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Aterian Reports Fourth Quarter & Full Year 2023 Results

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Aterian, Inc. announced Q4 and full year 2023 results, with a decline in net revenue but improvements in gross margin and operating loss. The company reported a net loss but aims for adjusted EBITDA profitability in the second half of 2024. Financial figures show a decrease in revenue and an increase in gross margin, despite losses.
Positive
  • Improvements in gross margin and operating loss in Q4 2023 compared to Q4 2022.
  • Decline in net revenue for both Q4 2023 and full year 2023 compared to the previous year.
  • Aterian aims to achieve adjusted EBITDA profitability in the second half of 2024.
  • Significant non-cash stock compensation and impairment losses reported in the financial data.
  • Company's cash balance at the end of 2023 was $20.0 million.
  • Outlook for Q1 2024 predicts net revenue between $18.0 million and $21.0 million.
  • Expectation of adjusted EBITDA loss in Q1 2024, with profitability targeted for the second half of 2024.
Negative
  • Decline in net revenue for Q4 and full year 2023 compared to the previous year.
  • Continued losses reported in net loss and adjusted EBITDA for Q4 2023 and full year 2023.
  • Significant non-cash stock compensation and impairment losses impacting financial performance.
  • Outlook for Q1 2024 indicates a potential loss in adjusted EBITDA.
  • Challenges in achieving adjusted EBITDA profitability by the second half of 2024.

Examining Aterian's financial results reveals a substantial 40.3% decline in net revenue for Q4 2023, which is a significant contraction and could be indicative of operational challenges or a shrinking market share. However, the improvement in gross margin from 37.1% to 51.0% suggests that the company has effectively managed costs or shifted towards higher-margin products. The increase in gross margin, coupled with a reduction in operating loss from ($22.8) million to ($8.2) million, points towards a more efficient operation, albeit within a context of lower sales volume.

From an investor's perspective, the improved adjusted EBITDA loss from ($16.2) million to ($5.6) million year-over-year is a positive sign, indicating that the company is moving in the right direction towards its profitability targets. However, the continued net losses could weigh on the stock price and investor sentiment. The reaffirmation of the second half of 2024 Adjusted EBITDA profitability target is a positive signal, but it remains to be seen whether the company can achieve this amidst the challenges it faces.

It's also important to note the non-cash expenses such as stock compensation and impairment losses. These expenses can obscure the true operational performance of a company and investors should consider the underlying operating cash flows and the sustainability of the business model when evaluating the company's long-term potential.

The significant revenue decline reported by Aterian may reflect broader market trends or specific company issues. If the former, it could suggest a downturn in the sector or increased competition. If the latter, it might indicate a need for strategic realignment or innovation. The company's ability to improve gross margins despite declining revenues suggests successful cost management or a shift towards more profitable products, but it does not offset the overall revenue decrease.

Investors and stakeholders should note the projected Q1 2024 revenue and Adjusted EBITDA loss, which provide a short-term outlook on the company's performance. The provided range for net revenue and EBITDA loss sets expectations, but also introduces uncertainty about the company's trajectory. The reaffirmation of EBITDA profitability in the second half of 2024 provides a longer-term goal that may influence investment decisions, but should be viewed with caution given past performance and current market conditions.

The broader economic context, including global environment and inflation, as mentioned in Aterian's outlook for Q1 2024, is critical to understanding the company's performance. Inflationary pressures can erode consumer purchasing power and increase operational costs, potentially contributing to the revenue decline. The company's projections for the first quarter of 2024 suggest that these macroeconomic factors are expected to continue influencing performance.

Long-term investor confidence may hinge on the company's ability to navigate these economic headwinds and achieve the stated goal of EBITDA profitability in the second half of 2024. The improvement in adjusted EBITDA loss year-over-year is a positive development; however, the company must continue to adapt to the changing economic landscape to maintain and improve its financial health.

