SANTA CLARA, Calif., Feb. 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Echelon Corporation (ELON) today announced financial results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2017.
“We ended 2017 with growth across both our distributed intelligence LON-enabled embedded IoT and connected lighting solutions product lines,” said Ron Sege, Chairman and CEO. “Echelon is being acknowledged across the lighting industry as one of the leading suppliers of connected outdoor lighting solutions worldwide, and our innovative portfolio of products continues to win awards and praise from customers. Over the last year, we have also seen an increasing number of existing LON-enabled embedded customers pursue an ’embrace, extend and enhance’ strategy, as they look to embrace the value of their assets by leveraging existing connected devices, extend them with emerging technologies, and enhance the data collected with cloud-based analytics. With a majority of our largest embedded LON customers showing year-over-year growth, and the value of accessible, operational data increasing, we believe this trend will continue.”
- Revenues: $8.0 million.
- GAAP Operating expenses $5.4 million; Non-GAAP Operating expenses $5.1 million.
- GAAP Net Loss: $1.2 million; GAAP Net Loss per Share: $0.27.
- Non-GAAP Net Loss: $0.9 million; Non-GAAP Net Loss per Share: $0.20.
- Cash & investments: $20.5 million.
Revenues were $8.0 million in the fourth quarter, an increase from $7.8 million, or 3%, in the previous quarter and from $7.5 million, or 7%, in the previous year. The Company’s lighting solutions business grew year-over-year and sequentially. The LON-based embedded platform business grew year-over-year but saw a modest decline sequentially as customers scheduled orders to manage year-end inventory balances.
GAAP gross margin in the fourth quarter was 52.0% compared with 57.3% in the prior quarter and 55.0% a year ago. The decreases were the result of a combination of product mix, higher costs associated with the initial ramp of new lighting products, and one-time costs related to freight and inventory management.
GAAP operating expenses for the quarter were $5.4 million, up from $5.2 million in the previous quarter and down from $5.8 million in the same period last year. Non-GAAP operating expenses for the quarter were $5.1 million, up slightly from $5.0 million last quarter, and flat with a year ago. The sequential increase was primarily driven by increased R&D spending associated with new product introductions to meet increased customer demand.
GAAP net loss for the quarter was $1.2 million, or $0.27 per share, compared to last quarter’s net loss of $0.9 million, or $0.19 per share, and a net loss of $1.2 million, or $0.28 per share, in the same period last year. Non-GAAP net loss for the fourth quarter was $0.9 million, or $0.20 per share, compared with non-GAAP net loss of $0.6 million, or $0.14 per share, in the previous quarter and $0.5 million, or $0.11 per share a year ago. The sequential increase was primarily the result of the lower gross margin in the fourth quarter. The year-over-year increase in non-GAAP net loss was primarily attributable to foreign currency translation gains and losses between the two quarters.
Included in both GAAP and non-GAAP results for the fourth quarter of 2017 were foreign currency translation losses of $107,000, which were attributable to fluctuations in foreign currency denominated short-term intercompany balances. This compares to foreign currency translation losses of $196,000 in the third quarter of 2017 and gains of $549,000in the fourth quarter of 2016.
The Company ended the year with $20.5 million in cash and investments.
Connected Lighting Solutions Highlights
Connected lighting solutions revenue increased in the fourth quarter to record levels, driven by a confluence of market trends and Company activities. Echelon’s sales efforts over the last several quarters showed accelerated results this quarter with multiple project installations simultaneously underway. While the Company sees strengthening in the market and the emergence of a strong product cycle, sales are expected to remain unpredictable and implementations to take three to six months to fully install and commission, resulting in lumpy revenue in this product line.
Lighting project highlights from the fourth quarter include the following:
- A major city in New England selected Echelon’s IoT-enabled, connected streetlight system to intelligently control 5,150 LED streetlights in the downtown district. Together with the potential for sizable energy and maintenance savings, Echelon was chosen for its proven ability to control and manage the city’s lighting infrastructure through a combination of wireless connections for conventional light fixtures, and power line communication for decorative lighting fixtures. This system is currently being installed.
- The City of Rancho Cucamonga in southern California selected Echelon as part of their LED streetlight retrofit project. Not only will the city have fine-grained control over its streetlights and automated monitoring and reporting for the first time, they also estimate that the retrofit will save over $1.0 million a year from lower energy use as well as maintenance savings. This project is also currently being installed.
- A major city in Silicon Valley selected Echelon’s lighting controls for 5,749 LED street lights. Echelon was chosen for its ability to control and manage the city’s lighting infrastructure and being “Smart City” enabled to support future IoT applications. This project is currently being installed.
This quarter Echelon also began to enhance its professional services capabilities for its lighting solutions portfolio. The Company’s experience in connected lighting systems, coupled with its device networking expertise, is resulting in new opportunities to play an expanded role in lighting projects. By building out a professional service offering, Echelon can assist customers and partners with the installation and programming of their networks. This combination not only brings Echelon closer to its end customers, but may also add a new revenue stream.
LonWorks®-enabled Embedded IoT Platform Highlights
As customers increasingly realize the power of Echelon’s distributed intelligence LonWorks-based solutions, they are opting to ’embrace, extend, and enhance’ their existing installations. For example, Echelon is currently engaged in a professional services project to extend an existing LonWorks network in a large transportation system to access data for use in monitoring and improving train safety. The LonWorks system will be extended to provide data in conjunction with a video surveillance system to cloud-based safety systems. While the design is not finalized, the Company expects the solution will include Echelon’s powerful Edge Servers to aggregate data and send it to the cloud for valuable analysis.
