PRCP

Perceptron, Inc. (PRCP)

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Perceptron, Inc. (PRCP)

F1Q09 (Qtr End 09/30/08) Earnings Call Transcript

November 11, 2008, 10:00 am ET

Executives

Harry Rittenour – President and CEO

Jack Lowry – VP, Finance & CFO

Mark Hoefing – SVP, Industrial Business Unit

Sylvia Smith – Controller

Analysts

Alex Gavial [ph] – Barrington Research

Alice Leaves [ph] – Hill Fund [ph]

Operator

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Perceptron announces first quarter results for fiscal year 2009. At this time, I would like to inform you that this conference is being recorded and that all participants are in a listen-only mode. There will be a digital rebroadcast of this call available beginning at 1 PM Central Time today. The rebroadcast can be accessed by dialing 888-203-1112 or 719-457-0820 with the passcode of 7794613.

At the request of the company, we will open the conference up for questions after the presentation. (Operator instructions)

I will now turn the conference over to Mr. Harry Rittenour, President and Chief Executive Officer of Perceptron. Please go ahead, sir.

Harry Rittenour

Good morning and thank you for joining us today. With me are Jack Lowry, our CFO; Sylvia Smith, Controller; Mark Hoefing, Senior Vice President for the Industrial Business Unit; Paul Eckhoff, Senior Vice President for the Commercial Products Business Unit; and Herbert Feveber, our Vice President for Operations and Quality.

A copy of our press release, outlining the results of the first quarter of our fiscal year 2009 was distributed through Marketwire yesterday. If you do not have access to it, please call Jack after this conference call at 734-414-4816 and it will be faxed out to you.

In accordance with SEC rules, we want to inform you that a number of the matters we discuss today may constitute forward-looking statements as defined by the SEC, including those concerning the company's future results and the company's product development efforts among others. Actual results may differ materially from those we discuss today and involve a number of uncertainties that are detailed in the press release announcing the operating results for the first quarter of FY 2009.

To begin, Jack will give you an overview of our first quarter results. Jack?

Jack Lowry

Thanks Harry, and good morning everyone. Yesterday, as Harry said, we announced net sales of $19.3 million and a net loss of $32,000 or $0.00 per share for the first quarter of our fiscal year 2009 that ended on September 30, 2008. That compares to sales of $17.7 million and net income of $447,000 or $0.05 per diluted share for the quarter ended September 30, 2007.

By now, I trust you have had a chance to review our press release or our Form 10-Q that we filed yesterday. I will try to briefly touch on the financial results in our filings and some supporting information behind the numbers. As most of you know, we report our financial results in two segments; Automated Systems and Technology Products.

The Automated Systems segment includes new installations of our four Auto-X products known as AutoGauge, AutoGuide, AutoScan and AutoFit; as well as systems upgrades and additions, service and repair work, training and spare parts. Technology Products segment includes our line of commercial products and our technology component products WheelWorks, ScanWorks, and force [ph] products that we sell to value-added resellers and OEMs for incorporation into their products.

Our overall sales increased by 9% over the first quarter of fiscal year 2008. There was a 4.9% increase in Automated Systems sales, and that was primarily due to an increase in European sales and a small increase in Asian sales for the quarter, and they were partially offset by a decline in North American sales. The Technology Products segment sales increased 12.5% compared to the first quarter last year. That increase was due to growth in our commercial products and was partially offset by a decline in technology component product sales, primarily WheelWorks.

On a geographic regional basis, sales in the Americas were up due to higher sales of Technology Products, primarily the commercial products line; and that offset lower Automated Systems sales of approximately $800,000 in the Americas. We had increased sales in Europe that primarily was from Automated Systems sales with Technology Products contributing to the increase to a lesser degree. Increased Automated Systems sales in Asia were partially offset by lower Technology Products sales.

Turning to bookings, on an overall basis, we increased our new order bookings by 16.6% over the same quarter last year. There was a 16% decrease in Automated Systems bookings, principally from lower bookings in North America and Asia, and they were partially offset by an increase in European bookings. The $4.8 million increase in Technology Products, which was up 84%, was due to increases in commercial product orders. This was also the primary cause of the increase in bookings in the Americas. The decrease in Asia bookings was primarily related to Automated Systems and to a lesser extent, lower Technology Products bookings. And as you know, and we have indicated before, our level of new order bookings, particularly in Automated Systems tends to fluctuate from quarter to quarter.

Our September 30, 2008 backlog increased by 16.2% over the backlog on September 30, 2007. The $26.5 million in our backlog this past quarter is the second highest quarter ending backlog we have had in the past six years. During that time, our backlog has ranged from a low of $13.5 million at September 30, 2004 to a high of $26.6 million at March 31, 2007. The backlog for Automated Systems increased to $18.7 million at the end of this quarter from $16.8 million at the end of the first quarter last year. The increase was principally due to new systems and system upgrade orders. Backlog of technology products was $7.8 million and that compares to $6 million at the same time last year. Commercial products drove the increase, and that was partially offset by a decrease in our WheelWorks backlog.

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