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Retired, active small investor. Former executive search, defense contracting, business development and M&A consulting, ecommerce and manufacturing experience.
  • Questions For The Axion Power 2nd Quarter Earnings Report & Conference Call 37 comments
    Aug 5, 2012 10:39 AM | about stocks: AXPW

    The 2nd Quarter 2012 Conference Call is an important event. We need to develop great questions for Tom Granville, Axion CEO, that will illuminate where we are today and how things are developing for the 3rd and 4th Quarter.

    Rather than make suggestions or write a personal overview I am going to just solicit draft questions the conference call. I will say the silence out of Axion is deafening to me. I do think questions related to sales, business development, and potential manufacturing partners are essential at this point.

    Have at it Axionistas! We need good questions!

    Unfortunately I will not be contributing to this instatblog for now. My comments are now being "reviewed by our moderator". I must have been reported for abuse, although I do not recall insulting anyone personally. Hopefully it will be cleared up within a reasonable time frame.

    I will provide my prospective questions for the conference call in the header of this instablog later. Good questions have been raised so far. Keep it up.

    Disclosure: I am long OTCQB:AXPW.

    Stocks: AXPW
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Comments (37)
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  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4100) | Send Message
     
    How can members of the public participate in the next round of financing?

     

    How could a shareholder group of people in the public domain approach the company about brokering the financing for the company?

     

    (Please note that it is highly unlikely I will be available at the time of the conference call, though I will be if I can.)

     

    (regarding the second question... who would be better at pitching people about Axion than Axionistas?... we could easily put together a slide show, have a group of experts on many aspects of the company, and be able to organize a global webcast Q & A that could answer most any investor questions)
    3 Aug 2012, 07:03 PM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz
    , contributor
    Comments (2250) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I have an introduction to Axion section for new or potential investors on the website I built. If someone put something together I would be glad to add it to the existing website or create a new website where it could be posted, complete with a discussion forum if desired or links to the latest APH discussion thread.
    4 Aug 2012, 03:29 AM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2435) | Send Message
     
    Could you update us on recent and expected FERC regulatory decisions and timelines and whether you have seen customer PowerCube purchasing decisions on when to sign contracts affected?
    4 Aug 2012, 11:39 AM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2435) | Send Message
     
    While the potential market for PowerCube like devices is huge, there is significant competition developing from both large well capitalized system integrators, and also public and private inverter companies, who provide the most expensive part of such systems and as such affords those companies, in addition to their power electronics expertise, power in setting the lowest system prices.

     

    What are our competitive advantages today, how long do you see us trying to help create that market, and do you see us becoming a pure component supplier to the market once our capabilities are demonstrated and a demand for PbC based systems is created?
    4 Aug 2012, 11:45 AM Reply Like
  • magounsq
    , contributor
    Comments (990) | Send Message
     
    What market(s) is AXPW focusing on now for sales?

     

    What markets are the priorities…best shorter term opportunities?

     

    Will AXPW produce another technical paper on the results of the PC at New Castle?

     

    Will/When/where - AXPW present a technical paper on start/stop in commercial vehicles.

     

    What markets are being served by the AXPW sales team now?

     

    What markets are being “outsourced” for sales opportunities?

     

    How many/who/industry sectors do you have NDA agreements with?
    4 Aug 2012, 01:16 PM Reply Like
  • Tim Enright
    , contributor
    Comments (1356) | Send Message
     
    Has date for the call been published? are we assuming the 15th for now?
    8 Aug 2012, 02:31 PM Reply Like
  • KentG
    , contributor
    Comments (368) | Send Message
     
    I believe JP said he thinks it will be the 14th but no PR yet.
    8 Aug 2012, 03:49 PM Reply Like
  • Tim Enright
    , contributor
    Comments (1356) | Send Message
     
    Thanks Kent...
    8 Aug 2012, 04:09 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4242) | Send Message
     
    Could me I am mistaken, but I think the only legal obligation of public corporations is publicly disclose their financial performance data with no legal obligation to hold quarterly conference calls. Might be that we only see a PR reporting 10Q data.
    8 Aug 2012, 08:58 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3442) | Send Message
     
    D-inv, I just can't imagine them doing that. It would carry a lot of negative connotations and I can't see how it could benefit either the stock or the company. The only circumstance I could imagine is if they were running flat out crazy busy with all their backs to the wall of some hard production deadline...
    9 Aug 2012, 02:03 AM Reply Like
  • KentG
    , contributor
    Comments (368) | Send Message
     
    I've been listening to past conference calls and here are some of my questions:

     

    1. During the end of year 2011 conference call you stated that break even on a cash flow basis will occur in 2013, is Axion still on track to achieve this milestone in 2013?