Reaffirms Second Half 2024 Adjusted EBITDA Profitability Target

NEW YORK, March 12, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aterian, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATER) (“Aterian” or the “Company”) today announced results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2023. 

Fourth Quarter 2023 Highlights

  • Fourth quarter 2023 net revenue declined 40.3% to $32.8 million, compared to $54.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2022.
  • Fourth quarter 2023 gross margin increased to 51.0%, compared to 37.1% in the fourth quarter of 2022, primarily reflecting lower liquidation of high cost inventory compared to the prior period.
  • Fourth quarter 2023 contribution margin increased to (0.8%) from (11.5%) in the fourth quarter of 2022, primarily reflecting lower liquidation of high cost inventory compared to the prior period.
  • Fourth quarter 2023 operating loss improved to ($8.2) million compared to a loss of ($22.8) million in the fourth quarter of 2022. Fourth quarter 2023 operating loss includes a reserve for barter credits of ($0.3) million and ($1.6) million of non-cash stock compensation, and a non-cash loss on impairment of an intangible of ($0.3) million, while fourth quarter 2022 operating loss included a reserve for barter credits of ($1.6) million and ($2.7) million of non-cash stock compensation, and a non-cash loss on impairment of goodwill of ($0.5) million.
  • Fourth quarter 2023 net loss improved to ($7.7) million from ($20.3) million in 2022. Fourth quarter 2023 net loss includes a reserve for barter credits of ($0.3) million, ($1.6) million of non-cash stock compensation, a non-cash loss on impairment of an intangible of ($0.3) million, while fourth quarter 2022 net loss included a reserve for barter credits of ($1.6) million, ($2.7) million of non-cash stock compensation, a non-cash loss on impairment of goodwill of ($0.5) million, and a gain on fair value of warrant liability of $2.8 million
  • Fourth quarter 2023 adjusted EBITDA loss improved to ($5.6) million from ($16.2) million in the fourth quarter of 2022.
  • Total cash balance at December 31, 2023 was $20.0 million.

Full Year 2023 Highlights

  • Full year 2023 net revenue declined 35.5% year over year to $142.6 million, compared to $221.2 million in the full year of 2022.
  • Full year gross margin increased to 49.3% compared to 47.7% in 2022, primarily reflecting the impact of product mix, improved shipping container rates during the year, and a reduction in liquidation of high priced excess inventory.
  • Full year 2023 contribution margin declined to 1.2% from 1.8% in 2022, primarily reflecting the full year impact of the Company’s plan to liquidate excess inventory and rationalize non-core SKUS.
  • Full year 2023 operating loss improved to ($76.2) million from ($178.2) million in 2022. Full year 2023 operating loss includes ($8.3) million of non-cash stock compensation, a non-cash loss on impairment of intangibles of ($39.7) million, restructuring costs of ($1.6) million, a gain on fair value of warrant liability of $2.4 million, and a reserve on barter credits of ($0.3) million, while full year 2022 operating loss included a gain of $5.2 million from the change in fair value of contingent earn-out liabilities, ($14.6) million of non-cash stock compensation, a non-cash loss on impairment of goodwill of ($120.4) million, a reserve for barter credits of ($1.6) million, litigation reserve of ($2.6) million, and a non-cash loss on impairment of intangibles of ($3.1) million.
  • Full year 2023 net loss improved to ($74.6) million from ($196.3) million in 2022. Full year 2023 net loss includes ($8.3) million of non-cash stock compensation, a non-cash loss on impairment of intangibles of ($39.7) million, restructuring costs of ($1.6) million, a gain on fair value of warrant liability of $2.4 million, and a reserve on barter credits of ($0.3) million while full year 2022 net loss included a gain of $5.2 million from the change in fair value of contingent earn-out liabilities, ($14.6) million of non-cash stock compensation, a non-cash loss on impairment of goodwill of ($120.4) million, a non-cash loss on impairment of intangibles of ($3.1) million, a gain on extinguishment of seller note of $2.0 million, a loss on initial issuance of equity of ($18.7) million, a reserve for barter credits of ($1.6) million, litigation reserve of ($2.6) million and gain of $0.5 million relating to the change in fair value of warrant liability.
  • Full year 2023 adjusted EBITDA loss improved to ($22.3) million from ($33.5) million in 2022.

