Latest Update : Feb.17, 2015
Investor Conference Call for 3Q FY 3/2015 held on February 3, 2015
* Some parts have been added and modified for a clearer understanding.
- Can you give us the monthly LED backlight sales amounts as well as monthly ball bearing and pivot assembly sales volume figures for the October-December period along with projected monthly sales of those products for the January-March period?
- Looking at the current monthly sales figures, we see that fourth quarter LED backlight sales are expected to plunge almost 8.0 billion yen below the third quarter total. You project that operating income for the entire Electronic Devices and Components business segment will drop 4.5 billion yen. The estimated decline in operating income seems disproportionately large for a drop if it is solely from falling LED backlight sales. While you expect depreciation and amortization expenses, mainly related to LED backlights, to increase 1.0 billion yen company-wide, can an 8.0 billion yen drop in sales bring operating income for LED backlights down that much, or is this simply a conservative estimate?
- Operating income for the third quarter was up 2.2 billion yen over the previous quarter due to foreign exchange gains. If exchange rates remain unchanged, how will they affect your operating income in the fourth quarter? I don't think exchange rates have ever had such a large impact on your operating income. Do you use any kind of a benchmark when calculating the effects of foreign currency impacts?
- Can I say that foreign exchange gains based on assumed exchange rates for the fourth quarter are included in your forecast?
- Can you give us the monthly production volumes for ball bearings as well?
- What is the reason for the quarter-on-quarter drop in the Machined Components segment's operating margin?
- Today you talked about the plea agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice related to your small-sized ball bearings operations. Is the approximately 1.6 billion yen fine included in the fourth quarter forecast as an extraordinary loss?
- What are the projected figures for extraordinary losses and effective income tax rate under your revised full-year forecast?
- I believe third quarter sales for your electronic devices included an approximately 11.0 billion yen contribution from sales of products other than LED backlights. What will the fourth quarter figure be?
- Apart from LED backlights, I understand that the EMS assembly operations account for a large portion of your electronic device sales yet do not add much to your bottom line. You say fourth quarter sales of electronic devices will drop 15.0 billion yen and operating income will fall 4.0 billion yen below what it was in the third quarter. Since EMS assembly operations don't contribute much to your operating income, it doesn't seem likely that the estimated decline in LED backlight sales and projected 8.0 billion yen decrease in sales from EMS assembly operations would affect operating income all that much. How is that possible?
- You said before that you were thinking about switching to the accelerated depreciation method for clean rooms. Have you changed the depreciation method for LED backlights?
- What was the reason for moving your financial results announcement up to 12:00 noon from the originally scheduled time of 3:00 p.m.?
- You revised the full-year forecast for depreciation and amortization expenses as well as capital expenditures. Can we assume that this revision mostly pertains to foreign currency exchange rates and there will be no substantial changes?
- You expect LED backlight sales, which rose in the third quarter, to fall in the fourth quarter. Do you expect to see any changes in sales to certain customers?
- Is your Chinese customer base expanding according to your plan?
- Will sales to Chinese customers account for more than half of your projected sales for the January-March period?
- Back in November you talked about the LED backlight sales target for next fiscal year. You said then that you were aiming for 150 billion yen or more. Is the target still the same and do you foresee any changes in the competitive environment?
- Looking at the projected monthly ball bearing production volumes, I'm concerned whether you'll have sufficient inventory once shipments of ball bearings used for air conditioners begin in March. Isn't your production forecast a little too conservative?
- Your third quarter rod-end bearings sales jumped to total 7.7 billion yen. Were there any changes in the market that triggered the upswing?
- Can you tell us when you will start producing LED backlights at the Ban Wa plant?
Question and Answer
- Monthly sales of LED backlights reached 15.4 billion yen in October, 16.2 billion yen in November, 17.7 billion yen in December, and a record monthly high of 18.1 billion yen in January. Since demand usually drops in February and March, we currently expect sales to total 12.6 billion yen in February and 12.0 billion yen in March. The upwardly revised forecast we announced today is based on estimated January sales of 17.0 billion yen. Sales are already 1.0 billion yen higher than that.
