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Kevin Quon

 
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  • Highlights From Solazyme's Q2 2014 Conference Call [View article]
    Thanks, chudzikb. Sorry I couldn't provide something of better quality or more in-depth. I'm on vacation right now and barely caught the call.
    Aug 1 07:36 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme: Why This Green Company Looked To The Oil Fields [View article]
    I wouldn't be surprised to see a European expansion as the next likely location for expansion. Asia Pacific is the other candidate, but the markets to be in are truly in your territory given the support for such technologies.
    Jul 31 10:36 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme: Why This Green Company Looked To The Oil Fields [View article]
    Yeah, it's a bit of a shame. But given the stats I see on my side too I do tend to believe what they're saying.
    Jul 28 10:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Did Solazyme Just Patent A Treatment For Diabetes? [View article]
    The below is from the Seeking Alpha staff. I hope that those who have faithfully followed my content will be willing to continually do so even as this relationship with Yahoo! Finance ends. For those who are unable to, I thank you for your readership to date and wish you all the best.

    Kevin Quon
    ----------------------...

    Dear Contributors,

    As of next Monday Yahoo Finance will no longer be displaying Seeking Alpha headlines on its website.

    We've had concerns about Yahoo Finance for a while. Rather than a negative, we view this as major opportunity for Seeking Alpha, one which will deepen our relationship with our contributors.

    First I'll discuss why we feel the time has come for Seeking Alpha to part ways with Yahoo Finance, and then specify how this enables us to pay contributors more and increase the value we provide to our readers.

    Why it's time to part ways with Yahoo Finance

    Our relationship with Yahoo put Seeking Alpha on the map, allowing us to build influence and readership. We're tremendously grateful to Yahoo for that. But recently we've had growing concerns about our relationship with Yahoo Finance:

    1. We've been paying Yahoo significant amounts every month for traffic. As with most of its partners, Yahoo charges Seeking Alpha per click, and the aggregate amounts are high. We'd rather pay this money to our contributors.

    2. Our approaches to content have diverged. Seeking Alpha's vision is to be a crowdsourced platform for serious investors, while Yahoo leans more toward populist, personal finance and general-interest content. For example, SA contributors published articles on 5,962 tickers over the past year. In the area under these articles, we show headlines with maximum relevance to the stock under discussion. In contrast, the Yahoo Finance features populist articles on its homepage (as I write this, "Wealth-Building Secrets of the Millionaire Next Door" and "Chinese Billionaires Criticized for Giving Harvard $15 Million"), and has introduced a feed of these headlines below every article.

    3. Yahoo's readership is lower quality than Seeking Alpha's. Given the different approaches to content, it's not surprising that Yahoo Finance readers are on average less serious and less knowledgeable than Seeking Alpha readers. For example, visitors to Seeking Alpha from Yahoo Finance read 40% fewer articles per visit than visitors who come from our email alerts. We care enormously about the quality of discussion on Seeking Alpha, which comes from the quality of our community and readership.
    Perhaps as a result of these factors, the percentage of our traffic from Yahoo Finance has steadily declined over the last few years. When we first partnered with Yahoo, it provided the vast majority of our traffic. Now, only 19% of our daily visitors come from Yahoo Finance.

    A win for SA contributors and readers

    The end of our partnership with Yahoo allows us to re-allocate the money we were paying for traffic to our contributors, and reward outstanding content. Here's what will change this coming Monday (July 28):

    1. Exclusive articles will receive an additional flat payment of $35 on top of the $10 per thousand pageviews we already pay. This means average earnings per article will increase significantly. Yahoo Finance sent us an average of 1,400 pageviews per article, contributing $14 in pageview payments. The new $35 additional flat payment more than doubles that number. Why? First, we would rather put money in contributors' pockets than in Yahoo's. And second, contributors are helping us to build other areas of our business (such as mobile), and deserve to be compensated for that even if we're still working out monetization. A flat payment also means that contributors with valuable expertise in undercovered areas are less dependent on pageviews and free to focus on the topics they care about, which are often more valuable to other investors. (Minimum guaranteed payments of $150 for PRO articles and $500 for Top Ideas remain the same.)

    2. Starting next week, we'll be searching through our long and short idea archives looking for outstanding stock ideas that played out, and awarding two $2,500 "Outstanding Performance" prizes every week. Details about how articles will be selected can be found here.

