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  • Axion Power Concentrator 98: May 10, 2012: Axion Power Receives Initial Norfolk Southern Order For PbC® Batteries 244 comments
    May 10, 2012 4:27 PM | about stocks: AXPW

    These instablogs and the people who maintain them have no relationship whatsoever to Axion Power International. To our direct knowledge no person with a current relationship to Axion Power International other than being a shareholder participates in these instablogs.

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    Axion Power Receives Initial Norfolk Southern Order For PbC® Batteries

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    Links to new instablog's from John Petersen and Futurist.

    When Will Axion See The End Of The Flipping? By John Petersen

    Test Driving an Automatic Stop/Start: By Futurist

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    Axion Power's Weighted Moving Average Price and Volume:

    (updated through closing May 7th)

    (click to enlarge)

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    LINKS to valuable Axion Power Research and websites:

    The Axion Power Concentrator Web Sites created by APC commentator Bangwhiz it is a complete easy-to-use online archive of all the information contained in the entire Axion Power Concentrator series from day one; including reports, articles, comments and posted links.

    Axion Power Wikispaces Web Site, created by APC commentator WDD. It is an excellent ongoing notebook aggregation of Axion Power facts.

    Axion Power Website, the first place any prospective investor should go and thoroughly explore with all SEC filings and investor presentations as well as past and present Press Releases.

    Axion Power Chart Tracking, HTL tracks AXPW's intra-day charting.

    Axion Power Q1 2012 Conference Call Questions, Set-up by Bangwhiz

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    Disclosure: I am long AXPW.

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Comments (244)
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  • Axion Power Host
    , contributor
    Comments (523) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Last post from JP:

     

    I'm looking forward to Monday's close so that we can all see what the 10-Q says and study it before Tuesday's CC.
    10 May 2012, 04:38 PM Reply Like
  • Tampa Ted
    , contributor
    Comments (2652) | Send Message
     
    Powercube mention -

     

    http://bit.ly/JhCusV
    10 May 2012, 08:42 PM Reply Like
  • Futurist
    , contributor
    Comments (2109) | Send Message
     
    NFL draft, New year automotive designs, and Axion Quarter 10-Q's. A glass of wine, a quiet room, comfort time.

     

    What could be better in America today.
    10 May 2012, 08:43 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3431) | Send Message
     
    OT: Apparently Li-ion batteries now too boom boom booku for the USPS

     

    http://gizmo.do/J48sCQ
    10 May 2012, 09:28 PM Reply Like
  • metroneanderthal
    , contributor
    Comments (1425) | Send Message
     
    I just removed the phone from the front pocket of my pants.
    11 May 2012, 05:37 AM Reply Like
  • battman
    , contributor
    Comments (370) | Send Message
     
    My wife carries my phone :)
    11 May 2012, 01:21 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (10233) | Send Message
     
    Looks like posters are back loading the other concentrators managing the date for numero cien.
    10 May 2012, 10:15 PM Reply Like
  • 23808
    , contributor
    Comments (87) | Send Message
     
    Curiosity - did one of the existing Axionistas added 2- 25,000 shares at .42 to his/her sock drawer today? If not, we just added a new Axionistas today!
    11 May 2012, 12:00 AM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2726) | Send Message
     
    Just a thought.

     

    Areas that do not have a "grid" might start with hydro, wind or solar generators and a PC to establish a reasonably dependable local source of power.
    The system could send out "runners" of low voltage lines to local users who just need a few hundred Whr per day for lighting or entertainment and who were depending on liquid fuel for lights and batteries for electricity. Their out of pocket costs could be lower even if charged $0.50 or more per kWh. Think of a village with a "well off" head man, for example. He would supply the site for the PC.
    Such a system could spread organically and eventually spawn another PC some distance away, funded by the income from dozens of users and maybe a benefactor or two.

     

    Could such a concept be economically feasible? Maybe. It seems to me that many developing countries that can't implement central generation (either finances or political structure isn't available) might be able to manage village level systems using irregular or low capacity generation. Productivity increases from some minimal electrification just might be enough.

     

    Solar and wind power sound like such good ideas for developing areas until you add the highly irregular nature of the generation. Wind at night when everyone is asleep and sun while everyone is out of the house aren't a problem with storage.

     

    But it has to be a "no fiddling necessary" system to have any chance at all.

     

    Think of the size of that market.
    11 May 2012, 01:41 AM Reply Like
  • Tampa Ted
    , contributor
    Comments (2652) | Send Message
     
    SHB -

     

    Take a look at this -

     

    ftp://aidea.org/EETF/E...

     

    For some reason the link does not seem to come up ... google this

     

    Village DC Micro-grid/Storage/Ren... Energy
    Project
    Project Volcano View Partnership
    11 May 2012, 08:31 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5783) | Send Message
     
    There has been a huge dose of reality the past few days, and that is probably a good thing. Most of the hype of a miracle in a day has dissipated. Let's not get too discouraged as some of us have said last year that it would be a couple of years before the true fruits came. The story is still intact and probably only a year behind schedule as evidenced by the NS contract just coming out and installation 90+ days from now. TG had no way to know the EPA study would set it back when he said it would happen in 2011. That is just an example of how large corporations plans & even the competition under the table tactics can delay a small company plans by a year.
    The positive is that WE still have an ace in the hole & only two setbacks and I will get them out of the way first.... another capital raise & the installation of the new line which according to the amended registration would happen in the second half or late 2012.

     

    The ace in the hole - next week, IF TG still backs 300% growth in 2012 & 13. We are already 5 months into 2012. That's where my theory of 7-18 months came in a couple of APC's back. I think that Rosewater does deliver something, They really just get started in Sept. at the Indy Home Show and you can bet that there will be sales orders to justify the capital raise & new production line. TG wants that new line installed & certified by year end or very early 2013. He can't achieve 300% growth without it. That begins the commercialization phase for Axion.

     

    I don't count the flooded battery contract as much as some in that growth figure, it is not a core part of AXPW's business plan. It is nice to reduce capital needs by 10-30% but the real business is PbC. That's where your growth comes from.

     

    If TG sticks with his 300% growth figure next week, then I believe him. He was right on NS, it just came late. After that mistake, I do not believe he would stick his neck out if he didn't pretty well know he had that in his pocket.
    Bangwhiz was right on his posts in APC #97 about not knowing where the growth was coming from....no one but AXPW mgt. does either. We should begin to see some of where the growth comes from in the 3rd & 4th quarter of this year.
    To do $100 million in 2013, means that some things will have to happen throughout the year. Not a December 2013 order. I think that TG knows that 2013 will be a good year, that is why he is waiting until the last minute to install the new gen-2 & 3 production lines. Time is on his side there as he can make them better as time goes on. That's not a long wait for a double or triple in stock price conservatively speaking. The good thing is no debt for now.
    The only caveats are:
    1. The batteries failing with the actual use in the NS 999
    2. TG reducing the growth rate next week.

     

    The stock price moved higher in Jan. on little news, and I expect it to do the same thing by year end. Quercus will be gone and even BlackRock could be out on any volume. I think there are a few more "flipper" shares to be sold than JP does, but when these two big fish are gone, then his theory of supply inflection comes into play.
    11 May 2012, 05:20 AM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4788) | Send Message
     
    LT > "The positive is that WE still have an ace in the hole & only two setbacks and I will get them out of the way first.... another capital raise & the installation of the new line which according to the amended registration would happen in the second half or late 2012."

     

    Looking through the amended registration statement dated May 10, I have not found reference to installation of a new line in "second half or late 2012". Could you share a page cite?

     

    Quickly scanning of the document, the only thing I saw addressing PbC production capacity was on page 4.
    <
    We will not begin automated production of our PbC technology until 2012.

     

    We will not be able to begin full commercial production of our PbC energy storage devices until we complete our current testing operations, our planned application evaluation, planned product development and until our second generation robotic PbC negative electrode production line is fully commissioned. We believe our path to full automated production will, at a minimum, take us into the first half of 2012. Even if our prototype development operations are successful, there can be no assurance that we will be able to establish and maintain our facilities and relationships for the manufacturing, distribution and sale of our PbC batteries and other technologies or that any future products will achieve market acceptance and be sold in sufficient quantities and at prices necessary to make them commercially successful. Even if our proposed products are commercially successful, there can be no assurance that we will realize enough revenue and gross margin from the sale of products to achieve profitability.
    <

     

    That text prompted me to pose on BW's cc question page. the question of whether the Gen2 robotic line is now fully commissioned.
    11 May 2012, 07:56 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5783) | Send Message
     
    First, let me say that "I am almost sure" that the gen-2 line is fully commissioned. The new line is called gen-2a or b or sometimes referred to as gen-3....this is just a choice of wording for the same thing.

     

    Add this to what you already posted & I did read "end of 2012" somewhere but can't give a page or maybe in seen the 2012 in your post and what is below...either way this is May 2012 now and below says in 2012 so a few months is sorta mute to me whether it is Sept or Dec.

     

    "We have incurred net losses from inception and do not expect to introduce our first commercial PbC products in quantity until during the 2012 fiscal year.

     

    From our inception we have incurred net losses and expect to incur substantial and possibly increasing losses for the foreseeable future as we increase our spending to fund the development of production methods for our PbC devices and to build an infrastructure to support this business. Our operating losses have had, and will continue to have, an adverse impact on our working capital, total assets and stockholders’ equity. For 2011, we had a net loss applicable to common shareholders of $8.3 million. In addition, we had cumulative losses from inception (September 18, 2003) to December 31, 2011 of $76.0 million. We have not yet reached a point where we can manufacture our proprietary PbC batteries and our proprietary activated carbon electrodes in commercial volumes and we will not be in a position to commercialize such products until we complete the design development, manufacturing process development and pre-market testing activities. There can be no assurance that our development and testing activities will be successful or that our proposed products will achieve market acceptance or be sold in sufficient quantities and at prices necessary to make them commercially viable."
    11 May 2012, 08:23 AM Reply Like
  • jakurtz
    , contributor
    Comments (1960) | Send Message
     
    LT, Gen 2a and Gen 3 lines are different lines.

     

    When Axion is ready to *significantly* increase production capabilities they will order a Gen 3 line (it is not based on a timeframe). They could do so today, but they don't need to as the Gen 2 line fills all "short-term and even medium-term" order requirements per TG last cc.

     

    The Gen 2a line is them tweaking and making the Gen 2 line a little better everyday. Once they get all the tweaks and refinement down and they *need* a Gen 3, then they will order the Gen 3.
    11 May 2012, 08:34 AM Reply Like
  • metroneanderthal
    , contributor
    Comments (1425) | Send Message
     
    The question of commercial production came up at last CC. I thought that TG answered the question specifically enough - don't remember exactly what he said - that my concerns were alleviated. If I recall correctly, he said that the PbC could be produced in commercial quantities.
    11 May 2012, 08:45 AM Reply Like
  • D Lane
    , contributor
    Comments (1694) | Send Message
     
    >I think that Rosewater does deliver something, They really just get >started in Sept. at the Indy Home Show

     

    I look forward to the Indy Home Show but Rosewater is not waiting for that. Don't they have contacts they are pursuing in the Middle East and elsewhere?
    11 May 2012, 10:10 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (10233) | Send Message
     
    "First, let me say that "I am almost sure" that the gen-2 line is fully commissioned."

     

    Really no way to know where they are in the certification process. Chances are 99.9% that they are not certified for automotive. This is a very arduous process. It requires that all the upstream suppliers are certified and that, subsequent to the carbon electrode line, the final battery assembly line(s) be certified.

     

    Also, after all the metrics of the line running quality product at rate are met, the certification might and often does required that the product from the certification runs be validated in subsequent testing.

     

    All these metrics are laid out in agreed to plans with each customer that the respective points of production (suppliers) agree to well in advance of the mating ritual.
    11 May 2012, 11:05 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5783) | Send Message
     
    Jak and Metro, we are all on the same page and TG did address it to my satisfaction too. Jakurtz always words it better and with more clarity than I seem to do. Thanks.
    11 May 2012, 11:07 AM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz
    , contributor
    Comments (2240) | Send Message
     
    iindelco> I think it has been generally accepted that other than demonstration programs Axion would need a manufacturing partner before any major auto business could be expected. However, if the partner is an existing AGM battery producer who is already certified through supplying AGM batteries to the customer wouldn't that simplify the process.

     

    I can easily understand why the auto companies would demand full upstream certification because my small manufacturing company went under in 2008 primarily because one of our material suppliers shipped us a load of defective material that lead to the loss of our largest customer and a huge national recall for a company our size.
    12 May 2012, 06:49 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (10233) | Send Message
     
    bang, Yeah, First let me say that in my opinion you are correct. One of the reasons I was excited for Axion when they announced the Exide deal was the fact that Exide has extensive automotive experience and would have been a great mentor for Axion in the process of getting automotive certification for their PBC anode line. In addition Exide has the financial scale to function as the sourcing agent for the majors. As such, if they were to choose to do so, they could have functioned as the tier I supplier with Axion functioning as a tier II supplier. Automotive companies generally do not want to deal with suppliers that have poor financial backing. They tend to put their hand out when the going gets tough. They want someone with more skin in the game so they can leverage them with adequate pressure if need be.

     

    The auto companies have support structures to work with the tier I, II and III suppliers to take all the right decisions in identifying the necessary steps to minimize the risks that all parties share if things don't go smoothly. It's not punitive, although it feels that way sometimes, it's intended to identify and put all the necessary action plans in place to assure things like the A123 occurrence don't happen. The automotive companies have manuals with defined deliverables through the launch phases of their programs to guide suppliers through this journey. They meet with the suppliers in functional teams and have a reporting structure to make sure timing and deliverables are respected and action plans are developed to eliminate roadblocks.

