updated 2/3/2011 6:46:29 PM ET 2011-02-03T23:46:29

ST. LOUIS, Feb. 3, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Zoltek Companies, Inc. (Nasdaq:ZOLT) today reported financial results for the first quarter of its 2011 fiscal year.

Zoltek's net sales for the quarter ended December 31, 2010, totaled $32.9 million, compared to $28.9 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2009, an increase of 13.8%. On a sequential quarter basis, net sales for the latest quarter increased $1.7 million, or 5.6%, from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010.

Zoltek reported a net loss of $1.6 million, or $0.05 per share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2011, which compared to a net loss of $0.5 million, or $0.01 per share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2010. Operating loss totaled $1.2 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2011, compared to an operating loss of $2.7 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2010. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010, Zoltek reported an operating loss of $1.9 million.

"Our first quarter results reflect our success in developing business with new customers which offset soft demand from large wind energy customers," said Zsolt Rumy, Zoltek's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We expect demand to strengthen from the large wind energy customers and the momentum in new business to continue, leading to a pick-up in operating performance through the rest of fiscal 2011 and beyond."

Said Rumy: "Worldwide, we are seeing the beginning of a strong resurgence in demand for carbon fibers from wind energy – our primary application area. While the wind turbine business slowed toward the end of calendar year 2010, our customers are entering 2011 with a significant order backlog. As we pointed out in our fiscal 2010 annual report, the wind energy business is global – with rapid growth in wind energy installations in Asia and other parts of the developing world. Through the rest of this fiscal year and beyond, we expect to benefit from the combination of a higher volume of sales to existing customers and the addition of new customers using Zoltek carbon fibers in the production of the biggest and most advanced wind turbines."

Zoltek will host a conference call to review first quarter results and answer questions on Friday, February 4, 2011, at 10:00 am CT. The conference dial-in number is (877) 874-1565. The confirmation code is 3269282. Individuals who wish to participate should dial in 5 to 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time. This conference call will also be webcast on Zoltek's website ― www.zoltek.com ― under "Investor Relations – Events & Presentations." The webcast replay will be available on the website several hours after the call.

This press release contains certain statements that constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The words "expect," "believe," "goal," "plan," "intend," "estimate," and similar expressions and variations thereof are intended to specifically identify forward-looking statements. Those statements include statements regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of us, our directors and officers with respect to, among other things: (1) our financial prospects; (2) our growth strategy and operating strategy, including our focus on facilitating acceleration of the introduction and development of mass market applications for carbon fibers; and (3) our current and expected future revenue.

This press release also contains statements that are based on the current expectations of our company. You are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties, and that actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors. The factors that might cause such differences include, among others, our ability to: (1) successfully adapt to recessionary conditions in the global economy and substantial volatility in order rates from our wind energy customers; (2) penetrate existing, identified and emerging markets, including entering into new supply agreements with large volume customers; (3) continue to improve efficiency at our manufacturing facilities on a timely and cost-effective basis to meet current order levels of carbon fibers; (4) successfully add new planned capacity for the production of carbon fiber and precursor raw materials and meet our obligations under long-term supply agreements; (5) operate profitably; (6) increase or maintain our borrowing at acceptable costs; (7) manage changes in customers' forecasted requirements for our products; (8) continue investing in application and market development for a range of applications; (9) manufacture low-cost carbon fibers and profitably market them despite fluctuations in raw material and energy costs; (10) successfully operate our Mexican facility to produce acrylic fiber precursor and carbon fibers; (11) successfully continue operations at our Hungarian facility if natural gas supply disruptions occur; (12) successfully prosecute patent litigation; (13) successfully facilitate adoption of our carbon fibers by the auto industry for use in high-volume applications; (14) establish prepreg capacity; and (15) manage the risks identified under "Risk Factors" in our filings with the SEC. Because forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, some of which cannot be predicted or quantified, you should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. The events and circumstances reflected in the forward-looking statements may not be achieved or occur and actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements.