    More to come

    We appreciate the value of high-quality financial content. It has the potential to make readers money, and that means contributors who share their research should have the potential to earn meaningful income. We also recognize the value of the broad exposure Seeking Alpha provides authors. We will continue to drive greater and higher-quality exposure to contributors. As organic pageviews increase, contributors will earn more money, incentivizing more great contributors to join our network, and enabling all contributors to produce and share high-quality equity research.
    But we're not going to stop there. Expect to hear more from us in coming months. It's a good time to be a Seeking Alpha contributor.

    Sincerely,

    Eli Hoffmann
    VP Content
    Editor In Chief
    Jul 25 06:40 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Solazyme Expects To Make An Impact In Food Applications [View article]
    The below is from the Seeking Alpha staff. I hope that those who have faithfully followed my content will be willing to continually do so even as this relationship with Yahoo! Finance ends. For those who are unable to, I thank you for your readership to date and wish you all the best.

    Kevin Quon
    ----------------------

    Dear Contributors,

    As of next Monday Yahoo Finance will no longer be displaying Seeking Alpha headlines on its website.

    We've had concerns about Yahoo Finance for a while. Rather than a negative, we view this as major opportunity for Seeking Alpha, one which will deepen our relationship with our contributors.

    First I'll discuss why we feel the time has come for Seeking Alpha to part ways with Yahoo Finance, and then specify how this enables us to pay contributors more and increase the value we provide to our readers.

    Why it's time to part ways with Yahoo Finance

    Our relationship with Yahoo put Seeking Alpha on the map, allowing us to build influence and readership. We're tremendously grateful to Yahoo for that. But recently we've had growing concerns about our relationship with Yahoo Finance:

    1. We've been paying Yahoo significant amounts every month for traffic. As with most of its partners, Yahoo charges Seeking Alpha per click, and the aggregate amounts are high. We'd rather pay this money to our contributors.

    2. Our approaches to content have diverged. Seeking Alpha's vision is to be a crowdsourced platform for serious investors, while Yahoo leans more toward populist, personal finance and general-interest content. For example, SA contributors published articles on 5,962 tickers over the past year. In the area under these articles, we show headlines with maximum relevance to the stock under discussion. In contrast, the Yahoo Finance features populist articles on its homepage (as I write this, "Wealth-Building Secrets of the Millionaire Next Door" and "Chinese Billionaires Criticized for Giving Harvard $15 Million"), and has introduced a feed of these headlines below every article.

    3. Yahoo's readership is lower quality than Seeking Alpha's. Given the different approaches to content, it's not surprising that Yahoo Finance readers are on average less serious and less knowledgeable than Seeking Alpha readers. For example, visitors to Seeking Alpha from Yahoo Finance read 40% fewer articles per visit than visitors who come from our email alerts. We care enormously about the quality of discussion on Seeking Alpha, which comes from the quality of our community and readership.
    Perhaps as a result of these factors, the percentage of our traffic from Yahoo Finance has steadily declined over the last few years. When we first partnered with Yahoo, it provided the vast majority of our traffic. Now, only 19% of our daily visitors come from Yahoo Finance.

    A win for SA contributors and readers

    The end of our partnership with Yahoo allows us to re-allocate the money we were paying for traffic to our contributors, and reward outstanding content. Here's what will change this coming Monday (July 28):

    1. Exclusive articles will receive an additional flat payment of $35 on top of the $10 per thousand pageviews we already pay. This means average earnings per article will increase significantly. Yahoo Finance sent us an average of 1,400 pageviews per article, contributing $14 in pageview payments. The new $35 additional flat payment more than doubles that number. Why? First, we would rather put money in contributors' pockets than in Yahoo's. And second, contributors are helping us to build other areas of our business (such as mobile), and deserve to be compensated for that even if we're still working out monetization. A flat payment also means that contributors with valuable expertise in undercovered areas are less dependent on pageviews and free to focus on the topics they care about, which are often more valuable to other investors. (Minimum guaranteed payments of $150 for PRO articles and $500 for Top Ideas remain the same.)

    2. Starting next week, we'll be searching through our long and short idea archives looking for outstanding stock ideas that played out, and awarding two $2,500 "Outstanding Performance" prizes every week. Details about how articles will be selected can be found here.

