Fuel cell market leader Bloom Energy had its first quarterly financial disclosure as a public company this week — although there was no earnings call because of the post-IPO quiet period. 
In light of CEO K.R. Sridhar's verbal missteps of late (more on that below), Bloom may have dodged a bullet.
As a refresher, late last month Bloom sold 18 million shares at $15 each, at the height of the price range, generating $270 million and valuing the firm at more than $2 billion. Shares closed at $28.15 on Wednesday. For now, the market seems to really like Bloom's story. 

The company's second-quarter results were strong when it came to revenue — and repeated the usual story when it came to losses.
Bloom had Q2 revenue of $168.9 million — on the high end of its guidance, flat compared to last quarter, and up 95 percent year-over-year. Losses for the quarter were $37.9 million.
Here are the takeaways from the shareholder letter:
  • Bloom's installed base has grown to 328 megawatts
  • The firm is seeing healthy demand in data center and healthcare markets
  • Installation began in South Korea on an 8.4-megawatt project with KOEN, a Kepco firm
  • Bloom manufactured its millionth solid-oxide fuel cell stack
  • Total installed system cost is $5,607 per kilowatt 
When we interviewed Matt Ross, Bloom's executive VP and CMO, last month, he said the stock jumped because the market understands the story. Investors are seeing rapid growth, significant customer adoption and a major expansion in data center sales. Ross said his customers are looking for greater reliability and resiliency than the grid can provide.
According to the S-1 form, Bloom had a product backlog of 108 megawatts, valued at $743 million, at the end of the first quarter. 

CEO K.R. Sridhar trips up

Bloom had a total deficit of $2.3 billion as of March, and its S-1 stated that the company “will incur net losses on a GAAP basis for the foreseeable future.”  
As GTM has reported, Bloom has faced significant losses in the past two years — $263 million on revenues of $376 million in 2017, and $279.6 million on revenues of $208.5 million in 2016. In the first three months of 2018, it reported a net loss of $17.7 million on revenues of $169.4 million. The company lost $37.9 million in this most recent quarter. 
But strangely enough, shortly after the IPO, CEO K.R. Sridhar told MarketWatch that Bloom will be "cash-flow positive and GAAP-profitable this year." He also said that Bloom is “a profitable company as of [the second quarter],” and that he expected that trend to continue.
Bloom PR reps quickly walked that back to: "Bloom Energy expects to be GAAP-profitable at the operating level, and thus cash-flow positive, this year, not net profitable." 
Then Dan Primack of Axios noted that Bloom was profitable only on an adjusted operating basis, meaning that the walk-back needed a walk-back. Bloom was forced to issue a filing, disclaiming those and a few other of its CEO's utterances: “The Company disclaims any statement regarding its expectations for future profitability or cash flows, makes no such forecast or prediction at this time regarding its future operating results, and undertakes no obligation to do so in the future."
Primack suggests that Sridhar might not "understand or appreciate the difference between GAAP and non-GAAP accounting or cash-flow vs. net income."
That's a difficult start to life as the CEO of a public firm. Sridhar has three months to brush up on his accounting and polish his public speaking and truth-telling skills before the next earnings call.