We believe that these trends have contributed to growth in 7 out of 10 of the Company’s largest embedded LonWorks customers in 2017, with the top 3 customers growing an average 31%. In addition, design wins for Echelon’s 5000 and 6050 series System on Chips (SoCs) also contributed to the growth. Overall, in 2017 Echelon had more than 1,000 active customers.
Advanced Technology Highlights
A broad upgrade of Echelon’s outdoor lighting solutions product line has set the stage for accelerated adoption. Sales of these new, open and extendable solutions saw a noticeable increase in orders shipped in the fourth quarter. This redesign paves the way for city-wide lighting networks across multiple, mid-band sensor and data applications, positioning Echelon to play an increasingly large role in the trend towards smart cities. Key products that were released in the fourth quarter include:
- The Echelon LumInsight® 2.1 Cloud CMS is an upgrade to Echelon’s native cloud-hosted CMS that includes asset and energy management applications and is easily extensible to smart city applications via its “widget” architecture. The user-friendly CMS provides a configurable dashboard that can be customized for the needs of not only maintenance and sustainability, but the city manager as well. An advanced mapping user interface provides rich insights into site status and network health. The CMS features actionable alarms and reports and reports, and improved tools and tutorials for making deployment easy for Echelon’s partners. LumInsight 2 Cloud is accessible from any browser-based device.
- The Echelon LumInsight IoT Gateway is a new distributed edge server platform for managing and monitoring mission critical segments for a city-wide network. Echelon’s Edge Servers become smarter and more capable with the LumInsight IoT Gateway and provide greater intelligence at the edge of the network for more reliable, uninterrupted operations that support adaptive operations. The server has an open programable and extendible interface that enables scaling of multiple sites and segments across an entire city’s geography and integrates with existing systems including building and industrial automation systems. This gateway securely provides LumInsight 2 Cloud Central Management System (CMS) the data it needs to manage a multi-site network.
- The Echelon TOP900TLX-E controller is a new addition to the TOP900 family and is a compact, plug and play lighting control node targeted at municipal and outdoor enterprise markets in North and Latin America. This new product adds capability for automatic discovery and location through an embedded GPS module, and is designed to provide accurate revenue grade metering on each node for tracking usage and validating energy savings. It also provides the ability to collect valuable user-configurable operational data for diagnostics and analysis at a granular level.
Sales & Marketing Highlights
Echelon was recently acknowledged as the supplier with the third largest global installed base of smart streetlight controls as of the end of 2017, as noted in Global LED and Smart Streetlighting: Market Forecast (2017 – 2027) published by the NorthEast Group LLC in November.
Echelon’s InSight® Cognitive Vision System (CVS) was named a Top 10 Product of the year and received a 2017 Edison Report LightTrades Award. Echelon demonstrated InSight CVS earlier in the year in both traffic counting and traffic adaptive lighting applications.
Echelon’s LumInsight 2 cloud platform was named an LEDS Magazine Sapphire Award finalist. The Sapphire Awards recognize the top advances and visionaries in the LED industry. This is the second year in a row that Echelon has been recognized as a finalist.
Two publications recently highlighted Echelon products used in the Internet of Things (IoT). American City & County Magazine wrote about Echelon’s smart lighting solutions being used by the city of Goldendale, WA to upgrade their streetlights to LEDs, while addressing the local observatory’s needs for dark skies. IoTNowTransport wrote a feature article highlighting Echelon’s role in Amtrak’s high-speed Acela train’s critical monitoring system for compartment tilt, braking, doors, etc based on Echelon’s Embedded LonWorks platform.
During the quarter Echelon augmented its sales and field engineering force with experts from the data networking and wireless markets. We believe that the Company’s unique blend of data networking, operational technology and lighting expertise will create competitive advantages in the years to come.
Echelon’s guidance for the first quarter of 2018 is as follows:
- Total revenues are expected to be in a range of $7.7 million to $8.1 million. This estimate is based on the new revenue recognition guidance, which became effective for Echelon on January 1, 2018. Under the old revenue recognition rules, the Company would have expected first quarter 2018 revenues in a range of $7.8 million to $8.2 million.
- Gross margin is expected to be in a range of 53% to 54%.
- GAAP operating expenses are expected to be in a range of $5.9 million to $6.1 million.
- Non-GAAP operating expenses are expected to be in a range of $5.6 million to $5.8 million as we continue to incur near-term costs associated with the roll-out of new products. The Company expects these costs will return to more recent historical levels later in 2018.
- GAAP loss per share is expected to be between $0.35 and $0.46, based on 4.5 million weighted average shares outstanding.
- Excluding expected non-cash equity compensation charges of $0.07 per share, non-GAAP loss per share is expected to be between $0.28 and $0.39.
About Echelon Corporation
For 30 years Echelon (ELON) has pioneered the development of open-standard networking platforms for connecting, monitoring and controlling devices in commercial and industrial applications. With more than 140 million connected devices installed worldwide, Echelon’s solutions host a range of applications enabling customers to reduce energy and operational costs, improve safety and comfort, and create efficiencies through optimizing physical systems. Echelon is focusing today on two IoT (Internet of Things) market areas: creating smart cities and smart campuses through connected outdoor lighting systems, and enabling device makers to bring connected products to market faster via a range of IoT-optimized embedded systems. More information about Echelon can be found at www.echelon.com.
Echelon, Echelon logo, InSight, LON, Lumewave, LumInsight, and LonWorks are trademarks of Echelon Corporation that may be registered in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks are owned by their respective owners.