Veeco Instruments Earnings Call Nuggets: Pricing Pressure and Profitability Levels

Veeco Instruments (NASDAQ:VECO) recently reported its first quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Pricing Pressure

Krish Sankar – Bank of America Merrill Lynch: Thanks for taking my question. I had two of them, first John, in your prepared comments you spoke about the pricing pressure. Can you talk a little – elaborate a little bit on it? Is it coming from your primary competitor Aixtron or are you seeing new guys come up in China? Then I had a follow-up.

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John R. Peeler – CEO: Well, we’ve been gaining market share for the last three years and I think what we’ve been seeing more and more recently is Aixtron using price as a strategy to try to win more deals in a tough environment. So, it’s really the pressures are Veeco and Aixtron, we’re not seeing Chinese competitors. We haven’t seen any competition with Chinese competitors at this point. We’ve seen them trying to get people to take a look at their systems and things, but they are not driving the pricing pressure.

Krish Sankar – Bank of America Merrill Lynch: Then just a quick follow-up. The meaningfully higher bookings in Q2. I just wondered, is that – are you talking about MOCVD bookings specifically? The total bookings? When you mean meaningfully higher, is it back to Q3, Q4 levels of last year or is it going to be higher than that?

John R. Peeler – CEO: We are expecting higher bookings in both MOCVD and for Veeco as a whole, Q1 orders were very weak and $70 million, so we can get meaningfully higher without the setting any new records are anything like that. So it is broad-based and I can tell you that it’s coming from more than one region. This is not a single customer single region, at least that’s where were we think things are going now.

Profitability Levels

Satya Kumar – Credit Suisse: I was wondering if you could provide a little bit of color on the levels of profitability, if your shipments hypothetically in Q2 were in line with anticipated higher level of bookings that you’re thinking about in Q2, would you still be able to sustain cash at current levels?

David D. Glass – EVP and CFO: Yes. Unfortunately due to the accounting review we really can’t comment on anything in the income statement that starts with revenue. As we have said in the past though, we are pretty proud of the job that we’ve done managing in cash. But we just can’t really comment on the details of the income statement.

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Satya Kumar – Credit Suisse: The cash itself could you give perhaps like a breakdown on the cash that you have onshore versus offshore and is any portion of the cash in China?

David D. Glass – EVP and CFO: No significant change from in the past. So it’s mostly onshore as it has been in the past.

A Closer Look: Veeco Instruments Earnings Cheat Sheet>>