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Allied Motion Technologies Inc (AMOT) Q2 2020 Earnings Call Transcript | The Motley Fool

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Allied Motion Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:AMOT)
Q2 2020 Earnings Call
Aug 6, 2020, 10:00 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Greetings, and welcome to the Allied Motion Technologies Second Quarter Fiscal Year 2020 Financial Results. (Operator Instructions) A brief question-and-answer session will follow the formal presentation. (Operator Instructions).

It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, Craig Mychajluk, Investor Relations. Thank you, Craig. You may begin.

Craig MychajlukInvestor Relations

Yeah. Thank you, and good morning, everyone. We certainly appreciate your time today as well as your interest in Allied Motion. Joining me on the call are Dick Warzala, our Chairman, President and CEO; and Mike Leach, our Chief Financial Officer. Dick and Mike are going to review our second quarter 2020 results and provide an update on the company’s strategic progress and outlook, after which we’ll open it up for Q&A.

You should have a copy of the financial results that were released yesterday after market closed. If not, you can find it on our website at alliedmotion.com. On the website, you’ll also find slides that accompany today’s discussion. If you are reviewing those slides, please turn to slide two for the safe harbor statement.

As you are aware, we may make some forward-looking statements on this call during the formal discussion as well as during the Q&A. These statements apply to future events that are subject to risks and uncertainties as well as other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from what is stated on today’s call. These risks and uncertainties and other factors are discussed in the earnings release as well as the documents filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You can find these documents on our website or at sec.gov.

I want to point out as well that during today’s call, we’ll discuss some non-GAAP measures, which we believe will be useful in evaluating our performance. You should not consider the presentation of this additional information in isolation or as a substitute for results prepared in accordance with GAAP. We’ve provided reconciliations of non-GAAP to comparable GAAP measures in the tables accompanying the earnings release and slides.

With that, please turn to slide three, and I’ll turn it over to Dick to begin. Dick?

Richard S. WarzalaChairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Craig, and welcome, everyone. Allied has continued to steer a steady course through these challenging conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. I would like to acknowledge the incredible efforts, dedication and resilience of our employees who have done an excellent job helping us respond to the ever-changing environment and unique opportunities that have presented themselves. Our second quarter performance was relatively solid and demonstrated the success of our One Allied strategy.

The diversification of our revenue base, the execution of our lean toolkit, Allied Systematic Tools, or AST for short, and the integration of Dynamic Controls all played a role in driving our results. Despite second quarter organic sales decline, our gross margin held up well, we achieved solid profitability and we continued to generate significant cash from operations.

From a market perspective, we successfully navigated what we believe was the low point for us during the COVID-19 pandemic. All our facilities continued to operate, and our team was able to effectively mobilize and engage with customers. I was particularly impressed with our ability to flex up and support the increased demand that came in from various medical market customers, many of which are at the forefront of combating this pandemic. In fact, sales in the medical market, which includes contributions from our Dynamic Controls, nearly doubled on a year-over-year basis.

Outside the medical market gains, we experienced broad end market declines as industrial activity slowed due to shutdowns and demand deferrals. In particular, our vehicle market was hit the hardest. There are some encouraging trends that give us optimism as activity has since increased and demand has picked up.

We have also kept our team focused on several new project opportunities, which included the recently announced fourth major award since 2017 to provide solutions for our vehicle market in Europe and Asia. This additional award further validates our strategy to be a leading global provider of controlled motion solutions and demonstrates the market’s recognition of our ability to develop highly reliable solutions for the vehicle market.

Adjusted to reflect current exchange rates, the total value of these awards for vehicle market solutions is approximately $325 million. I will remind you that the value of these awards is not reflected in our backlog, and we only recognize them in the backlog when they are released to production. We have been focused on cash conservation, and we quickly adjusted our variable cost structure to align with market changes, while also maintaining strong discipline over fixed cost.

As a result of these efforts, we managed to generate almost $10 million in cash from operations, and that enabled us to reduce total debt by nearly $8 million during the quarter. Given our prudent actions, we remain confident that we have the liquidity to address the current situation and the financial flexibility to be on the offensive as the economy recovers.

I would also like to touch on our recent announcement to realign and expand our leadership and organization structure. We have grown to a size where a broader leadership base will improve our capabilities and ensure we meet the growth and profitability objectives of the company in the future.

This initiative and new structure is consistent with and in support of our long-term strategy as it leverages and crosses geographic and technology boundaries and creates greater cohesion across the entire organization. On the operations side of the business, we have created three new business groups and promoted three individuals who have proven themselves as strategic leaders. Each will look to drive growth opportunities and improve profitability as we further leverage the wide breadth of technologies and our geographic reach.

In addition, we expanded the breadth of our global engineering team to improve system solution capabilities and drive organic growth through innovation with the goal of continuing to exceed normal industry growth levels. We also further elevated our AST focus to accelerate implementation and ensure we continue to improve efficiencies and drive growth and innovation across the entire organization.

And finally, as acquisitions have been a key element of our growth strategy and our past success, we have formerly added a business development role to ensure we continue to drive and consummate strategic M&A opportunities in the future. Lastly, this realignment allows me to focus more intently on strategic initiatives to drive increased shareholder value, while also providing me greater bandwidth to ensure we meet the long-term goals and objectives of the company.

Despite the COVID-induced recession, these are exciting times for Allied. We are confident in our initiatives and the strength of our business model, and we will remain vigilant and continue to implement the measures required to ensure the health and safety of all of our employees and their families.

With that, let me turn it over to Mike for a more in-depth review of the financials.

Michael R. LeachChief Financial Officer

Thank you, Dick. We provide an overview of our top line on slide four. As a reminder, our results include Dynamic Controls, which we acquired in March 2020.

Revenue in the second quarter was $86.7 million, down $6 million or 6% and included an FX headwind of $1.4 million. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic created extended shutdowns from many customers in our vehicle and industrial markets for much of the quarter. However, sales to our medical markets, which included $9.9 million from Dynamic Controls almost doubled, helping to partially offset those declines. Sales to US customers were 50% in the second quarter, down from 58% in the prior year period with the balance of sales to customers primarily in Europe, Canada and Asia. The shift in geographic mix reflects the addition of Dynamic Controls.

