AXT, Inc. (NasdaqGS: AXTI), a leading manufacturer of compound semiconductor substrates, today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year, ended December 31, 2021.

Management Qualitative Comments

“2021 was a pivotal year for our business,” said Morris Young, chief executive officer. “We achieved 44 percent revenue growth, driven by market expansion and strategic customer wins, and delivered a more than 350 percent increase in our profitability. We believe we are hitting an inflection point in which applications that were once considered early stage technologies are now moving to mainstream adoption. And as we look ahead, we expect our momentum to continue. With our current growth drivers, we believe we can deliver healthy double-digit revenue growth in 2022. Our investments in capacity, R&D for larger diameter substrates, and the STAR Market IPO of our Tongmei subsidiary give us significant competitive advantages in our ability to scale our business, and meet the needs of Tier-1 customers and emerging high-volume applications. We have a strong foundation in place and believe that the stage is set for another year of meaningful achievement in 2022.”

Fourth Quarter 2021 Results

  • Revenue for the fourth quarter of 2021 was $37.7 million, compared with $34.6 million in the third quarter of 2021 and $27.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2020.   This is 40% quarterly growth over the fourth quarter of 2020.
  • GAAP gross margin was 32.2 percent of revenue for the fourth quarter of 2021, compared with 33.3 percent of revenue in the third quarter of 2021 and 33.9 percent for the fourth quarter of 2020.
  • Non-GAAP gross margin, after eliminating charges for stock compensation, was 32.4 percent of revenue for the fourth quarter of 2021, compared with 33.8 percent of revenue in the third quarter of 2021 and 34.0 percent for the fourth quarter of 2020.
  • GAAP operating expenses were $9.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2021. This compares with $9.1 million in the third quarter of 2021 and $7.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2020.  
  • Non-GAAP operating expenses were $8.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2021. This compares with $7.7 million in the third quarter of 2021 and $6.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2020.
  • GAAP operating profit for the fourth quarter of 2021 was $3.0 million, compared with operating profit of $2.4 million in the third quarter of 2021 and an operating profit of $1.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2020.
  • Non-GAAP operating profit for the fourth quarter of 2021 was $4.1 million, compared with operating profit of $4.0 million in the third quarter of 2021 and an operating profit of $2.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2020.
  • Non-operating income and expense, net (including income attributable to noncontrolling interests and redeemable noncontrolling interests) for the fourth quarter of 2021 was an expense of $0.1 million, compared with income of $1.4 million in the third quarter of 2021 and income of $0.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2020.
  • GAAP net income in the fourth quarter of 2021 was $3.0 million, or $0.07 per share, compared with net income of $3.8 million or $0.09 per share in the third quarter of 2021, and net income of $2.1 million or $0.05 per share for the fourth quarter of 2020.
  • Non-GAAP net income in the fourth quarter of 2021 was $4.1 million, or $0.09 per share, compared with net income of $5.4 million or $0.13 per share in the third quarter of 2021, and net income of $2.8 million or $0.06 per share for the fourth quarter of 2020.

Fiscal Year 2021 Results (January 1 to December 31, 2021)

  • Revenue for fiscal year 2021 was $137.4 million, an increase of 44 percent from $95.4 million in fiscal year 2020.  
  • GAAP gross margin for fiscal year 2021 was 34.5 percent of revenue, up from 31.7 percent of revenue in fiscal year 2020.
  • Non-GAAP gross margin for fiscal year 2021 was 34.8 percent of revenue, up from 31.9 percent of revenue in fiscal year 2020.
  • GAAP operating expenses for fiscal year 2021 were $34.5 million, compared with $26.3 million in fiscal year 2020.
  • Non-GAAP operating expenses for fiscal year 2021 were $30.4 million, compared with $23.8 million in fiscal year 2020.
  • GAAP operating income for fiscal year 2021 was $12.9 million compared with $3.9 million in fiscal 2020.
  • Non-GAAP operating income for fiscal year 2021 was $17.4 million compared with $6.6 million in fiscal 2020.
  • GAAP net income for fiscal 2021 was $14.6 million, or $0.34 per share, compared with $3.2 million, or $0.07 per share for fiscal 2020.
  • Non-GAAP net income for fiscal 2021 was $19.1 million, or $0.44 per share, compared with $5.9 million, or $0.14 per share for fiscal 2020.