First Quarter 2024 & Second Half of 2024 Outlook

For the first quarter of 2024, taking into account the current global environment and inflation, the Company believes that net revenue will be between $18.0 million and $21.0 million. For the first quarter of 2024, the Company expects Adjusted EBITDA loss will be between ($2.5) million and ($3.5) million.

The Company is reaffirming its prior guidance of expecting to be Adjusted EBITDA profitable in the second half of 2024.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

For more information on our non-GAAP financial measures and a reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP measures, please see the “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” section below. The most directly comparable GAAP financial measure for EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA is net loss and we expect to report a net loss for the three months ending March 31, 2024 and the second half of 2024, due primarily to our operating losses, which includes stock-based compensation expense, and interest expense. We are unable to reconcile the forward-looking statements of EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA in this press release to their nearest GAAP measures because the nearest GAAP financial measures are not accessible on a forward-looking basis and reconciling information is not available without unreasonable effort.

Webcast and Conference Call Information
Aterian will host a live conference call to discuss financial results today, March 12, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, which will be accessible by telephone and the internet. To access the call, participants from within the U.S. should dial (800) 715-9871 and participants from outside the U.S. should dial (646) 307-1963 and ask to be joined into the Aterian, Inc. call or use conference ID 8664618. Participants may also access the call through a live webcast at https://ir.aterian.io. The archived online replay will be available for a limited time after the call in the investors section of the Aterian corporate website. 

About Aterian, Inc.
Aterian, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATER) is a technology-enabled consumer products company that builds and acquires leading e-commerce brands with top selling consumer products, in multiple categories, including home and kitchen appliances, health and wellness and air quality devices. The Company sells across the world's largest online marketplaces with a focus on Amazon and Walmart in the U.S. and on its own direct to consumer websites.

Forward Looking Statements
All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this press release that address activities, events or developments that we expect, believe or anticipate will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements including, in particular, the statements regarding our projected first quarter net revenue and adjusted EBITDA, our guidance to achieve adjusted EBITDA profitability in the second half of 2024 and the current global environment and inflation. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties and other factors, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond our control and could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those described in the forward-looking statements. These risks include, but are not limited to, those related to our ability to continue as a going concern, our ability to meet financial covenants with our lenders, our ability to maintain and to grow market share in existing and new product categories; our ability to continue to profitably sell the SKUs we operate; our ability to create operating leverage and efficiency when integrating companies that we acquire, including through the use of our team’s expertise, the economies of scale of our supply chain and automation driven by our platform; those related to our ability to grow internationally and through the launch of products under our brands and the acquisition of additional brands; those related to consumer demand, our cash flows, financial condition, forecasting and revenue growth rate; our supply chain including sourcing, manufacturing, warehousing and fulfillment; our ability to manage expenses, working capital and capital expenditures efficiently; our business model and our technology platform; our ability to disrupt the consumer products industry; our ability to generate profitability and stockholder value; international tariffs and trade measures; inventory management, product liability claims, recalls or other safety and regulatory concerns; reliance on third party online marketplaces; seasonal and quarterly variations in our revenue; acquisitions of other companies and technologies and our ability to integrate such companies and technologies with our business; our ability to continue to access debt and equity capital (including on terms advantageous to the Company) and the extent of our leverage; and other factors discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of our most recent periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), all of which you may obtain for free on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

Although we believe that the expectations reflected in our forward-looking statements are reasonable, we do not know whether our expectations will prove correct. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof, even if subsequently made available by us on our website or otherwise. We do not undertake any obligation to update, amend or clarify these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required under applicable securities laws.