Slide five shows the change in our revenue mix by market and the growth of each market for the trailing 12 months ended June 30. The Dynamic Controls business can be found within Medical and accounts for a significant piece of the 35% growth in this market. As we’ve discussed and demonstrated, growing our Medical and A&D markets are an important element of our strategy to broaden the scope and diversification of the business and to enhance our margin profile. While we have high single to double-digit trailing 12-month growth in most verticals, the drop-off in demand within vehicle due to COVID-19 is reflected in the 13% TTM sales decline.

As highlighted on slide six, our gross margin for the quarter was 30.5%, down just 20 basis points from the prior year period. Our cost management efforts and improved mix, given the greater percentage of medical market sales including the favorable impact of Dynamic mostly offset the volume impact from the decline in vehicle.

Our operating performance is on slide seven. While we continued to be prudent on the expense side, our operating performance for the quarter still reflected some negative leverage given the reduction of sales. Operating expenses as a percent of revenue were up 220 basis points, largely due to overall revenue with incremental expenses related to Dynamic, higher business development costs and incremental COVID-19-related costs associated with the ensuring employee health and safety. It’s important to note that we are maintaining key engineering capabilities, which we consider vital to drive future growth and continue to gain market share.

Turning to slide eight, you can see our bottom line and adjusted EBITDA results. Net income for the quarter was $2.9 million or $0.30 per diluted share, compared with $4.4 million or $0.47 per diluted share in the prior year period. Excluding business development costs, adjusted net income was $3 million or $0.32 per diluted share. The second quarter effective tax rate was 29.9%, and we anticipate the effective tax rate for the full fiscal 2020 to range between 27% to 29%.

Despite current headwinds, we continue to demonstrate our cash-generating capabilities. Adjusted EBITDA was $10 million and as a percent of sales was 11.6%. We use adjusted EBITDA as an internal metric and believe it is useful in determining our progress and operating performance.

Slides nine and 10 provide an overview of our balance sheet and cash flow. We ended the quarter with sufficient liquidity as we generated a considerable amount of free cash flow, which was used to pay — in part to pay down debt. Cash and cash equivalents at quarter end were $19 million, up $5.6 million from the end of 2019. We reduced debt by $7.9 million in the quarter, resulting in total debt of $128.5 million. Compared with year-end 2019, total debt was up primarily due to the Dynamic Controls acquisition. Debt net of cash was $109.4 million or 46.4% of net debt to capitalization. Our bank leverage ratio was 2.64 times at quarter end. While we are comfortable at this level, given near-term uncertainty, we continue to focus on paying down debt. Recall that our maximum leverage coverage ratio covenant debt-to-EBITDA is 3.5 times, reflecting solid financial flexibility.

Year-to-date capital expenditures were $3.6 million. We continue to expect our fiscal 2020 capex to range between $10 million and $12 million, which will enable key projects to move forward, while deferring lower-priority activities. Second quarter inventory turns were 3.5 times, down from 4.1 times at year-end. At this time, we continue to face an uncertain supply chain environment with extended lead times and customer pushouts leading to higher inventory levels to support our broader customer base. Our DSO was also elevated at 53 days due to the timing of collections of receipts and was not due to deterioration in credit quality. In fact, credit quality metrics actually improved since the sequential first quarter with lower levels of past due accounts.

Let me reiterate that we are very pleased with our ability to generate cash and reduce debt during this downturn. We expect continued strong cash flow generation and believe our capital allocation strategy positions us well to successfully navigate the conditions ahead.

With that, I’ll now turn the call back over to Dick.

Richard S. WarzalaChairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Mike. As depicted on slide 11, orders were more than $80 million in the quarter and reflected $1.8 million of unfavorable FX. Backlog at quarter end was approximately $128 million, down 4% sequentially.

As I mentioned earlier, we secured a nomination of another award to provide a customer-specific solution for our Vehicle market, and just a nominal amount of these awards is currently included in our reported backlog numbers. While we have begun shipments at very low levels for the first of the four awards, the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed the production ramp-up for these projects through the remainder of the year.

As we look to the near term, we remain cautious given the uncertainty of the current COVID-19 environment as demand signals continue to be mixed and highly dependent on the vitality of the end markets we serve. Some markets provide limited visibility and may be impacted by ongoing macro uncertainties due to different recovery rates from the pandemic, while there are other verticals that are stabilizing or showing encouraging trends.

Ultimately, for us, we are focused on the elements that we can control. In particular, that is reflected in our new product development efforts, which continue to be a high priority. We are on track to create several exciting new products and solutions to ensure that we stay at the forefront and continue to meet the emerging needs of our served target markets. Our business has demonstrated outstanding resilience, and we are firmly committed to retaining our critical talent. As a technology/know-how-driven company, it is essential that we continue to enhance our engineering capabilities to supplement and support our customers through these very difficult and unprecedented times.

Overall, I’m confident that the measures we have taken will allow our organization to continue to operate safely. We will adjust and prioritize our customers’ needs as required, and through the disciplined execution of our long-term strategy and the guiding principles of our One Allied culture, deliver superior results over the long term.

With that, operator, let’s open the line for questions.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Thank you. We’ll now be conducting a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions) Our first question comes from the line of Greg Palm with Craig-Hallum. Please proceed with your question.

Greg PalmCraig-Hallum. — Analyst

Great. Thanks. Good morning, everyone. Nice results, especially with everything going on here. Wanted to maybe start with — square some comments that you made, Dick. You said I think that it was pretty clear that you hit the low point in Q2. You’re seeing some encouraging trends in Vehicle, which is your largest market. Yet at the same point, it sounded like there was a little bit of, sort of, cautiousness in there. So — I don’t know, maybe a little bit more detail on what you’re seeing in July and how you’re sort of looking or viewing the second half here?

