand to show modest sequential growth from the record Q4 with continued strength in hyperscale, offset by seasonally lower demand from enterprise computing customers.

Telecom and networking revenue was $38.5 million. On a pro forma basis, revenues declined about 20% from Q3, which was in line with our expectations and commentary last quarter. Looking forward, we expect continued pressure in this market with demand bottoming out in the next one quarter to two quarters. With our new market disclosures, service revenues are counted within our four market verticals, but on a stand-alone basis, our Q4 service revenue was $26.7 million, down slightly from Q3. For the year, our service revenue grew 2% to $111 million. However, if we exclude the central inverter service business that we sold in May of 2019, revenue grew 7% for the year, despite lower factory utilization by our customers.

Gross margin for the quarter was 33.2%. Cost of sales included approximately $6.8 million of acquisition-related charges and $2.2 million of facility expansion and relocation costs, primarily related to our strategic investment in the Malaysia factory. On a non-GAAP basis, gross margin was 35.9%, which is at the high end of our guided range. Gross margins benefited from lower fixed cost absorption on higher revenue and lower warranty costs. Looking to Q1, we expect adjusted gross margins to be in the 34% to 36% range. GAAP operating expenses in Q4 came in at $90 million, including $5.3 million of intangible amortization, $2.6 million of acquisition-related charges, $2.1 million of stock compensation and $2.1 million of restructuring and transition expenses. In addition in Q4, we recorded a one-time reserve of $4.2 million for doubtful accounts, related to our exposure in China to certain program delays and business conditions that have been further impacted by the coronavirus. This is reflected in both our GAAP and non-GAAP operating expenses. Non-GAAP operating expenses were $78 million. If we exclude the one-time reserve, our non-GAAP operating expenses came in below the low end of our guidance range on good expense control and initial synergy savings. Looking forward, we expect adjusted operating expenses in the first quarter to be between $73 million and $77 million.

GAAP operating margin for the quarter was 6.6%. Non-GAAP operating margin was 12.8%. Non-operating expenses on a GAAP basis came in at $4.8 million. On a non-GAAP basis, non-operating expense was $3.8 million, made up of $2.3 million of net interest expense, plus $1.5 million in foreign exchange loss and other items. Looking forward, we expect non-operating expense to run in the $1.5 million to $2 million range. In Q4, we recorded GAAP tax expense of $6.9 million or 40%, higher than normal due to the non-deductibility of certain transaction costs. Our non-GAAP tax expense was $6.2 million or 16%. Looking forward, we expect our GAAP and the non-GAAP tax rate to be in the range of 16% to 18% with the addition of Artesyn. On a GAAP basis, earnings per diluted share from continuing operations were $0.27 compared to earnings of $0.19 last quarter and $0.50 last year. Non-GAAP EPS for the quarter was $0.87, above the high end of our guidance due to higher revenue, favorable gross margin, and good expense management. This compares to $0.54 in the prior quarter and $0.73 a year ago.

Turning now to Artesyn, Q4 was the first full quarter of integrating Artesyn and the team has done a great job accelerating our efforts to realize the synergies of this acquisition. As of the end of Q4, we have realized synergies equivalent to over $10 million on an annualized basis. Combined with our strong performance in data center computing, Artesyn was solidly accretive in Q4, adding more than $0.20 per share to our non-GAAP earnings, including the interest expense of financing. While the level of accretion will fluctuate from quarter to quarter, we remain confident that we are well on our way to achieve our 18-month to 24-month target earnings accretion of over $0.80.

Turning now to the balance sheet. Operating cash flow from continuing operations was approximately $19 million which includes several one-time payments related to the Artesyn acquisition. Excluding these one-time payments, operating cash flow was over $45 million. We ended the quarter with cash and marketable securities of $349 million, up $8 million from Q3. Total debt was $339 million after amortization payments on the loan. Receivables decreased slightly and DSO was 66 days. Inventory decreased by $11 million and turns were 3.9 times. Payables decreased to $170 million due to timing of receipts and payments and represent 68 days DPO. Capital expenditures for the quarter were $9.5 million and depreciation was $5.5 million. The higher capital expenditures reflects a full quarter of Artesyn capex as well as increased investment related to the new manufacturing facility in Malaysia. During the quarter, we did not repurchase any shares.

