Composite building materials manufacturer and recycler Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies Inc. plans to return to the Nasdaq stock market later this year and make that transition without hurting investors.
In a Web cast March 30 to discuss AERT's 2009 earnings, Chairman and CEO Joe Brooks said the firm which voluntarily delisted its shares Dec. 28 and transferred trading of its Class A common stock from the Nasdaq Capital Markets to the OTC Bulletin Board expects to be part of a new small-cap equipment market on Nasdaq.
We look forward to building back the value of the company during 2010, Brooks said. In the Web cast, the firm said it expects to bring its recently opened $13 million Watts, Okla., recycling plant up to full capacity in the very near future.
The 70,000-square-foot plant has been LEED-certified at the silver level by the U.S. Green Building Council under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, making the plant eligible for $3.25 million in economic stimulus funding, according to AERT.
We believe this is the first LEED-certified plastics recycling plant in the U.S., said Brooks.
Also, the Springdale, Ark., company announced April 1 that it has restructured repayment terms for two loans with Allstate Insurance Co., its primary financial partner for the Watts recycling plant.
The Watts plant is critical to AERT's staying in business and retaining a competitive advantage, Brooks said, because of wild fluctuations in price and markets for virgin and recycled polyethylene.
The Watts plant will help AERT control our costs, drive our revenue stream and insulate the company from escalating petroleum price increases from which we have suffered from in the past, he said.
The February opening of the plant was particularly timely given the 18-cents-per-pound increase in PE prices since the first of the year.
This plant is a true game-changer for AERT that will open doors for additional market opportunities and further diversify our customer base by creating additional sales of recycled resin to customers looking to create green products with recycled content, Brooks said.
We will begin planning for construction of phase two of the plant once phase one is up to speed, he said.
AERT previously said it would likely add a recycling line in about a year. The company also has plans at some later date to blend and reformulate the plastics into resins it can sell to other manufacturers.
Brooks said that AERT has six resin identification and formulation patents pending related to its recycling process.
We see substantial opportunities for this technology not only in the U.S., but around the world, he said.
In 2009, AERT narrowed its losses to $5 million even though sales were down 18.6 percent to $71.1 million compared with sales of $87.4 million and a net loss of $35.9 million in 2008.
Looking forward, AERT expects to see sales growth in its composite decking and railing products in 2010, because of new deck tiles products in select Sam's Club stores, new handrail products and expanded distribution, according to Brooks.
We have had limited distribution west of the Mississippi River in the past and we have made changes to address that, said AERT President Tim Morrison. We also have taken steps to improve sales in the do-it-yourself channel. We continue to expand in Europe and areas of South America.
Brooks added: We are well-positioned for the green as the economy crawls back to life and remodeling begins to pick up later this year.
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