Stock Update (NASDAQ:FCEL): FuelCell Energy Inc Reports Third Quarter 2016 Financial Results and Business Update


FuelCell Energy Inc (NASDAQ:FCEL), a global leader in the design, manufacture, operation and service of ultra-clean, efficient and reliable fuel cell power plants, today reported financial results for its third quarter ended July 31, 2016 and key business highlights.

Financial Results
FuelCell Energy (the Company) reported total revenues for the third quarter of 2016 of $21.7 million, compared to $41.4 million for the comparable prior year period.  Revenue components include:

  • Product sales totaled $13.7 million for the current period compared to $31.1 million for the third quarter of 2015, with the decrease reflecting lower equipment, procurement and construction (EPC) revenue and lower Asian sales in the current period compared to the prior year period.
  • Service agreements and license revenues totaled $4.5 million for the current period compared to $7.0 million for the comparable prior year period, with the decrease due to fewer service module replacements in the current period.
  • Advanced Technologies contract revenues totaled $3.5 million for the current period compared to $3.2 million for the comparable prior year period.

Gross profit for the third quarter of 2016 totaled $0.4 million and the gross margin for the period was 2.0 percent, compared to gross profit of $3.6 million and gross margin of 8.7 percent for the third quarter of 2015.  The decrease in gross profit was due to lower sales and a sales mix oriented towards Asian sales rather than complete power plants.  Prior year service revenue and gross profit benefitted from an increased number of module replacements compared to the current period, impacting service gross margin.  Advanced Technology gross margin improved year-over-year reflecting the transition from government contracts with cost-share obligations to private-industry contracts.

Operating expenses for the current period totaled $10.8 million compared to $10.7 million for the prior year period.  Administrative and selling expenses decreased $0.6 million from the comparable prior year period from lower professional expenses.  R&D expenses increased $0.7 million year-over-year reflecting continued product enhancement programs that target specific opportunities, particularly for the utility and the wastewater treatment markets.

Net loss attributable to common shareholders for the third quarter of 2016 totaled $11.8 million, or $0.38 per basic and diluted share, compared to $7.3 million or $0.29 per basic and diluted share for the third quarter of 2015.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in the third quarter of 2016 totaled ($9.0) million. Refer to the discussion of Non-GAAP financial measures below regarding the Company’s calculation of Adjusted EBITDA.  Capital spending was $1.7 million and depreciation expense was $1.2 million.

Revenue Backlog
Total backlog was $392.1 million as of July 31, 2016 compared to $338.3 million as of July 31, 2015.

  • Services backlog totaled $299.0 million as of July 31, 2016 compared to $225.2 million as of July 31, 2015.  Services backlog includes future contracted revenue from routine maintenance, scheduled module exchanges, and from power purchase agreements.
  • Product sales backlog totaled $35.0 million as of July 31, 2016 compared to $98.1 million as of July 31, 2015.  Product sales backlog reflects firm orders with executed contracts.  Notices of awards, outstanding bids, and project pipeline are not included in product backlog.
  • Advanced Technologies contracts backlog totaled $58.1 million as of July 31, 2016 compared to $15.0 million as of July 31, 2015.

Cash, restricted cash and financing availability
Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and financing availability totaled $179.1 million as of July 31, 2016, including:

  • $94.2 million of cash and cash equivalents, and $34.7 million of restricted cash
  • $29.0 million of borrowing availability under the NRG Energy revolving project financing facility
  • $21.2 million of un-used availability under the PNC Energy Capital tax equity project finance commitment

In July 2016, the Company completed a securities offering to a single institutional investor.  The transaction included the sale of stock and the issuance of Series A warrants and Series B pre-funded warrants resulting in gross proceeds of approximately $37.3 million.  Net proceeds, after deducting the placement agent fees and other estimated expenses, were approximately $34.8 million.  The Series B warrants were pre-funded at closing and have an exercise price of $0.0001.  If the investor chooses to exercise the Series A warrants at a future date, the Company will receive additional proceeds at that time at an exercise price of $5.83 per share.  Future exercise of these warrants could lead to additional cash proceeds of approximately $44.8 million if fully exercised during the Series A sixty six month term.

Business Highlights

  • Decisions are still pending for the 63 megawatt Beacon Falls Energy Park RFP submission as well as the multiple submissions to the Connecticut 2 -20 megawatt RFP, and multiple project submittals are ready for the expected PSEG Long Island 40 megawatt RFP
  • Construction to begin in the Fall of 2016 on a 3.7 megawatt project in Connecticut to showcase an enhanced efficiency fuel cell configuration targeting utilities and data centers
  • Awards received for three different megawatt-class on-site projects with contracts currently being negotiated
  • Four awards received from the U.S. Department of Energy for solid oxide fuel cell development with contract execution expected by the end of September 2016
  • Construction completed and commercial operations commenced for 3 installations, which includes the Riverside, CA project that was financed by PNC Energy Capital under an existing financing facility, with cash proceeds received in September 2016. The Company retains the Power Purchase Agreement and will recognize recurring electricity revenue and margin from this project over twenty years.
  • Three installations in process in North America, including 5.6 megawatt Pfizer project
  • Progressing with the first of a two phase North American capacity expansion.
  • Over 5 billion kilowatt hours of ultra-clean power produced, adequate to power more than 470,000 average homes in the USA or 1,173,000 in Germany or 1,446,000 in South Korea, and this level of low carbon fuel cell power generation is equivalent to removing more than 638,000 cars from the road.

“Our expanding installed base supports future committed service revenue and we are continuing to advance the development of a broad range of projects in different geographies that we are working hard to close near-term,” said Chip Bottone, President and Chief Executive Officer, FuelCell Energy, Inc.  “I am particularly excited to begin construction of this recently announced enhanced efficiency fuel cell configuration as it provides the high efficiency advantages of a large-scale combined cycle gas plant with the benefits of clean distributed generation that can be easily sited on minimal land.” (Original Source)

Shares of Fuelcell Energy are down nearly 7% to $4.90 in pre-market trading. FCEL has a 1-year high of $12.24 and a 1-year low of $4.51. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $5.30 and its 200-day moving average is $6.06.

On the ratings front, Fuelcell has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on August 25, FBR analyst Carter Driscoll maintained a Buy rating on FCEL, with a price target of $9.00, which implies an upside of 71% from current levels. Separately, on June 10, Roth Capital’s Craig Irwin maintained a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $12.00.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Carter Driscoll and Craig Irwin have a total average return of -18.9% and -4.8% respectively. Driscoll has a success rate of 20% and is ranked #4020 out of 4147 analysts, while Irwin has a success rate of 37% and is ranked #3804.

FuelCell Energy, Inc. designs, manufactures, sells, installs and services stationary fuel cell power plants for distributed power generation. It operates through the Fuel Cell Power Plant Production and Research segment. It offers products for the Ultra-Clean Power and Renewable Power markets.