Seeking Alpha

Kevin Quon

 
View as an RSS Feed
View Kevin Quon's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • 5 Safe, Growing Dividend Companies For A Bear Market [View article]
    I think that's also another viable alternative. But when you're going for something a bit more targeted towards the consumer, I think it helps to just choose them yourself as long as commissions aren't an issue.
    Mar 16 02:17 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How Gas Really Gets Priced [View article]
    Another good one from yourself.
    Mar 16 02:14 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Oil Really Gets Priced [View article]
    Thank you for the technical read. It's informative to know about these things.
    Mar 16 02:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Clean Energy Boosted By U.S. Natural Gas Refueling Station Plans [View article]
    The thought of China coming to the aid of American infrastructure is both entertaining and repulsive at the same time.
    Mar 16 02:11 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Could This CEO's Recent Insider Purchase Suggest A Turnaround For Codexis? [View article]
    Just a thought to consider to put your mind at ease, but the latest movement could also largely be due to the recent earnings release & earnings call. Sometimes an extended ramp is needed as the news is digested.
    Mar 9 01:59 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Rising Cocoa Bean Prices Find An Unlikely Hero In Algae [View article]
    newalker,

    Link 1 = very different technology & not heterotrophic fermentation (meaning much higher costs to production from the get-go)
    Link 2 = another person's opinion. point 1 is baseless (think about how much $ szym has currently used to get to this point thus far). point 2 is baseless (szym's not starting from scratch as they did was algenist - the industry leaders are the one penetrating markets for them). point 3 assumes that synthetics are in every industry szym touches & that they're efficient enough to stem asp growth... unlikely or prices wouldn't be going higher across the board. point 4 demonstrates the lack of author foresight.
    Mar 8 11:16 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Partners Embrace Win-Win Proposition In Solazyme's Tailored Oils [View article]
    Artisinal Engineer,

    I'm going to address your 2nd question first. I believe it's very important that you understand the company is first and foremost an oil company - not a biofuel company, nor a food company perse. The oils that they manufacture/develop are used for those end purposes however. It's like comparing a starch company to a bakery. One creates wheat flour, potato flour, rice flour, etc while the other creates cakes, breads, etc. Having said this, like all manufacturers, you produce what will ultimately give you the highest return for your buck without jeopardizing your ability to be in other profitable markets. I believe SZYM sees itself as being a producer of high-valued oil products and it will provide whatever to whoever is willing to pay the most. They may have started 10 years ago solely as a biofuel company, but their objective has broadened based on where the technology took them.

    Having said this, remember that biofuels will remain an essential part of the operation here. Although I believe people tend to read that as if the company's out to change the way fuel is derived by the masses, I mean it more from a practical business standpoint. Fuels are your most proliferated market that you can always count on to dump product profitably (assuming you are, which Painter suggested they can do today). In some markets, as in the case of jet fuel, biofuels have little competition and prices are going up.

    Concerning your first point, it's not a good idea to see debt as a bad thing - although with its lack on the corporate balance sheet today, it's one less anchor to worry about. Cash flexibility has little to do with market responsiveness - that's almost entirely technology capability. By switching out one strain of algae for another, it merely takes a cleansing of the tanks in order to use the same infrastructure for a whole new product. The cash flexibility allows them the chance to seize upon business opportunities as they come about (ie. a new facility here or there w/ a willing partner). So a difference in responsiveness. Daily operations, cash has little to do with it. Long-term business plans, cash is important.

    As for biofuels being a viable alternative - it comes down to what it is we're talking about. And in any case, the answer should be "yes" although in some varying degree. Will gas have a brighter future in biofuels in the fuels market? Probably, although you won't see them flying planes w/o large & often inefficient costs to get them to do so. But their is room for multiple alternative fuel industries. Either way, if you solely think about energy when it comes to this company, you're going to miss the train. SZYM is about creating the new and unique. It's ability to customize traits far surpasses the capability of seed producers like Dupont/Monsanto/etc. We're talking about making oils that companies need to improve their operations, but simply do not exist today.

    Frying oil that improves fry life means significantly less oil needed per year. Oil yielding 300-500% more myristic acid means significantly less costs to manufacturers. Cocoa butter without supply volatility and made in a facility next door means significant savings for chocolate manufacturers... etc, etc. This isn't about mere biofuel. That just happens to be one of the markets that is easy to develop at this point.


