American Superconductor Corporation (NASDAQ:AMSC) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Jun 06, 2019 • 10:00 am ET
Sanjay M. Hurry
release issued and furnished to the SEC on Form 8-K and on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019.
With that, I'd like to turn the call over to Chairman and President and CEO, Daniel McGahn. Daniel?
Thanks, Sanjay, and good morning, everyone. I will begin today with a recap of fiscal 2018, which ended March 31, 2019. John Kosiba will then provide a detailed review of our financial results for the fourth quarter and the full fiscal year 2018. He will also provide guidance for the first quarter fiscal 2019, which will end June 30, 2019. Following our remarks, we'll open up the line to questions from our covering analysts.
We're pleased to report strong operational improvement for fiscal 2018. Full year revenues increased 16% year-over-year driven by growth in both our Grid and Wind segments. Our move to a smaller footprint in Massachusetts, our diversification of our Grid business and our work to stabilize our Wind business have resulted in cost savings and improved gross margins in fiscal 2018. During the fiscal year, we reached a settlement agreement that secured a crucial win in the ongoing battle to protect American intellectual property globally. Having closed this chapter in our history, we look forward to growing AMSC from a position of financial and operational strength.
We generated positive operating cash flow in two of four quarters in fiscal 2018 and ended the year with a cash balance over $78 million and no debt. We finished the fiscal year with a strong balance sheet and the resources and flexibility expected to support our long-term growth strategy. We believe we are well positioned for sustained revenue growth driven by our proprietary smart material and smart software in our key markets and in new larger markets. Fiscal 2018 reflects the continued successful execution of our multiyear plan to shift AMSC's strategic direction and establish what we expect to be a more predictable reoccurring business. Our strategy is working.
In fiscal 2018, we grew and diversified our Grid business. Our D-VAR product recorded a fifth year of consecutive revenue growth. We began placing commercial units of our Volt/VAR Optimizer in multiple US utilities. We received orders for two Ship Protection Systems for the US Navy. And we agreed with Commonwealth Edison to deploy a Resilient Electric Grid system in Chicago. During fiscal 2018, our D-VAR team performed again, not only did D-VAR sales recorded a fifth year of consecutive revenue growth, but we also concluded the year with a record backlog of D-VAR projects to execute on in fiscal 2019.
We are connecting wind farms to the transmission grid across the world. We are growing our presence in the distribution grid market as well as providing clean, reliable power to industrial facilities domestically and abroad with our D-VAR solution. Our growing list of repeat customers is a testament to the quality and performance of AMSC's products and to AMSC's team. The introduction of our Volt/VAR Optimizer, or VVO, solution brings