Richard S. WarzalaChairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Sure. Thanks, Greg. With the Vehicle market, we did see some delays, and I’ll talk the on-road vehicle-type market delays in getting updated schedules and people — and companies coming back to work and so forth. So yes, it did have an impact on second quarter.

With regard to off-road vehicles, we saw a very strong pickup in the second quarter, and we clearly expect that to continue through the remainder of the year, and it’s very strong. And then on the on-road side, we see it now coming back, and I would say we’re at the point here where we have visibility where it’s 80% to 85% of what our original demand expectations were and improving beyond that. So while we’re cautious here, we do see some very positive signs in those — in the vehicle — in our vehicle markets.

Greg PalmCraig-Hallum. — Analyst

Okay. That’s helpful. And what about medical? I mean, that was clearly a standout. And I know you talked about Dynamic a little bit as a main contributor. But even if you back it out, segment revenue was still up quite a bit on a year-over-year basis. So maybe just talk about what some of the largest contributors were in there?

Richard S. WarzalaChairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Sure. Yes. The ventilation, the ventilator, respirator, that market, dialysis machines, all which we serve, we saw very strong tick-up in demand, and also some other auxiliary equipment that goes into the hospital environments for staffing as they were expanding the number of hospital rooms and facilities and so forth. So we saw a very strong demand there, and that’s continuing. We think that there was a catch-up that had to occur. There’s also modernization of equipment that’s in facilities. And I — we think that we’ll see some continued demand there into the future.

In addition to that, I think there are some very encouraging opportunities for us that have come out of this with regard to sourcing product from — for North America in North America, and I think we’re well positioned to be able to capitalize on some of those opportunities in the future. We have products that are fairly high performance, and we’re a certified medical applications in a number of our facilities. So we do see some strong opportunities for the future. We see some demand continuing through the third quarter, and I think the future for us in that area is quite bright.

Greg PalmCraig-Hallum. — Analyst

It sounded like you were maybe alluding to some new customer opportunities. I mean, how much of the Q2 strength was driven by overall market growth versus maybe some share gains? And is that the right way to think about it where there could be some new customer opportunities going forward?

Michael R. LeachChief Financial Officer

Yes. Let me clarify that a little bit, too, because typically, as you know, the types of products that were being used. I mean, they go through an approval process. And while the approval process can be accelerated in these times, the demand that we saw was based upon existing customers that we already had — we already designed in and approved on. So in addition to that, we are working on new opportunities for share gain, and I think we’re going to certainly take the opportunity to leverage the fact that we design and produce significant number of our medical products in North America.

So the second quarter reflected existing customer base with increased demand beyond out into the future. We have opened up new opportunities that we feel very confident that we’re going to secure some share gain and new customers along the way.

Greg PalmCraig-Hallum. — Analyst

Okay. Good. And then I appreciate the color on the organizational changes, the leadership structure. I think it’d be helpful to get some, maybe, additional color on the, I don’t know, why now as it relates to the timing of the moves. I mean, if you could provide a little bit of detail around some of your long-term goals and objectives of the company. And what makes you optimistic that some of these leadership changes gets you there, maybe, faster or better than what you were thinking before?

Richard S. WarzalaChairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Sure. Well, first off, I have to tell you that these were planned in the first and second quarter, and we delayed them because we did not want the — a perception to be out there that we’re making changes on a defensive basis. These are offensive moves. So we delayed until the timing once we get — I’m not saying we’ve got this behind us, of course. As we mentioned, there’s going to be — still be some instability in some of the markets.

But the structural changes were discussed in great detail. I think our team has really developed nicely and stronger than it’s ever been. And I think our goals are going to be to continue the growth and success of this company, and it’s going to take additional resources and horsepower to do it.

So if you notice every aspect we hit on there, we hit on the operational side. We hit on creating these groups, which would allow us further leverage from an operating standpoint and an efficiency standpoint. We leverage our technology across all these — all the platforms. We strengthened — we’ve made what we used to call global electronics team, subtle change to that is called global engineering team, which means that we now are doing a much better job of modeling and simulating complete solution capabilities, and it’s very exciting stuff.

So that is the reason for the global engineering team and the excitement that I have around our capabilities there and our speed to market, our speed — play to market because of what we’ve been able to do internally here, and now pull that together in a way that gives the major strategic offensive objectives a greater focus. So that’s been coming, and it’s been building nicely. And I think we’re at the point where we keep making these positive steps forward.

We talked about AST. And as Rob Maida has picked up additional responsibilities in — from an operating standpoint, and we merged what we used to call North American motors and mechatronics together. Geoff Rondeau, who had mechatronics is very strong in AST, both in the growth and innovation side as well as the operating efficiency. And as a partner to Rob, we think that there’s some significant opportunities for us to leverage AST throughout the company. So there’s — that’s one of the things we’ve done there.

In regard to Europe, we’ve had — we have one of our general manager who has been with us for quite a while. He is retiring at the end of the year. And we have recruited and have another individual in place. He’s been onboard. And what we did is we, again, looked toward developing the synergies, OK, that we can within channels, the supplier base, etc, and now began to align the operations in Europe. So I think you get the theme here, I won’t have to go into every single one. But you get the theme. It’s that we feel from an operating standpoint, there’s lots of opportunities for us to leverage the foundation we have, but also create future synergies down the road.

And with acquisitions, they’ve clearly been part of our success in the past, and we think we have a good formula for the acquisitions. And we just — we’re going to make sure that we keep the pipeline full. And as you know, Greg and everyone else out there knows, sometimes these take years to develop. So we’re planting the seeds, and we have to have the ability to continue to reap the rewards from those, who knows down the road, two, three, four, five years down the road. Okay? So that’s — it’s all positive. It’s all good stuff.

And the leadership team has really excelled, and I can’t compliment them enough on how well they’ve worked together here and help each other out through certainly this — the pandemic as well as now getting us positioned for further growth in the future.

Does that help? Or do you have more specific questions?

Greg PalmCraig-Hallum. — Analyst

(Multiple Speech)

Richard S. WarzalaChairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

(Multiple Speech) We’re trying to hit all the growth drivers here.

