Varex Imaging Corporation

Q2 2023 Earnings Conference Call


spk03: Greetings and welcome to the VARIC second quarter fiscal year 2023 earnings call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. A brief question and answer session will follow a formal presentation. If anyone should require operator assistance during the conference, please press star zero on your telephone keypad. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, Chris Belfiore, Director of Investor Relations. Thank you, Chris. You may begin.
spk01: Good afternoon and welcome to Varick Imaging Corporation's earnings conference call for the second quarter of fiscal year 2023. With me today are Sunny Sanyal, our President and CEO, and Sam Maheshwari, our CFO. Please note that the live webcast of this conference call includes a supplemental slide presentation that can be accessed at VERIX's website at The website and supplemental slide presentation will be archived on VERIX's website. To simplify our discussion, unless otherwise stated, all references to the quarter are for the second quarter of fiscal year 2023. In addition, unless otherwise stated, Quarterly comparisons are made sequentially from the second quarter of fiscal year 2023 to the first quarter of fiscal year 2023. Finally, all references to the year are to the fiscal year and not calendar year unless otherwise stated. Please be advised that during this call, we will be making forward-looking statements, which are predictions or projections about future events. These statements are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. Risks relating to our business are described in our quarterly earnings reliefs and our filings with the SEC. Additional information concerning factors that could cause actual results to materially differ from those anticipated is contained in our SEC filings, including 1A risk factors of our quarterly reports on Form 10Q, and our annual report on Form 10-K. The information in this discussion speaks as of today's date, and we assume no obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements in this discussion. On today's call, we will discuss certain non-GAAP financial measures. These non-GAAP measures are not presented in accordance with, nor are they a substitute for, GAAP financial measures. We provided a reconciliation of each non-GAAP financial measure to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure in our earnings press release, which is posted on our website. I will now turn the call over to Sonny.
spk04: Thank you, Chris, and good afternoon, everyone. I'm pleased to report strong second quarter results that exceeded the high end of our guidance. This was primarily driven by better than expected results in our industrial segment, while the medical segment performed in line with our expectations. We're encouraged by the demand levels we're seeing, and we anticipate our growth to remain solid in the second half of fiscal 2023. Revenue in the second quarter was up 11% sequentially and 6% year-over-year. Revenue in the medical segment increased 9% sequentially and 2% year-over-year, while industrial segment revenue increased 19% sequentially and 22% year-over-year. Non-GAAP gross margin in the second quarter was 33%, which was better than our expectations, primarily due to a higher proportion of industrial sales. Adjusted EBITDA in the second quarter was $30 million, and non-GAAP EPS was 26 cents. We ended the second quarter with $122 million of cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities on the balance sheet, up $14 million from the $108 million in the prior quarter. This was primarily due to a $9 million reduction in inventory in the quarter. Let me give you some insights into sales detail by modality in the quarter compared to a five-quarter average. Medical segment revenues increased 2% year-over-year and 9% sequentially. Demand for CT tubes was solid in the quarter, primarily due to the strength with our Asia-Pacific customers. Fluoroscopy and oncology were down in the quarter. Dental, which can be lumpy from quarter to quarter, was down in Q2, and mammography was flat in the second quarter while radiography was up. Revenues in our industrial segment increased 22% year-over-year and 19% sequentially. Demand for industrial products was robust in the quarter and solidly ahead of our expectations. The strength in the quarter was primarily in our non-destructive inspection products across various end markets and service. We also continue to see improvement in security market, primarily in cargo inspection. As we highlighted last quarter, the technological capabilities of photon counting detectors continues to be a focus for many of our customers. It was a significant topic of our conversations with customers at RSNA in November, as well as at the European Congress of Radiology in March. We are excited to announce that we have entered into several projects across our medical and industrial businesses. to further demonstrate the capabilities of photon counting detectors. In the medical segment, we continue to make progress with our CT customers for potential integration of photon counting detectors into their systems. In order to accelerate and support these efforts, we have also entered into a publicly funded project led by