The one-armed bricklaying robot’s maker says investors are only just now piling in on a six-week-old announcement
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Robot home builder FBR, also known as Fastbrick, thinks its shareholders might be a little bit slow.
FBR (ASX:FBR) shares rose 45 per cent on Wednesday, to 12c, even though the company hasn’t put out any news since early December.
Those announcements detailed the loss of an MoU with industrial giant Caterpillar and the subsequent decision to change its business model to focus on what it terms ‘Wall as a Service’.
After copping a speeding ticket for the share price movement, late on Wednesday FBR told the ASX there had been a “lag” in investors’ understanding.
“The company believes there has been a lag in the market distilling and understanding the information contained within the announcements on 4 December 2018 and 5 December 2018,” it said.
“The announcements highlighted the discontinuation of the MoU with Caterpillar and the strategic decision to change the company’s business model for the Hadrian technology to Wall as a Service (WaaS) due to higher potential returns to shareholders.”
Robots are gonna build the wall
Originally, FBR planned to make money by selling its Hadrian X robots to build houses.
But following an intensive review, the company decided that it was better off selling walls built by the robots, rather than the robots themselves.
“Offering Wall as a Service (WaaS) potentially makes a stronger financial return than machine sales,” chief Mike Pivac told investors on December 5. “In broad terms, WaaS means that FBR will enable brick and block manufacturers to deliver walls on demand for their customers.
“A builder will place an order and a WaaS business unit will program and deploy the Hadrian X to construct that structure.
“WaaS will ensure that FBR generates early and ongoing revenue streams from each Hadrian X, rather than earning a one-off, smaller revenue per machine if the Company were simply selling robots and taking a royalty on each sale.”
The company believes it can make enough Hadrian X robots to meet demand. It has two working prototypes, one of which made news in November for building a house indoors in the space of three days.
Where’s the demo?
It also told the ASX that the share price movement could be due to “the market’s expectation of the upcoming outdoor demonstration of the Hadrian technology”.
The details of that showcasing, however, remain undisclosed.
An email sent to subscribers on Wednesday only said the team was “in the midst of getting the first Hadrian X ready for outdoor testing”.
“It is difficult to convey the speed and trajectory of all the things that are going on at any one time,” Mr Pivac said. “To say it is a very dynamic environment at the moment would be an understatement.”