Marrone Bio Innovations Inc., the Davis startup that has spent nearly two years battling back from an accounting scandal, on Thursday reported a net loss of $9.3 million for this year’s first quarter.
That was a nearly 22 percent improvement over a loss of $11.9 million in the opening quarter of 2015.
Revenue in the January-to-March period totaled $2.7 million, up nearly 30 percent from $2.1 million in the year-ago period.
Product shipments in this year’s first quarter totaled $3.9 million, up almost 80 percent from $2.2 million in first quarter of 2015. The company attributed that gain in part to increased grower adoption of Marrone products and use of company products on an expanding number of crops.
CEO Pam Marrone also said the company has bolstered its sales and technical services team.
For much of 2015, the company endeavored to restructure and increase revenue amid costs associated with a financial restatement, audit investigation and related matters.
Marrone Bio reported a net loss of $43.7 million in 2015, compared with a loss of $51.7 million in 2014.
The company’s problems spilled over into early 2016. Marrone Bio’s former chief operating officer, Hector Absi, was indicted on fraud charges in February and accused of inflating the company’s revenue. Marrone Bio paid a $1.75 million fine to settle an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The company also spent $13.5 million on legal fees and other expenses related to the investigation over a two-year period.
Pam Marrone maintains that the worst is over. And the company’s quarterly report released Wednesday noted: “Except with respect to ongoing related litigation, the company does not expect these (non-operating) expenses to continue in the future.”
Even so, Marrone Bio still has issues to face.
In a filing with the SEC this week, the Davis company disclosed that its listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange is again in jeopardy.
Marrone Bio sells bio-based pest management and plant health products to agriculture and other sectors. It said Nasdaq notified the company that, for 30 consecutive days, the market value of Marrone’s publicly held shares had fallen below the $15 million minimum to continue being listed by Nasdaq. In addition, over 30 consecutive days, Marrone shares closed below the minimum $1 price to be listed by Nasdaq.
The company has a “grace period” extending to Oct. 31 to regain compliance with Nasdaq listing standards.
Marrone Bio’s shares closed Wednesday at 69 cents, unchanged for the day, on the Nasdaq market.
Marrone Bio was founded in 2006 and made a splash in August 2013, when it raised $57 million in an initial public offering of stock. The IPO was the first for a Sacramento-area company in seven years.