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FuelCell Energy Reports Financial Results for the First Quarter of Fiscal Year 2020 and Provides Business Update

By March 16, 2020 10   min read  (1703 words)

March 16, 2020 |

DANBURY, Conn.— FuelCell Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq: FCEL), a global leader in fuel cell technology focused on utilizing its proprietary, state-of-the-art fuel cell platforms to enable a world empowered by clean energy, today reported financial results for its first quarter ended January 31, 2020, and key business highlights.

  • Revenues of $16.3 million in the first quarter, compared with $17.8 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2019
  • Gross Margin of 20.2% in the first quarter, compared to (12.4%) in the comparable prior-year quarter
  • Operating expense decreased $6.6 million, or 51%, compared to the comparable prior-year quarter
  • Loss from operations improved to $(3.1) million in the first quarter, compared to $(15.2) million in the comparable prior-year quarter
  • Backlog of $1.36 billion as of January 31, 2020, a $117.9 million (or 9%) improvement from January 31, 2019

“Our accomplishments in the quarter were a manifestation of our successful execution in a number of areas, including an increase in revenue over the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019, and our continued focus on effective management of operating expenses, while continuing to deliver on project build-out and improvements in our balance sheet and cash on hand,” said Jason Few, President and CEO.

Mr. Few continued, “These results clearly reflect the overall momentum of FuelCell Energy’s turnaround.  As I noted during our fourth-quarter earnings call, while we continue to strengthen and grow, we have begun to shift our focus to a longer-term view, where our business model and our differentiated energy platforms create significant opportunities to add revenue and earnings as we build on our business development capabilities.”

First Quarter of Fiscal 2020 Results

Note: All comparisons between periods are between the first quarter of fiscal 2020 and the first quarter of fiscal 2019, unless otherwise specified.  In this press release, FuelCell Energy refers to various GAAP (U.S. generally accepted accounting principles) and non-GAAP financial measures. These non-GAAP measures may not be comparable to similarly titled measures being used and disclosed by other companies. FuelCell Energy believes that this non-GAAP information is useful to an understanding of its operating results and the ongoing performance of its business. A reconciliation of EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and any other non-GAAP measures is contained in the appendix to this press release.

First-quarter revenue of $16.3 million represents a decrease of 9% and reflects a decrease in Service and License revenues, partially offset by increased Generation and Advanced Technologies contract revenues.

  • Generation revenues increased by 268% to $5.4 million from $1.5 million, as a result of additional revenue recorded for the power purchase agreement (“PPA”) associated with the Bridgeport Fuel Cell Park project, which was acquired in 2019.
  • Advanced Technologies contract revenues increased by 15% to $5.2 million from $4.5 million primarily due to the addition of our Joint Development Agreement with ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company (“EMRE”). The balance of the Advanced Technologies contract revenues in the first quarter of fiscal 2020 relates to the continued development of our solid oxide platform as we prepare to deliver electrolysis and long-duration hydrogen-based energy storage platforms.
  • Service and License revenues decreased by 52% to $5.6 million from $11.8 million. Revenue recognized in the first quarter primarily includes license revenues of $4 million associated with our Joint Development Agreement with EMRE, with the balance representing contracted service revenue. The decrease was primarily due to the fact that there was no module replacement activity during the quarter.

Gross profit for the first fiscal quarter of 2020 totaled $3.3 million, compared to a loss of $(2.2) million in the comparable prior-year quarter. Results for the first fiscal quarter of 2020 benefitted from our restructuring initiative in 2019, which resulted in lower manufacturing costs, contributions from our larger generation fleet (related to the acquisition of the Bridgeport Fuel Cell Park project), and the license revenue recognized in the quarter.

Operating expenses for the first fiscal quarter of 2020 decreased by 51% to $6.4 million, compared to $13.0 million in the first fiscal quarter of 2019. Research and development expenses of $1.2 million and Administrative and Selling expenses of $5.3 million reflect lower headcount and overhead as a result of restructuring activities during fiscal 2019 and an increased allocation of efforts to revenue-producing activity. Administrative and Selling expenses also benefited from a legal settlement of $2.2 million received during the quarter.

Loss from operations improved to $(3.1) million in the first fiscal quarter of 2020 when compared to loss from operations of $(15.2) million in the first fiscal quarter of 2019.

“We have made significant progress over the last 9 months in improving the operational effectiveness and financial health of the company. During the same time, we have also been laying the foundation for marketplace success through improvements to our sales and marketing capabilities and to our energy platform offerings.  As a result, we believe that FuelCell Energy is increasingly viewed as an industry leader delivering innovation and is well-positioned for the global transition to more sustainable energy solutions, as supported by a robust sales pipeline, to deliver growth for the company,” said Jason Few.

Few also noted, “We are confident that we are on the right path to deliver value for all our stakeholders, which is a testament to the efforts of the FuelCell Energy team who work tirelessly to deliver these results while staying true to our purpose of enabling a world empowered by clean energy. We believe that our clean, always on energy platforms enable our customers to continue to enjoy the benefits of clean energy without sacrificing the reliability and stability of the grid or changing the way they live.”

Net loss was ($40.2) million in the first fiscal quarter of 2020, compared to net loss of ($17.5) million in the first fiscal quarter of 2019. The increase in the net loss is primarily due to a change in the fair value of the liability associated with the warrants issued to the lenders under our credit agreement with Orion Energy Partners Investment Agent, LLC and its affiliated lenders, partially offset by higher gross profit and lower operating expenses.

Adjusted EBITDA totaled $(0.2) million in the first fiscal quarter of 2020, compared to Adjusted EBITDA of $(12.1) million in the first fiscal quarter of 2019. Please see the discussion of non-GAAP financial measures, including Adjusted EBITDA, in the appendix at the end of this release.

The net loss per share attributable to common stockholders in the first fiscal quarter of 2020 was $(0.20), compared to $(3.97) in the first fiscal quarter of 2019. The lower net loss per common share is due to higher weighted average shares outstanding due to share issuances since January 31, 2019.  The net loss per share in the first quarter of fiscal 2020 includes the change in the fair value of the liability associated with the warrants issued to the lenders under our credit agreement with Orion Energy Partners Investment Agent, LLC and its affiliated lenders of $34.2 million, accounting for approximately a $(0.17) per share impact on the reported net loss per share. The net loss per share attributable to common stockholders in the quarter ended January 31, 2019 included a deemed dividend totaling $0.5 million and redemption value adjustments of $8.6 million on the Company’s Series C Convertible Preferred Stock, as well as a deemed dividend of $1.9 million and $3.8 million of redemption accretion on the Company’s Series D Convertible Preferred Stock.

“Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss the Coronavirus as it relates to our team members, suppliers and business overall,” added Few. “We remain vigilant and are taking precautions to help our team members remain safe and are monitoring supply lines and the potential impact of the coronavirus on our operations.  In addition, we are complying and will continue to comply with all state, federal and international government rules and regulations that dictate how we must respond to the virus.”

Cash, Restricted Cash and Financing Activities

Cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash and cash equivalents totaled $73.9 million as of January 31, 2020 compared to $39.8 million as of October 31, 2019.  As of January 31, 2020, restricted cash and cash equivalents was $35.7 million, of which $8.2 million was classified as current and $27.5 million was classified as non-current, compared to $30.3 million of total restricted cash and cash equivalents as of October 31, 2019, of which $3.5 million was classified as current and $26.9 million was classified as non-current.

Net cash provided by financing activities was $49.0 million during the three months ended January 31, 2020, resulting from the receipt of $65.5 million of debt proceeds from our credit facility with Orion Energy Partners Investment Agent, LLC and its affiliated lenders, net of a debt discount of $1.6 million, and $3.0 million of debt proceeds from Connecticut Green Bank and common stock sales of $3.5 million, offset by debt repayment of $15.5 million, the payment of deferred financing costs of $2.5 million, and the payment of preferred dividends and return of capital of $3.4 million.

Key Consolidated Financial Metrics

Three Months Ended January 31,
(Amounts in thousands) 2020 2019 Change
Total revenues $ 16,264 $ 17,783 -9 %
Gross profit (loss) 3,281 (2,205 ) 249 %
Loss from operations (3,140 ) (15,244 ) 79 %
EBITDA 1,490 (13,045 ) 111 %
Net loss to common stockholders (41,082 ) (33,038 ) -24 %
Net loss per basic and diluted share $ (0.20 ) $ (3.97 ) 95 %
Adjusted EBITDA $ (222 ) $ (12,063 ) 98 %

 

Backlog

As of January 31,
(Amounts in thousands) 2020 2019 Change
Product $ $ 1
Service(1) 167,828 203,063 -17 %
Generation 1,108,978 982,364 13 %
License 22,650 23,821 -5 %
Advanced Technologies 64,605 36,953 75 %
Total Contract Backlog $ 1,364,061 $ 1,246,202 9 %
(1) In July 2018, we contracted to operate and maintain a 20 MW plant for Korea Southern Power Company (“KOSPO”). This contract was originally represented in backlog as twenty years reflecting the total term of the contract. Under the terms of the contract, KOSPO has a renewal option in year ten. Thus, under the adoption of Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) 2014-09, “Revenue from Contracts with Customers,” which was implemented on November 1, 2018, service backlog was reduced by $64.3 million in 2019 compared to amounts previously disclosed. Should KOSPO exercise this option, service backlog will be adjusted accordingly.

Backlog increased to $1.36 billion as of January 31, 2020, reflecting additional generation backlog from the Bridgeport Fuel Cell Park, San Bernardino, and LIPA Yaphank Solid Waste Management projects. Backlog was impacted by the removal of the Bolthouse Farms project in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019, and revenue recognized during the period. Service backlog decreased mainly as a result of the acquisition of the Bridgeport Fuel Cell Park project. Together, the service and generation portion of backlog had an average weighted term of approximately 18 years based on dollar backlog and utility service contracts of up to 20 years in duration at inception.

Backlog represents definitive agreements executed by the Company and our customers. Projects for which the Company has a power purchase agreement (“PPA”) are included in generation backlog, which represents future revenue under long-term PPAs. Projects sold to customers (and not retained by the Company) are included in product sales and service backlog and the related generation backlog is removed upon the sale.

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