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John Petersen

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  • Axion Power's Market Value: An Elephant Hunter's Thesis [View article]
    I've only been able to find a reference to that particular metric on Forbes:

    finapps.forbes.com/fin...

    For what it's worth, Google has the same classification.

    finapps.forbes.com/fin...

    The risk issues identified by Audit Integrity are:

    1. Accounts receivable/sales - which is very low in Axion's case as you'd expect in a company that hasn't yet commenced commercial sales of its principal product

    2. Prepaid expenses/operating expenses - which is very low in Axion's case as you'd expect in a company that's still focused on product development instead of commercial sales of a product

    3. Asset turnover - which is very low in Axion's case because it hasn't yet commenced commercial sales of its principal product

    4. Abnormal changes in employee count - which you'd expect in a company that's staffing up to begin commercial sales

    5. Officer changes - which you'd expect in a company that's bulking its management staff in anticipation of commercial sales.

    The identification is "based on statistical analysis of accounting and governance risk factors." Any time you compare an R&D stage company against the mass of publicly held enterprises, the numbers are going to be out of line. The thing that would worry me is a report that "everything is just hunky dory."
    Apr 15 03:56 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Reality Check for Wind Power Investors [View article]
    What many solar PV advocates don't understand is that PV Peak is about 6 hours out of phase with demand peak. The CESA has studied the economics of wind and solar as stand-alones and wind and solar with time-shift storage and found that the ROI's are better for the combined systems, but the advantage is only a couple points per year which is not exactly something to write home to Mom about.
    Apr 15 01:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Reality Check for Wind Power Investors [View article]
    I always appreciate comment from readers who know far more than me. Thanks for taking the time and duking it out with your iPhone.

    My concern isn't so much unexpected excess power as power the system was planning on that simply disappears for a few hours. Too much is pretty easy to cope with. Not enough can be a real problem.

    I was surprised by the BPA data because I had previously assumed that geographic dispersion would work - after all, everybody said it would and who am I to question. I was even more surprised by the UK I presented in a follow-up article.

    seekingalpha.com/artic...

    Lawyers work with presumptions all the time. They benefit one party to a dispute until the opposition establishes facts that question the validity of the presumption. At that point the burden of proof shifts to the party who wants to take advantage of the presumption.

    In my simple lawyers mind the BPA and UK data show that the presumption of stability is not valid and now it's time for the advocates to prove their theory with facts instead of merely repeating the theory.
    Apr 14 04:23 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Reality Check for Wind Power Investors [View article]
    The same shape shows up in the wind map for the UK, which has more wind than you seem to believe the BPA has.

    seekingalpha.com/artic...

    When a spot check of comparable data 8 time zones distant shows exactly the same kind of volatility, there is more than adequate basis to challenge the theory of geographic diversity and insist that the advocates prove their theory instead of merely repeating it.

    I'd be delighted to be proven wrong, but arguing the point without proof merely supports my assertion that the theory is demonstrably false.
    Apr 14 01:35 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power's Market Value: An Elephant Hunter's Thesis [View article]
    That would make me very happy indeed.
    Apr 14 12:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power's Market Value: An Elephant Hunter's Thesis [View article]
    The critical point is that in any portfolio high risk stocks ought to be a very small allocation (5% to 10% at the outside) and you really need to investigate stocks in that category before buying. If you can't clearly describe exactly why you own a high risk stock, you shouldn't own it.
    Apr 14 09:28 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wind Power Investors Get Another Reality Check [View article]
    I'm always a bit cynical when people prattle on about oil and gas industry subsidies because heaven only knows what they put into that pot in arriving at a number. Most of the truly juicy tax loopholes like percentage depletion were eliminated when I was a baby lawyer. So I'm not entirely clear on what's considered largesse today and whether oil is truly treated fundamentally different from other industries. That being said, if there are clear "subsidies" that aren't justified by extraordinary circumstances they ought to go. While the politicians will never go for it, I don't even have a fundamental objection to a much larger gas tax. After paying taxes that amount to roughly half of the pump price for years, it would be a pleasure for me to get back to $5 gasoline.
    Apr 14 09:26 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wind Power Investors Get Another Reality Check [View article]
    We are in complete agreement.

    I object when government tries to pick a technological winner and force it into the market without adequate study of the direct, indirect and collateral consequences. I won't condemn wind to the ash heap of history but I also can't assume that problems will be solved until they have been solved. There's little in the world more nauseating than lectures about future costs savings and technological gains from people who have no hands-on experience.

    Spend the money to develop a solution and prove that it works, but leave the commercialization to the market. A business that can't survive without government support doesn't deserve to survive.
    Apr 14 12:17 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power's Market Value: An Elephant Hunter's Thesis [View article]
    Predicting profitability is always dangerous because many decisions in young companies sacrifice current profit potential for the sake of more rapid growth. For the next few years, I'll be far more concerned with top-line revenue growth and reasonable gross margins than I will with bottom line profit. One of my favorite newsletters used to refer to Amazon as the river of no returns because they focused on building a thriving business instead of reporting a bottom line profit. I can only hope that Axion does the same.
    Apr 14 12:06 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wind Power Investors Get Another Reality Check [View article]
    Yes. It's just been a long time since I've paid much attention to the oil and gas sector. While dated experience and knowledge of history is valuable, it can't replace current insight.
    Apr 13 04:30 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wind Power Investors Get Another Reality Check [View article]
    I like balance, moderation and diversification in all things, at least when I'm offering advice to somebody else.
    Apr 13 03:43 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wind Power Investors Get Another Reality Check [View article]
    Tom and I are colleagues and friends. The big problem with his thesis is that proving a lack of correlation does not prove that wind speeds at points B and C will be adequate to offset weaknesses at point A. The hard reality is that adding instability to instability results in more instability, not less. The only way to prove the theory of geographic dispersion will be to take a statistically valid sample of actual production data from each location, put the data together in a monster spreadsheet, and then turn the crank to see what happens.

    You would not invest in a stock without doing a detailed due diligence investigation of the facts and figures. I'm amazed at your willingness to argue that 'we don't need no stinking diligence" when it comes to something as critical as the electric power that makes advanced society possible.
    Apr 13 03:40 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power's Market Value: An Elephant Hunter's Thesis [View article]
    In that grant application Exide was the lead and Axion was the technology partner. In the new application Axion is the lead and the automaker is the technology partner. So if the grant issues it will be "Axion with __________." I'm fairly confident that Axion won't crawfish on its deal with an automaker.
    Apr 13 03:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wind Power Investors Get Another Reality Check [View article]
    More like fascinating!
    Apr 13 12:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wind Power Investors Get Another Reality Check [View article]
    That Economist article is a great example of writers who fawn over the gee-whiz without considering what the gee-whiz means.

    Take the case of a Nissan Leaf which has a 24 kWh battery. To charge the battery in eight hours you need a 3,000 watt current. To charge the battery in one hour you'd need a 25,000 watt current. To charge it in six minutes you'd need a 250,000 watt current. To recharge it in two minutes you'd need a 750,000 watt current.

    A normal house has a 220 Volt service with a 50 Amp fuse box that can handle a total of of 11,000 watts. Do you see a problem with the quick charge happy talk?
    Apr 13 12:23 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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