SOURCE: Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc.

Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc.

March 11, 2010 06:00 ET

Altair Nanotechnologies Reports 2009 Financial Results

RENO, NV--(Marketwire - March 11, 2010) - Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc. (Altairnano) (NASDAQ: ALTI), a provider of energy storage systems for clean, efficient power and energy management, today reported financial results for the year ended December 31, 2009.

For the year ended December 31, 2009, the Company reported revenues of $4.4 million, down from $5.7 million for 2008. The net loss was $21.9 million, or 21 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $29.3 million, or 34 cents per share, for 2008. The basic and diluted weighted average shares outstanding for the year were 100.2 million, compared to 85.9 million reported in 2008.

Operating expenses of $27.2 million for 2009 were $8.7 million less than the operating expenses of $35.9 million for 2008. The 2008 results contained several one-time expenses including the settlement expense of $3.6 million with Al Yousuf LLC, the reversal of $2.9 million in warranty expense and the forgiveness of $1.7 million in notes receivable associated with resolution of the various Phoenix Motor Cars issues. Similarly, 2009 contains the one-time impairment loss on the AlSher assets of $1.3 million. Even adjusting for all of these one-time items, the 2009 operating expense reduction from 2008 was $7.6 million, consisting primarily of the elimination of R&D expenditures of $6.6 million as we eliminated activities in the former Life Sciences and Performance Materials divisions. In addition, we had a reduction in G&A expenses of $1.6 million resulting from a number of different initiatives.

The Company's cash and cash equivalents decreased by $10.0 million, from $28.1 million at December 31, 2008 to $18.1 million at December 31, 2009. This is due primarily to net cash used in operations of approximately $23.6 million, $4.9 million of which was for increased product inventories; investing activities primarily consisting of purchases of fixed assets of approximately $0.8 million offset by $2.0 million received from the sale of our Spectrum common stock; and financing activities that include payment of notes payable of $0.6 million offset by $12.8 million of proceeds relating to the issuance of common shares in May 2009.

The Company's monthly cash burn rate has been higher throughout 2009 than it was in the second half of 2008 as the Company has been building up inventory of component parts with three to six month lead times in anticipation of sales in early 2010. If sales in early 2010 do not materialize, we expect our cash burn rate to slow as the Company believes it now has adequate levels of components in inventory. Product inventories are higher by $4.9 million and prepaid expenses by $1.2 million from their respective December 31, 2008 balances. The increase in prepaid expenses results largely from a partial payment on the purchase of battery cells from the Company's Korean cell manufacturer.

"We continue to position the company to take advantage of the opportunities we see developing throughout 2010," said Dr. Terry Copeland, Altairnano's president and CEO. "Discussions with potential customers continue to advance and we expect order activity to gain traction in our key market segments. We have begun to build inventory levels in order to move expeditiously once we have these initial firm orders."

During 2009 Altairnano completed work on the Office of Naval Research phase 1 development program, received the final signed contracts for both the $3.8 million Office of Naval Research phase 2 development program, and the Department of Defense supported $1.8 million nanosensor project. Although work on both of these projects began in 2009, the Company will continue that work during the first half of 2010.

During 2009 Altairnano reached agreement with Spectrum to modify its existing contract to assign ownership of all patent rights associated with Renazorb™ and Renalan™ compounds to Spectrum. Under the terms of the agreement, the Company received $750,000 in Spectrum restricted common stock and a right to future royalties and milestone payments upon completion of certain specified events. The Company is also currently in negotiations with Sherwin-Williams to potentially sell our interest in the AlSher Titania joint venture to them, thus enabling Altairnano to exit the performance materials arena as it already has the life sciences arena.

Year End 2009 Conference Call

Altairnano will hold a conference call to discuss its 2009 results on Thursday, March 11, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST). Shareholders and members of the investment community are invited to participate in the conference call. The dial-in number for both U.S. and international callers is +1 678-224-7719. Please dial in to the conference five minutes before the call is scheduled to begin. Ask the operator for the Altair Nanotechnologies call.

An audio replay of the conference call will be available from 2:00 p.m. EST, Thursday, March 11, until Midnight EST, April 10, 2010. It can be accessed by dialing +1 706-645-9291 and entering conference number 60968372.

Additionally, the conference call and replay will be available online and can be accessed by visiting Altairnano's web site, www.altairnano.com.

About Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc.

Headquartered in Reno, Nevada, with manufacturing in Anderson, Indiana, Altairnano is a leading provider of energy storage systems for clean, efficient power and energy management. Going beyond lithium ion, Altairnano's Lithium-Titanate based battery systems are among the highest performing and most scalable, with applications that include battery cells for military artillery, battery packs for hybrid vehicles and energy storage systems for large-scale stationary power services. For more information please visit Altairnano at www.altairnano.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release may contain forward-looking statements as well as historical information. Forward-looking statements, which are included in accordance with the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, may involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause Altairnano's actual results and performance in future periods to be materially different from any future results or performance suggested by the forward-looking statements in this release. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, the risks that development of any the early-stage products of the Company will not be completed for technical, business or other reasons; that any products under development or in the early commercial stages will not perform as expected in future testing or commercial applications; that customers or prospective customers will not use or purchase products as represented to us or otherwise expected for various reasons, including a buyer's purchasing of a competing product, absence of agreement over pricing or a buyer's absence of capital to purchase products; that one or more of the joint development partners or customers may proceed slowly with, or abandon, development or commercialization efforts for any of various reasons, including concerns with the feasibility of the product or the financial viability of continuing with our products or their product; that sales of commercialized Altairnano products may not reach expected levels for one or more reasons, including the failure of end products to perform as expected or the introduction of a superior product; that costs associated with the proposed products may exceed revenues; and that, due to unexpected expenses not accompanied by offsetting revenue, the Company's use of cash in its operations may exceed budgeted levels. In general, Altairnano is, and expects to be in the immediate future, dependent upon funds generated from sales of securities, grants, testing agreements, and licensing agreements to fund its testing, development and ongoing operations. In addition, other risks are identified in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC. Such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this release. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements found herein to reflect any changes in Company expectations or results or any change in events.

