Clearfield Reports Fiscal First Quarter 2019 Results

Increasing Adoption of Fiber Management, Connectivity Solutions and Active Cabinets Drives Strong Double-Digit Revenue Growth

MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 31, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Clearfield, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLFD), the specialist in fiber management for communication service providers, reported results for the fiscal first quarter of 2019 ended December 31, 2018.

Fiscal Q1 2019 Financial Summary (GAAP)
(in millions except per share data and percentages) Q1 2019 vs. Q1 2018 Change Change (%)
Revenue $    20.1   $   16.9   $   3.2   19 %
Gross Profit ($) $    7.9   $   7.1   $   0.8   12 %
Gross Profit (%)   39.6 %   42.1 %   -2.5 %  
Income from Operations $    1.2   $   0.6   $   0.6   82 %
Income Tax Expense (Benefit) $    0.3   $   (0.2 ) $   0.5   -246 %
Net Income $    1.01   $   0.94   $   0.07   7 %
Net Income per Diluted Share $    0.08   $   0.07   $   0.01   14 %

Management Commentary
“Following the record topline performance in the prior quarter and fiscal year, we experienced another strong quarter in the first quarter of fiscal 2019,” said Clearfield CEO, Cheri Beranek. “Revenue was up 19% year-over-year to $20.1 million, driven principally by sales of active cabinet solutions as well as continued demand for the rest of our product line. In addition, the year-over-year backlog was up 84% from $2.4 million to $4.4 million with the backlog outside of active cabinet solutions up 62%. As we noted when we acquired the active cabinet product line in late second quarter of fiscal 2018, our goal was to establish a market presence in active cabinet solutions, as well as increased revenue of all product lines through the strategic advantage of entering the sales cycle at an earlier point.  We are pleased at the early demonstration of the execution of this strategy.

“It’s important to note that even with the lower gross margins associated with our active cabinets, we continued to demonstrate the accretive nature of this product line. During the quarter, we were able to drive significantly higher revenue but kept operating expenses relatively stable. Year-over-year, our newly enhanced and broadly integrated product suite contributed to an 82% increase in income from operations for the quarter.

“Last quarter, we introduced our Coming of Age plan, which is designed to strengthen our core business and better position us for disruptive growth opportunities. As it relates to expanding our core business, we’re getting in front of our customers in a deeper and more frequent way, emphasizing not only the cost-effectiveness of our solutions, but also how they help ensure rapid turn-up of service.

“The second initiative of our Coming Age of Plan relates to enhancing our competitive position and operational effectiveness. In addition to continued support of our reseller relationship with Calix for the sale of active cabinet solutions optimized for their electronics and markets, we have also been developing a new configuration of active cabinets which we expect to launch later in the second quarter of fiscal 2019.  With these new configurations, we will be exploring application scenarios that will leverage our high-density solutions for fiber management and optical component integration.

“Our final initiative is to explore ways to capitalize on the disruptive growth opportunities within the Tier 1 markets. During the quarter, in addition to revenue-producing pilots, we began non-revenue trials of newly designed products within the national carrier market. These trials will demonstrate how the craft-friendly nature of our product line will reduce labor and enhance service turn-up times.

“Going forward, we’ll continue to allocate capital toward the areas where we believe we have the greatest returns. This includes better serving our customers, investing in complementary products or technologies, enhancing our supply chain and operational infrastructure, and potentially acquiring accretive businesses or product lines that can help us further reduce our cost structure or significantly expand our market opportunity.”

Financial Results for the Quarter Ended December 31, 2018
Revenue for the first quarter of fiscal 2019 increased 19% to $20.1 million from $16.9 million in the same year-ago quarter. The increase was primarily due to sales from the Company’s acquired active cabinet line, which were approximately $2.7 million for the quarter.

Gross profit increased 12% to $7.9 million, or 39.6% of revenue, from $7.1 million, or 42.1% of revenue, in the fiscal first quarter of 2018. The increase in gross profit was due to increased sales volume. The decrease in gross profit percent was primarily due to the integration of the Company’s acquired active cabinet line into its manufacturing processes as well as a higher percentage of sales associated with these products, which have lower gross margins.

Operating expenses were $6.8 million, an increase of 5% compared to $6.5 million in the same year-ago quarter. The increase consists primarily of an increase in compensation costs due primarily to additional sales and engineering personnel and an increase of depreciation and amortization expense primarily related to the intangibles resulting from the purchase of the active cabinet line during the second quarter of fiscal 2018. These were partially offset by a decrease in legal expenses, mainly due to the settlement of a patent infringement lawsuit in the second quarter of fiscal 2018.

