Akerna Announces Financial Results for the Quarter Ended December 31, 2020

6.1 min readPublished On: March 22nd, 2021By
DENVER–Akerna (Nasdaq: KERN), an enterprise software, compliance technology provider and developer of seed-to-sale enterprise resource planning (ERP) software technology (MJ Platform), today reported its unaudited financial results for the quarter ended December 31, 2020.
“In the December quarter we delivered strong financial results, with 38 percent software growth year over year and 36 percent sequential improvement in adjusted EBITDA,” said Jessica Billingsley, CEO of Akerna.  “With the recent announced plans to acquire Viridian, we continue to bolster the strength of our channel connections with existing ERP providers.  As we prepare for a post-legalization landscape and the industry continues to consolidate and mature, we firmly believe enterprise capabilities, including comprehensive compliance solutions and financial reporting integrations, will become increasingly important to the future leaders of the cannabis industry.”

Quarter Ended December 31, 2020 Financial Highlights

  • Software revenue was $3.4 million, up 38% year over year
  • Total revenue was $4.1 million, up 24% year over year
  • Gross profit was $2.7 million, up 60% year over year
  • Net loss was $12.2 million compared to a net loss of $3.8 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2019
  • Adjusted EBITDA was ($1.9 million) compared to ($2.7 million) for the quarter ended December 31, 2019
  • Cash was $17.8 million as of December 31, 2020

See “Explanation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below

Quarter Ended December 31, 2020 Key Metrics

  • Total SaaS ARR of $13.8 million, up 42% year over year
  • Average new MJ Platform order up 52% year over year
  • MJ Platform transaction volume up 63% year over year
  • Retail order volume up 56% year over year
  • Retail order value up 105% year over year
  • New Bookings ARR of $0.8 million

Quarter Ended December 31, 2020 Operational Highlights

  • Akerna Launches MJ Retail Point of Sale Solution
  • November elections open five new markets for Akerna products and services
  • Transitioned to fully remote workforce, closed offices and lowered operating costs
  • Closed $12 million public offering of common stock
  • Transitioned fiscal year-end to December 31

Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements made in this release are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When used in this press release, the words “estimates,” “projected,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “forecasts,” “plans,” “intends,” “believes,” “seeks,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “future,” “propose” and variations of these words or similar expressions (or the negative versions of such words or expressions) are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements include but are not limited to statements regarding our preparation for a potential post-legalization landscape, our believe enterprise capabilities, including comprehensive compliance solutions and financial reporting integrations, will become increasingly important to the future leaders of the cannabis industry and the timing for management’s conference call in relation to our quarterly results. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, conditions or results, and involve a number of significant known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions, and other important factors, many of which are outside Akerna’s control, that could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Important factors, among others that may affect actual results or outcomes, include (i) Akerna’s ability to maintain relationships with customers and suppliers and retain its management and key employees, (ii) changes in applicable laws or regulations, (iii) changes in the market place due to the coronavirus pandemic or other market factors, (iv) and other risks and uncertainties disclosed from time to time in Akerna’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including those under “Risk Factors” therein.  You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. All information herein speaks only as of the date hereof, in the case of information about Akerna, or the date of such information, in the case of information from persons other than Akerna. Akerna undertakes no duty to update or revise the information contained herein. Forecasts and estimates regarding Akerna’s industry and end markets are based on sources believed to be reliable; however, there can be no assurance these forecasts and estimates will prove accurate in whole or in part.

Explanation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures:

In addition to our results determined in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”), we believe the following non-GAAP measures are useful in evaluating our operating performance. We use the following non-GAAP financial information to evaluate our ongoing operations and for internal planning and forecasting purposes. We believe that non-GAAP financial information, when taken collectively, may be helpful to investors because it provides consistency and comparability with past financial performance. However, non-GAAP financial information is presented for supplemental informational purposes only, has limitations as an analytical tool, and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for financial information presented in accordance with GAAP.

Investors are cautioned that there are material limitations associated with the use of non-GAAP financial measures as an analytical tool. Other companies, including companies in our industry, may calculate similarly titled non-GAAP measures differently or may use other measures to evaluate their performance, all of which could reduce the usefulness of our non-GAAP financial measures as tools for comparison.  We attempt compensate for these limitations by providing specific information regarding the GAAP items excluded from these non-GAAP financial measures.

Investors are encouraged to review the related GAAP financial measures and the reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures to their most directly comparable GAAP financial measures and not rely on any single financial measure to evaluate our business.

Adjusted EBITDA

We believe that Adjusted EBITDA, when considered with the financial statements determined in accordance with GAAP, is helpful to investors in understanding our performance and allows for comparison of our performance and credit strength to our peers. Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered alternatives to net loss as determined in accordance with GAAP as indicators of our performance or liquidity.

We define EBITDA as net loss before interest expense, provision for income taxes, depreciation and amortization. We calculate Adjusted EBITDA as EBITDA further adjusted to exclude the effects of the following items for the reasons set forth below:

  • Impairment of long-lived assets, because it’s a non-cash, non-recurring item, which effects the comparability of results of operations and liquidity;
  • Stock-based compensation expense, because this represents a non-cash charge and our mix of cash and share-based compensation may differ from other companies, which effects the comparability of results of operations and liquidity;
  • Cost incurred in connection with business combinations that are required to be expensed as incurred in accordance with GAAP, because business combination related costs are specific to the complexity and size of the underlying transactions as well as the frequency of our acquisition activity these costs are not reflective of our ongoing operations
  • Costs incurred in connection with debt issuance when we elect the fair value option to account for the debt instrument because if we had not elected the fair value option such costs would be recognized as an adjustment to the effective interest and excluded from EBITDA
  • Restructuring costs because we believe these costs are not representative of operating performance;
  • Equity in earnings (losses) of investees because our share of the operations of investees is not representative of our own operating performance and may not be monetized for a number of years; and
  • Other non-operating expenses which includes a one-time gain on asset sale, which effects the comparability of results of operations and liquidity.

(This information is primarily sourced from Akerna.  Highly Capitalized has neither approved nor disapproved the contents of this news release. Read our Disclaimer here)

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