Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (OTC: ASTI), a developer and manufacturer of state-of-the-art, lightweight, and flexible thin-film photovoltaic (PV) solutions, reported results for the quarter ended March 31, 2021.
Q1-2021 Financial Results:
The Company posted net revenue of $165K for Q1 2021, a sharp increase from the corresponding quarter in 2020 of $4K. As reported previously, the Company was predominantly in a dormant status in the first nine months of 2020 due to financial constraints and COVID-19. After a series of restructuring and recapitalization activities which began in June 2020, the Company materially restarted its operations in October 2020. Hence, leading to increased revenue as compared to the same period last year.
Cost of revenue, however, remained relatively flat at $73K from the corresponding quarter in 2020 despite the sharp increase in net revenue and production level. This is due to our primary focus in high-margin Tier-1 specialty PV markets and better operational efficiency resulting from increasing production activity. Research, development and manufacturing operations expense increased from $159K in the first quarter of 2020 to $728K in this reporting period due primarily to ramp up costs associated with the restart of the operations. Selling, general and administrative expenses also increased in this period to $562K, up from $70K in first quarter of 2020 due to increased headcount necessary for the restart of operations. As a result, the Company registered a loss from operations of $1.2M in the quarter ended March 31, 2021 as compared to a $354K loss in the first quarter of 2020.
Despite the loss from operations, the Company reported net profit of $1.9M for the quarter, which included a substantial gain of approximately $3.6M from the extinguishment of the derivative liability associated with the outstanding convertible notes, offset by $562K of accrued interest expense.
Cash and cash equivalents have also improved sharply from a $168K balance in first quarter of 2020 to $3.7M for the quarter ended March 31, 2021. Net working capital swung from negative $8.4M as of March 31, 2020 to positive $1.1M for the period ended March 31, 2021. Most notably, the Company has reduced total liabilities by $11.2M, down from $27.6M in first quarter of 2020 to $16.3M at the close of this reporting period.
“I am pleased with the results, both financially and operationally,” said Mr. Victor Lee, President and CEO of Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. “Since September of 2020, the Ascent team has been working tirelessly to restart our operations and get caught up with the required SEC filings. Despite setbacks caused by various challenges including the lack of financial resources and the impact of COVID-19 in 2020, we have demonstrated great resiliency and are now current in our filing status, as well as getting back to regular production mode,” continued Mr. Lee.
Mr. Lee concluded, “We will build on the strength of our first quarter effort and continue to deliver improved results going forward. The recent delivery of a large PV order as announced on May 17, 2021, will certainly add to revenue growth in the second quarter and beyond. We are optimistic and certainly look forward to stronger years ahead, as we begin to execute our focused strategy in the high-value PV market. We will update our shareholders as we make continued progress.”