Income from operations increased 82% to $1.2 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2019 from $644,000 in the same year-ago quarter. Income tax expense increased 246% from a benefit of $203,000 in the first quarter of 2018 to an expense of $296,000 in the first quarter of fiscal 2019. The first quarter of fiscal 2018 included a one-time benefit of $384,000 as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in December 2017. Net income increased 7% to $1,010,000, or $0.08 per diluted share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2019 from $943,000, or $0.07 per diluted share, in the same year-ago quarter.

During the quarter ended December 31, 2018, cash, cash equivalents and investments increased 19% to $42.1 million from $35.5 million at the end of the prior quarter. The Company had no debt at quarter end.

Order backlog (defined as purchase orders received but not yet fulfilled) at December 31, 2018 decreased 22% to $4.4 million from $5.6 million at September 30, 2018, and increased 84% from $2.4 million at December 31, 2017.

Fiscal 2019 Financial Outlook
Clearfield reiterates its revenue guidance for fiscal 2019 to be between $83 million and $87 million. The Company also reiterates its gross profit as a percentage of total revenue to range between 37% and 38%, with some variability on a quarter-to-quarter basis. In addition, Clearfield reiterates operating expenses to be between 31% and 33% of total revenue, and net income as a percentage of revenue to be between 3% and 5%.

Conference Call
Clearfield management will hold a conference call today, January 31, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (4:00 p.m. Central Standard Time) to discuss these results and provide an update on business conditions.

Clearfield’s President and CEO Cheri Beranek and CFO Dan Herzog will host the presentation, followed by a question and answer period.

Date: Thursday, January 31, 2019
Time: 5:00 p.m. Eastern time (4:00 p.m. Central time)
U.S. dial-in: 1-877-407-0792
International dial-in: 1-201-689-8263

The conference call will be webcast live and available for replay here

Please call the conference telephone number 10 minutes prior to the start time. An operator will register your name and organization. If you have any difficulty connecting with the conference call, please contact Liolios at 1-949-574-3860.

A replay of the call will be available after 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on the same day through February 14, 2019.

U.S. replay dial-in: 1-844-512-2921
International replay dial-in: 1-412-317-6671
Replay ID: 13686521

About Clearfield, Inc.
Clearfield, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLFD) designs, manufactures and distributes fiber optic management, protection and delivery products for communications networks. Our “fiber to anywhere” platform serves the unique requirements of leading incumbent local exchange carriers (traditional carriers), competitive local exchange carriers (alternative carriers), and MSO/cable TV companies, while also catering to the broadband needs of the utility/municipality, enterprise, data center and military markets. Headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, Clearfield deploys more than a million fiber ports each year. For more information, visit

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information
Forward-looking statements contained herein and in any related presentation or in the related FieldReport are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “outlook,” or “continue” or comparable terminology are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such forward looking statements include, for example, statements about the Company’s future revenue and operating performance, integration of the acquired active cabinet line, trends in and growth of the FTTx markets, market segments or customer purchases, effectiveness of the Company’s sales and marketing strategies and organization, utilization of manufacturing capacity, and the development and marketing of products. These statements are based upon the Company's current expectations and judgments about future developments in the Company's business. Certain important factors could have a material impact on the Company's performance, including, without limitation: further consolidation among our customers may result in the loss of some customers and may reduce sales during the pendency of business combinations and related integration activities; to compete effectively, we must continually improve existing products and introduce new products that achieve market acceptance; we must successfully integrate the acquired active cabinet line in order to obtain the anticipated financial results and customer synergies within the timeframes expected; our operating results may fluctuate significantly from quarter to quarter, which may make budgeting for expenses difficult and may negatively affect the market price of our common stock; our success depends upon adequate protection of our patent and intellectual property rights; intense competition in our industry may result in price reductions, lower gross profits and loss of market share; we rely on single-source suppliers, which could cause delays, increases in costs or prevent us from completing customer orders, all of which could materially harm our business; a significant percentage of our sales in the last three fiscal years have been made to a small number of customers, and the loss of these major customers or significant decline in business with these major customers would adversely affect us; our planned implementation of information technology systems could result in significant disruptions to our operations; product defects or the failure of our products to meet specifications could cause us to lose customers and sales or to incur unexpected expenses; we are dependent upon key personnel; we face risks associated with expanding our sales outside of the United States; our results of operations could be adversely affected by economic conditions and the effects of these conditions on our customers’ businesses; and other factors set forth in Part I, Item IA. Risk Factors of Clearfield's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 30, 2018 as well as other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company undertakes no obligation to update these statements to reflect actual events unless required by law.

