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Applied Optoelectronics Inc (NASDAQ:AAOI)
Q2 2020 Earnings Call
Aug 7, 2020, 10:30 p.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Good day, and welcome to the Applied Optoelectronics' Second Quarter 2020 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]

I would now like to turn the conference over to Monica Gould, Investor Relations for Applied Optoelectronics. Please go ahead, ma'am.

Monica Gould -- Investor Relations

Thank you. I'm Monica Gould, Investor Relations for Applied Optoelectronics, and I'm pleased to welcome you to AOI's Second Quarter 2020 Financial Results Conference Call. After the market closed today, AOI issued a press release announcing its second quarter 2020 financial results and provided its outlook for the third quarter of 2020. The release is also available on the company's website at ao-inc.com. This call is being recorded and webcast live. A link to the recording can be found on the Investor Relations section of the AOI website that will be archived for one year. Joining us on today's call is Dr. Thompson Lin, AOI's Founder, Chairman and CEO; and Dr. Stefan Murry, AOI's Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer. Thompson will give an overview of AOI's Q2 results, and Stefan will provide financial details and the outlook for the third quarter of 2020.

A question-and-answer session will follow our prepared remarks. Before we begin, I would like to remind you to review AOI's safe harbor statement. On today's call, management will make forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties as well as assumptions and current expectations, which could cause the company's actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminologies such as believes, anticipates, estimates, intends, predicts, expects, plans, may, should, could, would, will or thinks. And by other similar expressions that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes. Forward-looking statements also include statements regarding management's beliefs and expectations related to the expansion of the reach of our products into new markets and customer responses to our innovations, as well as statements regarding the company's outlook for the third quarter of 2020.

Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update forward-looking statements for any reason after the date of this earnings call to conform these statements to actual results or to changes in the company's expectations. More information about other risks that may impact the company's business are set forth in the risk factors section of the company's reports on file with the SEC, including the company's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, and the company's quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2020. Also, with the exception of revenue, all financials discussed today are on a non-GAAP basis, unless specifically noted otherwise. Non-GAAP financial measures are not intended to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for results prepared in accordance with GAAP. A reconciliation between our GAAP and non-GAAP measures as well as a discussion of why we present non-GAAP financial measures are included in our earnings press release that is available on our website.

Before moving to the financial results, I'd like to announce that AOI management will virtually participate at the Jefferies 2020 Semiconductor, IT, Hardware and Communications Infrastructure Summit on September 2, and at the H.C. Wainwright 22nd Annual Global Investment Conference on September 15. These discussions will be webcast live, and a link to the webcast will be available on the Investor Relations section of the AOI website. We hope to have the opportunity to interact with many of you virtually. Additionally, I'd like to note that the date of our third quarter 2020 earnings call is currently scheduled for November 5, 2020.

Now I would like to turn the call over to Dr. Thompson Lin, Applied Optoelectronics' Founder, Chairman and CEO. Thompson?

Dr. Thompson Lin -- Founder, President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board

Thank you, Monica, and thank you, everyone, for joining us today. First, I would like to once again thank our entire AOI team that has continued to support one another and our customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our condolences go out to all those around the world who have been impacted by the virus, and we send our thanks to the first responders and essential workers who continue to protect and support our communities. Turning to the quarter, AOI delivered Q2 revenue of $65.2 million, which was above our guidance of $55 million to $60 million. Q2 revenue grew 50% compared to the second quarter last year at 61% sequentially, marking the fourth quarter of year-over-year growth that AOI has recorded since the third quarter of 2017. Our performance was driven by improved demand from our new customers, increase customer diversifications and record revenue in our telecom segment led by 5G deployments in China. Non-GAAP gross margin of 23.1% was on the lower end of our expected guidance range due to product mix as well as some COVID-19-related expenses that continued into the quarter, while non-GAAP net loss of $0.24 per share was in line with our expectations.

