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Kevin Quon

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  • Solazyme: Key Takeaways And Insights From The Q1 2014 Results [View article]

    It really comes down to market perception. The analysts have done a great job with DCF models, but even this ultimately this revolves around a multiple that is subjective in the end. This is why Piper Jaffray's Ritzenthaler can easily support a $4 price target whereas all of the other analysts are easily above $10 and some are as high as $18.

    I personally believe that SZYM's tech + plants are worth at least a solid billion at this point in the game. To make things really easy on a daily basis, I just backtrack the cash out of the current market capitalization in my head to see where we are and where I think we can be.

    I wish I could say there was something more standardized, but ultimately there are too many variables right now, especially without a solid grasp on the margins either (not only will the true #'s be known more than a year from now as they ramp up, but there's no reason to believe the target margins are necessarily a top-line figure either.) On top of this is the fact the company is finding more and more markets with greater potential. Encapso not only saves on the recovery side (lowers cost) and utilizes the full microalgae cell (increases asp), but it's also a unique capability that is difficult to value right now.

    All said, until things stabilize, you are just going to have to use some imagination on the basis of potential. But considering the money being poured in, it's reasonable to believe the company should be worth at least that much coming out unless these R&D developments led to no fruition. That I know of, more than half a billion has already been put into this tech's development.


    May 8 09:00 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Advances Its Agenda On Multiple Fronts [View article]

    This is exactly what ike is trying to do. Scare you into believing the economics won't work out. But consider the asp range vs. the input range and do the math. It takes 3 metric tons of sugars for 1 mt of oil. These costs add up to more than half the costs. Account for process losses and the fact that szym sugars will come in below mkt value and you still have attractive margins. Additional processing also leads to higher asps (ie a product needing to be bleached etc). Will the company ever produce fuels for a 1 to 1 replacement? I don't know, but that's hardly my concern either. Fuels are a large market and one that has ike upset, but he's willing to tank the company on this principle because he's ignoring the value creation in Solazyme's tailored oils.

    Apr 27 01:13 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Advances Its Agenda On Multiple Fronts [View article]
    Wishful thinking when he's literally dedicated his life to all things related to biofuel. Not everyone writes a book about "snake oil" without convincing themselves that it is to begin with.
    Apr 24 06:54 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Advances Its Agenda On Multiple Fronts [View article]

    I would even go as far as to suspect that Goldman Sachs might even be shorting SZYM. After all, they did underwrite the company's offerings. 2 million shares don't go short by retail investors overnight. However, convertible note owners that want to earn free interest on a neutral position will gladly short the stock as well as owning the convertible note.

    Your actions are sure starting to speak louder than words. Your consistent negativity is beginning to speak of conspiracy theories. As is, you have already claimed the company lied on its financials because you weren't able to understand how $2,600/MT reconciled with what you read. There's a fact.

    Apr 23 11:06 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Advances Its Agenda On Multiple Fronts [View article]
    "What size are these hulls? What is Solazyme's method for encapsulating lubricant in them? I doubt they have invented this out of the blue. Rather, I suspect they are looking at what they have and are trying to find an application for it. My guess is the size of the hulls is microscopic -- because they are the micro-algae bodies themselves. And the lubricant in them is the lipids inside the algae -- either all of it, or the part remaining after the bulk is extracted for oil production. Their claim to be able to adjust the hulls and the lubricant is the same as being able to adjust their algae for biomass fraction v. lipid fraction, and for the carbon chain-length of the lipids. Extracting the lipids from microialgae is a very difficult task, particularly because the lipids are distributed throughout the body of the cell in hundreds of tiny pockets, not in a single chamber."

    Here are a few thoughts for those who accidentally believe Ike's biased speculations of implied doubt have some merit:

    1) Solazyme's method for encapsulating lubricant is the creation of microalgae as the microalgae cell itself is the encapsulated oil product.
    2) The "size" (which presumably you meant thickness) of the hulls varies as this is controlled in the manufacturing process through various growing conditions (all of which are controlled through standard fermentation processes).
    3) "I suspect they are looking at what they have and are trying to find an application for it." This is probably the first time I you've said something correct, although your implication is likely incorrect. The company is looking at how to optimize value through what it has - in this case it was able to include value from its fermentation process, its tailoring process, its experience with algae growth conditions, the actual oil itself, and the otherwise waste biomass. Each of these help add to the ASP of the final product, for none of this is possible without each aspect. For example, open pond algae (even if it were to use some kind of recombinant technology to create customized oils) would be unable to do this given the lack of control in the growing process.
    4) "Extracting the lipids from microalgae is a very difficult task"
    Not when they're at the yields Solazyme is able to produce at. >80% oil is possible for SZYM, although I would imagine cells with a lower lipid amount are more typical for Encapso. Drilling friction breaks open the algae.
    5) "Their claim to be able to adjust the hulls and the lubricant is the same as being able to adjust their algae for biomass fraction v. lipid fraction"
    Yes it is. Why do you make it sound problematic?
    Apr 23 10:48 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 Things To Know About Solazyme's Encapso [View article]
    Approximately 1/3 of the day's trading volume was due to short sales the day before pricing. 6 million shares traded and more than 2 million were due to short volume. Botched? yes. Intentionally? yes, imo. Is that the way it works? Sadly so.

