Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. today announced financial results for its Fiscal 2014 third quarter and the nine months ended January 31, 2014.
OPT recently announced that an amended grant agreement related to its planned wave power station project off the coast of Australia was signed with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (“ARENA”). This amended agreement is a Deed of Variation to the original Funding Deed through which a A$66.5 million grant was previously awarded to Victorian Wave Partners Pty Ltd (“VWP”), a project-specific operating entity wholly-owned by Ocean Power Technologies (Australasia) Pty Ltd (“OPTA”, which is 88% owned by OPT). Payments to VWP under the grant require completion of specific project milestones. VWP has been conducting site surveys toward meeting the requirements for licenses and approvals. In addition, it is assessing prospective power purchase agreements with local industries and utilities and is working with financial advisors in connection with efforts to raise the required additional project funding. For this project Lockheed Martin will provide overall project management.
During the quarter, the Company began work under a contract received from Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding (“MES”) for the design and delivery of key components of a PowerBuoy for deployment off the coast of Japan.
The Autonomous Power group completed ocean testing of a novel generation system for low power requirements in connection with a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 contract from the U.S. Department of Defense. Work was also conducted on the development of advanced control algorithms as part of a U.S. Department of Energy SBIR Phase 1 contract. This advanced control work will also support the Utility Power group.
OPT’s contract backlog remained stable at $5.6 million as of January 31, 2014 compared to $5.8 million as of October 31, 2013.
During the quarter ended January 31, 2014 and in February 2014, the Company strengthened its balance sheet through the sale of $6.3 million of common stock under its existing At the Market (“ATM”) offering facility with Ascendiant Capital Markets.
The Company also announced that it recently received approximately $1.75 million through the State of New Jersey’s Business Tax Certificate Transfer Program.
The Company also announced the hiring of two executives during the quarter.
David R. Heinz was appointed to the position of Vice President, Autonomous Power. Mr. Heinz previously held the position of Vice President and General Manager of the Maritime Systems division of iRobot Corp., a maker of underwater autonomous vehicles. Previously Mr. Heinz served as a Major General in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he ran large acquisition programs, performed oversight of worldwide military operations, and had tours with aviation squadrons in combat situations.
Mark A. Featherstone was appointed to the position of Chief Financial Officer. Mark brings to the Company significant experience as a senior finance and accounting officer at private and public companies, including Heat Transfer Products Group, Quaker Chemical Corporation, Coty Inc., and Scott Paper Company.
“We are very grateful for the support of the Australian Government and ARENA in working with us to make positive improvements to the funding deed and for their supporting our unique and game-changing technology,” said Charles F. Dunleavy, Chief Executive Officer of OPT. “This new agreement significantly improves our ability to attract investors during the early stages of the project. We also appreciate the involvement of Lockheed Martin and its continuing efforts as the project enters its next phase.” Dunleavy continued, “During the quarter we have also taken important steps to improve the Company’s execution capability with the hiring of experienced members of the executive team and expanding our capital base.”
OPT’s contract backlog as of January 31, 2014 was $5.6 million, compared to $5.8 million as of October 31, 2013 and $4.3 million as of January 31, 2013. The Company reported: “We anticipate that a significant portion of our backlog will be recognized as revenues over a period exceeding 12 months. Approximately $1.2 million of our backlog at January 31, 2014, is for our Oregon project; our continuation of work on this project and the prospective realization of that backlog as revenues will depend on certain factors, including the resolution of regulatory matters, the availability of additional funding to specifically enable completion of this project and the outcome of discussions with key project stakeholders. Backlog includes funded amounts and unfunded amounts that are expected to be funded in the future, but the current backlog is fully funded. The Company’s contract backlog consists largely of cost-sharing contracts to support product development.”
Results for the Fiscal Third Quarter Ended January 31, 2014
For the three months ended January 31, 2014, OPT reported revenue of $0.2 million as compared to revenue of $0.9 million for the three months ended January 31, 2013. This decrease related primarily to a lower level of external funding for the Company’s PowerBuoy development projects, a decline in revenue tied to OPT’s prospective PowerBuoy deployment off Reedsport, Oregon, which has been suspended pending resolution of regulatory, financial and other matters, and a decline in revenue from the Company’s project off the coast of Spain. These decreases were partially offset by an increase in revenue associated with OPT’s project with Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding.
The net loss for the three months ended January 31, 2014 was $0.8 million as compared to a net loss of $1.5 million for the three months ended January 31, 2013. The favorable decrease in the Company’s net loss year-over-year reflects lower selling, general and administrative costs, with the decline due primarily to decreased employee-related costs. In addition, the Company reported a higher income tax benefit due to the sale of New Jersey net operating tax losses and research and development tax credits.
Results for the Nine Months Ended January 31, 2014
For the nine months ended January 31, 2014, OPT reported revenues of $1.1 million as compared to revenues of $3.2 million for the nine months ended January 31, 2013. This decrease primarily reflects a decline in revenue related to the suspension of the Company’s project off the coast of Oregon, decreased billable work for OPT’s PowerBuoy development projects, the completion of specific project work with Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding in the prior fiscal year, and a decrease in revenue related to the Company’s project off the coast of Spain.
The net loss was $7.9 million for the nine months ended January 31, 2014 compared to $10.6 million for the same period in the prior year. This decrease in net loss was due primarily to a decline in product development costs associated with OPT’s project in Oregon, a decline in selling, general and administrative expense related primarily to lower employee-related costs, and to a higher income tax benefit due to the sale of New Jersey net operating tax losses and research and development tax credits.
Press Release, March 14, 2014