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Kevin Quon

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  • Why Solazyme's Pathway For Growth Is Beginning To Clear Up [View article]
    Permitting appears to have been granted. Based on a Feb 6, 2014 meeting. (
    Feb 20 12:14 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Solazyme's Pathway For Growth Is Beginning To Clear Up [View article]
    Haha, that's kind of creepy. Dinner's on you though.
    Feb 20 12:03 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Solazyme's Pathway For Growth Is Beginning To Clear Up [View article]

    That's part of a broad thought and it depends on what you're talking about. The C8-C10 fatty acids are cheaper to make due to szym's ability to make more of them than what naturally occurs. They use capryilic-capric triglycerides but its uncertain if they're the ones making it. On the other hand whether alguronic acid costs less isn't as important as its perceived results.

    Overall, szym's introducing new cosmetic ingredients which is something worth noting. First alguronic acid and now "microalgae oil" (whatever that is). Novel ingredients have potential to be licensed out down the road. Either way, none of this matters so much to investors as much as the fact that the brand is growing. Thats the real accomplishment.

    Feb 19 11:59 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Solazyme's Pathway For Growth Is Beginning To Clear Up [View article]
    Maxx Chatsko (Motley Fool),

    I would appreciate that you directly message me in the future via my inbox for such questions. I only suggest this in accordance with what said you would do in November ( I still have yet to receive the "olive branch" of such a private message from you like you said publicly. We have radically different perspectives and yet knowing this you continue to reach out to me here.

    The reason I write to you about this is simple. To me, your latest question here seems like a subtle way to encourage unwarranted skepticism through a non-existing issue. We just see things differently. Perhaps its a genuine inquiry, but what I see is someone who is actively trying to assert the bad even when it doesn't appear to exist at all. I fully welcome skepticism, but have little patience for misinformative speculation when it comes from an expert on the material like yourself. After all, I respect your work and know you have put a lot of energy into doing what you are. But what you write about affects me. This is especially the case when other people end up asking me about the things you are saying.

    The following is to address your question which I hope can be resolved privately next time.


    You’re asserting here that the company could shift its ratio of oil and byproduct within a stated capacity and that this would negatively affect margins because the byproducts likely sell for less than the oil itself.
    I believe you know better than this, but unreasonably choose to see things in a negative light. You often unjustly criticize me for not being more skeptical like you. But right now this latest assertion shows why your shaded view of things can be misleading. This is taken from the strategic collaboration agreement with ADM:

    “WHEREAS , Solazyme and ADM desire to enter into a long-term collaboration to produce tailored triglyceride oils in a capital efficient manner, utilizing the ADM Plant and, if necessary, assets constructed within or adjacent to the ADM Plant, with the ultimate goal to produce up to 100,000 MT/year of triglyceride oil, or an equivalent amount of dried biomass, at such facility”

    Plainly stated, “an equivalent amount of dried biomass” means an equal amount of dry biomass intermediate. This is made very clear in the first statement of the agreement as seen below:

    “2.1 Formation of the Collaboration . ADM and Solazyme desire to enter a collaboration to combine certain assets, operational capabilities and access to feedstock of ADM with certain capital, manufacturing expertise and Technology of Solazyme in order to develop and manufacture tailored triglyceride oils or a dry biomass intermediate.”

    Therefore, it is errant to believe we are talking about the biomass byproduct at all. We are talking about the whole algal cell which (at least in this embodiment) is dried before the oil is extracted. In other words, if it takes 120,000 tons of biomass intermediate to make 100,000 tons of oil, then the facility will make 120,000 tons of biomass intermediate or 100,000 tons of oil. Here are just two possible reasons for the language. First, not all of the oil extraction is being held at Clinton. Second, there are possible products in the future which use the whole algal cell and therefore require a different form of measurement.


    I respect you as an author and hold you in a higher regard in light of the fact we both write in a similar sphere of companies. That said, I would encourage you that we talk privately in the future. You don't respect me (as you stated in your last comment) and that's fine. But when you make my life busier because of meaningless assertions like these, it's less than fruitful for either of us.

    Feb 19 11:02 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Solazyme's Pathway For Growth Is Beginning To Clear Up [View article]

    Having covered the company for 3 years doesn't hurt. Other than that or being an investor as disclosed, I have no relationship with them if that is what you're implying. Merely being a voice where there has been little coverage to date helps in making that "access" happen. It also doesn't hurt to understand the implications of where their technology is leading too. That's something that hasn't really been found when you look at other forms of coverage for this company. A few times they said they appreciated my willingness to connect the dots. Whether or not it's politeness, I think they're just trying to be open for media figures who are willing to publicly explore the facts further.

    Feb 19 08:23 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Intermolecular Is Starting To Look Oversold [View article]

    Fair assertion. Although you might want to actually consider the trend of those sales. All of these sales were conducted through 10b5-1 trading plans, meaning the reporting person establishes these sales well in advance. For all of last year, Lazovsky was selling on 38,500 share monthly intervals. For 2014, he only has 1 sale of 4,552 shares in February. Similar situation w/ Tony Chiang. Chiang actually exercised options for 185,240 shares and did not sell them in late December, which was atypical for him.

    I don't care if you buy, and I'm not here to push that you do. I just want readers to understand what this company has on its hands. It's impressive stuff that takes time to be realized. It's growth occurs on multi-year cycles, and that might be too slow for a market that thinks in terms of daily trades.