Greg PalmCraig-Hallum. — Analyst

No, I appreciate all the color. I think I’ll leave it there and hop back in the queue. Thanks.

Richard S. WarzalaChairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you Greg.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from the line of Gerry Sweeney with ROTH Capital. Please proceed with your question.

Gerry SweeneyROTH Capital Partners — Analyst

Thanks for taking my call. I’m still playing a little catch-up on some of your answers on the last question there. But can I just dig in a little bit on the Medical and Vehicle side. And this is more anecdotal on the Medical side. Obviously, Dynamic Controls, and then you talked about ventilators, dialysis, just a lot of demand. Obviously — especially the ventilators, lots of press about that, lots of efforts to ramp up production. How much of that could be transitory? And then I think juxtaposed to that, also, some checks indicated, maybe some slowdown on elective surgery and maybe some slowdown on equipment on that side. Looking at both those puts-and-takes, could you give us a little bit more insight as to what you’re seeing going on in the medical market and how we look at it from that perspective?

Richard S. WarzalaChairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Sure. I think — you’re correct. There is — some of it’s transitory. And what I was — there was obviously an increased demand for equipment. And our take on it right now is based upon talking to our customers that demand — there was that spike in big peak of demand that occurred to get products into the marketplace, but there’s also a recognition that there’s a need to get modern equipment into hospitals, and that’s not going to go away.

So I think you’re going to see an investment in and a continued investment in. So that people are going to get caught short in the future. So yes, there was a spike. There was product put into the market. But we think there’s going to be a continued demand as people are going to upgrade their equipment and make sure that they’re positioned to better combat anything like this in the future. So it’s not going to go away immediately, but we would expect going into next year, unless another crisis hits of some sort that the demand should soften going into next year.

You’re at — the other point you brought up was an excellent point here on the elective surgeries. And obviously, knowing that we’re a supplier to that marketplace. We did see some push-outs and drop in demand, but that’s come right back. And so — and that market is really at the beginning stages, if you read all the studies on it. So we think there’s some strong opportunities for growth in that market, and we are well positioned for that in the future.

Gerry SweeneyROTH Capital Partners — Analyst

Got it. So not only since COVID, but — the COVID, you can almost say, was a catalyst for an upgrade cycle with medical equipment, and you’re seeing that as well, essentially, what you are saying there, too.

Richard S. WarzalaChairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Correct.

Gerry SweeneyROTH Capital Partners — Analyst

Yes. And then switching gears, vehicles. The shutdowns in 2Q, on-road, off-road, channel checks, I mean you look at the dealers are out right now. So — and inventory is low. So we would expect the restocking efforts, maybe — what are you seeing from your customers? Are they ramping up production again? Or are they going back to normal level on-road, off-road? As an ancillary point, I bought a car this weekend because I needed one. And apparently, 300 cars have been sold at the dealership. So there’s crazy demand out there right now. So — but curious.

Richard S. WarzalaChairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. Well, we see it. Yes, Gerry, I think, again, excellent points. We see it. I mean if we look at what happened to us in April and demand coming from those markets, I mean they were devastated. And it bounced back fairly quickly. So I would tell you that, as I mentioned earlier, that we’re 80%, 85%, going to 90% of previous demand in the on-road market. We — I think the off-road market, we’re exceeding that.

So I think, clearly, there is definitely some increased demand. And I also have to tell you — say to you that through this process here, we had installed another production line to build products for the off-road market, and it was implemented in Mexico. And our team down there was able to get it up and running and delivering products.

So again, kudos to our team. Through all of this. They still kept these projects going forward. And we’re able to make thing — make it happen and for us to meet the delivery demands and the accelerated delivery demands. So I think — again, I think your perception of what’s occurring in that market is — and what we’re seeing, they align.

Greg PalmCraig-Hallum. — Analyst

Okay. Switching gears a little bit to some costs, like opex headwinds. How much of that was, we’ll say, maybe unabsorbed overhead? And then how much of it was, maybe, some excess COVID costs, which could go way or transitory as well. How do we look at that when we’re looking at the model? Do we potentially see a rebound in revenue?

Michael R. LeachChief Financial Officer

So certainly, from a gross margin standpoint, right, there was with the lower volume, some unabsorbed costs and certainly not leveraging our fixed manufacturing costs as well as if we’d had that volume, and, right, there’ll be some tailwinds there as that comes back.

From an operating expense standpoint, again, I think that is relatively stable. Again, it’s reflective of adding the incremental costs associated with Dynamic Controls and just flexing that as a percentage of total sales. And with sales being down, I think you saw that basis point increase really is reflective of just the lower revenues, more than it is an imbalance with expenditures. So that should come back.

And then as it relates to COVID-related costs, I would tell you that the COVID costs were moderate from an actual expenditure standpoint, whether that’s supplies or cleanings or things like that. Where you feel it really, though, is in productivity, right? Having to adjust shifts to accommodate social distancing, lunch breaks, arrival times of employees and the like, right? It’s a matter of lost efficiency, if you will.

And so certainly, that’ll help with margins as well when we become more accustomed and practiced to add those things. And two, if those things get relaxed over time, obviously, we are maintaining that and being diligent in our safety processes. So that may continue for some time.

Operator

Thank you. (Operator Instructions) Our next question comes from the line of Dick Ryan with Colliers. Please proceed with your question.

Dick RyanColliers — Analyst

So Dick, a question on Dynamic, specifically. It looks like, obviously, this thing has checked all the boxes from a good acquisition for you guys. But if I recall, there were some competitive issues that the previous owner of Dynamic was running into to kind of limit some growth? I’m not sure if that’s accurate summary there. But since you’ve had this now for five months, can you talk about if that issue has gone away? And what you’re just seeing in the general market demand for Dynamic now that you own it?

Richard S. WarzalaChairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Sure. You’re correct, Dick, and thanks for the question here. Dynamic was owned by a major player in the patient mobility and rehabilitation marketplace. So obviously, being owned by the parent company, it limited their ability to provide solutions or sell product to the competitors.