Now, let me turn to guidance. Looking forward, we continue to see strong demand for our products and expect sequential growth in orders in Q1, led by semiconductor and data center markets. In addition, while visibility is low in the second half, we are encouraged by recent projections for improvement in our markets and believe that overall 2020 will be a solid growth year in both demand and revenue on an actual and pro forma basis. In the near term, we expect revenues to be impacted by the challenging environment in China related to coronavirus. As a result, we estimate revenues to be $310 million plus or minus $30 million in Q1. We estimate Q1 non-GAAP earnings at $0.70 per share plus or minus $0.30. Due to the uncertainty created by the novel coronavirus outbreak, we are providing a wider guidance range based on our team's current assessment of our supply chain, product delivery and production planning. In the near term, we expect to see some increased costs for expedite fees, transportation, and factory utilization as we actively work with our suppliers and customers to mitigate the challenge and fulfill our increasing backlog.

As a note, given our China footprint, we expect Artesyn products to be relatively more impacted and to represent just under half of our guided Q1 revenue, but to still be accretive to non-GAAP earnings. I want to stress that demand for our products is strong, continues to grow, and is above our revenue guidance. Although the coronavirus is disrupting our supply chain in the near term, we believe continued recovery in our markets, our increased revenue diversity and success in securing additional design wins should mitigate the near-term impact and still enable solid growth year-over-year for 2020. Combined with our efforts to realize synergies, we expect to accelerate earnings growth and improve return on invested capital over time.

With that, we will open the call to your questions. Operator?

Questions and Answers:

Operator

[Operator Instructions] Our first question comes from Quinn Bolton with Needham & Company.

Quinn Bolton -- Needham & Company -- Analyst

Hey, guys, congratulations on the strong fourth quarter results. Thanks for all the qualitative color around the impact near term on the coronavirus, but wondering if you might be able to give us some sense of how much you shaved off the March quarter guide due to the outbreak. If I look through your segments, semi-cap equipment and data center both being up or demand for both segments being up sequentially, makes me think that you could have easily shaved $20 million or $30 million off of the March quarter guide. Is that the right kind of ballpark to be thinking about?

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Quinn, hi. This is Yuval. Yes, pretty much. Let me expand a little bit on the coronavirus. We view that as a temporary situation. Obviously, it's evolving daily with high level of uncertainty, but we are highly confident in our team's focus and a strong execution and our nimble and agile operation. We have opened our Chinese factories and actively managed our supply chain and operational risks. Many of our suppliers in China have just reopened the factories yesterday, February 17, while some have not restarted yet. We are implementing different solutions to expedite delivery of materials to the comment that Paul said earlier and component through alternative channels and transportation means. We're accelerating the return of direct labor to work and ramping up production capacity in factories outside of China. Our strategy to have multiple factory strategy around the globe is helping us as we have capacity in Malaysia and the Philippines. Some of our support functions are uninterrupted because people work from home, people like demand planning, management, etc. working from home. So again, we view that as a temporary problem and we start seeing signs of recovery.

Quinn Bolton -- Needham & Company -- Analyst

Great. And just a follow-up for Paul. The gross margin guidance of 34% to 36% sounds like it doesn't include some sort of near-term effect from the virus. You mentioned the expedited fees. Can you give us some sense, is that impact, 100 basis points or any further guidance you can kind of give us as to the near-term impact from some of those expedite and other costs you're incurring because of the coronavirus.

Paul Oldham -- Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Yeah, I think obviously gross margin is amalgamation of a lot of factors, right. And certainly, our semi demand is strong and will benefit the mix a little bit in the next quarter, but broadly speaking, there is probably a 50 basis point to 100 basis point impact from just inefficiencies associated with the coronavirus that's baked into that number.

Quinn Bolton -- Needham & Company -- Analyst

Great. And then last question from me, Yuval, yesterday the Wall Street Journal published an article saying that US Commerce Department may be looking to change the foreign direct product rule and require export licenses for semiconductor capital equipment to worldwide fabs. I know this is sort of very recent news, but have you considered what impact such a change in the foreign direct product rule might have on your business or is it too early to quantify?

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Quinn, right now, we don't believe that this will impact us significantly.

