Ceres Announces Fiscal First Quarter 2014 Financial Results
- Plantings for the 2013-2014 season successfully completed
- Company providing increased agronomy support to ethanol mills
- Expenditures in line with management's expectations
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Jan. 9, 2014
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Jan. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Energy crop company Ceres,
Inc. (Nasdaq: CERE) today announced financial results for the three months
ended November 30, 2013 and provided an update on its business in Brazil.
The company reported that mill plantings for the 2013-2014 sorghum growing
season in Brazil have been successfully completed on time and according to
Ceres crop management protocols. Growing conditions have been generally
favorable to date across most regions.
"The adjustments we have made to our go-to-market approach and product
development processes have had a positive impact on the start of the season,"
said Richard Hamilton, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ceres. He
noted that Ceres agronomists will continue to work closely with ethanol mills
to help their agricultural teams gain confidence in producing the crop and
adhering to the company's crop management protocols. "Our primary goal is to
duplicate the individual successes we demonstrated last season across a
broader range of customers and geographies," said Hamilton.
Chief Financial Officer Paul Kuc reported that expenses for the company's
first fiscal quarter reflect operational changes and cost saving measures
initiated during the quarter. "We expect expenditures to begin to decline in
the near term as we prioritize our commercialization and product development
activities in Brazil and remain vigilant over the use of our working capital,"
RECENT BUSINESS HIGHLIGHTS
oPlantings of the company's sorghum hybrids for the 2013-2014 sorghum
growing season in Brazil have been successfully completed with 49
customers, including mills and mill suppliers, across 55 different
locations.As previously reported, these plantings consist primarily of
smaller, multi-hybrid evaluations designed to determine yield potential
and identify the best performing hybrids for specific regions.
oAs part of its product development process, Ceres has also established a
number of breeding and product development field evaluations across
various geographies. These trials consist of hundreds of hybrids,
including a subset of hybrids in advanced evaluations in Brazil and other
countries in South America that have demonstrated higher yields and other
performance benefits over current products.
oTotal plantings of the company's commercial and pre-commercial sorghum
hybrids cover approximately 1,000 hectares this season. Harvests are
expected to commence in late February to early March and continue through
oIn December, the company successfully completed all elements of a
multi-year project funded by a competitive grant from the U.S. Department
of Energy's Advanced Research Project Agency for Energy (ARPA-E). The
Ceres project consisted of multi-state field evaluations of the company's
high yield, low input biotech traits in three energy crops. Based on the
positive results of the project, Ceres has advanced a number of these
traits in its product development pipeline.
oDuring the quarter ended November 30, 2013, Ceres was awarded a U.S.
patent related to a sorghum-derived gene promoter useful for regulating
the expression of genes developed through biotechnology in various crops.
FIRST QUARTER FINANCIAL RESULTS
Total revenues for the quarter ended November 30, 2013 were $0.8 million
compared to $2.0 million for the same period last year primarily due to lower
collaborative research revenue and government grants. Product sales remained
relatively unchanged compared to the first quarter of 2012.
Cost of product sales was $1.3 million for the quarter ended November 30, 2013
compared to $0.7 million for the same period last year. The increase was
primarily due to costs related to the company's previously reported workforce
reductions and expenses for obsolete seed inventory related to the company's
sweet sorghum products.
Research and development expenses were $4.4 million for the three months ended
November 30, 2013 compared to $4.3 million for the same period last year. In
the U.S., research and development expenses decreased by $0.6 million
primarily due to reduced external research and development expenses. In
Brazil, research and development expenses increased by $0.7 million primarily
as a result of increased personnel and related expenses.
Selling, general and administrative expenses decreased by $0.6million to
$3.3million for the three months ended November 30, 2013 compared to the same
period last year. In the U.S., expenses decreased by $0.7 million primarily
due to reduced personnel and related expenses and lower professional fees. In
Brazil, expenses increased by $0.1 million primarily as a result of increased
personnel and related expenses.
For the quarter ended November 30, 2013, Ceres reported a net loss of $8.2
million, or $0.33 per share, compared to a net loss of $6.9 million, or $0.28
per share, for the quarter ended November 30, 2012.
At November 30, 2013, cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities
totaled $24.4 million.