    More to come

    We appreciate the value of high-quality financial content. It has the potential to make readers money, and that means contributors who share their research should have the potential to earn meaningful income. We also recognize the value of the broad exposure Seeking Alpha provides authors. We will continue to drive greater and higher-quality exposure to contributors. As organic pageviews increase, contributors will earn more money, incentivizing more great contributors to join our network, and enabling all contributors to produce and share high-quality equity research.
    But we're not going to stop there. Expect to hear more from us in coming months. It's a good time to be a Seeking Alpha contributor.

    Sincerely,

    Eli Hoffmann
    VP Content
    Editor In Chief
    Jul 25 06:39 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme: Why This Green Company Looked To The Oil Fields [View article]
    The below is from the Seeking Alpha staff. I hope that those who have faithfully followed my content will be willing to continually do so even as this relationship with Yahoo! Finance ends. For those who are unable to, I thank you for your readership to date and wish you all the best.

    Kevin Quon
    ----------------------...


    Dear Contributors,


    As of next Monday Yahoo Finance will no longer be displaying Seeking Alpha headlines on its website.

    We've had concerns about Yahoo Finance for a while. Rather than a negative, we view this as major opportunity for Seeking Alpha, one which will deepen our relationship with our contributors.

    First I'll discuss why we feel the time has come for Seeking Alpha to part ways with Yahoo Finance, and then specify how this enables us to pay contributors more and increase the value we provide to our readers.

    Why it's time to part ways with Yahoo Finance

    Our relationship with Yahoo put Seeking Alpha on the map, allowing us to build influence and readership. We're tremendously grateful to Yahoo for that. But recently we've had growing concerns about our relationship with Yahoo Finance:

    1. We've been paying Yahoo significant amounts every month for traffic. As with most of its partners, Yahoo charges Seeking Alpha per click, and the aggregate amounts are high. We'd rather pay this money to our contributors.

    2. Our approaches to content have diverged. Seeking Alpha's vision is to be a crowdsourced platform for serious investors, while Yahoo leans more toward populist, personal finance and general-interest content. For example, SA contributors published articles on 5,962 tickers over the past year. In the area under these articles, we show headlines with maximum relevance to the stock under discussion. In contrast, the Yahoo Finance features populist articles on its homepage (as I write this, "Wealth-Building Secrets of the Millionaire Next Door" and "Chinese Billionaires Criticized for Giving Harvard $15 Million"), and has introduced a feed of these headlines below every article.

    3. Yahoo's readership is lower quality than Seeking Alpha's. Given the different approaches to content, it's not surprising that Yahoo Finance readers are on average less serious and less knowledgeable than Seeking Alpha readers. For example, visitors to Seeking Alpha from Yahoo Finance read 40% fewer articles per visit than visitors who come from our email alerts. We care enormously about the quality of discussion on Seeking Alpha, which comes from the quality of our community and readership.
    Perhaps as a result of these factors, the percentage of our traffic from Yahoo Finance has steadily declined over the last few years. When we first partnered with Yahoo, it provided the vast majority of our traffic. Now, only 19% of our daily visitors come from Yahoo Finance.

    A win for SA contributors and readers

    The end of our partnership with Yahoo allows us to re-allocate the money we were paying for traffic to our contributors, and reward outstanding content. Here's what will change this coming Monday (July 28):

    1. Exclusive articles will receive an additional flat payment of $35 on top of the $10 per thousand pageviews we already pay. This means average earnings per article will increase significantly. Yahoo Finance sent us an average of 1,400 pageviews per article, contributing $14 in pageview payments. The new $35 additional flat payment more than doubles that number. Why? First, we would rather put money in contributors' pockets than in Yahoo's. And second, contributors are helping us to build other areas of our business (such as mobile), and deserve to be compensated for that even if we're still working out monetization. A flat payment also means that contributors with valuable expertise in undercovered areas are less dependent on pageviews and free to focus on the topics they care about, which are often more valuable to other investors. (Minimum guaranteed payments of $150 for PRO articles and $500 for Top Ideas remain the same.)

    2. Starting next week, we'll be searching through our long and short idea archives looking for outstanding stock ideas that played out, and awarding two $2,500 "Outstanding Performance" prizes every week. Details about how articles will be selected can be found here.

    More to come

    We appreciate the value of high-quality financial content. It has the potential to make readers money, and that means contributors who share their research should have the potential to earn meaningful income. We also recognize the value of the broad exposure Seeking Alpha provides authors. We will continue to drive greater and higher-quality exposure to contributors. As organic pageviews increase, contributors will earn more money, incentivizing more great contributors to join our network, and enabling all contributors to produce and share high-quality equity research.
    But we're not going to stop there. Expect to hear more from us in coming months. It's a good time to be a Seeking Alpha contributor.