Quinn Bolton -- Needham & Company -- Analyst

Okay, great. Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from Tom Diffely with DA Davidson.

Tom Diffely -- DA Davidson -- Analyst

Yes, good morning. First, Paul, a question on the backlog. It looked like it was down about 11% sequentially. I would have thought that this is the time of the year where you'll be ramping up ahead of nice semi ramp here.

Paul Oldham -- Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Yeah, Tom, one thing you have to remember is that our backlog is only a partial reflection of our orders because the vast majority of our semi-product is pulled on adjusted time basis. And so, that activity is not reflected in the backlog.

Tom Diffely -- DA Davidson -- Analyst

Okay. Makes sense. And then, I guess you're talking about the semi demand that you're seeing right now. Are you seeing -- is your demand close to equaling what do you think the end market demand is or do you actually seeing your customers start to build some inventory ahead of their ramps.

Paul Oldham -- Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Well, I wouldn't say we're seeing our customers build inventory. Although the pull rates in December, I think, were strong as you saw from our revenue, but I think that overall, the market's up and we are growing faster than the market for a number of reasons. One, I think we have good exposure to foundry/logic which is what's driving a lot of the demand right now. Secondly, we have seen incremental benefit from some of our design wins that we've talked about over the last few quarters. And third, we had a headwind last year relative to inventory at our customers that basically all sold through Q3. So, we're not seeing that headwind anymore, which is giving us effectively the benefit of faster growth in the market where last year we saw the other side of that.

Tom Diffely -- DA Davidson -- Analyst

Okay. And then, also you talked about 20% contribution from Artesyn, that's a little bigger than we were expecting. Was there more to it than just the nice ramp on the data center side or there was the cost reduction? What drove the upside there?

Paul Oldham -- Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Well, it is a combination of things and it's $0.20 is what we said.

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

It's $0.20, right.

Paul Oldham -- Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

$0.20 of incremental EPS or accretion that's after the finance interest costs, but yeah, it is -- we've seen good revenue pickup. We've also been able to see the initial benefit of some of the synergies that we've implemented. We're at an annualized rate of savings coming out of Q4 of a little over $10 million, which we think is directionally right on track to achieve our longer-term goals. Those are coming from a number of actions we were able to take right off the bat around corporate costs, some initial structuring -- restructuring that we did, some actions that we took in the sales channel to get some efficiencies. So, we are seeing the culmination of those things leading to the benefits that you see there and the accretion. We're excited. I think we're off to a good start and we are especially excited about how the organizations are coming together and working together right out of the bat.

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Tom, the other great news about the Artesyn acquisition, we already started generating bookings from the semi-wafer fab equipment industry for the Artesyn products and this cross-selling opportunity that we talked about as a potential revenue synergy is coming faster than and earlier than we thought. So, this is really exciting.

Tom Diffely -- DA Davidson -- Analyst

Okay, great. And then finally, when you look -- I guess you talked a lot about how the supply chain was impacted by the coronavirus. What about -- or what are you seeing on the demand side, any disruptions there?

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

We -- go ahead.

Paul Oldham -- Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Yeah. I think it may be too early to see that impact, but we certainly have seen no change in sort of the demand pattern that we saw coming out of Q4 and into Q1 as Yuval mentioned. We've seen a strong start to the quarter and I think the demand picture continues to be robust.

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

The demand continues to be strong and robust. We do not see any additional demand driven by concern about allocations or shortage. We just see healthy demand driven by market needs. In semi, for example, one area, data center computing another area.

Tom Diffely -- DA Davidson -- Analyst

Okay, thank you for your time.

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Sure.

Paul Oldham -- Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Thanks, Tom.

Operator

Our next question comes from Krish Sankar with Cowen and Company.

Krish Sankar -- Cowen and Company -- Analyst

Yeah, hi. Thanks for taking my question. Yuval, I just wanted to go back to another earlier questions on the Wall Street Journal article speculation. You said that you see minimal impact. I'm kind of curious, is that answer more based on you talking to your customers? I'm just kind of curious like why you think there's, I mean, minimal impact for the sector if that article is true?

Paul Oldham -- Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

This is based on our assessment and knowledge of our customer base and where we sell. Obviously, we did not talk to our customers since the Wall Street Journal article was published. As you know, we sell worldwide. We are manufacturing worldwide. We have customers around the globe and right now, when it comes to the near term, we don't see any significant impact on our business. Long term, we don't know.