We expect that continued improvement through our cost reduction efforts and more favorable product mix will lead to improving gross margin over the next several quarters. And we anticipate revenue to be up more than 20% sequentially at the midpoint of r guidance range. We are encouraged by the increased datacenter demand from a diverse set of customers and improving 5G-related activity that began earlier this year and will continue into Q3. During the quarter, we have had design wins, including four with telecom customers which are related to 5G network deployments, mainly in China. The other four design wins were with existing customers in our datacenter segment. Additionally, we are pleased to report that we saw increased demand for our 100G products in Q2. Total revenue for 100G products increased almost 350% from the same period last year, marking the second quarter in a row of year-over-year growth in 100G sales.

During the second quarter, we saw significant improvement in our telecom and cable sectors. Revenue in our telecom segment more than doubled sequentially and outpaced our CATV business. Driven by increased 5G activity, our cable segment improved sequentially as we began to see increased order flow for product-related to CATV upgrades in North America. We are pleased to be project we received our fourth significant orders for CATV products related to MSO upgrades in Q2, which will begin to ship in Q3. As we stated in our previous earnings calls, we have taken various actions to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees who all continue to support our customer needs and the needs of the communities in which we operate. Our offices and factories around the world are back to normal operation due to our strict adherence to health and safety recommendations. Looking ahead, we'll continue to digitally enforce these health precautions to protect the welfare of our employees and our communities.

With that, I will turn the call over to Stefan to review the details of our Q2 performance and outlook for Q3. Stefan?

Dr. Stefan Murry -- Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer

Thank you, Thompson. As you may recall, we had disruptions in operations in our China factory during Q1. However, as Thompson mentioned, due to the hard work and dedication of our employees and supply chain partners, we are back to normal operations and have increased capacity in both our wafer fab in Sugar Land as well as our factories in China and Taiwan compared to our capacity pre-COVID. We continue to see high demand from our datacenter customers who remain focused on improving network performance in light of the increased traffic related to the shift toward working from home. We also received our first orders from CATV customers that we believe are related to network upgrades by MSOs also responding to stresses on their networks. Looking ahead to Q3. We are expecting over 20% sequential growth at the midpoint of our guidance range and a continued improvement in our gross margin. Turning to our quarterly performance.

Total revenue for the second quarter was $65.2 million, which was above our guidance range. Our datacenter revenue rose 58% sequentially and 65% year-over-year to $52.6 million and accounted for 81% of our total revenue. This was our highest datacenter revenue quarter in two years. In the second quarter, 33% of our datacenter revenue was from our 40G transceiver products, and 64% was from our 100G products. As Thompson noted, this marks the second quarter in a row of year-over-year growth in our 100G transceivers. Importantly, we continued to see increased data center demand during Q2 from a diverse set of customers. Overall, for the quarter, our top 10 customers represented 86.9% of revenue which is down from 90.9% in Q2 of last year. We had three 10% or greater customers in the quarter, all of which were in the datacenter segment. These customers contributed 35% and 15% and 12% of total revenue, respectively. One of these data center customers was a new 10% customer for AOI, where we have been gaining share.

This new customer is a U.S.-based hyperscale cloud operator that has primarily been purchasing our 100G transceivers. We also have seen increasing revenue from a large U.S.-based switch router vendor who approached the 10% revenue mark this quarter. Rounding out our top five customers was a data center customer in China. Looking at our customer base as a whole, in addition to the 10% or greater customers, we had three other customers who each contributed between 5% and 10% of total revenue. To put this in some context, in Q2 of last year, we had only two 10% or greater customers and one customer between 5% and 10%. Now we have six customers each over 5%, and we are pleased to see that our efforts in diversifying our customer base continue to show tangible results and that many of these new customers are contributing meaningfully to our results. In addition to the market diversity, our top 10 customers are also geographically diverse. Out of our 5% or greater customers in Q2, all but one were U.S.-based multinationals, and the remaining one was a China-based switch router vendor primarily serving the data center market.