     

    Given the Exide changes I'm happy to see Vani join the team. I'm sure that if/when they start this process or if they are in it he will be a key contributor. He knows the path for sure.
    13 May 2012, 12:16 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5783) | Send Message
     
    This could be part of the answer to electric vehicles...charging them at the rental lot...let your imagination run wild. It's interesting.

     

    Daimler article: Renting cars by the minute
    http://bloom.bg/Kso3jl
    11 May 2012, 05:41 AM Reply Like
  • Rick Krementz
    , contributor
    Comments (3105) | Send Message
     
    LT, basically they are copying Zipcars strategy. Zipcar executes very well, and I except it to be the successful competitor.

     

    Auto manufacturers have not been successful car rental companies. I think to be a successful rental company one needs a variety of products to rent, and not be tied to a specific brand or model.

     

    Zipcar could could add Leafs to their system easily, but I doubt they will. Zipcar's pricing model includes all the fuel anyway, and all the numbers we've seen show it is really hard to justify a battery vehicle economically. For Zipcar there would be the additional challenge of making sure the vehicle was fully charged for the next driver. Perhaps with some dynamic rental availability, with the car reporting its range and expected charging times at the end of each rental. The future availability of a car could be updated in real time from the GPS-created travel data while driving.
    11 May 2012, 06:59 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5783) | Send Message
     
    I think this is just the beginning....alot can happen between now and 2016 when they complete the 50 city buildout.

     

    Most of the cars in the photo were the small "smart cars", which are cheaper than the Nissan Leaf....I doubt there will be any expensive cars in this business model. But, fuel savings will be a key to keep expenses down. If you noticed one local lady was using the service because it was too difficult overseas to "park" a Mercedes.
    11 May 2012, 07:40 AM Reply Like
  • D Lane
    , contributor
    Comments (1694) | Send Message
     
    Thanks Rick. I believe daytime charging and frequent cycling of the battery would make EV's economical for a company like Zipcar.

     

    Batter yet, Kandi vehicles with LA batteries that get swapped out at the rental lot.
    11 May 2012, 10:13 AM Reply Like
  • Rick Krementz
    , contributor
    Comments (3105) | Send Message
     
    D, one of Zipcars strategic cost advantages is that their lots are not manned. I question whether every driver would be knowledgeable to exchange batteries. IIRC the material I have read all mention "full-service" swap stations, so some bozo doesn't drop the pack on his foot. It is not high skilled work, but is not totally idiot-resistant.
    11 May 2012, 03:10 PM Reply Like
  • D Lane
    , contributor
    Comments (1694) | Send Message
     
    Thanks, Rick. Also, I just realized that the customer buys the fuel, not Zipcar, so Zipcar has less incentive to electrify.
    11 May 2012, 04:20 PM Reply Like
  • Rick Krementz
    , contributor
    Comments (3105) | Send Message
     
    D, actually Zipcar customers do NOT pay for fuel; the rental is all inclusive of fuel. Most other rental company do require the consumer to pay for fuel directly, of course.
    11 May 2012, 05:26 PM Reply Like
  • carlosgaviria
    , contributor
    Comments (791) | Send Message
     
    From: Green Car Congress:
    First application of ZF 7-speed manual transmission for passenger cars; standard automatic stop-start system

     

    http://bit.ly/IXVzPO

     

    ...Additionally, the transmission comes standard with an automatic stop-start system—the first time such technology is available on a Porsche model with a manual transmission. In a car with a manual transmission, Auto Stop/Start shuts down the engine if the gearbox is shifted into neutral and the clutch is released.
    The engine restarts as soon as the clutch pedal is depressed and a gear selected.
    11 May 2012, 06:28 AM Reply Like
  • D Lane
    , contributor
    Comments (1694) | Send Message
     
    Cool! A manual tranny with stop/start.
    11 May 2012, 10:22 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19439) | Send Message
     
    (AXPW): Attempting to increase usefulness, I've stolen a page from JP and began adding SMAs to the VWAP in my intra-day statistics charting effort. As I try to use this more effectively, I'll be trying other things.

     

    Zero short sales yesterday. Highs and lows continue to trend lower, as does the average volume overall (I ought to figure a decent presentation for short sales and volume in the charts).

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    HardToLove
    11 May 2012, 08:20 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19439) | Send Message
     
    (AXPW): Don't be fooled by very early price action. That "high" of $0.42 was 100 shares at the open.

     

    The "real" high through 9:30:59 is $0.4107 of 10K. The rest were all $0.4106. 2x5K and a 100 share trade at that price at the open as well.

     

    HardToLove
    11 May 2012, 09:51 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19439) | Send Message
     
    (AXPW): Looks like we saw a real trade(s) at $0.42. 2 trades totaling 6K in the same second - I suspect it was really a single trade.

     

    BTW, for the thoughts about $0.42 trading "target" by whoever is selling, I *suspect* that an *average* of $0.42 would be the target. Since we've had volumes sold at higher prices, sells at lower prices, if necessary, might still allow the targets to be met.

     

    As recently as 5/1-5/2 we had highs of $0.45/$0.4549.

     

    HardToLove
    11 May 2012, 10:42 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO KNOW WHAT A BAD FINANCING LOOKS LIKE

     

    This morning A123 announced that it had filed for an extension on its Form 10-Q but said the following about its preliminary results for the quarter:

     

    "Net loss in the first quarter of 2012 is expected to be approximately ($125.0) million. Anticipated net loss for the first quarter includes an estimated $51.6 million warranty expense related to the previously announced field campaign to replace battery modules and packs that may contain defective prismatic cells produced at the Company's Livonia, Mich. manufacturing facility. Also included in the anticipated net loss for the first quarter is an estimated $15.2 million increase in inventory reserves related to battery packs, modules and cells manufactured in Livonia, Mich. that may be defective." – http://yhoo.it/JIIaId

     

    The earnings news was bad but the news of an associated debt financing transaction was even worse. – http://yhoo.it/IXBUP9

     

    A123 will apparently sell $50 million of unsecured convertible debt to help it stay afloat. The debt will be payable 28 installments of roughly $2 million each over a period of 14 months. Those $2 million bi-weekly payments can either be satisfied with a check or paid in stock. If the payments are paid in stock, it's virtually certain that the lenders will immediately push the shares out into the market to get their cash payment.

     

    The conversion price has not been announced yet but I have to believe it will be ugly because lenders are cruel in distress situations. To make the game worth the candle, the lenders will get 50% warrant coverage in addition to the conversion rights.

     

    While A123 has an active market with a 200-day average volume of 2.9 million shares a day, adding a couple million shares to the sell side every 10 trading days will become a very heavy burden over time. In the trade this kind of financing is typically referred to as a death spiral convertible.

     

    I don't plan to write on this evolving tragedy because this is one of those times when I hate being right.
    11 May 2012, 10:48 AM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (3219) | Send Message
     
    You seem to be very good at calling out overvalued stocks (consistent with being an attorney--protection is job#1!). I hope you've made a lot of money using that skill directly, such as thru deeply in-the-money, long-term puts.

     

    Looks like we all could have had we followed your opinions there.

     

    OT--ZBB's also getting wacked today. Nice to see our old AXPW holding up.
    11 May 2012, 11:06 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5783) | Send Message
     
    AONE is in trouble JP, I really don't see how they make it. We know all to well how much longer it will be before there is enough volume in EV's to make their model profitable.

     

    Short of GE doing something, I really don't see them making it without a "restructuring" of debt, and a reverse split after that.
    11 May 2012, 11:12 AM Reply Like
  • WDD
    , contributor
    Comments (60) | Send Message
     
    Greetings All!

     

    Sections of the last couple of concentrators have left me troubled, mainly at the expressions of angst while what little news we have received recently is all positive. I’m unaware that new obstacles have appeared, or that realistic timelines have slipped, or that some competitor has genuinely gotten the jump on Axion. So to all those giving vent to welling anxiety I must ask, what do you know that I don't?

     

    So far we’ve all managed to keep the bar for discourse on the concentrator reasonably high; consequently, I’d like to suggest a constructive way to examine legitimate concerns: I would love to see a well-reasoned thesis for bailing on (or even shorting) AXPW right now. This could be a fun “devil’s advocate” challenge for the true believers among us who are in for the long haul. So to anyone with time on his or her hands this weekend, concentrate your thoughts, and give us your best serious treatment of the contrary argument. Axion Power Host may be willing to feature the best of the theses at the lead of a new concentrator, perhaps “The Case Against AXPW”.

     

    I know why I am long. I will look forward to reading the best argument for why I should get out. (And just for the record, I don't think that BlackRock knows more than attentive Axionistas, so "I'm getting out because the big boys are selling" strikes me as a weak rationale.)

     

    Regards. WDD
    11 May 2012, 11:33 AM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (3219) | Send Message
     
    I couldn't resist a reply, WDD. God job--you should write for 60 Minutes!

     

    "Sections of the last couple of concentrators have left me troubled, mainly at the expressions of angst while what little news we have received recently is all positive."

     

    Of course, the logical, thorough thing to do to address your concerns would be first to ask you some questions, to better understand your troubledness. However, allow me to skip that for now (lol!) and perhaps broaden the investment perspective, at least from my own viewpoint.

     

    To me, AXPW is a high risk/reward stock. I am a strong bull on that relationship, and I have acted on it to get in in a big way (for me). In fact, I added more this morning.

     

    That said, news that supports my high expectations is good; neutral news is neutral and unsupportive news is bad. A VERY key point here is: "relative to my high expectations".

     

    For example, Rick's news about future NS orders--good, neutral, or bad? Well, that depends on your expectations. Mine were higher than 10-15 average per year for the next five years, so logically I was disappointed. However, mitigating that disappointment for me is that I believe the numbers cannot be relied upon with a high degree of confidence. We don't even know if Vani's remark was for switchers only (that would be great!) or if he's sandbagging (like JP thinks), and if so, how much, or something else.

     

    Even if you assume that the 10-15 is a good number, than thankfully there remains several other expected huge sources of revenue. So, maybe NS is not a stage on the rocket like we thought, but PC and auto and the other RRs and other could still shoot this thing to the moon. Which is what I still expect.

     

    Now, did you say something, dear? 8^)
    11 May 2012, 12:26 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    In my experience individual investors are never happy unless they're worried about something. Successful investing follows the law of the jungle and hones the fight or flight instinct to a sharp edge. Whenever individuals see somebody else selling at prices that don't make sense, they assume that the other guy knows more and immediately set out on a quest to find the crucial bit of information they somehow missed.

     

    Personally, I couldn't be happier with the way things are going because people who are stupid enough to sell today are also stupid enough to sell into a run, and I'd much rather have smart people buying at $.42 than at a higher price.
    11 May 2012, 12:50 PM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz
    , contributor
    Comments (2240) | Send Message
     
    I personally did not understand why Vani would dicusss NS's future plans at the ESA conference. I think any purchase of that size should be announced by NS or at the least an Axion Press Release. It just seemed like "talking out of school" to me.

     

    I wasn't there and Rick commented it was an off-hand remark so I don't know the whole story. I just think it wasn't a good idea to discuss it at all, particularly since the field tests haven't even begun. Sounds like announcing the winner of the Superbowl before kick-off to me.
    11 May 2012, 06:10 PM Reply Like
  • Futurist
    , contributor
    Comments (2109) | Send Message
     
    Lets see,
    he's new, its common knowledge among the execs, its important, and it really isn't restrictive that they plan on moving ahead with the PbC.

     

    No big deal, until an Axionista gets a hold of the quote.
    11 May 2012, 09:12 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (10233) | Send Message
     
    Hey Bang, Surely we can question the reasoning for why Vani would make such an announcement in the form he was in. I would say though that if he made the statement he had clearance from NS to share the info. He's lived his professional life in an industry that knows the rules and the implications of violating protocol very well.

     

    In speculating NS might like to get the information out at some level as well. Remember that they rebuild locomotives for others in addition to their own needs. Indicating their plans into the market in some manner could stir up interest that would favor their shops as well.
    11 May 2012, 09:18 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    The relevance of Mr. Dantham's remark is that building one switcher and one OTR locomotive would generally be seen as an expensive but meaningless experiment while building a small fleet of 50 to 75 units will be seen as a serious field prototype test that will generate enough information to support a broader system-wide deployment decision in the future.

     

    It's important to think about the application and the different kinds of operating conditions NS encounters over its network. They could never effectively measure the performance of battery switching or OTR hybridization with a single unit. They need a dozen switchers in a dozen different yards with different train configurations and dozens of OTR locomotives testing hybridization from the mountains, to the prairies to the oceans white with foam. After they've done a test at relevant scale, they'll be able make a sound business deployment decision based on measured performance rather than hopium. It's the same dynamic we see with the automakers. They test the heck out of a battery in the laboratory and when they get to small fleet testing they do a combination of police cruisers, airport shuttles and taxis in several different cities to get enough experience to know how the battery will perform in the hands of customers.

     

    A fleet of 50 to 75 units is not announcing the winner of the game, but it is announcing a real game rather than an open pre-season scrimmage. Think back a couple years. RailPower Technologies booked orders for 150 Green Goats that the railroads wanted to test. A fleet of 50 to 75 units is a serious test, but no guarantee of long-term success.
    12 May 2012, 01:06 AM Reply Like
  • metroneanderthal
    , contributor
    Comments (1425) | Send Message
     
    WDD;
    In a nutshell.
    Competition
    Substitute products - cheaper better solutions
    New Entrants into market
    Apply the above to all target markets (i.e. start/stop, grid, military)

     

    or by some unlikely turn of random unlucky precise events completely unattuned to the great sidereal movement - PbC goes A123 on BMW and burns down their research facility.

