Lightbridge Reports Financial Results for 2018 and Provides Business Update Regarding Enfission and Other Developments
Thu March 28, 2019 4:05 PM|GlobeNewswire|About: LTBR
RESTON, Va., March 28, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lightbridge Corporation (LTBR), a U.S. nuclear fuel technology company, today provided a business update and reported financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2018.
Seth Grae, President & Chief Executive Officer of Lightbridge Corporation, commented, “We continue to make progress advancing our metallic nuclear fuel. Specifically, we have begun substantive discussions to finalize our first commercial utility agreement. At the same time, we are working closely with Framatome through the Enfission joint venture to prepare the fuel fabrication facility in Richland, Washington, which will be used to manufacture the nuclear fuel assemblies.”
“In addition to commercial support, we have also witnessed growing governmental support for advanced nuclear fuels. This support includes funding for advanced technologies, as well as production of high assay low enriched uranium (HALEU) for nuclear fuels, including ours. We recently submitted a new grant application to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in late January 2019 and expect to hear back within several months.”
“I was recently honored to have been invited, along with leading nuclear power industry executives, to meet with President Donald J. Trump at the White House to discuss a variety of issues relating to nuclear energy. We have also witnessed bipartisan congressional support for nuclear power, as there is a growing need for reliable and sustainable baseload energy with low emissions. Importantly, our fuel enables an existing nuclear power plant to produce even more non-carbon energy than it can with current fuels. Given recent government actions, coupled with industry backing, we have more confidence than ever in the commercial potential for our fuel.”
RECENT ENFISSION R&D ADVANCEMENTS
Initial quotations for long-lead time equipment obtained and are under review
Pre-industrialization process development activities are being executed
First phase of work with University of Lille (France) completed
Material test plan (in-reactor and ex-reactor) near completion
Preliminary computational fluid dynamics analysis completed for lead test assembly
Completed initial study of burnable absorber material effectiveness in Lightbridge Fuel™
Continued development of fuel design limits in support of licensing activities
Fabrication facility licensing activities initiated
Cash and cash equivalents were $24.6 million at December 31, 2018, compared to $4.5 million at December 31, 2017.
Total equity offerings raised $33.4 million in net proceeds in 2018, compared to net proceeds of $6.0 million for equity offerings conducted in 2017.
Total investment into the Enfission joint venture, used primarily for research and development work conducted by Enfission for the year ended December 31, 2018, was $5.6 million. This joint venture was formed in January 2018.
Total assets were $26.3 million at December 31, 2018 and total liabilities were $0.5 million at December 31, 2018.
Stockholders’ equity was $25.9 million at December 31, 2018.
Lightbridge’s research and development expenses (not including Enfission’s research and development expenses mentioned above) for the year ended December 31, 2018, was $3.5 million compared $2.3 million for 2017. This increase was driven by increased payroll and consulting expenses in supporting the research and development activities conducted by Enfission.
General and administrative expenses for the year ended December 31, 2018 were $6.7 million compared to $4.4 million for the prior year. This increase was due to an increase in professional fees of $0.8 million; an increase in payroll and benefits of $0.7 million; and an increase of $0.7 million in stock-based compensation, due to the accelerated vesting of performance-based stock options issued in 2017.
Other operating expenses were $4.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2018, consisting of the equity loss from the Enfission joint venture of $5.8 million, which consisted primarily of research and development expenses, offset by income from research and development support provided to Enfission of $1.0 million.
Net loss for the year ended December 31, 2018 was $15.7 million compared to $7.1 million for 2017. This increase was due to increased research and development expenses, increased general and administrative expenses and the equity loss from the Enfission joint venture.
2018 Fourth Quarter and Year-End Conference Call
Lightbridge (LTBG) will host a conference call on Friday, March 29th at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time to discuss the company's financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2018, as well as the Company's corporate progress and other meaningful developments.
Interested parties can access the conference call by calling 877-407-0778 for U.S. callers, or +1-201-689-8565 for international callers. The call will be available on the Company’s website via webcast at http://ir.ltbridge.com/events.cfm
. The conference call will be led by Seth Grae, President and Chief Executive Officer and other Lightbridge executives will also be available to answer questions. Questions may also be submitted in writing before or during the conference call to ir@Ltbridge.com.
A webcast will also be archived on the Company’s website and a telephone replay of the call will be available approximately one hour following the call, through 11 a.m. April 29, 2019, and can be accessed by calling: 877-481-4010 (U.S. callers) or +1-919-882-2331 (international callers) and entering conference ID: 45331.