ParkerVision Q2 2006 Earnings Call
Aug. 8, 2006
Paul Henning, Cameron Associates
Cynthia Poehlman, Chief Financial Officer
Jeffrey L. Parker, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Michael Donahue with Emerging Growth Equity
Morgan Payne of Smith Barney
Chris Johnson a private investor
Bob Berlacher a private investor
Joe Green - a private investor
Operator: Please standby. We are about to begin and we do thank you for standing by and welcome to todayís ParkerVision Incorporated Second Quarter 2006 Earnings Release Conference Call. This call is being recorded. Now at this time I would like to turn the conference over to Paul Henning with Cameron Associates. Mr. Henning please go ahead.
Paul Henning: Thank you, Dwayne. Before we get started I want to remind listeners that this conference call will contain forward-looking statements which involve known and unknown and uncertainties about our business and the economy and other factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from our expected achievements and anticipated results. Included in these risks are factors such as the ability to maintain technological advantages in the marketplace but sufficiently increase manufacturing capacity to meet demand, to achieve timely market introduction and acceptance of our products, maintain credit patent protection and the availability of capital among others. Given these uncertainties and other various factors about our business, listeners are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-lookingstatements contained in this conference call.
Additional information concerning these and other risk will be found in our filings with the SEC. We will begin today with Cynthia Poehlman, CFO who will review the quarterís financials and followed by Jeff Parker the Chief Executive Officer will report on the companyís business activities. Cindy, would you like to take it?
Cynthia Poehlman: Thank you, Paul and welcome to the ParkerVisionís second quarter conference call. As you likely noted in our financial release this morning ParkerVisionís net loss for the second quarter was 4.3 million or $0.18 per share compared to 10.2 million or $0.49 per share for the same period last year. This represents the decrease in the net loss of† 5.9 million or nearly 60%. Similarly the year-to-date net loss of† 8.7 million or $0.38 per share represents a 7 million or nearly 50% drop from year-to-date results for 2005. This decrease is due to cost savings resulting from our decision to streamline our operations and focus on OEM opportunities for our technology coupled with one time charges related to the retail access which we incurred in the second quarter of last year.
Over the last 12 quarters, the companyís net loss has averaged 4 million per quarter, which includes an average of a half a million per quarter of non-cash stock compensation expense. What this translated into is a significant reduction in cash usage over the past year. Cash use for operating and investing activities combined has averaged 3.4 million per quarter over the last 4 quarters and only 3 million per quarter for the last 2 quarters. The balance sheet is an important indicator for a pre-revenue company and with 20.7 million in cash and cash equivalents on the balance sheet and a much reduced rate of cash usage, we feel confident that our financial position is one that will continue to support our OEM negotiation.
I am happy to address any specific questions you might have regarding our financial results at the end of the call today. And in the mean time I would like to turn things over to Jeff Parker, our CEO for an update on business activities.
Jeff Parker: Okay and thank you Cindy. Good afternoon every one and thank you for joining us on this afternoon conference call. The challenge in preparing remarks for todayís call has been to strike the balance between what I would love to share with each and every one of you regarding the progress we have made with OEMís since our last call, against whatís appropriate that we canít share, given that our dialogues are confidential with OEMís and are as yet still a working process. For starters, I want you to understand that every Tier 1, OEM dialogue that we have been engaged in, is still a working process meaning that nobody has told us that they are not interested in pursuing a meaningful discussion on how their company might adopt our D2D technology. Translated this means that we continue to make progress with all our target customers, albeit at a different pace depending on which company.
Last quarter I had stated that the time will take to bring these discussions to actual design wins that far outweigh the time it is taking to get that first win. I continue to stand by that view which I am reasonably certain must bring the question to your mind, Jeff why is getting the deal finalized, taking the length of time that itís taking? What progress over the past quarter can you share with us? How can we as shareholders gauge progress and the probability of finalizing agreements with some of these OEMs?
First, let me say that while negotiations are at process, they are different with every potential partner and many of the steps move at a pace that is not totally with in our control. Many of you have asked; Are we past the half trademark? Are we at 90%? Many try to analogize what we are doing to a sporting event. I wish it were as simple looking at a score board and seeing we are at against game clock. But thatís not a really a good analogy in my opinion. Our success will only be judged by the successful completion of the agreements, contracts and the like. So what I can ensure today perhaps anecdotally is to provide you a sense of why we believe, we are continuing to make very good progress towards the completion of agreements with OEMs to begin using D2D within new product lines.