    Sincerely,


    Eli Hoffmann
    VP Content
    Editor In Chief
    Jul 25 06:37 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme: Why This Green Company Looked To The Oil Fields [View article]
    "Bunge is involved with SZYM in order to increase its profit margins on sugar cane as a feedstock rather than an end product."

    I'm not sure if thats exactly the primary objective anymore. Bunge's still an oilseed company but it's limiting its sugar division. SZYM complements Bunge's oils so its a no-brainer to be able to source your oils from an alternative process as well. Beyond margin improvement on whatever will remain of the sugar assets, it's just smart commodity sourcing while further diversifying a primary business found in oils. I'm sure it doesn't hurt either to add value through the new markets tailored oils can address.
    Jul 18 12:10 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • As BioAmber Secures Future Sales, Is Now The Time To Buy? [View article]
    Bay Area Biotech Investor,

    Like you said, BIOA's ramp is on the long side in regards to other companies (although maybe they're just being conservative). SZYM is 12 - 18 months like you said, but say AMRS looks to be on the 2-2.5 yr track. Part of the reason is likely due to the organism used. Yeast was a well known organism which is why so many industrial biotech co's used it when they started (like a decade ago). SZYM was different in that it placed a high-risk bet on creating the molecular tool kit for a relatively unknown organism found in microalgae. That early investment is paying off now. Microalgae naturally makes oil whereas yeast is incorporating a lot of modifications in order to create its products it doesn't naturally make. That makes things very difficult in scaling and making sure that it performs with much consistency.

    Although I never really put much weight to this risk, there was a fear if BIOA is enterring a competitive space. They're not the only ones making what they are. (ie. Check out Reverdia, DSM+Roquette JV). Also the current market size for succinic acid is VERY small... only like 50k MT around the time of IPO. So in that sense, it is good to see the large commitment by Vinmar. But this also adds to the risk I stated above.... a high reliance on Vinmar. Who's to say how large the market truly will be once these plants are made (assuming they are). How many players will there be out there as prospective clients?

    All said, I've never been a huge fan of the yeast companies for 2 reasons in particular. 1) They have had a very tough time controlling the process/output 2) They tend to focus on single target product with limited room for added value.

    GEVO & AMRS have alreayd proven how difficult it is to scale the tech, or produce product reliably, or to modify another strain to create a different product. Gevo is focused on isobutanol, AMRS has farnesene, and BIOA has BDO/succinic acid..... all three appear on their way to becoming simple commodity players over time. That seems to be shooting behind the moving target given that the industry is looking to move into higher valued products & move beyond mere commodity players. Their products only have different applications but they typically need to be further refined (which adds costs) in order to do so.

    This is why I've been such a huge advocate for SZYM. Their platform offers many many opportunities for added value & for multiple products all from the same facility. Some of their products have no additional need for further refining and they have plans for coproducts/byproducts. Wall Street wants to think all of these companies are the same, but they're really not. Hands down, SZYM is in front in terms of the public industrial biotech companies.

    All said, I don't entirely dislike BIOA. Given their supposed cost metrics, they'll have a really good future ahead of them once they put their steel in the ground. But until then the money will be hard to come by and there are several years to go. I rather just wait and invest later assuming they execute accordingly throughout that time period.

    -Kevin
    Jul 18 02:41 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • As BioAmber Secures Future Sales, Is Now The Time To Buy? [View article]
    Pagreen1966,

    Ironic timing given my concerns above. Unfortunately, I find it unlikely that this will be the last one.

    Kevin
    Jul 16 04:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme: Why This Green Company Looked To The Oil Fields [View article]
    Thanks for the insight, Doewap. Though I'm assure they're already aware I'll try to pass it along.
    Jul 15 03:47 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme: Why This Green Company Looked To The Oil Fields [View article]
    Snake Plissken,

    Everyone is entitled to their opinions and I rather not start a back & forth over any frustration on the matter. But just a few thoughts to consider:

    1) accelerated time frame - considering the time frame effective for SZYM under SRN didn't begin until phase 3 completion, it has been an accelerated time frame. Peoria already producing samples for commercial clients whereas phase 3 wasn't progressing and wouldn't have yet been accomplished even now.

