ESI quarterly revenues grow more than 50%

Portland, Ore. - Electro Scientific Industries Inc. (ESI), a provider of laser-based microengineering systems, announced fourth quarter revenues were $59.6 million, up 53% from the third quarter and up 230% from the same quarter one year ago, driven largely by the shipment of the large micromachining order received last quarter.

On a GAAP basis, net income was $2.1 million or $0.07 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $2.4 million or $0.09 per share in the prior quarter. On a non-GAAP basis, excluding the impact of purchase accounting, equity compensation, and non-recurring items, fourth quarter net income was $4.4 million or $0.16 per diluted share, compared to a loss of $0.9 million or $0.03 per share in the third quarter.

“This quarter was a tremendous finish to our fiscal year,” said Nick Konidaris, ESI president and CEO. “Revenues more than tripled from last year’s fourth quarter, and we delivered solid profits and cash flow.”

Revenues for the full fiscal year 2010 were $148.9 million, down 5% from 2009. On a GAAP basis, the fiscal 2010 net loss was $12.0 million or $0.44 per share, compared to a net loss of $51.0 million or $1.89 per share in the prior year. Non-GAAP net loss was $6.6 million or $0.24 per share, compared to a non-GAAP loss of $9.1 million or $0.34 per share in fiscal 2009.

Orders for the fourth quarter were $54.2 million, compared to $61.2 million in the prior quarter and $16.1 million in the prior year quarter. Excluding the large order received last quarter, overall orders grew almost 50% sequentially.

“We saw solid demand for flex interconnect, LED scribing and passive component test products, reflecting increased end-user demand and higher capacity utilization rates at our customers,” continued Konidaris. “In addition, our advanced micromachining business was strong as we saw some follow-on business to the very large order for the ML5900 we received last quarter. Memory repair continued to be weak; however, we are seeing increased activity in this market and expect to begin seeing orders this quarter.”

Fourth quarter operating expenses were up sequentially due to the elimination of most of the temporary cost reduction measures and higher engineering project spending. Konidaris added, “Our top priority is to grow the company, and we are making a substantial investment in new product development to capture the many growth opportunities we see ahead.”

1Q11 Outlook
Based on current business conditions, ESI expects revenues for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 to be in the low- to mid-$50 million range and non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.01 to $0.06, excluding the impact of purchase accounting, equity compensation, and non-recurring items.

"Since the market bottomed in 2009 we have delivered four quarters of solid sequential revenue growth," Konidaris concluded. "Over that time, the markets have taken a step up. Where they go from here is still not clear. Most of our markets are strong, while DRAM remains weak; but we are looking for that market to begin to recover this quarter. Overall I feel good as we enter fiscal year 2011, and we expect to see strong revenue growth year over year. While we may see choppiness in some of our markets during the year, DRAM recovery and new products should help fuel our growth."

ESI is a supplier of world-class production laser systems. The company's application-specific products enhance electronic-device performance in three key sectors – semiconductors, passive components, and electronic interconnect – by enabling precision fine-tuning of device micro-features in high-volume manufacturing environments.

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