Letís take a review through the following four categories;
Number 1, what number of prospective customers have we been in discussion with and what is that number today? And at what level are we speaking to these customers? Number 2, how have our discussions advanced since our last conference call? Number 3, what scope of opportunities or usage are we dealing with here? And Number 4, how does our financial vision support this endeavor?
So letís do the analysis to the extent that we can, ensuring the type of information with you: So number one, regarding prospective customers. I have explained in past calls, our targeted customers are Tier 1, handset OEMís and some of the Tier 1 semiconductor companies that provide these OEMs with their components. They represent over 70% of handset shipments and this hasnít changed. In essence, every one that we have been in dialogue with continues to progress, albeit some faster, some slower. I believe that some will emerge as leaders and we will be rewarded for so doing. And some will emerge thereafter and thatís more within their comfort level, and we want to serve each and every one of these opportunities. We recently have also had contact with a couple of additional OEMs who represent an opportunity to expand our dialogues even further. Some of this is occurring through our own initiative and some through the initiatives of these companies who have proactively contacted us. This is very encouraging, because the list of those that are interested in what we develop continues to expand, not shrink.
I also want you to understand that we are not diluting our efforts with some of this expansion of conversations, because we are staying within our focus on basically the same applications with our mobile phone handsets and their various standards.
The unique multimode capability of our technology is of course very helpful in balancing the objectives of an expanding audience of interest. We are not diluting our efforts. I am often asked at what level within OEMs is our dialogue and visibility within those OEMs. And frankly it varies all over the place. At some OEMs we have the good fortune of having introduction in their firm at very senior management levels and the conversation and due diligence is being conducted at the request of these senior managers. Within other OEMs we enter dialogue through more mid level management that is taxed with looking at emerging technologies and then making recommendations to more strategic senior managers. At many OEMs, we have developed good visibility in both mid and senior management, which is important since a decision to adopt our technology will have likely have both strategic as well as tactical implications for an OEM. We definitely have good visibility within quite a few OEMS at the level of key decision makers.
While I am not quiet ready to lay claim that ParkerVision is now household name with in all these OEMs, I think itís safe to say that if the OEMs were engaged with, that we are well known at the places that make these kinds of adoption decisions.
Number 2, regarding our discussions and how they have advanced since our last call. Our discussions since our last update have progressed significantly with some of these OEMs and thatís a level of confidential information that has been exchanged has grown. It has grown and that our while company has been sharing some of our confidential information with OEMs, so that if they can judge our technology the reciprocal of this have also started to occur, and several OEMs have had us enter into agreements whereby they have now started to share with us some of their confidential information such as internally developed technologies as well product roadmaps.
We believe this is a very good indicator of expressions of real interest and that OEMs certainly donít need to share their valuable confidential information with us just as an exercise. This enables both parties to get into much deeper levels of meaningful dialogue and also demonstrate that some OEMs have become comfortable enough with us and the potential of our technology to take this step forward. Since many of these OEMs see new ideas come and new ideas go, we find this to be a very meaningful step forward. Some OEMs have also made visits to our facilities to conduct audits on areas better important to them and generally speaking is a multiple time leadings with lengthy and somewhat formal agendas. Some OEMs scheduling returned it and hopefully these return in to a type of visit that will associated with the initial adoption of our technology into some of their products. Again we donít believe these investments have turn with us or just being done as an exercise but rather we believe these are the result of serious interest.
Many of our visitors come from very long distances and while we appreciate their efforts we also interpret this as the necessary steps along the way towards securing a relationship with them. The proposal in related technology evaluations are still the foundation from whatís all our conversation are based and we have not had OEMs tell us that the type of relationship we proposed is out of sync with what they are interested in.
I am sure kind of you are wondering. So what we believe is a roadmap and where we are in these various proposals towards it take to get concrete deals. This is a challenging topic to discuss with you in any real detail because even though the confidential information for each prospective customer. However maybe what I can share with you and it will be helpful
is to explain that from many these OEMs our accomplishment has opened up a number of considerations that these companies havenít had to consider before us. And what I mean by that is that the general transceiver and teleamplifier architecture has been the same for so long that the way in which these result havenít been challenged in any meaningful way for quite some time.