ATERIAN, INC.
Consolidated Balance Sheets
(in thousands, except share and per share data)
 
  December 31, 2022 December 31, 2023
ASSETS    
Current assets:    
Cash $43,574  $20,023 
Accounts receivable, net  4,515   4,225 
Inventory  43,666   20,390 
Prepaid and other current assets  8,261   4,998 
Total current assets  100,016   49,636 
Property and equipment, net  853   775 
Intangibles, net  54,757   11,320 
Other non-current assets  813   138 
Total assets $156,439  $61,869 
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY    
Current Liabilities:    
Credit facility $21,053  $11,098 
Accounts payable  16,035   4,190 
Seller notes  1,693   1,049 
Accrued and other current liabilities  14,254   9,110 
Total current liabilities  53,035   25,447 
Other liabilities  1,452   391 
Total liabilities  54,487   25,838 
Commitments and contingencies    
Stockholders' equity:    
Common stock, $0.0001 par value, 500,000,000 shares authorized and 80,752,290 and 90,097,372 shares outstanding at December 31, 2022 and December 31, 2023, respectively  8   9 
Additional paid-in capital  728,339   736,675 
Accumulated deficit  (625,251)  (699,815)
Accumulated other comprehensive loss  (1,144)  (838)
Total stockholders’ equity  101,952   36,031 
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity $156,439  $61,869 


ATERIAN, INC. 
Consolidated Statements of Operations 
(in thousands, except share and per share data)
 
  Three Months Ended
December 31,
 Year Ended
 December 31,
   2022   2023   2022   2023 
Net revenue $54,902  $32,754  $221,170  $142,566 
Cost of goods sold  34,534   16,045   115,652   72,281 
Gross profit  20,368   16,709   105,518   70,285 
Operating expenses:        
Sales and distribution  32,507   20,207   121,139   81,911 
Research and development  1,430   808   6,012   4,616 
General and administrative  8,758   3,654   38,239   20,220 
Impairment loss on goodwill  468      120,409    
Impairment loss on intangibles     283   3,118   39,728 
Change in fair value of contingent earn-out liabilities        (5,240)   
Total operating expenses  43,163   24,952   283,677   146,475 
Operating loss  (22,795)  (8,243)  (178,159)  (76,190)
Interest expense, net  560   345   2,603   1,421 
Gain on extinguishment of seller note        (2,012)   
Loss on initial issuance of equity        18,669    
Change in fair value of warrant liability  (2,835)  (30)  (470)  (2,440)
Other (income) expense, net  (83)  158   (281)  260 
Loss before income taxes  (20,437)  (8,716)  (196,668)  (75,431)
Benefit for income taxes  (133)  (1,009)  (376)  (867)
Net loss $(20,304) $(7,707) $(196,292) $(74,564)
Net loss per share, basic and diluted $(0.27) $(0.10) $(2.95) $(0.95)
Weighted-average number of shares outstanding, basic and diluted  75,824,531   79,286,321   66,529,565   78,155,590 


ATERIAN, INC. 
Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows 
(in thousands, except share and per share data)
 
