What happened

Shares of Danimer Scientific (DNMR 4.58%) were climbing higher today after the maker of renewable and biodegradable bioplastics posted solid results in its first-quarter earnings report.

As a result, the stock was up 15.5% as of 2:17 p.m. EDT.

A woman inspecting plastic jugs

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Danimer, which makes food packaging from plant-based oils, said revenue increased 24% to $13.2 million, driven by stronger demand and additional PHA production at its Winchester, Kentucky plant.

That topped expectations, though only one analyst is making revenue estimates on the company so comparisons aren't particularly meaningful.

Further down the income statement the results showed the company investing in its growth. Adjusted gross profit slipped from $4.1 million to $3.9 million due to higher cost-per-pound of PHA products sold, and the company reported an adjusted EBITDA loss of $2.3 million, compared to breakeven in the quarter a year ago. 

Management said demand remains strong for its signature polymer Nodax PHA, and with recent capacity expansions and increases in demand it expects to deliver up to 315 million pounds of finished PHA product per year. 

CEO Stephen Croskrey said: "Danimer Scientific remains at the forefront of the bioplastics industry as the premier supplier of PHA biopolymers to blue chip multinational corporations that are committed to reducing single-use plastic waste. In the first quarter 2021, we continued to make progress on our facility expansions, customer application developments, and other investments in our operational infrastructure in order to serve the current and long-term demand for our next generation Nodax technology."

Now what

Danimer is essentially a development-stage company as it's still in the process of ramping up production, so quarterly results aren't so meaningful. However, the company is making progress on capacity expansions and said that it expected to increase output in the second quarter thanks to debottlenecking initiatives. 

As an under-the-radar play on renewable energy, Danimer will continue to earn a high multiple unless investors lose faith in its technology.