OEMís find themselves with a very enticing technology opportunity in D2P; however, they also have to do the analysis as to how this impacts areas within their firm and other relationships they have. Some of which, we probably donít even know about. This is why adoption is a process, and one that requires that while we in still a sense of urgency, we are also subject to reality of the different factors that they have to deal with internally.
Regarding the stock of opportunities our focus with OEMís remains on 3G cell phone standards and beyond. Over the last quarter, we have started to demonstrate, if they request, some of the emerging 4G cell phone standards that are based on the more complex OFDM waveforms that are becoming pretty obvious, will emerge in coming years in 4G platforms. Just as with 3G or 3.5G or 3.9G, we are showing OEMís that D2P has meaningful benefits in efficiency, size and cost and performance.
In fact, what we have shown is that from a chip that was originally designed to demonstrate CDMA, Wi band CDMA, GSM and EDGE, we have now also shown HSUPA which is 3.9G, as well as certain, OFDM modulation which is likely to be used for 4G. These are all virtually running from the same circuits on our IC, not through redundant tags on some chip. This true multimode, highly efficient operation is likely to be the intermodal that launches D2P in handsets.
So while OEMís continue to look at D2Ps for meeting their current needs, and some are even looking at using this for some of the last generation standards, it is also important to note that many of these OEMs are analyzing how our technologies meets the future needs which indicates to us that they view our technology as a long-term keeper.
On the last topic, I will comment on before we open up this call for your questions. Itís just an observation I would like to make regarding our vision for our future. While we spend a lot of time discussing the detail of our technical vision represented through our inventions, product demonstrations, intellectual property and the like I also want you to know that we have a financial vision that is no less important. That we use a Tier 1 cash in first 6 months of this year compared to the same period of last year is no accident and requires a lot of planning, lot of hard work, tough decisions to balance how we move our technology advances forward at a good pace and yet make sure our financial underpinnings are complementary to the vision of what we believe and what ParkerVision is to become.
We knew that satisfying the due diligence of Tier 1 OEMs who build literally hundreds of millions of complex wireless devices each year would not be a trivial thing, but would also be worth all the effort, the time and the investments. We also know the extent of our financial vision is in the step of our technical vision that this is good for both our OEM customers and our shareholders. Our financial vision is to emerge as the quality IT technology provider choice for the next generation transceiver technology to OEMs will need to embrace in order to achieve many of their own goals. And to be in a position that has just occurred, it will occur in a way that will ultimately build significant shareholders value longer term.
So I hope that this update has been helpful to you. Nobody more
than I are looking forward to bringing in the news of when we consummate our
first OEM agreement and beyond, of course that will lead to an entirely new set
of questions you will have, but those will be a high class set of questions to
answer. In the mean time and on behalf our entire team of smart and dedicated
hardworking engineers, scientists, business and support personnel, thank you
for your continued support of our vision. I know that in times, when the
markets in general are stressed for a variety of reasons outside any of our
control that just makes it even more nerve racking than normal. However, we are
making measurable progress towards our goal of securing business relationships
with Tier 1 OEMs. We appreciate and need your support, and we look forward to
when we can share progress that is less anecdotal and more material. And so
Operator: And we will first go to, Michael Donahue with Emerging Growth Equity.
Michael Donahue: Hi guys.
Jeffrey Parker: Hi Michael.
Michael Donahue: I guess the big question is if nothing has changed fundamentally at the company, and things are only progressing. What do you think the rationale in the market is that your value has been so dramatically cut down in the last 3 months?
Jeffrey Parker: Well, you know Michael. I almost rather not make any concrete comments on what price our stock trades at because I think itís a factor of a lot of conditions, that are a way out - quiet of our control, you know what impacts our investors and other pieces of their portfolio, what is going in the market in general, may be people are viewing. Some people may view what we are taking to do - is taking longer than that we hoped and I think itís a whole likely a whole combination of things. I can tell my own - for 1K portfolio doesnít look so great right now and this is build quite as of some pretty solid companies with track record of earnings history. So I donít know, I think everybody has their own take on it.
