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2017-06-29

EXFO Reports Third Quarter Results for Fiscal 2017


  • Sales reach US$58.5 million
  • Bookings attain US$63.7 million, book-to-bill ratio of 1.09
  • Adjusted EBITDA totals US$2.3 million
  • Cost savings from restructuring of US$8.0 million expected in FY 2018

QUEBEC CITY, CANADA, June 29, 2017 — EXFO Inc. (NASDAQ: EXFO, TSX: EXF), the network test, monitoring and analytics experts, reported today financial results for the third quarter ended May 31, 2017.

Sales reached US$58.5 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2017 compared to US$60.9 million in the third quarter of 2016 and US$60.0 million in the second quarter of 2017.

Bookings attained US$63.7 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2017 compared to US$59.7 million in the same period last year and US$55.9 million in the second quarter of 2017. The company’s book-to-bill ratio was 1.09 in the third quarter of 2017.

Gross margin before depreciation and amortization* amounted to 58.0% of sales in the third quarter of fiscal 2017 compared to 60.8% in the third quarter of 2016 and 61.7% in the second quarter of 2017. Excluding restructuring charges of US$1.6 million or 2.7% of sales, gross margin would have amounted to 60.7% in the third quarter of 2017.

IFRS net loss in the third quarter of fiscal 2017 totaled US$4.3 million, or US$0.08 per share, compared to net earnings of US$0.9 million, or US$0.02 per share, in the same period last year and net earnings of US$1.0 million, or US$0.02 per share, in the second quarter of 2017. IFRS net loss in the third quarter of 2017 included US$3.6 million in after-tax restructuring expenses, US$0.9 million in after-tax amortization of intangible assets, US$0.4 million in stock-based compensation costs and a foreign exchange gain of US$1.7 million.

Adjusted EBITDA* totaled US$2.3 million, or 3.9% of sales, in the third quarter of fiscal 2017 compared to US$5.3 million, or 8.7% of sales, in the third quarter of 2016 and US$4.9 million, or 8.1% of sales, in the second quarter of 2017.

At the beginning of March, EXFO acquired UK-based Ontology Systems for a consideration of US$7.7 million, net of cash acquired, plus an earnout estimated at US$1.4 million based on future sales.

In early May, EXFO announced a restructuring plan to streamline its monitoring solutions portfolio. This plan, which resulted in US$3.8 million of restructuring charges in the third quarter of 2017, is expected to generate annual cost savings of US$8.0 million.

“Although bookings were robust at US$63.7 million, the timing of orders and necessity to rebuild backlog affected our financial results in the third quarter of 2017,” said Philippe Morin, EXFO’s Chief Executive Officer. “Looking at the bigger picture, we continued capturing market share in optical and high-speed Ethernet testing in the field, data centers and labs as reflected by sales and bookings growth of 6.2% and 4.2% nine months into the fiscal year. We also addressed an underperforming product line within our monitoring solutions portfolio and fined-tuned our go-to-market strategy to sharpen our focus and enhance profitability. We should begin benefitting from our restructuring efforts in the fourth quarter, but the full impact will be felt in fiscal 2018.”

Selected Financial Information
(In thousands of US dollars)

Third Quarter Results for Fiscal 2017 - Selected Financial Information

Operating Expenses

Selling and administrative expenses totaled US$22.6 million, or 38.6% of sales in the third quarter of fiscal 2017 compared to US$20.8 million, or 34.2% of sales, in the same period last year and US$21.3 million, or 35.4% of sales, in the second quarter of 2017.

Net R&D expenses totaled US$13.3 million, or 22.7% of sales, in the third quarter of fiscal 2017 compared to US$11.3 million, or 18.6% of sales, in the third quarter of 2016 and US$11.3 million, or 18.8% of sales, in the second quarter of 2017.

EXFO recorded US$3.8 million of restructuring charges in the third quarter of fiscal 2017, of which US$1.6 million (2.7% of sales) was included in cost of sales, US$0.9 million (1.6% of sales) in selling and administrative expenses and US$1.3 million (2.2% of sales) in net R&D expenses.

Third-Quarter Highlights

  • Sales and bookings. Sales decreased 3.9% year-over-year to US$58.5 million in the third quarter of 2017 mainly due to the timing of orders and necessity to rebuild backlog as bookings improved 6.6% to US$63.7 million. After nine months into fiscal 2017, sales and bookings increased 6.2% and 4.2%, respectively. Physical-layer sales accounted for 70% of total revenue in the third quarter of 2017, while Protocol-layer totaled 30%. Revenue contribution among the three main geographic regions in the third quarter amounted to 62% from the Americas, 20% from EMEA and 18% from Asia-Pacific. EXFO’s top customer accounted for 9.9% of sales in the third quarter, while the top three customers represented 24.0%.
  • Profitability. EXFO generated adjusted EBITDA of US$2.3 million, or 3.9% of sales, in the third quarter of 2017 and US$13.5 million, or 7.5% of sales, after nine months into the fiscal year. In early May, the company announced a restructuring plan that is expected to deliver annual cost savings of US$8.0 million.
  • Innovation. EXFO launched seven new solutions in the third quarter of 2017 and 15 since the beginning of the fiscal year. Key product introductions in the third quarter included a 400G test solution for the high-speed lab and manufacturing markets; a four-slot, FTB-4 Pro platform for network testing in the field, data centers and R&D labs; a software-based solution, Universal Virtual Sync, enabling communications service providers to accurately and cost-effectively measure network latency; a tunable optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR) that characterizes coarse wavelength division multiplexing (CWDM) channels in metro Ethernet links and centralized radio access networks (C-RANs); as well as an optical spectrum analyzer and two optical power meters for the lab and manufacturing markets.