     

    Seeing these things happen to A123 makes me hope Axion has no misfortunes i.e. some type of electrical mishap with a PC. Not the press you want.
    12 May 2012, 10:15 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5783) | Send Message
     
    OT ... Maya, you might find this interesting

     

    The oldest Mayan calendar found:
    http://yhoo.it/Jjqncf
    11 May 2012, 11:54 AM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    LT: Thanks. I picked that story up yesterday. All Axionistas attending my 12/21/12 Ending of the World Fiesta, in Copan, Honduras, can now breathe more easily ;-)

     

    Over the years I have oft met Bill Saturno. Maybe he'll be in Copan!

     

    ####

     

    Thoroughly enjoying the discussions of both expectations, and, "where are all these sales going to come from?" themes.

     

    There remains a vast trove of potential sales with "other" railway systems like Philadelphia's SEPTA, Cleveland's RTA, or Chicago's El, or the New York City subway system, etc., such as SAFT did with Viridity Energy and SEPTA.

     

    Even airport transit systems hold vast potential.

     

    That's my "next big thing" guess; that something involving some electrified transit system will win Axion's favor.
    11 May 2012, 02:08 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    A May 1, "shallow" article about SEPTA's regenerative braking, and more:

     

    http://bit.ly/JG4XXr
    11 May 2012, 02:21 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (3219) | Send Message
     
    I guess some other folks had the same idea I did--buy on the Friday afternoon dip. Oh well!
    11 May 2012, 02:23 PM Reply Like
  • metroneanderthal
    , contributor
    Comments (1425) | Send Message
     
    there was a quick bit of volume, hope it continues
    11 May 2012, 02:39 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4073) | Send Message
     
    After bouncing between .41 & .42 for days I just thought I'd take a look at the difference it makes. So, if you're target price was $2:

     

    Buy at .41, sell at $2 = 387.8% gain
    Buy at .415, sell at $2= 381.93% gain
    Buy at .42, sell at $2 = 376.19% gain

     

    Difference between .41 & .42 buys is 13.61%

     

    What if you held on until $5

     

    Buy at .41, sell at $5 = 1,119.51% gain
    Buy at .415, sell at $5= 1,104.82% gain
    Buy at .42, sell at $5 = 1,090.48% gain

     

    Difference between .41. & .42 buys is 29.03%

     

    (what's up with the .4106 ask anyway? someone is really sticking it to the guy waiting to buy at .4105 - LOL)

     

    Back to packing and clearing my head.

     

    And all ye men: DON'T FORGET MOTHER'S DAY

     

    And al ye women: HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!
    11 May 2012, 03:06 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19439) | Send Message
     
    Your thoughts must have had an effect Jon!

     

    Prior to your comments, high was $0.425. Right after your comment, $0.425 (1 trade) and then 3 at $0.428 - day's high so far.

     

    Your post fit in with my decision to add at $0.415, rather than fight for $0.41 a short while back.

     

    HardToLove
    11 May 2012, 03:49 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19439) | Send Message
     
    (AXPW):
    Min. Pr: 0.4106, Max Pr: 0.4280, VW Avg. Trade Pr: 0.4198
    # Trds: 45, Vol 236,187, MinTrSz: 100, MaxTrSz: 50000, AvTrSz: 5249
    Buy:Sell 1:1.27, "Buys" $44,148.79, "Sells" $54,992.71

     

    Daily short sales returned, 20,200 (~8.55%). "Normalcy" is good I think.

     

    A decent day overall as VWAP moved a bit higher along with a marginal increase in volume and a decided move of average trade size to the higher side of that normally seen. The "real" average trade size is likely higher as there were some that sure looked like multi-step completions of a single order to me, but there's no way to confirm that.

     

    If we see this trend sustained, generally, over coming days, it may be the *early* indications of JP's "inflection" point as either willing sellers at the lower prices (the "flippers"?) may be getting exhausted and/or the word has leaked out, more than we might anticipate, to longer-term investors who see the wisdom inherent in what Jon posted and are beginning to believe in "The Axion Story".

     

    OTOH, it might just be momentum folks (yes, I know JP thinks these guys don't care about AXPW) positioning in front of the results reporting and CC.

     

    Either way, I'm not complaining about any upward pressure.

     

    HardToLove
    11 May 2012, 05:37 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13581) | Send Message
     
    Its a story of contending forces in delicate balance (sounds like a good heroic fantasy plot)...

     

    LOL, or its just a bunch of crazy Axionistas like Jon and me buying around $.42, and a few flippers raising cash for the next 20% raid from their high net worth rolodex.
    11 May 2012, 05:42 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19439) | Send Message
     
    Surely you're not abandoning the "bottom feeder" mentality? :-))

     

    HardToLove
    11 May 2012, 06:30 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13581) | Send Message
     
    Of course not.

     

    Its just that I consider these prices "bottom feeder fodder".

     

    A narrow trading range at what a lot of logical approaches predicts as a "bottom"?

     

    Catfish smörgåsbord.
    11 May 2012, 07:41 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    FWIW, at yesterday's close the spread between my 10-day and 200-day VWMA was 1.685¢.

     

    Prieur de Plessis claims that a golden cross is a confirmed breakout when the 10-day pushes up through the 200-day and the 50-day turns up. Currently my 200-day is just a hair under $.45, the 50-day has already turned up and the 10-day average volume is 191,140.

     

    I'd see a break above $.45 as very significant - as in a return to late January 2011 significant.
    12 May 2012, 01:24 AM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz
    , contributor
    Comments (2240) | Send Message
     
    I have been and remain a strong supporter of Axion, but I confess I simply have a hard time believing the company will achieve the consecutive 300% YOY sales growth projected by TG.

     

    2011 sales were $7.6M of which $6.4M were flooded battery sales to a single customer. That would leave $1.2M in PbC, specialty battery, service sales and investment income in 2011. While the total sales volume was a nice percentage increase over 2010 what we need to grow the business is PbC sales. Ironically 2010 sales were $1.3M, 100K more than the non-flooded battery sales of 2011.

     

    As an experienced sales person and manager you are generally called upon to project sales growth at the first of the year and periodically later - typically quarterly. If I were to project 32M from a base of $7.6M the first thing I would hear would be a demand to justify the number by customer and market segment. The projection would be thrown out if I couldn't show substantially more then $32M in prospective business BY CUSTOMER because no one is going to allow me to project a 100% closure rate on all my sales leads.

     

    Axion has shown an outstanding ability to do the next right thing in growing their business, potential customer base, and applications on a shoe string. I just have a very hard time swallowing the kinds of growth numbers TG is throwing around without a steadily rising revenue stream that makes the projection credible.

     

    If I were VP of Sales at Axion and I asked what was expected of me my first year and they said we want 32M in sales the first words out of my mouth would be "who have you got as sales leads now and what is are you current expectations for closing business with those leads? I would want hard numbers on the prospective level of business anticipated for each named lead.

     

    Right now I know about NS, BMW and GM courtesy of a FOIA request. Then I also know some proposals are outstanding for military energy conservation programs. I assume Rosewater has some leads and proposals outstanding. I know that Axion is talking to other automotive OEM's and rail customers. I have a hard time assuming automotive sales this year. but I am willing to be surprised. Same for all the other rail companies since the NS field tests will heavily influence the decisions of other rail companies.

     

    In a nutshell, $32M from $7.6M is a mouthful. $128M from $7.6M is an even bigger mouthful for me until I see revenues rising close enough to $128M for me to believe that number is reasonably possible based on prior revenue growth. Perhaps Axion has some huge piece of business in the works that will happily stun all of us.

     

    In the meantime, I am not going to believe it until I see revenues ramping on a quarterly basis that makes the sales growth TG projects credible to me.
    11 May 2012, 07:31 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    bang: I tend to agree with you. But...

     

    One way to possibly keep track of potential forthcoming sales growth is through Axion employing new personel (and what positions were filled). I haven't checked lately, but I believe Axion used to have under 70 employees (about a year ago). I recall somewhere, sometime ago reading that Axion had increased employees to 78; the below link, MarketWatch has Axion's employment now numbering 90:

     

    http://on.mktw.net/Jknc6M

     

    If true, that alone tells me something's a comin' soon.
    11 May 2012, 08:51 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5783) | Send Message
     
    Bang, don't be so depressed. You are saying the same thing I said last fall & at other times.
    300% growth is a big pill and 2013 is even bigger.
    You are also right IMO, that the sales have to be big orders for PbC.

     

    It is a two fold proposition and always will be until after the fact.
    1. the batteries must work for NS
    2. Show me money from other sales

     

    I still think that we are closer now than we ever have been. However, my 7-12 months could seem like an eternity when you are standing around watching paint dry..but I too love positive surprises.
    11 May 2012, 08:56 PM Reply Like
  • Mathieu Malecot
    , contributor
    Comments (1285) | Send Message
     
    we need sales to new markets to hit the 300% target. so i am looking for something other than Norfolk news personally. but i have to agree that if your expectations are 2 bucks a share the tight trading range we are in becomes increasingly silly. unless a material threat to AXPW product appears i don't understand how a tenth of a cent matters.
    11 May 2012, 09:41 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    We need paint to dry faster! I'm hiring Johnny Bench:

     

    http://bit.ly/J5iREP
    11 May 2012, 09:43 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4788) | Send Message
     
    BW, for the moment I'm placing enough confidence in TG's projected revenue growth to discount likelihood of further share price decline and THAT IS ALL. Where NSC is concerned, I will believe the locomotive market has been established and sales will likely ramp there only after additional P.O.s have been issued. NSC has surprised in the past and I will believe the company is proceeding with PbC adoption only when the dotted line is signed. If first quarter revenue reported next week falls below $3.5 million (however comprised), TG's credibility with me will be impaired.
    11 May 2012, 09:51 PM Reply Like
  • Tampa Ted
    , contributor
    Comments (2652) | Send Message
     
    Maya -

     

    Here is a November sheet that was put online in March that has the employee count at 75.

     

    http://bit.ly/yezXac

     

    Then in the recent 10K under

     

    Our Employees - [it states] -

     

    As of December 31, 2011 we employed a staff of 90, including a 16 member scientific and engineering team, and 51 people who are involved principally in manufacturing. We are not subject to any collective bargaining agreements, and we believe we have a good relationship with our employees.

     

    http://bit.ly/J5oLG7;FilePath=012>;File...

     

    And last year's 10K said this -

     

    Our Employees

     

    As of December 31, 2010 we employed a staff of 64, including a 16 member scientific and engineering team, and 31people who are involved principally in manufacturing. We are not subject to any collective bargaining agreements, and we believe we have a good relationship with our employees.

     

    That's about a 30% growth rate in employee headcount year over year and approximately a 65% growth in manufacturing employees.

     

    Might be a good question for next week to find out what the headcount is as of next week ...
    11 May 2012, 10:11 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Excellent research, Stephan!

     

    Thanks..."bigtime."

     

    Gotta lotta gardening stuff to do tomorrow. Thanks for lining out one thing I was sure I had to do tomorrow...investigate who, when, and how many Axion Power is hiring.

     

    Hey...we're hiring, not firing! That's good news.

     

    Thanks again!
    11 May 2012, 11:20 PM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz
    , contributor
    Comments (2240) | Send Message
     
    It is strange but I am not depressed. I think the business is progressing fine and could continue progressing fine even if they have to raise another 10M with a sorry price for the capital raise. I'm just sitting in my rather expensive seat (given my meager resources) waiting to see the show.
    11 May 2012, 11:30 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    If you look back, 2011 was a pretty good year as revenues ramped from $2.15 million to $8.1 million. Nobody who's suffered with Axion for as long as I have wants to believe a 300% YoY revenue growth is possible two years in a row much less three years in a row.

     

    If you break it down into more manageable bites you get to some very interesting numbers. Last year quarterly revenues were as follows:

     

    Q-1 – $1.05 million
    Q-2 – $2.1 million
    Q-3 – $2.1 million
    Q-4 – $2.85 million

     

    To attain a 300% YoY growth this year's numbers would need to be something like this:

     

    Q-1 – $4.2 million
    Q-2 – $6.5 million
    Q-3 – $9.3 million
    Q-4 – $13 million

     

    Those are big quarter to quarter ramps, but certainly not outside the realm of possibility in a plant that did a bunch of refurbishing work in Q-3 of last year.

     

    Today we don't want to believe. If the first quarter Form 10-Q comes out with revenue in the $4+ million range which is 300% up from the comparable quarter last year the claim will be more credible, although we'll still want to hold on to our doubt. If the second quarter Form 10-Q comes out with revenue in the $6 million range, the doubt will begin to evaporate and the believing will start in earnest, at least for 2012. If things stay on track through the end of 2012, the belief for 2013 will approach conviction.

