LSI Industries (LYTS) Misses As It Finds Making Up For 7-Eleven LED Business Difficult

LSI Industries (LYTS) reported earnings results this morning that were significantly less than stellar as the company tries to replace the significant 7-Eleven LED business that propelled revenues last year.  The company reported an EPS of .05/share vs the analyst estimate for .10/share on revenues of $65.5 million vs the analyst estimate for $70 million.  That represents quarter over quarter decreases of 50% and 18% respectively.

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CEO Robert Ready commented on the quarter: "Overall our fiscal 2012 first quarter sales were weak as we worked to replace higher project sales from the 7-Eleven program during the same period of the prior fiscal year and continued to struggle with a difficult environment in the graphics market. On the lighting side, we are very pleased to report that growth in LED lighting products was very strong, and made up for much of the 7-Eleven business that was completed last year. Additionally, Lighting Segment sales to all end markets in the international market grew 47% (to $3.1 million) over first quarter sales of fiscal 2011, a strong indication that our product offering and growth strategies are very viable. Our LED-based lighting products continue to be well received as we invest in this solid-state technology and continue to introduce new products. I am pleased to report that we recently shipped two high profile digital video orders in the first quarter. LSI was chosen to update the main video displays and provide end zone LED digital signage for the U.S. Bank Arena, a multi-function 17,500 seat arena located in Cincinnati. Separately, LSI has designed the high definition LED canvas for the Yamaha piano used in Elton John’s "Million Dollar Piano" show at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. This cutting edge piano uses a high resolution LED video screen and transparent custom-shaped acrylic prisms to create a dynamic visual display.

Highlights of other comments made my Robert:

– taking additional cost-reducing actions

– product price increases generally offsetting higher material costs

– maintaining market share in niche, gaining ground in commercial/industrial lighting

– looking to expand sales reach to new markets which I assume to mean internationally where the company grew 47% quarter over quarter

After opening weak, shares of LYTS have recovered and reclaimed support of the 50 day moving average.  Overall, the stock remains technically challenged and still in basing mode after that huge run up late last year.  I’d avoid shares for now. 

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