Business Outlook

EXFO forecasts sales between US$58.0 million and US$63.0 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017, while IFRS net results are expected to range between a loss of US$0.03 per share and earnings of US$0.01 per share. IFRS net results include US$0.03 per share in after-tax amortization of intangible assets, after-tax restructuring charges and stock-based compensation costs as well as an anticipated foreign exchange loss of US$0.04 per share.

This outlook was established by management based on existing backlog as of the date of this news release, expected bookings for the remaining of the quarter, exchange rates as of the day of this news release, as well as the preliminary allocation of the fair value of the total consideration for the acquisition of Ontology Partners Limited.

Conference Call and Webcast

EXFO will host a conference call today at 5 p.m. (Eastern time) to review third quarter results for fiscal 2017. To listen to the conference call and participate in the question period via telephone, dial 1-323-794-2093. Please take note the following participant passcode will be required: 1063188. Germain Lamonde, Executive Chairman, Philippe Morin, Chief Executive Officer, and Pierre Plamondon, CPA, Vice-President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer, will participate in the call. An audio replay of the conference call will be available two hours after the event until 8:00 p.m. on July 6, 2017. The replay number is 1-719-457-0820 and the required participant passcode is 1063188. The audio Webcast and replay of the conference call will also be available on EXFO’s Website at www.EXFO.com, under the Investors section.

About EXFO

EXFO develops smarter network test, monitoring and analytics solutions for the world’s leading communications service providers, network equipment manufacturers and webscale companies. Since 1985, we’ve worked side by side with our customers in the lab, field, data center, boardroom and beyond to pioneer essential technology and methods for each phase of the network lifecycle. Our portfolio of test orchestration and real-time 3D analytics solutions turn complex into simple and deliver business-critical insights from the network, service and subscriber dimensions. Most importantly, we help our customers flourish in a rapidly transforming industry where “good enough” testing, monitoring and analytics just aren’t good enough anymore—they never were for us, anyway. For more information, visit EXFO.com and follow us on the EXFO Blog.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and we intend that such forward-looking statements be subject to the safe harbors created thereby. Forward-looking statements are statements other than historical information or statements of current condition. Words such as may, expect, believe, plan, anticipate, intend, could, estimate, continue, or similar expressions or the negative of such expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. In addition, any statement that refers to expectations, projections or other characterizations of future events and circumstances are considered forward-looking statements. They are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those in forward-looking statements due to various factors including, but not limited to, macroeconomic uncertainty as well as capital spending and network deployment levels in the telecommunications industry (including our ability to quickly adapt cost structures with anticipated levels of business and our ability to manage inventory levels with market demand); future economic, competitive, financial and market conditions; consolidation in the global telecommunications test and service assurance industry and increased competition among vendors; capacity to adapt our future product offering to future technological changes; limited visibility with regards to timing and nature of customer orders; longer sales cycles for complex systems involving customers’ acceptances delaying revenue recognition; fluctuating exchange rates; concentration of sales; timely release and market acceptance of our new products and other upcoming products; our ability to successfully expand international operations; our ability to successfully integrate businesses that we acquire; and the retention of key technical and management personnel. Assumptions relating to the foregoing involve judgments and risks, all of which are difficult or impossible to predict and many of which are beyond our control. Other risk factors that may affect our future performance and operations are detailed in our Annual Report, on Form 20-F, and our other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Canadian securities commissions. We believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable based on information currently available to us, but we cannot assure that the expectations will prove to have been correct. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. These statements speak only as of the date of this document. Unless required by law or applicable regulations, we undertake no obligation to revise or update any of them to reflect events or circumstances that occur after the date of this document.

*Non-IFRS Measures

EXFO provides non-IFRS measures (gross margin before depreciation and amortization and adjusted EBITDA) as supplemental information regarding its operational performance. The company uses these measures for the purpose of evaluating historical and prospective financial performance, as well as its performance relative to competitors. These measures also help the company to plan and forecast for future periods as well as to make operational and strategic decisions. EXFO believes that providing this information, in addition to IFRS measures, allows investors to see the company’s results through the eyes of management, and to better understand its historical and future financial performance.

The presentation of this additional information is not prepared in accordance with IFRS. Therefore, the information may not necessarily be comparable to that of other companies and should be considered as a supplement to, not a substitute for, the corresponding measures calculated in accordance with IFRS.

Gross margin before depreciation and amortization represents sales less cost of sales, excluding depreciation and amortization.

Adjusted EBITDA represents net earnings (loss) before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization, stock-based compensation costs, restructuring charges, and foreign exchange gain or loss.

The following table summarizes the reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA to IFRS net earnings (loss), in thousands of US dollars:

Adjusted EBITDA

Third Quarter Results for Fiscal 2017 - Adjusted EBITDA

Click here to download the Consolidated Financial Statements (PDF)