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Kevin Quon  

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  • Solazyme Closes The Year With An Arbitration Win For Its Intellectual Property [View article]

    Promote the stock? I would say a bit of an understatement to say the least. What is really needed is a more informed investor base who understands what it means to have a scaled up technology platform with the ability to tailor specific & unique oil profiles & other products. What we currently have are the remnants of biofuel investors and fuels/chemicals analysts who focus way too much on volumes & earnings. Rather than analyzing the strength of the intellectual property and product pipelines, the company (let alone the new industrial biotech industry) has been marginalized by a lack of understanding. Without even taking a more biotech-oriented approach to investing, traders can't even see how Solazyme has excelled beyond the setbacks of its supposed peers (think AMRS/GEVO).

    Alas, it's a cry in the wind though. The nascent industry needs one shining winner, and then the rest will come in time. But the market just hasn't been kind enough to make that possible yet. These companies all IPO'd too early and the hurt expectations closed the funding window much too fast.

    As for Wolfson, I think he's done a much better job than people give him credit for. Operationally, he's helped navigate the company through tough waters & made decisions that significantly helped the company (even at the price of shareholder satisfaction, which can be rare). If I were to knock him for something, it'd be the way he conducted his insider sales without any regard for the implications it has on market perception and the justification it gave for intense shorting pressure. I think that just hurt the company, but who am I to comment on someone's personal finance decisions. Yet at the same time, I also believe he's a much stronger bull on the technology than anyone here who's complained about those insider sales. But that's just based on my own face-to-face impression.

    Overall, I'd say Wolfson does a good job of making & respecting relationships. He's quite articulate and seems to know what to say, how much to say, and when not to say something to someone.

    Driven to succeed? It's hard to believe anyone who's devoted a dozen years by jumping into a garage with a buddy (w/o financing) instead of a courtroom after completing a JD @ NYU Law is not driven to succeed. The tech is simply a great motivator though. I wish half the people here truly understood the potential of what's to come out of this many years down the road. It doesn't stop with healthier food & more efficient drilling. I'm sure it'll eventually get more interesting with innovative new materials & potential drug candidates.... the stuff you can't start off with unless you want to doom the company from the get-go.

    Mar 1, 2015. 09:55 PM | 21 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Gains Momentum In Food Ingredients [View article]
    "Sounds too me like, they have Power and Water or am I missing something?"

    They've always had power and water. They just never had consistent power and steam to ramp the operation. The plant is still and always has been running and producing product, just not ramping until these basic utility issues are addressed (which takes time).
    Feb 26, 2015. 07:40 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Gains Momentum In Food Ingredients [View article]

    Unfortunately, no shares have been bought yet in recent days. These filings were to indicate their actions in the above mentioned option exchange.

    Feb 24, 2015. 08:58 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Gains Momentum In Food Ingredients [View article]

    The fight over AlgaVia is whether Roquette has access to the improvements made to the algal ingredients during the JV (and thereby access to the whole algal food products themselves). It appears that 5 patent applications filed during the JV are under dispute. Roquette is trying to nullify any action taken by the arbitration committee saying that they don't have the authority due expired time (aka, a legal technicality to dismiss whatever judgement is passed).

    Here's one of the complaints:

    It sounds like Roquette knows its in a losing position, but they could win the right to market Algility if things fall in their favor.

    There is no question of whether Solazyme has the ability to sell its AlgaVia ingredients. There is also no doubt on who owns the patents/applications prior to the JV. The real question lies in the 5 patent applications during the JV according to point #29. Its about getting footholds into doorways right now.

    Feb 22, 2015. 06:54 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Gains Momentum In Food Ingredients [View article]

    This was part of their option exchange (sacrifice 2 options to gain 1 at a lower exercise price). The latest amendment (along with original filing) about this option exchange opportunity can be found here: It was largely used as an incentive for employees who received options that would become worthless given that the share price had dropped far too low for them to have value. Yet, this short program also provided a win-win situation for the company and investors by reducing the amount of elgible shares which were reserved for option holders and potentially allowed for access to more valuable cash now while its more needed. Elsewhere I wrote the following which might help:

    "The majority of the options that would qualify actually do NOT expire for many, many years. To give an example, here is an option for Jerry Fiddler that was given to him in December 2011 (first year as a public company). As you can see, it was the right to buy 33,000 shares @ $11.72. The key thing to note is that the option itself does not expire until 12/11/2021, a whole 6 years away from today, which was 4 years after it was issued.

    Yes, it is true that should 6 years pass and the stock has not recovered to that original entry point that the option would expire, but if you look around you'll see that the majority (if not all) of the options issued were done so on a 10 year interval. That said there are a few very high exercise prices out there (from the early days), such as this one for Daniel Miller (who doesn't qualify actually, but does serve as an example for someone in similar shoes as him during that time):

    But for the majority of the options out there, this actually represents quite a bit of a mixed bag given that Solazyme's stock dropped pretty quickly out of the gate.

