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Laser Earnings Exceed Expectations

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OXFORD, Mass., SANTA CLARA, Calif., & IRVINE, Calif., Aug. 4, 2010 — Quarterly earnings reports released by several major laser companies this past week show revenue growth and improved profitability, and all three exceeded the expectations of Wall Street analysts.

Fiber laser maker IPG Photonics of Oxford, Mass., reported a second-quarter profit of $10.3 million on revenue of $67.3 million, a year-over-year revenue growth of 67 percent. The company reported a $1.2 million loss for the same quarter one year ago. The company's 22 cents per share earnings for the quarter beat analyst estimates of approximately 15 cents and helped boost the company's stock to a new 52-week high of $19.20 Tuesday.

“Despite some underlying uncertainties in the global macro-economic environment during the second quarter, many of our end markets are benefitting from a secular recovery,” said Dr. Valentin Gapontsev, IPG Photonics CEO. “Materials processing had an outstanding quarter with sales increasing 91 percent year-over-year and 34 percent on a sequential basis. Demand for high-power cutting lasers and pulsed lasers for engraving and marking drove this strong performance as did sales to China, which more than tripled from the same period last year. Medical application sales continued to be strong, increasing 32 percent year-over-year and 29 percent sequentially, following solid first-quarter 2010 results. Advanced applications sales were 5 percent lower year-over-year and up 15 percent sequentially, and telecommunications sales decreased 24 percent year-over-year and improved 15 percent sequentially as customers began re-ordering.”

IPG said it expects revenue in the range of $69 million to $75 million for the third quarter of 2010 and anticipates earnings in the range of 19 to 25 cents. The company also announced that all claims related to the CardioFocus patent litigation have been settled by mutual agreement and that the settlement will have no effect on future financial results.

Commercial and scientific laser maker Coherent Inc. of Santa Clara, Calif., announced record net sales of $166.7 million (Scientific $33.7 million, Microelectronics $69.6 million, Material Processing $23.3 million, OEM Components and Instrumentation $40.1 million) and net income of $14.4 million for its third quarter ended July 3. For the same quarter a year ago, Coherent posted a $7 million loss on sales of $98.5 million.

The company's third-quarter 2010 earnings of 57 cents a share exceeded analyst estimates, which were expected to be closer to 50 cents a share. A year ago the company posted a 9 cents per share loss.

"The third quarter operating income was not only the best in the company's history, it also serves to demonstrate the combined benefits of our more efficient operating structure, higher revenue and favorable mix," said Coherent President and CEO John Amroseo. "We are equally encouraged by record-setting orders as they reflect the alignment we have achieved with our customers. Microelectronics bookings were particularly strong due to investments in LED manufacturing and mobile communications (i.e., smartphones). Demand for lasers used in materials processing and instrumentation was also very healthy as we capitalize on market recovery and new product introductions."

The company said $180.6 million in bookings received during the three months ended July 3 represents an increase of 103.7 percent over the $88.6 million received during same period a year ago. Its $230 million backlog as of July 3 exceeds its July 2009 backlog of $137 million by nearly $100 million.

Irvine, Calif.-based Newport Corp., a maker of precision components and systems used to develop laser and optical technologies, reported a profit of $8.3 million, or 22 cents a share, for its second quarter ended July 3, compared with a net loss of $9.1 million, or 25 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2009. Analysts expected the company to report earnings of about 14 cents per share for the quarter.

The company posted a 56 percent year-over-year increase in orders ($125.5 million) and a year-over-year increase in sales of nearly 31 percent to $114.6 million.

"We are very pleased with our strong financial performance in the second quarter and first half of 2010, which reflects both the improved conditions in all of our target markets and excellent execution by the Newport team," said President and CEO Robert J. Phillippy. "Our orders in the first half of 2010 were $250.2 million and our book-to-bill ratio for the last four quarters was 1.10, increasing our backlog scheduled to ship in the next 12 months to $124.5 million at the end of the second quarter of 2010 from $88 million a year ago. As a result, we expect our sales levels to continue to increase sequentially in the third and fourth quarters of this year." he said.

As for the company's financial outlook, "Due to the current strength in our markets, our increasing backlog and continued orders momentum, we now expect our sales for the full year of 2010 to be in the range of $460 million to $470 million, an increase of more than 25 percent compared with the 2009 level and an all-time record for Newport," Phillippy said.

He added that the company expects earnings to increase in the third and fourth quarters, and earnings for the full year to be in the range of 80 to 90 cents per share.

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Aug 2010
Pertaining to optics and the phenomena of light.
AmericasAsia-PacificbacklogBusinessCaliforniaCoherentCommunicationsearningsenergyfiber lasersfinancialincomeindustrialinstrumentationIPG PhotonicsJohn AmbroseoMassachusettsmaterials processingmicroelectronicsNewportopticalprecision componentsprofitpulsed lasersquarterrevenueRobert PhillippysalessharesmartphonesolarValentin GapontsevlasersLEDs

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