02/08/11

Amtech Reports First Quarter Fiscal 2011 Record Revenue of $54 Million; EPS of $0.52
First quarter revenue up 18% sequentially and 248% year-over-year

TEMPE, Arizona – February 8, 2011 – Amtech Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASYS), a global supplier of production and automation systems and related supplies for the manufacture of solar cells, semiconductors, and silicon wafers, today reported record financial results for its fiscal 2011 first quarter ended December 31, 2010.

First Quarter Financial Highlights:

  • Record net revenue of $53.7 million, up 18% sequentially from $45.4 million in Q4 2010
  • Record solar revenue of $45.9 million, up 19% sequentially from $38.6 million in Q4 2010
  • Record quarterly bookings of $137 million ($127 million solar), up 176% sequentially from $50 million ($41 million solar) in Q4 2010
  • Record quarter-end backlog of $173 million ($162 million solar), up 83% sequentially from $94 million ($85 million solar) at September 30, 2010
  • Gross margin of 36%, compared to 39% sequentially
  • Operating income of $8.4 million, compared to operating income of $8.9 million sequentially
  • Net income of $5.0 million, or $0.52 per diluted share, compared to net income of $5.4 million, or $0.58 per diluted share, sequentially
  • First quarter book-to-bill of 2.3:1 (Solar 2.5:1, Semi 1.2:1)
  • Ending unrestricted cash of $53.2 million at December 31, 2010, compared to $56.8 million at September 30, 2010

J.S. Whang, Chief Executive Officer of Amtech, commented:  “We are pleased to report another very strong quarter including record revenue and bookings. The strong order momentum we continue to generate for our solar diffusion systems reflects our continued success in expanding with existing customers and attracting new top-tier customers. We continue to see a healthy business pipeline, ending the quarter with record orders and backlog.

“Our recently announced agreement to acquire a China-based ion implant technology company demonstrates our commitment to technology leadership in meeting the increasing demand for higher cell efficiency. As a result of the acquisition, we will immediately establish a technology beachhead in a strategically key region of the world, will increase our technology expertise, and lay the foundation for future opportunities for our solar business. We believe this acquisition will complement and protect our core solar diffusion expertise and leadership. We remain on track to continue to produce and ship at a high volume in the March quarter, and we remain focused on successful execution of our solar growth strategy.”

Net revenue for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 was a record $53.7 million, up 18% sequentially from $45.4 million for the preceding quarter, and up 248% from $15.5 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2010. The increase was driven primarily by higher system shipments to customers in the solar industry, partially offset by an increase in the amount of revenue deferred.

Total orders in the first quarter of fiscal 2011 were a record $137 million ($127 million solar), up 176% compared to total orders of $49.6 million ($41.3 million solar) in the preceding quarter. At December 31, 2010, the Company’s total order backlog was a record $173 million, compared to total backlog of $94 million at September 30, 2010. Total backlog at December 31, 2010 includes $162 million in solar orders, compared to solar backlog of $85 million at September 30, 2010.  The effect of foreign exchange on backlog was negative $4.8 million in the first quarter.  Backlog includes deferred revenue and customer orders that are expected to ship within the next 12 months. 

Gross margin in the first quarter of fiscal 2010 was 36%, compared to 39% sequentially and 30% in the first quarter of fiscal 2010. The increase in gross margin over the prior year first quarter is primarily due to more efficient capacity utilization from higher shipment volumes, partially offset by higher deferred profit.  The sequential decrease in gross margin was due primarily to an increase in the amount of revenue deferred.

Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses in the first quarter of fiscal 2011 were $10.4 million, or 19% of revenue, compared to $7.9 million, or 17% of revenue, in the preceding quarter and $4.0 million, or 26% of revenue, in the first quarter of fiscal 2010. The increase in SG&A expenses was primarily due to increased commissions and shipping costs related to higher revenues and higher legal and consulting fees, primarily related to acquisition
activity.

