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May 12, 2016

ImmuCell continues growth, backlog in first quarter

Photo Credit / ImmuCell ImmuCell has a backlog of orders for its First Defense product, shown being administered, which prevent diarrhea and dehydration in newborn calves.

Animal health company ImmuCell Corp. (NASDAQ: ICCC) of Portland reported lower sales and net profits for its first quarter ended March 31, though total sales for the 12-month period were up compared to the same periods last year.

Total sales of $3 million were down 3.7% over last year’s first quarter. Total sales for the 12-month period were up 17% to $10.1 million over the comparable 12 months. Net income for the first quarter slid to $452,000, or 11 cents per diluted share, compared to $479,000, or 15 cents per diluted share, during 2015’s first quarter.

While the sales decline ended a run of 14 consecutive quarters of positive sales growth over the same quarters the prior years, ImmuCell President and CEO Michael F. Brigham said the results nonetheless were strong.

“First quarter 2016 sales of $3 million were very strong, coming within $115,000 of the all-time high sales mark of $3.1 million set during the first quarter of 2015," he said in a statement. "We ended the just-completed quarter with a backlog of orders equaling $1.7 million as of March 31, 2016. Our sales team continued to operate at a very high level getting us off to a great start to the year."

The company closed its full-year and fourth quarter of 2015 on Dec. 31 on a high note, doubling its net profit in the fourth quarter to $289,000 versus the fourth quarter of 2014 and increasing total sales 22% to $2.7 million.

For the full year 2015, total sales rose 35% to $10.2 million and net income rose to $1.2 million during 2015 versus a net loss of $167,000 in 2014.

At the time, Brigham said that the high demand for its First Defense product to prevent diarrhea and dehydration in newborn calves exceeded ImmuCell's production capacity and available inventory, resulting in a backlog of orders worth about $381,000 as of Dec. 31.

The company had $11 million in cash, cash equivalents and other investments as of March 31 compared to $6.5 million as Dec. 31, 2015. Net working capital was $12.4 million at March 31 compared to $7.1 million at the end of 2015.

There are no analyst estimates available noting whether the company came in over or under market expectations. The company's market cap is $28 million.

Core Focus

Brigham said in a statement that the company is focusing on two core pieces of its strategy: expanding the market for First Defense and advancing development of Mast Out, its treatment for subclinical mastitis in lactating dairy cows.

In January the company said it would pay $350,000 to $550,000 over the next three years to Day 1 of Minnesota for the rights to an alternative medicine delivery method for First Defense, which has been given to the newborn calves orally in pills administered by a balling gun that was stuck down a calf's throat. The new method will use a large but shorter plastic syringe to insert a gel-like paste version of the medication, which is preferable to both farmers and mother cows, according to the company.

"We also look forward to regulatory approval in 2017 for the addition of a bovine rotavirus disease claim to our existing claims against E.coli and coronavirus infections," Brigham said.


ImmuCell completed a $4.5 million credit facility from TDBank NA. It also received gross proceeds of $5.9 million from an underwritten public offering of 1,123,810 shares of common stock priced at $5.25 per share. The net proceeds of the issuance were $5.3 million after deducting expenses. The proceeds are being used to fund construction of a new facility to produce the company's Mast Out mastitis treatment for dairy cows.

"Our current cash, plus our cash flow from operations, together with the new capital raised provides a roadmap to complete the development of Mast Out and bring the product to market," said Brigham.

"The investment to increase liquid processing production capacity for First Defense by 50% was completed during fourth quarter 2015," he said, adding that the investment to increase freeze-drying production capacity for First Defense by 100% is on schedule.

ImmuCell's shares ended last week up 1.08% to $6.22 at Friday’s close.

NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect most recent quarterly results.

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