ACM Research Inc (NASDAQ:ACMR), a provider of single-wafer wet cleaning equipment used by manufacturers of advanced semiconductors reported financial results for its first fiscal quarter ended March 31, 2018. The company said that its revenue increase 72.1 percent to $9.7 million due to higher selling prices associated with higher value of equipment sold. The company’s …

ACM Research Inc (NASDAQ:ACMR), a provider of single-wafer wet cleaning equipment used by manufacturers of advanced semiconductors reported financial results for its first fiscal quarter ended March 31, 2018.

The company said that its revenue increase 72.1 percent to $9.7 million due to higher selling prices associated with higher value of equipment sold. The company’s gross margin was 52.6 percent as compared to 42.4 percent in the first quarter of 2017.

As quoted in the press release:

ACM Research’s President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. David Wang commented, “We continued to execute against key initiatives across our business, delivering solid results in the first quarter. On a year-over-year basis, revenue grew over 70%, and gross margin expanded by over 10 percentage points. Additionally, we established an R&D facility in Bundang, Korea to further expand our R&D capability and build our engineering talent pool in the region.”

Dr. Wang continued, “We remain committed to developing high-performance products to meet our customer needs and strengthen our competitive position globally. We are excited about the opportunities ahead of us, and confident that our differentiated technology and geographic focus positions us for profitable growth.”

First Quarter Operating Highlights

  • SAPS III Cleaning Tool Used in Mass Production. The Company’s latest SAPS wafer cleaning tool, SAPS III, is being used in mass production in a key customer’s manufacturing line. The SAPS III tool is ideally suited for existing wafer fabs that intend to migrate to next-generation technology node and require more cleaning process steps and limited clean room floor space. The SAPS III tool is equipped with 8 chambers, which enable high throughput, along with a 40% reduction in footprint.
  • ACM Korea R&D and Service Support Center. The Company established the ACM Korea R&D and Service Support Centers to further strengthen its R&D and service support capabilities. The R&D Center in Bundang will enable the Company to recruit engineering talent locally to implement new R&D programs. The support facility in Icheon will enable ACM to better support customers in the region.
  • Multiple Orders for SAPS tools. The Company received multiple orders from existing customers for SAPS-based cleaning equipment and advanced packaging tools. ACM expects to ship all of the ordered tools by the third quarter of 2018, and anticipates acceptance and revenue recognition in 2018.

Financial Summary

All figures refer to the first quarter of 2018, unless noted otherwise. All comparisons are with the first quarter of 2017, unless otherwise noted.

Quarter/Year to Date Three Months March 31,
GAAP Non-GAAP(1)
2018 2017 2018 2017
(dollars in thousands)
Revenue $ 9,743 $ 5,660 $ 9,743 $ 5,660
Gross margin(2) 52.57 % 42.44 % 52.65 % 42.44 %
Income (loss) from operations(2) $ (1,904 ) $ (1,553 ) $ 271 $ (718 )
Net loss attributable to ACM Research, Inc.(2) $ (2,780 ) $ (2,089 ) $ (605 ) $ (1,254 )
Basic EPS $ (0.18 ) $ (0.43 ) $ (0.04 ) $ (0.26 )
Diluted EPS $ (0.18 ) $ (0.43 ) $ (0.04 ) $ (0.26 )
Shares included in the basic EPS 15,383 4,818 15,383 4,818
Shares included in the diluted EPS 15,383 4,818 15,383 4,818
  • Revenue. Revenue increased 72.1% to $9.7 million, due to higher selling prices associated with the higher value of the equipment sold.
  • Gross Margin. Gross margin was 52.6%, compared to 42.4% in the first quarter of 2017. The strong gross margin performance was due to sales of higher value products in the quarter. Gross margin was above the range of 40.0% to 45.0% generally anticipated by the Company for the foreseeable future. Gross margin may vary from period to period due to the mix between higher-margin products and relatively lower-margin products.
  • Operating Expenses. Operating expenses were $7.0 million. Non-GAAP operating expense, which removes stock-based compensation, was $4.8 million, up 55%. Non-GAAP operating expenses as a percent of revenue decreased, as planned, due to the Company’s disciplined budgeting process.
  • Net loss attributable to ACM Research. Net loss was $2.8 million. Non-GAAP net loss was $0.6 million, a substantial improvement from the non-GAAP net loss of $1.3 million in the first quarter of 2017.
  • Cash Position. The Company held $15.2 million in cash and cash equivalents as of March 31, 2018, down from $17.7 million as of December 31, 2017. The decline in cash balance reflected an increase in purchase orders for parts and components associated with the assembly of products expected to be shipped in the second and third quarters.

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