MagnaChip Semiconductor Corporation’s (MX) CEO YJ Kim on Q3 2020 Results – Earnings Call Transcript

MagnaChip Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE:MX) Q3 2020 Results Earnings Conference Call October 29, 2020 5:00 PM ET

Company Participants

So-Yeon Jeong – Head, Investor Relations

YJ Kim – Chief Executive Officer

Young Woo – Chief Financial Officer

Conference Call Participants

Raji Gill – Needham

Suji Desilva – ROTH Capital

Jon Lopez – Vertical Group

Operator

Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for standing by. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Quarter Three 2020 MagnaChip Semiconductor Corporation Earnings Conference Call. All lines have been place on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers’ remarks, there will be a question-and-and answer session. [Operator Instructions]

Thank you. It is now my pleasure to turn the conference over to Ms. So-Yeon Jeong. Ma’am, please go ahead.

So-Yeon Jeong

Thank you. And thank you everyone for joining us to discuss MagnaChip’s financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2020. The third quarter earnings release that was filed today after the stock market closed can be found on the company’s Investor Relations website.

A telephone replay of today’s call will be available shortly after the completion of the call and the webcast will be archived on our website for one year. Access information is provided in the earnings press release.

Joining me today are YJ Kim, MagnaChip’s Chief Executive Officer; and Young Woo, our Chief Financial Officer. YJ will discuss the company’s recent operating performance and business overview and Young will review financial results for the quarter and provide guidance for the fourth quarter. There will be a Q&A session following the prepared remarks.

During the course of this conference call, we may make forward-looking statements about MagnaChip’s business outlook and expectations. Our forward-looking statements, and all other statements that are not historical facts, reflect our beliefs and predictions as of today and therefore are subject to risks and uncertainties as described in the Safe Harbor discussion found in our SEC filings.

During the call we also will discuss non-GAAP financial measures. The non-GAAP measures are not prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles but are intended to illustrate an alternative measure of MagnaChip’s operating performance that may be useful.

A reconciliation of the non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures can be found in our third quarter earnings release available on our website under the Investor Relations at www.magnachip.com.

I now will turn the call over to YJ Kim. YJ?

YJ Kim

Hello, everyone. Thank you for joining our call today. COVID-19 indeed changed the way we live, work and think and our team members at MagnaChip have been actively adapting to the new normal by adhering to our multiple safety protocols and business continuity plan. We hope that you and your family are all healthy and well.

We successfully completed the sale of the Foundry business and Fab 4 slightly ahead of our internal schedule for a purchase price of about $350.6 million. We used $227.4 million of the proceeds to fully redeem all of the 6.625% Senior Notes due 2021 on October 2, 2020, lowering the future interest expense by approximately $16 million annually. This sets our new chapter as a fab-lite, pure-play standard product company generating substantial and sustainable cash flow.

In Q3, we achieved solid quarterly results with a 5% sequential revenue growth, which came in above the high-end of the guidance range, as well as a healthy bottomline. This was achieved despite the backdrop of market disruptions caused by the global pandemic, the escalated U.S.-China trade tension and the supply constrained environment.

Gross profit margin was largely impacted by two one-time items, including the delayed recovery from the Power outage of Fab 3 and the Display’s excess inventory charge related to the U.S. Government’s export restrictions to Huawei. These two one-time items together negatively impacted our gross profit margin by 3 percentage points. Adjusted for the impact of these one-time factors, we delivered non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0.14 cents.

Now let’s take a closer look at our product business, starting with the Display business. I remind you that we have completely exited the non-auto LCD business in Q2 2020. As a reference point, our Display revenue in Q3 of 2019 was $90.6 million, which included about $10.4 million of non-automotive LCD business.

Our Display revenue was $69.6 million for the third quarter, up 0.6% sequentially and down about 14% year-over-year, adjusting the non-automotive LCD revenue in 2019. Q3 OLED DDIC revenue was $67.6 million, up 0.9% sequentially and down 13.7% year-over-year.

In September, we recorded a $2.3 million excess inventory charge driven by our Display customer’s last-minute business decision based on the U.S. Government’s export restrictions on Huawei.

