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Kevin Quon

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  • Solazyme Advances Its Agenda On Multiple Fronts [View article]

    Might I suggest you take a look at your own biases? The lack of understanding in your comments show more than a tinge of wanting to only see failure. Last time it blinded you from understanding how to read a financial statement properly. This time you can't even understand the product. Has this company's progress become your white whale, captain?

    Apr 21 07:19 PM | 14 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme: In The Wrong Place At The Wrong Time [View article]
    There are quite a few factual errors here..... Very poor research
    Oct 31 09:18 PM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Typhoon Haiyan Shows The Need For Solazyme's Technology [View article]
    I fully agree that Solazyme's success will depend upon competitive market prices. Clearly, you do not believe that they will be able to, and that is your position to take. I do not share the same sentiment.

    Even if we were to just assume that sugarcane was the only crop Solazme will use, the geographic range in which the feedstock can be grown is far wider than the restricted areas in which some of these land-restricted oils can be made. Come drought, flood, freeze, storm, fire, and blight, the very decentralized nature of the crop itself allows for a far greater flexibility when it comes to price stability than many of the oil crops it seeks to supplement.

    Additionally, you carelessly neglect the fact that Solazyme has already built in several contractual arrangements that negate the price volatility of its feedstock. But beyond this, you also misunderstand that many sugars can be derived from many different crops (cane, corn, beets, cassava, etc), and Solazyme has already proven its ability to use them in its processes. This only further widens the flexibility when it comes to functional feedstocks. It also further stabilizes the pricing of its inputs.

    From your past comments/articles, I know you're not a believer in cellulosic feedstocks (nor in it being a viable channel for Solazyme in the near future)... and again that is your position to take. You seem unwilling to even consider the new age technologies now being developed when it comes to sourcing industrial sugars from municipal solid waste, municipal green waste, or waste carbon dioxide itself. Companies like Renmatix & Proterro are already making great strides in their ability to further stabilie the field of industrial sugars.

    Likewise, you neglect the fact that SZYM can currently base their process on the waste product of your favorite industry found in biofuels. Yes, the technology can even use waste glycerol from biodiesel facilities to feed its heterotrophic algae.

    Focusing on your biased fixation on fuels, what I find most "naive and wrong" comes from your analysis of the DoD Biofuels Purchases in your article "Energy Insecurity - The false promise of liquid biofuels." It is there in which you mislead your reader base with "per gallon" cost figures for DoD purchases from UOP, to Solazyme, to Gevo, and etc.

    Like evaluating an early development stage pharmaceutical company on its ability to generate profits prior to drug approval, these figures neglect the context of the purchases themselves. The purchases were R&D contracts which also included fuel delivery. In the case of Solazyme, the purchased fuel was made in toll facilities (both upstream and downstream). They included higher prices of raw materials than actual commercial production specs. In summary, the costs included research fees and were not made in facilities that accurately reflect the cost of production itself. Was the fuel made above commercial costs? Absolutely. But ask the question again once it's done in the proper context in a proper facility under a contract strictly intended for the purchase of fuel....

    ....Then ask why you're focusing on fuels at this stage in Solazyme's game anyways? Try disproving significantly higher valued cosmetics first, then food, then surfactants & lubricants, and etc. Solayzme is a renewable oil company with the ability to add value to its product through tailoring. It is not one of your typical biofuel companies that you frequently aim to put down.

    But hey, who cares about any of that? You got your point across... biofuels are are your "Twenty First Century Snake Oil". I won't dare try to convince your otherwise.
    Nov 25 01:50 AM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What A Successful Moema Launch Means For Solazyme [View article]

    You demand quite a bit from every article. This article's purpose was not to talk about costs as I've talked about this in past articles. It takes 3 MT of sugars to make 1 MT of oil. The company is getting sugars (possibly lower-cost sugar juice) at lower than market price & already has provisions in place to cover swings in sugar costs. Consdering the target ASP's it is clear that the model will be profitable once the plants are at nameplate capacity. The development of lower-cost, next-gen sugars should be able to significantly reduce costs further.