     

    I've known Tom for a very long time and he doesn't promise more than he can deliver. I was surprised to hear him set the bar so high and stick to his guns when the number was questioned. At this point I have to believe that his visibility of the next 24 months is far better than ours.
    12 May 2012, 01:55 AM Reply Like
  • Tampa Ted
    , contributor
    Comments (2652) | Send Message
     
    No problem. I look at is as great news too ... anyone who has run a business knows the costs associated with hiring new employees. I would expect TG would not be hiring new manufacturing employees unless he had a proper internal forecast of work for them.
    12 May 2012, 12:28 PM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz
    , contributor
    Comments (2240) | Send Message
     
    I have an ironic comment to make about sales this year. I don't have any expectations beyond the two NS locomotives and some level of flooded battery sales. I am at a loss to guess what the flooded battery sales will be. I understood flooded battery sales would be between 3.5M and 8.5M based on the original order. With 7.6M in flooded battery sales in 2011 that would leave room for some additional sales in 2012. Yet I have not heard about any additional PO's or sales orders.

     

    To be fair the numbers were based on prior year sales expectations by the customer. They also would not have to issue a new order to just keep on ordering because the total numbers were based on an estimate. TG will have to tell us what sales are or may be to determine potential revenue there. As for the rest of the Q1 revenue I don't have a clue. We'll learn more when we see the 10Q. I would not be surprised by a number in the range of 2.5 million but 3,5 is a reasonable possibility. We'll see Monday.
    11 May 2012, 10:16 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3431) | Send Message
     
    I think lumpiness may rule the day, at least in 1H...
    12 May 2012, 12:08 AM Reply Like
  • Occam's_Razor
    , contributor
    Comments (2260) | Send Message
     
    FWIW: For those following PWER "Power-One, inc" I noticed several Form 4s with company officers (directors and the like) sharply acquiring shares at the end of last month. The stock has bounced smartly off its 52-week low. Could be the right time to nibble...

     

    OR
    11 May 2012, 11:41 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4788) | Send Message
     
    My $3.5 mil threshold for sustaining TG credibility is largely a function of what might term of estimate of Axion production possibilities given disclosures in the year-end CC and the PR announcing receipt of the NSC purchase order for NS 999 batteries. Those disclosures were 1) the battery assembly toll contract had been renewed and 2) the NSC purchase order was the largest sale of PbC batteries to that date.

     

    I understood the original PR announcing signing of the flooded LA battery assembly contract to to simply say Axion would earn a fixed fee for assembly of FLAs from materials supplied by the contractee; the contractee had indicated that in their experience with demand for the product the volume of revenue Axion might expect under the contract would fall between a lower and an upper bound. Axion revenues under the contract rose throughout the year as did US economic output, US auto sales, etc. which I am interpreting as reason to anticipate modest further growth under the contract this year.

     

    JP has estimated toll contract revenues over '11Q4 totaled $2.6 mil, reflecting a quarterly growth factor of 40%. If toll contract revenues stabilize at the Q4 rate, revenues from that source for the year would amount to $10.4 million. Assuming FLA production over the year averaging 25% above the Q4 rate, the FLA assembly contract would yield $3.25 per quarter or $13 mil for the year and leave $19 mil. to come from other products and services. Allowing $0.250 per quarter for sales of legacy LA batteries and small PbC battery orders, bumps quarterly revenue to $3.5 million. (The only non-NSC PbC battery sale announced this year was the Navy's "Net Zero" demonstration project installation and consisted of 11 batteries.)

     

    The NS 999 battery PO was characterized in Axion's PR as the largest PbC battery sale to that date (end-April). Assuming the announced $400,000 initial purchase order applied to 1,080 batteries and nothing more, a sales price of ~$364 is implied. At that price, realizing $19 million in revenues from PbC battery sales is just feasible over the remainder of the year (35 5-day weeks, one week lost to holidays) if electrode production output potential for 300 batteries per day is realized and the output sold.(51k batteries).

     

    The above revenue streams allow nothing for revenues from sale of engineering/support services which strikes me as unlikely, but possible. And, it would be feasible for PbC battery production to exceed 300 batteries per day if some PbC electrode inventories have accumulated in the course of certifying/debugging the Gen 2A robotic production line.

     

    But, first quarter revenues of less than $3.5 makes 300% revenue growth this year look problematic to me.
    12 May 2012, 12:17 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Last year flooded battery sales ramped from $725,000 in Q-1 to $2.6 million in Q-4 and represented ±80% of total revenue.

     

    In the Q-3 conference call TG said:

     

    "To support continued sales growth now and in the future, particularly PbC sales growth, we have supplemented our planned capital expenditure equipment modernization program. Some of this important work completed in the third quarter includes modernization of the second lead – acid battery manufacturing line, including welding equipment. It includes the rebuild of five casting machines and particularly important, it includes a 35% expansion of the battery formation space. This is extremely important for future PbC sales."

     

    In the year end call, Tom spoke at length about how pleased the flooded buyer was with zero defects and timely deliveries.

     

    It's easy for me to envision a situation where the buyer would say "You did a great job building to a $10 million per year run rate last year. Since you've still got oodles of excess capacity lets take it up a notch in 2012."

     

    With the existing plant infrastructure in New Castle, ramping flooded battery sales to $25 or $30 million a year is not a big issue. The plant already exists and if you don't have to sweat sales, distribution and customer service (which are all handled by the buyer under the flooded contract) it all boils down to worker training, reliable supply chains and good quality control.

     

    If you combine good visibility on a flooded battery ramp rate with decent visibility on a PbC ramp rate, revenue goals that would seem impossible under normal circumstances aren't all that aggressive. If you take flooded sales up to something approaching a reasonable capacity utilization and sell a bunch of PbC's for a large scale rail prototype testing program, the reality is nowhere near as impossible as the idea.

     

    When we bought New Castle in late 2005, our biggest need was an R&D facility that would support technology development on the PbC. That being said we never lost sight of the fact that the plant had enough capacity to generate $75 million in revenue from conventional flooded and AGM batteries.

     

    When developing the PbC was the primary goal, making batteries kept the lights on and supported a skeleton manufacturing staff for PbC prototypes. Now that the emphasis has shifted from developing the PbC to making and selling batteries, the true value of New Castle will become clearer.

     

    When I consider Tom Granville's inherently cautious nature and remember that he already knew the Q-1 revenue number when he got on the phone for the year-end conference call, I think the odds of a Q-1 revenue miss are remote.
    12 May 2012, 02:25 AM Reply Like
  • Futurist
    , contributor
    Comments (2109) | Send Message
     
    "When I consider Tom Granville's inherently cautious nature and remember that he already knew the Q-1 revenue number when he got on the phone for the year-end conference call, I think the odds of a Q-1 revenue miss are remote"

     

    It was only April 2, 2012 that the year end conference call was made. 1 1/2 months ago. That is when we learned of the upcoming RoseWater display at the Home show for the residential Cube. That is when TG predicted something big he couldn't talk about coming soon.
    April 26th was the NS order. That was only 15 days ago.

     

    I have to also believe that this CC is so close upon the heels of the last that TG will not miss his revenue projections.

     

    And at this stage of Axions existence I'm OK with revenue increasing with the flooded LAB contract. Learning how to effectively manage a workforce is a serious issue for many growing companies. To have a trained workforce at the time you need to build a large number of PbCs will be a a blessing. And this at no cost to Axion. In fact we get to expand our workforce at the expense of a competitor/partner. Nice.
    12 May 2012, 07:08 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5783) | Send Message
     
    To have a trained workforce at the time you need to build a large number of PbCs will be a a blessing.

     

    very true .,,, good response
    12 May 2012, 07:11 AM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (3219) | Send Message
     
    Guys, let's remember that TG's rev "guidance" was for the FULL year's 2012 and '13, NOT quarterly. I expect some lumpiness in the Q by Q actuals. I'm keeping my expectations on the annual figures provided. Hope folks aren't disappointed if their own Q1 2012 rev estimate isn't met.

     

    Also note that TG didn't say 300%, but 300%-350%. I posted closer to his exact words several Concentrators ago, after listening to the YE CC again.
    12 May 2012, 09:30 AM Reply Like
  • carlosgaviria
    , contributor
    Comments (791) | Send Message
     
    From CC:
    Revenues 2012

     

    ....Well, we’ve been going—we don’t have any reason not to believe that we’ll continue to increase revenues dramatically. We’ve done it in the past. We certainly plan on continuing down that road. They might not be 400%. They might not be 300%, but they will be significant. We anticipate that there will be a significant revenue increase in 2012.

     

    Note: Also might be 250% Is It correct?
    12 May 2012, 09:43 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5783) | Send Message
     
    Quite honestly, I think it is immaterial whether AXPW does $2.5 or 3.5 million in quarter 1 or qtr. 2 either. The regular battery line is not the future...it is PbC. The toll contract is also a low margin business.
    I wonder which qtr. the NS order will be booked in? was it qtr.2 (April) or will it be in 90-120 days (3rd/4thqtr) when they are installed ?
    Personally, the first 2 quarters of 2012 are sorta a mute point....3rd & 4th quarters should begin to show more of the growth IMO.

     

    A year from now, Q1 & 2 are more important.

     

    The one thing I found interesting was the increase in employees..from 60-90 is a 50% increase...I would expect these guys to be doing something ... I also expect that pile of battery casings that Maya seen last year were there for a reason.

     

    Personally, I think this year is probably back end loaded, and maybe 2013 too. I would expect business to ramp up about 12 months from now...that's when it moves the needle and when we see how TG's promise of 300% is progressing. A couple of mil means nothing to me, but $100 million means a lot....You have to remember we aren't in the commercialization phase yet, and probably won't be in qtr. 1 of 2013 either.

     

    Is anyone running a spread sheet on PbC sales yet ? They could be interesting a year from now.
    12 May 2012, 05:44 AM Reply Like
  • metroneanderthal
    , contributor
    Comments (1425) | Send Message
     
    Agree that the PbC is the future and that is why we are all in this. However, the toll contract is important to generate cash flow, and to demonstrate to BMW et al that Axion can produce large quantities of batteries without defects or warranty issues. I will happily accept at this stage a ramp up in the toll contract, although would prefer it come from PbC sales. Agree with you LT, I'm looking at PbC sales to start building around Q3 or Q4. What I am hoping out of the CC is more flavor on NS and fleet testing.
    12 May 2012, 06:13 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    I have a hard time criticizing low margin sales that don't have a pile of related SG&A coming off below the line. I also understand that most investors simply look at headline revenue without trying to drill down into what the components are. So far I've been able to keep pretty good track of flooded battery sales vs PbC sales. Depending on how the revenue mix changes this year, that could get a lot more challenging.

     

    The NS sales revenue will be recognized when the batteries are shipped so I'd expect the revenue to either be spread over Q2 and Q3, or realized in Q3.

     

    For the year, I expect flooded sales to be front-end loaded and PbC sales to be back-end loaded because the market isn't going to believe 300% YoY talk if year to date growth at each reporting date doesn't track.

     

    The long suffering don't want to believe that the times of pain are coming to an end and revenue growth could show an orderly progression. Given the nature of the business, the nature of the flooded battery contract and the nature of the production capacity in New Castle I continue to expect a smooth ramp that will make the 300% YoY forecast increasingly credible at each reporting date.
    12 May 2012, 06:54 AM Reply Like
  • metroneanderthal
    , contributor
    Comments (1425) | Send Message
     
    Also, and was to late to edit this in, the more revenue that Axion gets from the toll contract may result in less shares being issued at next go around.
    12 May 2012, 07:28 AM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3431) | Send Message
     
    The way it feels close on the eve of the release is this: That at this juncture we're somewhat out on a limb. Not way out mind you, yet out nonetheless. But it's a thick solid limb. Big enough apparently to support NS. And very likely so much more. But at the moment, we're still in the air. Though the ledge is tantalizingly close. And in times of such stress, you just have to trust, stay eyes forward, and keep your head and keep your feet, even when it's your own ass you're having hang out there . Looking down will just make you lose balance. It's just a few more steps now until solid ground. For if the CC does as much to confirm the way ahead as we expect, the road will suddenly feel like the Appian way. So for me, Monday and Tuesday can not come soon enough. And when TG in fact delivers on what is a pretty bold and substantive claim, when he once more vindicates our faith and convictions, I know I will still thoroughly relish what I can't help but admit will be a great and long awaited sigh of relief...
    12 May 2012, 04:51 PM Reply Like
  • AlbertinBermuda
    , contributor
    Comments (865) | Send Message
     
    JP

     

    Many thanks for your continuing hard work that allows some of us to see the full picture.

     

    When will the 10Q be released?
    12 May 2012, 07:04 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    My guess is they file Monday after market close, follow up with a pre-open press release on Tuesday and then wrap it up with the conference call at 11 a.m.
    12 May 2012, 07:07 AM Reply Like
  • carlosgaviria
    , contributor
    Comments (791) | Send Message
     
    Final Transcript
    AXION POWER: Year End 2011 Conference Call
    http://bit.ly/JqqGAW

     

    http://bit.ly/JICJeI
    12 May 2012, 07:37 AM Reply Like
  • metroneanderthal
    , contributor
    Comments (1425) | Send Message
     
    thanks for the link
    12 May 2012, 07:42 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    WTG Carlos! I've been waiting for that file to be posted.
    12 May 2012, 10:00 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (10233) | Send Message
     
    Carlos, Many thanks for the cc transcript. Always like the follow up transcripts because you can stop and dwell on the points of interest without worrying about missing subsequent points. Plus you can cut and paste excerpts to enhance the review process in a form like this.

