Orange County Business Journal

Netlist Reports Mixed Q1 Results

Chris Casacchia Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Irvine-based computer memory products maker Netlist Inc. on Wednesday reported a first quarter loss that beat Wall Street expectations and a slight miss on revenue.

Investors sent shares slightly higher in after-hours trading on a market value of about $60 million.

Netlist posted a loss of $2.8 million.

Analysts had expected a $3 million loss, the same as the first quarter a year ago.

Revenue for the first quarter was $12 million, up 52% from a year ago. That narrowly missed analysts’ forecast of $12.5 million.

Netlist makes memory boards with specialized controller chips that help manage other memory within servers.

Chief Executive C.K. Hong said the first quarter was a solid start to the year as revenue and gross profit increased from a year ago and quarterly.

Gross profit was $3.8 million in the first quarter, up 111% from a year ago.

Netlist did not give a profit or revenue outlook for the current quarter.

Analysts on average are expecting a $3 million loss on $12.7 million in revenue.

Netlist is coming off a rough few years since its initial public offering in late 2006, when it raised roughly $35 million.

A memory chip slump in 2007 and another in 2008 all but steamrolled Netlist. Falling prices of memory chips slashed the value of its stockpiles and squeezed profits.

The company’s stock nose-dived in early 2009 before rebounding later that year when the company took steps to move beyond memory modules, which help computers run faster but have become commodities.

The company's more advanced controller chips help boost performance, cut down on power and save on costs for running data storage centers, according to Netlist.