Looking at our top 10 customers in Q2, seven were U.S.-based multinational corporations, two were based in China and one in Europe. Turning to our cable television product segment. We were able to resume manufacturing at a normal capacity during the quarter and recorded a sequential revenue increase of 45% to $6.1 million or 9% of total revenue. However, CATV revenue remains below the $9.8 million we recorded in Q2 of last year. The sequential increase was driven by an increased order flow in North America for cable TV upgrades. As I noted earlier, we saw our first significant orders for CATV upgrades driven by the shift to working from home this quarter, which we will recognize as revenue in Q3. For the remainder of the year, we expect to ramp up production to meet order demand. Revenue from our telecom products rose to a record $6.2 million and accounted for 10% of total revenue, reflecting an increase of 141% from the first quarter and 279% from Q2 of last year.

These results continue to be driven by increased 5G demand in China. Based on current order trends, we expect to see continued strong sequential growth in CATV and telecom revenue in Q3. In Q2, we generated non-GAAP gross margin of 23.1% compared to 27.2% in Q2 of the prior year. Gross margin was at the low end of our guidance range of 23% to 25% due to unfavorable product mix, mostly in our data center segment, along with increased costs, including manufacturing and shipping costs related to COVID. We expect gross margins to recover to pre-COVID levels as we implement cost reductions that were delayed by the pandemic. We also expect to see improvements in our product mix that we anticipate will improve our gross margin. Total non-GAAP operating expenses in the second quarter were $20.6 million or 31.6% of revenue compared with $19.5 million or 44.9% of revenue in the same quarter last year. Operating expenses increased from last year due mainly to increased shipping costs, sales commissions and insurance costs.

Non-GAAP operating loss in the second quarter was $5.6 million compared to an operating loss of $7.7 million in Q2 of last year. GAAP net loss for Q2 was $18.6 million or a loss of $0.89 per basic share compared with a GAAP net loss of $11.4 million or $0.57 per basic share in Q2 of last year. On a non-GAAP basis, net loss for Q2 was $5 million or a loss of $0.24 per basic share, which was in line with our guidance range of a loss of $4.10 to $5.7 million or a loss of $0.20 to $0.28 per basic share, and compares to a net loss of $5.2 million or a loss of $0.26 per basic share in Q2 of last year. The basic shares outstanding used for computing the net loss in Q2 were $20.9 million. Turning now to the balance sheet. We ended the second quarter with $58.9 million in total cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments and restricted cash. This compares with $62.5 million at the end of the first quarter and reflects $15.5 million in cash used for operations. As of June 30, we had $97.3 million in inventory compared to $87.1 million in Q1.

The increase was driven by additional raw materials purchased for production orders on hand and forecasted orders. We made a total of $5.8 million in capital investments in the quarter, including $5 million in production equipment and machinery, and an immaterial amount on construction and building improvements. This is lower than we had anticipated, primarily due to a COVID-related pause in construction on our new China factory. Note that we expect to resume spending on our new facility in China in Q3, and we anticipate this to be reflected in increased spending on construction and building improvements. Including this resumption in building expenditures and other equipment necessary to increase our production capacity, we expect total 2020 capital expenditures to be approximately $42 million. Although I would caution, as in years past, that this number is likely to be reevaluated as our plans continue to evolve. Before we turn to our outlook, I would like to provide an update on the aftermarket offering we announced in February.

To date, we have raised $22 million in gross proceeds under this program, including $7.7 million raised in July, which will be reflected in our Q3 financial statements. We intend to use these proceeds to continue to make investments in the business, including new equipment and machinery for production and research and development use. Moving now to our Q3 outlook. We expect Q3 revenue to be between $76 million and $83 million and non-GAAP gross margin to be in the range of 25% to 26.5%. Non-GAAP net loss is expected to be in the range of $4.6 million to $0.6 million, and non-GAAP loss per basic share between $0.20 and $0.03 using a weighted average basic share count of approximately 23.4 million shares.