     

    One minor drawback though. It fails to capture the recent enhanced TG excitement vs an otherwise standard dry presentation. That was something to behold!
    12 May 2012, 02:17 PM Reply Like
  • carlosgaviria
    , contributor
    Comments (791) | Send Message
     
    Mr John:
    I understand Carlos, WTG No.
    Thanks.
    Have a nice day!
    12 May 2012, 03:27 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Way to Go!
    12 May 2012, 03:47 PM Reply Like
  • carlosgaviria
    , contributor
    Comments (791) | Send Message
     
    From CC:
    We continue to work with our European partners on automotive,
    incorporating new OEMs into our ongoing mix of strategic partnerships.
    As more and more empirical evidence is presented with respect to the lack of merit and/or practicality of existing stop/start battery solutions, the potential of our PbC product gains more and more traction. The clock is running for U.S. and European automotive manufacturers as they seek to comply with upcoming governmental regulations and consumer expectations for increased miles per gallon.
    European OEMs in particular have made commitments to fleet-wide adoption of hybridization for their future manufactured vehicles. This commitment, of course, was strongly influenced by the European Union legislation that requires reductions in CO2 emissions for all new passenger vehicle production in Europe beginning in 2012. We continue to work with our European partners. In fact, a call with BMW is ongoing at this very moment.
    12 May 2012, 07:49 AM Reply Like
  • magounsq
    , contributor
    Comments (957) | Send Message
     
    Thank you Carlos.
    Nothing as accurate as the written word.

     

    "In fact, a call with BMW is ongoing at this very moment."

     

    Does anyone else find this more than somewhat curious?
    13 May 2012, 12:00 PM Reply Like
  • carlosgaviria
    , contributor
    Comments (791) | Send Message
     
    magounsq:

     

    ..."In fact, a call with BMW is ongoing at this very moment."

     

    I agree, TG wanted us to understand something that could not and should not say.

     

    Have a nice day!
    13 May 2012, 01:28 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3431) | Send Message
     
    I believe in the Nov 2011 CC, in response to a caller's question, TG stated that Axion and BMW had regular ongoing monthly scheduled VTCs or CCs together for coordination purposes. My surmise was that the call he referred to in the April CC was just one of these regularly scheduled coordination calls...
    13 May 2012, 03:37 PM Reply Like
  • carlosgaviria
    , contributor
    Comments (791) | Send Message
     
    With NS:
    Most of our work over the last two years has been with Norfolk Southern with whom we forged a partnership after the early technologies they chose to work with proved to be inadequate for the unique needs of their hybrid locomotive technology. After initial testing confirmed that our PbC product demonstrated great potential for the hybrid locomotive market, we entered into a 12-month service and supply agreement with Norfolk Southern under which we initially provided engineering expertise and small quantities of batteries for their in-house testing. This arrangement
    evolved into the sale of much greater quantities of batteries for their use in large string testing.
    12 May 2012, 07:55 AM Reply Like
  • carlosgaviria
    , contributor
    Comments (791) | Send Message
     
    From CC:
    Very, very important:

     

    ...We’ve also begun promising work with other manufacturers in the hybrid locomotive field.
    12 May 2012, 07:57 AM Reply Like
  • carlosgaviria
    , contributor
    Comments (791) | Send Message
     
    MINI CUBE:
    Since the PowerCube can be scaled, we began a parallel path development of smaller PowerCube units, mini cubes, in 2011. These mini Cube applications include residential storage at levels down to 10kW and small commercial storage. The units can be connected to wind and solar in addition to filtering power directly from the grid. The end product will provide back-up power, power quality, power smoothing and potential peak shaving. We have been working with a channel partner that will take this product to market.

     

    My Question:
    Which one are THE CHANNEL MARKET?
    12 May 2012, 08:03 AM Reply Like
  • Tim Enright
    , contributor
    Comments (1345) | Send Message
     
    Probably the Rosewater home builder connection...
    12 May 2012, 08:38 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5783) | Send Message
     
    all the above will be mostly Rosewater
    12 May 2012, 08:43 AM Reply Like
  • carlosgaviria
    , contributor
    Comments (791) | Send Message
     
    From CC:

     

    ...This raise allows us to plow forward in 2012 on numerous fronts; the ones I have spoken about and some that I have not - initiatives into solar and wind, backup power, off grid applications, oil well utilization, etc.

     

    Nice for me:

     

    ...some that I have not - initiatives into solar and wind, backup power, off grid applications, oil well utilization, etc.
    12 May 2012, 08:09 AM Reply Like
  • carlosgaviria
    , contributor
    Comments (791) | Send Message
     
    From CC-Projections:
    Our projections though are across the board. As you can imagine, our margins are different for lead-acid products, for specialty lead-acid products, for PbC products and for systems - the integration of electronics.
    But, we have continued to grow year-over-year on a 300% to 400% basis and I don’t anticipate that it will be much different than that as we move forward into 2012 and 2013.
    12 May 2012, 08:13 AM Reply Like
  • carlosgaviria
    , contributor
    Comments (791) | Send Message
     
    THE RESIDENCIAL PRODUCT:
    The residential product that they will be marketing for example, we have a kick-off of that product scheduled for September of 2012 at the Indiana Home Show. I believe it’s in Indianapolis, but we will have product out in advance of that, demonstration product and some small sales of the product on our own. I can’t speak completely for them and what their overall marketing plan is, although we certainly meet jointly on that, but we’re excited, and they’re even more excited to introduce our product.
    12 May 2012, 08:17 AM Reply Like
  • Tim Enright
    , contributor
    Comments (1345) | Send Message
     
    Hey Carlos, thanks for the snippets of the CC. Good reminders...
    12 May 2012, 08:33 AM Reply Like
  • tocoadog
    , contributor
    Comments (65) | Send Message
     
    Agreed. Thanks for the summation...
    12 May 2012, 09:44 AM Reply Like
  • amishelvis
    , contributor
    Comments (143) | Send Message
     
    Great discussions, I would like to add, that East Penn would probably not like to make any big announcements on their sub-contracting out some work,it looks bad for them. I dont think their name was ever mentioned by TG. So dont look for any PR's saying they will ramp. There was a point in the last cc where TG was talking about it, and said,, "I think I've said too much already", and then clammed up.
    Also, EP's work force is probably not too excited about work being outsourced. Such are the dynamics.
    All said, developing a new technology is extremely tough, The LA contract, and the New Castle factory have been very smart moves, and with out either, PBC would probably belong to Exide by now.
    12 May 2012, 10:20 AM Reply Like
  • JohnM121
    , contributor
    Comments (501) | Send Message
     
    This kind of outsourcing can protect the host company workforce. By sending some toll work to Axion, they may not have to invest in additional machines and perhaps permits.

     

    They may not hire some people during a growth spurt, but if it doesn't last, they will not have to not lay people off. Many companies hire contractors as a painless way to control headcount without hurting full employee moral, or having to make a public announcement.

     

    This is a risk to Axion I have not heard discussed here. If the US growth slows, so may slow toll work.

     

    A counter argument is the inelastic nature of battery sales. People don't by lead acid batteries until the old one fails.
    12 May 2012, 02:30 PM Reply Like
  • battman
    , contributor
    Comments (370) | Send Message
     
    JohnM121, correct me if I'm wrong, but the growth in U.S lead acid battery sales is because of the Chinese no longer dumpng product on the market. That has allowed American manufacturers to get back to making batteries and not importing the cheap stuff. There is no reason why a slow down (excuse me, where have you been these last 3 years if you don't consider this a slow down?) if it got worse, would have much of an impact on the Axion toll contract,
    12 May 2012, 02:59 PM Reply Like
  • Stilldazed
    , contributor
    Comments (3549) | Send Message
     
    Hi guys,
    I don't know about you, but my p/u battery has to be replaced every 3-4 years. It is much cheaper than a new p/u.
    12 May 2012, 06:09 PM Reply Like
  • Tim Enright
    , contributor
    Comments (1345) | Send Message
     
    Also, everyone is building out AGM so I am sure resources will be allocated there. Flooded will eventually be end-of-lifed by the main manufacturers...
    13 May 2012, 02:18 AM Reply Like
  • Rick Krementz
    , contributor
    Comments (3105) | Send Message
     
    Tim, my understanding that flooded is still superior for certain long life, energy batteries applications, and command a premium price. You might want to look at http://bit.ly/KBiKOy as one example.

     

    Of course, a production line for premium large energy batteries is different than one for cheap auto batteries.
    13 May 2012, 09:21 AM Reply Like
  • Tim Enright
    , contributor
    Comments (1345) | Send Message
     
    Good point Rick. I was indeed referring to the low/mid range batteries. Perhaps someday the PbC will be held in the same regard as the Rolls...
    13 May 2012, 10:47 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (10233) | Send Message
     
    Stilldazed, One of the problems with lead acid starter batteries is their dislike of higher temperatures. Bad for longevity. Unfortunately they are placed in the hottest part of the vehicle most often which is the engine compartment. This is because the manufacturer wants the battery closest to the highest current draw/charge applications. These are the alternator/generator and the starter. The primary reason for this is because long runs of larger gauge wire costs money.
    13 May 2012, 12:16 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    TAKING A LOOK-BACK AT OUR POWERS OF PROPHECY:

     

    Mayascribe: Just for kicks, my over/under for how many Axion Concentrators there will be year from tonight is...drumbeat...ta dah, 100.

     

    That would represent something like 17,000 comments!

     

    30 Dec 2011, 07:07 PM

     

    John Petersen: Since July 21 you've put up 40 concentrators with a current total of 6,402 comments including this one. A linear forecast trend-line gets you to over 100 Concentrators and 15,000 comments by July 20th.

     

    31 Dec 2011, 12:20 AM

     

    http://bit.ly/JJ1DuI

     

    At this moment on May 12th we have 98 Concentrators and 17,728 comments.

     

    My guess is we have Concentrator 100 and the Q1 Conference call on the same day. Anybody recall where the pool bets were?
    12 May 2012, 10:55 AM Reply Like
  • Tim Enright
    , contributor
    Comments (1345) | Send Message
     
    I know that I lost as my day has come and gone...
    12 May 2012, 11:57 AM Reply Like
  • Futurist
    , contributor
    Comments (2109) | Send Message
     
    I had the fifteenth of May.
    I will be close although the APH has the ultimate power to control.
    12 May 2012, 07:33 PM Reply Like
  • Tim Enright
    , contributor
    Comments (1345) | Send Message
     
    "I had the fifteenth of May" - show off!
    13 May 2012, 02:19 AM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz
    , contributor
    Comments (2240) | Send Message
     
    TG did not make a FIRM revenue projection of 300% YOY for both 2012 and 2013. I've been reading the year end Conference Call transcript and here is what TG actually said:

     

    Coordinator: K. Markey (Ed. asked to repeat the question) "Sure. When you might expect to break-even and what kind of sales level would be required to achieve that?"

     

    Tom Granville: "Okay. Our current projected break-even is in the fourth quarter of 2013, on an EBITDA basis. We have several fields that we are operating in and providing product for. It, of course, depends on the product mix and
    there’s no magic number that allows us to get there.

     

    Our projections though are across the board. As you can imagine, our margins are different for lead-acid products, for specialty lead-acid products, for PbC products and for systems - the integration of electronics. But, we have continued to grow year-over-year on a 300% to 400% basis and I don’t anticipate that it will be much different than that as we move forward into 2012 and 2013.

     

    Later in the CC TG is questioned again about the revenue growth in 2012 and 2013:

     

    :"Coordinator" Our next question will come from Matt Chambers, a private investor.

     

    M. Chambers: "Congratulations on the 400% revenue increase and did I hear you right when you said you kind of expected another 300% this year?"

     

    T. Granville: "Well, we’ve been going—we don’t have any reason not to believe that we’ll continue to increase revenues dramatically. We’ve done it in the past. We certainly plan on continuing down that road. They might not be 400%. They might not be 300%, but they will be significant. We anticipate that there will be a significant revenue increase in 2012."

     

    So in the final analysis all TG commited to was "We anticipate that there will be a significant revenue increase in 2012."

     

    Time to regroup our expectations ladies and gentlemen. That is a far more realistic expectation in line with credibility. Frankly I am happy for the better understanding. It makes me feel a lot better that TG's expectations and mine are the same going forward.
    12 May 2012, 01:42 PM Reply Like
  • jakurtz
    , contributor
    Comments (1960) | Send Message
     
    Bang, I am not getting the difference in semantics. TG expects, anticipates, prognosticates, believes, thinks their will be a 300%-400% revenue increase in 2012. He repeated it twice, I am not sure how much more deliberate he can be. He has much more educated reasons for feeling the way he does regarding the revenue than we could hope for, so either we believe him and believe his educated word more than our own philandering speculation or we don't. Either choice is fine and a personal one but, personally, I have no reason to doubt him.

     

    Good thing is Monday is around the corner and will help clear things up.
    12 May 2012, 02:17 PM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz
    , contributor
    Comments (2240) | Send Message
     
    Sorry Jakurtz I respectfully disagree. His final comment was "They might not be 400%. They might not be 300%, but they will be significant. We anticipate that there will be a significant revenue increase in 2012."

     

    Believe what you want but I think his final remarks are quite clear.
    12 May 2012, 02:30 PM Reply Like
  • jakurtz
    , contributor
    Comments (1960) | Send Message
     
    You are right, that is a fair enough reason to adjust our expectations. Thanks for posting it. (Full disclosure, I am still on the 300% ramp side, I only think he walked it back to avoid putting himself into a corner should things not work out like he believes they will.)
    12 May 2012, 02:46 PM Reply Like
  • bazooooka
    , contributor
    Comments (3684) | Send Message
     
    BW, I'm ok with "dramatic" and "significant" increases and I think many here will be as well. Also I think TG maybe backtracked a bit since 2013 visibility can't be clear just yet. But he sure as heck knows what 2012 looks like and that's why I'd expect a nice number on this week's call. 300% growth in 2012 wont surprise me but I'd be happy to see it surprise others. Heck we might get a stock pop if that's the case.
    12 May 2012, 06:03 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4788) | Send Message
     
    BW > "TG did not make a FIRM revenue projection of 300% YOY for both 2012 and 2013."

