NATI

National Instruments Corporation (NATI)

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National Instruments Corp. (NATI)

Q4 2010 Earnings Call

January 25, 2011 5:00 Pm ET

Executives

James Truchard - President, CEO and Co-Founder

David Hugley - Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary

Alec Davern – COO

Pete Zogas - Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Analysts

Anthony Luscri - JPMorgan

William Stein - Credit Suisse

Sven Eenmaa - Stifel Nicolaus

Richard Eastman - Robert W. Baird

Chuck Murphy - Sidoti and Co

Derek Joise - Longbow Research

Presentation

Operator

Good day everyone and welcome to the National Instrument Fourth Quarter 2010 Earnings Conference Call. Just a reminder, today's call is being recorded. You may refer to your press packet for the replay dial-in number and passcode.

With us today are David Hugley, Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary; Alec Davern, Chief Operating Officer; Dr. James Truchard, President, CEO and Co-Founder and Pete Zogas, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. For opening remarks, I would like to turn the call over Mr. David Hugley, Vice President, Corporate Counsel and Secretary. Please go ahead, sir.

David Hugley

Good afternoon. During the course of this conference call, we shall make forward-looking statements regarding the future financial performance of the company, including statements regarding our plans and budget for 2011, our future revenue growth and operating leverage being well positioned for growth and our revenue and earnings per share guidance. We wish to caution you that such statements are just predictions and that the actual events or results may differ materially. We refer you to the documents the company files regularly with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the company's most recent quarterly report on Form10-Q filed November 3, 2010. These documents contain and identify important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those contained in our forward-looking statements.

With that, I will now turn it over to the Chief Executive Officer of National Instruments Corporation, Dr. James Truchard.

James Truchard

Thank you, David. Good afternoon and thank you for joining us. Our key points today are record revenue, record profits and continued strategic investments in 2011. I am extremely pleased with our performance this quarter as we set a new record for quarterly and annual revenues. While the recent recession was one of the most challenging financial period in the company history, our ability to outpace the growth of many of our peers and reach record revenue so quickly can be attributed not only to the broad based recovery in the business but also to our commitment to strategic investments throughout the downturn.

We continue to invest in R&D and our field sales force which has produced a pipeline of innovative few products and strengthen relationships with key customers. I believe our outstanding results validate our strategy and I continue to be very optimistic about our position in the industry.

In our call today, Alec Davern, Chief Operating Officer, will review our results. Pete Zogas, our Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, will discuss our business and I will close with a few comments before we open up for your questions. Alec?

Alec Davern

Good afternoon. Today, we are pleased to report that NI set new quarterly and annual revenue records in Q4 and 2010. Fourth quarter revenue was $250 million, up $48 million or 24% year-over-year, and was up $30 million or 13% sequentially. 2010 annual revenue was $873 million, up 29% year-over-year and backlog at December 31, 2010 increased by $5 million from September 30.

Non-GAAP gross margin in Q4 by 50 basis points year-over-year to 78%. Our ability to significantly increase our gross margins is attributed to the success we have had in driving down component costs, improving manufacturing efficiency into the high value and differentiation we delivered to our customers.

Fourth quarter GAAP and non-GAAP operating income were all time quarterly records. GAAP operating income was $46.6 million, a 30% increase over Q4 2009. Non-GAAP operating income was $52 million, a 24% increase over Q4 2009. This represents a non-GAAP operating margin of 21%.

For the full year, our non-GAAP operating margin was 17.3% and I would like to thank all of our employees for the hard they have contributed to this very strong results. Net income for Q4 was $38 million with fully diluted earnings per share of $0.48 and non-GAAP net income was $42 million with non-GAAP fully diluted earnings per share of $0.53. Please recall that in 2009 the company incurred a $21.6 million non-cash tax charge that reduced both our GAAP and non-GAAP earnings per share by $0.28 in Q4 2009. EBITDA or earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization was also a new all time record at $56 million or $0.71 per share for Q4, and for the full year it was $165 million or $2.08 per share. Reconciliation of our GAAP and non-GAAP results is included in our earnings press release.

Q4 was a very successful quarter and there simply are positives to take away. First, we saw a strong growth in large orders closing in Q4. Second, our strong performance results in an all time quarterly record for operating income with non-GAAP operating margin increasing to 21% in Q4. Third, the global PMI improved in Q4 with a quarterly average of 54.2 indicating that while global industrial production is still down significantly from its all time highs it did see a strong sequential expansion in Q4.

Turning to the balance sheet, inventory increased by $16 million during the quarter and inventory days were relatively flat as revenues surged. Cash flow from operating activities continued to be strong at $145 million. As of December 31, the company had $351 million of cash and short term investments.

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