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Key Technology Announces Fiscal 2014 First Quarter Financial Results

Key Logo-rgb 2006

WALLA WALLA, Wash., Jan. 30, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Key Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq:KTEC) announced today sales and operating results for its fiscal 2014 first quarter, ended December 31, 2013.

Net sales for the three months ended December 31, 2013 totaled $22.7 million, compared to $19.9 million recorded in the corresponding quarter last year. The Company reported a net loss for the quarter of $2.6 million, or $0.42 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $874,000, or $0.16 per diluted share, in the same period a year ago.

The gross profit for the first quarter of fiscal 2014 was $6.2 million, compared to $6.5 million in the corresponding period last year. As a percentage of sales, gross profit was 27.2% and 32.7% in the first quarter of fiscal 2014 and 2013, respectively. Operating expenses for the quarter ended December 31, 2013 were $10.1 million, or 44.3% of sales, compared to $7.7 million, or 38.9% of sales, in the same quarter last year.

Jack Ehren, President and CEO, stated, "Our business still serves seasonal and cyclical industries in which orders, shipments, and backlog quantities vary on a quarter-to-quarter, and year-to-year basis. As Key expands its core markets and enters new adjacencies, we expect to decrease this cyclical nature of our business."

Key's backlog at the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2014 was $36.7 million, compared to $49.3 million one year ago. New orders received during the first quarter were $34.1 million, compared to $38.1 million in the corresponding period last year.

Ehren commented, "The first quarter of fiscal 2014 included several important strategic wins that validate our customer-focused emphasis, and our new and enhanced innovative solutions. We executed and won several significant orders with both existing and new customers in our core markets and new applications."

Ehren concluded, "We believe we are driving the right strategy and making sound decisions for the Company and our shareholders. We are strengthening our position in our core markets, aggressively pursuing new adjacent markets, and providing industry-leading technology and solutions to our customers. Management's principal focus remains on generating long-term growth, profitability and shareholder value by building and executing on our strengthened foundation."

Conference Call

The Company's conference call related to the fiscal 2014 first quarter results can be heard live on the Internet at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time on Thursday, January 30, 2014. To access the audio webcast, go to http://www.key.net/investors/investor-events/default.html at least fifteen minutes prior to the call to download and install any necessary audio software.

About Key Technology

Key Technology, an ISO-9001 certified company, is a global leader in the design and manufacture of process automation systems including digital sorters, conveyors, and processing equipment. Applying processing knowledge and application expertise, Key helps customers in the food processing and other industries improve quality, increase yield, and reduce cost. With worldwide sales representation, the company maintains demonstration and testing facilities at its headquarters and manufacturing divisions in Walla Walla, Washington, USA; and at Key Technology in Beusichem, the Netherlands, and Hasselt, Belgium. The company's common stock trades on the Global Market tier of The NASDAQ Stock Market® under the symbol KTEC.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release may be forward-looking statements for purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements may relate to expected results of operations or gross margins; expected trends in sales, orders, earnings and other financial measures; projected expenses, including general and administrative expenses; national and international economic conditions; the effect of foreign exchange fluctuations; or other future occurrences. Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements as a result of a variety of economic, competitive and governmental risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things, industry consolidation increasing competition in the food processing equipment industry; advances in technology by competitors adversely affecting our sales and profitability; a variety of factors that could increase our cost of operations and reduce gross margins and profitability, including expansion into new markets, complex projects and applications, and integrated product offerings; acquisitions that may harm our operating results; the failure of our independent sales representatives to perform as expected, thereby harming our net sales; our dependence on certain suppliers leaving us temporarily without adequate access to raw materials or products; significant investments in unsuccessful research and development efforts adversely affecting our business; and increased or unanticipated costs associated with product warranties adversely affecting our profitability. These and other risk factors are discussed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in Item 1A, "Risk Factors," of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2013. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements in this press release as a result of subsequent developments, except as may be required by law.

News releases and other information about Key Technology, Inc. can be accessed at www.key.net.

Key Technology, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Statement of Selected Operating Information
(Unaudited, in thousands, except per share data)
Three Months Ended December 31,
2013 2012
Net sales $ 22,725 $ 19,854
Cost of sales 16,555 13,370
Gross profit 6,170 6,484
Operating expenses:
Sales and marketing 4,773 3,857
Research and development 2,430 1,736
General and administrative 2,416 2,129
Amortization of intangibles 437 4
Total operating expenses 10,056 7,726
Gain on disposition of assets 6 20
Loss from operations (3,880) (1,222)
Other income (expense) (65) (63)
Loss before income taxes (3,945) (1,285)
Income tax benefit (1,339) (411)
Net loss $ (2,606) $ (874)
Net loss per share
- basic $ (0.42) $ (0.16)
- diluted $ (0.42) $ (0.16)
Shares used in per share calculation - basic 6,276 5,304
Shares used in per share calculation - diluted 6,276 5,304
Key Technology, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Selected Balance Sheet Information
(Unaudited, in thousands)
December 31, 2013 September 30, 2013
Cash and cash equivalents $ 11,374 $ 17,601
Trade accounts receivable, net 12,168 17,725
Inventories 31,717 27,921
Total current assets 65,525 72,573
Property, plant and equipment, net 16,694 17,259
Goodwill 11,968 11,821
Intangible assets, net 10,713 10,982
Total assets 106,804 114,624
Total current liabilities, including current portion of long-term debt 24,907 30,235
Long-term debt 5,422 5,612
Shareholders' equity 71,023 73,125

CONTACT: Jeff Siegal Vice President and CFO Key Technology, Inc. 150 Avery Street Walla Walla, WA 99362 Tel: +1 509-394-3300 Email: jsiegal@key.net URL: www.key.net

Source:Key Technology, Inc.