Business & Real Estate

Davis-based Marrone Bio reports gains in revenue, shipments; losses reduced

Davis biotech firm Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. saw robust year-over-year growth in revenue and shipments and was able to reduce its losses in this year’s first quarter.

The company said revenues grew by 56 percent to $4.2 million in this year’s opening quarter, up from $2.7 million in the first quarter of 2016.

First quarter 2017 product shipments totaled a record $6.5 million, up 66 percent $3.9 million in the year-ago period.

“We have achieved another quarter of excellent growth, with a new record of product shipments and solid improvement in gross margin,” said Pam Marrone, MBI president and CEO. “We believe that we are well positioned to continue to capture a powerful, technology-driven opportunity and to stand out as a high growth company in the relatively mature agricultural products market.”

Marrone added that the producer of environmentally friendly pest-control products bolstered its balance sheet during the quartere “with the completion of a secondary offering with estimated net proceeds of $8.2 million and in March, the closing of a working capital line for up to $7 million.”

The gains enabled Marrone Bio to trim its first quarter 2017 net loss to $7.6 million, down from a loss of $9.3 million in the opening quarter of 2016.

The company has rallied from a low point just three years ago.

In September 2014, following the departure of MBI’s chief operating officer, the company investigated accounting problems that had resulted in overstatement revenues. In the aftermath of the probe and scrutiny from the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, Marrone said her firm has reported revenues in a precise, carefully considered manner. As a result, MBI said some revenues are deferred and not added to quarterly totals at the time products are sold.

In this year’s first quarter, deferred product revenue was defined as the approximate difference between reported revenue and shipments – about $2.3 million.

Earlier this week, the Davis firm announced that it had signed an agreement to market and distribute two of its bioinsecticides in Mexico, a key market for agricultural products consumed by Americans.

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Mark Glover: 916-321-1184, @markhglover