Michael Donahue: All right, just the question I get or the concern is that people think that there has to be something wrong if the stock keeps going down. I mean I understand that the sector has been down and the market has been down. Can you reassure us that there is nothing going on fundamentally that is affecting the stock price?
Jeffrey Parker: There is nothing fundamentally, thatís going on that I am aware of and I can tell you that from a technology perspective our ability to address the kinds of things oriented as for is truly stunning. I mean when I mentioned that we have started to show our OFDM as the same chip, that may or may not resonate with our listeners as being big deal or not. I can tell you if you are trying to do that through a traditional transmitter peer architecture and some walked in and said hey thatís a nice wideband CDMA transmitter peer you got there, now show me OFDM to 4G itís a great, thatís a whole new design a whole new set of everything come back in a year. So you know OEMs have continued to stretch and push out and we responded in my opinion in way I think quite surprising even to them. But nonetheless on the flip side, we are going to disrupt the way a number of things that has been done for a while and I am fairly certain that some of what taking them sometime to sort through, when they adopt, how they will adopt, what impact that will have and frankly somehow we have been told as that no Transceiver Flash PA technology have ever got this far and their due diligence they wanted to maybe source it as a piece of IT. So that emerges like a valves, we are in new territory with you guys and thatís just, it just takes longer.
Michael Donahue: All right, great.
Jeffrey Parker: Thanks for your questions. Next question in the line.
Operator: Next question is Morgan Payne of Smith Barney.
Morgan Payne: Hey Jeff, I was just wondering about the wireless carriers and you had anymore context with them and it seems to me what you said while ago that if you can factor older technologies that the carriers would be, would really be well off because it seems to be, I would say infrastructure cost of the carriers?
Jeffrey Parker: Yeah, Morgan now thatís a great question. We have just in the last couple of months put together and started to rollout a whole carrier marketing and sales program. We didnít want to do it before we felt we would better talks to it been. I mean we have our OEM targets. We want to make sure we can deal with their needs and be responsive and we have been adding some capabilities to the company that have quite a bit of experience in working with an approaching carriers and as the year goes by, we intend to be in dialogue with a number of carriers, we have already started book one and the response we got from our first meeting was very positive and we have been invited back and in fact we have been invited under confidentiality to start - exchange more information in both directions. So that has become an important part of our marketing and sales approach albeit, carriers will take longer I think to react and respond typically, the telecom group does from the infrastructure side. But they can certainly be highly influential to all the companies we are talking to and so we are not unappreciative of what we think could be achieved in some efforts thatís why we are definitely in the process of rolling that out.
Morgan Payne: And there is a common contact between some of the OEMs and the carriers you are talking about?
Jeffrey Parker: Oh, Absolutely. Look OEMs and ParkerVision we are all working really with same customer. The customers really is the carrier right, the carrier owns network. So thatís we are all ultimately really working in the future.
Morgan Payne: Okay. Thank you.
Jeffrey Parker: Thank you.
Operator: We have a question from Chris Johnson, a private investor.
Chris Johnson: Jeff, are you intending in the future ever to sell your chip through distribution or how itís going to be direct tele impact sales?
Jeffrey Parker: Chris at this time, our conversations are really-really heavily weighted toward people wanting to use our technology in an IT licensing model and thatís I wouldnít, I donít say what that means will never sell ICs but at this time I think in the foreseeable future this really will deliver the technology through how OEMs want sources it within their own chips or within semiconductor companies who will fab those pieces of our IT blocks for them. So and that frankly allow the company of our size to focus and I think be highly effective and this is one of the reasons I think we have been able to so responsible that they keep pushing, testing us and challenging us and they see real responsive answers. Because we really I mean just are very narrowly focused on the business model, on the applications, on the customer base and I think thatís going to short and mid-term be a big benefit for us and we will launch our company and we are very well hoping it getting launched.
Chris Johnson: In the past conference calls you had spoken about supporting the DGRS standards. Is that something that the company is really interested in or is that sort of† ..
Jeffrey Parker: Some of them are, some of them are interested and frankly some interested and some of them have their own proprietary interfaces and really arenít particularly concerned one way or the other about industry interfaces. Whatís nice about our technology is itís frankly doesnít really any difference. This technology doesnít care how yet the INQ data that every base 10 processor generates, it just needs to be delivered, so thatís - I donít want to trivialize it but itís thatís more just really kind of a - thatís not a gating factor to have some more about that technology.