  Year Ended December 31,
   2022   2023 
OPERATING ACTIVITIES:    
Net loss $(196,292) $(74,564)
Adjustments to reconcile net loss to net cash used by operating activities:    
Depreciation and amortization  7,521   3,886 
Provision for sales returns  56   (413)
Amortization of deferred financing cost and debt discounts  429   429 
Issuance of common stock  43    
Change in deferred tax balance     (1,153)
Stock-based compensation  14,594   8,336 
Gain from decrease of contingent earn-out liability fair value  (5,240)   
Change in inventory provisions     (3,149)
Gain in connection with the change in warrant fair value  (470)  (2,440)
Gain in connection with settlement of note payable  (2,012)   
Loss on initial issuance of equity  18,669    
Impairment loss on goodwill  120,409    
Impairment loss on intangibles  3,118   39,728 
Provision for barter credits  1,643   323 
Allowance for doubtful accounts and other  367   85 
Changes in assets and liabilities:    
Accounts receivable  5,596   205 
Inventory  19,438   26,426 
Prepaid and other current assets  5,564   2,597 
Accounts payable, accrued and other liabilities  (10,910)  (13,684)
Cash used in operating activities  (17,477)  (13,388)
INVESTING ACTIVITIES:    
Purchase of fixed assets  (82)  (119)
Purchase of Step and Go assets  (595)  (125)
Cash used in investing activities  (677)  (244)
FINANCING ACTIVITIES:    
Proceeds from equity offering, net of issuance costs  46,834    
Repayments on note payable to Smash  (3,423)  (668)
Payment of Squatty Potty earn-out  (3,983)   
Borrowings from MidCap credit facilities  136,687   79,806 
Repayments for MidCap credit facilities  (148,907)  (90,190)
Insurance obligation payments  (2,311)  (1,042)
Insurance financing proceeds  2,099   986 
Cash provided (used) by financing activities  26,996   (11,108)
Foreign currency effect on cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash  (528)  306 
Net change in cash and restricted cash for the year  8,314   (24,434)
Cash and restricted cash at beginning of year  38,315   46,629 
Cash and restricted cash at end of year $46,629  $22,195 
RECONCILIATION OF CASH AND RESTRICTED CASH:    
Cash  43,574   20,023 
Restricted Cash—Prepaid and other current assets  2,926   2,043 
Restricted cash—Other non-current assets  129   129 
TOTAL CASH AND RESTRICTED CASH $46,629  $22,195 
     
SUPPLEMENTAL DISCLOSURES OF CASH FLOW INFORMATION    
Cash paid for interest $1,875  $1,718 
Cash paid for taxes $100  $94 
NON-CASH INVESTING AND FINANCING ACTIVITIES:    
Non-cash consideration paid to contractors $1,137  $321 
Fair value of warrants issued in connection with equity offering $18,982  $ 
Issuance of common stock related to exercise of warrants $767  $ 
Initial issuance of equity $18,669  $ 
Issuance of common stock $43  $ 
Exercise of prefunded warrants $15,039  $ 
         

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

We believe that our financial statements and the other financial data included in this press release have been prepared in a manner that complies, in all material respects, with generally accepted accounting principles in the U.S. (“GAAP”). However, for the reasons discussed below, we have presented certain non-GAAP measures herein.

We have presented the following non-GAAP measures to assist investors in understanding our core net operating results on an on-going basis: (i) Contribution Margin; (ii) Contribution margin as a percentage of net revenue; (iii) EBITDA (iv) Adjusted EBITDA; and (v) Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue. These non-GAAP financial measures may also assist investors in making comparisons of our core operating results with those of other companies.

As used herein, Contribution margin represents gross profit less amortization of inventory step-up from acquisitions (included in cost of goods sold), reserve on barter credits and e-commerce platform commissions, online advertising, selling and logistics expenses (included in sales and distribution expenses).  As used herein, Contribution margin as a percentage of net revenue represents Contribution margin divided by net revenue. As used herein, EBITDA represents net loss plus depreciation and amortization, interest expense, net and provision for income taxes. As used herein, Adjusted EBITDA represents EBITDA plus stock-based compensation expense, changes in fair-market value of earn-outs, profit and loss impacts from the issuance of common stock and/or warrants, changes in fair-market value of warrant liability, litigation settlements, impairment on goodwill and intangibles, gain from extinguishment of seller note, restructuring expenses, reserve on barter credits, and other expenses, net.  As used herein, Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue represents Adjusted EBITDA divided by net revenue. Contribution margin, EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA do not represent and should not be considered as alternatives to loss from operations or net loss, as determined under GAAP.

