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Debra Fiakas, CFA

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  • Stevia Muscling In On $58 Billion Sweetener Market [View article]
    I believe that the company that sells the monk fruit sweetener is a privately held company.
    Jun 29 06:09 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Balancing BlackBerry Part III: Shadow Assets [View article]
    I appreciate all the comments. I had originally intended for each article to be posted by Seeking Alpha on a different day. However, they fed it to readers through a fire hose all on one day. I am grateful so many took the time to read all three at once.
    Jun 6 07:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Balancing BlackBerry Part III: Shadow Assets [View article]
    Your point about the security story is excellent. The answer was beyond the scope of the article, but it is one that ultimately does have to be answered. Go beyond the bells and whistles of our smart phones and what confidence do any of us have that our communications are secure. Does BlackBerry really have a handle on that? Even if the answer is no, do any of the other service providers have the technology to claim a secure network?
    May 20 12:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3D Printing: Who's Got The Power [View article]
    If you are certain that the only application for 3D printing is 'putting initials on a cup' that I agree with you. I am open to the agreement that creative people can take 3D printing to levels well beyond cups. In particular manufacturers of all sizes should be able to find more ways to use 3D printing if the array of potential materials is expanded.
    Feb 21 04:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3D Printing: Who's Got The Power [View article]
    PE's can only be justified by future growth. What is interesting about the 3D printing technology is that it is not clear where it will go. We are hearing of new printers offered at price points that are within the reach of small business or single entrepreneurs. What will they produce with these printers? I do not have the answer, but I do know that people can be incredibly creative and take this technology to places its inventors had not anticipated.
    Feb 21 04:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3D Printing: Who's Got The Power [View article]
    At the risk of sounding too sarcastic, you need to relax a bit. It is just slang! Now if you had been critical of using slang, I would give you the point.
    Feb 21 04:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Molycorp Balance Sheet Revisited [View article]
    Tobin's Q works to provide a framework of discussion. It forces a more objective look at how assets are deployed. Molycorp is a recent reconfiguration of assets. Are they being deployed efficiently? effectively? The fundamentals say no.
    Dec 10 11:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Molycorp Balance Sheet Revisited [View article]
    Surely Neo management did a bit of due diligence on Molycorp and could see that this fancy pants chloroalkali plant was not getting stitched together right. Even if that was not apparent, at least the Neo management team could see there could be a mismatch between Molycorp production and Neo supply needs.
    Dec 10 11:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Molycorp Balance Sheet Revisited [View article]
    Realizing the strategic value in acquisitions is not easy and so far we just have not seen it happen at Molycorp.
    Dec 10 11:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Molycorp Balance Sheet Revisited [View article]
    Yes, you could complete a Tobin's Q measure and make the argument that investors have incorrectly valued assets and therefore the market value is over or under fair value.

    The numerator of Tobin's Q - market value - is driven by stock price. Stock price is driven by earnings or investors anticipation of earnings. So if the measure is less than one, it suggests that investors have driven the stock price lower because they are not recognizing current or anticipated earnings.

    As to whether I accept the current market price of MCP as accurate valuation. Yes, it is accurate. Is it fair? Maybe. Maybe not. The company has accumulated some assets and they are supposed to be earning a profit on those assets. That has not happened yet, but still could unfold in the future. What is the confidence level that earnings are in Molycorp's future? That is the answer to whether MCP is fairly priced.

    Counting shares sold short as a part of marketing capitalization is a neat trick. However, those short sales are predicated on the supposition that the stock is worth LESS than the current share price, not more.

    I made no discount to Molycorp debt. There are three convertible issues, one debenture and one senior secured note. You could make a case for adjusting market value for changes in interest rate levels or changes in the company's credit profile. However, I used book value. I did eliminate certain liabilities that are associated with accounting treatments that will be amortized to zero or reversed.

    Thanks for reading the article and your comments.
    Dec 10 11:00 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Molycorp Balance Sheet Revisited [View article]
    First, my apologies for taking so long to reply to comments. I have been in a perfect storm of commitments.

    $4.60 was the price of the stock when the article was written. It took several days to get the article through Seeking Alpha's approval process - much give and take relating to links and references.

    I left the price unchanged, as I was principally trying to set up an objective method for analyzing Molycorp's competitive position rather than trying to put a fine point on valuation.
    Dec 10 10:31 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Texas Green Gold [View instapost]
    Algenol has made some progress, including the addition of a new step in their process that increases yield from their algae. Now they are trying to produce jet fuel and diesel as well as ethanol.
    Nov 20 08:28 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Perma-Fix: Innovator In Hazardous Materials [View article]
    There has been some changes in the market and Perma-Fix has made some advances. Might take your suggestion and revisit my original viewpoint.

    Nov 20 08:25 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An Analysis Of The Molycorp-Neo Materials Deal [View article]
    Hind sight is always 20/20. I may revisit the MCP story again as there has been some interesting developments in the rare earth industry in the U.S. in recent months.

    Thanks for you comment.

    Nov 20 08:24 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dendreon: Looking For Spare Change In The Cushions [View article]
    Thanks for offering these insights and references. Unfortunately, the 'science' discussion frequently becomes moot when there are not enough financial resources to support operations while the science proves out. Accelerating the pace of adoption by physicians or the time to completion of patient studies is often beyond the control of management. The lever they can pull is that of spending. This management team has made changes. The question is whether that lever has been pulled far enough.
    Oct 14 02:09 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment