StockerYale losses continue

StockerYale, the Salem-based maker of phontonic products, continued to lose millions as its 2005 fiscal year came to a close.

The company lost nearly $5.6 million in the last quarter of 2005 and nearly $11.9 million for the year, according to unaudited financial data released by the company on Feb. 16.

The losses came despite $16.2 million in sales in last year, a $2.3 million increase from 2004.

In its release, the company said that its recent realignment program will improve financial performance in the future. Last month, the company announced it was cutting its workforce by 14 percent and abandoning older product lines — optic illumination products and galvanometers – to newer, faster-growing product lines, such as lasers, LEDs and specialty optical fiber.

The company stressed there were positive signs, including an 18 percent boost in revenues in the fourth quarter.

“The fourth quarter confirmed the merits of our recently announced realignment program, as discontinued operations would have contributed $0.9 million of revenue, utilized additional working capital, and would have contributed no gross profit to the company’s quarterly results,” said Mark W. Blodgett, chairman and chief executive officer in the release. “I am confident that over the ensuing quarters the Company’s top line growth rate will accelerate, our working capital efficiency will improve and we will continue our trend of improved financial performance.”

Blodgett also noted the sale and leaseback of its Salem headquarters and a Canadian facility has given the company a cash cushion $4.8 million, though that figure includes lease deposits.

The stock price climbed 4 cents to 90 cents in the hours following the press release. The price has been under $1 since September, leading the Nasdaq exchange to warn the company that it faces delisting from the exchange. – BOB SANDERS

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