    P.S. I'm not here to debate, argue, or be criticized as your other comment on my other article suggests you are looking to do. So this will be my only reply.
    Jun 4 02:27 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme's Algal Oil Is Sought To Replace Palm Oil [View article]

    As what is stated in my disclosure statement (which is located on the top of every article and needs to have the "more..." link pressed), I have no relationship with Solazyme. I have intensely covered this company simply on the basis that the long-term outlook remains one of the most promising stories now unfolding on the market. There is limited coverage in this space, and those that do report here appear to have a very narrow concept of what this company does.

    I believe I remain justified in my support of this particular company when one compares it to the other names most often associated with industrial biotechnology, and in particular advanced biofuels. White biotechnology remains one of the most promising fields of this generation. As a leading public company in this space, I believe Solazyme's potential far justifies additional coverage for an investing audience. This is especially the case for a generation of investors who somehow feel like it is more appropriate to apply ludicrous valuations to unproven internet concepts rather than enduring the foundational periods of a future base technology.

    Apr 6 04:01 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Solazyme Believes Algae Milk Is The Next Big Thing [View article]
    That is surely a mentally cautious position to take, but you might want to expect much more of that. All of these sales are being conducted on automatic sales via the company's Rule 10b5-1 trading plan. Almost exclusively these sales were used to cover tax witholding obligations in connection with the vesting of restricted stock units prior to the date of sale. I'm just reading off of the filings when I say this. This has been the case for several years now. As someone who looks through a lot of insider transactions, I'm not alarmed. But that is just me. To each their own.
    Mar 11 12:34 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Gains A Partner For Specialty Soap Production [View article]

    We compete with palm oil for a good number of markets, but not all markets - although it is true that most oilseed markets will be correlated to palm oil markets. As the highest yielding oilseed crop and producer of some of the most mid-chain oils, palm oil is very useful & inexpensive.

    What you should keep in mind, however, is that we're not trying to replace palm oil directly. Refer back to my article ( for this comment by Rakitsky:

    "A lot of people ask me: 'Can you make a palm oil? Can you make a soy oil? Can you make a palm kernel oil?" And the answer is 'Yes, we can do all that'. But why would we? (To do so would be missing) our unique differential value in terms of creating compositions that have enhanced performance......"

    The point is that we're making oils that can replace higher value derivatives from that oil or other oils. Does a customer only want the 8% c8-c10 coming out of pko? We have an oil that can provide more than 60% of that. Think they'll pay more? A similar story goes w/ lauric oils.

    How about performance? Does the customer want the highest oleic oil out there without having to use antioxidants? We have an oil that outperforms almost everything out there even before considering the use of antioxidant packages. Think they'll pay more?

    A similar story goes w/ solid fat curve opportunities. JW previously asked me "how many oils can you name where theres a large enough supply of those oils, where they're produced efficiently enough in agriculture that they cost less than... you know... lets say $4000 - $5000/ton?" The idea being that there were probably less than a dozen out there (palm, pko, soy, rape/canola, tallow/lard, sunflower, etc...). Each of these have different solid fat curves useful for products, but the its the oils outside of this list that might have the certain curves ideal for many products. Because the oils we make relatively fall under the same price range you're talking about a huge opportunity in the structural fats market alone by being able to increase those opportunities with an affordable & customizable oil profile.

    So in short, are you missing something? No, those articles are both true. But you got to remember that palm oil isn't the oil or component we're necessarily replacing/supplementing. Personal care companies might be using palm oil to make soaps, but what they might really want is a particular fraction of that oil. Even before considering the savings from improved logistics, this is where a part of the enhanced value for SZYM's oils come into play.

