Seeking Alpha
View as an RSS Feed

Kevin Quon  

View Kevin Quon's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • Solazyme Closes The Year With An Arbitration Win For Its Intellectual Property [View article]
    hatvani,

    I would contest the idea that "they built no value for shareholders". Whereby the cash value of the companies interests is the only metric being compared by trader-oriented investors, it is the intangibles that has actually been steadily increasing since the ipo.

    Be it in the form of intellectual property, relationships, production capability, and (ironically) even financial strength, the company has positioned itself into a much better place than where it formerly was. I cant even begin to calculate the invisible barriers of entry into this important industry at this point in time. Imagine trying finance a new idea to surpass this tech at this point. But determining all of this value is very much dependent on the individuals end goal and timeline. And while I too have been hurt financially alongside investors, I find much value for the longer term being accrued on financials that simply will not comply with accounting standads.

    Has the company screwed up along the way? Most definitely, and contrary to the less kind here who want to speak on my behalf I fully assign the misplaced timing expectations which did not transpire as intended as a mark on management's record. But over the course that I have been actively monitoring this company, I believe that it has done quite well given the conditions that it has had to face. The only real disappointment (excluding those where I believe fair efforts were made) I have is in how the market has failed to embrace the industrial biotechnology sector on the basis of quickly dashed expectations.

    Kevin
    Mar 2, 2015. 03:51 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Closes The Year With An Arbitration Win For Its Intellectual Property [View article]
    Last I checked their ability to scale has not been an issue. Their ability to ramp is dependent upon factors being addressed.

    Clearly this isn't a company that you support and I have no intention of leading you anywhere beyond where your sound judgement takes you. My opinions are what they are so you may put your faith wherever you wish. From the sound of it, I have no idea why some particular people are still here apart from their ill intentions.
    Mar 2, 2015. 03:33 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Closes The Year With An Arbitration Win For Its Intellectual Property [View article]
    I believe it remains disproportionately misplaced considering the short interest found in the supposed public peer companies of GEVO/AMRS/BIOA/etc. Why it exists likely projects the general sentiment of the market's negative (and errant, imo) perception and I can empathize with that.
    Mar 2, 2015. 08:47 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Closes The Year With An Arbitration Win For Its Intellectual Property [View article]
    Saul,

    I believe you are underestimating their ability to ramp revenue over time over time and their ability to have access to capital, but I'm not going to argue over your belief to the contrary. My interest in this company primarily revolves around their IP portfolio which I find to be very unique and primarily situated. The business model still appears viable looking forward. It's not difficult to be critical now using irrelevant metrics of current production.

    Kevin
    Mar 2, 2015. 08:44 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Closes The Year With An Arbitration Win For Its Intellectual Property [View article]
    I agree with your thoughts, but I think it's hard to call the issue jv selection in the case of Roquette. At least on the face they were the right partner to choose all things considered at the time, and it's hard to complain about the deal made too given the lack of financial commitments on szyms part.

    But only hindsight 20/20 reveals lying thieves.
    Mar 1, 2015. 11:14 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Closes The Year With An Arbitration Win For Its Intellectual Property [View article]
    Good point. I'll put in the edit request. Thanks for the suggestion.
    Mar 1, 2015. 10:37 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Closes The Year With An Arbitration Win For Its Intellectual Property [View article]
    D.Rockefeller,

    I agree with you when it comes to algae-based biofuel @ the pump (and Exxon basically backed the wrong candidate merely based on Venter's reputation). But it's a bit of a generalization to group "oil" together. There are many ways to increase the value & viability of "oil" (in contrast to fuel) when you have control over what kind of oil is made. But at this point, I'm not even talking about crude oil anymore or whatever associations with it are made.

    Kevin
    Mar 1, 2015. 10:36 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Closes The Year With An Arbitration Win For Its Intellectual Property [View article]
    JR3451,

    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.

    -Kevin
    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]
    mikestesla,

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

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

    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:
    http://bit.ly/1DLP0KK

    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.

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

    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: http://bit.ly/1CTWUOi. 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.
    http://bit.ly/1CTWtUb

    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):
    http://bit.ly/1CTWtUd

    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."

    Kevin
    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]
    Johann,

    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.

    Kevin
    Jan 24, 2015. 04:37 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
COMMENTS STATS
1,297 Comments
1,922 Likes