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  • Time To Load Up On Biogen? [View article]
    @Sensible,
    With all of your expertise in chart analysis and stock picking, we would love to see you start writing articles too.
    Mar 28, 2015. 01:16 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An In-Depth Conversation With Natcore CEO Chuck Provini [View article]
    Hi All,
    Following is the latest press release from Natcore for those of you who may not have seen it yesterday.

    Natcore Technology Makes Laser-Processed HIT-Structure Solar Cell

    Company Files For Provisional U.S. Patent

    Red Bank, NJ — (March 16, 2015) — Scientists working in the Rochester R&D Center of Natcore Technology Inc. (TSX-V: NXT; NTCXF.PK) have produced an all-back-contact silicon “HIT-structure” (heterojunction with intrinsic thin layer) solar cell using their proprietary laser technology.
    “Silicon HIT-structure cells have been shown to yield record efficiencies of greater than 25%”, says Dr. David Levy, Natcore’s Director of Research and Technology. “Natcore’s HIT-structure cells are made using thin amorphous silicon layers in combination with a standard crystalline silicon solar wafer. This concept makes very efficient cells, as seen in the Sanyo/Panasonic HIT™ cell.”
    Natcore’s scientists used a laser in applying contacts to the rear of the cell. In addition to further increasing cell efficiency relative to industry standards, the Natcore all-back-contact technique could allow production of these high efficiency cells at low cost.
    Panasonic recently reported an all-back-contact HIT-structure with 25.6% conversion efficiency – the highest efficiency ever reached for a silicon solar cell. That cell, however, was produced using a relatively complicated, higher-cost process. Natcore believes that it can achieve similar efficiencies at a much lower cost and without the environmental damage incurred through the chemicals and energy required for the high-temperature process.
    Because of their initial results, Natcore has moved to protect its new process by filing a provisional patent application titled with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    “Basic HIT-structure cell technology is a couple of decades old,” says Chuck Provini, Natcore President and CEO. “But our HIT-structure cell is not your father’s HIT cell. We’ve made a device that has all of the positive aspects of a HIT cell, but also with our laser technology that will allow us to significantly streamline production. Our cell will have a much lower manufacturing cost than the cells made using the older technology. We continue to change the way solar cells are made.”

    I also received this email message from Tom Scarpa, the Senior VP at Natcore:

    "Michael,

    Attached is a press release that we issued this morning. We think that it is important because each one of the advancements that we are making brings us closer to commercialization and our goal of changing the way solar cells are manufactured.

    But it is also important because of the process being used to create these cells. You may recall that in January Dr. Dennis Flood spoke at the World Photovoltaic Conference in Japan. He also had an opportunity to meet with the people at Sharp Electronics and other large Japanese manufacturers that are working on heterojunction (HIT) with intrinsic thin layer solar cells. To the layman, “HIT structure” and “heterojunction with intrinsic thin layer solar cell” no doubt sound like inside baseball. But Dennis came away from that conference and those meetings convinced that this technology is the direction that the solar industry is headed and that Natcore is at the leading edge of that technology.

    As always, if you have any questions let me or Chuck know."

    Tom
    Mar 17, 2015. 03:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In-Depth Interview With Natcore's CEO And Director Of Research And Technology [View article]
    Hi All,
    Following is yesterday's press release from Natcore for those of you who may not have seen it.

