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News / Business / Clark County Business

Camas-based tech manufacturer nLIGHT reports loss in first quarter

Company's executives expect to boost production in next quarter

By Sarah Wolf, Columbian staff writer
Published: May 2, 2024, 5:08pm

Amid its transformation as a company, local tech manufacturer nLIGHT reported a loss in its most recent earnings report.

nLIGHT, which is headquartered in Camas, is a high-power semiconductor and fiber laser manufacturer that operates in the industrial, microfabrication, aerospace and defense markets.

“Aerospace and defense has emerged as the most significant growth opportunity we have in front of us today,” CEO Scott Keeney said in an investor call Thursday afternoon.

Still, the company reported revenues of $44.5 million in its first quarter of 2024, which ended March 31, down from $54.1 million in the first quarter of 2023.

It also reported a $13.8 million loss, or 29 cents per diluted share, in its first quarter. It reported a $7.7 million loss, 17 cents per diluted share, in its first quarter of 2023.

Keeney said the company has developed new innovative products and acquired new technology to deepen nLIGHT’s presence in directed energy.

“These changes have been a drag on our income statement performance,” Keeney said.

The company experienced lower production volumes, impacting its ability to absorb manufacturing costs.

Joe Corso, chief financial officer at nLIGHT, said improvement for vertically integrated manufacturing business is “highly dependent on production volumes and absorption of fixed manufacturing costs.”

Both executives seemed optimistic about the company’s future. Corso said nLIGHT expects to be able to better absorb those costs and increase production in the next quarter.

“We are working on programs with strategic importance to the U.S. government,” Keeney said. The company has a backlog of contract values exceeding $300 million, he said.

“We have strong visibility into our revenue pipeline over the next several years,” he said.

The company went public six years ago and has since transitioned its manufacturing footprint away from China, a huge customer base in the company’s early days, and toward the United States as a contract manufacturer.

nLIGHT trades on the Nasdaq as LASR. Its stock closed Thursday at $11.56 per share, up from Wednesday’s $11.36 per share closing price.

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