Munich Institute of Biomedical Engineering of the Technical University of Munich. The focus of the project is to develop a technology demonstrator of a photon counting CT system. This project, which will utilize several Varix components in addition to photon counting detectors, will allow Varix to showcase the capabilities enabled by our photon counting detector technology in CT applications, including the use of AI for enhanced imaging. We expect this project will democratize cutting edge CT technology to potentially accelerate the adoption of photon counting detectors in the next generation CT systems. In our industrial segment, VERIX is involved in two collaborative photon counting projects named PARSEC and GRINR. These projects are sponsored under the Horizon Europe Program, the EU's key funding program for research and innovation. The first project, PARSEC, is aimed at addressing the abuse of postal and express career services by criminals and terrorists. Varix's role in this project is to help Parsec enhance detection of threats and illicit goods in the postal and express courier flows and achieve higher levels of detection performance. Varix will deploy its photon counting technology to assist users in achieving these objectives. The second project, Grinner, is aimed at addressing issues affecting battery-caused fires in electrical and electronic equipment waste management chain. These fires can cause significant damage and high costs for waste management companies. Barrick's role in this project is to help develop an AI-powered battery detection system utilizing our photon counting detectors. Across all these three highly innovative projects, we are thankful for the partnerships and associated funding which help accelerate further development and the use of our technologies in the medical and industrial fields. We are encouraged by the demand trend that we are seeing across both segments and expect the solid performance to continue in the second half of fiscal 2023. We believe the supply chain situation for our customers is improving, and as a result, we expect revenue in fiscal 2023 to grow 3% to 5% over fiscal 2022. With that, let me hand over the call to Sam.
spk02: Thanks, Sunny, and hello, everyone. As a reminder, unless otherwise indicated, I'll provide sequential comparisons of our results for the second quarter of fiscal 2023 with those of our first quarter of fiscal 2023. I'm pleased to report solid results for the second quarter compared to our guidance. We exceeded our guidance for revenue, gross margin, and non-GAAP EPS and generated $27 million of operating cash flow in the quarter. A primary driver of the strong performance was excellent execution in our industrial segment, which was significantly above recent run rates. As a result, we reported sales of $228 million and non-GAAP gross margin of 33%. The higher gross margin is primarily the result of the larger portion of industrial sales. Non-GAAP EPS was 26 cents. Second quarter revenues increased 11% compared to a seasonally low first quarter of fiscal 2023. Revenues increased 6% compared to second quarter of fiscal 2022. Medical revenues were $174 million and industrial revenues were $54 million. Medical revenues were 76% and industrial revenues were 24% of our total revenues for the quarter. Industrial revenues have typically contributed between 20% and 22% of total VARX revenues in the recent past. Looking at revenue by region, Americas increased 2% sequentially, while EMEA increased 7% and APAC increased 23%. The increase in APAC sales were primarily driven by strength in CT. Please note there was a minor reallocation of revenue from Americas to APAC. in Q1 of fiscal 2023. China continues to perform well for us with sales of 17% of overall revenue for the quarter. Let me now cover our results on a GAAP basis. Second quarter gross margin was 32%, 100 basis points higher sequentially. Operating expenses were $57 million, up $7 million compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2023. and operating income was $16 million, up $3 million. Net earnings were $4 million, and GAAP EPS was $0.10 based on fully diluted 41 million shares. Moving on to non-GAAP results for the quarter. Gross margin of 33% was up 100 basis points sequentially, driven primarily by the larger proportion of sales in our higher margin industrial segment, as well as reduced freight expenses. R&D spending in the second quarter was $23 million, up $3 million compared to the first quarter due to spending on R&D material and Micro-X related payment. Recall from the guidance we provided last quarter, R&D expense included a $2 million payment for successful completion of Micro-X related technology transfer milestones. Overall, R&D was 10% of revenues at the high end of our targeted 8% to 10% range. SG&A was approximately $29 million, up $1 million compared to the prior quarter. SG&A was 13% of revenues. As a note, compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2022, SG&A was up $6 million. The lower SG&A in Q2 of fiscal 2022 was related to a credit associated with our incentive plan. Operating expenses were $52 million, or 23% of revenue. Overall, our operating expenses were higher than our expectations due to higher R&D material spend and SG&A. Operating income was $23 