External ball bearing sales volumes totaled 148 million units in October, 146 million units in November, 141 million units in December, and 152 million units in January, which was also a monthly record high. The sales volume for February is expected to drop to 137 million units due to the Chinese New Year holidays but climb back up to 152 million units in March. Internal sales volumes hit 94 million units in October, 92 million units in November, and 90 million units in December and are expected to reach 92 million units in January and 88 million units in each February and March.
Pivot assembly sales volume totaled 35 million units in October, 35 million units in November, and 34 million units in December. Sales volume is projected to reach 34 million units in January, 33 million units in February, and 30 million units in March.
- Our Electronic Devices and Components business segment is expected to see overall fourth quarter sales fall 17.0 billion yen below what they were in the third quarter, but the decline in operating income is projected to be 4.5 billion yen. The difference really doesn't seem as big as you suggest, but our operating income estimate is on the low side.
- We take a close look at the actual currencies used in sales transactions and the percentages of foreign currency expenses in each region when estimating foreign exchange gains and losses. We can't just look at how the yen stacks up against the US dollar to determine what kind of impact foreign exchange rates will have on our financial performance. The average exchange rates of 112.34 yen to the US dollar and 3.45 yen to the Thai baht during the third quarter had the biggest impact.
- Yes, but since our fourth quarter forecast is based on those assumed rates, we cannot provide precise figures for projected foreign exchange gains.
- Production volumes totaled 247 million units in October, 241 million units in November, and 231 million units in December, and are expected to total 233 million units in January, 219 million units in February, and 242 million units in March.
- It's because a large part of our sales growth came from pivot assemblies. The operating margin for ball bearings did not change much. Our ball bearing income was also affected by a slight dip in earnings for special bearings in the U.S. This was due to the December decline in demand that typically accompanies Christmas holidays.
- Yes. It is counted as an extraordinary loss in our forecast.
- Extraordinary losses for the fourth quarter are expected to total 5.7 billion yen, including 1.6 billion yen for the plea bargain deal and 4.1 billion yen due to costs associated with the discontinuation of the defined benefit pension plan for our U.S. operations. We do not expect to generate any extraordinary gains in the fourth quarter. The effective income tax rate for this fiscal year is expected to be 24.5%.
- We expect sales to drop down to approximately 4.0 billion yen in the fourth quarter.
- As I said before, our operating income forecast figures are on the low side.
- At the beginning of this fiscal year we switched depreciation methods for equipment from ten-year straight line method to two-year. The weak yen was one of the factors driving depreciation costs up in the third quarter.
- Since the U.S. Justice Department issued a press release about our plea agreement yesterday local time, we didn't want to wait too long to announce it. That's why we changed the time. An extraordinary loss will be posted in relation to this issue, so we announced our financial results and full-year forecast altogether.
- Although most of it has to do with the impact of foreign currency changes, there was a slight increase in the amount to be posted this fiscal year.
- Looking at our LED backlight sales forecast for the fourth quarter, we see that January sales were 1.0 billion yen higher than projected. Solid demand from the largest customer was a major factor behind this unexpected uptick. While demand normally drops off precipitously in the fourth quarter, this fiscal year we will see fourth quarter sales exceed the second quarter total due largely to strong demand from our Chinese customers.
- I'm afraid I can't provide you with specific information about our customers. I'm sure the percentage of Chinese customers will be up in the fourth quarter.
- We said last November that we would aim for at least a 20% increase in sales, but we are still scrutinizing the target figures for the next fiscal year. We will provide you with the forecast when we announce our full-year results in May. Nonetheless we will still aim to boost sales by 20% or more. We should be able to stay ahead of the pack for a while since new models to be released have sophisticated functions and are extremely difficult to manufacture. During the December factory tour I noted that we would introduce equipment to expand operations at our Ban Wa plant in Thailand and we are moving right on track in that direction.
- We were looking ahead and produced more than we could sell in the second and third quarters. We have ample inventory that should allow us to keep up with the seasonal demand for ball bearings from air conditioner manufacturers for a while.
- For one thing, we saw increasing demand from the civil aircraft industry, and on top of that, foreign exchange rates made a big difference.
- The plant is scheduled to be completed in March. After we install the machinery, production will kick off in April. We will then gradually increase production and the plant should start operating full swing in June.