Krish Sankar -- Cowen and Company -- Analyst

Got it, got it. That's very helpful, Yuval. And then -- and just a question on your facilities in China. You said that it is open, but the production output is affected. I'm kind of curious what is the bottleneck? Is it really labor -- getting all the people on board and like trying to ramp up the factory or what is the bottleneck in that supply chain ramp up? And typically, how long will it take to ramp it up to 100% utilization?

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

So, it's a combination of practically three drivers. The first driver was basically immediately after the Chinese New Year and the extended length of the holiday by the government is the rate of return of employees back to the companies and back to the factories. And it was driven by limitations of transportation vehicles and means of transportation areas in China that were under quarantine by the government and the rate of return was also controlled by the government locally that wanted to ensure that factories are safe for the employees -- and the safe, the health, and the well-being of our employees is the Number 1 priority and we put together significant measures and means to ensure that this health of our employees is protected.

So the rate of return -- and it's ramping. We see growth in the number of people that are going back to work across our factories. The other area is supply chain. As I said earlier, some of our suppliers are back to work, full -- not full capacity. Some of them are ramping and there are small suppliers, especially closer to areas that are in the epicenter, that haven't started yet. We are working closely with our suppliers. We are also working with hubs and inventory that is in the pipeline in the channel to ensure that we can get that inventory into our factories.

And lastly, the third aspect is the ability to move material around in various transportation means and when we talk about expediting fees and investment in other ways and means to get material, it's exactly that. How do we reroute material in channels and transportation means that will ensure that we get the material to the factories. So, it's multifaceted.

Krish Sankar -- Cowen and Company -- Analyst

Got it. Thanks a lot for the color, Yuval. Just one final question. It's very nice to see the Malaysia facility ramp up, but with the virus, does this delay your China facility consolidation or do you think that's still per timelines.

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

No, it's totally independent. In fact, we were in the process of ramping our Malaysia factory and because of this coronavirus situation, we are accelerating the ramp of the Malaysia factory. Obviously, we also need to remember that some of the supplies that go into the Malaysia factory come from China. So it's a -- basically a very carefully planned and executed strategy around how to get material, how to get labor, and how to ramp. We are shipping products from the Malaysia factory to our global customers.

Krish Sankar -- Cowen and Company -- Analyst

Thanks you, Yuval. Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from Amanda Scarnati with Citi.

Amanda Scarnati -- Citi -- Analyst

Hi, good morning. Thanks for taking the question.

Paul Oldham -- Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Hey, Amanda.

Amanda Scarnati -- Citi -- Analyst

Just to kind of continue on to the coronavirus. I hope this is the last question on it. Could that undershipment of demand be met in the June quarter or is this sort of a longer-term trajectory of retail going up in demand, i.e. do you have the capacity in your fabs to ramp at significantly higher rate in the June quarter?

Paul Oldham -- Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Yeah, I think at this point, Amanda, the environment continues to evolve. It's fairly uncertain how fast things can ramp back up, but we think it would probably realistically take a couple of quarters before we would see a full recovery. That could be a little longer, a little shorter depending on how fast things come back, but there is a lot of variables we don't know at this point.

Amanda Scarnati -- Citi -- Analyst

Okay. And then, you mentioned in the telecom and networking that the demand is down in the March quarter. Do you expect another one quarter to two quarters of continued pressure before that business bottoms. Can you talk about what you're seeing there and sort of what gives you the confidence in potentially the back half of the year that you can start to see some revenue recovery?

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Well, I think we're entering potentially to the bottom of the market within a quarter or two and this is mainly driven by multiple factors. First of all, as you know that the consensus out there is that the market will recover later this year and we tend to agree with that. We saw a delay of investment in infrastructure around 5G. There's a lot of combination of government and industry forces acting upon the the infrastructure investment in 5G. The use of LTE Advanced for 5G applications push the investment further out. There's some government involvement around 5G investment as you heard from the UK and other areas. And also, the impact of the Huawei situation may also impact the global market. We are well positioned to serve this 5G and telecom market when the market recovers because of our strategic relationships, very close relationship with some of the leading companies that make those radio towers and the infrastructure. So, there is no doubt in our mind that we will see that recovery, and when the market recover, we expect to benefit from that.