million, up $5 million sequentially. Operating margin was 10% of revenue compared to 9% in the first quarter of fiscal 2023. Tax expense in the second quarter was $4 million or 28% of pre-tax income compared to $2 million or 15% in the first quarter of fiscal 2023. We continue to model approximately a 25% tax rate for full fiscal year 2023. Net earnings were $11 million or 26 cents per diluted share, up 5 cents sequentially. Average diluted shares for the quarter on a non-GAAP basis were $41 million. Now turning to the balance sheet. Despite a significant increase in sales, accounts receivable increased by $2 million from the prior quarter, and DSO decreased six days to 64 days. Inventory decreased $9 million in the second quarter, and days of inventory decreased 21 days to 182 days. We are very pleased with our progress reducing inventory and expect this trend to continue in the second half of fiscal 2023. Accounts payable decreased by $12 million and days payable was 43 days. Now moving to debt and cash flow information. Cash flow from operations was $27 million in the second quarter due primarily to a reduction in inventory. We ended the quarter with cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $122 million and increase of $14 million from the first quarter of fiscal 2023. Gross debt outstanding at the end of the quarter was $449 million and debt net of $122 million of cash and marketable securities was $327 million. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $30 million and adjusted EBITDA margin was 13% of sales. Our net debt leverage ratio was 2.6 times trailing 12 months EBITDA at the quarter end. Now moving on to guidance. Due to an improving supply chain situation for our customers, we are now expecting fiscal 2023 sales to be stronger than we anticipated in the last earnings call. We now expect revenue for fiscal 2023 to be up 3 to 5 percent compared to fiscal 2022. Our expectations for the third quarter of fiscal 2023 are revenues are expected between $220 and $240 million, and non-GAAP earnings per diluted share is expected between 20 cents and 40 cents. Our expectations are based on non-GAAP gross margin in a range of 32 to 33 percent non-GAAP operating expenses in the range of $47 to $48 million, tax rate of about 25% for the third quarter, as well as the rest of fiscal 2023, and non-GAAP diluted share count of about 50 million shares. With that, we will now open the call for your questions.
spk03: Thank you. We will now be conducting a question and answer session. If you would like to ask a question, please press star 1 on your telephone keypad. A confirmation tone will indicate your line is in the question queue. You may press star 2 if you'd like to remove your question from the queue. For participants using speaker equipment, it may be necessary to pick up your handset before pressing the star keys. One moment, please, while we poll for questions. Thank you. Our first question is from Larry Solo with CJS Securities. Please proceed with your question.
spk07: Great. Good afternoon, guys. I guess the first question, I guess, just from a high level, from... Last quarter, I think you kind of, you know, you singled out that the demand environment was softening a little bit. And it sounds like, you know, demand remained pretty strong. I know there's always been sort of this, you know, impact. Demand has been impacted or you couldn't sort of serve all demand because of the supply chain issues. But I also felt like last quarter, you know, you spoke to sort of, you know, supply chain but also demand. caution on OEM partners and more importantly some caution from hospital you know purchasing so I'm just trying to parse out has that kind of changed what sort of driving you know what appears to be you know a better revenue environment and kind of what we thought it was a couple quarters back but then it looks like you know there was sort of a little bit of a seesaw effect last quarter if you can maybe just you know give a little call right now that'd be great yeah hey Larry this is Sonny um
spk04: First of all, for the quarter, medical met our expectations and it was industrial that exceeded our expectations. In general, what we saw, and we mentioned this the last quarter, that many of our customers were having supply chain issues and that they had trouble moving to the factory. So that gave us the reason for some caution saying, okay, when will this clear up and what should we expect then in the subsequent quarters. What we saw in the quarter was our customers started to make progress. And as they made progress, the orders that then they placed with us started to grow. So that increased our confidence for the second half of the year. And secondly, for industrial, we continued to see strength, ongoing strength. And that has continued on. In terms of the capital environment and that situation, there's still capital prioritization going on. But what we're sensing is that the hospitals have been working hard to improve their financial situation, their profitability. And so to the extent that that continues, even though they'll still continue on with their prioritization, it should improve the capital prioritization situation. So We're feeling better than we were, let's say, in the December-January timeframe.