    2) roquette - I can assure you that they're still in arbitration, but that's all anyone really can say. Roquette is esssentially pushing the issue (aka stealing), but the frustration should really be geared towards them. SZYM has a favorable legal position (patents + agreement clauses) so that stands as a positive going forward. Justice isn't simple anymore, so who's to say if that'll be enough. But in any case, the market is huge and neither szym or roquette have nearly enough capacity to make a dent in it just yet (so why worry about it). patience. its not exactly like roquettes moving at lightning speed either. they've had a facility up since last year and they're just starting to push their brand through initial development now?

    3) Encapso sales. I'm sure we'll see how they've been doing very soon. I find it incorrect to think only ptarmigan is interested (the internet doesn't tell all). As for the Big 4, there's a lengthy adoption cycle per one subject matter expert I talked to. I wouldn't expect any public progress on that for months, if not a few years. You don't go hiring to form a team to approach them and suddenly gain their business within the next month. Even if they did snag them, who's to say if they even want to be mentioned just yet (hypothetical; doubt they have). The independents are much more flexible when it comes to adoption. Recall that ARC is still the 7th largest in the industry - not a bad start given the limited capacity to start off with.

    ------

    What you call disdain, I see as managing the situation. You could tank a company with a few blunt words without presenting the situation correctly. The same happens through premature PR's or those that disrespect your partners. There's also a lot that the company didn't have to do, but they hardly get credit for. THey really didn't have to start pre-announcing oils or giving full scientific breakdowns of their tech on their conference calls. How about bringing on Licari to assuage investor anxieties over scale? None of these were necessities. All said, why not let the company work as they always have been? THey've been at it for 10+ years and have done an excellent job navigating the waters that have sunk many other ships.

    As for something other than Algenist, they're now selling tailored oils. What more did you really expect prior to commercial capacity? Protein has alwyas been in small quantities and foods AlgaVia's not ready yet.

    I think its healthy to have your skepticism but negativity can easily destroy better judgement as well. I'm not going to defend the company's policies, but I do believe things are progressing from an operational standpoint. I've been around since the beginning and can see the big picture come together. I know you've been around quite a bit too and can bet you see the same.

    -Kevin
    Jul 15 03:29 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme: Why This Green Company Looked To The Oil Fields [View article]
    6-7 months actually, but who's counting :)
    Jul 15 03:00 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme: Why This Green Company Looked To The Oil Fields [View article]
    Moon Kil Woong,

    You are using quite a few assumptions here. It's also a bit simplistic to suggest there is a "good" or "bad" side in investing.

    In any case, the company is making what is not sustainable into something more environmentally-friendly. That shouldn't scare away your "good" shareholders.

    Also, oil field services isn't a "back-up strategy". It's a higher & best use of an evolving technology. Solazyme's pursuit of Encapso reduces production costs & based on target margins should result in a higher ASP than industrials & fuels. All of this is within the context of a growing market as well. To suggest it isn't honorable seems rather sensational and without understanding.

    As for the "what the bugs could do" fear, that's a rather cheap assertion without anything to back it up. As i referenced above, the company's using a natural strain that already exists in nature. Many of the properties (including shell thickness or amount of oil) can be controlled via fermentation environment conditions.

    Kevin
    Jul 15 02:54 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme: Why This Green Company Looked To The Oil Fields [View article]
    I agree. While it might be early to talk of profits perse, I do believe that Encapso will find greater emphasis first and then algavia. It's just an easier market to get into.

    Food requires many hurdles to clear whereas some drillers right now are just dumping diesel into the wells.
    The big four suppliers have a lengthy adoption time though. Maybe a few months to years.
    Jul 14 04:14 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme: Why This Green Company Looked To The Oil Fields [View article]
    Cecil,

    At least in the past few months, higher volumes have often been associated with higher short volumes according to daily short vol screeners. Not necessarily pattern going forward though. I find lower volume to likely be more beneficial as it raises the cover ratio thereby increasing the chances of a future short squeeze.

    I'm not sure what the next quarterly results will show. I personally look forward to more accurate cost of production information although I expect this to be high. I also believe encapso sales will be stronger than some might expect. I don't know how any of this will affect the stock. For now szym is more sensitive to catalysts (negative or positive) rather than production results. Asps, costs, and production results will be key focus of upcoming conference call.

    Kevin
    Jul 14 04:07 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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