    Kevin
    Mar 8 11:07 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Partners Embrace Win-Win Proposition In Solazyme's Tailored Oils [View article]
    Artisinal Engineer,

    Thank you. I appreciate the encouragement.
    Mar 7 08:56 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Rising Cocoa Bean Prices Find An Unlikely Hero In Algae [View article]
    As for what lvandertag is saying, one only needs to read his comment history to see the intentional misinformation.
    Mar 4 09:14 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 Oversold Industry Leaders Trading Below Book Value [View article]
    http://on.doi.gov/WIIbY3

    If you're referring to this, maybe you should re-check the world production column. Consumption declined due to the Recession.
    Mar 4 08:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Rising Cocoa Bean Prices Find An Unlikely Hero In Algae [View article]
    Innov8r,

    Sorry, I don't have the energy to go into detail about what you wrote. But to keep things short:

    1) They're evolving, so do you mean 2 years ago, today, or 2 years from now? If you actually ask for today, you really don't seem to care about knowing what will be reflective of their normalized operations. The company's also provided a nice graphic of how these costs have come down in the S-1 you dismissed along with the $3.44/gallon cost region they believe they can produce at in a fit-for-purpose commercial facility based on 2011 predictions when sugar was priced higher.
    2) They have product revenues & product COGS - but they don't distinguish whats included. You need to be more specific as the company covers a wide spectrum of product.
    3) Not all the oil has not been part of R&D projects, some were for commercial purposes. Also, no they didn't, nor would that be representative of what's to be expected.
    4) The project cost $26/gallon, not the fuel itself - it included research revenues. You might also want to consider this: http://bit.ly/WESxCu
    5) Somewhere between 0.3 to 0.4 is the magic # you need. You can do the math.
    6) I'm not aware of too many other sugar-to-oil platforms. There are other sugar-to-specific chemical compound platforms however. You just need to look at the conversion efficiencies to do the math on those - although that probably doesn't help much unless you incorporate the worth of those compounds compared to oils.
    7) Yes, they can. You also make an errant assumption that they will only have fixed prices. Read up on Dow/Solazyme
    8) Some of it can be found in the patents.
    9) Some of it is, yes.


    I just wanted to add that your barrage of questions was a little over the top on the skepticism. If you want to dismiss the hypotheticals outright, you sure don't leave a lot of room for discussion, or for that matter, a different point of view away from your belief that the company can't succeed.

    If you are only satisfied with current profitability, I would suggest you stay away from this company until it proves to become profitable on the income statement. Also, I don't want this to be read the wrong way, as I'm honestly saying all of this with the best of intentions out of respect to your inquiry. Addressing these issues are quite time consuming however, and much of this information can be found yourself with some great effort.
    Mar 4 08:14 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Rising Cocoa Bean Prices Find An Unlikely Hero In Algae [View article]
    @ Burt Rothberg:

    I believe anytime an industry has its major input cost rise over 300% within a decade as seen in the chart above, there's reason to be concerned going forward. The same goes for experiencing 20% price volatilities year-over-year.

    This article wasn't to suggest that chocolate was doomed or that the price increases couldn't be absorbed. It was merely to point out the inefficiency of the logistics system supporting it.
    Mar 4 06:26 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Power Struggle At CommonWealth REIT Highlights Undervalued Shares [View article]
    Sounds like things are starting to heat up. Luxor Capital's follow-on support for Corvex & Related was clearly more hostile:


    "Luxor Capital Group and its affiliates collectively control in excess of 6.7 million shares of CWH, representing greater than 8% of the current common shares outstanding. We would have liked to address our concerns regarding the RMR and CWH conflicts directly with you in a private, less hostile forum, but our request to meet with the Independent Trustees was denied on December 28, 2012 by the Company. We would have preferred to discuss our concerns regarding the Offering with management, but we were denied access to meetings by the underwriters of the proposed Offering at the behest of the Company. We are one of your three largest shareholders, yet management saw to it that we were excluded from a group lunch for the Offering. It seems to us that any shareholder with the opinion that a series of strategic decisions have benefitted RMR to the detriment of CWH is deliberately and actively ignored."
    Feb 27 03:48 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Partners Embrace Win-Win Proposition In Solazyme's Tailored Oils [View article]
    While i'm having trouble understanding what you're implying, I think it might be worthwhile to note that they're not selling myristic acid so much as they are selling highly-concentrated myristic oil from which higher yields of myristic acid can be derived. Just a thought.
    Feb 27 02:30 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme's Management Presents at Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference (Transcript) [View article]
    I guess its hard to provide the right amount of balance between flavor and information. I'm glad he broke down how to calculate potential revenues though to keep things clear and simple.
    Feb 26 10:41 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
COMMENTS STATS
1,138 Comments
1,373 Likes