Our panel customers have de-risked the Huawei business and we don’t expect further impact from the Huawei ban other than this unusual excess inventory charge. Please note that our Q4 guidance does not include any of Huawei business.

Now, let me highlight three key takeaways for our Display business. First, starting with demand, during our last earnings call, we mentioned an upswing in demand for our OLED product, which was outstripping our supply capability in Q3 due to the recent longer lead times. The strong demand continued throughout the quarter and to0date.

We are working very closely and diligently with our Foundry partners to be able to continue to serve our customer’s strong ramp schedules in Q4 and beyond. We remain confident and excited about the long-term growth trajectory of the overall OLED DDIC market and our leading market position as one of the pioneers.

Second, both our revenue and design activities were driven by a major Korean smartphone OEM and Chinese OEMs. One of the notable achievements that we are very excited about is that a major Korean smartphone OEM has launched a new key model with our display driver in early October. This end customer’s model is being well adopted in the market as it keeps the flagship features that consumers want while hitting the price point that consumers need and we expect the momentum to continue in the remaining 2020.

In addition, design activities from major Chinese smartphone OEMs have been very strong in Q3 and we expect these design wins to support our revenue growth in Q4, as well as in 2021. MagnaChip’s top market position as a non-captive supplier in the OLED DDIC market reflects that our advanced technology and distinctive portfolio resonate with our customers. We continue to focus on empowering our customers through relentless innovation and unparalleled support.

Last but not least, 5G momentum. We are enjoying the booming 5G smartphone industry especially with High Frame Rate, HFR OLED DDIC. In Q3, we were awarded eight new design wins and seven of them were 5G and HFR models using 28-nanometer process.

You may recall that our revenue from 5G smartphones counted for about 20% of the total OLED revenue in first half 2020. In Q3, 5G revenue represented about 40% of the OLED revenue. According to the market data, the global 5G smartphone shipment in 2020 will be about 200 million units and it will likely to be more than double in 2021. The emerging global 5G trend bodes well with the underlying strength in our product portfolio.

Now, let’s turn to the Power business. The Power revenue came in at $46.7 million, up 17.3% sequentially and down 4.2% year-over-year. The complete recovery from the Power outage took longer than we anticipated, which limited Fab 3 output at full capacity resulting in a lower utilization during Q3. Despite this handicap, we achieved a double-digit sequential growth and managed the production. The market momentum and our product pipeline remain strong.

Now, let me highlight key takeaways for our Power business. First, starting with demand, as both China and Korea were gradually recovering from the global pandemic, our Power revenue in the third quarter was mainly driven by personal transportation and TV applications.

The rebound in Chinese and Korean TV markets drove strong demand for our Super Junction MOSFET and Power IC products in Q3 and the trend is continuing in Q4. We expect our Power business in Q4 to grow 15% to 20% year-over-year.

Driven by the combination of capacity constraint and strong demand, our channel inventory level became below our normal operating range. We are striving to address the continued demand and also to replenish the channel inventory to a more balanced level in the future.

Let me also underline the progress we are making in the China market under our go-to-market strategy with a newly established leadership team. To efficiently target the fast growing China market, we set up a regional support system with a dedicated sales and marketing function.

The team focused our products to be more optimized for the China — Chinese market demand and we directly engaged with numerous Power customers that resulted in new wins from a wide range of applications including TV, industrials and mobiles. We are encouraged by the great momentum in China Power business.

Looking ahead, I am very excited about our Power business potential. By 2022, we will have introduced a complete set of next-generation Power discrete product portfolios. These new generation premium product families will carry superior performance with a much improved cost. The upgrade will take place at our Fab 3, and by that time, our Fab 3 will be up and running with about 40% additional capacity.

Now turning to our long-term plan. We are repositioning MagnaChip to achieve sustainable and profitable growth. As we did — — as we closed the divestiture ahead of our original schedule, we decided to accelerate our disclosure of pro forma financials rather than wait till the future Analyst Day.

Let me provide our key goals we are targeting to achieve by 2023. While our quarterly reports are based on the total revenue including the transitional Fab 3 Foundry service in accordance with GAAP, we are providing the following metrics based on the Standard Products Business revenue excluding the transitional Fab 3 Foundry service as such service is expected to cease after a certain period of time.