     

    Firm or not, he put the 300% number out there, and 400% as well. That he backed off it before the CC was over is certainly grounds for re-evaluating future revenue growth expectations. It also undercuts JP's assurances that TG is not likely to say something unless he has the projected something pretty much in hand.

     

    Note that the "current projected break-even is in the fourth quarter of 2013, on an EBITDA basis" preceded the "grow year-over-year on a 300% to 400% basis". Standing down from the revenue projection implies a stand down on EBITDA projection as well.

     

    Vani Dantam needs to earn his keep.
    12 May 2012, 09:02 PM Reply Like
  • bazooooka
    , contributor
    Comments (3684) | Send Message
     
    D-inv, I'd bet TG has the 2012 numbers in hand. I'm sure he wasn't blowing smoke.

     

    Any perceived backtrack is a likely hedge against 2013 visibly which could be better (but maybe worse) than expected.

     

    However, TG is telling us that 300% yoy is a strong possibility again even after 2012 revenues open a lot of eyes. That my 2 cents =)
    12 May 2012, 11:12 PM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz
    , contributor
    Comments (2240) | Send Message
     
    I frankly didn't give those numbers any credibility and they made me very uncomfortable because I haven't heard about a single business lead that would support their achievement. Auto's, except on a small scale, will not happen quickly. Axion simply doesn't have the financial or manufacturing capacity for major automotive orders. They will need an AGM manufacturing partner and probably a second source for PbC electrodes IMHO before auto companies will buy in large quantities.

     

    The rail field tests haven't even started yet. I also don't believe they are going to sell 100 Powercubes either. I simply think expecting 2013 to yield $128M in sales from May 2012 is just completely out of reach to me. I've been in large corporate sales management to long to just buy a number with nothing else behind it.

     

    On the other hand I do think Axion will achieve significant sales growth and will eventually succeed. I just don't buy overnight success. I'm willing to be surprised, but I am unwilling to bank on it based on the information I have today.
    12 May 2012, 11:30 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3431) | Send Message
     
    Bang, not to discount your reasons for caution, but per John, I believe "AGM manufacturing partner" = EastPenn. That in fact they have a standing arrangement between them of some degree of formality for EP to be able to manufacture PbCs. So, if a *big* customer does in fact pull the trigger on an extensive order, I think they will be able to flex enough to ramp and deliver. Recall TG said additional electrode lines are of reasonable cost and short lead times *and* not labor intensive to expand production. That last is key. They have the floor space. They have a partner. They can probably stand up two electrode lines with money in hand. Add all that up and I think Axion + EP could scale up output a lot more quickly than might seem reasonable...
    13 May 2012, 12:02 AM Reply Like
  • bazooooka
    , contributor
    Comments (3684) | Send Message
     
    BW, I know you don't care for the flooded business but that's what will help get us to break even and that will be a big part of 300% type revenue growth.

     

    Heck, then the risk part of risk/reward investing is diminished as we eventually get near cash flow positive. The flooded allows us to grow the PbC market without rushing into anything and over promising.

     

    That's sure better than coming hat in hand for 20M if we weren't doing those low margin toll contracts.
    13 May 2012, 02:16 AM Reply Like
  • Lafferty
    , contributor
    Comments (253) | Send Message
     
    I'm re-listening to the CC, and I noted an interesting shift between the call itself and the transcript (note that I can't bring up the transcript myself, so I'm relying on Bang's quote from it):

     

    Bang's quote from the transcript:
    "Okay. Our current projected break-even is in the fourth quarter of 2013, on an EBITDA basis. We have several fields that we are operating in and providing product for."

     

    From the call itself: (26-27 minute mark)
    "Okay, our breakeven we've projected is in 2013, break-even on a cash-flow basis. We have several fields that we are operating in and providing product for."

     

    So the transcript adds the qualifier of fourth-quarter and changes 'cash-flow basis' to EBITDA. I knew I didn't remember that 'fourth-quarter' qualifier. More cautious on both counts.
    13 May 2012, 10:43 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4788) | Send Message
     
    Thanks for re-listening Lafferty. I too felt sure I heard break even on a cash-flow basis in 2013 without reference to Q4 2013 or to EBITDA.
    13 May 2012, 10:52 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3431) | Send Message
     
    Ditto the kudos Laff. I have to say, I don't like that. The transcript should be the transcript, verbatim, period. If edits are made for clarification, they should be noted accordingly.
    13 May 2012, 11:07 PM Reply Like
  • Lafferty
    , contributor
    Comments (253) | Send Message
     
    Another shift regarding revenue growth:

     

    Transcript: "Well, we’ve been going—we don’t have any reason not to believe that we’ll continue to increase revenues dramatically. We’ve done it in the past. We certainly plan on continuing down that road. They might not be 400%. They might not be 300%, but they will be significant. We anticipate that there will be a significant revenue increase in 2012."

     

    The call itself: "Well, we’ve been going, uh—we don’t have any reason not to believe that we’ll continue to increase, uh, revenues dramatically. We’ve done it in the past. We certainly plan on continuing down that road. They might not be 400%. They might not be, uh, 350%, but they will be significant -- we *anticipate* that there will be significant revenue increases in 2012." (46 minute mark)

     

    The key difference is the shift in the figure "they might not be 350%" to "they might not be 300%." (I also want to note that TG put stress on the word 'anticipate.')
    13 May 2012, 11:14 PM Reply Like
  • Tim Enright
    , contributor
    Comments (1345) | Send Message
     
    Lafferty. As a person with limited time to devote to research, I would like to extend my gratitude for sharing with the group. You definitely have a nak for asking the right questions - thank you!
    14 May 2012, 12:48 AM Reply Like
  • metroneanderthal
    , contributor
    Comments (1425) | Send Message
     
    bangwhiz,
    thanks for posting that.
    12 May 2012, 01:48 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5783) | Send Message
     
    Top 12 cars for commuting:
    http://bit.ly/KT0SSp
    12 May 2012, 03:17 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4073) | Send Message
     
    Horsefeathers
    12 May 2012, 04:09 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (10233) | Send Message
     
    Wow, Not a Ford or a Chrysler/Fiat on the list. What's up with that? Especially Ford. Musta' missed the bill for a reporters luncheon.
    12 May 2012, 04:53 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19439) | Send Message
     
    Iindelco: it was from CNBS - we should expect no less.

     

    MHO,
    HardToLove
    12 May 2012, 05:12 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4788) | Send Message
     
    Second that, Jon.
    12 May 2012, 05:14 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    I just got a note from Mario at Rosewater who wanted everyone to know that the string equalization charts have been updated to use the same scale for the STDEV (V) chart on both the PbC and AGM.

     

    http://bit.ly/KcdcrO

     

    The PbC advantage is even more striking.
    12 May 2012, 04:26 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3431) | Send Message
     
    A truly beautiful thing. I would really love to see the same extended out to one year and eventually beyond. If the behavior (and contrast) stays consistent, or what is likely, proves even more dramatic, I bet that would *really* pop eyeballs. It would be game over.
    12 May 2012, 05:17 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19439) | Send Message
     
    My first thought was the the blue right-hand scale on the PbC chart should have been labeled "Non-standard Deviation". Although mathematically meaningless, it would highlight the fact that unlike traditional LA, there is almost no deviation - well, at least none worth talking about.

     

    Another striking thing, that might deserve highlighting is "No Battery Replacement Required" thus far.

     

    That's real $ not spent on batteries, labor, transportation. That's real $ not lost in reduced revenues due to down time or reduced capacity.

     

    That's real $ saved in TCO. Of course, to get to TCO, we need an end point. Depending on application, we may not have one yet.

     

    Maybe the "Axion Bunny" just keeps running and running and running ...

     

    Well maybe "Axion Clydesdales" would be more appropriate - we certainly have the strength.

     

    HardToLove
    12 May 2012, 05:30 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3431) | Send Message
     
    If the residential product is to have real hope, it needs very much to have those characteristics, something one can kind of set and forget, even abuse and neglect, and still have it perform year in and year out. My local power was out for six hours yesterday due to a scheduled pole replacement. I have my 10KW backup generator of course, but it's still something of a noisy, wasteful, not quite 100% reliable (curse of modern etoh-gasoline), slightly obnoxious pain, which I elected not to use for this short duration of outage. But such outages are not that infrequent, and it would be pretty nice to have some kind of Axion microcube wired in and at the ready, big enough to keep the refrigerator cold, run the well pump a few cycles, and keep the internet going--even maybe big enough to run several cycles of the A/C... then quickly recharge at intervals / as needed from the generator (key) , oh and not cost too much. Given all that, I think I'd be a buyer. And if it proved out to be a largely fuss-free solid piece of gear over years and years, I think there could be lots of buyers...
    12 May 2012, 06:08 PM Reply Like
  • SMaturin
    , contributor
    Comments (2268) | Send Message
     
    Statistical elegance.

     

    Ahhhh.....
    12 May 2012, 07:13 PM Reply Like
  • Tim Enright
    , contributor
    Comments (1345) | Send Message
     
    PbC: KIAS...
    13 May 2012, 03:23 AM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz
    , contributor
    Comments (2240) | Send Message
     
    I'm looking forward to learning more about the home cube. It just might be a winner if a payback period could be calculated by time shifting. That plus back-up power just might be a winner. Connected to solar for storage during the day, wind at all hours if available. It will be a very interesting product launch. I hope someone can go to the show, grab all the literature, scan it and post it along with an in-depth story and the answers to questions they posed to Rosewater.
    12 May 2012, 06:36 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3431) | Send Message
     
    This is linked from the SA front page, and is telling in the extreme:

     

    http://bit.ly/JsuaDc
    12 May 2012, 07:21 PM Reply Like
  • Futurist
    , contributor
    Comments (2109) | Send Message
     
    481086,

     

    Wow, to those who have read and understand JPs articles about the unreliability of renewable energy this does not come as a surprise. The easy answer is to recommission the needed carbon based electrical providers. But that is not politically feasible in Germany.

     

    I hope Vani speaks German because there is a need for renewable energy storage in that country.
    12 May 2012, 08:04 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3431) | Send Message
     
    Exactly my thoughts. This thing was a true eye-blisterer, for all us well-washed masses who've had the benefit of the swiss connection...
    12 May 2012, 08:17 PM Reply Like
  • metroneanderthal
    , contributor
    Comments (1425) | Send Message
     
    Just read an article this morning in the IHT where the German parliament has suspended plans to decrease solar power subsidies. According to the article, currently 100 percent of the energy produced by solar projects is purchased at above-market rates. The Merkel administration is wanting to reduce this subsidy to 80-90 percent depending on the size of the project. The article also says that production from wind power increased 25 percent in first four months of the year and solar production increased 30 percent from a year earlier.

     

    It seems Germany is going to continue building and subsidizing renewable energy sources, and we have a schön solution for them.
    13 May 2012, 09:14 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13581) | Send Message
     
    The politics involved in Germany are potent. Merkel's center-right government is in deep trouble with the voters over the Greek mess and the struggle to save the PIIGS and the Eurozone. Their ability to go to the mat with the Left and the Greens has been destroyed, at least until the next elections next year, at which time (IMO) they will get the boot and we will see a new Left/Green coalition ruling Germany (and a whole new emphasis on the altenergy agenda).
    14 May 2012, 09:25 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    You have to love doctors like the German Greens who almost kill an economy with bad medicine and argue that it needs a stronger dose next time.
    14 May 2012, 09:33 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4819) | Send Message
     
    >JP ... I see the same thing with American Conservatives and their manic, unregulated "Drill, baby, Drill" anywhere & everywhere .... NOW. I guess the money is to be made at the extreme margins from both sides on an immediate need basis. Sad.
    14 May 2012, 09:52 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    I don't necessarily disagree with you Dave. Increasing age seems to be giving me an increasing appreciation for moderation in all things.
    14 May 2012, 09:58 AM Reply Like
  • Futurist
    , contributor
    Comments (2109) | Send Message
     
    Without getting political ( not that it can be helped) it simply appears to me that the countries that applied stimulus and didn't try austerity have fared better than those countries that are not stimulating. But that could be inflation/ monetary depreciation masking the truth.

     

    All I know is I thought a big double dip was coming and lo and behold Bernanke has avoided it.
    14 May 2012, 10:11 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5783) | Send Message
     
    Futurist, I appreciate a guy who can admit he was wrong...that is very hard to find today. When I did that, I became a better investor too. It;s still gonna take years to heal the destruction, but as you said Bernanke has pulled it off so far.
    The "double dip" may come with global events, but not nearly as severe as I thought 2 years ago.
    14 May 2012, 01:36 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4073) | Send Message
     
    Respectfully disagree. We haven't seen the worst of our economic crisis yet. You can put off the nature of economic laws for a time, but the consequences later will be uglier due to an unwillingness to allow economic laws to function.
    14 May 2012, 03:48 PM Reply Like
  • Metals are Precious
    , contributor
    Comments (707) | Send Message
     
    JON

     

    ALL seven of us agree with you...

