Westport Innovations Inc., engineering the world's most advanced natural gas engines and systems, has reported financial results for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2015 and provided an update on operations. All figures are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise stated.
Westport reported stronger results at Cummins Westport Inc. (CWI) compared to last year, and reported significant progress with global original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for Westport HPDI 2.0 products. Westport announced the introduction of the 2016 Ford F-150 5.0L dedicated propane engine. The CWI ISL G Near Zero NOx natural gas engine was the first mid-range engine in North America to achieve U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (ARB) Near Zero NOx certification. The ISL G Near Zero NOx engine exhaust emissions will be 90% lower than the current EPA NOx limit.
Management remains committed to its cost management program and minimizing operational expenditures, as demonstrated by a significant improvement in adjusted EBITDA for the third quarter compared to the same period last year. Westport is making progress towards its goal of consolidated positive adjusted EBITDA by mid-2016.
Within the third quarter, Westport announced the intention to merge with Fuel Systems Solutions Inc., which presents a compelling opportunity to create scale, combined complementary technologies and development focus, and a global customer and product mix spanning over 70 countries. The merger would combine Westport's development expertise in medium- and heavy-duty and high horsepower applications with Fuel Systems' core focus and development efforts in automotive and industrial applications. Both companies bring long standing relationships with key global OEMs and proven track records of product innovation and development, which will strengthen as a result of the combination and benefit from capital-efficient and optimized research and development programs with a highly skilled employee base.
"We've made steady progress on HPDI 2.0 with global OEMs, validating the unique performance and emission characteristics of our technology, including the completion of key development and production milestones," says David Demers, Westport's CEO. "Our financial results speak to our resolve in moving towards positive adjusted EBITDA.
"The proposed merger with Fuel Systems Solutions brings deep OEM relationships, broad global reach and combined technological expertise and product development spanning from passenger cars to heavy-duty trucks to locomotives. The combined company will be positioned to capitalize on industry opportunities in foreign markets where the economics for natural gas versus petroleum-based fuels have held up despite the volatility in oil pricing."
FINANCIAL OUTLOOK FOR 2015
Revenue for Westport Operations and Corporate & Technology Investments (Westport Operations) was $22.3 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2015 in-line with 2015 expectations. Westport is reiterating its revenue outlook and expects consolidated revenue from these two segments to be between $110 million and $125 million for the year ended December 31, 2015.
CASH AND PRIORITIZATION OF INVESTMENTS
As of September 30, 2015, Westport's cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments balance was $42.1 million. Cash used in operations, excluding changes in working capital, plus dividends received from joint ventures for the third quarter of 2015 was $14.3 million, an improvement of 43.5% or $11.0 million, respectively, over the third quarter of 2014. Working capital changes generated $2.6 million in cash in the quarter and consumed $7.3 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2015.
R&D expenditures for the quarter largely relate to program work associated with HPDI 2.0 development partners and suppliers. HPDI OEM development programs have begun shifting from the design and development phase into the testing and validation phase, with the delivery of production design intent components to OEM customers for vehicle integration expected in mid-2016. Investments in Westport HPDI development programs continue to be on track to deliver on product revenue expectations.
Westport reduced its combined operating expenses by $6.5 million to $26.7 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2015 and by $28.5 million to $78.8 million for the first nine months in 2015, compared to the same periods last year. The improvements are due to prioritization of investment programs, cost discipline and favorable impacts of foreign currency translation from the Canadian dollar and Euro to the US dollar equivalent.
Westport has an active term sheet relating to non-core asset sales and expects this transaction to complete by year-end. Additional strategic initiatives to monetize non-core assets are underway.
Q3 2015 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
Revenue for the quarter ended September 30, 2015 was $22.3 million compared with $25.3 million for the same period last year. The reduction in revenue year-over-year is due primarily to the unfavorable impact of foreign currency translation from Euro to the US dollar and weakness in Westport's North American product lines such as Westport Wing Power System and Westport iCE PACK, both affected by volatility in energy pricing. Revenue from European operations, including the Prins acquisition increased by €4.4 million, however currency translation from Euro to US dollars offset this growth.
Gross margin for the nine months ended September 30, 2015 was 21.1% including obsolescence charges of $7.8 million and would have been 31.1% without the charges. A decrease in revenue and change in product mix impacted gross margin amount in dollars in the quarter.
Research and development expenses were $12.7 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2015, a decrease of $4.9 million from $17.6 million in the same period last year, primarily driven by a reduction in program expenses, decreased headcount, as well as favorable impacts of foreign currency translation to the US dollar equivalent.
Selling, general and administrative expenses were $14.0 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2015, a decrease of $1.6 million from $15.6 million in the same period last year primarily driven by a decreased headcount, as well as favorable impacts of foreign currency translation from the Canadian dollar and Euro to the US dollar equivalent.
Consolidated adjusted EBITDA for the quarter ended September 30, 2015, improved 55.7% compared to the same period last year, due to overall reduction in costs and higher CWI net income to Westport.
CUMMINS WESTPORT INC. HIGHLIGHTS
Revenue was $82.4 million on 2,343 units for the quarter ended September 30, 2015, an increase of 16.7% in revenue over the same period last year. Revenues increased on a year-over-year basis due to strong performance in North American core segments of transit and refuse.
Gross margin increased $10.3 million to $25.7 million, or 31.1% of revenue, compared to the same period last year. Gross margin for the nine months ended September 30, 2105 increased $43.6 million to $76.9 million, or 30.9% of revenue, compared to the same period. The increase in CWI gross margin percentage during the quarter was due to favorable decreases in net warranty adjustments and net extended coverage claims on the ISL G engine compared to the same period last year. Reliability of the ISL G engine has continued to improve as a result of both hardware and calibration changes.
CWI operating income to Westport for the quarter ended September 30, 2015 was $3.5 million compared with $0.9 million for the same period last year. The 286.4% increase was primarily due to the improvement in warranty expenses and the strength in sales of transit and refuse segments.
WEICHAI WESTPORT INC. HIGHLIGHTS
Weichai Westport Inc. (WWI) revenue was $33.6 million on 2,992 units for the quarter ended September 30, 2015, a decrease of 81.3% in revenue compared to the prior year. The reduction in WWI's results are primarily due to a slowdown of China's economy and the shrinking price spread between oil and natural gas, both of which negatively impacted the overall truck market, including WWI's natural gas truck market sales.
For the quarter ended September 30, 2015, gross margin percentage increased to 10.8% compared with 4.9% in the prior year due to product mix.
WWI reported operating income of $0.5 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2015, a decrease of 87.8% over the same period last year primarily due to lower units sold.
WWI's operating income attributable to Westport for the quarter ended September 30, 2015 was $0.1 million compared with $1.2 million in the prior year period.