TomoTherapy Incorporated (TomoTherapy) has reported revenues of $204.6 million for the full year of 2008, down 12%, compared with the revenues of $232.8 million in the previous year-end. It has also reported net loss of $37.5 million, or $0.74 diluted per share, for the full year of 2008, compared with net income of $10.7 million, or $6.35 per diluted share, in the previous year-end.

Fourth quarter results

The company reported fourth quarter 2008 revenue of $86.3 million, up 10%, from $78.7 million in the prior-year period. Operating income for the fourth quarter 2008 was $7.1 million, a 44% increase from $5.0 million in the same period of last year. The company recorded a net loss of $11.5 million, or $0.22 per share for the fourth quarter of 2008, compared to net income of $4.8 million, or $0.09 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2007. The 2008 quarterly results include a charge of $20.6 million related to the establishment of a valuation allowance against deferred tax assets. Excluding this charge, the company would have reported net income of $9.1 million, or $0.17 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2008.

“We are pleased that we achieved performance consistent with previous guidance for revenue, earnings and cash flow,” said Fred Robertson, TomoTherapy’s chief executive officer. “Importantly, our new process for tracking orders that we implemented during the second quarter continues to provide improved accuracy in determining backlog and predicting the timing of shipments.”

The company continues to maintain a strong financial position, closing the year with $155 million of cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments, after generating $13 million of cash during the fourth quarter. The company also renewed its $50 million revolving line of credit during the quarter. There were no borrowings under the credit line during 2008.

The value of new sales contracts received during the fourth quarter of 2008 was $37 million. As of December 31, 2008, TomoTherapy had a revenue backlog of $176 million, a 29% decrease from the $248 million backlog as of December 31, 2007. However, the two figures are not comparable, because the company modified its backlog definition during the second quarter of 2008.

Robertson continued, “Although fourth quarter financial performance was in line with our expectations, we experienced weakness in new sales orders. While we achieved strong order growth in Europe, we saw a slowdown in U.S. orders momentum. We are intently focused on initiatives to drive future sales, while at the same time reducing spending to better align costs with near-term revenue expectations. We remain committed to strong management of cash flows and currently believe the company will be marginally cash flow negative in 2009.”

“During the quarter, we made solid progress in strengthening service performance,” added Robertson. “We achieved average uptime across all sites of 97.9% in the fourth quarter and expect the favorable trend in uptimes to continue. More importantly, thanks to our investments in training, diagnostic capabilities and component re-design, the average cost per service contract declined 13% year-over-year. As a result, excluding the cost of the service organization’s infrastructure, our service contracts generated positive margins for the first time in 2008. We anticipate this trend will continue.”

Full Year Results

For the twelve months ended December 31, 2008, the company reported net loss attributable to common shareholders was $226.9 million, or $6.35 per share, for 2007. The 2008 results include the $20.8 million charge related to the establishment of the deferred tax valuation allowance. Excluding this charge, the company would have reported a loss of $16.7 million, or $0.33 per share, for 2008.

2009 guidance

Management has established its 2009 outlook for revenue in the range of $180 million to $210 million, with a loss in the range of $0.60 to $0.85 per share (excluding any income tax benefits). The company’s quarterly revenue is driven by the installation of a relatively small number of units. Thus, if a few customers defer installation of a Hi•Art system for even a short period of time, recognition of a significant amount of revenue may be deferred to a subsequent period. Even though the company has improved its ability to project its conversion of backlog into revenue, it is particularly difficult to predict the effects of certain external factors such as construction delays and credit issues, which can also affect the timing of deliveries. Given the current global economic volatility and ongoing credit crisis, revenue has become even more difficult to predict. Thus, consistent with prior years, management is not providing specific quarterly guidance at this time. However, similar to last year, 2009 is projected to be back-end loaded based on the timing of expected customer deliveries. As in 2008, management currently anticipates 30% to 40% of its revenue will be generated in the first half of the year, including a somewhat soft first quarter.

Robertson concluded, “Despite the near-term challenges we are facing, we remain confident in TomoTherapy’s technology leadership position. As we look to the future, there are many factors that we believe should accelerate sales performance. First, initial customer response to our new TomoDirect offering has been positive. We are taking orders for both new placements and upgrades, and are on track for product shipment in the second half of 2009. Second, in December, Ralph Vaello joined the company as vice president of global sales. He is well-respected in the radiation oncology market and brings strong leadership and many new ideas to TomoTherapy. Third, our recently signed agreement with Hitachi should re-open the Japanese market, the second largest radiation therapy market in the world. The company had little sales and order activity in Japan in 2008 due to the distributor transition. Finally, our European operations continue to perform well. In addition, we also have a robust pipeline in the areas of adaptive therapy, motion management, proton therapy and other initiatives that we believe will drive innovation, expand our global market presence, and enhance quality and reliability.”