China and Switzerland expected to Depress Maxwell Ultracap Results

February 05, 2015 by Jeff Shepard

Maxwell Technologies, Inc. today reported revenue of $52.9 million for its fourth quarter ended December 31, 2014, up 36 percent from the $39.0 million recorded in the same period in 2013. Revenue for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014 totaled $186.6 million, down 4 percent from the $193.5 million recorded in fiscal 2013. Ultracapacitor revenue increased by 56 percent to $40.9 million in Q414 compared with $26.3 million in the same period last year and totaled $135.6 million for the full year, relatively flat compared with the $136.3 million recorded in 2013. Sales of high-voltage capacitor and microelectronics products totaled $12.0 million in Q414, down 6 percent from the $12.7 million recorded in Q413; full year sales for those products totaled $50.9 million, down 11 percent from the $57.3 million recorded in 2013.

"Considering the impact of the Chinese New Year holiday shutdown, historic seasonality, increasing price pressure in the Chinese bus market and the uncertainty of the impact of a higher Swiss franc exchange rate, we expect revenue to be lower sequentially by as much as 35 percent in the current first quarter compared with that recorded in the fourth quarter," said Dr. Franz Fink, Maxwell's president and CEO.

"Based on the range of initial demand forecasts from our customers, we anticipate sequential revenue growth in succeeding quarters that should produce total revenue of $160 million to $180 million for the full year. Looking further into the future, we are very encouraged with the progress we are making in diversifying the ultracapacitor revenue base with our Engine Start Module for trucks, further penetration of the automotive market and initial installations in the wayside rail and grid firming markets," Fink concluded.

On a U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) basis, operating income for the fourth quarter 2014 was $346,000 compared with an operating loss of $2.6 million in Q413. GAAP operating loss for the full year was $1.7 million compared with operating income of $8.6 million in 2013. GAAP net loss for Q414 was $2.1 million, or $0.07 per share, compared with a net loss of $2.8 million, or $0.10 per share, in Q413. GAAP net loss for the full year was $6.3 million, or $0.21 per share, compared with net income of $6.3 million, or $0.22 per diluted share, in 2013. During the quarter ended December 31, 2014, the Company recorded a withholding tax charge of $1.6 million associated with a portion of the unremitted earnings of a foreign subsidiary that may be repatriated to the U.S.

GAAP gross margin was 35 percent in Q414 compared with 37 percent in Q413 and 37 percent in Q314. For the full year, gross margin was 37 percent in 2014 compared with 39 percent in 2013. GAAP operating expenses totaled approximately $18.2 million, or 34 percent of revenue, in Q414 compared with $16.9 million, or 43 percent of revenue, in Q413. Cash and cash equivalents totaled $24.7 million as of December 31, 2014 compared with $30.8 million as of September 30, 2014.