ZOLTEK COMPANIES, INC.
SUMMARY FINANCIAL RESULTS
(Amounts in thousands, except share and per share data)
(Unaudited)
     
  Three Months Ended
  December 31, September 30,
  2010 2010
Net sales $32,862 $31,120
Cost of sales, excluding available unused capacity costs 26,492 25,574
Available unused capacity costs 2,296 2,308
Gross profit 4,074 3,238
Application and development costs 1,971 2,178
Selling, general and administrative expenses 3,298 2,950
Operating loss (1,195) (1,890)
Interest income 16 38
Gain on foreign currency transactions 426 2,335
Other expense, net (213) (202)
(Loss) gain on liabilities carried at fair value (256) (117)
Interest expense (55) (48)
(Loss) income from operations before income taxes (1,277) 116
Income tax expense (benefit) 284 542
Net loss ($1,561) ($426)
     
Basic and diluted loss per share ($0.05) ($0.01)
     
Weighted average common shares outstanding - basic and diluted 34,389,442 34,395,692
 
ZOLTEK COMPANIES, INC.
SUMMARY FINANCIAL RESULTS
(Amounts in thousands, except share and per share data)
(Unaudited)
     
  Three Months Ended
  December 31,
  2010 2009
Net sales $32,862 $28,867
Cost of sales, excluding available unused capacity costs 26,492 22,149
Available unused capacity costs 2,296 2,771
Gross profit 4,074 3,947
Application and development costs 1,971 1,983
Selling, general and administrative expenses 3,298 4,713
Operating loss (1,195) (2,749)
Interest income 16 8
Gain on foreign currency transactions 426 345
Other expense, net (213) (412)
(Loss) gain on derivative liabilities (256) 858
Interest expense, excluding amortization of financing fees and debt discount (55) (134)
Amortization of financing fees and debt discount -- (197)
Loss from operations before income taxes (1,277) (2,281)
Income tax expense (benefit) 284 (1,798)
Net loss ($1,561) ($483)
     
Basic and diluted loss per share ($0.05) ($0.01)
     
Weighted average common shares outstanding - basic and diluted 34,389,442 34,424,441
 
ZOLTEK COMPANIES, INC.
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET
(Amounts in thousands, except share and per share data)
(Unaudited)
     
  December 31, September 30,
  2010 2010
Assets    
Current assets:    
Cash and cash equivalents $30,432 $21,534
Accounts receivable, less allowance for doubtful accounts of $168 and $178, respectively 18,192 22,816
Inventories, net 35,628 38,002
VAT receivable 3,632 5,703
Other current assets 2,268 2,251
Total current assets 90,152 90,306
Property and equipment, net 224,101 231,661
Other assets 127 173
Total assets $314,380 $322,140
     
Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity    
Current liabilities:    
Current maturities of long-term debt  $ --  $981
Trade accounts payable 8,573 8,865
Accrued expenses and other liabilities 8,182 7,583
Construction payables 589 905
Total current liabilities 17,344 18,334
Hungarian grant, long-term 8,232 9,020
Deferred tax liabilities 841 792
Liabilities carried at fair value 1,324 1,296
Total liabilities 27,741 29,442
Commitments and contingencies    
Shareholders' equity:    
Preferred stock, $.01 par value, 1,000,000 shares authorized, no shares issued and outstanding -- --
Common stock, $.01 par value, 50,000,000 shares authorized, 34,389,442 shares issued and outstanding at December 31, 2010 and September 30, 2010 344 344
Additional paid-in capital 480,387 480,302
Accumulated other comprehensive loss (37,964) (33,381)
Accumulated deficit (156,128) (154,567)
Total shareholders' equity 286,639 292,698
Total liabilities and shareholders' equity $314,380 $322,140
 
ZOLTEK COMPANIES, INC.
OPERATING SEGMENTS SUMMARY
(Amounts in thousands)
(Unaudited)
         
  Three Months Ended December 31, 2010
  Carbon Technical Corporate/  
  Fibers Fibers Other Total
Net sales $25,067 $7,302 $493 $32,862
Cost of sales, excluding available unused capacity costs 20,500 5,754 238 26,492
Available unused capacity costs 2,066 230 -- 2,296
Gross profit 2,501 1,318 255 4,074
Operating income (loss) 740 1,150 (3,085) (1,195)
Depreciation 3,294 347 549 4,190
Capital expenditures 778 149 258 1,185
         
  Three Months Ended December 31, 2009
  Carbon Technical Corporate/  
  Fibers Fibers Other Total
Net sales $23,942 $4,430 $495 $28,867
Cost of sales, excluding available unused capacity costs 17,884 3,795 470 22,149
Available unused capacity costs 2,427 344 -- 2,771
Gross profit 3,631 291 25 3,947
Operating income (loss) 1,319 73 (4,141) (2,749)
Depreciation 3,437 458 420 4,315
Capital expenditures 239 224 187 650
         
  Total Assets
  Carbon Technical Corporate/  
  Fibers Fibers Other Total
December 31, 2010 $247,953 $25,634 $40,793 $314,380
September 30, 2010 263,600 22,655 35,885 322,140
CONTACT: Zsolt Rumy, Chairman and CEO
         3101 McKelvey Road
         St. Louis, MO 63044
         (314) 291-5110

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