     

    2. During the 1st qtr 2012 CC you stated that fleet testing by automotive OEM's is the next step in the testing process. Have any automotive OEM's started fleet testing as of today or have any stated plans to start fleet testing this year?

     

    3. During the end of year 2011 conference call you stated that "The residential product that Rosewater will be marketing for example, we have a kick-off of that product scheduled for September of 2012 at the Indiana Home Show Indianapolis, but we will have product out in advance of that, demonstration product and some small sales of the product on our own". Have those demonstration products shipped yet and have there been any small sales of the residential PC as was anticipated?

     

    More later.

     

    thx
    kent 8-)
    9 Aug 2012, 02:03 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4100) | Send Message
     
    Clarification on question 1:
    Do you want an answer for fiscal year 2013 (which runs into 2014) or calendar year 2013?
    9 Aug 2012, 09:00 AM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (10576) | Send Message
     
    KentG:

     

    1. During the end of year 2011 conference call you stated that break even on a cash flow basis will occur in 2013, is Axion still on track to achieve this milestone in 2013?

     

    --I believe I was the only one to pose any kind of forward guidance-type question at the June SC. TG's answer was he believed Axion will become profitable during 2013; he did not say which quarter.

     

    2. During the 1st qtr 2012 CC you stated that fleet testing by automotive OEM's is the next step in the testing process. Have any automotive OEM's started fleet testing as of today or have any stated plans to start fleet testing this year?

     

    --Great question. We need to know more about what Ford and BMW are doing, what their status is. However, I doubt we'll learn much, as this is NDA stuff.

     

    3. During the end of year 2011 conference call you stated that "The residential product that Rosewater will be marketing for example, we have a kick-off of that product scheduled for September of 2012 at the Indiana Home Show Indianapolis, but we will have product out in advance of that, demonstration product and some small sales of the product on our own". Have those demonstration products shipped yet and have there been any small sales of the residential PC as was anticipated?

     

    --I don't recall TG, or Joe Pic for that matter, stating that there will be a demonstration project in advance of the Indy show. Maybe someone else heard differently?
    9 Aug 2012, 12:05 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (10576) | Send Message
     
    Also want to add that given the Q report comes out a full day ahead of the CC, that we'll have plenty of time to scrutinized the balance sheet, especially the inventory, and receivables side of things.
    9 Aug 2012, 12:21 PM Reply Like
  • KentG
    , contributor
    Comments (368) | Send Message
     
    Maya said: "--I don't recall TG, or Joe Pic for that matter, stating that there will be a demonstration project in advance of the Indy show. Maybe someone else heard differently?"

     

    I quoted him directly from the EOY CC. I was a little supprised to see that so I figured we should follow up on that statement.
    9 Aug 2012, 01:55 PM Reply Like
  • anthlj
    , contributor
    Comments (228) | Send Message
     
    KentG,
    Great questions.
    10 Aug 2012, 05:32 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30513) | Send Message
     
    Axion reports on a calendar year, not a fiscal year.
    13 Aug 2012, 01:36 AM Reply Like
  • metroneanderthal
    , contributor
    Comments (1511) | Send Message
     
    I am going to call in during CC. My question(s) are going to focus on the number of customers over the past several years and past six months. I just have no idea, and don't know if anyone here does, if Axion is attracting new customers, if the old customers are on a timeframe, have some customers jumped off the Axion wagon and what would be their reasons for doing so. Will work on wording of this.

     

    Not sure how to word this, but this is my area of interest. Particularly liked Kent's questions on comments taken from past CC's and wt's questions about FERC. Will both of you have the opportunity to participate in CC as would like to hear the response to these questions?
    12 Aug 2012, 09:11 AM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2435) | Send Message
     
    Yes, I'm planning to participate and will definitely ask the FERC question.
    13 Aug 2012, 08:39 AM Reply Like
  • metroneanderthal
    , contributor
    Comments (1511) | Send Message
     
    wtb,
    that is great.
    13 Aug 2012, 09:05 AM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2435) | Send Message
     
    And may I say, I look forward to the day when I'll have trouble getting in because the call will be full of professional analysts who know the Axion Power story inside and out!
    13 Aug 2012, 09:51 AM Reply Like
  • KentG
    , contributor
    Comments (368) | Send Message
     
    Metro, I will be on the call as well. I really would like him to answer the fleet testing question but I expect little (NDAs) and hope he will give us something on the auto front (if we can get him to start talking maybe just maybe). I will ask all three but if someone else wants to push the fleet testing question (maybe have two auto questions ready instead of one) I will ask the two related to the EOY CC statements.