We present Contribution margin and Contribution margin as a percentage of net revenue, as we believe each of these measures provides an additional metric to evaluate our operations and, when considered with both our GAAP results and the reconciliation to gross profit, provides useful supplemental information for investors.  Specifically, Contribution margin and Contribution margin as a percentage of net revenue are two of our key metrics in running our business.  All product decisions made by us, from the approval of launching a new product and to the liquidation of a product at the end of its life cycle, are measured primarily from Contribution margin and/or Contribution margin as a percentage of net revenue.  Further, we believe these measures provide improved transparency to our stockholders to determine the performance of our products prior to fixed costs as opposed to referencing gross profit alone.

In the reconciliation to calculate contribution margin, we add e-commerce platform commissions, online advertising, selling and logistics expenses (“sales and distribution variable expense”), and the reserve for barter credits to gross profit to inform users of our financial statements of what our product profitability is at each period prior to fixed costs (such as sales and distribution expenses such as salaries as well as research and development expenses and general administrative expenses).  By excluding these fixed costs, we believe this allows users of our financial statements to understand our products performance and allows them to measure our products performance over time.

We present EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue because we believe each of these measures provides an additional metric to evaluate our operations and, when considered with both our GAAP results and the reconciliation to net loss, provide useful supplemental information for investors. We use these measures with financial measures prepared in accordance with GAAP, such as sales and gross margins, to assess our historical and prospective operating performance, to provide meaningful comparisons of operating performance across periods, to enhance our understanding of our operating performance and to compare our performance to that of our peers and competitors.  We believe EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue are useful to investors in assessing the operating performance of our business without the effect of non-cash items.
Contribution margin, Contribution margin as a percentage of net revenue, EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue should not be considered in isolation or as alternatives to net loss, loss from operations or any other measure of financial performance calculated and prescribed in accordance with GAAP. Neither EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA or Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue should be considered a measure of discretionary cash available to us to invest in the growth of our business. Our Contribution margin, Contribution margin as a percentage of net revenue, EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue may not be comparable to similar titled measures in other organizations because other organizations may not calculate Contribution margin, Contribution margin as a percentage of net revenue, EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA or Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue in the same manner as we do. Our presentation of Contribution margin and Adjusted EBITDA should not be construed as an inference that our future results will be unaffected by the expenses that are excluded from such terms or by unusual or non-recurring items.

Contribution margin, Contribution margin as a percentage of net revenue, EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue should not be considered in isolation or as alternatives to net loss, loss from operations or any other measure of financial performance calculated and prescribed in accordance with GAAP. Neither EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA or Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue should be considered a measure of discretionary cash available to us to invest in the growth of our business. Our Contribution margin, Contribution margin as a percentage of net revenue, EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue may not be comparable to similar titled measures in other organizations because other organizations may not calculate Contribution margin, Contribution margin as a percentage of net revenue, EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA or Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue in the same manner as we do. Our presentation of Contribution margin and Adjusted EBITDA should not be construed as an inference that our future results will be unaffected by the expenses that are excluded from such terms or by unusual or non-recurring items.

We recognize that EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue, have limitations as analytical financial measures. For example, neither EBITDA nor Adjusted EBITDA reflects:

  • our capital expenditures or future requirements for capital expenditures or mergers and acquisitions;
  • the interest expense or the cash requirements necessary to service interest expense or principal payments, associated with indebtedness;
  • depreciation and amortization, which are non-cash charges, although the assets being depreciated and amortized will likely have to be replaced in the future, or any cash requirements for the replacement of assets;
  • changes in cash requirements for our working capital needs; or
  • changes in fair value of contingent earn-out liabilities, warrant liabilities, and amortization of inventory step-up from acquisitions (included in cost of goods sold).

Additionally, Adjusted EBITDA excludes non-cash expense for stock-based compensation, which is and is expected to remain a key element of our overall long-term incentive compensation package.

