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CyberOptics Corporation reported sales of $18.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2018 ended December 31, an increase of 37% from $13.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Fourth quarter earnings totaled $1.2 million or $0.16 per diluted share, up substantially from $503,000 or $0.07 per diluted share in last year’s fourth quarter.
For full-year 2018, sales totaled $64.7 million, an increase of 21% from $53.3 million in 2017. Earnings in 2018 came to $2.8 million or $0.39 per diluted share, up from earnings of $1.3 million or $0.19 per diluted share in 2017.
Dr. Subodh Kulkarni, president and chief executive officer, commented: “CyberOptics’ improved fourth quarter operating results were driven in part by significantly higher sales of 3D MultiReflection Suppression (MRS)-enabled sensors and inspection/metrology systems. These technologically advanced products are giving CyberOptics a true competitive advantage in our targeted markets, and generated a substantial portion of our fourth quarter and full-year sales growth. Our fourth quarter revenues also benefited from customer acceptances for $1.1 million of MX600 memory module inspection systems that were previously expected to be recognized as revenue in the first quarter of 2019. And in an important milestone, in the fourth quarter of 2018 we received our first purchase order for our 3D MRS-enabled sensor for mid-end semiconductor inspection. We believe our suite of 3D MRS-enabled products and family of WaferSense sensors for the semiconductor market will drive CyberOptics’ continued growth and profitability in 2019 and beyond.”
Sales of sensors and inspection/metrology systems based on 3D MRS technology increased 61% year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2018 to $6.1 million, and increased by 47% on a yearover-year basis for all of 2018 to $21.1 million. Sales of 3D MRS based products and WaferSense sensors accounted for slightly more than 50% of CyberOptics’ total sales in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Sales of OEM sensors rose 66% year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2018 to $5.8 million. This increase was paced by sales of 3D MRS-enabled sensors, which grew 151% year-over-year to $2.3 million. OEM sensor sales are forecasted to decline in the first quarter of 2019 on a yearover-year basis, as customers have reduced orders due to sluggish market conditions that emerged late in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Sales of inspection/metrology systems increased 46% year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2018 to $9.2 million. Within this category, sales of 3D MRS-enabled SQ3000 automated optical inspection (AOI) systems, including the new SQ3000™ 3D CMM that incorporates AOI with metrology functionality, rose 40% year-over-year to $3.7 million. System revenues in the fourth quarter benefited from customer acceptances for $1.1 million of MX600 memory module systems, and from $1.3 million of X-ray system sales. CyberOptics expects to recognize revenue for approximately $2.7 million of its MX600 backlog in the first quarter of 2019.
Sales of the WaferSense product line declined 9% year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2018 due to normal fluctuations in quarterly sales flows and overall softness in the semiconductor capital equipment market. Sales of these quality and productivity-enhancing tools are forecasted to rebound in the first quarter of 2019, given strong order activity early in the quarter. Additional WaferSense applications are under development, and CyberOptics believes its family of high-margin WaferSense products will figure prominently in the company’s growth and profitability over the next few years.
Initial purchase orders have been received for MRS-enabled 3D sensors and sub-systems for mid-end semiconductor inspection applications. Many potential customers, including OEMs and system integrators, are actively evaluating our 3D MRS sensor for semiconductor mid-end and advanced packaging inspection, given its high-resolution with speeds two to three times faster than competing sensors now on the market. Sales are forecasted to grow gradually in 2019, with increasing momentum in 2020 and beyond. CyberOptics believes semiconductor mid-end and advanced packaging inspection applications represent an important long-term growth opportunity.
CyberOptics ended the fourth quarter of 2018 with an order backlog of $13.6 million, down from $19.7 million at the end of the third quarter. The current backlog, which includes orders of $3.3 million for MX600 systems, was affected by the sluggish market conditions that emerged late in the fourth quarter of 2018. As a result, the company is forecasting sales of $14.00 to $15.25 million for the first quarter of 2019 ending March 31. CyberOptics believes 2019 should be another year of sales and earnings growth.
CyberOptics Corporation is a leading global developer and manufacturer of high-precision 3D sensing technology solutions. CyberOptics’ sensors are used in SMT, semiconductor and metrology markets to significantly improve yields and productivity. By leveraging its leading edge technologies, the company has strategically established itself as a global leader in high precision 3D sensors, allowing CyberOptics to further increase its penetration of key vertical markets. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, CyberOptics conducts worldwide operations through its facilities in North America, Asia and Europe.