Research and development contract revenue was $1.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to $1.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2011. The Company's research and development contract backlog totaled $12.2 million as of October 31, 2012 compared to $15.9 million as of October 31, 2011. The Versa Power Systems acquisition, as discussed in greater detail in the Business Highlights section below, was closed subsequent to fiscal year end 2012 and will increase research and development contract backlog in the first quarter of 2013 by approximately $6.0 million.
A gross profit of $0.9 million was generated in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to a gross profit of $0.4 million generated in the fourth quarter of 2011, or $1.3 million in 2012 and essentially break-even in 2011, excluding the charges as explained in the reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP information at the end of this release. The sales mix shifted to fuel cell kits for the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to a greater percentage of complete fuel cell power plant sales recognized in the fourth quarter of 2011. Continued cost reductions and the conclusion of select service contracts during 2012 for some early generation higher-cost installations contributed to the improvement in margins.
Fourth quarter 2012 loss from operations totaled $8.4 million compared to $7.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2011. Administrative and selling expenses increased modestly for the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to the fourth quarter of 2011, reflecting increased market development activity for a number of power plant projects. The year-over-year decrease in research and development costs reflects continued focus on initiatives that have near term product implementation potential and product cost reduction opportunities.
Net loss to common shareholders for the fourth quarter of 2012 totaled $12.1 million, or $0.07 per basic and diluted share, or adjusted for the non-cash charge of $3.6 million incurred in the fourth quarter of 2012 related to the Company's impairment of its investment in Versa Power, was $8.5 million or $0.05 per basic and diluted share. This compares to $7.9 million or $0.06 per basic and diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2011.