With that, I will turn it back over to the operator for the Q&A session. Operator?

Questions and Answers:

Operator

[Operator Instructions] And the first question will come from Alex Henderson with Needham & Company. Please go ahead.

Alex Henderson -- Needham & Company -- Analyst

Thank you very much, I appreciate that. I actually have two questions. The first one, the new hyperscale customer, there was a other supplier into that customer, if I believe, which was Inolight and I heard that there are some supply chain disruptions. Do you think that, that's part of the reason that you got in? Or do you think that you would have been in regardless of what the competitor supply availability looks like? And does that have any impact on the way you're thinking about the outlook?

Dr. Stefan Murry -- Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer

I can't say that there's anything specific about any of our competitors that would have impacted this customer's decision. I mean it's a customer that we've been working with for some time to gain some traction there. And I think they've appreciated our ability to supply, and obviously the complete profile that we bring to the table with cost and quality and delivery advantages. So I think it was much more about us than about some competitors losing traction there.

Alex Henderson -- Needham & Company -- Analyst

Glad to hear that. The second question I wanted to delve into the telco piece. I mean it seems pretty clear that what's driving this is the chipsets going into CPRI and front haul for 5G that is a huge potential build over time, not just in China but globally. And I'm assuming that these are chipsets that are selling in there. Can you give us some sense of what the rate of chips that are going into that market looks like? How many are diodes? How many or EMLS? And to what extent you see that ramping from here? And any sense of what the TAM is for that market over the next three, four, five years as that 5G footprint gets billed out?

Dr. Stefan Murry -- Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer

Yes. So there's a few questions embedded in there. As far as the ratio or the precise types of lasers, I don't have a breakdown on that. I mean it's a combination of DFP lasers that we're selling, some EMLs and but very small and some transceivers. The precise breakdown I don't have available now. As far as the TAM there, it really remains to be seen. I think in China alone, which is where we're seeing the most activity right now. They're talking about tens of millions of towers which would be several many tens of millions of radios, each of which would require a front-haul transceiver.

So you can kind of get an appreciation that the size of that market is really large. Our anticipation is not that AOI is going to be a majority player or anything like that in that market, but I think that it's very reasonable for us to expect to get 10%, 20% of that market and hopefully expand over time, and as the opportunities in the rest of the world outside of China begin to materialize to continue to grow that market share.

Alex Henderson -- Needham & Company -- Analyst

If I could just squeeze one last question on that same subject. The impact of this on the utilization rate in your fab, I think is going to be pretty significant. Do you expect to see a couple of points of margin expansion as these volumes ramp relative to the other transceiver business because of the overhead allocation associated with that?

Dr. Stefan Murry -- Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer

Yes. I mean, I won't comment on the exact magnitude that we expect to see. We have given guidance, of course, that indicates continued improvement in our gross margin. We mentioned that in our prepared remarks as well. You saw the improvement from Q1 to Q2 already. And that's due to a number of factors, but certainly cost reduction overall coming from higher fab utilization is a big part of that. And we would expect that to continue as long as the growth in that chip market continues.

Alex Henderson -- Needham & Company -- Analyst

Thanks for the answers. And thanks for the great quarter.

Dr. Stefan Murry -- Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer

My pleasure. Thank you.

Operator

The next question will come from Simon Leopold with Raymond James. Please go ahead.

Simon Leopold -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Great, thank you guys for taking the question. First, just a very quick easy clarification. The percent of Datacom that was 100 gig. Did you say 54% or 64%?

Dr. Stefan Murry -- Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer

I'm sorry, you cut out there just a little bit. I think you're asking about the data center revenue that was 100 gig? And if so, that's 64%, 6-4.