STAR Market Listing Update

On January 10, 2022 AXT announced that Tongmei, their subsidiary in Beijing, China, submitted to the Shanghai Stock Exchange in late December 2021 their application to go public on the STAR Market. The application was accepted for consideration on January 10, 2022. The process of going public on the STAR Market includes several periods of review and, therefore, is a lengthy process. Tongmei expects to accomplish this goal in the second half of 2022. AXT has posted a brief summary of the plan and the process on its website at http://www.axt.com.

Conference Call

The company will host a conference call to discuss these results today at 1:30 p.m. PT. The conference call can be accessed at (844) 892-6598 (passcode 7427708). The call will also be simulcast on the Internet at www.axt.com. Replays will be available at (855) 859-2056 (passcode 7427708) until February 24, 2022. Financial and statistical information to be discussed in the call will be available on the company’s website immediately prior to commencement of the call. Additional investor information can be accessed at http://www.axt.com or by calling the company’s Investor Relations Department at (510) 438-4700.

About AXT, Inc. AXT is a material science company that develops and manufactures high-performance compound and single element semiconductor substrate wafers comprising indium phosphide (InP), gallium arsenide (GaAs) and germanium (Ge). The company’s substrate wafers are used when a typical silicon substrate wafer cannot meet the performance requirements of a semiconductor or optoelectronic device. End markets include 5G infrastructure, data center connectivity (silicon photonics), passive optical networks, LED lighting, lasers, sensors, power amplifiers for wireless devices and satellite solar cells. AXT’s worldwide headquarters are in Fremont, California where the company maintains sales, administration and customer service functions. AXT has its Asia headquarters in Beijing, China and manufacturing facilities in three separate locations in China. In addition, as part of its supply chain strategy, the company has partial ownership in ten companies in China producing raw materials for its manufacturing process. For more information, see AXT’s website at http://www.axt.com.

Safe Harbor Statement

The foregoing paragraphs contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Federal securities laws, including, for example, our belief that we can deliver healthy double-digit revenue growth in 2022, statements regarding completing other preliminary steps in connection with the proposed listing of shares of Tongmei on the STAR Market, being accepted to list shares of Tongmei on the STAR Market and the timing and completion of such listing of shares of Tongmei on the STAR Market. Additional examples of forward-looking statements include statements regarding the market demand for our products, our growth prospects and opportunities for continued business expansion, including technology trends and new applications, our market opportunity, our ability to lead our industry, our relocation and our expectations with respect to our business prospects and financial results. These forward-looking statements are based upon assumptions that are subject to uncertainties and factors relating to the company’s operations and business environment, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements contained in the foregoing discussion. These uncertainties and factors include but are not limited to: the withdrawal, cancellations or requests for redemptions by private equity funds in China of investments in Tongmei, the administrative challenges in satisfying the requirements of various government agencies in China in connection with the investments in Tongmei and the listing of shares of Tongmei on the STAR Market, continued open access to companies to list shares on the STAR Market, investor enthusiasm for new listings of shares on the STAR Market and geopolitical tensions between China and the United States. Additional uncertainties and factors include, but are not limited to: the timing and receipt of significant orders; the cancellation of orders and return of product; emerging applications using chips or devices fabricated on our substrates; end-user acceptance of products containing chips or devices fabricated on our substrates; our ability to bring new products to market; product announcements by our competitors; the ability to control costs and improve efficiency; the ability to utilize our manufacturing capacity; product yields and their impact on gross margins; the relocation of manufacturing lines and ramping of production; possible factory shutdowns as a result of air pollution in China; COVID-19 or other outbreaks of a contagious disease; tariffs and other trade war issues; the financial performance of our partially owned supply chain companies; policies and regulations in China; and other factors as set forth in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and other filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Each of these factors is difficult to predict and many are beyond the company’s control. The company does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

FINANCIAL TABLES TO FOLLOW

AXT, INC.CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS(Unaudited, in thousands, except per share data)

                           
       Three Months Ended      Year Ended  
    December 31,   December 31,  
    2021        2020     2021        2020       
                           