    Natcore Technology Makes Laser-Processed HIT-Structure Solar Cell

    Company Files For Provisional U.S. Patent

    Red Bank, NJ — (March 16, 2015) — Scientists working in the Rochester R&D Center of Natcore Technology Inc. (TSX-V: NXT; NTCXF.PK) have produced an all-back-contact silicon “HIT-structure” (heterojunction with intrinsic thin layer) solar cell using their proprietary laser technology.
    “Silicon HIT-structure cells have been shown to yield record efficiencies of greater than 25%”, says Dr. David Levy, Natcore’s Director of Research and Technology. “Natcore’s HIT-structure cells are made using thin amorphous silicon layers in combination with a standard crystalline silicon solar wafer. This concept makes very efficient cells, as seen in the Sanyo/Panasonic HIT™ cell.”
    Natcore’s scientists used a laser in applying contacts to the rear of the cell. In addition to further increasing cell efficiency relative to industry standards, the Natcore all-back-contact technique could allow production of these high efficiency cells at low cost.
    Panasonic recently reported an all-back-contact HIT-structure with 25.6% conversion efficiency – the highest efficiency ever reached for a silicon solar cell. That cell, however, was produced using a relatively complicated, higher-cost process. Natcore believes that it can achieve similar efficiencies at a much lower cost and without the environmental damage incurred through the chemicals and energy required for the high-temperature process.
    Because of their initial results, Natcore has moved to protect its new process by filing a provisional patent application titled with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    “Basic HIT-structure cell technology is a couple of decades old,” says Chuck Provini, Natcore President and CEO. “But our HIT-structure cell is not your father’s HIT cell. We’ve made a device that has all of the positive aspects of a HIT cell, but also with our laser technology that will allow us to significantly streamline production. Our cell will have a much lower manufacturing cost than the cells made using the older technology. We continue to change the way solar cells are made.”

    Along with this press release I also received the following email message from Tom Scarpa, Senior VP at Natcore:

    "Michael,

    Attached is a press release that we issued this morning. We think that it is important because each one of the advancements that we are making brings us closer to commercialization and our goal of changing the way solar cells are manufactured.

    But it is also important because of the process being used to create these cells. You may recall that in January Dr. Dennis Flood spoke at the World Photovoltaic Conference in Japan. He also had an opportunity to meet with the people at Sharp Electronics and other large Japanese manufacturers that are working on heterojunction (HIT) with intrinsic thin layer solar cells. To the layman, “HIT structure” and “heterojunction with intrinsic thin layer solar cell” no doubt sound like inside baseball. But Dennis came away from that conference and those meetings convinced that this technology is the direction that the solar industry is headed and that Natcore is at the leading edge of that technology.

    As always, if you have any questions let me or Chuck know."

    Tom
    Mar 17, 2015. 02:59 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Pareto Portfolio Update [View article]
    Hi All,
    I added 55 shares of Seagate (STX) to the Pareto Portfolio today at $54.825/share.
    Mar 16, 2015. 04:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Hardwood Flooring Insider's Take On Lumber Liquidators [View article]
    I highly doubt that you "no longer buy anything made in China." What kind of running shoes do you wear?
    Mar 12, 2015. 03:02 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The 5 Highest Yielding Dividend Aristocrats [View article]
    Paul,
    Yes, I agree with you about Valuentum's approach. Brian Nelson is a sharp and, in my opinion, a really trustworthy person.

    Have a great week!
    Mar 9, 2015. 10:19 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The 5 Highest Yielding Dividend Aristocrats [View article]
    Hi All,
    Following is an excerpt from Valuentum Securities latest newsletter to investors. It's food for thought. For what it's worth, Valuentum has removed Chevron from their DG Portfolio.

    "The most valuable quality of any portfolio manager is the ability to change his or her mind, and not look back. When the facts change, so should the thesis. And the facts have changed with Dividend Growth portfolio holding Chevron (CVX).

    A look at the oil giant’s fourth-quarter results revealed a balance sheet that we flat-out were hoping to avoid, particularly for a commodity-producing entity. What was once a healthy net cash position just a few quarters ago has now ballooned into a $15 billion net debt position and a $27 billion total debt position overall. The pace of change has been incredible, and Chevron continues add more leverage as we write. Just last week, it sold another $6 billion in bonds.

    There’s nothing necessarily wrong with adding more leverage to the balance sheet during difficult times, especially when the price of its product has been cut in half, but this is just the beginning of its debt-raising cycle, by our estimate. For Chevron to sustain its massive capital spending program and its healthy dividend, the firm will have to keep coming back to the debt markets. Chevron is simply spending too much. Its $31 billion cash capital and exploratory budget for 2015 is too high. Chevron burned through $4.8 billion in cash during the most recent quarter alone.

