Altair Nanotechnologies Reports First Quarter 2011 Financial Results

May 05, 2011 by Jeff Shepard

Altair Nanotechnologies Inc. reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2011. For the first quarter of 2011, Altairnano reported a 114 percent increase in revenues to $2.6 million, up $1.4 million from the first quarter of 2010. Customer caused delays in first quarter shipments of lithium titanate to Zhuhai YinTong Energy (YTE) and of battery modules to Proterra, the company’s largest customer in the transportation market, negatively impacted revenues. Without these delays first quarter results would have been considerably higher.

The net loss was $5.9 million, or $0.22 per share, compared to a net loss of $6.1 million, or $0.24 per share, for the first quarter of 2010. The basic and diluted weighted average shares outstanding for the quarter were 26.8 million, compared to 26.3 million for the same period in 2010.

"The first quarter was a challenging period, however, we did make progress in many areas," said Dr. Terry Copeland, Altairnano’s President and Chief Executive Officer. "We successfully completed the announced interim financing and continue moving forward on the Canon investment close scheduled for May 17, 2011. The loss of the INE contract was frustrating but we continue to feel that Latin America is a viable market for us."

For the quarter, gross margin declined by $0.5 million and operating expenses were lower by 11 percent, falling from $6.4 million in the first quarter of 2010 to $5.7 million for the same period this year. The primary driver for the reduced margin was the lower sales price to YTE in order to facilitate our entry into the China market, while the primary drivers to the lower operating expenses were reductions in R&D, Sales & Marketing and G&A expenses.

Altairnano’s cash and cash equivalents increased by $1.0 million, from $4.7 million at December 31, 2010 to $5.7 million at March 31, 2011. This is primarily due to net cash used in operations of approximately $4.5 million, more than offset by the sale of additional common stock for a net amount of $5.7 million. The bulk of the cash used in operations went to cover normal compensation and non-labor expenses. Significant additional items adding to our cash balance from operations were a decrease of $1.0 million in product inventories and a decrease of $0.4 million in accounts receivable, largely offset by a decrease of $0.3 million in accounts payable and a decrease of $1.0 million in deferred revenue. Investing activities consisted of the purchase of fixed assets of approximately $0.1 million. Financing activities of $5.6 million is a result of the money raised from the company’s March registered direct financing of $5.7 million offset by leasing payments of $0.1 million.