So one of the reasons that we felt that Dynamic will be a great acquisition is that if we — they’re now allowed to go and they’re not tied to one particular — to a parent company who has ownership over make an established direction. And while they were allowed to go, compete and sell to other companies before, I think, certainly, just given the relationship, that was restricted or restrictive in some manners. And so that’s gone.

And now the process is to approach the other players in the marketplace and start bringing our solution forward and which we are doing. In addition to that, the Dynamic had the electronic and the control side of it, and Allied brings the motors and the gearing. So it’s a perfect solution. And it just continues to build on the successes we’ve had in the past of being a very — and leverage the technologies to come up with a solution for our customers. And that’s really what we’re working on.

So that for the medical markets, but in addition to that, because Dynamic has significant core unit volume and mass in the electronic control area, they’re dealing with safety issues. They’re dealing with traction. They’re dealing with interface that’s common in all of our vehicle-type applications, whether it’s automated material handling or it’s additional patient mobility and so forth.

So I think we’re looking at expanding that capability into markets that we are already serving and some new market opportunities for us. So we’re quite excited about it. We mentioned — and unfortunately, they kind of got lost here in the process of COVID hitting. But we’re really excited about the capabilities, the talent that’s come on board and our ability to leverage a solution sell into not only the medical but other markets.

Dick RyanColliers — Analyst

Okay. So when you look at the backlog, has there been any cancellations or deferrals of deliveries. You indicated it’s probably a three to six month flow-through, but has there been anything below the surface, cancellation or deferrals?

Richard S. WarzalaChairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

We haven’t seen cancellations, but we definitely have seen deferrals. And I think if you look at total demand in the market, now that could change fairly quickly. So — but yes, to answer your question, we have seen deferrals. I will — normally, we don’t give much color about what’s happened. But since July is completed, we’ve had — we saw a nice tick up in bookings, in our order intake.

So we hope that continues to accelerate, but it was at a very nice level with some wins here, things that we had been working on that now have come through. People are back to work, and these things are getting released. But yes, to answer your question, we did see some demand push-outs. And I would tell you that industrial is an area that we saw some of that and also a little bit in the — in defense sector.

Dick RyanColliers — Analyst

Okay, great. Thank you and congratulations on the continued progress on execution.

Richard S. WarzalaChairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Dick.

Michael R. LeachChief Financial Officer

Thanks, Dick.

Operator

Thank you. We have no further questions at this time. I’d like to turn the floor back over to management for closing comments.

Richard S. WarzalaChairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, operator. And thank you, everyone, for joining us on today’s call and for your interest in Allied Motion. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at any time, and we look forward to talking with all of you again after our third quarter results. Thank you for your participation. Stay safe, and have a great day. And that’ll conclude the call, operator.

Operator

(Operator Closing Remarks)

Duration: 39 minutes

Call participants:

Craig MychajlukInvestor Relations

Richard S. WarzalaChairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Michael R. LeachChief Financial Officer

Greg PalmCraig-Hallum. — Analyst

Gerry SweeneyROTH Capital Partners — Analyst

Dick RyanColliers — Analyst

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Fashion’s OG Instagrammers are building empires and, at the same time, growing their influence beyond the industry.

After being schooled for years on the workings of the fashion industry, mega-influencers including Danielle Bernstein (2.7 million Instagram followers) and Rocky Barnes (2.5 million Instagram followers) are graduating to careers less reliant on brands. To take it to the next level, they’re leveraging their prowess and communities, driving deals with effective business partners, and evolving their focus, based on the industry’s direction and their own passions. The emerging results, for both Bernstein and Barnes, are personally-backed brands and investment portfolios set to expand based on early successes.

“The plan is to grow, in a big way,” said Bernstein. “I’m a serial entrepreneur, so I’ll always want to introduce new businesses and categories to my brand. And I’m angel investing and joining the board of advisors for so many companies. That’s the future of the creator economy: harnessing and creating community around your existing followers and then figuring out how to monetize that.”

In 2019, upon inking a licensing deal with New York-based clothing company Onia, Bernstein launched the Shop We Wore What e-commerce site, populated with her expanding We Wore What fashion collection. The collection has been at the center of much recent controversy, due to allegedly including copycat designs. According to Bernstein, she turns to vintage pieces, editorials and travel for inspiration. Bernstein’s also become an investor and advisor for hair supplement company Wellbel and CBD brand Highline Wellness. In May, she became active on Patreon, offering exclusive video content to paying members of her community.

In addition, Bernstein heads up We Gave What, a charitable arm of her company. In 2019, she launched tech company Moe Assist with a project management tool for influencers, though its social accounts have been inactive for two-plus months. When asked for comment, a spokesperson said Moe Assist is in a new fundraising stage and “should have news to share shortly.”

Barnes, meanwhile, partnered with Reunited Clothing to come out with her apparel company, The Bright Side, in December. And she recently became a first-time investor-advisor, for 6-month-old SMS shopping platform Qatch. She announced the partnership in an Instagram post on Monday.

“I feel like a grown-up,” she told me, before confirming that she’s interested in investing in more companies. “Diversifying my business has been a really big [focus] for me. I interact with so many different brands and companies on a daily basis. Using my market knowledge in ways that can help other people is fulfilling and exciting for me. And I especially love when I can be involved with a company from the beginning.”

Building on their content creator role in fashion is a natural progression, both said. And it plays into many industry shifts: On its way out is fashion’s DTC era, largely fueled by Harvard Business School and Wharton graduates using a plug-and-play, marketing-heavy business model to launch brands. More consumers are prioritizing quality, differentiated products, making industry experience and style expertise greater virtues among insiders. At the same time, consumers are increasingly taking shopping cues from relatable, platform-native celebrities, moving on from authoritative editors and more closed-off celebrities.

