Summary:

Smart grid company Silver Spring Networks held its first earnings call as a public company on Wednesday, and delivered a flat quarter. It’s a hard knock life in the hardware biz.

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Smart grid company Silver Spring Networks just finished its first quarter as a public company after it held an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange in March. The company’s earnings were basically flat for the quarter, reflecting the inherently slow pace of rolling out smart grid networks for utilities, and signing up new cautious, risk-averse utilities.

Silver Spring has decided to focus on its non-GAAP (general accepted accounting principles) numbers, because it said non-GAAP numbers more closely reflect its cash flow. The company takes many months to do pilot projects with utilities and then many more months, if not years, to deliver a broader commercial rollout of its network. It recognizes GAAP revenue for those customers significantly after the deal is closed and the tech is deployed.

For the first quarter of 2013, Silver Spring said its non-GAAP revenue was $73.78 million, which was up from its non-GAAP revenue of the first quarter of 2012 of $59.50 million. On a GAAP basis, revenue for the first quarter was $53.70 million, which was flat from the same quarter a year earlier of $55.45 million.

When it comes to the quarter’s net loss, the GAAP vs non-GAAP numbers actually made a much larger difference. The company’s GAAP net loss for the first quarter of 2013 was $64.37 million, which was a far greater loss than its GAAP loss of the first quarter of 2012 of $18.43 million. Silver Spring Networks execs said that the greater GAAP net loss was due to one time charges related to its IPO. However, its non-GAAP net loss was more reasonable for the first quarter of 2013 at $8.39 million, a slightly larger loss from its $5.27 million net loss from the first quarter of 2012.

In the earnings call, Silver Spring Network execs touted new customer wins including CPS Energy, the largest municipal utility in San Antonio with 700,000 homes and businesses, and Singapower Power, which was its first utility deal in Asia. In addition, Silver Spring also said that it has been working with Masers Energy in Malaysia and moved its partnership with Dominion Virginia Power from a pilot project to a deployment for 195,000 homes and businesses.

Silver Spring Networks sees growth in beefing up its services, beyond its networking hardware, and also in international markets. The company has already contracted with many of the early adopter U.S. utilities, and is looking to gain marketshare in Asia, and South America.

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