Amanda Scarnati -- Citi -- Analyst

And then just following up on that, can you comment on what your exposure to Huawei is and if there would be an impact of that de minimis rule that's reduced to 10% versus 25%?

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Huawei is a small customer of ours, very small volume and we serve this customer through our engineering teams and manufacturing in Asia.

Amanda Scarnati -- Citi -- Analyst

Great, thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from Pavel Molchanov with Raymond James.

Pavel Molchanov -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Thanks for taking the question. You mentioned that the legacy Artesyn business is more exposed to the coronavirus uncertainty than the legacy AE business. Why exactly is that?

Paul Oldham -- Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Well, we've mentioned already that one of the large factories for Artesyn is in China. And so there's exposure there, but I would say, on balance, the supply chain in Artesyn because of the nature of the products is more China-based as well. So, it's the combination of those two things.

Pavel Molchanov -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Okay and balance sheet question, your net leverage very quickly turned negative, as it has been obviously for many, many years. Is debt reduction still priority for you to bring down that $339 million of debt?

Paul Oldham -- Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

It is, Pavel. Obviously, we've been making amortization payments, so it's -- the debt's already down $11 million from five months ago or four months ago, when we put the debt out. But as we continue to see sort of healthy cash generation, that's our number 1 priority, is debt reduction. And, this quarter, our operating cash flow was about $19 million, total cash increased about $9 million. But underneath that, we had a lot of deal-related cash costs. We had some -- we paid a lot of the acquisition-related fees and as part of the transaction, we assumed a number of payables from the legacy company of Artesyn and those were all paid down. So if you exclude those items, our underlying cash flow was over $45 million and we think that's very encouraging and should give us a lot of leverage going forward. By the way, I just want to note that our net cash was actually positive in Q4. It was negative in Q3, but in Q4, the combination of the higher cash balance and the payment on the debt did move it to positive this quarter.

Pavel Molchanov -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Okay. I appreciate it.

Paul Oldham -- Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Yeah.

Operator

Our next question comes from Patrick Ho with Stifel.

Brian Chin -- Stifel -- Analyst

Hi, good morning. It's Brian actually calling in for Patrick. Thanks for letting us. A couple of questions. Maybe first on the semi-cap business, just as I go back to a line of questioning and just to clarify, it sounds like you're semi-cap shipments in Q1 -- you're saying they should be sequentially maybe flat to down 10% versus what you think the organic demand is? I just want to clarify that sort of ballpark. And then, also in light of what's transpiring, I'm wondering if you think your customers are going to naturally request to add a maybe a buffer stock layer here, given sort of just from a supply chain sort of safety of supply standpoint.

Paul Oldham -- Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Yeah, yeah. Thanks, Brian. First thing, thanks for asking the clarifying question. We didn't actually say by market how the demand would be impacted. Other than that, Artesyn would be impacted or the Embedded Power products would be impacted, we think, slightly more. Broadly speaking, I think our -- the demand pattern will somewhat drive the underlying revenue. So I think those proportions probably hold and we expect semi to be up, which means, relatively less impacted if you look sequentially. The second...

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Well, our customers in semi, as you know, they pool material when they need it from our just-in-time inventories. And our just-in-time inventories have bins with inventory in them, and this inventory acts like a buffer.

Brian Chin -- Stifel -- Analyst

Okay. And just the -- I had a question on data center. It sounds like in the semi-cap business, between foundry, logic and memory, do you think there is any more impact near term, if it takes maybe a quarter or a couple of quarters to sort of catch-up there? Any one particular area that might be more impacted?

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

I don't think we can answer the question.

Brian Chin -- Stifel -- Analyst

Okay, fair enough. And data center, is there a way of -- obviously, even on pro forma basis, nice sequential jump there in Q4. Is there a way of characterizing what your revenue and your growth in Q4 might have been for data center excluding the share gain? Just kind of trying to understand what the natural market growth rate might have been.

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Hold on a second.

Brian Chin -- Stifel -- Analyst

Thank you.