The school of collaborations
The collaborator-to-founder shift isn’t the newest thing. Other longtime influencers that have made the pivot include Arielle Charnas, with Something Navy; Aimee Song, with Song of Style; Rumi Neely, with Are You Am I; the list goes on. Most often, the names behind these brands don’t have formal design and business training — for her part, Bernstein said she “went to FIT for two years, but didn’t study design and production.” But, for years, they’ve worked hand-in-hand with companies to bring their visions to life. And along the way, they’ve come to know what resonates best with their vast communities, from marketing to merchandising to product.

“My most successful collaborations have led to the largest share of my business,” said Bernstein.

Bernstein’s partnership with Onia came out of her swimwear collaboration with its Onia brand, in May 2019. On the collab’s launch day, it drove $2 million in sales, and an included style was the brand’s best-selling swimsuit of the summer. Also in 2019, Bernstein collaborated with Joe’s Jeans on multiple denim collections. The launch day of the first, in March 2019, marked Joe Jeans’ best sales day to date, said Jennifer Hawkins, the brand’s svp of marketing and innovation on a Glossy Podcast in October.

Both served as learning opportunities for Bernstein, who said — as with all of her collaborations — she took full advantage: “It was never just [uploading] a post, and then I went away,” she said. “I always wanted to know how the performance was, in terms of sales, and asked questions: ‘Can you share the analytics?’ ‘What did you see on your end?’ ‘What worked and what didn’t work?’”

She added, “They provided a ton of data, in terms of what I could sell and what the market was missing.”

Likewise, she said, she always followed and shared with partner brands the Instagram Insights and Google Analytics numbers around her corresponding posts. Doing so gave all parties a 360-degree view of a collaboration’s success.

“I’ve learned what works for brands so they get the largest return on their investment,” she said.

For example, she’s learned to lean on her audience’s tastes, versus rely on her own, by allowing them to offer feedback throughout the design process through Instagram. That’s included the selection of fabrics and colors and the fit sessions with models. She only spotlights her favorite styles and what she wears in her own social posts, as a play for authenticity.

According to Bernstein, the collaborations with brands allowing her to play an advisor role — by guiding them on influencer partnerships, marketing and messaging — are always more successful. And they often turn into longer-term investment or advising partnerships.

Bernstein chose to work with Onia on the We Wore What collection based on its prioritization of quality and fit, and ability to keep to affordable retail prices. Currently, prices on the We Wore What site range from $20, for a scrunchie, to $228, for a vegan leather jumpsuit.

Barnes was also ready to go out on her own after finding the right partners. Her Reunited Clothing partnership came after working with the company to create her Express product collaboration, in early 2019. On its first-quarter 2019 earnings call, interim CEO Matthew C. Moullering said the company had seen “a strong start to [the] collection both in-stores and online and [believed] it [was] helping to introduce the brand to a new audience.”

“Having your own brand is terrifying,” Barnes said. “But I like that I’m in control and not so dependent on doing the day-to-day posts promoting other companies.”

But, she added, “One of the huge benefits of working with all these different brands on all these different projects is that we’re constantly getting introduced to new people and seeing who we like working with.”

Barnes’ internal team consists of her husband, who’s the “business brains” of the company, she said, and an assistant.

Like Bernstein, Barnes stressed the need for outside support in the production process: “I love such quirky, crazy things, but I also understand what is realistic for a buyer and a normal girl buying clothes,” she said. “The experience of taking ideas and making them work for a bigger group of people was my learning curve going into a business. It’s important to have a good, diverse team around you who can make your idea something that’s marketable.”

For its part, We Wore What has seen “200x growth in the last year,” as it’s expanded to new categories, Bernstein said. Its ready-to-wear, swimwear, resort wear, and activewear are now sold in “dozens and dozens of retailers around the world,” many of which offer style exclusives; they include Revolve, Bloomingdale’s and Intermix.

“Launching my own brand was putting the proof in the pudding for the power of influencers, when it comes to selling product,” she said.

As with her Joe’s and Onia collaborations, Bernstein sees a rush-to-buy with We Wore What product drops. “The first 10 minutes is when we see the biggest portion of our sales for the entire collection,” she said.

To build buzz, Shop We Wore What’s Instagram account (213,000 followers) features in its Stories the line sheets of the soon-to-launch styles, allowing customers to thoughtfully plan their buy. Doing so has led to lower return rates, Bernstein said. The company’s marketing mix also includes text messages and emails, VIP discounts and user-generated content.

Bernstein has a staff of four people, which include a chief operating officer and a brand coordinator. She said she prioritizes establishing partners with skills and expertise she doesn’t have, so she can learn from them along the way. Ideally, she’d have learned about tech packs, fittings and production logistics in school, but she’s training as she goes.

Moving forward, Bernstein said she plans to extend the size range of We What What styles, which are currently available in sizes XS-XXL, and launch collections with collaborators to sell exclusively on her brand’s DTC site. In addition, she aims to eventually open “experimental” physical retail, starting with pop-ups.

As for her investment-advisor portfolio, she’s currently in talks with companies centered on the concepts of “being able to sell your closet and even rent your closet.”

As for Barnes’ Bright Side, she said it will hit “a bunch of new retailers this year.”

Moving beyond fashion
Up next for Shop We Wore What is a new product category that will hit before the holiday season. Considering her passion for home furnishings and decor — based on her @homeworewhat Instagram account (7,500 followers) and recent press coverage of her new SoHo loft — it’s a safe bet that a home-related category is in the cards.

Likewise, Barnes hinted at a future Bright Side home collection, following her recent, two-year home remodel, which she’s getting set to debut on social media.

Lifestyle brands are the clear goal.

“I would love to be a combination of Rachel Zoe and Martha Stewart, just having my hands in everything and creating this really beautiful lifestyle where you can entertain and be fashionable,” Barnes said. “That’s kind of the dream.”

She added, “Fashion is where my heart has always been, but I’m growing as a person and there’s so much more in my life right now: my family, my home — and I’m getting older, so beauty [and skin care] makes sense now. Sharing all of that with everyone seems so natural; it would be weird if I only did fashion.”

As for future investments, though Quatch fits perfectly into Barnes’ world, with its fashion-tech focus, she said she’s open to investing in any company where she sees opportunity.

