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Lightbridge announces 2012 third quarter business update and financial results

Friday, Nov 09, 2012

 MCLEAN, Va., Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Lightbridge Corporation (NASDAQ: LTBR), a leading innovator of next generation nuclear fuel designs and provider of nuclear energy consulting services to commercial and governmental organizations, today provided a business update on the progress of its nuclear fuel technology and consulting operations and reported financial results for the quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2012.

"Lightbridge achieved key strategic milestones in the development of our fuel technology during the quarter," said Seth Grae, President and Chief Executive Officer.  "We also are encouraged by the ongoing involvement of our advisory services division in several new consulting opportunities, as well as the positive momentum that continues to build throughout the commercial nuclear power market.  Nuclear energy is increasingly recognized as a source of long-term, efficient, base-load and carbon-free electric power."

Lightbridge is developing and commercializing next generation nuclear fuel technology with indicated benefits of increasing power output of existing and new reactors by up to 30%, reducing nuclear waste, improving safety and enhancing proliferation resistance.

Grae said that the Company has completed what is understood to be the last key step in obtaining Part 810 export authorization prior to that authorization being granted by the U.S. Department of Energy for proposed collaborative work in Russia with Rosatom entities.  The last step in this export authorization review process was achieved when Rosatom recently provided non-proliferation assurances to DOE.

Lightbridge also secured final approval from Russian fuel fabricator TVEL relating to fabrication of Lightbridge-designed metallic fuel samples for irradiation testing in the MIR research reactor in Dimitrovgrad, Russia, and the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at Idaho National Laboratory.  "We are in the advanced stages of contract negotiations with TVEL and its subsidiary companies," Grae said.  "We expect these negotiations to be completed in the next few months."

Lightbridge remains on track to begin loop irradiation in 2013 of the Company's metallic fuel samples at the MIR research reactor, he added.  Discussions on preliminary irradiation plans continue with authorities at the Dimitrovgrad test facility.

"These irradiations will be performed under prototypic pressurized water reactor operating conditions and will provide data needed for regulatory licensing and demonstration of Lightbridge-designed lead test assemblies in a commercial PWR," Grae said.  "Irradiated samples from this program at MIR will also be used for additional out-of-reactor tests to demonstrate the metallic fuel's behavior during severe accident scenarios and provide proof of the safety benefits of Lightbridge-designed fuel."

Advances have been made in experiment planning and design for irradiation testing of Lightbridge metallic fuel samples in the Idaho National Laboratory test reactor.  "The teams have agreed on a single fuel rod design that is compatible with both a capsule irradiation rig and a loop irradiation rig design that addresses uncertainty around reactor availability between now and when fuel samples are delivered to the laboratory," Grae said.

Lightbridge has also made progress in ongoing negotiations with fuel fabrication partners relating to metal fuel fabrication and demonstration work in the U.S.  "We believe these negotiations will conclude in late 2012 or early 2013," Grae said.  "Having our fuel fabricated in the U.S. would streamline production for a major segment of the fuel's addressable market."

Subsequent to the end of the third quarter, Lightbridge announced that a peer-reviewed article on the Company's fuel technology will be published in the December 2012 edition of the prestigious journal Nuclear Technology.  An abstract of the article is available at http://www.new.ans.org/pubs/journals/nt/v_180:3.

Financial Results

Revenue for the third quarter ended September 30, 2012 was $0.6 million, compared to $1.7 million for the same period of 2011.  For the nine months, revenue totaled $2.8 million, versus $5.5 million for the same period last year.  Net loss for the 2012 quarter was $1.2 million, or $0.10 per share, versus a net loss of $1.2 million, or $0.09 per share, in the comparable period a year ago.  For the nine months ended September 30, 2012, the Company's net loss was $3.4 million, or $0.27 per share, compared to a net loss of $4.0 million, or $0.32 per share, a year ago.  Lightbridge revenues are derived primarily from consulting and strategic advisory services for foreign governments planning to create or expand electricity generation capabilities using nuclear power plants, and are used to help fund the continuing development of the Company's nuclear fuel technologies.  Revenues were primarily generated from contracts in place with governmental entities in the United Arab Emirates.

Balance Sheet Overview

At September 30 2012, the Company had approximately $5.7 million in cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash and marketable securities, and approximately $5.6 million of working capital, with no long-term debt.  Stockholders' equity was approximately $6.3 million at September 30, 2012 compared with $8.8 million on December 31, 2011.  Common shares outstanding at September 30, 2012 totaled 12,523,872.

2012 Third Quarter Conference Call

Lightbridge will hold a conference call on Friday, November 9, at 11 a.m. EST to discuss the Company's 2012 third quarter results and provide an update on recent corporate developments.  Seth Grae, President and Chief Executive Officer, will lead the call and additional members of the senior management team will be available to answer questions.  Please submit questions for Lightbridge executive management in writing before or during the conference call to ir@ltbridge.com.  All questions will be read aloud and answered during the call.

About Lightbridge Corporation

Lightbridge is a US nuclear energy company based in McLean, Virginia with operations in Abu Dhabi, Moscow and London.  The Company develops proprietary, proliferation resistant, next generation nuclear fuel technologies for current and future nuclear reactor systems.  The Company also provides comprehensive advisory services for established and emerging nuclear programs based on a philosophy of transparency, non-proliferation, safety and operational excellence.  Lightbridge's breakthrough fuel technology is establishing new global standards for safe and clean nuclear power and leading the way to a sustainable energy future.  Lightbridge consultants provide integrated strategic advice and expertise across a range of disciplines including regulatory affairs, nuclear reactor procurement and deployment, reactor and fuel technology and international relations.  The Company leverages those broad and integrated capabilities by offering its services to commercial entities and governments with a need to establish or expand nuclear industry capabilities and infrastructure.

Lightbridge is on Twitter.  Sign up to follow @LightbridgeCorp at http://twitter.com/lightbridgecorp.

Forward Looking Statement

This news release contains statements that are forward-looking in nature, including statements regarding the Company's competitive position and product and service offerings.  These statements are based on current expectations on the date of this news release and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ significantly from such estimates.  The risks include, but are not limited to, the degree of market adoption of the Company's product and service offerings; market competition; dependence on strategic partners; and the Company's ability to manage its business effectively in a rapidly evolving market.  Certain of these and other risks are set forth in more detail in Lightbridge's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Lightbridge does not assume any obligation to update or revise any such forward-looking statements, whether as the result of new developments or otherwise.

SOURCE Lightbridge Corporation

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