Edwin Mok -- Vice President of Strategic Marketing and Investor Relations

Hey, Brian, this is Edwin. Just to kind of give you some color on the data center. We were quantifying the majority of the growth we got, sequentially, the 70% sequential growth that we talk about, vast majority of it is due to share gain.

Brian Chin -- Stifel -- Analyst

Vast majority was share gain.

Edwin Mok -- Vice President of Strategic Marketing and Investor Relations

Yeah, as we said, we had a tier 1 hyperscale customer that ramped, that is a new customer.

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Sure. Let me give you a little bit more color. The data center hyperscale, obviously, an important part of the business, over the last 18 months, 24 months, the Company had put significant effort in getting design into the hyperscalers. We view that the hyperscale part of the data center computing is the fastest growing segment. And for that reason, a significant effort was put in gaining share in hyperscale part of the business. So most, if not all of this increase, giant increase, the 70% increase in data center computing business is a result of these recently won design wins that are converted to mass production and high-volume shipments.

Brian Chin -- Stifel -- Analyst

Okay. And, obviously, you expect lot strength in Q1 as well. I know you've referenced that being sort of a lumpy business. Is there a way from a baseline perspective, maybe from a client perspective, what you think the TAM there might grow in calendar '20? Obviously, you guys probably are going to grow well ahead of that. But, and we have kind of a baseline there, and if you want to bifurcate it by sort of hyperscale versus enterprise --

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Yeah, I don't think -- I don't have the answer right now for that, Brian. And we can get back to you with that.

Brian Chin -- Stifel -- Analyst

Okay. No problem. Thank you.

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Right now, we believe we grow faster than the market and mainly because of those design wins and share gain that allows us to accelerate, we said the hyperscale will grow at about 15% CAGR, but the TAM will be flattish, right. So we can get back with that later.

Brian Chin -- Stifel -- Analyst

Got it. Yeah, and it sounds like based on sort of the way your supply chain is oriented and where the demand is coming from, that doesn't seem like it's necessarily impacted from sort of the China FX.

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

I wouldn't say that. I think that China coronavirus effect impact all our products.

Brian Chin -- Stifel -- Analyst

Okay. Okay.

Paul Oldham -- Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Yeah. And just...

Brian Chin -- Stifel -- Analyst

Thank you.

Paul Oldham -- Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Yeah, just to be clear, the China coronavirus effect, we think, is a temporary effect. It's affecting our ability to get output out of the factory in the near term. We don't see it having a longer-term effect on any of these markets at this point. And it's just a matter of how quick things come up and we can get things converted and then how quickly we basically fill that gap between essentially backlog or demand and the output we're able to achieve near-term.

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

We're very excited. We're very excited with the continuous growth in demand for our products across the markets we serve. We need to go through this short-term situation in China before we recover.

Brian Chin -- Stifel -- Analyst

Okay, thank you.

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

All right.

Operator

Our next question comes from Mehdi Hosseini with SIG.

Mehdi Hosseini -- SIG -- Analyst

Yes, sir. Thanks for taking my question. A couple of follow-ups. You -- its been almost two months since you Analyst Day, and I'm just wondering if you have any additional thoughts on the core semi-cap, how do you see the market evolving throughout the year excluding the coronavirus and how is that different than your thoughts back in mid-December when you had your Analyst Day? And I have a couple of follow-ups.

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Mehdi, I think that general consensus has become more constructive since our Analyst Day. We saw the market becoming more bullish around added capacity, not only in foundry and logic, but also in memory. And for us, obviously, good news, because we are quite balanced in the way we serve the market, both in foundry, logic and memories. Without the impact of the coronavirus, which we believe is a temporary bump in the road, we would assume that 2020 will be slightly better than we thought originally.

Mehdi Hosseini -- SIG -- Analyst

So, there is more of a increased diversification in end market demand drivers, like this is not just foundries, now as you're beginning to see a pickup in memory. Is that correct?

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Correct, correct.

Mehdi Hosseini -- SIG -- Analyst

All right. And then, just one follow-up.

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

And, by the way, with that Mehdi, we see some additional investment driven by new technology, advanced technology, new materials, new processes.

Mehdi Hosseini -- SIG -- Analyst

Sure. Did you say that -- in your prepared remark, did you say that the semi-cap revenue will be up mid-teen in March versus December?

Paul Oldham -- Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

We said that demand...

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Demand.