What’s more, she has no plans to retire from social media, though she has yet to tackle TikTok.

“People’s need for content has only increased, so I’m posting and creating content more than ever,” Barnes said. “But I’ve learned to become more of a hard-ass with brands. The companies that are willing to work with me and [facilitate] the most like authentic relationship possible are the ones I move forward with.” Reunited can attest.

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South African bowler Tabraiz Shamsi: Amateur magician; professional tweaker-trickster

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Harry Potter fans would know this as the Room of Requirement; muggle cricketers dub it backend operations. Tabraiz Shamsi is an amateur magician. He is also a professional worrier of why some googlies don’t turn as much as he’d want, in cricket.

For the Proteas chinaman bowler, the room of requirement from where he could pull out any game data, used to be the dependable ‘P Dawgg’, former South Africa analyst Prasanna Agoram combining his ken and nous and fast processing laptop. Prasanna enviably would be privy to the trial (and error) runs of Magician Shamsi’s classical Tourniquet coin-drops with the cricket ball. Which was the unglamorous, quirk-in-progress of his left-arm leg spin.

At the stroke of 1 a.m, oftener than not, Shamsi would come looking for what he called ‘shit balls’, in what Prasanna reckoned were otherwise impressive, less-than-run-a-ball bowling spells. This was that one specific delivery that went for a six to sully Shamsi’s 4-0-22-3 T20 match figures. It was the bugs, not the features, that the 29-year-old would cussedly fixate on.

“I’d never point out that he’s missing his length or the back foot was collapsing, at 12.30 in the night. Because Shamo, you see, would then take me to the nets at 1 a.m! He’s capable of calling the manager and telling him at that hour that I have to practice NOW. You had to be careful about what you told him at 1 a.m,” Prasanna laughs, underlining ungrudging admiration for the Proteas spinner’s dedication.

A series of self-recriminations in staccato would follow the ‘Bhai, can you please put on the shit-ball that went for a six.’ “He’d curse himself watching replays: ‘no good, not international class, garbage ball.’ If you try telling him it is ‘well-played’ from Jos Butler and not exactly a poor ball, he’d be hard on himself and say, ‘This is nonsense from Shamo’,” Prasanna recalls of his exacting standards.

For, the South African World No 1 spinner – who lends mystery to the Saffer bowling attack if not entirely upstaging their thunderbolt battery of pacers – knows that all sleights of hand, can come with uncontrollable twists of fate. Both in magic, and cricket.

A young boy of 15 at Paarl who tried to bowl quick like Wasim Akram and Chaminda Vaas, had wound up as a left arm leg spin all-sorts, after years of compulsive fine-tuning. And taken failures and omissions into his run-up’s five-strides.

***
Born in Johannesburg, Shamsi wanted to be a super quick in the land of bolting pacers. His progress though didn’t follow the regular route of being identified early for First teams at schools and playing age-groups. Also, he was told he wasn’t quick enough.

Speaking to the podcast ‘Pavilion conversations with C.S’ recently, Shamsi recalls his earliest break at age 15, bowling alone in the school nets, with the cricket coach’s office nearby. The coach would stop by and ask him what he was upto. “I said, ‘Sir, the U15 trials are coming up. I want to make the Paarl team wanna progress’. He told me – you are not gonna make it. But even there I thought he realised the type of character I am. That was just his way to push me even harder. He said ‘Don’t waste your time practicing coz you won’t get selected. And i was even more driven,” he told the host Mr. Chiwanza.

Shamsi would end up with most wickets that tournament, make the B team (“Still not A”), followed by U17 and U19s for the local side. “I didn’t get selected for SA U19s or invited to camps. My past was little different. In fact I got my opportunity at semi-pro cricket because one player got selected for U19s and went to the World Cup. A spot opened up because of him. I just knew that was my chance I had to make it work. And fortunately I performed. When he came back from the World Cup, he couldn’t get into the team,” Shamsi recalled.

It was around 2015-6 after he had zeroed in on Chinaman as his chosen bag of assorted tricks in franchise, provincial cricket, that he first sought out Prasanna, while closely following senior leggie and his ‘bruv’ Imran Tahir. Prasanna promised to compile a list of outstanding T20 spinners of that year for comparison, when Shamsi asked him: ‘Why just T20? I want to play all formats.’

Prasanna promised to revert after two days on Friday, and on Monday, he had a message from the hotel lobby at 10.30 am that Shamsi was waiting. “Normally, cricketers will turn up at 11.30, if the analyst time is 10.30. This guy made me abandon my breakfast and was ready with a list of questions. I’d prepared a presentation earlier on bowlers like Warne, Ajmal and Herath and how they bowled on unhelpful tracks, what lengths to bowl at what stage, and offered to email it to him. He tells me: “No. I’ll write it down in my own words. I don’t want shortcuts.”

Shamsi would sit and plan for every batsman – his notes diary in tow, even on matchdays when he wasn’t in Playing XI. And once he would spill the beans on why brainwaves struck him at 1 a.m – his preferred time to brainstorm with the analyst. “He once told me he eats my brain at that hour, so that he gets dreams of how to get a Kohli or Sharma out, so he can wake up next day he can execute the training plans.”

Once he came angsty about his googlies not spinning as much as Kuldeep Yadav or Brad Hogg. “When he said it’s not spinning, I told him Shamo’ you didn’t bowl any googly. That’s it. He hit the nets and bowled 1000 googlies non-stop and then said, he’s now hitting the groove.”

But nothing had prepared Prasanna for Shamsi’s mic-drop in the pink ball Test against Australia where the Chinaman was fancied as it’s tougher to spot the wrist in the Adelaidian twilight. Shamsi was instructed to block for 20 balls and support Faf as Proteas were hanging on at 210-9. Shamsi would announce he would score a 50 – against Pat Cummins, Hazlewood and Starc. Finally he was unbeaten on 18. “He came back and blustered ‘If someone had suported me, I’d have hit that 50’.”

***

This constant state of ‘upbeat’ – talking up his own abilities to score a 50 coming at No 11 against Cummins & Starc – might well be the sort of swag and sizzle that the staid South African teams need at ICC tournaments. For a large part of the last 30 years, the Proteas have entered tournaments with burdensome tags of ‘talented’ and ‘favourites’ and come up short. The tasteless mocking glee of choke-jokes has run its course, and being light-weights might well prove liberating.

For all their botched run chases in 50 overs, South Africa can stake claim to the historic highest run-rally to 438. And the innings-interval remark of Jacques Kallis, the most expensive bowler in Australia’s 434, who had quipped “Guys, I think we’ve done a good job. They’re 15 runs short.”

Shamsi likes his boisterous one-liners too. And his showboating and noisy over-the-top pantomime aggression.

After starring in a T20 win against Ireland earlier, he would tell South African journalist Telford Vice, “In my young age, I started as a seamer but was told I’m not quick enough to be a fast bowler so became a spinner. Grew up watching Andre Nel, Dayle Steyn, Allan Donald, that’s where aggression comes from.”

He knows it’s a double-edged sword and a bowler can be packed off, but it can disrupt batters too. “Whatever it takes to win. I’m in charge of making our presence felt on the ground and ensure the team never backs down from opponents,” he added.

Shamsi recently responded to Darren Sammy’s tweet on who would win the T20 World: “Come on skipper, you know the answer to this already…. South Africa of course.” Scroll down the thread, and some mocker mangles his grammar: “are you comedy me”. A good laugh was had by all. Pressure punctured.

“He’ll say things like ‘I’ll single-handedly win this,” Prasanna says, “Whether it happens or not, it gives confidence to people close to you – your team.”

***

Shamsi’s made it to the top of rankings, taking 49 wickets from 42 T20Is, at a strike-rate of 14.8 and averaging 6.6. There’s been a bucketful of wickets in franchise cricket and The Hundred. He’s 31 and has bidden his time to make it to the national team, and another 4 years into the Playing XI. The Wicket then, is an ocassion to celebrate, he reckons.

“I’m a human being and not a robot and want to make long-lasting happy memories that will live with me forever long after my career is done and that is the reason behind my celebrations,” he wrote in a social media post once. “My celebrations mean no disrespect to the opponents. They help me enjoy myself, switch on and off during the game to release some pressure, and put some smiles on people’s faces too.”

There’s the “Shoe” that got going in the West Indies, where within seconds of a wicket, he’d shrug his ankle open from the left shoe and pretend to speak on a landline receiver. Then there’s the bus driver-celebration with Carlos Braithwaite and something about a birdie’s chirp. A flying kiss to the wife and a mock punch to a fielder like a streets hip hopper. Though the untold back-stories raise anticipation of what he’ll whip up next.

Prasanna says there can be new hairdos before every game, sometimes “thrice a week”, and that magic tricks and celebrations are practiced as diligently as the googlies and top-spinners. “Not only will he say, ‘Tomorrow I’ll get Ben Stokes out.’ He’ll also ask you to watch the celebration.”

Amongst his most famous on-field triumph-trumpetings after snaring a batter is pulling a wand out of a hankey – a magician’s staple. But never in cricket, where magic’s glossary is slathered on the slow bowlers and their guiles.

T20 commentators love his name, lending it a South American football match caller’s vroom: “Shaaa-mzzziii”. But it’s the celebrations that can befuddle the most trained of raconteurs. When Shamsi got Wihan Lubbe in the Mzansi Super League, the commentator would build up to the expected celebration. “Is the shoe coming off? No. Look at that…it’s magic,” he would chortle. Cricket was momentarily put to the side, before he resumed confused: “That was a legspinner…… Beg your pardon… Offspinner… That did the trick..” Shamsi’s delivery had jagged away from the leftie and the post-celebration left the commentator’s mind in knots.

Appearing on the Dan Nicholl Show in SA, Shamsi had pulled one of those ‘I can guess the card pulled out of the deck after being shuffled’ tricks. It was ace of spades.

Magic had been his fallback option till age 16, he’d say. “So if cricket doesn’t work out… I ll practice magic for 10 years… But naa… It’s gonna work out.. I’ll bamboozle you all,” he would say, charming the audience.

At the start of the magic gig, Shamsi had handed a sealed envelope to the host. “Sealed with Proteas saliva” Nicholl had joked with whispered reverence. The distracting envelope had briefly become the centrepiece, and Shamsi would explain later:
“You satisfied you made me stop shuffling when u wanted me to? Funny thing is…You thought you were in charge of the trick… Telling me when to stop. Even though it’s your show, I’m running this party… I was controlling you and I actually made you stop at a specific point. …And to prove that I had written down something in this envelope before starting the trick..” It read Ace of Spades.

Shamsi’s assortment of Chinaman, is a bit like that: planned spontaneity. Allan Donald in a video while introducing him to RCB few seasons ago, said: “Left arm, tweaks it this way, tweaks it that way, then tweaks it the other way.” Offering attacking options in the middle overs, with his ability to turn ball both ways, and variations of top spinner, the side spinner and googly, makes him effective against both lefties and righties. The constant explosion of activity – before, right after when appealing (he once did a spot of bhangra jumps, then sat down altogether while pleading a decision) and when celebrating, is in fact the sealed envelope distraction.

Yet, bad days are not unfamiliar to Shamsi, and his role can be flexible like the magician’s wand, like in the West Indies, to keep things quiet, contain against the big power hitters. “There’s two ways to skin a cat… Not really fussed about not getting wickets in WI. That was a different role,” he told the media later.

Sometimes the magic is in not believing the flimflam and sleight. Like rankings. “I don’t lose sleep over being No 1. Obviously it’s a nice feeling to be on top. But I’ve said it before and I truly mean it. I don’t even think I’m the best bowler in our team. We have some great bowlers in the unit. Rankings don’t mean anything if a batsman gets hold of you. I don’t even know how those rankings work honestly.”

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Five great Twenty20 World Cup upsets

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Five great Twenty20 World Cup upsets | SuperSport – Africa’s source of sports video, fixtures, results and news






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