We plan to; one, grow our topline at a double-digit CAGR; two, consistently achieve above 30% gross profit margin; three, reduce adjusted OpEx to be below 18% of revenue; four, exceed 10% adjusted operating income margin, this will enhance our ability to generate free cash flow; five, tax rate to be approximately 14% to 16% in the next two years to three years due to the net operating loss carryforwards to be offset taxable income in part. Our estimated consolidated tax rate is based on our current organizational and business structure and tax strategies; six, CapEx for PP&E, last quarter, we discussed about the special investment we are making in Fab 3 for 2020 and 2021. From 2022, we expect the Capital spending to return to the moderate level of 3% of revenue or below; seven, by 2023, we will generate free cash flow in excess of 8% of revenue.

These additional financial pro forma metrics will give you a better understanding of our long-term outlook and value creation. We also would like to further share our capital allocation plan in the near future. Our Board and management are actively evaluating all available options to maximize our shareholders value.

Now that we communicated the key pro forma financial metrics, it seems more prudent that we reschedule our Analyst Day to Q1 2021 due to uncertainties around COVID 19 and related matters. We will then share capital allocation plan and our growth strategic initiatives. We believe this rescheduling will allow for a more comprehensive discussion with investors and analysts. The date will be announced in the near future.

In closing, Q3 represented a pivotal chapter of MagnaChip as we successfully closed the sale of Foundry business and Fab 4 that ultimately resulted in MagnaChip becoming a pure-play products company with a very healthy balance sheet for the first time. Across the company, we are making well-planned moves to realign our resources, sharpen our R&D focus on key priority areas and improve our operational efficiency.

More importantly, the upswing in demand which began since July is continuing into the fourth quarter. We are encouraged by the robust growth opportunities ahead of us, which creates a stronger foundation for profitable growth. We continue to push the envelope on enhancing our competitive position through continuous technology advancement, addressable market expansion and strategic customer engagements.

Now, I will turn the call over to Dr. Woo and come back for the Q&A.

Young Woo

Thank you, YJ, and welcome to everyone on the call. Let’s start with key financial metrics for Q3. Total revenue in Q3 was $124.8 million, up 5% from Q2 and down 16.3% from Q3 a year ago.

Revenue from the standard product business was $116.3 million, up 6.7% from Q2 and down 16.5% from the same quarter a year ago. The sequential increase was driven mainly by strong demand in our Power products for personal transportation and TV applications.

The year-over-year decline was primarily due to the U.S. Government’s export restrictions on Huawei that impacted the shipment of certain OLED Display Driver ICs to our customers. The year-over-year decline was also attributable to the strategic exit of non-auto LCD business, which accounted for $10.4 million in Q3 2019 and nil in Q3 2020.

Display revenue in Q3 was $69.6 million, up 0.6% quarter-over-quarter and down 23.2% year-over-year. Adjusting the non-auto LCD business, it was down about 13% year-over-year. Power revenue in Q3 was $46.7 million, up 17.3% quarter-over-quarter and down 4.2% year-over-year. The sequential improvement in the Power business was due to a solid rebound in the China market.

Gross profit margin in Q3 was 22.9%, down 4.1 percentage points from Q2 and down 0.7 percentage points or 70 basis points from Q3 a year ago. There were two unusual items as mentioned by YJ earlier that collectively translated into a negative 3% gross profit margin hit in the third quarter.

Turning now to operating expenses in Q3, operating expenses were $25.4 million or 20.3% of total revenue, as compared to $23.5 million or 19.8% in Q2 and $20.9 million or 14% for the same quarter a year ago.

SG&A in Q3 was $12.9 million, as compared to $12.4 million in Q2 and $10.7 million in Q3 2019.

R&D in Q3 was $12.5 million, as compared to $11.1 million in Q2 and $10.2 million in Q3 last year.

Stock compensation charges included in operating expenses were $2 million in Q3, $1.4 million in Q2 and $0.4 million in Q3 of last year.

Adjusted operating income in Q3 was $8.8 million, down from $10.1 million in Q2 and down from $14.8 million in Q3 a year ago.

Adjusted EBITDA in Q3 was $11.7 million, down from $12.7 million in Q2 and down from $17.4 million in Q3 a year ago.

