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Optical Cable Corporation reports third quarter 2021 financial results

Optical Cable Corporation today announced financial results for its third quarter ended July 31, 2021.

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Third Quarter 2021 Financial Results
Consolidated net sales for the third quarter of fiscal year 2021 increased 14.6% to $15.6 million, compared to net sales of $13.6 million for the same period last year. The Company increased net sales in both its enterprise and specialty markets, including the wireless carrier market, in the third quarter of fiscal year 2021, compared to the same period last year.

The Company believes net sales during the third quarter of fiscal year 2021 were positively impacted, compared to the same period last year, by the continued lifting of some restrictions and reopening of certain markets that had been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. During the third quarter, the Company continued to see positive indicators in many of its markets as reflected in increased sales, production volumes and sales order backlog/forward load.

Gross profit was $4.1 million in the third quarter of fiscal year 2021, an increase of 17.8% compared to gross profit of $3.5 million for the same period last year. Gross profit margin, or gross profit as a percentage of net sales, increased to 26.2% in the third quarter of fiscal year 2021 compared to 25.5% in the third quarter of fiscal year 2020.

Gross profit margins tend to be higher when the Company achieves higher net sales levels, as certain fixed manufacturing costs are spread over higher sales, and the Company benefited from this positive operating leverage during the third quarter of fiscal year 2021 when compared to the same period last year.

SG&A expenses decreased to $4.5 million during the third quarter of fiscal year 2021 even as sales increased, compared to $4.6 million for the third quarter of fiscal year 2020. The reduction in SG&A expenses was primarily the result of net decreases in employee and contracted sales personnel related costs, as well as reduced legal and professional fees. The net reduction in employee and contracted sales personnel related costs were primarily due to OCC’s ongoing cost control initiatives. Legal and professional fees decreased due to noncapitalizable costs associated with the refinancing of the Company’s revolving credit facility that occurred in the third quarter of fiscal year 2020, but did not recur in the third quarter of fiscal year 2021.

For the third quarter of fiscal year 2021, OCC recorded net income of $5.4 million, or $0.71 per basic and diluted share, compared to a net loss of $1.4 million, or $0.20 per basic and diluted share, for the third quarter of fiscal year 2020. In addition to improved sales and gross profit and reduced SG&A expenses, the Company’s results benefited from the gain on the extinguishment of debt related to the forgiveness of its Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program loan (“PPP Loan”) totaling approximately $5.0 million and a Federal employee retention tax credit totaling $965,000, both of which were recorded as other income on the Company’s statement of operations during the third quarter of fiscal year 2021.

Fiscal Year-to-Date 2021 Financial Results
Consolidated net sales for the first nine months of fiscal year 2021 were $43.3 million, an increase of 4.5% compared to net sales of $41.4 million for the first nine months of fiscal year 2020. The Company increased net sales in both its enterprise and specialty markets, including the wireless carrier market, in the first nine months of fiscal year 2021, compared to the same period last year.

OCC reported gross profit of $11.2 million in the first nine months of fiscal year 2021, an increase of 13.6% compared to gross profit of $9.9 million in the first nine months of fiscal year 2020. Gross profit margin increased to 25.9% in the first nine months of fiscal year 2021 compared to 23.9% for the same period in fiscal year 2020.

SG&A expenses decreased 10.1% to $13.4 million during the first nine months of fiscal year 2021 from $14.9 million for the first nine months of fiscal year 2020. The decrease in SG&A expenses during the first nine months of fiscal year 2021 compared to the first nine months of fiscal year 2020 was primarily the result of decreases in employee and contracted sales personnel related costs, bad debt expense and certain other costs impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The reduction in employee and contracted sales personnel related costs and other costs also were positively impacted by OCC’s ongoing cost control initiatives.

OCC recorded net income of $6.6 million, or $0.88 per basic and diluted share, for the first nine months of fiscal year 2021, compared to a net loss of $5.7 million, or $0.78 per basic and diluted share, for the first nine months of fiscal year 2020.

Management’s Comments
Neil Wilkin, President and Chief Executive Officer of OCC said, “During our third quarter, OCC delivered solid results by executing our targeted growth strategies and maintaining a deep focus on operating as efficiently as possible. We are optimistic and continue to see positive indicators of future strengthening in many of our markets with increasing sales and production volumes during our fiscal second and third quarters compared to last year. We are also seeing significant increases in our sales order backlog/forward load as we enter the fourth quarter. At the same time, the OCC team is working to proactively manage certain challenges, including obtaining desired volumes of some raw materials, expanding certain areas of our workforce, and increasing costs.”

Mr. Wilkin continued, “I am appreciative of the work and strength of the OCC team, and their commitment to providing our customers and end-users with products needed to meet critical communication needs. With OCC’s differentiated core strengths and capabilities, as well as our enviable market positions, we remain confident that we will capture opportunities ahead and deliver value to shareholders as markets conditions continue to improve.”

Gain on Debt Extinguishment
On July 1, 2021, the Small Business Administration forgave the entire balance of the PPP Loan (including accrued interest) that the Company received on April 15, 2020. As a result, the Company recognized a gain on the extinguishment of debt of approximately $5.0 million in the third quarter and first nine months of fiscal year 2021.

Employee Retention Tax Credit
During the first nine months of fiscal year 2021, OCC recognized a refundable payroll tax credit totaling $4.3 million—$965,000 of which was recognized during the third quarter of fiscal year 2021. The refundable payroll tax credit is part of the Employee Retention Tax Credit (“ERTC”) created in the March 2020 CARES Act and then subsequently amended by the Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 for qualified businesses that are keeping employees on their payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic. OCC is an eligible small employer under the gross receipts decline test when comparing the first calendar quarter of 2021 to the same quarter in calendar year 2019, which qualified the Company to claim ERTC in both the first and second calendar quarters of 2021 under the amended ERTC program. The Company does not expect to receive any additional credits for the remainder of the calendar year. As of the end of the third quarter, OCC had $3.6 million in recognized ERTC still to be refunded. PR Newswire

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