Simon Leopold -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Great. Sorry about that. I'm a little bit internet and power disadvantaged. So I'll try to speak up and be quick. I wonder if you could maybe bridge the gross margin. It was a little light this quarter on very good revenue. And similarly, like in the guidance, I'm just wondering if you could explain how much of the pressure is COVID expenses? How much maybe is mix if the telecom products are dilutive to the gross margin? Just help us understand those factors?

Dr. Stefan Murry -- Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer

Sure, Simon. Some of it is COVID, but not a lot. I think the main factor is well, really two things. It's product mix related and it's cost reduction related. Those are in other words, those are the two things that we have two levers that we can pull from here on to try to continue to see improved gross margin. As I mentioned in the previous question or answer to the previous question, the fab utilization helps in terms of improving our cost structure. But just like other ways of reducing the cost over time, it does take time for those to flow through because we have a significant amount of inventory and their cycle time associated with it. So the improvements that we expect to see we believe are real and they're coming, but it takes some time for them to actually materialize in the financial statements.

Simon Leopold -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Great. And then just one last one, if I might. The new datacenter 10% customer which is really good news. Is this something you see as sustainable or basically as far as you can forecast? Or was there something onetime about this quarter?

Dr. Stefan Murry -- Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer

No. I mean this customer has actually been growing with us for some time slowly, and they just made it into that 10% category this quarter. But I would not expect that to be a flash in the pan type of thing. I think we've done a good job with this customer. The telecom seem like us as a supplier. And barring any unforeseen circumstances, I don't see any reason why they wouldn't continue to purchase from us.

Simon Leopold -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Great, thank you for taking the questions.

Dr. Stefan Murry -- Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer

My pleasure.

Operator

The next question will come from Paul Silverstein with Cowen. Please go ahead.

Paul Silverstein -- Cowen -- Analyst

Thanks for taking the questions. Hopefully, this is different than what Alex and Simon asked you. But on the gross margin front, Stefan, do you have visibility to getting back to 30-plus percent? And if you do, can you give us a sense for when that is? I appreciate that it takes time to flow through for your previous responses, but any visibility right now?

Dr. Stefan Murry -- Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer

I mean, I think our goal is still good to get back to the 30-plus percent range. I could see us getting into the upper 20% range by the end of the year. Whether we could hit 30% in that time frame. I mean, I suppose there are some scenarios where that could happen, but that's probably not as likely. But I think we're talking about a matter of quarters, not years, for us to get back to that 30% level.

Paul Silverstein -- Cowen -- Analyst

And I trust the competitive dynamics are not meaningfully different today than they were previously, either better or worse?

Dr. Stefan Murry -- Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer

No. I mean we haven't seen any real changes in the competitive dynamic.

Paul Silverstein -- Cowen -- Analyst

All right. And one other question on margins. From a pricing perspective, I know they reset once to twice per year depending on the customer. I assume that's still true. But in terms of those resets, any insight you can provide in terms of what it's looking like?

Dr. Stefan Murry -- Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer

Nothing specific. Obviously, we don't give that type of guidance typically. I can't say that we are seeing pretty strong demand right now. And in past situations where we've seen that kind of strong demand, typically, that provides a little more pricing leverage on the suppliers as opposed to the customers. But again, that's just an observation from prior periods. I can't really speculate about the pricing resets that we might see in the future.

Paul Silverstein -- Cowen -- Analyst

Understood. One last quick question. I assume my definition, when we're talking about the China 5G opportunity, we're talking about three, maybe four, systems customers that you do or can sell into to access that opportunity in terms of Huawei, ZTE, fiber home and perhaps what was that, Alcatel Shanghai Bell Nokia. Does that go without saying?

Dr. Stefan Murry -- Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer

Yes. Just I think that's correct in terms of the end customers. Just to be clear, many of our customers, we do sell directly into some of those customers, but many of the customers are Chinese-based transceiver manufacturers that then supply those transceivers. So we would supply laser dots, for example, into those transceiver manufacturers, they would manufacture the transceivers and then sell them to the end customer. So much of our business is likely not to be directly with those big guys. But I would assume, based on my knowledge of the market there, that your list of end customers is accurate.