    If you have a strategy, stick to it. Best wishes.

    Feb 17 10:46 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Intermolecular Is Starting To Look Oversold [View article]

    While there's undoubtedly a strong market for optical communications, the advantage of IMI is that its largely cornering a unique market in bringing products from concept to distribution in an accelerated fashion. This is done by optimizing R&D learning cycles & increasing productivity. Given that its platform streamlines fundamental R&D processes, it'll be fairly difficult for any competition to be able to undermine the technology (which is why the increasing platform IP is so important). Combined with a win-win partnership model, I find it difficult for the company's long-term future to not look bright, especially when it taps into the revenue streams of its partners through IP.

    I have nothing against GIG, but there are clearly quite a few players competing in this space. For a small $36 million company, they're going to have to ramp up sales much faster than they have in order to compete going forward. Another public company that i'm watching regarding this sector is NeoPhotonics Corp (NPTN).

    Feb 16 09:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Solazyme Caught Short Sellers By Surprise [View article]

    Well stated and thank you for sharing. Addressing your concern on sugar. While sugar availability & prices are inevitably a foreseeable issue of the future (at least a perceived issue), I truly believe its an chicken-or-egg scenario. The reason low-cost industrial sugars don't exist today is because neither the technology or the demand has ever been there for it to evolve. The world's only really needed table sugar to date. When you consider the number of new technologies now seeking to extract or create sugars (creation being the more promising avenue imo)... the drive in this sector is largely being driven by the developing promise of industrial biotechnology.

    Sugars are now being pursued in areas like cellulosic sources (ie. sweetwater energy), higher yielding crops (ie. nexsteppe), municipal waste (ie. renmatix), & cyanobacteria (ie. proterro). But they're also being explored as byproducts in conventional crops.

    Companies somewhat related to Solazyme already do this. Consider Quad County Processors ( and Bunge ( as two examples of extracting sugars from corn & soy respectively. The future remains bright in sugar production. SZYM is focused on the conversion aspect.

    If you have a breakthrough in creating products (read: higher ASPs in products), the other industry will develop in due time.

    Feb 13 11:11 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Pacific Biosciences Gains Traction Even As Impatience Grows [View article]
    Stock aside, you might want to pay attention to the technology quality. Pacbio is revealing sequenced areas that ilmn wasn't able to do. The tech is expensive but there's a reason the adoptions picking up speed. When you consider the significant advances pacb has made I wouldn't be so quick to merely cite fundamental statistics.
    Feb 12 07:34 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intermolecular: Seeking A Win-Win In Intellectual Property Development [View article]
    I never call bottoms and I never call tops. I believe in investing with a long-term perspective. The company still seems fine to me even if the stock won't agree. Read through the transcript. Disappointing setbacks do raise a yellow flag on the partnership progress, but as long as the company can break even on costs, the upside remains. Given that the parntership revenue to date pretty much covers the costs, the upside potential only grows as IP already generated begins to be put to work in the coming years. I think what the market either doesn't care about or doesn't understand is the lag time between IP development & client volume production. IP generated today won't have an impact on us for months if not years later when they're put into volume production by the client. Soon we'll be seeing the high-margin fruit of labor conducted years prior.
    I'm still a buyer as the stock heads down unless those yellow flags become red. As is, the stock is on pace to hit book value. So be it.
    Feb 7 02:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Solazyme Jumped On Its Latest Announcement [View article]

    Quite honestly, I don't see any buyouts happening anytime soon. There's really no point given the cash on hand & entangled web of key partnerships. Based on actions thus far, its pretty clear that SZYM's looking to become Batman.... more so than Robin. Just my thoughts.

    Feb 6 11:59 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Solazyme Jumped On Its Latest Announcement [View article]
    As generic as it might sound, its still some of the first IP assigned to SZYM in regards to its tailored oils. There are almost always some random tidbits that can be pulled away from each patent. ie. the following snippet from the patent you're referring to:
    "Interesterification of oils produced by the methods described herein can be performed in conjunction with one or more of the methods and/or materials, or to produce products, as reported in the following: U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,080,853 (Nondigestible fat substitutes); 4,288,378 (Peanut butter stabilizer); 5,391,383 (Edible spray oil); 6,022,577 (Edible fats for food products); 5,434,278 (Edible fats for food products); 5,268,192 (Low calorie nut products); 5,258,197 (Reduce calorie edible compositions); 4,335,156 (Edible fat product); 7,288,278 (Food additives or medicaments); 7,115,760 (Fractionation process); 6,808,737 (Structural fats); 5,888,947 (Engine lubricants); 5,686,131 (Edible oil mixtures); and 4,603,188 (Curable urethane compositions). "

    Such things help to provide insight as to what markets the company might be interested in pursuing down the road.
    Feb 4 02:42 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Solazyme Jumped On Its Latest Announcement [View article]
    Formerly burned shareholder in the company actually. Sinovel (aka China's government) is very much on my mind when I say these things. Corporate sabotage is very real, and AMSC is an excellent example of how fast things can go bad.
    Feb 2 10:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Solazyme Jumped On Its Latest Announcement [View article]
    Very interesting thoughts, 6125501. Thank you for sharing that.
    Feb 1 04:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Solazyme Jumped On Its Latest Announcement [View article]
    Indeed. It's nice to be in agreement with you.
    Feb 1 01:27 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment