A123 Systems Is Slowly Recovering

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Published May 17, 2012


By Philippe Crowe


A123 Systems’ production capacity is expected to be constrained over the next quarters. The lithium ion battery manufacturer is recovering from the recall of defective battery packs that had a major impact on its finances.



“Our first quarter results were consistent with our revised expectations as reported last week. Revenue for the first quarter was impacted by our campaign to replace prismatic products in the field that may be defective and the temporary shutdown of our facility in Livonia, Mich,” stated David Vieau, CEO of A123 Systems. “Since announcing the field campaign, we believe we have identified and corrected the root cause of the defective cells. We are gradually restarting production in a controlled manner consistent with our commitment to improve our manufacturing processes and quality, and have started shipping replacement products to impacted customers. Our customers have been generally supportive during this process, and we continue to work with them during this challenging period.”



“We intend to provide customers affected by the campaign with replacement products as quickly as possible. With our systematic approach to ramping production volumes and anticipated customer demand, we expect to be capacity constrained over the next several quarters,” Vieau added. “Due to the limitations with respect to our manufacturing ramp, we anticipate that revenue in 2012 will be below our prior expectations and consistent with those communicated last week. Our customer pipeline continues to be strong in all our target markets.”



In a release sent out May 15, following the publication of its first quarter financial results, A123 Systems declared revenues for the first quarter of 2012 was $10.9 million, a decrease of 40 percent from $18.1 million in the first quarter of 2011. Within total revenue, product revenue was $7.3 million, a 53% decrease from $15.5 million in the first quarter of 2011, and services revenue was $3.6 million, compared to $2.6 million in the first quarter of 2011.



In the same document, the company declared the gross loss was ($90.8) million in the first quarter of 2012, compared to a gross loss of ($15.5) million in the first quarter of 2011; net loss was ($125.0) million, or ($0.87) per common share, based on 143.4 million weighted average common shares outstanding in the first quarter of 2012. This compared to a net loss of ($53.6) million in the first quarter of 2011, or ($0.51) per common share, based on 105.5 million weighted average common shares outstanding.






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