Chris Johnson: Is anybody considering a more integrated solution with the receiver and the transmitter, or everybody still looking at the PA type stuff at this point?
Jeffrey Parker: No itís all over the board and I think thatís what, and I guess some of whatís taking time is different OEMs have different vision to how they pass the technology and where they park different building blocks. And we have got into extremely detailed dialogue with a number of them now about different the options of what they can do and I think they are weighing some of that against time in the market, against different standards, against different supplier arrangements they have got. I mean itís a - the good news about our technology is itís very flexible and it has a lot of different opportunities for how you use it. The flip side of that of course is that it does expand the due diligence to a pretty VP metrics but again because we are very focused on the IT model we have been able to be very responsive to the conversation, they have been moving along at, quite a quick - I mean I have just looked at the amount of paper in terms of trees that we killed in the entire logs from the beginning of the last quarter to the ends, its significantly different. I mean weíve been exchanging that kind of data and I genuinely believe thatís going to lead us to conclusions here and the not too distant future of some of these OEMís.
Chris Johnson: I noticed in a patent you were granted recently, it was about using your chips for the phase and antenna type systems, is that something that you just patent because you happen to point it or is that something you are intending to pursue.
Jeffrey Parker: Right now, that is something we have patented because of the wonderful phase accuracy of our D2D technology and we didnít want to loose the opportunity for that somewhere down the road. But its not part of out active discussions right now.
Chris Johnson: All right, thank you very much.
Jeffrey Parker: Okay, thank you.
Operator: Our next question is from Bob Berlacher a private investor as well.
Bob Berlacher: Hi Jeff.
Jeffrey Parker: Hi Bob.
Bob Berlacher: Quick question for you. In the last conference call you spoke only about really as I recall of 3G technology. You have now got into the mix kind of† 4G technology and I am trying to get an idea, is that what really is potentially delaying any kind of an agreement within OEM at this point? That any or all of them are now requesting additional rich testing or verification of your 4G or just seems obviously I think, everybody whose been a share holder for the last year or longer is some what frustrated by the pace as I am sure you are?
Jeffrey Parker: Yes.
Bob Berlacher: And I am just wondering now, with the introduction, of your 4G technology, if thatís going to just prolong potential pain that we are all going through right now?
Jeffrey Parker: I, I donít, put it this way. There is a number of items that they have rolled out in their due diligence that itís been a little surprising to us although I have said we have been responsive because I think we have to. I mean they are the customers.
Bob Berlacher: But when you say they, there are they multiple OEMs that are now requesting 4G or is it?
Jeffrey Parker: No there are, and in tell you what I think personally drives it I donít think that they are trying delay anything. I think itís more a function of it, if you look at the space and you look at the carriers now the carriers really drive the OEMs and 4G has been kind of the discussion topic for the last couple of years. But itís interesting at recent, itís started to become more of a fact that itís going to roll out, itís going to be OFDM there is still some arguments about which flavor OFDM but even thatís beginning to narrow pretty rapidly. But what you see I believe are OEMs saying oh boy OFDM itís now something we are going to have to jump on sooner than later. We are in the middle of dialogue with ParkerVision, I wonder how that could help us and I wouldnít say that we are in 4G demo dialogue with every OEMs but it is kind of interesting that it will start with one and within literally just weeks kind of assume to ripple through and all that certain we are in dialogue with 3 or 4 about the same topics. But I personally think thatís more carrier driven than anything.
Bob Berlacher: But as what you are saying that is partially delaying any kind of ?
Jeffrey Parker: I think its part, I think its part of the due diligence and our job here Bob and you are not on wrong road a little frustrated but again respectful. Our job is to start and continue to kind of the sense of urgency and let me say this, I think it will I hope this will play out this way. Just as in a due diligence process we see an OEM kind of start down the path and then several others will start down the same path. I think once we reach that threshold, that tipping point, where adoption starts I think we will finally out to see, and want to be just for NOEM. I think that you will see that it would be a number of them. So there is no question that itís taken from time but I do believe when we look back on it, then you will say you know it was frustrating but it was worth it.