     

    I hope TG covers some of this in his statements prior to Q&A.
    13 Aug 2012, 07:49 PM Reply Like
  • Stefan Moroney
    , contributor
    Comments (2662) | Send Message
     
    I am looking over the Qtr 1 CC transcript and I came across this quote in response to Merci's question:

     

    "The automotive is something that’s going forward. We haven’t
    accomplished a lot yet. We’ve accomplished proof of concept in the lab with them. We have our batteries in a few test vehicles, but we need to do more than that and again, that’s a process."

     

    Appears to indicate that they are not in fleet testing anywhere.
    13 Aug 2012, 09:24 PM Reply Like
  • metroneanderthal
    , contributor
    Comments (1511) | Send Message
     
    Also from Q1 CC transcript, page 20 Q&A, TG stated:

     

    "Okay. Hopefully, that would be the next step with the automotives, to get the product into a fleet test. That’s normally the schedule with them. It starts with bench testing on our part and then bench testing on their part and then third party testing and sometimes these are mix and match; then testing in an actual test vehicle, then a larger scale fleet test. That’s the next step with our automotives."

     

    So in May 2012, my take on TG's response is that fleet testing was the next step with more than one OEM: and if one takes into account the following statement from page 19 of the annual report where it indicates that vehicle testing is already being done:

     

    "Expanding potential customer base also applies to the emerging hybrid vehicle market. We have met with new OEM’s that are, or soon will be, producing vehicles incorporating stop-start technology. The OEM’s interest has been fueled by our recent White Paper that highlights the importance of “charge acceptance” in battery products designed for these markets. It also provides empirical evidence on the deficiencies of existing products currently used in these markets. Our long-standing collaboration with both European and US manufacturers continues as we share information and results from both bench and vehicle testing."
    14 Aug 2012, 02:12 AM Reply Like
  • Stefan Moroney
    , contributor
    Comments (2662) | Send Message
     
    Boy would it be nice to hear a general announcement stating that vehicle testing has moved to fleet testing with one or more automakers.
    14 Aug 2012, 10:26 AM Reply Like
  • Rick Krementz
    , contributor
    Comments (2821) | Send Message
     
    metro, I am not sure you will get a meaningful response regarding "how many customers?" Is BMW a customer, ie, have they actually bought (and paid for) any batteries, or has Axion supplied them as part of a joint development contract? Is RoseWater one customer, none, or several? Are there possibly a dozen very small (single battery) customers? Are there possibly a dozen auto manufacturers under NDA and can't be talked about? Are those auto firms "customers" who have actually bought something and stalled, or potential customers who may issue a multi-million dollar purchase order next week? How do you define "have some customers jumped off the Axion wagon"? A slow down in research? The R&D Director was fired for other reasons? They don't return phone calls? A potential customer is a potential customer until they file a restraining order for harassment, or you sue them.
    12 Aug 2012, 09:35 AM Reply Like
  • metroneanderthal
    , contributor
    Comments (1511) | Send Message
     
    Rick,
    "A potential customer is a potential customer until they file a restraining order for harassment..." lol
    Agree with you on the points you made. Somehow though, would like to get a feel for current customer base and if it is expanding, but don't think will get a direct answer: this darned separation of ownership and control! Just any general comments by TG could be potentially interesting. I am interested also about if other railroads or "integrators" are moving ahead with using pbc power.

     

    Another area I am going to ask about is the new patent on the current collector and coating and if they are short, medium or long term technologies to incorporate into the Pbc and what could be potential impact on performance, i.e. energy, power, charge/discharge and weight. Realize more important issue such as survival at present time, but this interests me.

     

    Hopefully the other questions on this board get asked, as it seems that a lot of questions pop up before the CC's, but then not many get asked as people have other commitments.
    12 Aug 2012, 10:38 AM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4242) | Send Message
     
    Metro, I strongly suspect your question re-number of customers is equivalent to asking for a count of system integrators Axion Power International is working with now and how that has changed (if any) over the past two years.
    14 Aug 2012, 12:22 AM Reply Like
  • metroneanderthal
    , contributor
    Comments (1511) | Send Message
     
    D-inv,
    I think that would be a good way to phrase it, while prefacing the question with something about as a shareholder it seems there has been an unsettling lack of news that is reflected in the share price.

     

    Was also hoping that a question on class 8 trucks gets asked. I got cut off at last CC because I guess I was taking too much time with too many questions.

     

    I think TG's nightmare is probably getting stuck in the seat beside me on a completely full transatlantic flight - where he would eventually take refuge in a bathroom and I would be asking him questions through the door. And when he boarded the plane I would look at him like this:

     

    http://bit.ly/PfUft4

     

    and then he would nervously realize that the seat - next to the eager-eyed Axionista - is his.
    14 Aug 2012, 02:28 AM Reply Like
  • KentG
    , contributor
    Comments (368) | Send Message
     
    I have revised my questions a little and will be ready tomorrow morning.