CONFERENCE CALL AND WEBCAST INFORMATION
Ceres has scheduled a conference call for 4:30 p.m. EST (1:30 p.m. PST) today
to discuss its fiscal first quarter results and to provide an update on its
business. The webcast of the conference call may be accessed at
investor.ceres.net. Audio of the teleconference is also available by dialing:
North America callers:
+1 (720) 545-0037
An audio replay of the call will be available two hours after the conclusion
of the live call, and remain available on the Ceres website for 30 days.
2014 ANNUAL MEETING OF STOCKHOLDERS
Ceres will hold its 2014 annual meeting of stockholders on March 7, 2014 at
11:00 a.m. PST at the W Hotel at 6250 Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles,
California.Notice of the annual meeting, proxy materials and the company's
annual report for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2013 will be mailed to
stockholders of record as of January 21, 2014. Each attendee must be a Ceres
stockholder as of the close of business on January 21, 2014 or hold a valid
proxy for the annual meeting.
Ceres is scheduled to present at World Bio Market 2014 on March 5, 2014 in The
Ceres, Inc. is an agricultural biotechnology company that markets seeds for
energy crops used in the production of renewable transportation fuels,
electricity and bio-based products. The company combines advanced plant
breeding and biotechnology to develop products that can address the
limitations of first-generation bioenergy feedstocks, increase biomass
productivity, reduce crop inputs and improve cultivation on marginal land. Its
development activities include sweet sorghum, high-biomass sorghum,
switchgrass and miscanthus. Ceres markets its products under its Blade brand.
CERES FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This press release may contain forward-looking statements. All statements,
other than statements of historical facts, including statements regarding
Ceres' efforts to develop and commercialize its products, anticipated yields
and product performance, status of crop plantings, short-term and long-term
business strategies, market and industry expectations, future operating
metrics, and future results of operations and financial position, including
anticipated cost savings from our plan to align expenditures, are
forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on these
forward-looking statements because they involve known and unknown risks,
uncertainties and other factors that are, in some cases, beyond Ceres'
control. Factors that could materially affect actual results can be found in
Ceres' filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Ceres
undertakes no obligation to update publicly, except to the extent required by
law, any forward-looking statements for any reason after the date the company
issues this press release to conform these statements to actual results or to
changes in the company's expectations.
CERES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARY
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations
(In thousands, except share and per share amounts)
Three Months Ended
Product sales $ 20 $ 14
Collaborative research and government 743 1,952
Total revenues 763 1,966
Cost and operating expenses:
Cost of product sales 1,309 700
Research and development 4,414 4,343
Selling, general and administrative 3,260 3,844
Total cost and operating expenses 8,983 8,887
Loss from operations (8,220) (6,921)
Interest expense - (1)
Interest income 16 29
Loss before income taxes (8,204) (6,893)
Income tax expense (1) (1)
Net loss $ (8,205) $ (6,894)
Basic and diluted net loss per share $ (0.33) $ (0.28)
Weighted average outstanding common
shares used for net loss per share:
Basic and diluted 25,106,690 24,693,303
CERES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARY
Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
(In thousands, except share amounts and par value)
November 30, August 31,
Cash and cash equivalents $ $ 8,881
Marketable securities 17,127 21,630
Prepaid expenses 779 791
Accounts receivable 901 957
Inventories - 20
Other current assets 147 157
Total current assets 26,268 32,436
Property and equipment, net 4,632 4,633
Other assets 44 109
Total long-term assets 4,676 4,742
Total assets $ $ 37,178
Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity
Accounts payable and accrued expenses $ $ 3,825
Other current liabilities 80 18
Current portion of long-term debt 135 154
Total current liabilities 4,960 3,997
Other non-current liabilites 88 93
Long-term debt, net of current portion 60 82
Total liabilities 5,108 4,172
Commitments and contingencies
Common stock and additional paid in capital,
$0.01 par value; 490,000,000shares
authorized; 25,224,269 shares issued and 309,212 308,286
outstanding at November 30, 2013;
24,897,199shares issued and outstanding at
August 31, 2013.
Accumulated other comprehensive loss (587) (696)
Accumulated deficit (282,789) (274,584)
Total stockholders' equity 25,836 33,006
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity $ $ 37,178
SOURCE Ceres, Inc.
Contact: Ceres, Inc., Gary Koppenjan, (805) 375-7801, firstname.lastname@example.org
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