Investors sent shares of Pressure BioSciences Inc (OTCMKTS:PBIO) soaring Tuesday after the life science group reported both a jump in first-quarter revenue thanks to an uptick in instrument sales, and said it has shrunk its debt.
By the afternoon, Pressure Bio's shares were up about 19% to US$3.90.
The company’s total revenue for the opening three months of 2018 rose 11% to US$610,774, up from US$551,357 in the year-ago quarter, thanks partly to booming sales of the company’s laboratory instruments which utilize pressure to control bio-molecular interactions.
Sales of instruments jumped 8% to $420,089 in the first quarter compared with $396,095 last year while sales of related consumables rose 18% to $74,698 compared with $63,264 for the same period in 2017.
Pressure BioSciences also successfully converted US$6.39mln worth of debentures held by 22 debt holders into series AA preferred stock, which means that it paid off 92% of its 2015/2016 outstanding debenture debt on its balance sheet as of the end of last March.
If the company successfully persuades more debt holders to follow suit and swap their debt for equity, CEO Richard Schumacher says it would increase the company’s chance of uplisting to a national exchange such as the Nasdaq later this year.“We are in discussions with other note-holders about the possible conversion of debt into equity in the near future,” said Schumacher in a statement. “If some of these additional loans are also converted into equity, the projected balance sheet on June 30, 2018, will be materially stronger than the balance sheet as of March 31, 2018."
As a result of its move to pay down its debt and the bolstering of its revenue, the company’s loss shrank 24% to US$1.64 in the first quarter, down from a loss of US$2.16 in the year-ago quarter.
Among wins in the quarter is the signing of the first contract to evaluate the ability of the company’s patented PreEMT platform to improve the manufacturing process for protein therapeutic drug candidates.
Pressure BioSciences also entered a two-year global co-marketing and distribution agreement with ISS Inc, a supplier of high-pressure optical cell systems used for laboratory analysis. Working together, the two companies plan to replace ISS’s manual pressure generator with Pressure BioSciences’ computer-controlled, automated instruments.