spk07: Okay. And I think you kind of called out sort of low single-digit, flat to low single-digit volume growth this year. I think you said last quarter. Do you still, are you sort of, I know you don't really guide to the full year, but is that, I mean, it feels like you're always at the higher end of that, maybe not flat, but maybe more, you know, low single could be, you know, 2%, 3% sort of semantic there, but I'm just trying to, Is that the case that your demand, maybe not so much in Q2, but going forward, feels a little bit better? Maybe that's more industrial-driven than medical.
spk02: Hey, Larry, this is Sam. So, yeah, in our prepared remarks, we did call out that for the full year, we are now expecting sales growth in FY23 over the prior year in a range of 3% to 5%. Previously, we had said flat to up. And that's really coming from what Sunny said that, you know, previously customers were indicating some softness in certain pockets. And as the last few months have progressed, we are seeing less of that. And so we are being more constructive here and kind of raising the full year sales number.
spk07: Okay. And then just switching gears real fast, just on the cost side, the little bit of higher expense this quarter, It feels like it seems somewhat temporary as your guidance for Q3 is kind of back to even below where you originally had guided for this quarter, I think by like a million dollars. So was that sort of R&D material spend? Was that one-time-ish in nature? The higher SG&A, your sales are obviously better than expected too, but just trying to figure out what sort of drove, or was that more temporary than permanent? It feels like it. Thanks.
spk02: Yeah, sure, Larry, a few things to unpack there. If you would remember, we had guided that in Q2, where we just reported results, there is a one-time $2 million payment related to milestones and successful completion of that for Micro X. So that clearly is one time that goes away in Q3. So there is that benefit. And then in Q2, We also had, like you were saying, we also had R&D material. Whenever you're doing more R&D, there's a little bit more R&D material. So there was a bit higher than expected R&D material spending. So that also we expect to kind of trend down in this coming quarter, meaning in Q3. So that's why OPEX is kind of going back into a run rate where I think that is sustainable. I would say that Q2 actuals on the OPEX are not the OPEX that I'm expecting going forward. It was just a one-quarter high expenses that we had. Now, coming back to your comment on SG&A, you know, travel has come back, and this last quarter, we had full quarter of travel as well as meeting with the customers. The normal things are getting resumed. A few countries opened up for external visitors as well. So I think as GNA in my mind would continue as it is, but R&D should come.
spk07: Got it. Great. I appreciate all the call. Thanks, Sam.
spk03: Thank you. Our next question is from Young Lee with Jefferies. Please proceed with your question.
spk05: All right, great. Thanks so much for taking our questions and congrats on a strong quarter. Maybe to start out, just on the China business, was wondering if you can provide a little bit more detail on it. Looks like, you know, it's growing 20 plus percent in the first half of the fiscal year, around 17% of REVs. Was wondering if you can comment maybe on the growth outlook for China as well? Is it reasonable to assume that China can grow 20 plus percent for the year?
spk04: So, first of all, China has been on the tear due to, you know, first adoption of these systems. And that's why you've seen in the past 20 to 30 percent growth rates for us. And then, We expect the growth rates to settle into the more market growth rates, which is around 10% of China. For the rest of this year, we expect to see the continued trajectory that we've had in the first half. So no, not much of a change expected there, but again, there's always some timing impact. But over time, China's adoption has continued. And our installed base has grown. So for the long haul, we expect a 10%-ish type of a growth. So you can kind of plot it along that trajectory.
