- FTC Solar’s Q4/2021 annual revenues grew 130% and exceeded guidance with $101.7 million
- It has decided to acquire Chinese supplier HX Trackers which expands its geographical footprint and brings it a ready platform for several markets
- CFO Patrick Cook has been announced as the new CCO and ex-SunEdison senior executive Phelps Morris will succeed him as the CFO
US based solar tracker system company FTC Solar, Inc exceeded its Q4/2021 revenue guidance to register an annual growth of 130% with GAAP revenues of $101.7 million, and announced an agreement to acquire Chinese tracker supplier HX Tracker.
While the revenue increase was due to higher product volume and ASP, in Q4/2021 it suffered GAAP gross loss of $8.6 million, representing 8.4% of revenue. GAAP net loss in the quarter was $-23.9 million, having grown from $-9.7 million a year back.
On the whole, in 2021, FTC managed to grow annual revenues to $270.5 million, up from $187 million in 2020, yet its annual net loss widened to $-106.58 million, compared to $-15.9 million on annual basis.
FTC’s President and CEO Sean Hunkler explained, “With the recording of a reserve for a potential customer credit impacting revenue and margin by $3 million, Adjusted EBITDA was at the low end of our guidance range. Absent that charge, the sequential gross margin improvement would have been even greater and Adjusted EBITDA above the midpoint of the range.”
Jeffrey Osborne, analyst at investment bank Cowen, summed up the call, saysing, “While the steel forward curve has moved upward following Russia’s invasion, the company noted they source the majority of their steel internationally and pricing is in line with their plans. FTC is also refreshing bids every 2 weeks and passing commodity exposure to customers. Furthermore, the company is working to reduce steel content, signing MSAs with steel providers, and optimizing logistics costs to improve gross margins.”
HX Tracker acquisition
A supplier of 1P tracker systems that has a low-steel content, HX Tracker’s solutions are ideally suited for large-format modules, explained FTC counting the Chinese company’s total pipeline opportunities as adding up to approximately 20 GW. The $4.3 million cash and around 1.4 million share acquisition ‘represents an attractive multiple of approximately 3×2023 EBITDA, according to the US supplier.
FTC said the acquisition accelerates its international expansion, strengthens engineering, logistics and supply chain capabilities, and provides it a strong business platform to accelerate growth in China, the Middle East, Africa and other international markets. The deal is scheduled to close in Q2/2022.
FTC’s CFO Patrick Cook will be taking on the role of CCO and responsible for sales, sales engineering, legal and capital markets activities. Phelps Morris, an ex-SunEdison senior executive, will succeed Patrick to the position of CFO.
FTC said it continues to expect its 2022 annual revenues to fall within the range of $415 to $460 million, reflecting an annual growth of 62%, with non-GAAP gross margin of 11% to 14%, and non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA of $-4.0 to $11.0 million. It assumes an improvement in regulatory pressures on module availability and no significant supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19.
For Q1/2022, it guides for revenues of $55 to $65 million with non-GAAP gross margin running into $-7.0% to 0.0% and non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA of $-17.5 to $-13.5 million.
FTC Solar is listed in TaiyangNews survey on solar trackers, which provides an in-depth overview on technology and players in that segment (see TaiyangNews Solar Trackers Market Survey 2021).