Investor Relations Contact:

Matt Glover and Najim Mostamand, CFA
Liolios Group, Inc.


  Three Months Ended
  December 31
  2018   2017  
Revenues $ 20,089,150   $ 16,866,884  
Cost of sales   12,142,452     9,758,477  
Gross profit   7,946,698     7,108,407  
Operating expenses      
  Selling, general and administrative   6,775,875     6,463,971  
Income from operations   1,170,823     644,436  
  Interest income   135,137     95,722  
Income before income taxes   1,305,960     740,158  
Income tax expense (benefit)     296,000     (203,000 )
Net income $ 1,009,960   $ 943,158  
Net income per share:      
  Basic $ 0.08   $ 0.07  
  Diluted $ 0.08   $ 0.07  
Weighted average shares outstanding:      
  Basic   13,400,383     13,443,945  
  Diluted   13,400,343     13,476,417  


December 31, 2018
September 30, 2018
Current Assets          
Cash and cash equivalents $ 15,358,334   $ 8,547,777
Short-term investments   8,490,225     8,930,225
Accounts receivable, net   8,167,441     12,821,258
Inventories, net   9,626,116     10,050,135
Other current assets   653,202     742,136
Total current assets   42,295,318     41,091,531
Property, plant and equipment, net   4,592,435     4,744,584
Other Assets          
Long-term investments   18,292,000     17,974,000
Goodwill   4,708,511     4,708,511
Intangible assets, net   5,381,889     5,482,555
Other   213,914     227,461
Total other assets   28,596,314     28,392,527
Total Assets $ 75,484,067   $ 74,228,642
Liabilities and Shareholders’ Equity          
Current Liabilities          
Accounts payable $ 1,918,301   $ 2,363,380
Accrued compensation   1,771,531     2,048,904
Accrued expenses   862,998     568,507
  Total current liabilities   4,552,830     4,980,791
Other Liabilities          
Deferred taxes – long-term   104,935     104,935
Deferred rent   263,661     268,040
Total other liabilities   368,596     372,975
Total Liabilities   4,921,426     5,353,766

Shareholders’ Equity
Common stock   136,625     136,466
Additional paid-in capital   56,161,405     55,483,759
Retained earnings   14,264,611     13,254,651
Total Shareholders’ Equity   70,562,641     68,874,876
Total Liabilities and Shareholders’ Equity $ 75,484,067   $ 74,228,642


   Three Months
December 31,
   Three Months
December 31,
   2018     2017 
Cash flows from operating activities:          
Net income $ 1,009,960     $ 943,158  
  Adjustments to reconcile net income to cash provided by operating activities:          
Depreciation and amortization   529,414       436,198  
Deferred income taxes   -         (384,000 )
Loss on disposal of assets   -       1,594  
Stock-based compensation expense   538,524       483,287  
Changes in operating assets and liabilities:          
    Accounts receivable, net   4,653,817       1,666,920  
    Inventories   424,019         313,183  
    Other current assets   102,481       41,706  
    Accounts payable, accrued expenses and deferred rent   (432,340 )     (1,497,524 )
Net cash provided by operating activities   6,825,875         2,004,522  
Cash flows from investing activities:          
Purchases of property, plant and equipment and intangible assets    (276,599 )     (229,999 )
Purchase of investments   (1,558,000 )     (2,466,000 )
Sale of investments   1,680,000       2,477,000  
Net cash used in investing activities   (154,599 )     (218,999 )
Cash flows from financing activities:          
Repurchases of common stock   -         (10,850 )
Proceeds from issuance of common stock under employee stock purchase plan    145,940        148,259  
Proceeds from issuance of common stock   17       3,249  
Tax withholding related to vesting of restricted stock grants   (6,676 )     (9,262 )
Net cash provided by financing activities   139,281       131,396  
Increase in cash and cash equivalents   6,810,557         1,916,919  
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period   8,547,777       18,536,111  
Cash and cash equivalents at end of period $ 15,358,334     $ 20,453,030  
Supplemental cash flow information          
Cash (received) paid during the year for income taxes $ (1,043 )   $ 2,500  
Non-cash financing activities          
Cashless exercise of stock options $ 9,658     $ 5,782  



Source: Clearfield, Inc.