We also recognize that Contribution margin and Contribution margin as a percentage of net revenue have limitations as analytical financial measures. For example, Contribution margin does not reflect:

  • general and administrative expense necessary to operate our business;
  • research and development expenses necessary for the development, operation and support of our software platform;
  • the fixed costs portion of our sales and distribution expenses including stock-based compensation expense; or
  • changes in fair value of contingent earn-out liabilities, warrant liabilities, and amortization of inventory step-up from acquisitions (included in cost of goods sold).

Contribution Margin

The following table provides a reconciliation of Contribution margin to gross profit and Contribution margin as a percentage of net revenue to gross profit as a percentage of net revenue, which are the most directly comparable financial measures presented in accordance with GAAP.

  Three Months Ended
December 31,
 Year Ended
December 31,
 
   2022   2023   2022   2023  
  (in thousands, except percentages) 
Gross Profit $20,368  $16,709  $105,518  $70,285  
Reserve on barter credits  1,643   323   1,643   323  
E-commerce platform commissions, online advertising, selling and logistics expenses  (28,331)  (17,293)  (103,258)  (68,864) 
Contribution margin $(6,320) $(261) $3,903  $1,744  
Gross Profit as a percentage of net revenue  37.1 % 51.0 % 47.7 % 49.3 %
Contribution margin as a percentage of net revenue  (11.5)% (0.8)% 1.8 % 1.2 %

Adjusted EBITDA

  Three Months Ended
 December 31,
 Year Ended
December 31,
 
   2022   2023   2022   2023  
  (in thousands, except percentages) 
Net loss $(20,304) $(7,707) $(196,292) $(74,564) 
Add:         
Benefit for income taxes  (133)  (1,009)  (376)  (867) 
Interest expense, net  560   345   2,603   1,421  
Depreciation and amortization  1,758   469   7,521   3,886  
EBITDA  (18,119)  (7,902)  (186,544)  (70,124) 
Other (income) expense, net  (83)  158   (281)  260  
Change in fair value of contingent earn-out liabilities        (5,240)    
Impairment loss on goodwill  468      120,409     
Impairment loss on intangibles     283   3,118   39,728  
Gain on extinguishment of seller note        (2,012)    
Change in fair market value of warrant liability  (2,835)  (30)  (470)  (2,440) 
Loss on original issuance of equity        18,669     
Litigation reserve        2,600     
Reserve on barter credits  1,643   323   1,643   323  
Restructuring expense           1,633  
Stock-based compensation expense  2,740   1,564   14,594   8,336  
Adjusted EBITDA $(16,186) $(5,604) $(33,514) $(22,284) 
Net loss as a percentage of net revenue  (37.0)% (23.5)% (88.8)% (52.3)%
Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue  (29.5)% (17.1)% (15.2)% (15.6)%
                  

Each of our products typically goes through the Launch phase and depending on its level of success is moved to one of the other phases as further described below: 

i.  Launch phase: During this phase, we leverage our technology and other sources to target product opportunities. This phase also includes revenue from new product variations and relaunches. During this period of time, due to the combination of discounts and investment in marketing, our net margin for a product could be as low as approximately negative 35%. Net margin is calculated by taking net revenue less the cost of goods sold, less fulfillment, online advertising and selling expenses. These costs primarily reflect the estimated variable costs related to the sale of a product.

ii.  Sustain phase: Our goal is for every product we launch to enter the sustain phase and become profitable, with a target of positive 15% net margin for most products, within approximately three months of launch on average. Net margin primarily reflects a combination of manual and automated adjustments in price and marketing spend.

iii.  Liquidate phase: If a product does not enter the sustain phase or if the customer satisfaction of the product (i.e., ratings) is not satisfactory, then it will go to the liquidate phase and we will sell through the remaining inventory. Products can also be liquidated as part of inventory normalization especially when steep discounts are required.