Paul Silverstein -- Cowen -- Analyst

Got it. And did you say how many of those transceiver customers you're selling into? Can you share that with us?

Dr. Stefan Murry -- Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer

There's a lot of them. There's probably more than a dozen.

Paul Silverstein -- Cowen -- Analyst

That's a it. I'll pass it on. Thank you.

Dr. Stefan Murry -- Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer

No problem.

Operator

Our next question will come from Samik Chatterjee with JPMorgan. Please go ahead.

Bharat Daryani -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

Yeah, hi, thanks for taking my question. This is Bharat on for Samik. So if I could just start with the datacenter segment. And I think it was just, I think, a couple of quarters ago you highlighted 400-gig. So just wanted to understand what you're seeing there. I mean have you started shipping to that customer already? Have you started to that? And any update on probably when revenue can come from that. So can you think about what are the milestones there?

Dr. Stefan Murry -- Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer

Samik, I'm sorry to say that your line is very difficult to understand. So I missed that question. Can you try to repeat it?

Bharat Daryani -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

Yes. No, so this is Bharat for Samik. So if I could just start on the datacenter segment and 400-gig specifically. So I think it was a couple of quarters ago that you highlighted a design win there with a named customer. So I just wanted to get a sense, have you started to ship to that customer already? And any update on when new recognition can come from that. So what are some of the milestones there that we can track?

Dr. Stefan Murry -- Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer

Okay. So the question was regarding 400G. We haven't shipped significant quantities to that customer or any other customer or 400G yet. My sense is that the 400G because of COVID, I think some of the 400G qualification efforts are taking longer than expected. And I don't think that's anything unique to AOI. I think the information that we have is that a lot of particularly the hyperscale customers, many of them are working from home, just like many of us, and that complicates qualification efforts because you've got engineers that can't come to the lab or they're otherwise constrained in their ability to complete those qualification efforts. So my sense is that, that 400G revenue is probably pushed out a little bit. But that's not necessarily a bad thing for us either. I mean if you look at our results this quarter, we're seeing very strong uptick in 100G revenue. And I would expect that to continue to be there until such time as 400G is ready.

Bharat Daryani -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

Got it. And if I could just ask a follow-up on the telecom end market. I mean can you help us think about what's the run rate revenue you're expecting from that business as we look into the second half? And the reason I ask that is how should we think about like the sustainability of demand of 5G from China? Because as some of the equipment peers have called out that there's a high inventory position across OEM. In fact, that they're back from purchasing in the region in the second half. So I just wanted to understand what the drivers are there as you look into the second half.

Dr. Stefan Murry -- Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer

Yes. We don't give breakdown by segment on a forward-looking basis. But I imagine this will be just like any other nascent market, right? There'll probably be some ups and downs as we go forward. But I think the on a quarter-by-quarter basis, you may see some variability there. But I think the overall trend toward increased volumes with this 5G deployment is happening, I think, is pretty clear.

Bharat Daryani -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

Okay, got it. Thank you for taking my questions.

Dr. Stefan Murry -- Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer

My pleasure.

Operator

The next question will come from Dave Kang with B. Riley. Please go ahead.

Dave Kang -- B. Riley -- Analyst

Thanks for taking the questions. I was wondering if you guys could provide more color around new customer wins. Are there any 400G customers that you guys have in the pipeline? Or is that that's pushed out still, kind of how you guys are trending?

Dr. Stefan Murry -- Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer

Well, as I mentioned before, I think a lot of the 400G qualification efforts are getting pushed out. We did not have any 400G wins this quarter. But I also to be clear, we didn't have any notifications that we are no longer under consideration for 400 G. In other words, we're kind of at the status quo, that is, I think that the qualification efforts have just gotten pushed out and slowed down a little bit with our customers. And that's true for us as well as for any of our competitors. And so and as I said earlier, I think our business is in 100-gig is growing very nicely. And so the 400G delay isn't necessarily a bad thing for us. It gives us some time to work on the cost and manufacturability of those devices. And that can only be a good thing for us when the time comes.