Net income in Q3, including income from discontinued operations, net of tax was $273 million, up from $29.2 million in Q2 and up from negative $1.6 million in Q3 a year ago. This sharp increase was primarily due to the recognition of gain on sale of the Foundry business and Fab 4 of $287.1 million. Q3 net income from continuing operations was $8.5 million, down from $11.8 million in Q2 and up from negative $14.2 million in Q3 2019.

Our earnings per share, including results from discontinued operations, was $7.74 in Q3, up from $0.84 in Q2 and up from negative $0.5 in Q3 a year ago. Our earnings per share from continuing operations was $0.24 in Q3, down from an earnings per share of $0.34 in Q2 and up from a LOSS per share of $0.41 in Q3 2019.

Our non-GAAP diluted earnings per share from continuing operations was $0.14 cents in Q3, up from $0.13 in Q2 and down from $0.21 cents in Q3 last year. The difference between our GAAP and non-GAAP EPS was primarily due to the elimination of the non-cash net foreign currency gain of $8.9 million, which was offset in part by the elimination of the two one-time expenses of $3.5 million.

There were 35.3 million basic weighted average number of shares outstanding and 46.6 million diluted weighted average number of shares outstanding in Q3. The difference between share counts primarily relates to the dilutive effect of including the company’s exchangeable notes as if they were converted into shares at the beginning of the period.

Now moving to the balance sheet. Cash was $542.1 million at the end of Q3. This compares to $192.8 million at the end of Q2.

In Q3, we completed the sale of the Foundry business and Fab 4 for a purchase price of approximately $350.6 million in cash. We plan to use some of our net operating loss carryforwards to offset capital gain tax on this sale transaction.

The capital gain tax, which is currently estimated to be in the range of $14 million to $16 million, will be finalized and paid in Q1 2021 as part of our annual 2020 corporate income tax filing.

On October 2nd, we fully redeemed 2021 Senior Notes. As part of this redemption, we paid a withholding tax of $20.5 million as we moved the proceeds from our Korean subsidiary to the ultimate parent company in the U.S., who was the issuer of the Senior Notes.

Accounts receivable was 19% from Q2 — up 19% from Q2. The increase in accounts receivable in Q3 was attributable to the timing of payments from certain customers as the quarter end fell on a holiday in Korea and the related payments were collected by the following week. Our days sales outstanding for Q3 was 43 days.

Inventories were down 26.1% from Q2, due primarily to the limited ability to manufacture the products in Fab 3 at full capacity, caused by the delayed recovery from the Power outage. Our average days in inventory for Q3 was 32 days. CapEx was $7.5 million in Q3, as compared to $5.5 million in Q2.

Before moving to the fourth quarter guidance, I would like to note that we commenced a voluntary resignation program, which is available for all employees from October 16th. Due to the voluntary nature of this program, we are unable to provide an estimated amount of the related severance and other termination benefits for those employees under the program at this time. Once completed, this will help enhance our profitability.

Now moving to Q4 guidance. The COVID-19 global pandemic is still evolving and continues to reduce our forward visibility. While actual results may vary, MagnaChip currently anticipates for Q4 2020, revenue to be in the range of $ 128 million to $136 million, which represents approximately 3% to 9% sequential growth, including $10 million to $11 million of the Transitional Fab 3 Foundry Services. Gross profit margin to be in the range of 25% to 27%.

With that, I will turn the call over to So-Yeon. Thank you.

So-Yeon Jeong

Thank you YJ and Young. So, Operator, this concludes our prepared remarks and we will now open the call for questions.

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

[Operator Instructions] And your first question comes from the line of Raji Gill from Needham. Your line is now open.

Raji Gill

Thank you and congratulations, everyone, on really good results despite the uncertain environment. So, two questions, one short-term, and one long-term. On the short-term, the gross margin guidance is showing a bit of an uptick after the issue that you faced in Q3 related to the Power outage. I wanted to get your thoughts in terms of how we should be thinking about the gross margins in Q4 but also going into 2021. I know you’ve talked about kind of the 30% gross margin target, but are the Power outages kind of complete and in going forward the gross margin improvement over the next several quarters should be driven by mix or an improvement on price. Just wondering what are the thoughts on the gross margin, the puts and takes for the near-term?

YJ Kim

Sure. Raji, thank you. So, yes, the Power outage is now under control. It was got control in early October. And in terms of the guidance, we provided fourth quarter 25% to 27% that includes all the Foundry Fab 3 transitional service Fab 3, which as you know has little or no margin.

So, the product business unit margin, obviously, is couple points higher. And we will be sharing more near-term margin forecasts at the Analyst Day, which now has been rescheduled. But the — what we provided is, by 2023, where we see that the company will be fully product streamline companies. So we are providing clear guideline and until then we still will have some the transition service Fab 3. So we’ll give more detailed breakout during the Analyst Day.

Raji Gill

And in terms of the growth in Power, so there was a rebound in China, as you said in Korea, is driven by personal transportation and TV and that was a nice reversal. How do we think about Power in 2021? What are the major growth drivers in Power? Are you seeing adoption of electric vehicles accelerating in China and Korea, that’s fueling a lot of the growth in 2021 and what are the other markets in Power that are — that you’re excited about?

YJ Kim

Yes. So, today, we serve the four segments. Well, that’s a communication, consumers, computing and industrial. I can say that industrial and the consumer is the biggest — more bigger segment for us.

We are also exceeded — excited about some of the SSD penetration that’s in the computing space. And as you know, we are also working on 10,000 quality in automotive and we have alluded before that that should come in the second half next year. But it won’t be a meaningful revenue. So — but we expect the automotive to be 5% to 10% in years out.

So we excited about that and as I said before today, that by 2022, we will have a complete new set of the discrete Power portfolio from SuperJunction to IGBT to medium voltages to Power battery Fab, that will have much higher performance, as well as much improved costs. So we are very excited about that in the near-term, as well as the mid-term.

Raji Gill

And on the OLED side, you mentioned that you’re benefiting from the 5G momentum and so just curious in terms of the adoption of OLED. Would you say that goes hand-in-hand with the 5G momentum going into next year? So as you know, 5G phones are going to double more than double that we should expect — I would say, the attach rate doubling, but we should expect that OLED adoption will continue to kind of accelerate at ‘21 to support these 5G phones. Do they kind of go hand-in-hand when these OEMs launch 5G phones with high frame rates?

YJ Kim

Yes. So I think there are two things. First, the industry transition from LCD to OLED, and as you know, even for next year that may be 40% or close to 50%. But as time goes by, that’s going to accelerate more to OLED. So that’s in our favor.

Second, in terms of 5G. Yes, there’s a great momentum. The first half this year, we had about 20%, on the third quarter about 40%. In fact, the industry was slightly less than what our numbers by a couple of percentage points, but it’s the right direction we are seeing.

And then according to market research, they see the 5G phone to grow at least by 2.5x this year. So we are very encouraged by all the sign, both on the 5G adoption, as well as the industry moving from LCD to OLED. So that should all help out.

Raji Gill

Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from line of Suji Desilva from ROTH Capital. Your line is now open.

Suji Desilva

Hi, YJ. Hi, Dr. Woo. Congratulations on the progress here. So on the smartphone market, YJ, the OLED demand, can you talk about how the China market demand is shaping up, 4Q seems like the backlog is good and then early calendar year ‘20. Are you seeing evidence of a multi-quarter recovery here or is the visibility still challenging?

YJ Kim

Well, so, first of all, we – as you know, we only guide one quarter at a time. But what I can say is that, the industry is seeing a more demand and so the supply is very tight. So I think it’s a reflection of the market being strong.

Now, in terms of the how the market players are happening. It seems like there is a lot of competition. We are trying to win the Huawei socket. So there is a improve business among the non-Huawei.

For us, we have about a dozen end customers, who — but we don’t — they’re not our direct customers, so we don’t name them. But so, yes, I’d say, the market is trying to have the — new dynamics, as well as the industry also having a good silicon demand. So for that’s what we see in the near future.

Suji Desilva

Okay. Great. And then perhaps you could talk about the trend in foldable smartphones and how that’s impacting your mix and products and OLED is still early or is that an opportunity to count the ’21 for you?

YJ Kim

Yes. We’re excited about the new application, the OLED is bringing to — I think the foldable is one of them, the automotive is second and then the TV, I think, the next year that there will be more OLED TV from multiple vendors.

