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Orion Energy Systems Reports 3rd Quarter Loss

MANITOWOC, Wis., Feb. 07, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Orion Energy Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:OESX) (Orion Lighting), a provider of enterprise-grade LED lighting and energy project solutions, today reported results for its fiscal 2018 third quarter (Q3’18) and nine months ended December 31, 2017.

Q3 Highlights:

  • Q3’18 revenue rose 12.3% to $17.3M versus Q2’18.
  • Gross margin improved 610 basis points to 29.6% in Q3’18 versus Q2’18 of 23.5%.
  • Orion identified and is implementing an additional $1.5M in annual cost reductions; increasing total annualized cost reductions to approximately $6.0M.
  • Net loss of $1.4M or $0.05 per basic share.
  • EBITDA loss improved sequentially to $0.8M in Q3’18 versus $3.0M Q2’18.
  • Positive cash flow from operating activities of $1.6M in Q3’18.
  • $10.6M in cash as of December 31, 2017.
  • Sequential improvement in Q3’18 revenue driven principally by strength in national accounts where Orion continues to see increased requests for proposals and large orders, particularly with automotive and government accounts.
  • Orion now expects revenue from its two largest automotive customers to total approximately $12M in FY 2018 and $14M in FY 2019.
  • Orion’s agent driven distribution channel continues to develop slowly and accounted for 45% of revenue in Q3’18, with approximately 50 agent relationships at the quarter’s close.
  • Orion is achieving good adoption of its new line of Harris LED lighting systems designed to appeal to an expanded base of customers and markets, including new construction.

CEO Commentary
Mike Altschaefl, Orion’s CEO and Board Chair, commented, “The good news is that we are seeing strengthening demand from large and long-standing national accounts. National accounts made a significant contribution to the sequential revenue improvement in Q3’18, including some traction with our new line of lower cost Harris LED lighting systems.

“We are also seeing progress in our agent driven distribution channel; however, it is developing more slowly than anticipated. We continue to actively manage this channel and are focusing resources to support our top agents, while also seeking to enhance the productivity of the balance of our agent base through additional training and support. We are also replacing agents that have not proven successful in bringing our products to market. Going forward, we are focused on building a base of productive agents to provide us with broad access to opportunities across North America.

“We believe that the strength in our national account activity, combined with our plans and expectations for continued improvement in agent productivity, provide us with confidence in Orion’s potential to drive revenue growth in fiscal 2019 and beyond.

“On the cost side, we have identified and are implementing further expense reduction initiatives, including not renewing the lease for our Chicago office, as well as related workforce reductions.

“Our efforts to right size our cost structure over the past year are expected to yield approximately $6M in annual savings; a 20% reduction from FY 2017 levels. We believe these actions further accelerate Orion’s path to achieving profitability.”

Updated Financial Outlook
Orion’s quarterly performance can and will likely vary materially from period to period, often based on macroeconomic and industry forces. Orion therefore reminds investors that its stated financial goals are targets and goals – not implied guidance, forecasts or projections.

Reflecting the Company’s progress to date with major and national accounts and Q3’18 performance, management is updating its revenue goal as follows. Orion now is targeting its Q4’18 revenue to be similar to Q3’18 and its total revenue to be approximately $62M for full year FY 2018, as compared to an earlier goal of approximately $70M.

We previously stated our goal of achieving 30% gross margins and breakeven EBITDA, before non-recurring items, by Q4’18. Our Q3’18 results demonstrated our progress toward these goals through an improvement in gross margins and a significant reduction in our sequential quarterly negative EBITDA. Due to our reduction in expected revenues in Q4’18 caused by industry softness and other factors, we now hope to reach these goals by Q2 of fiscal 2019.

Orion expects to record non-recurring charges of approximately $0.25M in Q4’18 related to the additional $1.5M in annualized cost reductions.

Q3’18 Results
Orion’s Q3’18 revenue declined 16% to $17.3M compared to Q3’17, including a $2.1M decrease in fluorescent lighting product sales, but improved 12.3% compared to Q2’18. LED lighting product revenue was $14.5M in Q3’18 or 91% of total lighting product revenue versus $15.5M or 82% of total lighting product revenue in Q3’17.

Gross margin continued to improve sequentially to 29.6% in Q3’18, compared to 23.5% in Q2’18 and 21.6% in Q1’18, due to higher revenues and improved sourcing and cost management efforts. Gross margin in Q3’18 declined slightly versus gross margin of 29.9% in Q3’17, principally reflecting lower overhead absorption on lower revenue in the recent period.

Orion’s Q3’18 net loss was $1.4M, or $0.05 per share, versus $1.1M, or $0.04 per share, in Q3’17 principally due to the impact of lower revenues on Orion’s fixed cost structure, partially offset by a $0.7M reduction in operating expenses. Orion’s net loss was $3.7M, or $0.13 per share, in Q2’18.

Orion’s Q3’18 EBITDA loss narrowed sequentially to $0.8M from $3.0M in Q2’18.

Balance Sheet & Cash Flow
Orion generated $1.6M in cash from operating activities in Q3‘18, as its net loss was more than offset by active working capital management efforts. At the end of Q3’18, Orion had $10.6Min cash and cash equivalents and $3.6M in borrowings under its revolving credit facility.

Resolution of Litigation
In August 2016, the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin (Green Bay Division) dismissed all claims brought against Orion by the Company’s former CEO, Neal R. Verfuerth (plaintiff), who was terminated for cause in November 2012. In September 2016, the plaintiff filed an appeal to the United States Court of Appealschallenging the judgment, and in January 2018 a panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the dismissal of the lawsuit against Orion.

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