Paul Oldham -- Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Will be up mid-teens sequentially in the current quarter versus Q4.

Mehdi Hosseini -- SIG -- Analyst

But you're not...

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

That's the rate of demand. Yeah, good catch Mehdi. Demand is up mid-teens. Demand.

Mehdi Hosseini -- SIG -- Analyst

Got you.

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Obviously, our ability to deliver to this demand is temporarily affected by the coronavirus situation in China. But the demand continues to be strong.

Mehdi Hosseini -- SIG -- Analyst

Sure. I get it. But my question here is, let's say, $130 million plus-minus as to how I come up with the March quarter revenue attributable to semiconductor equipment. What I want to learn more is how do you see this cycle playing out in the next two years? In the past, in the prior cycle in the 2016 and '17, you benefited from multiplier because of 3D NAND and now as you look forward, the 3D NAND is still there, and you have additional layers for DRAM and you have a foundry. Are we still going to be looking at the past and thinking about the 2 time to 3 time multiplier factor? And that's how we should model this for the next two years or do you have any other thoughts that you can add to it?

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

So let me give you a high-level kind of a quoting consensus -- opinions and then maybe talking about what we saw up two to three years ago when industry converted to 3D NAND. So, right now, I think the consensus is that 2020 will be a growth year and 2021 will be a very strong growth year. So that's the general consensus, right. And we were not market forecasters, so we basically look at what we hear and register that general information. Now, in the year '16, '17, '18 first half, what we saw was a conversion of an industry from planar to 3D memories, especially NAND. That level of multiplication was driven by additional capacity greenfield fabs and also the fact that yields were relatively low. We believe that the industry became more efficient, yields are higher and the additional capacity, especially greenfield, will not be at the level we saw at '16, '17 and first half of '18. That's the only commentary I can give you. Again, we're not market forecasters. However, as we have demonstrated, we will still grow faster than the market we serve, as we have done in the past.

Mehdi Hosseini -- SIG -- Analyst

Sure. Thanks for all the detail. Just quickly switching to Paul. If your initial assessment were to play out and you see that second half uplift, especially as some of the revenue from the first half pushed out to the second half, should we expect the absorption and gross margin recovery would get you into the '40s?

Paul Oldham -- Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

No, I think that would be too aggressive. Certainly, our long-term goal is to get margins up to the 40%, but that's on a fully synergized basis and with revenue levels that start to approach the $1.4 billion, $1.5 billion range, Mehdi. But, certainly, as volume picks up, we get efficiency improvements and we are actively working on implementing the synergies over time. So certainly our goal would be to continue to bring that margin up, but that would be too fast to get to that level in the second half. I'd say, maybe broadly speaking, there will be modest improvement in that direction, but certainly not getting to that level.

Mehdi Hosseini -- SIG -- Analyst

Okay. And, how should I think about opex? Where would it go from $75 million in the midpoint?

Paul Oldham -- Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Yeah. Broadly speaking, as revenues pick up, we'll see some modest increase in variable cost, but we don't -- we didn't make a lot of structural reductions during the downturn. We don't have to make a lot of structural adds going forward. So I think broadly around this level with some modest variable cost pickup, it's probably the right way to think about it.

Mehdi Hosseini -- SIG -- Analyst

Great, thank you guys.

Operator

I'm not showing any further questions at this time. I'd like to turn the call back to Yuval for closing remarks.

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Thanks everybody for joining us today. We are extremely excited about the integration of Artesyn, and the future of the Company. We view the coronavirus situation as a temporary bump in the road. We are seeing increased demand for our products from various end market verticals and we're ready to serve those markets as soon as we can in terms of our operation in China. I'm looking forward to seeing many of you during the quarter. Thanks.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 61 minutes

Call participants:

Edwin Mok -- Vice President of Strategic Marketing and Investor Relations

Yuval Wasserman -- Chief Executive Officer and President

Paul Oldham -- Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Quinn Bolton -- Needham & Company -- Analyst

Tom Diffely -- DA Davidson -- Analyst

Krish Sankar -- Cowen and Company -- Analyst

Amanda Scarnati -- Citi -- Analyst

Pavel Molchanov -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Brian Chin -- Stifel -- Analyst

Mehdi Hosseini -- SIG -- Analyst

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