    But this is what happens in a free market economy where big money can game the system. Until change occurs, got to work within it. Just my two cents.

    Either way, SZYM now has some capital to exert.
    Mar 31 09:04 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Looks To Strengthen Its Balance Sheet And Finds A Solution For Big Oil And Gas [View article]

    I could not agree more. You talk about the very point of an article I wrote a long time ago when I first talked to wolfson (

    The way he kept bringing up Monsanto radically changed the way I looked at the company after that first visit.

    Mar 26 02:02 AM | 5 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
  • Solazyme: Time To Get Greedy [View article]
    Nice overview of the current situation. Keep up the good work.
    Nov 25 06:25 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Becomes Part Of AkzoNobel's 'Future-Proof Supply Chain' [View article]

    You bring up a good point, and in truth its always been a bit of a concern for myself as well. However Wolfson did shed some light on this topic in the latest call that you mention:

    1) "deep in the process" - It appears that the company is already pursuing such approvals prior to commercial launch and has shown no reason to believe they won't receive them.
    2) Remember that the process pretty much works in that as long as there's the official "no questions to ask", things should be fine. A flat denial isn't really in the picture until after you get the chance to show its safe, which is only after there's a question about a specific aspect.
    3) Key comment from Wolfson was: "There are some chemical ways to do that..." so its not truly a new concept altogether. It's being done, just not in a substantial manner.

    Another thought to consider is that the company is pursuing global markets, which have many different standards. What may not work here, may be OK elsewhere.

    Additionally, many of these oils are actually not be altered so much as the algae cell generating it. It's a similar reason why agroscience co's are able to get cleared so easily.

    Also, remember that these oils span across multiple industries. Nutritionals is sure to be scrutinized a lot more than chemicals for instance. Such flexibility is nice. Regulations may be, at least in part, one of the reasons why SZYM passed up on pharmaceuticals for now. I'm sure down the road, they are likely to consider it given impact they could easily have there. But right now they're targeting large volume markets with greater ease of access.

    Last of all, consider that SRN is operating outside of a real risk-zone from a nutritionals standpoint. All the non-GMO stuff has essentially been given to SRN, and they already have the go-ahead it appears. So even if tailored applications in nutritionals take a little longer, there's no real rush perse w/o still gaining market diversification. You'll still have a foot in the nutritionals doorway.

    May 9 10:14 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • When Ethanol Isn't Enough, Solazyme Provides A Hedging Advantage [View article]

    To keep things short and sweet, I'd say my own fears are already pretty well documented in the company's filings themselves. One look at the risks section found in the Form 10-k spells them out. It also serves enough ammo for anyone to foster a lot of doubt if they chose to do so. I would even argue that some authors of another particular publication have even gone out of their way to do just that.

    Although I can think of counter arguments for each of my own fears, I would list my top three as the following:

    1) The inability to scale up production could significantly slow down the current momentum in regards to technology adoption

    2) The risk of a cancellation/termination of a major partnership grows with every new partner added, and the effect it can have is unpredictable in regards to upstream/downstream capabilities or duration of effect (clearly these partnerships take time to formulate)

    3) Regulatory denial of products could significantly hinder progress & put a real question mark over future products.
    Mar 21 08:40 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Solazyme Be The Next Big Thing? [View article]
    This is wrong information. This company makes oils from sugars (carbohydrates rather). It is also VERY important to differentiate between oils & fuels. This is not just a biofuel company. Solayzme is first and foremost an oil company. This is not a cellulose-to-sugar company. A company creating cellulose-to-sugar would be Codexis (CDXS).

    I would personally encourage you to read some of my many articles on the Solazyme for a more comprehensive understanding:
    Dec 3 09:45 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme: In The Wrong Place At The Wrong Time [View article]
    Did this article really just get reposted without any changes?? Still full of misinformation. You've got to be kidding me.

    State a bearish opinion if you want, Qineqt, but at least fact-check real details in doing so.
    Nov 4 12:10 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme: In The Wrong Place At The Wrong Time [View article]
    Those same analysts also have an average target price of $17.71 as of 11/1/12......

    None of this addresses the fact your researcher entirely missed the fundamental business operations of the company (among several other key points). This company does not make oil from animal fats. Articles like this bring down the quality of Seeking Alpha, and I would highly advise that you to get your facts straight before making assertions as to what investors should do.

    Here's your direct quote: "Its business model of producing oil through transformation of food, plants and animal fats is a matter of concern for investors." This is just disappointing.
    Nov 1 03:34 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme: In The Wrong Place At The Wrong Time [View article]
    Its researchers like this (qineqt) that make me cringe a little when they talk about Solazyme..... they just don't get it. Understandably there's a lot of moving parts, but it's clear that the average joe must have one heck of a hard time understanding this company if the "analysts" talking about it are struggling to even get their facts straight.
    Nov 1 02:20 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment