Orange County Business Journal

Newport Corp. Shares Up on Rosy Q4 Revenue Outlook

Chris Casacchia Thursday, October 27, 2011

Shares of Newport Corp. continue to climb Thursday, a day after the Irvine-based company provided a revenue target for the current quarter that beat Wall Street expectations.

Newport Corp., which makes lasers and related equipment, projected revenue in the fourth quarter of $160 million to $165 million, which would lead to record sales of $544 million to $549 million this year.

Analysts on average are forecasting sales of about $158 million.

Investors seized upon the rosy outlook and sent shares up 18% Thursday to a market value of $532 million.

Newport makes lasers and equipment that controls them for telecommunications equipment, chipmakers, researchers, medical devices and factory equipment.

The company’s recent acquisitions of Austrian laser designer and manufacturer High Q Technologies GmbH, and Israeli Ophir Optronics Ltd. drove the revenue guidance.

High Q is a family-owned maker of “ultrafast lasers” and lasers for surgical procedures.

The addition is expected to strengthen Newport Corp.’s business in precision industrial manufacturing.

Jerusalem-based Ophir makes precision infrared optics, photonics instrumentation and three-dimensional measurement equipment.

The buy is expected to help Newport Corp. enter the high growth fields of thermal imaging and 3D non-contact measurement.

Ophir had revenue of nearly $112 million and operating income of $12.5 million through the 12 months through March.

It saw an annual growth rate in revenue of 19% from 2006 to 2010.

“The addition of Ophir and High Q expands our business significantly, while reducing the proportion of our revenue that is subject to the cyclicality of the semiconductor equipment industry,” President and Chief Executive Robert Phillippy said.

After the close of trading Wednesday, Newport Corp. reported third quarter revenue that slightly beat Wall Street expectations and profits that slightly missed estimates.

It posted revenue of $125.6 million, fairly flat from a year earlier.

Analysts on average expected revenue about $125 million.

Adjusted profits hit $11.7 million, down 8.5% from a year ago.

Analysts forecast adjusted profits of $12 million.

Newport Corp. didn’t provide guidance on profits for the current quarter.

Wall Street is projecting a profit of about $14.2 million.