So I’m very excited about the new application developing and you asked particularly about foldable and foldable will be more mainstream if the — there’ll be vendors who can produce in high volume. But absolutely for the mid-term and long-term that foldable is the new form factor for the phone and it perhaps for some of the foldable applications.

Suji Desilva

Okay. Thanks YJ.

YJ Kim

Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Jon Lopez from Vertical Group. Your line is now open.

Jon Lopez

Hi. Thanks so much. Can you hear me Okay?

YJ Kim

Yes.

Jon Lopez

Terrific. I have a couple. The first one is, just on a clarification for the Q4 guidance, is there any latent impact from the outage going from Q3 to Q4? In other words, are you selling out product in Q4 that has higher production costs that theoretically goes away in 2021?

YJ Kim

So that’s very good question. So some of the Power products that they had a Power outage in Q3 that was in the WIP [ph], we will have that higher cost due to the high utilization that will ship in a fourth quarter. But the fourth quarter will have a very high utilization as the Fab will be full. So, yeah, to answer your question, there will be some of that in the first quarter on the Power devices.

Jon Lopez

Got you. Okay. Helpful. But in theory, that should probably start to work itself out as we go into early next year? Sorry, is that right? This should largely resolve itself into early 2021?

YJ Kim

Yes. By the Q1 shipment, it should have — if the parts made in the mid-October and later, that should be the, what we call, ideal conceptual thing.

Jon Lopez

Perfect. Okay. Perfect. Thanks. My second question, I want to just — would you mind quantifying your exposure to Huawei in calendar Q3 or even perhaps year-to-date?

YJ Kim

Sorry. As I said before, we don’t break down the customer by end customer because we don’t actually sell to them. We only sell to the panel. But we did say that the one-time exposure on the write-off for those inventory was $2.3 million.

Jon Lopez

Okay. Got you. I have two other quick ones. The first one, if I look at the Display guidance for the calendar fourth quarter, I know you’re not guiding specifically, but if we kind of very strong, much stronger than it usually would be seasonally. This is obviously an unusual year, a whole bunch of different ways. But I suppose my question is, assuming that’s correct, would you have us think any differently about how seasonality might play in 2021, just given what seems like kind of a stronger end to this year?

YJ Kim

So, I think, you’re correct about seasonality, seasonality for us typically has been the Q3 is a high and Q4 we go down slightly low. So this is unusual patterns. So ’21, it’s — we’ll see what happens then. But you’re correct that we’re doing much better than the normal seasonality for the company.

Jon Lopez

Okay. Got you. My very last one, I’m wondering if you talked just a minute about the dynamics in the Power market. And one thing in particular, we’re picking up is, a pretty reasonable amount of concern about the potential for sanctions on spec [ph], we’ll obviously as a pretty sizable 8-inch footprint. So I guess I’m wondering, are you seeing that development specifically driving opportunities for you, either to expand with existing customers or should I ask pick up new customers? Could you just talk for a minute about the market and what kind of the opportunity set for you might look like to the extent that those developments continue?

YJ Kim

Well, so I think there are two diff — separate things in there. First of all, the discrete devices, we made factor a most of that in our Fab 3. There are some stuff still made in the Fab 4. But in terms of the SMIC, I don’t think, the — if you were to have SMIC make it, I assume will be more PMIC.

So, but in any rate, I think, the — that would — tend to have a better business thing. But we count on our product portfolio, on our discrete devices that we have IP and we make internally, as well as the Power IC. So, we’re going to grow based on that and our competitiveness and I feel really good about our next-generation product. So that’s how we’re going to win the business. So but the SMIC thing mentioned that shouldn’t hurt us, in fact, or help us.

Jon Lopez

Got you. Okay. Thanks for the help. I really appreciate it.

YJ Kim

Thank you.

Operator

[Operator Instructions] And there are no further question at this time. I would now like to turn back the call over to Ms. So-Yeon Jeong for some closing remarks.

So-Yeon Jeong

Thank you. This concludes our third quarter 2020 earnings conference call. Please look for details of our future events on MagnaChip’s Investor Relations website. Thank you for joining us today. Good-bye.

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