Before proceeding with the call, I would like to remind everyone that this call is being recorded, and that the discussion today will contain forward-looking statements, including the company's plans and expectations for the continuing development and commercialization of our fuel cell technology. I would like to direct listeners to read the company's cautionary statement on forward-looking information and other risk factors in our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Now I'd like to turn the call over to Chip Bottone. Chip?
Arthur A. Bottone
Thank you, Kurt. Good morning, everyone, and welcome. I ask you to please turn to Slide 4 titled Third Quarter 2012 Highlights. Our expansion into Europe is progressing well and according to plan. During the third quarter, we completed the acquisition of select fuel cell assets at no cost to us and concluded our joint venture with Fraunhofer IKTS. This new partnership is already paying dividends for us. Within just a few months of announcing our partnership, we received an order for our first fuel cell power plant that will be installed in the Federal Ministry's new state-of-the-art office complex in Berlin. An ideal first customer for this market, the German governor -- government is a strong proponent of clean distributed generation. It will be difficult for me to overstate how well this illustrates Fraunhofer's extensive influence and their potential to help us develop this market.While our third quarter financial results were below our expectations with lower sales and margin than desired, our near-term global sales pipeline is strong to support the increasing production levels, resulting in a return to growing positive gross margin as we progressed to profitability. As announced last month, I will explain more fully later in the call discussions with POSCO Energy are progressing, and we expect to finalize agreements pertaining to the 120-megawatt order and cell licensing agreement during 2012. Essentially, given the importance of this decision and the scale of our effort to develop it, planning and discussions have simply taken longer than estimated.