    Almost our entire dividend growth thesis on Chevron has hinged on the firm’s strong balance sheet position as a backdrop to (an insurance policy for) the inherent unpredictability of crude oil prices. The firm’s AA rating from Standard & Poor’s still speaks to its strong credit health, of course, but being able to refinance debt via an assessment of the probability of bankruptcy (which a credit rating measures) is much different than assessing the company’s ability to satisfy shareholders (which are interested in capital appreciation and income growth). Shareholders are lower on the hierarchy of the capital structure than debt holders.

    We find the pace of deterioration in Chevron’s balance sheet shocking. A look at the firm’s presentation slide decks from a few years ago reveals a management team that was highlighting its net cash position relative to its major peers. They were highlighting it. And then, poof, that favorable aspect of its business and our dividend growth thesis has become tarnished. Such writing may seem sudden for new members, but when the facts change, so does our thesis. We’re removing Chevron from the Dividend Growth portfolio, at roughly its cost basis."
    Mar 9, 2015. 02:59 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • DGI Investing: It's Riskier Than You Probably Think [View article]
    Glenn,
    Great post here and reply. I agree with you 100%.
    Mar 7, 2015. 01:59 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • DGI Investing: It's Riskier Than You Probably Think [View article]
    Robert Allan Schwartz,
    I completely understand and agree with Ian's article. I feel exactly as he does and in particular his point that many of those writing on SA about DGI have never been through a significant market correction. I am going to enjoy seeing what these individuals write when the next one happens.

    All of those words that you refer to as "inflammatory" are absolutely fitting, in my opinion. If you won't be following this author, nor reading further comments on this page, you need not write that, as I highly doubt your decision is of any consequence.
    Mar 6, 2015. 12:06 PM | 15 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In-Depth Interview With Natcore's CEO And Director Of Research And Technology [View article]
    GG,
    Thanks for that update as I wasn't aware there was another interview on KE Report with Chuck as I never check the site this past weekend.

    Things are looking up. Of course it's good to remember that Al Korelin and Cory Fleck both participated in the latest private placement.
    Mar 6, 2015. 11:35 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pareto Portfolio Recent Purchase: More Cisco [View article]
    SKN,
    Thanks for reading and thanks for posting and have a great weekend.
    Mar 6, 2015. 01:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China Won't Be Faking It Much Longer [View article]
    Paulo,
    I also lived and worked in China for 8 years. My wife and I just left last November. I would have to say that I don't believe that things will ever change in China, unless there were a real change in the ruling authority. There is no rule of law in China and that is not going to change anytime soon, if ever.

    We lived in Guangzhou and I visited the watch market many many times in that city. There are big red banners hanging in the watch market stating that "fake goods are illegal."
    Yet, what do you actually find in the market? You can purchase any type of fake watch you can think of - Rolex, Breitling, Hublot, Longines, Patek Philipe, etc. etc. Some of the fakes are incredibly good quality and if you took them to a high-end jeweler he/she wouldn't know the difference between the fake and the real thing.

    That's just one example of what China says and what China actually does. No one patrols those fake watch markets. It's a free-for-all in China.
    Mar 3, 2015. 02:42 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cisco tops $30; new mobile products launched at MWC [View news story]
    Today I added another 125 shares of CSCO to my Pareto Portfolio http://seekingalpha.co....
    Mar 2, 2015. 09:44 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pareto Portfolio Update [View article]
    I've added to my position in Cisco as of today, March 2nd. Purchased another 125 shares at 30.12.
    Mar 2, 2015. 03:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Best S&P 500 Stocks According To A Winning Ranking System: A Look At Cisco Systems [View article]
    Arie,
    Thanks for the article. I added to my position in Cisco today. Have a great week!
    Mar 2, 2015. 11:55 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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