     

    MAP
    14 May 2012, 04:27 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4073) | Send Message
     
    Thank you for clarifying you are TM9, thistime, johhny rambo, jim_turner, et al. Good to know.
    14 May 2012, 04:57 PM Reply Like
  • Metals are Precious
    , contributor
    Comments (707) | Send Message
     
    and i thought my daughter was gullible.....lol

     

    Jeez, just a joke!!!
    14 May 2012, 05:37 PM Reply Like
  • Stilldazed
    , contributor
    Comments (3549) | Send Message
     
    MAP,
    At least he called you Jim_Turner and not Tina_Turner. ;-)
    14 May 2012, 05:44 PM Reply Like
  • Metals are Precious
    , contributor
    Comments (707) | Send Message
     
    STILL

     

    Hey, i like Tina !!!! lol

     

    I also loved those Rambo movies as well...Guess i am showing my age.

     

    map
    14 May 2012, 05:47 PM Reply Like
  • Futurist
    , contributor
    Comments (2109) | Send Message
     
    I will repeat myself so all understand:
    I am not a scientist or a battery geek or a technical kind of guy.

     

    But from a business perspective, if I am a buyer of an energy storage unit I do not want to Replace 1/3rd of my batteries in the first 100 days of operation. I don't want to replace 1/3rd of my batteries in the entire life ownership of my storage apparatus.
    33% is ridiculous. Using an AGM where a PbC will work well is not a fair contest.

     

    Then when I see that a string of PbCs simply self equalize the entire string in three cycles I realize that I don't have to buy an expensive Battery management system to control it.
    Again, less maintenance and lower lifelong cost of ownership.

     

    We talked about Sandia saying the carbon paste additives in an AGM worked well for utilities. I have a hard time believing they are better than this product. But bring them on. We can kick the rear end of an AGM. What else you got, other AGM battery manufacturers. Bring it on. Lets do more side by side testing.

     

    Nice job Rosewater. Why are you updating your website? Who are you showing this to? Inquiring minds want to know.
    12 May 2012, 07:52 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3431) | Send Message
     
    Fut, totally with you. I'm just saying, for the residential market, I'd want to buy a micro-cube, and not have to worry about it for at least ten years, not worry about testing the batteries, filling the batteries, replacing any of the batteries, charging them just so, etc etc.. I'd want to be able to just wire it in, and then rely on it for the next decade with no babysitting. If the PbC can really hold up like that, and it sure seems like it will, staying convergent in large strings with minimal to no intervention, then they're going to ROCK--and for too many applications to know at this point. ;)
    12 May 2012, 08:11 PM Reply Like
  • Futurist
    , contributor
    Comments (2109) | Send Message
     
    48,
    Totally agree.
    12 May 2012, 10:13 PM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz
    , contributor
    Comments (2240) | Send Message
     
    I am beginning to understand why Axion might not publish the PbC's battery specs. Not having anything to go on but various remarks here and there several operating characteristics have jumped out at me. First there is some rate of self-discharge that may be as high as 30% in a month. That isn't an issue in an application like the electric locomotive or stop start auto in concert with a 12V flooded battery.

     

    Then there is the change in voltage as the battery discharges. That can create headaches for applications inappropriate for this characteristic. There is also less energy than its standard 12V or 16V flooded or AGM battery competitor.

     

    However, for applications that will cycle the battery hard like electric locomotives, micro and mild hybrid autos, renewable energy, and the various Powercube applications it is a dream battery. I think it is better that Axion identify potential applications as planned and demonstrate that the PbC works for that application than just let the market try to figure it out from a spec sheet.

     

    Other companies will undoubtedly say "Ah ha!" when they see a similarity in their potential applications to areas where the PbC is already being explored and will call Axion for more info. Bingo, a sales lead!

     

    The PbC battery's characteristics of high dynamic charge acceptance and power output reminds me of a joke about a drunkard who stumbles into a magic lamp and a Genie pops out. Telling the drunk he will grant him three wishes he asks him what he wants for his first wish. Asking for a bottle of vodka the bottle appears in his hand and he takes a really long drink.

     

    "What do you want for your second wish", the Genie asks. "I want the bottle to fill right back up every time I take a drink out of it." Magically the bottle of Vodka fills right back up after every drink.

     

    "What do you wish for your final wish," the Genie asks. The drunk immediately answers, "Another bottle just like this one!"

     

    That's the beauty of the PbC. It immediately fills right back up!
    12 May 2012, 11:08 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5783) | Send Message
     
    LOL good one Bang. I love the genie connection!

     

    I agree with you on not putting the PbC where it doesn't belong. From what I understand they can change the configuration if needed to help some of those issues for other apps.
    It appears that TG is content to go after rail & auto with it's current state.
    Who knows later on when they have more R&D dollars.
    12 May 2012, 11:15 PM Reply Like
  • Tim Enright
    , contributor
    Comments (1345) | Send Message
     
    Axion can produce a PbC with the same energy density as an AGM. TG himself made a statement to this effect. I had a phone conversation with a person who knows the boys in the lab and he confirmed this. I suspect the reason they do not publish specifications is that they do not want to get locked into a specific set of values.

     

    They made a decision to start with the slider on the capacitor/power side of the scale to serve the market with the lowest hanging fruit. That is, applications that have many PbC's in series where the limitations mentioned above become a non-issue. I appreciate this decision more and more each day. And I will say it again...

     

    PbC: King in a String!
    13 May 2012, 04:32 AM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2726) | Send Message
     
    About comparisons between the PbC and other battery technologies:

     

    The LAST thing Axion needs is a "specifications war" where the PbC is compared with a conventional battery! If Axion published a limited set of specifications that were applicable to the PbC I can guarantee that within a few weeks there would be an advertisement from a potential S-S battery competitor that picked specific items in the spec and bragged how their AGM battery was "better".

     

    Most of the comparisons would be invalid for S-S use because the requirement to absorb charge rapidly and for MANY cycles is critical for success. But remember that almost no one in the auto business that isn't directly involved in specifying and testing for S-S use will understand the differences in requirements.

     

    Marketing types that can't directly compete will attempt to change the subject to something they CAN compete with. Maybe higher Wh/kg or stable voltage during discharge from 100 to 20% SOC level. Neither of those is important for use in SS systems. Never the less, that is what will be featured in the ad.

     

    Technical folks who understand lead acid batteries will nod and think "that PbC just can't compete". Of course, they don't understand the application because no LA battery has ever been able to survive that type of application. It just isn't in their experience set to appreciate what the ad doesn't say.

     

    Personally, I have come to appreciate the lack of a "general published specification" for the PbC. After all, it really isn't an AGM lead acid battery. It's a battery-capacitor hybrid and needs a different set of specifications. The better engineers in the business are figuring this out about now. Wait and see.
    13 May 2012, 06:16 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3431) | Send Message
     
    SiHiBi, I think you just plastered the target. Well done. Bottom line, this thing ain't really a battery, it's a *massive* capacitor, only with beefier discharge curves and a much nicer price. It's an entirely new class of energy exchange+storage device. Only few at this point really know what it will be good for. Now think of the laser...at first just a new kind of light source, cool sure, but with seemingly few applications. Fast forward a coupla decades, look how that turned out... ;)
    13 May 2012, 09:11 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    After reading some of the revenue growth comments it occurred to me that many don't understand the back story on New Castle, so some clarification may help.

     

    When we bought the plant, the New Castle Battery Company was being liquidated and the equipment was scheduled to go up for auction in a couple days. There were three lines in the plant that had been shut down for an extended period of time – one for AGM batteries and two for flooded batteries. All three lines were fully equipped, but there were major maintenance issues because the flooded lines had been idle for a couple years.

     

    Our primary interest was the AGM line, because it included all the equipment we needed for development work on the PbC. We didn't devote any time, effort or money to two flooded lines because making flooded batteries would have been a distraction.

     

    In 2008 we decided to refurbish one of the flooded lines so that we could start training workers and generating revenue. We signed a toll contract for the battery production and did the upgrade work, but before production got kicked off the crash and recession hit and the buyer's need for additional batteries plummeted. That left the flooded line sitting fallow for another two years until a new contract was signed in early 2011.

     

    When the flooded contract was signed, Axion had one flooded line that was ready to go to work and one flooded line that hadn't made a battery in nearly a decade. Its flooded battery sales in 2011 were $725,000 in Q1, $1,325,000 in Q2, $1,804,000 in Q3 and $2,556,000 in Q4.

     

    In the Q-3 conference call TG said:

     

    "To support continued sales growth now and in the future, particularly PbC sales growth, we have supplemented our planned capital expenditure equipment modernization program. Some of this important work completed in the third quarter includes modernization of the second lead – acid battery manufacturing line, including welding equipment. It includes the rebuild of five casting machines and particularly important, it includes a 35% expansion of the battery formation space. This is extremely important for future PbC sales."

     

    I was very happy about the upgrade news because I knew the board wouldn't spend upgrade money on the second flooded line unless they had clear visibility on a need for the additional capacity. Since flooded battery revenue from one line was $1.8 million in Q3 when they were doing the upgrade work, it was easy to foresee at least $3.6 million in revenue potential with both lines working. If you start adding shifts, there's a lot of upside in that number.

     

    We tend to dismiss flooded battery production as the past because we see PbC as the future. In many ways that's correct, but there were some critical lessons Axion had to learn on the road to the future. The biggest was learning how to manufacture batteries in relevant volume and manage inventories and supply chains. It also had to build from a skeleton crew of old hands to a fully trained staff of manufacturing personnel.

     

    The commodity battery business is tough because there are a ton of competitors and creating distribution from plant to end user is dreadfully time-consuming and expensive. Since the PbC will not be a commodity product, any money Axion spent developing a flooded distribution capability would have been wasted in the longer term. The toll contract allowed Axion to learn everything it needed to learn about manufacturing while saving it the trouble of having to compete in the flooded battery market. It also let Axion build and train a full complement of manufacturing staff.

     

    It's low margin business to be sure. But it's business that doesn't carry any downstream marketing risks and the only question is "how many batteries does the customer need over the next year?"

     

    In 2011 there was one operational flooded battery line through Q3 with a second coming on line in Q4. In 2012, there will be two operational flooded battery lines all year. As demand for AGM and PbC batteries ramps, moving trained staff sideways from flooded battery production to AGM and PbC production should be a smooth transition instead of starting from a standstill.

     

    Bang is right when he says we don't have any marketing visibility on where the 2012 ramp will come from, but with a willing buyer in place for the flooded battery line output and twice the capacity, we don't need any more marketing visibility. It's simply a matter of feeding more product into an existing distribution chain. I think the upper limit of flooded sales is probably in the $25 to $30 million a year range, but as long as the buyer can use that much volume it's great training wheels business while the marketing team focuses on building PbC demand.
    13 May 2012, 01:36 AM Reply Like
  • Futurist
    , contributor
    Comments (2109) | Send Message
     
    Thanks for the history lesson. I had always assumed both Flooded lines were operational in 2011. I remember that the board authorized some expenditure money for plant improvement but didn't remember the details.

     

    It is very easy for all of us to forget that Axion picked up a plant and equipment for a song back in 2007. The plant is still carried on the books for the sale price. The new equipment and upgrades have increased the value of the assets. Novice investors might not look at a balance sheet and see much there.
    But the value of the plant and equipment on December of each year from 2008 to 2011are recorded as follows :
    2008- $3.2 Mil
    2009- $4.2 Mil
    2010- $6.7 Mil
    2011- $8.4 Mil

     

    The increase is for improvements to the LAB lines and the new electrode manufacturing lines. These expenditures have increased the value of the plant by a ten fold margin.

     

    Its way to easy to forget that building and permitting a battery manufacturer plant is a long arduous task that Axion accomplished for next to nothing. Another example of good management.
    13 May 2012, 07:19 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    I double checked the dates and Axion bought New Castle in February 2006. We finished moving all R&D and other business operations to PA in early 2007. The $813,000 purchase price was allocated $80,000 to inventory and $733,000 to the three production lines. Building a comparable new plant would have cost $40 to $50 million and taken a couple years if the permits were available.

     

    Since it's an older plant, New Castle wasn't as heavily automated as a new factory would have been, but many of the improvements since 2006 have been automation to reduce labor costs.

     

    PP&E at March 31, 2006, which included the core New Castle manufacturing assets, was $962,680.
    13 May 2012, 09:24 AM Reply Like
  • metroneanderthal
    , contributor
    Comments (1425) | Send Message
     
    Didn't realize that much of a bargain price.
    13 May 2012, 09:28 AM Reply Like
  • carlosgaviria
    , contributor
    Comments (791) | Send Message
     
    Thanks by the clarification. Now I have three questions:
    -.The AGM line is working now?
    -.The two flooded lines can be transformed in AGM lines?
    -.The PbC work in flooded lines?
    Thanks again in wish a nice day!
    13 May 2012, 09:33 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    The first thing we did in 2006 was get the AGM line up and running because we needed it for PbC prototypes. There was also a line of AGM replica batteries for vintage cars that threw off enough revenue every year to cover base salaries for a couple of key manufacturing guys.

     

    Changing a line from flooded battery production to AGM battery production can be done, but it requires some equipment changes. I suspect that all equipment purchases since 2008 have been made with a future changeover in mind, but can't assess what a switch would cost or how long it would take.

     

    There's no scientific reason that a PbC electrode wouldn't work in a flooded battery, but the electrode assemblies were developed for use in AGM batteries and it would probably take significant R&D to develop electrode assemblies for flooded batteries.
    13 May 2012, 09:47 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19439) | Send Message
     
    Does anyone wonder where we get our "bottom feeder" mentality from?