Depreciation and amortization in the first quarter of fiscal 2011 was $647,000, compared to $424,000 in the first quarter of fiscal 2010. Included in the first quarter fiscal 2011 results is $374,000 of stock option expense, compared to $377,000 in the fiscal first quarter a year ago.

Income taxes in the first quarter of fiscal 2011 were $3.3 million, reflecting an effective tax rate of approximately 40%.

Net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 was $5.0 million, or $0.52 per diluted share, compared to net income of $80,000, or $0.01 per share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2010, and net income of $5.4 million, or $0.58 per diluted share, in the preceding quarter.

Total cash and cash equivalents at December 31, 2010 decreased to $53.2 million, compared to $56.8 million at September 30, 2010.

Outlook
Amtech expects fiscal 2011 full year revenues to surpass $230 million, a greater than 92% increase from fiscal 2010, with fiscal 2011 second quarter revenues in the range of $55 to $60 million.  Operating margins in the second quarter could be negatively impacted by: (i) higher revenue deferral due to expected continued ramp up of shipments; (ii) expected higher material costs; and (iii) continued acquisition costs and increased research and development costs resulting from the expected acquisition of Kingstone Technology Hong Kong Limited.

Operating results could be impacted by the timing of system shipments, the net impact of revenue deferral on those shipments, and recognition of revenue based on customer acceptances, all of which can have a significant effect on operating results.

A substantial portion of Amtech’s revenues are denominated in Euros. The revenue outlook provided in this press release is based on an assumed exchange rate between the United States Dollar and the Euro. A significant decrease in the value of the Euro in relation to the United States Dollar could cause actual revenues to be lower than anticipated.

Conference Call
Amtech Systems will host a conference call and webcast today at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time (5:00 p.m. ET) to discuss its first quarter fiscal 2011 results. Those wishing to participate in the live call should dial (877) 941-6009 and request the “Amtech” call. From international locations, dial (480) 629-9770. A replay of the call will be available for one week beginning approximately one hour after the call’s conclusion by dialing (800) 406-7325 and entering 4407587 followed by the “#” key when prompted for a code.  To access the replay from international locations, dial (303) 590-3030 using the same code.  A live and archived web cast of the conference call can be accessed from the investors section of Amtech’s website at www.amtechsystems.com/.

About Amtech Systems, Inc.
Amtech Systems, Inc. manufactures capital equipment, including silicon wafer handling automation, thermal processing equipment and related consumables used in fabricating solar cells and semiconductor devices. Solar cells and semiconductors, or semiconductor chips, are fabricated on silicon wafer substrates, sliced from ingots, and are part of the circuitry, or electronic components, of many products including solar modules (panels), computers, telecommunications devices, automotive products, consumer goods, and industrial automation and control systems. The Company’s wafer handling and processing equipment and consumable products currently address the diffusion, oxidation and deposition steps used in the fabrication of solar cells, semiconductors, MEMS and the polishing of newly sliced silicon wafers.

Statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts may be forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Litigation Reform Act. Such statements may use words such as “proposed,” "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," “goal,” “guidance,” "intend," ”outlook,” "predict," "project" and similar expressions as they relate to Amtech Systems, Inc. or our management. When we make forward-looking statements, we are basing them on our management's beliefs and assumptions, using information currently available to us. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward looking statements are reasonable, these forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions including the risks discussed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. If one or more of these risks materialize, or if our underlying assumptions prove to be incorrect, actual results may vary materially from what we projected. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release reflect our current views with respect to future events and are subject to these and other risks, uncertainties and assumptions relating to our operations, results of operations, growth strategy and liquidity. We have no intention, and disclaim any obligation, to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future results or otherwise.

Click here do view a PDF of Financial Tables


Contacts:

Amtech Systems, Inc
Bradley C. Anderson
Chief Financial Officer
(480) 967-5146
MKR Group, Inc.
 Investor Relations
Todd Kehrli or Jim Byers
 (323) 468-2300


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