Tables Follow


              ALTAIR NANOTECHNOLOGIES INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
                        CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
            (Expressed in thousands of United States Dollars,
                   except shares and per share amounts)


                                               December 31,   December 31,
                                                   2009           2008
                                               ------------   ------------
                   ASSETS
Current Assets
  Cash and cash equivalents                    $     18,122   $     28,088
  Investment in available for sale securities           505              -
  Accounts receivable                                   683            955
  Product inventories                                 5,043             98
  Prepaid expenses and other current assets           1,820            572
                                               ------------   ------------
      Total current assets                           26,173         29,713
                                               ------------   ------------

Investment in available for sale securities           2,587          3,174

Property, plant and equipment, net held and
 used                                                 8,670         11,637

Property, plant and equipment, net held and
 not used                                             2,211          2,377

Patents, net                                            551            636

Other assets                                            125            534
                                               ------------   ------------

          Total Assets                         $     40,317   $     48,071
                                               ============   ============

     LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
Current Liabilities
  Trade accounts payable                       $      1,783   $        749
  Accrued salaries and benefits                         625          1,361
  Accrued warranty                                       79             36
  Accrued liabilities                                   758            765
  Note payable, current portion                         794            732
  Capital lease obligation - current portion             16              4
                                               ------------   ------------
      Total current liabilities                       4,055          3,647
                                               ------------   ------------

Capital lease obligation, less current portion           37            608
                                               ------------   ------------

          Total Liabilities                           4,092          4,255
                                               ------------   ------------

Stockholders' Equity
  Common stock, no par value, unlimited shares
   authorized; 105,400,728 and 93,143,271
   shares issued and outstanding at
   December 31, 2009 and December 31, 2008          188,515        180,105
  Additional paid in capital                         10,933          5,378
  Accumulated deficit                              (162,204)      (140,892)
  Accumulated other comprehensive loss               (1,560)        (1,873)
                                               ------------   ------------

Total Altair Nanotechnologies Inc.'s
 Stockholders' equity                                35,684         42,718

Noncontrolling Interest in Subsidiary                   541          1,098
                                               ------------   ------------

    Total Liabilities and Stockholders'
     Equity                                    $     40,317   $     48,071
                                               ============   ============





              ALTAIR NANOTECHNOLOGIES INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
                  CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
            (Expressed in thousands of United States Dollars,
                   except shares and per share amounts)


                                           Year Ended December 31,
                                   ---------------------------------------
                                       2009          2008          2007
                                   -----------   -----------   -----------
Revenues
  Product sales                    $       945   $       757   $     4,058
  Less: Sales returns                     (184)            -             -
  License fees                             750             -             -
  Commercial collaborations              1,410         2,007         2,910
  Contracts and grants                   1,450         2,962         2,140
                                   -----------   -----------   -----------
      Total revenues                     4,371         5,726         9,108
                                   -----------   -----------   -----------

Operating Expenses
  Cost of sales - product                  954           183         5,164
  Cost of sales - warranty and
   inventory reserves                      198        (2,865)        6,843
  Research and development              10,323        16,908        15,444
  Sales and marketing                    2,819         2,950         2,001
  Notes receivable extinguishment            -         1,722             -
  Settlement and release                     -         3,605             -
  Asset impairment                       1,308             -             -
  General and administrative             8,943        10,590        10,770
  Depreciation and amortization          2,687         2,759         1,954
                                   -----------   -----------   -----------
      Total operating expenses          27,232        35,852        42,176
                                   -----------   -----------   -----------
Loss from Operations                   (22,861)      (30,126)      (33,068)
                                   -----------   -----------   -----------

Other Income (Expense)
  Interest expense                        (107)          (97)         (134)
  Interest income                          188           982         1,101
  Realized gain/(loss) on
   investment                              851           (89)            -
  Loss on foreign exchange                  (2)          (10)           (1)
                                   -----------   -----------   -----------
      Total other income, net              930           786           966
                                   -----------   -----------   -----------

Net Loss                               (21,931)      (29,340)      (32,102)

Less:  Net loss attributable to
 non-controlling interests                 619           272           631
                                   -----------   -----------   -----------

Net Loss Attributable to Altair
 Nanotechnologies Inc.             $   (21,312)  $   (29,068)  $   (31,471)
                                   -----------   -----------   -----------

Loss per common share - Basic and
 diluted                           $     (0.21)  $     (0.34)  $     (0.45)
                                   ===========   ===========   ===========

Weighted average shares - Basic
 and diluted                       100,177,727    85,903,712    71,008,505
                                   ===========   ===========   ===========

Contact Information

  • For Additional Information:

    Institutional Investors:
    Brion D. Tanous
    Principal
    CleanTech IR, Inc.
    310-541-6824
    Email Contact

    Individual Investors:
    Tom Herbert
    Principal
    CleanTech IR, Inc.
    310-541-6824
    Email Contact

    Media Relations:
    Jeff Brunings
    Director, Strategic Marketing
    Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc.
    775-856-2500
    Email Contact