    Aug 22 01:24 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Did Solazyme Just Patent A Treatment For Diabetes? [View article]

    I see no reasons why it can't be both Algavia and Encapso depending on function. I rather not assert how they are going to market this other than to show that it could qualify for algavia. We have agreed on very little and I make no speculative assumptions as to what estimates will be. I am merely citing information. This will be my only comment to you as our prior conversations suggest that your motives for being here tend to be less than pure.

    Jun 16 11:04 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Enters Into A New Era Focused On Commercial Development [View article]
    Thank you for reading, mlasell. If it was within my capacity to prove anything, I would consider sharing it with you. But then again, I'm just an author on a blog talking about a company that has made multiple statements that would place them under considerable legal pressure if they were untrue.

    An alternative solution would be to not read about what I have to say. After all, these are my opinions, and I have backed up what I said. If you don't share the same opinion, there's no point in contaminating your own thoughts by reading my point of view.

    In any case, here's some videos of szym's oil being put to use if you're truly looking for it (which I doubt you are):
    Sep 8 08:27 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 4 Reasons Why Solazyme Is Pursuing AlgaVia & Encapso Now [View article]

    In nutrition, the company has natural strains and modified strains. The algal flours & powders (AlgaVia) are natural, discovered through intense screening. Their compositions are "shaped" by the way they are grown in the tanks (ie the amount of protein/lipid is controlled by how much of x,y, or z you put into the tank and at what interval).

    More information can be found here with the FDA submission:

    "The source strain for Algal flour (Chlorella) (high lipid and high-protein) is C protothecoides strain number UTEX 250, which was obtained from the University of Texas Culture collection and assigned Solazyme strain number S106."


    However, the company is also pursuing modified strains for nutrition for the production of more nutritional oils (although these shouldn't be going under the AlgaVia brand name itself). I believe that the high stability high oleic oil that recently got GRAS approval represents SZYM's first regulatory approval of a tailored oil strain for nutrition. This is why management was excited over the completion of the GRAS process for HSHO in the last call. This bodes well for other tailored oils now going through the GRAS process.

    May 16 09:48 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Advances Its Agenda On Multiple Fronts [View article]
    As someone who actually read Kiefer's report many months ago, I could not agree more with the U.S. Department of Energy's response to his closed - minded reporting on the issue. This was taken from the article tgar13 just posted:
    In its rebuttal, the DOE points out that Kiefer’s paper does not include any analysis of critical issues of energy systems, including petroleum systems and biofuel systems. Rather, the DOE calls his paper a summary of literature. “Furthermore, the summary of biofuel literatures in this paper has been tailored with literatures with negative points of views and results for biofuels. There are equally important, if not more important, literatures with credible analyses and objective results of biofuels, which were either overlooked or ignored by the author,” said the DOE.
    Apr 28 03:32 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Advances Its Agenda On Multiple Fronts [View article]
    "I will never, however, lift my objection to making negative energy-balance biofuel from this process, or the government buying it at any exorbitant prices."

    I'm guessing it's because you're such a fact-driven, open-minded, forward-looking, critical thinker when it comes to advancing technolology.

    Well while you stomp your foot down, the company is optimizing it's entry into numerous markets including fuels as I've articulated many times over. In the fuels space the near term market will likely be in the refining arena where SZYM's higher quality oils can be used to uplift refined product value thereby selling for a higher asp.

    As for the white whale hunter here, I hope he learns how to carry out fundamental research before vocalizing his list of accusations and doubts. These last two instances have just been embarrassing.
    Apr 24 06:47 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • For Solazyme, It Is All About Control [View article]

    Thank you for reading. I am not driven to write about this company on the basis of news as much as I am intrigued by their capacity for disruptive change. While I'm often noted for my emphasis on this company in contrast to others, I believe that my greater focus on their workings have allowed me to better express the situation to those trying to follow along. To be short, I write to further detail particular aspects while still attempting to portray the situation to those unaware of the company altogether.

