9 March 2012

Kopin’s III-V revenue grows 12% in Q4/2011 to $17.4m

For full-year 2011, Kopin Corp of Taunton, MA, USA has reported revenue of $131.1m, up 8.9% on $120.4m in 2010. Of this, revenue from III-V products (mainly heterojunction bipolar transistor epiwafers) rose 6.8% from $62.2m to $66.5m and revenue from Display products (used in mobile applications including smartphones and tablet PCs, military thermal weapons sights, and wearable computers) rose 11.2% from $58.2m to $64.7m.

Most recently, fourth quarter 2011 revenue was $35.2m, up 6.3% on $33.1m a year ago and up 19% on $29.6m in Q3/2011. “We concluded a successful 2011 with strong fourth-quarter growth,” says president & CEO Dr John C.C. Fan.

In particular, III-V product revenue was $17.4m, up 12% on $15.5m in Q3 and up 15% on $15.1m a year ago, driven by strong global sales of wireless handsets and growing demand for BiFET and BiHEMT structures as enabling technology for smartphone power amplifiers. “BiHEMTs deliver the high performance in the small footprints required by next-generation smartphones, and our integrated circuit customers’ BiHEMT qualification and production activities increased significantly in the fourth quarter,” says Fan.

However, revenue from Displays was $17.8m, up 26% on $14.1m in Q3 but down 1.7% on $18.1m a year ago, reflecting lower R&D and military display revenue (partially offset by higher revenue from consumer electronics applications).

Gross margin rose from 30.4% in 2010 to 34.6% in 2011. “During 2011, we maintained a strong financial position while investing for the future. Our 2011 gross margin dollars increased $8m compared with 2010, which enabled us to increase internal R&D investments in our III-V, display and Golden-i technologies by $5.1m,” says Fan.

On a non-GAAP basis, operating income was $3.5m in Q4/2011, up from $3.1m a year ago. Full-year operating income rose from $5.7m to $8.2m. Q4 net income was $2.4m, down from $4m a year ago but up from $0.8m in Q3.

During 2011, Kopin generated $18.1m of cash from operating activities, allowing it to spend $11m on acquiring Forth Dimension Displays (FDD) in January 2011, $5.9m on capital expenditure and $4.4m for the repurchase of stock. Cash and equivalents and marketable securities has consequently fallen from $111m to $105.4m (although Q4 saw a recovery from $103m at the end of Q3).

“We anticipate another strong year of growing global demand for smartphones to drive a solid performance for our III-V business in 2012, and our Golden-i technology is on track for a 2012 launch,” Fan said. “However, we expect Defense Department budget cuts to negatively affect our military display revenue,” he adds. Consequently, for full-year 2012, Kopin expects overall revenue to fall about 12% to $110-120m.

“By the end of this month we anticipate the completion of a plant consolidation project we started more than a year ago,” says Fan. “We have consolidated all of our domestic display manufacturing activities into one facility that allowed us to consolidate all of our domestic III-V activities into one facility and we effectively closed our other domestic III-V facility this month. Actions like these will help to generate substantial cost savings, allowing Kopin to remain financially strong and flexible so that we can continue to invest in the future growth of our business,” he adds.

“In 2012 we will continue to focus on developing our BiFET and BiHEMT smartphone technologies as well as on working with our partner for the successful launch of our Golden-i technologies,” notes Fan. “These investments will position us to further capitalize on our leadership position in III-V technology, as well as on our expertise in advanced display imaging systems for consumer and industrial markets to drive market share gains and longer-term growth,” he believes.

See related items:

Kopin’s III-Vs revenue falls 3% in Q3

Kopin’s first-half III-V revenue up 10% year-on-year

Kopin’s Q1 revenue up 37% year-on-year to record $35m

Smart-phone demand drives 34% III-V revenue growth for Kopin in 2010

Kopin’s III-V growth slows in Q3 to 4.4%

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