John Melo, Amyris CEO, joined Yahoo Finance Live to discuss the company's first-quarter earnings report and why the company is teaming up with Ingredion.
SEANA SMITH: All right, Adam, let's talk about Amyris. It is a company that has significantly outperformed-- shares up more than 80% since the start of the year. They were recently out with their first quarter earnings report. They posted record revenue. Now, this is a company, if you're not familiar with it, it helps produce products that are good for people, also good for the planet.
And they touch a number of industries, including fragrance, including beauty, food, and the list goes on. Let's bring in the CEO. We have John Melo. He's the CEO of Amyris joining us now. John, it's great to have you here.
Let's just start, I guess, with your earnings report that you laid out last week. We had 47% first quarter product revenue growth. You reduced your debt position by 33%. Talk to us just about what's driving your business over the last couple of months.
JOHN MELO: Great, Seana. Good afternoon. Thank you for having us on. Look, a lot of what's driving our growth has been consistent for a few years now, and I expect to see it continue to accelerate as we go through the rest of this year amd the next two, three years. And it's really about a mega-trend where consumers are doubling down on health.
Consumers want products that are better for them, and better for our planet, and really focused on sustainability. And what we do is we have the operating system-- we have the best way to make sustainable products for the planet. And we do that by using fermentation, starting with taking sugarcane, the most sustainable plant in the world to capture carbon from sunlight, and then taking that sugarcane juice and feeding it-- the organisms we program-- we're the world's leading-- we're the world's leading programmers of organisms.
We take the organisms that we programmed-- like writing software-- put them in a big tank, and we ferment clean chemistry that's really powering some of the fastest-growing industries in the world today-- everything from beauty, to health, to wellness, and to some of the personal care markets that are, again, really on fire right now.
ADAM SHAPIRO: And, look, the stock is up today. You've taken a beating in the past, but this $100 million partnership you've got-- all of us know somebody-- a friend, a relative-- who might be living with diabetes. How does this partnership help those people, but also help your company?
JOHN MELO: Great, Adam. Look, I think this partnership is a great example of what we've been building, which is we focus on taking market leaders, like in this case, Ingredion, that has big reach, they have a large sales channel-- they can reach customers throughout the world-- and combining it with our technology platform. We have the leading way to make zero-calorie, naturally-sourced sweetener.
And if you're like me, like, I love the sweet, but I hate the calories. So we have a zero-calorie product. It's the best-tasting one in the world. We have the lowest-cost production system, and we've now partnered with a company that has the best sales channel to reach consumers everywhere. The idea is not just for rich people, but for everyone in the world, to get access to the best ingredients that make them healthy and our planet healthier.
SEANA SMITH: John, we also have commodity prices trending to the upside here. And I know we haven't seen that direct impact on sugar yet, but any thought just how this could potentially-- or could it potentially be a headwind for your business, at least in the short-term?
JOHN MELO: Look, we are-- we've seen sugar prices fairly stable, and it's really driven by the fact that consumption, especially in the developing world, is flat to declining. And combining that with a strong dollar versus the Brazilian real. And since all of our fermentation is based in Brazil, we've really gotten great benefits from that, and we expect to see that going forward for the foreseeable future.
So we don't see that headwind. And we've continued to deliver the lowest-cost production of renewable, sustainable ingredients to a lot of the world's leading companies. And again, that's a key driver of our growth, which is the leading growth for the synthetic biology industry today.