Dave Kang -- B. Riley -- Analyst

Okay, thank you.

Dr. Stefan Murry -- Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer

My pleasure.

Operator

[Operator Instructions] Our next question will come from Fahad Najam with Cowen. Please go ahead.

Fahad Najam -- Cowen -- Analyst

Hi, Stephan, Tom. Thank you for taking my question. much of my questions have already been answered, but I'll ask you a question in terms of any trends you're seeing among your largest hyperscale U.S.-based hyperscale customers of a need to push or pull the supply chain out of China into outside of China, maybe in the U.S., especially given the fact that Microsoft and Amazon, two of your customers, have or have been vying for this significant U.S. government DoD contract. Are you seeing a request or pull-in from your customers to move some of your supply chain out of China? Can you provide some color there?

Dr. Stefan Murry -- Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer

Well, sure. As we've noted for the last few quarters, we've been producing more and more of our products in Taiwan as opposed to China. And the customers are certainly aware of and supportive of that. I think right now, the focus has largely been due to the tariff situation, not because they necessarily have a mandate to move out of China. As the political situation with China continues to evolve, obviously, that could become more of a factor. But for now, I think it's mainly just the cost reason why they want us to produce more in Taiwan. But it's certainly been a factor of conversation with the customers, yes.

Fahad Najam -- Cowen -- Analyst

Can you share with us today how much of your production is outside of China now versus before the tariff situation?

Dr. Stefan Murry -- Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer

It's a really difficult question to answer, Fahad, because what we've been doing is we've been moving certain parts of the manufacturing from China to Taiwan, and we've been doing other earlier parts of the manufacturing process in China. So it's not like we've completely moved production from China to Taiwan. It's been more of a reassignment of manufacturing activities between the two plants.

Fahad Najam -- Cowen -- Analyst

So related to previous question around gross margin, do you think moving your production or if you settle on to a more settled routine and supply chain payout out of Taiwan, do you think that, that would help your gross margin cost structure going forward? Is that what you were alluding to when you said your cost structure kind of depend on it? Is that driven by the fact that you're still transitioning a lot of your production out of China into Taiwan, and that's driving up some incremental costs over the near term?

Dr. Stefan Murry -- Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer

There's some incremental costs in there, but I actually think, look, the labor cost, for example, in Taiwan is more expensive than China. So on balance, once we hit a steady state here, the gross margin if we can't do significant cost reduction like we have been doing, then the gross margin would tend to trend down because of that. The reason why we think it's going to go up is, again, product mix and very attention very good attention that we're paying to cost of production and the ability to continue to improve our manufacturing, improve our supply chain to get that cost to come down. And that's a big part of what we're expecting in order to see the gross margins get back to that upper 20% and then, ultimately, 30% range.

Fahad Najam -- Cowen -- Analyst

Got it. Appreciate the answers. I will step back in the queue.

Dr. Stefan Murry -- Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer

Okay.

Operator

[Operator Instructions] This concludes our question-and-answer session. I would like to turn the conference back over to Thompson Lin, Chief Executive Officer, for any closing remarks. Please go ahead.

Dr. Thompson Lin -- Founder, President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board

Okay. Thank you for joining us today. As always, thank you to our investors, customers and employees for your continued support, and we look forward to virtually seeing many of you at our upcoming investor conferences. [Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 38 minutes

Call participants:

Monica Gould -- Investor Relations

Dr. Thompson Lin -- Founder, President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board

Dr. Stefan Murry -- Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer

Alex Henderson -- Needham & Company -- Analyst

Simon Leopold -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Paul Silverstein -- Cowen -- Analyst

Bharat Daryani -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

Dave Kang -- B. Riley -- Analyst

Fahad Najam -- Cowen -- Analyst

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