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Tuesday, Oct 4, 2022
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Capstone Relocates in Reach for Profitability

As part of its strategy to reach profitability, Capstone Turbine Corp. has begun a relocation of its corporate headquarters from Chatsworth to Van Nuys. The move from its long-time location in the West San Fernando Valley is part of an overall cost-cutting effort by the manufacturer of energy-efficient micro-turbines. For the fiscal first quarter ending June 30, Capstone reported a net loss of $4.1 million (-10 cents a share) on revenue of $19.2 million, compared to a net loss of $4.5 million (-17 cents) in the same period a year earlier. “You have three ways to drive profitability in a business: higher revenue, better margins and lower operating costs. At Capstone, we are employing all three of these strategies to help us reach profitability as quickly as possible,” Chief Executive Darren Jamison said in a statement accompanying the quarterly results. Attempts to reach a representative of Capstone were not successful. However, in an interview published a month ago by EnergyTech Investor, an investor research firm in New York, Jamison said the company would save more than $1.5 million a year by relocating from Chatsworth to a 79,000-square-foot location at 16640 Stagg St. at the Airport Business Park in Van Nuys. Capstone had been in a 98,000-square-foot building on a 2.3-acre lot at 21211 Nordhoff St. in Chatsworth. The company’s lease expires in 2019, according to real estate database CoStar Group Inc. The consolidation was part of a larger cost-cutting initiative that Capstone began in the first quarter of fiscal year 2016. The company set a goal of reducing expenses by 35 percent and 18 months later had exceeded that amount by making cuts of 42 percent. “Once Capstone is completely consolidated under one roof, we will realize an additional decrease in our annual operating expenses and see an additional boost in productivity and efficiency,” Jamison said in the quarterly statement. The drive for profitability stems from the company’s financial situation. In its annual report released in June, Capstone reported accumulated losses of nearly $851 million. “Since inception, we have incurred annual operating losses. We expect this trend to continue until such time that we can sell a sufficient number of units and achieve a cost structure to become profitable,” the annual report states. In the last year, Capstone stock has lost about 60 percent of its value; shares closed Aug. 30 at 64 cents (see chart). To increase revenue, the company is banking on its Signature Series of micro-turbines and joint venture Capstone Energy Finance, which provides funding to customers to buy company products, Jamison said in the EnergyTech interview. Also, the company is moving into doing more long-term service contracts that bring in higher margins with recurring revenue, he added. “The good news is the shift away from oil and gas to energy efficiency generally yields higher service contract attachment rates, as CHP (combined heat and power) customers typically do not have the indigenous personnel or expertise to do the maintenance,” Jamison said in the interview.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
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