spk05: All right, great. Very helpful. Maybe one on gross margins. I was just wondering, so some of the macro supply chain issues are improving. You're reducing some of the higher cost inventory. The industrials, businesses, doing better and it's the higher margin. Should we expect, I guess, the fiscal 1Q's gross margin to be the low watermark for fiscal 23 and maybe fiscal 24 as well?
spk02: Hi, Young Sam here. Yeah, I think in terms of gross margin, you know, a few tailwinds. We mentioned industrial which is a higher margin business being a higher proportion of sales, so that contributes 30, 40, 50 basis points to the overall gross margin number. But then we also benefited from freight. Freight rates have come down, both on the ocean as well as air freight. We still need some work to do to move more of the freight from air to ocean, so that should help. So I think the freight-related Benefit there's more to do there a little bit more so that that was that foreign exchange, you know dollar We can a little bit here in this last quarter compared to some of the other major currencies that we trade in that we do business in Overall that was a very small effect so between all these two or three items gross margins benefited in q2 At this point as I look forward, I tend to agree with you that Q1 23 gross margin are expected to be the low point and going forward I'm expecting gross margins to improve further as some of the price cost drag that the P&L has that we work to balance that. So that should provide some help on gross margin I'm expecting that freight environment would continue to remain favorable, and as that happens, that should provide some more benefit to us. So, yeah, I think Q1 probably is the low point on the gross margin for us. Excellent. Thank you so much. Thanks, Jan.
spk03: Thank you. Our next question is from Tim Sidoti with Sidoti & Company. Please proceed with your question.
spk00: Hi, good morning, and I'm sorry, good afternoon, and thanks for taking the questions. On the Micro X, the $2 million payment, so I assume that payment was as a result of them hitting some milestones. Can you just talk a little bit about, you know, what the pathway to commercialize that product is?
spk04: Yeah. Hey, Jim. The two milestones had to do with setting up of our of our lab here and completing the technology transfer around the emitter and building those here successfully by ourselves. So those were completed and we're satisfied with how that went and so that's one. We are now in the middle of building out, doing what we do next which is to build up tubes with them characterizing and doing the necessary performance benchmarking and testing. So once we have that, Jim, then we go down the path of starting to ship prototypes to our customers. So those are sort of the breadcrumb trails on how we get to commercialization. It'll take us the rest of the year to finish up the building of the tubes, testing them, and coming up with the spec sheets and the data sheets that would be used to engage the OEMs.
spk00: And then in China, some of the other device companies that were reported indicated China was particularly slow the first couple months of the quarter because of some of the COVID shutdowns and then got better in March.
spk04: Did you see a similar trend? We were not affected as much by the COVID shutdowns because our customers were somehow managed to keep their production environments going, and so did we. The last two years, we came up with very flexible ways of accommodating our workforce, and that helped out. We were fine with that. We didn't sense anything on that front.
spk02: Jim, I would just add that during the shutdowns, we were not that much impacted in China. And so as a result, when things opened up, it's not that we saw a step up or anything like that. China has been strong continuously over a number of quarters here for us and continued that way. So we really didn't see much of a difference between January versus March as far as China is concerned.
spk00: Okay. And then the other trend that I've heard on some of the calls For the quarters, the electric procedure rates seem to be very strong, above 2019 levels. Do you think that's what's maybe driving some of the improvement on the hospital side? Do you think that maybe they're a little more likely to make capital purchases now that they see their procedure rates are back up?
spk04: The sense we're getting from our customers is the demand environment continues to be strong for them. they were jammed up with their ability to deliver. And so when we shipped products to them, and they've also said, as I mentioned in the previous quarter, we were not the reasons for their jam up. So when we ship product for them and they're stuck because they're missing a nut or a bolt, then our components were stuck in there in their whip. So as that freed up, they were using up our products and hence we saw then our demand strengthen. So overall, We have only heard positive news from our customers about the demand environment. Okay.
spk00: All right. And then the last one on cash, I think you said you have 122 million. You only show 104 million on the balance sheet. Is the other 20 million or so, is that in the prepaid and other current assets line?
