Orange County Business Journal

M-Flex Shares Sink on Q4 Earnings, Downgrades

Chris Casacchia Friday, November 4, 2011

Shares of Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc. continued to fall Friday, a day after the Anaheim-based company reported revenue and profits for the recently ended quarter that missed Wall Street expectations and provided a sales outlook for the current quarter that is below estimates.

Investors seized upon the disappointing outlook and earnings−which prompted analyst downgrades−and sent shares down 18% Friday to a market value of $464 million.

Earlier today Needham & Co. downgraded M-Flex from a “buy” rating to “hold.”

That followed Thursday’s downgrade by Zacks Investment Research, which moved M-Flex shares down from “neutral” to “underperform” in a research note to investors.

M-Flex makes flexible printed circuit boards for cell phones and other mobile devices.

In the December quarter the company expects revenue between $200 and $230 million, below Wall Street estimates of about $231.6 million.

Chief Executive Reza Meshgin said production will likely fall in the current quarter as flooding in Thailand might affect the supply chain and cell phone assembly.

In the recently ended quarter, M-Flex reported revenue of $191.5 million, down 15.5% from a year earlier.

Analyst on average had forecast sales of $200 million.

Adjusted profits topped $4.4 million, down 63% from a year ago.

Wall Street had expected an adjusted profit of $8.1 million.

The disappointing quarterly results reflected “a shift in the timing of certain new programs for two of our key customers,” according to Meshgin.

M-Flex did not provide a profit outlook for the December quarter.

Analysts on average are expecting an adjusted profit of $11 million.

M-Flex is part of Singapore’s WBL Corp., a holding company that operates technology and other businesses.

WBL owns 62% of M-Flex’s publicly traded shares and a third of the company’s voting stock.

M-Flex went public in 2004.