That was the word today from CEO [and former BP vice president] John Melo.
The loses, which include $36.7 million from failed stock sales and the closure of the company’s U.S. ethanol distribution system, are nearly three times those of the first quarter of 2011.
The announcement heralds yet another setback of the UC-Berkeley-spawned genetic engineering company founded by Jay Keasling, Cal’s resident “synthetic biology” superstar and serial entrepreneur [he cashed out of Amryis long ago and has launched another, rival firm].
From the company’s announcement:
Aggregate revenues for the quarter ended March 31, 2012 were $29.5 million versus $37.2 million in the first quarter of 2011. This change in revenue was due to a decline in Amyris Fuels sales as Amyris executes the planned wind-down of this business line. Cost of products sold was $43.8 million versus $34.4 million, related to costs incurred in the delivery of Amyris Fuels products and costs associated with the production of Amyris renewable products. The Company also recorded a charge of $36.7 million in the quarter ended March 31, 2012 related to losses on purchase commitments and write-off of production assets. Research and development expense increased to $21.3 million from $19.7 million, and sales, general and administrative expense increased to $21.7 million from $16.0 million. First quarter 2012 GAAP net loss attributable to common stockholders was $94.5 million compared with $33.1 million in the same quarter of 2011. On a non-GAAP basis, excluding stock-based compensation expense and the losses from fixed purchase commitments and write-off of production assets, the net loss attributable to Amyris, Inc. common stockholders for the first quarter ended March 31, 2012 was $51.4 million compared to $29.1 million in the prior year. A reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP results is included in this release.
The Company’s balance at the end of the first quarter of cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities was $103.5 million.
Part of the losses stem from the decision by a major investor, the Fidelity group of funds, to liquidate two-thirds of their holdings in the firm, a bombshell dropped on investors Friday in advance of today’s earning statement.
Fidelity had plunged into Amyris with a massive and much-heralded $25 million buy of “senior unsecured convertible promissory notes” on 28 February.
There’s a name for it: The Amyris effect
The company’s shares hit an all-time low of $2.30 in early morning trading today, then recovered to $2.53 by market close.
The collapse of Amyris share prices — from $33.85 14 months ago to today’s record low — reflects a broader trend in the profiles of companies that have sought to bring genetic engineering to the task of producing new plant-based fuels.
Writing in Biofuels Digest, Jim Lane gives it a name:
Call it the Amyris effect — after the company that has struggled with the issues more than any other, in its pursuit of world-class scale. Why is it important? For one, poor post-IPO performance by the handful of companies that have made it through the IPO gate, is bound to impact the chances of others to come through later.
A board member departs
The company also filed an announcement with the Securities and Exchange Commission revealing that Samir Kaul, one of six partners at high profile “green” investment firm Khosla Ventures, has resigned as an independent director on the Amyris board:
On May 3, 2012, Samir Kaul resigned from the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of Amyris, Inc. (the “Company”), effective immediately. The Board simultaneously appointed Geoffrey Duyk, a partner of TPG Biotech (the growth equity and venture investment platform of the global private investment firm TPG) and a director of the Company from May 2006 to May 2011, to serve as a director effective immediately following Mr. Kaul’s resignation. The Board appointed Dr. Duyk to the Class I board seat previously held by Mr. Kaul. The Board also appointed Dr. Duyk to serve as a member of the Audit Committee in place of Mr. Kaul. At the same meeting, the Board appointed Carole Piwnica and John Doerr to serve as members of the Leadership Development and Compensation Committee, one to serve as a replacement for Mr. Kaul and one to serve as a replacement for Patrick Pichette, who previously had served on the Leadership Development and Compensation Committee.
TPG is another investor, holding 6.5 million shares.
Khosla Ventures was represented on the board not because of the size of their holdings [only 61,238 shares compared to the 11.9 million held by French oil giant Total] but presumably because firm founder Vinod Khosla is the leading celebrity investors in the green energy game.
More on the departures of two executives