spk02: No, Jim. So on that one, the The difference between the cash that we said and cash reported on balance sheet, you rightly picked up about $20 million or so. They are invested in treasuries and other such securities. And as per GAAP, it is called marketable securities or other such securities. So they are elsewhere in the balance sheet. But for all practical purposes, it is cash. It is very low-risk cash investments to pick up some yield on the interest income. Okay.
spk00: All right. Thank you.
spk02: Thanks, Jim.
spk03: Thank you. Our next question is from Siraj Kalia with Oppenheimer. Please proceed with your question.
spk06: Hi, sir and Sam. It's Seamus. I'm for Siraj, actually. No worries. Thanks for taking our questions and congrats on a strong quarter. So kind of, you know, given that other players also have photon counting detectors, how do you ensure the attach rates of Varix tubes to Varix detectors? Is there a mechanism or is it a kind of free-for-all mix and match?
spk04: So photon counting, I think the two are disconnected in terms of how they... how they may be bought, how they may be purchased. So let me talk about photon counting first, and I'll come back to the guts of your question. So photon counting, our detectors are going into industrial applications, and they're fairly broadly dispersed across food inspection, across electronics, battery inspection, a variety of different industrial applications. verticals. There, in some cases, our industrial tubes are used. In some other cases, our tubes may not be used. There's really no direct connection right now between the detector performance of the detector and the performance of the tube. So on the medical side, our photon counting detectors go into some medical applications that have those designed in. And in some of those cases, our tubes are in there. So a lot depends on how we approach the customer But inherently, there has not been a tight connection between the two. With our customers, where we are targeting with CT detectors, sorry, the CT detector market, many of these are our core customers and who have our CT tubes. So there we have the benefit of being an incumbent. So our tubes are already in there. We're going to them with photon counting detector technologies and stuff.
spk06: optimizing our components to work well for them okay thank you um turning out a kind of inventory we saw down six i want to say nine or ten million uh quarter over quarter so kind of how should we expect inventory management for the remainder of the year and you know it's i know we've you've previously said that there's some higher inventory costs kind of in there, so to speak, from higher component pricing. So I guess any gross margin boosts as you kind of worked through that over the year and if you could quantify that.
spk02: Sure. So overall, Shane, in terms of our overall inventory balances, we are targeting inventory to take down further during the rest of the fiscal year. So we are planning and working towards bringing inventory amounts down. So that should be positive from a cash flow generation perspective. And then in our inventory, there is high price components and they are rolling through the P&L. And as some of those high cost components roll through the P&L, we should see a gross margin But as of now, my estimate is that that would be much more towards the end of this calendar year. So beginning from January of next year, we should see some gross margin pickup when those components have kind of moved their way across the P&L.
spk06: Okay. Thank you. And just last one from our end. What's the current status of the OEM evaluation of cold cathode?
spk04: So those are – we've continued to make progress on the technologies, and we're continuing to ship the prototypes, the design prototypes, engineering prototypes to our customers. So that's moving forward with our joint venture, and we are continuing to support them. And at the same time, the technology progress with our micro X – technology is also moving forward.
spk06: Thank you.
spk03: Thank you. There are no further questions at this time. I would like to turn the floor back over to Chris Belfiore for any closing comments.
spk01: Great. Thank you for your questions. Sonny, do you have any final comments?
spk04: Sure. Folks, in closing, we're very pleased with the second quarter results, and we're encouraged by the demand levels that we're seeing and our growth prospects for the remainder of fiscal 2023. And as always, I'm very proud of the effort of our global employees that they make on a daily basis. Thank you for taking the time to join us today, and thank you for your continued interest in Verix.
spk01: Thank you, Sonny, and thank you all for your questions and participating in our earnings conference call today. The webcast and supplemental slide presentation will be archived on our website. A replay of this quarterly conference call will be available through May 16th and can be accessed at forward slash investors dash relations. Thank you.
spk03: This concludes today's conference. You may disconnect your lines at this time. Thank you for your participation.

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