    After all, having come to this point in my own research, I know how difficult it is to understand what this technology is all about. Apart from a more in-depth perspective, there are too many errant associations that would otherwise muddle the view of investors who first hear about this company and understand it through their preconceived biases about it. "algae" "sugar" "biofuels" - all loaded terms. However, if you reflect back on my prior articles, I always attempt to focus on at least one particular trait that catches my eye.

    For this article in particular, I wanted to place some emphasis on the rather intriguing lysing technique. This appears to be a rather unique method in the present that Solazyme is able to use because of their dual ability to insert genetic code & simultaneously control the phases of production (ie. stimulate growth & change the conditions to grow oil & change the conditions to tear open the cell walls). The intricacies of this control are quite impressive, and very difficult to find outside (if even possible) outside of fermentation applications.

    Try not to be put back if you feel like you've read aspects of what I write about before. Some of this is so that I can get the article approved due to my editors. Another part of it is to help keep informed those who are just first hearing about this company. Best wishes.

    Merry Christmas & God Bless,
    Dec 23 08:50 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Confidently Delivers As Investors Feared The Worst [View article]
    Maxxwell (BlacknGold),

    Is it my responsibility to diversify my coverage for the sake of neutrality and the pretense that I am an expert in all fields covered? I write because I can explain things that others aren't willing to explore and some would argue might not even understand correctly. I write about Solazyme because I am a strong believer in the value that exists today in light of the compelling valuation that they are able to achieve tomorrow. I write because I like to piece together thoughts others have not considered - to express value others were not able to see on their own.

    I am not here to provide the basis for traders to hang their hats on for their daily operations. I'm not here to provide ammunition to the short-sellers that have sought personal gain by destroying investor morale through their comments. I'm here to provide a bullish case for those who are seeking a bullish understanding of what is going on. I have clearly asserted my long standpoint and I have clearly asserted that I have a vested interest in the company. You can ask for my specific position, and yet what does this mean apart from an understanding of my financial well-being? For this sake, I assure you that I have a position in the company and confidently state it every time I write.

    I will not give into your demands for my personal information on the basis of your appeasing your pride in the issue. You have repeatedly claimed that you are an expert of understanding valuation citing your successful 50% chance of choosing one direction over the other. I find it ironic that for someone who was so proud to promote GEVO, AMRS, CDXS not more than a year ago (, your willingness to turn around & attack me seems petty at best.

    As you were someone I had personally confided in order to share ideas back in those days, I am offended that you continue to assault my willingness to stick to a sense of valuation that was never based on the present to begin with. I can assure you that I feel somewhat less trusting of individuals like yourself.

    I value my investments on the basis of what I believe is coming down the road. I am not here to capture the bottom, nor am I here to tell people to do the same. I represent a long-term shareholder on a long-term investment. This is my opinion, this is my article. You can try to hold me accountable for whatever actions others take, but I will speak my mind for what I believe.
    Nov 16 10:45 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 4 Reasons Why Solazyme Is Pursuing AlgaVia & Encapso Now [View article]
    User 525079,

    I do not see them as a takeover candidate and would be very surprised and possibly alarmed if they become one. Barring an irresistible deal, hostile takeover, or some merger of the sort, I believe management and particularly the board of directors has enough foresight to know what is coming and where the company is heading.

    I believe its is also very difficult for any company to justify acquiring them as well. Their business model involves a lot of headaches for other companies to get involved in (multiple partnerships, some w/ partners that compete with each other) and a technology that is still very fresh and not very well understood.

    As for the market, I believe the coming 18 months will reveal additional partnerships and a changing dynamic of revenue/costs along with an accelerating revenue ramp. I believe the market will begin to see the potential over this time. In the very least, I believe it'll help give the existing short interest a less comfortable trading experience. However, that said I also believe that Wall Street will fail to see this company as more than a commodity player until growth is well underway.

    May 16 09:57 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment