Aurora Control Technologies (ACU.V) improves solar cell manufacturing efficiency via innovative products (Decima, and Veritas). Coverage was initiated on January 2017, with additional notes on April, June, and November 2017, along with a more recent note on March 2018.
From our last update, the following releases were issued by the company.
Mar. 12 - Introduces Veritas™ Insight to maximize yield and performance in high-efficiency solar cell manufacturing. Launched a new product designed for use in PERC and other high-efficiency cell production lines - available April 2018.
Mar. 29 - Entered into a Collaborative Research Agreement (CRA) with the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS). The purpose of the partnership is to advance the infrared reflection and transmission measurement techniques commercially pioneered in the DecimaTM family.
Apr. 23 - Aurora Opens Office in China (Shangai) and Obtains Security Guarantee from Export Development Canada (EDC). The Shangai Office will have a sales team of two. The company also reports being in the final stage of arranging testing with Top 5 Chinese panel producers.
Also received $0.6M (USD) from EDC to support their efforts. ACU.V also issued .4M stock options at $0.20 cents.
May 23 - Announces Heterojunction Solar Cell Quality Measurement System in Advance of Major Exhibition in China.
Introduction of the DM-121 and DM-321 measurement systems for HJT cell TCO layer quality control. The DM-121 and DM-321 were displayed at the Shanghai New Energy Conference Exhibition (SNEC), May 28-30, booth number E3-653.
May 28 - Signs Evaluation Agreement with Another Super League Member for a Bifacial Solar Cell Line. The Silicon Module Super League is tracked by Solar Media Ltd. and comprised of seven companies that will each ship in excess of 4GW of modules this year.
The purpose of the agreement is to document the capabilities of Aurora's Decima Gemini measurement system and Veritas visualization system for this major producer's new bifacial solar cell production facilities. Under the agreement, Aurora will install and calibrate a Decima 3T Gemini System on the producer's new bifacial production line and provide the Veritas process mapping software on an evaluation basis.
The system is expected to be delivered in early June with a commercial decision expected after a three-month evaluation period. Also received several recent requests to provide volume quotations from major producers of Passivated Emitter Rear Cells (PERC) based in China with decisions expected in the next several months.
June 21- Proposed Extension of Terms of Warrant. Company proposed to extend, by three months, the term of outstanding share purchase warrants exercisable at a price of $0.25 per common share for 4.9M shares dated from the private placement of July 8, 2016.
July 30 - Year End Financial Results (March 31st) - Record revenue of $2.5M for the year, an increase of 77% compared to the prior year
Aug. 9 - Signs Five Monthly Subscription Licenses for Insight(TM) and Announces Leadership Changes. The Insight server and subscription licenses are expected to ship in early September. Announces that Michael Heaven, President & CEO, will step back to the role of Chairman of the Board for family health reasons. Kevin Dodds, a current investor and Director of the Company will take over as President & CEO on an interim basis effective immediately. ACU.V issued 0.25M options to Mr. Dodds at the August 8, 2018, closing price.
Over the past five months ACU.V has been busy on multiple fronts.
a) Insight -Within six months after launching Insight (Mar. 12), it signed five monthly subscription (Aug. 9) which are due to begin in Early September.
b) SERIS & HJT -Within two months of forming a partnership with SERIS (Mar 29), it announce an HJT measurement system (May 23). This is not only impressive in terms of timeline but more importantly adds to the existing Bifacial and PERC product lines.
c) Signed another Super League Member (potentially): Hanwha Q Cells, Jinko Solar, LONGi Solar, GCL, JA Solar, Canadian Solar, or Trina Solar.
d) China & EDC - In addition to opening an office in China, ACU.V secure $0.6M (USD) in Security Guarantee from Export Development Canada (EDC).
e) Earning and Warrants - ACU.V reported Record Financial YoY and was able to postpone the expiry date of more than 4M warrants.
Unfortunately, the trajectory of the stock price within the last period is not reflective of these catalysts. No doubt the Q3 Earnings (Feb. 20) had an impact. An income loss of $0.39M initially weighted on valuation. However, the numerous positive releases had an inverse impact on the stock price.
ACU.V went from $0.235 to $0.125 cents (47% decline). While the descent seems correlated with the decline of the TSX Venture, additional issues such as the introduction of US Solar Tariffs and cuts to domestic subsidies in China have been a factor.
Nonetheless, looking back the three month warrant extension (June 21) aligns well with the timelines of the Super League Evaluation cited in the May 28th release. Ultimately the Year End financial seems to represent a turning point. The next few months will be telling, but the recent five monthly subscription announcements (Aug. 9) was welcomed by the market and seems to change investors sentiments.
On the heels of a bearish signal, August trading represents a reversal.
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