     

    It's apparently genetic! :-)

     

    HardToLove
    13 May 2012, 12:34 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4788) | Send Message
     
    JP, you outline a well conceived business strategy. Compliments to you and the rest of Axion's management for devising and implementing it. The global economic background has, no doubt, impeded execution some. And, we now find ourselves where we are and that is well positioned to supply battery products and some component parts with demand for those products to be determined.

     

    Axion, as you point out, has a willing buyer for FLA batteries and does not have to incur expense marketing those batteries. The volume of FLA battery sales to that willing buyer, though, is dependent on overall demand for FLA batteries, the willing buyer's share of that overall demand, and the buyer's own internal production of FLA batteries.

     

    I don't see growth in the US auto/marine markets this year that would be needed to support reasonable expectation for doubling or more of Axion's FLA battery output under the toll contract. East Penn's presentation at the Washington ESA conference suggested stationary energy storage markets are really quite large Perhaps growth in FLA battery demand in occurring there, but I'm not aware of it. Without market growth, the only avenue for increasing Axion FLA production is its' willing buyer's success in displacing demand for FLA production from other sources.

     

    Dantam needs to earn his keep and sell PbC batteries.
    13 May 2012, 12:56 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3431) | Send Message
     
    Would there be any point to that though? It seems like such an exercise would yield a strange product...what advantages, if any, could a flooded PbC have over an AGM PbC? What applications would it better serve? ... 'Course we're probably going to have to summon and unleash the terrible K(racken)T for the best answer to this one... ;)
    13 May 2012, 01:02 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3431) | Send Message
     
    What's the phrase? oh yeah: Holy Schniekes.

     

    I mean, talk about the deal of the century. And for the previous owners / holders/creditors---what a horrific face ripping loss. gulp. How came it that such a plant would go for such a discount? I mean any number of companies could have found enough money in their break-room sofas and paid double that easy. It would seem like the permit alone should have attracted legions of buyers. 2005/2006 were pretty robust years economically speaking... what was going on in the battery space that drove this situation? Was it some special confluence of events that led to this incredible bargain? I mean it sure looks like you guys pulled off one hell of a coup.. ;)
    13 May 2012, 01:16 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    The first half of the last decade was a time of savage competition from Asia that forced big and small battery companies alike over the edge. Delphi and Exide both went through Chapter 11 while mom and pop operations like New Castle collapsed. Their assets typically got sold off at auction. The buyers of used equipment were coming out of places like Turkey and India.

     

    In late 2005, Ed Buiel was searching used equipment sites on the Internet and found that a bank had scheduled an internet auction for the assets NBC. Ed went down thinking we might be able to pick up a bargain or two in the auction and called a day and a half later to say that we could buy directly from the bank before the auction, but we had to be able to lay down a big deposit within a week. Bob Averill stepped into the breach with a loan that made the purchase possible.

     

    We managed to buy New Castle at the bottom of the trough of troubles and shortly thereafter the Asians began scaling back their exports. By 2008 or so, Asian exports had fallen off enough that US manufacturers were building new capacity to make up for the shortfall.

     

    Our theory at the time was that New Castle was worth the price as an R&D facility and that's what we used it for. We never forgot, however, that it could support a good sized first-stage commercialization effort when the time came to make and sell PbC batteries by the thousands instead of one at a time.

     

    Sometimes it's better to be lucky than smart.
    13 May 2012, 01:51 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Automotive is the biggest user of flooded batteries, but still only represents about half of the market. In the first half of the last decade, Asian competition caused big problems for US battery manufacturers. Delphi and Exide were both forced into Chapter 11 and many mom & pops were driven out of business. Their assets were usually sold to overseas purchasers who moved the equipment to places like Turkey and India.

     

    Since about 2008, Asian battery exports have plummeted and there's been a shortage of US capacity. While there is a surplus capacity in the automotive markets, the commercial markets for UPS batteries and the like are going strong.

     

    While Axion has never identified the buyer of the flooded batteries, a couple Axionistas have reported that it's East Penn, which strikes me as reasonable given the long relationship between the two companies.

     

    As the third biggest battery manufacturer in the US, I'm confident that East Penn could stand flat-footed and buy whatever New Castle could produce without impacting its operations in the least. East Penn has a lot of reasons for wanting Axion to thrive, giving up a slice of its margin on something like 1% of its annual sales is not exactly a big deal.
    13 May 2012, 02:14 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (10233) | Send Message
     
    John, I think the team was obviously darn smart for buying the plant and commercializing PBC in the manner you've laid out for us.

     

    The balance.......Are you and the others predominantly Irish?!
    13 May 2012, 02:32 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (10233) | Send Message
     
    Hey you are lucky and some of it rubs off. I just got my wings. Published right away!

     

    I can let the carrier pigeons rest!

     

    FYI Took 7 days.
    13 May 2012, 02:38 PM Reply Like
  • Tampa Ted
    , contributor
    Comments (2652) | Send Message
     
    Here is the 8-K describing the transaction - Interestingly, at that time the PbC was still referred to as prototype e 3 Supercell batteries

     

    date of doc - 2/16/2006 2/14/2006

     

    http://bit.ly/Khkf4W;FilePath=006>;File...
    13 May 2012, 02:40 PM Reply Like
  • Tampa Ted
    , contributor
    Comments (2652) | Send Message
     
    If it wasn't for the whiskey ...
    13 May 2012, 02:47 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    It was a pretty good deal at the time. We figured it cut $5 to $7 million out of the R&D budget and gave us a free fully permitted battery manufacturing plant as a bonus. The biggest value was it gave us enough capacity to control all manufacturing through the demonstration phase, which would give us the ability to only talk to potential partners when we had proven both the device and its value in a particular niche.

     

    We figured it would be an easier sale and an attractive business proposition if Axion could walk through the door of a Trojan, Crown, Exide, JCI or other manufacturer and say "We make these really cool electrode assemblies that have been proven for use in _____________ which represents a $__________ per year market niche. We need a manufacturing partner to buy our electrodes and use their factory to service the niche. Do you want to do a deal?"
    13 May 2012, 02:55 PM Reply Like
  • mds5375
    , contributor
    Comments (176) | Send Message
     
    "East Penn has a lot of reasons for wanting Axion to thrive, giving up a slice of its margin on something like 1% of its annual sales is not exactly a big deal."

     

    I believe there is at least a handshake on this and propbably sole/special rights involved. I also think it may be the source of a serious portions of the 300% revenue growth either this year or next.
    13 May 2012, 04:33 PM Reply Like
  • carlosgaviria
    , contributor
    Comments (791) | Send Message
     
    mds5375:
    Gratitude is a virtue, East Penn today give a hand to AXION and tomorrow AXION pay with the same money.
    13 May 2012, 04:40 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    East Penn has been a very good friend for a very long time. That kind of relationship will always be reciprocal.
    13 May 2012, 04:45 PM Reply Like
  • carlosgaviria
    , contributor
    Comments (791) | Send Message
     
    That's right. Love is repaid with love.
    With EXIDE seems that the relationship is different.
    Let me ask: In case you have to select which you prefer for the good of AXION: Exide or East Penn?
    13 May 2012, 04:56 PM Reply Like
  • Futurist
    , contributor
    Comments (2109) | Send Message
     
    Carlos,
    I have loved more than on woman in my life. One was a little bit more stubborn and irritable than the other. If I had my choice I would take the nicer one named EP to the dance. The other I would dance with if EP died tomorrow.

     

    I really want to credit the State of Pennsylvania here. The State has given grants to both Axion and EP for different projects. It is easy to criticize government grants but I think that the State has done much to bring EP and Axion together as Pennsylvania partners. Maybe its ideological thinking but it does appear that way to me.
    13 May 2012, 08:06 PM Reply Like
  • carlosgaviria
    , contributor
    Comments (791) | Send Message
     
    Futurist:
    I think its very respectable opinion.
    Thanks.
    13 May 2012, 08:19 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    East Penn is a fine company that's been involved with Axion since 2004. They're also a family business and their geographic footprint is limited to the US. Since Axion will probably need a couple of partners on each Continent if it wants to fully address the potential market, I like both for different reasons.
    14 May 2012, 12:48 AM Reply Like
  • bazooooka
    , contributor
    Comments (3684) | Send Message
     
    Thank you for the insights. I agree that significant 2012 revenue growth is in the bag with increased flooded contracts likely signed already. Having you lay out the logic all but confirms it for those who still doubt how Axion can get 20M in revenues from this niche.

     

    However, do you think PbC sales can ramp big as well? It'd be nice to get to 10M+ in PbC sales before year end. I hope this week's call will start us off with a nice number for Q1.
    13 May 2012, 03:41 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    I think there's lot less clear visibility into the potential PbC revenue than flooded battery revenue, but the market potential is orders of magnitude larger. For flooded batteries it's merely a matter of training manufacturing hands and feeding product into somebody else's distribution and customer support network. The PbC is a tougher product in the sense that it's brand new and there is no established market to just drop it into. In another sense it's an easier market because you can pick your target customers with precision and know that each completed *sale* will represent millions of dollars in recurring revenue.

     

    Using NS as an example, we've been formally told about two locomotives that represent ±$1.5 million in revenue. We've heard second hand reports of Vani Dantham talking about 50 to 75 locomotives, which would be a reasonably sized prototype test for Norfolk Southern. If similar tests were launched by the other three major railroads, total demand would be closer to 300 to 500 locomotives with an average battery value of ±$750,000 each – and that's just for prototype teasing. Deployment would be an order of magnitude larger.

     

    Four years ago when I started describing storage as a coming mega-trend the outlines of the potential market were pretty vague. Today the outlines are getting sharper and the market is looking far bigger. It's a target rich environment and I remain convinced that every company that brings a cost-effective product to market will have more business than it can possibly handle. As long as Axion's in the thick of things with a solid performer, which certainly appears likely at this point, I'll be a very happy stockholder. If the PbC proves to be the best alternative for some of the rapidly developing mega-niche markets like stop-start and railroads, I'll be ecstatic.
    13 May 2012, 05:35 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5783) | Send Message
     
    This new owner has Chrysler on the move: He is doing great things

     

    12 cars worth waiting for:
    http://yhoo.it/KYM6TP
    13 May 2012, 05:10 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19439) | Send Message
     
    Folks,

     

    One thing to keep in mind is that factors outside Axion's control *can* influence, to some unspecified degree, Axion's progress on all fronts - especially those more tightly coupled to consumer behavior.

     

    I speak of the economy. I just posted a comment about that here.

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    The important thing is that while it may not stop progress, it could certainly affect the progress by slowing it and we should have both a mindset and plan for dealing with that if the early signs appear.

     

    Those two things can help reduce the angst that can appear when unexpected setbacks occur.

     

    MHO,
    HardToLove
    13 May 2012, 01:53 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (10233) | Send Message
     
    Interesting older article on energy storage challenges. Sorry if it is a repeat.

     

    "Energy Storage -- Why Policymakers Should Proceed Carefully"

     

    http://bit.ly/KhmepW
    13 May 2012, 02:48 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19439) | Send Message
     
    That's a good article! Actually discussing the economics of it all in light of current practices and suggesting a *real* market similar to what the CFTC provides is a start.

     

    Oh that we had governmental bodies who could think in such terms.

     

    TY Iindelco!

     

    HardToLove
    13 May 2012, 03:55 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (10233) | Send Message
     
    Forbes article on French acquisitions of Green Tech. US companies.

     

    "The French Revolution In Green Technology"

     

    http://onforb.es/K89Vb3
    13 May 2012, 03:29 PM Reply Like
  • Al Marshall
    , contributor
    Comments (631) | Send Message
     
    I agree with Bazooooka that Mr. Granville's promise for 2012 revenue is virtually entirely based on flooded sales.

     

    Yes, it provides some small margin, which given Axion's cost of capital is very important. Beyond that, I agree that the manufacturing experience and the R&D benefits are very important. Furthermore, the flooded facility and business are our downside protection if somehow the PbC doesn't pan out.

     

    Still, by the end of the year, I think we'll all be focused on what we'll perceive a the all-important PbC revenue. Since Mr. Granville likely doesn't need PbC sales to make the 2012 revenue number, this promise gives us no meaningful indication of the PbC adoption rate for 2012. The 2013 aspect of that promise would seem to depend on PbC and thus is much, much more important.

     

    Commenting on the earlier discussion about Germany's potential electricity crisis this coming winter (due to its dependence on unreliable wind power). You'd think the Germans would be desperate to add storage of any kind. However, folks have been saying essentially the same things about Japan. With the nuclear plants shut down, many are expecting major power problems in Japan this summer. Admittedly, Japan's problem would seem to be more about generating capacity at all rather than harnessing unreliable generating capacity.

     

    While it might be too early for PbC, you'd think these countries would turn to standard lead-acid and AGM batteries. Getting back to the earlier request for the bear case for Axion, I wonder if Mr. Granville's statement about 2013 revenue increase is an early indication that this surge is taking place. Unlikely at this point.

     

    13 May 2012, 04:07 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    I tend to think the flooded ramp will be front-end loaded for the year and the PbC will be back-end loaded, but I expect both to be substantial by the end of the year. It's only a guess, but I'll bet that the PbC represents at least a quarter of 2012 revenue and perhaps more. By 2013 I expect the ratio to reverse with the PbC ramping to almost 3/4 of revenue.
    13 May 2012, 04:19 PM Reply Like
  • carlosgaviria
    , contributor
    Comments (791) | Send Message
     
    Dear friends:
    Yesterday and today I read comments and stories very enjoyable. I see a great future (PbC) and I see it closer today than yesterday.
    Have a nice next week.