Hoku's net declines on lower revenue
Hoku Scientific Inc., a Kapolei-based startup that develops membrane electrode assemblies for fuel cells, said yesterday it achieved its fifth straight profitable quarter but its net income fell 63.7 percent.
The 5-year-old company, whose stock price has fluctuated with the nation's interest in alternative energy sources, had earnings of $508,000, or 3 cents a share, in its fiscal fourth quarter compared with $1.4 million, or 11 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. The higher earnings last quarter were due to $2.5 million received upon the completion of Hoku's development contract withSanyo Electric Co. Ltd.
Hoku's revenue last quarter of $1.3 million primarily came from $1.2 million it received from contracts withNissan Motor Co.A year earlier, Hoku had revenue of $2.8 million, with $2.5 million of that coming from the Sanyo Electric contract. Operating expenses remained flat at $990,000 from the year-earlier quarter.
For the year, Hoku swung to a net gain of $1.3 million, or 9 cents a share, from a loss of $728,000, or 13 cents a share, in the previous fiscal year. Revenue nearly doubled to $5.5 million from $2.9 million. Operating expenses rose 14.6 percent to $4.1 million from $3.6 million.
Hoku said last quarter it signed test agreements with four new stationary and automotive fuel-cell original equipment manufacturers. There are now 11 customers evaluating Hoku's membrane electrode assemblies products for possible commercial integration into those customers' fuel-cell systems. Hoku also signed a new collaboration agreement with Nissan in February.
"We continue to work closely with Nissan towards the future integration of our products into their fuel-cell cars and trucks, and we are on track to commence our U.S. Navy field demonstration this summer of 10 IdaTech fuel-cell systems incorporating (Hoku's membrane electrode assemblies) at Pearl Harbor," said Dustin Shindo, chairman, president and chief executive of Hoku.
In addition, Shindo said Hoku is continuing its testing activities with Sanyo under an agreement signed in December.
Hoku said it expects its costs to increase significantly this quarter because of new and existing contracts it needs to support. The company said net income for its fiscal first quarter ending June 30 could range from a loss to slightly profitable and that revenue will be in the range of $1.1 million to $1.4 million with full-year revenue to range from $5 million to $7 million.