Revenue   $ 37,732     $ 27,035     $ 137,393     $ 95,361    
Cost of revenue     25,593       17,873       89,979       65,086    
Gross profit     12,139       9,162       47,414       30,275    
Operating expenses:                          
Selling, general and administrative     6,348       5,081       24,189       19,200    
Research and development     2,757       2,162       10,328       7,135    
Total operating expenses     9,105       7,243       34,517       26,335    
Income from operations     3,034       1,919       12,897       3,940    
Interest expense, net     (158 )     (41 )     (213 )     (179 )  
Equity in income of unconsolidated joint ventures     735       354       4,409       111    
Other income (expense), net     (389 )     260       509       3,200    
Income before provision for (benefit from) income taxes     3,222       2,492       17,602       7,072    
Provision for (benefit from) income taxes     (411 )     108       1,093       2,031    
Net income     3,633       2,384       16,509       5,041    
Less: Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests and redeemable noncontrolling interests     (668 )     (320 )     (1,934 )     (1,803 )  
Net income attributable to AXT, Inc.   $ 2,965     $ 2,064     $ 14,575     $ 3,238    
Net income attributable to AXT, Inc. per common share:                          
Basic   $ 0.07     $ 0.05     $ 0.35     $ 0.08    
Diluted   $ 0.07     $ 0.05     $ 0.34     $ 0.07    
Weighted-average number of common shares outstanding:                          
Basic     41,758       40,678       41,367       40,152    
Diluted     42,750       42,042       42,720       41,025    

AXT, INC.CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS(Unaudited, in thousands)

               
       December 31,      December 31,   
    2021     2020    
               
ASSETS              
Current assets:              
Cash and cash equivalents   $ 36,763     $ 72,602    
Short-term investments     5,419       240    
Accounts receivable, net     34,839       24,558    
Inventories     65,912       51,515    
Prepaid expenses and other current assets     17,252       15,603    
Total current assets     160,185       164,518    
Long-term investments     9,576       5,726    
Property, plant and equipment, net     142,415       115,825    
Operating lease right-of-use assets     2,324       2,683    
Other assets     17,941       10,110    
Total assets   $ 332,441     $ 298,862    
LIABILITIES, REDEEMABLE NONCONTROLLING INTERESTS AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY              
Current liabilities:              
Accounts payable   $ 16,649     $ 12,669    
Accrued liabilities     17,057       15,995    
Short-term loan, related party     1,887          
Bank loan     12,229       10,411    
Total current liabilities     47,822       39,075    
Noncurrent operating lease liabilities     1,935       2,374    
Other long-term liabilities     2,453       1,881    
Total liabilities     52,210       43,330    
               
Redeemable noncontrolling interests     50,385       47,563    
               
Stockholders’ equity:              
Preferred stock     3,532       3,532    
Common stock     43       42    
Additional paid-in capital     231,622       230,381    
Accumulated deficit     (29,970 )     (44,545 )  
Accumulated other comprehensive income     6,302       3,209    
Total AXT, Inc. stockholders’ equity     211,529       192,619    
Noncontrolling interests     18,317       15,350    
Total stockholders’ equity     229,846       207,969    
Total liabilities, redeemable noncontrolling interests and stockholders’ equity   $ 332,441     $ 298,862    

       

AXT, INC.Reconciliation of Statements of Operations Under GAAP and Non-GAAP(Unaudited, in thousands)

                         
       Three Months Ended      Year Ended
    December 31,   December 31,
    2021      2020   2021      2020
GAAP gross profit   $ 12,139   $ 9,162   $ 47,414   $ 30,275
Stock compensation expense     105     33     368     116
Non-GAAP gross profit   $ 12,244   $ 9,195   $ 47,782   $ 30,391
                         
GAAP operating expenses   $ 9,105   $ 7,243   $ 34,517   $ 26,335
Stock compensation expense     983     659     4,151     2,507
Non-GAAP operating expenses   $ 8,122   $ 6,584   $ 30,366   $ 23,828
                         
GAAP income from operations   $ 3,034   $ 1,919   $ 12,897   $ 3,940
Stock compensation expense     1,088     692     4,519     2,623
Non-GAAP income from operations   $ 4,122   $ 2,611   $ 17,416   $ 6,563
                         
GAAP net income   $ 2,965   $ 2,064   $ 14,575   $ 3,238
Stock compensation expense     1,088     692     4,519     2,623
Non-GAAP net income   $ 4,053   $ 2,756   $ 19,094   $ 5,861
                         
GAAP net income per diluted share   $ 0.07   $ 0.05   $ 0.34   $ 0.07
Stock compensation expense per diluted share   $ 0.03   $ 0.02   $ 0.11   $ 0.06
Non-GAAP net income per diluted share   $ 0.09   $ 0.06   $ 0.44   $ 0.14
                         
Shares used to compute diluted net income per share     42,750     42,042     42,720     41,025

Contacts:

Gary FischerChief Financial Officer(510) 438-4700

Leslie Green                Green Communications Consulting, LLC(650) 312-9060

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