    I would go out of the say to say that it does reward those who have been around with the company the longest as their options exercise at the highest prices & their terms are the most quick to expire. As such, it rewards loyalty & keeps people hanging around which is beneficial given the recent round of firings which must've shaken up the culture a little bit as well. The benefits actually do filter down to the guy in the lab even if the executives have the most prominent face on the issue.

    On the plus side for investors, I believe this could also have accounting benefits that show gains on paper (given the halving of the shares entitled) and it further preserves the longer-term share structure over the next half decade since any of the positives from expiring options wouldn't have occurred for another 5 years.

    Personally, I see this as a way for the company to improve their long-term share structure, reward long-term employees with an early option exit, boost morale, gain near-term extra cash (while its obviously more valuable now than 6 years from now) from option exercises which otherwise would've been locked up with unexerciseable options, and possibly record some paper improvements."

    Feb 20, 2015. 06:11 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Gains Momentum In Food Ingredients [View article]
    Well for starters, it requires at least 6 months after insiders sell before they can buy on the open market. But that's just legal mumbo jumbo. Given that diversification away from the company tends to be a driving motivation, there might also be less incentive to actually buy back in as they'll still be assigned shares down the road as part of compensation. However, fwiw, Tyler Painter's latest option exercise was both unnecessary & odd. The options didn't expire for quite some time, and typically an exercise is matched with a sell. So technically, this was a small nibble in adding back. One thing is clear though, the selling stopped all the way back in September
    Jan 29, 2015. 08:47 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Gains Momentum In Food Ingredients [View article]
    1) CC 4Q hasn't been announced yet.
    2) Clinton was taken off its ramp schedule in order to support Moema's delay. It was and is progressing fine.
    Jan 28, 2015. 01:34 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Gains Momentum In Food Ingredients [View article]

    WAF/WAP is only being produced out of Peoria right now as additional downstream equipment (think of spray dryers, bleachers, deodorizers, etc) at both Clinton & Moema is needed before it can be made there.

    As for why the company doesn't put WAF/WAP directly on the website, the company appears to prefer working with partners who are looking to improve their products and can expand the line out. It's just a difference in marketing strategies. It sounds like you just want to buy a sample, but the company's thinking of how to move volume. Unless you're willing to buy orders on the level of metric tons, I doubt putting it on the website makes much sense.

    Jan 24, 2015. 04:37 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Gains Momentum In Food Ingredients [View article]
    We've gone over this before. If you want to talk to me, message me in my inbox.
    Jan 24, 2015. 02:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Gains Momentum In Food Ingredients [View article]
    "I think we'd both agree that you develop some thick skin pretty quickly as a writer."

    Indeed it does.

    And you are welcome that I haven't gone out of my own way to unilaterally create some supposed secret plan for arguing over AMRS who you've long supported.

    But if you're actually looking for more common ground rather than being a bit of a jerk, we share a similar positive sentiment behind REGI. Just thought it's worth mentioning.
    Jan 23, 2015. 05:27 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Gains Momentum In Food Ingredients [View article]
    Hey, you don't stand alone. I've tasted and I've seen. Both good.

    Creamers are just the beginning. I know its hard to say these days "wait until", but wait until you taste the ice cream, cake, sauces, milk-alternative, breads and cookies yet to come. Again, I've tasted and I've seen. All good.
    Jan 23, 2015. 05:10 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Gains Momentum In Food Ingredients [View article]
    I would like the same from Tesla, and no doubt people were clamoring for it back before the stock rose. Who cares now.

    As for an article from me, I wouldn't expect one until the general price of carbon that SZYM is using is known, until after the value of its future co-products are determined, and until after a reasonable understanding of its ASPs is actualized. Until then, one either believes what management has said and continues to say, or doesn't believe them. Given the reactionary nature of most people and the less then available information out there, it's clear the majority do not. Understandable.
    Jan 23, 2015. 05:01 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Gains Momentum In Food Ingredients [View article]
    Indeed. Although I wouldn't go as far as to say "what's really going on"
    Jan 23, 2015. 04:46 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Gains Momentum In Food Ingredients [View article]
    Thank you, Liz.

    I'm tempted to pretend that English is my second language given that asians tend to be dismissed as FOBs half the time. But in reality, English is the only language I know, and even then it seems that I can barely write it free of error. :)

    I put the correction in. Appreciate it.

    Jan 23, 2015. 04:42 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Gains Momentum In Food Ingredients [View article]
    Maya Pinion,

    I wouldn't take any emotional comfort from my writing either, although I would hope that people begin to investigate more thoroughly on their own as to what is here. I try to provide areas of focus for people to do just that, and it is not my intention to hold their hands when things get tough. While I personally believe in the technology's future success, hold fast to the value found in the company, and will stand as probably the most public target available for their failures, it is entirely up to you to do the due diligence necessary to believe whether or not it is something for you to believe in as well. I do wish you the best in all your endeavors.

    As for hearing good news from Wolfson, he has been saying quite a bit of good news actually - but these days, that appears to falling on deaf ears when the share price controls the sentiment of the audience.

    Jan 23, 2015. 03:45 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment