Perceptron, Inc. (NASDAQ:PRCP) Q4 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Sep 28, 2020 • 08:30 am ET
Jay W. Freeland
Second, it became clear that we needed to lessen our reliance in the automotive industry and expand into other industries that have a known and demonstrated need for the solutions we are most known for. That type of expansion would take a meaningful investment of time and resources to ensure it was executed well over the next several years. So when the opportunity arose for business combination with a global strategic partner like Atlas Copco, who recognized the long-term unrealized value evident in our business as reflected by a compelling offer at a significant premium, it become clear that the best possible outcome for Perceptron and its shareholders was to move forward with them.
Founded more than 150 years ago, Atlas Copco is a global industrial technology leader. Based in Stockholm, Sweden, they had approximately $11 billion in sales last year. Atlas Copco is traded on the Stockholm Stock Exchange with a market value of approximately $48 billion. Their recent acquisition of ISRA VISION, a global provider of machine vision solutions, made the addition of Perceptron to broaden the portfolio compelling from both a market and a technical fit. The deal is subject to CFIUS approval, regulatory approval in certain European countries, shareholder approval in the US and other customary closing conditions. We expect to close during the calendar fourth quarter of this year, 2020 and I'm excited by the opportunities this presents for the company and believe it is a great outcome for our employees and shareholders alike.
Switching gears now to our fiscal fourth quarter results. Despite the lingering impact of COVID-19, our performance exceeded our internal expectations. Bookings in the quarter increased more than 62% on a sequential basis during the period, driven by increased customer demand in Asia and Europe. Operations in Asia had resumed by the start of the quarter and Europe was recovering from a COVID-19 induced business slowdown. As a result, we were able to capitalize on pent up customer demand, a trend that continued into the fiscal first quarter and enabled us to grow total backlog in Q4 more than 16% sequentially. Since the Americas didn't reopen until around mid-May, they lagged the recovery in Europe and Asia. We are looking for that region to improve their growth rate to levels comparable to that of Europe and Asia during the first half of fiscal 2021.
Global market conditions are improving despite headwinds from COVID-19. While we have seen a handful of project delays, we have not experienced any project cancellations. As stated last quarter, projects that were already funded appear to be moving forward as do those that have been partially funded. We are closely monitoring projects with funding targeted for the second half of our fiscal year 2021, but have not witnessed any changes to the status at this point. While we anticipate a continued recovery across our markets as fiscal 2021 unfolds, we have prepared the business for a variety of scenarios. The proactive cost reductions we executed