The following tables break out our fourth quarter and full year 2022 and 2023 results of operations by our product phases (in thousands):

  Three months ended December 31, 2022
  Sustain  Launch  Liquidation
/ Other
 Fixed Costs Stock Based Compensation  Total
Net revenue$40,831 $963 $13,108 $ $ $54,902 
Cost of goods sold 17,550  236  16,748      34,534 
Gross profit 23,281  727  (3,640)     20,368 
Operating expenses:               
Sales and distribution expenses 19,902  316  8,113  3,390  786  32,507 
Research and development       976  454  1,430 
General and administrative       7,258  1,500  8,758 
Impairment loss on goodwill       468    468 
                
  Three months ended December 31, 2023
  Sustain  Launch  Liquidation
/ Other
 Fixed Costs Stock Based Compensation  Total
Net revenue$25,175 $390 $7,189 $ $ $32,754 
Cost of goods sold 10,457  114  5,474      16,045 
Gross profit 14,718  276  1,715      16,709 
Operating expenses:               
Sales and distribution expenses 12,973  263  4,056  2,567  348  20,207 
Research and development       528  280  808 
General and administrative       2,717  937  3,654 
Impairment loss on intangibles       283    283 
                
  Year-ended December 31, 2022
  Sustain  Launch  Liquidation
/ Other
 Fixed Costs Stock Based Compensation  Total
Net revenue$187,039 $4,766 $29,365 $ $ $221,170 
Cost of goods sold 82,909  2,332  30,411      115,652 
Gross profit 104,130  2,434  (1,046)     105,518 
Operating expenses:               
Sales and distribution expenses 83,198  2,287  17,773  12,867  5,014  121,139 
Research and development       4,141  1,871  6,012 
General and administrative       30,530  7,709  38,239 
Impairment loss on goodwill       120,409    120,409 
Impairment loss on intangibles       3,118    3,118 
Change in earn-out liability       (5,240)   (5,240)
                
  Year-ended December 31, 2023
  Sustain  Launch  Liquidation
/ Other
 Fixed Costs Stock Based Compensation  Total
Net revenue$114,919 $959 $26,688 $ $ $142,566 
Cost of goods sold 53,139  455  18,687      72,281 
Gross profit 61,780  504  8,001      70,285 
Operating expenses:               
Sales and distribution expenses 53,442  603  14,820  10,607  2,439  81,911 
Research and development       3,202  1,414  4,616 
General and administrative       15,737  4,483  20,220 
Impairment loss on intangibles       39,728    39,728 



FAQ

What was the net revenue decline in Q4 2023 for Aterian (ATER)?

In Q4 2023, Aterian reported a 40.3% decline in net revenue to $32.8 million.

What was the gross margin increase in Q4 2023 for Aterian (ATER)?

The gross margin for Aterian increased to 51.0% in Q4 2023.

What was the operating loss improvement in Q4 2023 for Aterian (ATER)?

Aterian's operating loss improved to ($8.2) million in Q4 2023.

What was the full year net revenue decline in 2023 for Aterian (ATER)?

Aterian reported a 35.5% decline in full year net revenue for 2023.

What was the full year gross margin increase in 2023 for Aterian (ATER)?

The gross margin for Aterian increased to 49.3% in 2023.

What was the adjusted EBITDA loss in Q4 2023 for Aterian (ATER)?

Aterian reported an adjusted EBITDA loss of ($5.6) million in Q4 2023.

What is Aterian's outlook for net revenue in Q1 2024?

Aterian expects net revenue between $18.0 million and $21.0 million in Q1 2024.

When does Aterian expect to achieve adjusted EBITDA profitability?

Aterian aims to be adjusted EBITDA profitable in the second half of 2024.

Aterian, Inc.

NASDAQ:ATER

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Heating Equipment (except Warm Air Furnaces) Manufacturing
Manufacturing
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United States of America
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