I chanced to look at other executives in IT firms who licensed technology, I have had in-depth dialogue and had a little bit access to some of these guys. These are very successful companies and they all spoke of the same thing, if you are - real harder it will take longer than you thought, it will be difficult but if you have a compelling technology which we do you will ultimately win the day and you just have to stay with it and you got to keep at it because eventually the crack and dam will open for you. And I do believe that will happen for ParkerVision.
Bob Berlacher: Can you give us any kind of timetable at this point either most conservative or just give us some kind of expectation of what Jeff Parkerís belief is, when he might be able to get something done?
Jeffrey Parker: Well in the Q, that we just issued last night I was willing to find my name that we expect to consummate initial relationships in 2006 and I still feel and I can tell you it wasnít, meaning later we were making statement decision, I sat with our sales team and our marketing team and engineering team and I said this is where I might find my name to, you guys think I am crazy and they realized no you are not crazy, this is moving along and we do think we can these things going this year. So thatís how we feel in the company.
Bob Berlacher: Okay. Thank you.
Operator: Just signaled on Joe Green - a private investor.
Joe Green: Hey Jeff its Joe.
Jeff Parker: Hello Joe.
Joe Green: Hey, just a quick question, I mean seems to that expense going ahead and make a pretty significant investment in 4G related wireless WiMAX, do you had conversations during WiMAX and some of the technologies in these OEMS?
Jeffrey Parker: Yes we have.
Joe Green: I mean we havenít heard you talk about them in the past?
Jeffrey Parker: Well and the answer is; The reason I am not spending a lot of time telling all the technical advances that we have made, though there has gracious plenty of them over the last couple of quarters, I really donít think, and maybe I am short changing, but I donít think thatís what our investors can sit and wait to hear. I think you guys want to hear the deals are done and I can appreciate that. But we have had a number of OEMs respond, as I said earlier, to I think carriers are starting to push, which is that our OFDM and WiMAX is a one flavor of that is going to be office and I can tell you that if they donít like the efficiency for a color, for power amplifiers and transmitters and Wi band CDMA, they are going to hate the efficiency on OFDM based standard like WiMAX, I mean just to give an example of the efficiency; Letís say the mean power level in Wi band CDMA is running in that 8-9% today which is what is running, which is not very good for a transmitter and a power amplifier combination WiMAX you are going to see, itís going to be likely in that 2-3-4% range if they are lucky.
So we had OEMs review our OFDM capabilities and some of them take efficiency numbers right off of the equipment that was measuring our chips that I have got real big because the efficiencies are on the double-digit and I am not right to publish what that is right now, but its very good. And the way phone quality was exceptional, so they were able to check the box and there is no reason that technology doesnít extend right after 4G and again, I donít think that OEMs looking at that is, is any kind of a tactic, of perks for them. I think its just a natural response of it is that you have got, we are going to put money and time and resources in the ParkerVision and their IP on, how far is it going to take us. At this point we havenít been able to find a limitation for many things like that just to show them. So that, thatís something a very good news. You know, since you got any start on the technical front, I will just let out one other thing, which I think is, frankly a hell of an achievement. We have also started to show OEMís that our latest chips have achieved a full power control for things like Wi band CDMA and CDMA which is ADDB in a monolithic chip and there is nothing on the face of the planet that I am aware of that can do that.
Today to get power control from full power, down ADDB which is what you have to do to meet the standards, it requires multiple chips for you to achieve that with multiple places, some of itís with powering and some of it is done with the transmitter, some of it is done with attenuators, itís a pretty messy kind of an affair. We predicted OEMs earlier this year, we could do that monolithically and we have done it, and no body that I know who has done that. So, the technology is not holding us back, I believe itís just a process of adoption and getting through these dialogues and we will get through these dialogues.
Joe Green: Thanks.
Jeffrey Parker: Thanks Jim.
Operator: And with that there are no further questions, and Iíd like to turn the conference back to you, for a closing remark, Mr. Parker.
Jeffrey Parker: No folks again, I mean, I am genuinely appreciative of your support. I know that these are frustrating times, not just ParkerVision but in general, itís kind of a little bit of a topsy-turvy world we live in today, but as itís been said in time this too shall pass, and we hope that you all stay with us, and that we will deliver material as I said less anecdotal results here in the near future and so, thank you very much and have a good evening. Bye.