Thursday, August 6, 2009

Q2 2009 Report

Here are notes I took from the conference call.

The company highlighted the cash balance at the end of the quarter at $276m. Cash usage in the first half of $38m. "Good" progress in the restructuring with 1100 cuts in June and July. Further cuts in Q3 and completed in Q4. In Q4, manufacturing will be outsourced.

Bookings - No book to bill or numbers given. Peter had mentioned to detail this and instead not even book to bill was given. Peter mentioned good demand in iptv and expected to have good bookings in 2nd half based on sales channels. Again, no hard numbers, which is disappointing.

Q2 Revenue was $80m, which consisted of no Korea based handset revenue so mostly "core" revenue. I am confused why there was no handset revenue and yet some final inventory sales in Q3. Margins were negative due to several charges highlighted in the PR. Stripping out these charges, the GMs were about 20% (breakdown later).

Wins in the Quarter - IPTV expansion contract with China Telecom in provinces including Fujian, Hainan, Shanghai and Zhejiang. IPTV win with CCTV in Hunan. PDSN expansion contract in 10 provinces (35% market leader ahead of Cisco/Starent and the Chinese competitors). Some milestones included the mobile IPTV win, start of upgrade of STB from version 1.0 to 2.0 (software upgrade), "Dual SP" upgrade for CT (not sure what that is), IP Signage/advertising, Pilot project for SMIC for intertactive TV/"ITV" cable solution. Some new entertainment features implemented in IPTV for India. No subscriber update count for

Broadband - MSAN win with PLDT, BSNL/Bharti, continued product evaluations with Softbank with initial pilot orders for their TN product. Commercially deployed GEPON in 25 cities in 11 provinces in China. Advance negotiations in Q4 for BSNL Phase III contract to be awarded in late Q3, probably in Q4. Got professional service contracts with CT and China Unicom (multi-year contracts that can further relationships).

Recap restructuring progress and summaring focus on IP products.

The Q2 charge of $28m was for the 1850 people already let go (1100 people) and the ones identified. A smaller charge in Q3 for the rest. While the charge is taken, cash will be used in Q3/Q4 as mentioned previously.

Mentioned monetizing the Hangzhou building (nothing new).

Viraj talked about the business unit breakdown.

MCBU (IPTV/NGN) - $39m revenue and 31% gross margin. Later learned first India iptv revenue finally realized this quarter.

Broadband - $14m and 5% GMs. Lower revenue due to exit of lower margin business (note: Revenue from Phase I/II not recognized although cash is collected).

Services - $14m and 39% GMs.

Handsets - $13m (negative GMS - Most in China/no Korea designed handsets).

Peter talked about rest of 2009... talked about Hong Lu's contribution and wishes him luck in his new role (not sure if anything really changed there). Board is seeking to add people with expertise in the local markets (thats been discussed so often before and very late in this regard).

Blackmore spends more than 50% in China (and another 20% travelling is my guess)

NO 3rd quarter guidance due to the restructuring.

Reiterated 2010 business model of $350m in revenue, high 20s GMs and under $100m in opex. This will be added to by deferred revenue from the India contracts.

Q&A - Broadband GMs of 5% this quarter (whats up with that anyway when they talked about 20% last year). How can they achieve the higher company GMs with such a low broadband GM. This was an excellent question and Peter had a reasonable answer. Peter is expecting their TN product with Softbank to have much higher margins and contribute more revenue. The margins from BSNL is the low one but others in India (Bharti, Tata, Reliance) have larger GMs. Other Asian broadband contracts are much higher. GEPON contracts will be selected so that margins can be optimized (they will not go after every tender out there). Peter talked about India iptv mostly starting this year and still at the very early stages.

Peter discussed iptv pricing and said their infrastructure products are made of mostly 3rd party equipment and their software (which gives them higher margins). STB has GMs in the teens and cost $50. The upgrade coming up will be mostly software upgrades.

Not a lot of questions but Peter mentioned having discussions with Shareholders tomorrow. I should get additional feedback tomorrow after those talks.

Commentary - It wasn't a pretty quarter. The negatives included no detailed info on bookings, no iptv subscriber count, no announcement of the partner, no Q3 guidance. The positives included the company has ample cash with $276m. Subtract $45m for restructuring and you have $231m. OPEX for this quarter without restructuring was about $43m ($16m in R&D and $27m in SG&A). Weren't they targetting to get OPEX under $60m by Q4 when they talked with investors at the end of Feb. Core revenue of $80m was not bad with half in MCBU. Without PAS, it shows IPTV is doing well with the business unit having 31% GMs. So, OPEX for Q3/Q4 should rapidly going down as well. Any more writedowns in Q3/Q4? Handsets are mostly gone so...There are still those Phase I/II payments at about $25m/quarter so cash balance by the end of the year should be well over $200m. By early 2010, OPEX will be down to under $25m/quarter. Peter talked AGAIN about exceeding the breakeven revenue and bookings expected to do well in the 2nd half. The book value is down to about $2.55/share and projected to go lower. I anticipate the stock to edge closer and fill the gap to the book value and ultimately exceed it as it gets closer to 2010 and bookings are clarified. For now, the negative quarterly reports dominate the headlines and the company doesn't use any funds in defense of the stock price. Peter has done a good job in the expense cuts (which we have been asking for a LONG time) and there is progress in the "core business". The credibility is low as again they chose NOT to give color to bookings, guidance, etc.

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