     

    During the EOY CC Q&A you talked about the Sept. launch of the residential Power Cube with Rosewater at the Indy CEDIA show. You said quote “we will have product out in advance of that, demonstration product and some small sales of the product on our own”. Is this scenario still possible?

     

    During the 1st qtr 2012 CC you stated that fleet testing by automotive OEM's is the next step in the testing process. Have any automotive OEM's started fleet testing as of today or have any stated plans to start fleet testing that you can discuss?

     

    In the press release you talked about how Axion has been in discussions with a new top 5 vehicle manufacturer regarding partnering with them on advanced stage testing of a two battery system. Can you give us any additional details about what “advanced stage testing of a two battery system” might include?

     

    thx
    Kent 8-)
    15 Aug 2012, 04:26 PM Reply Like
  • metroneanderthal
    , contributor
    Comments (1511) | Send Message
     
    Kent,
    Hope TG is able to provide some insight on those questions. We never know until we ask.
    15 Aug 2012, 04:28 PM Reply Like
  • KentG
    , contributor
    Comments (368) | Send Message
     
    Looking forward to the CC and discussion.
    15 Aug 2012, 04:30 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (10576) | Send Message
     
    Kent: Axion is going to provide Rosewater with a Hub (is this what they are calling it?), with all the bells and whistles for the Indy CEDIA show.

     

    I expect to be there and will provide my usual Notes And More summation.

     

    I took a look at the roster of businesses that will be there, and woweee! Perfect for a guy trying to figure how best to put together a home media/stereo/TV's, all I-Net interactive and ready to go for when in a couple of years I can ditch the set top boxes.

     

    Surely, TG will be elaborating about this in the morn.

     

    Your other Qs are great!
    15 Aug 2012, 04:59 PM Reply Like
  • LabTech
    , contributor
    Comments (1780) | Send Message
     
    So here's my question to add to the mix. I'm going to try and ask it at the CC, but I'm supposed to have a 10am meeting tomorrow, so it will be dependent on whether I get out of the meeting in time or not. Anyway, my question is this...

     

    In Axion's recent press release you reported that "in January, Axion was awarded a purchase order from Siltek, Inc. as part of their participation in a Zero Energy Building in the Washington, D.C. Naval Yard. Axion shipped and installed batteries in the second quarter and In July 2012, we completed the Siltek project for the Washington Naval Yard. The unit has been fully commissioned and tested and is currently functioning on a daily basis." If I were a possible consumer for your PbC battery, or an investor looking at the company for the first time, I might read this and think that it took Axion 6 months to fill a small scale purchase order, and wonder if you are up to the challenges of higher scale. The same might be said for the speed at which your NS order is being filled. Can you give some insight into the reasons why it took 6 months from purchase order to installation of your PowerCube at the Washington Naval Yard? Was this delay due to Axion's production speed, or due to other elements, not in Axion's control, that required you to deliver and install your PowerCube at the later date?
    15 Aug 2012, 11:43 PM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2435) | Send Message
     
    My final wordings. I plan to get back in the queue after hopefully getting in 1-3. If anyone else wants to ask 4 and or 5, that would be cool, as I'm not certain whether I'll get a second chance.

     

    Actually if you want to ask any of them before I'm up, that's cool too.

     

    1) Would you please update us on recent and expected FERC regulatory decisions and timelines and how you have seen customer PowerCube purchasing decisions affected by FERC?

     

    2) Would you please tell us who provides the inverters in the residential minicube, and what the UL certification status of the system is and how that affects timing of Axion’s expected revenue generation from that product.

     

    3) With respect to PowerCubes, would you please speak to how we should understand the resources and potentially confusing roles of Viridity Energy, Rosewater Energy, and Axion Power both from marketing and technical expertise standpoints

     

    4) I’ve watched the Philidelpha SEPTA subway train collaboration with Viridity and Saft with great interest and can’t help but believe that we could be very effective in that potentially large market. Do we have any plans to be proactive in that space?

     

    5) While the potential market for energy storage systems like the PowerCube is huge, there is significant competition from both large very well capitalized system integrators, and also public and private inverter companies, who, as being a supplier to build Axion’s PowerCubes, provide the most expensive part of such systems and as such affords those companies, in addition to their power electronics expertise, I presume the ability to set the lowest system prices. What are Axion’s competitive advantages in this market today, and how long do you see us profitably selling PowerCubes?
    16 Aug 2012, 09:52 AM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2435) | Send Message
     
    3) revised for LabTech who can't make the call:

     

    3) With respect to PowerCubes, would you please speak to how we should understand the resources and potentially confusing roles of Viridity Energy, Rosewater Energy, and Axion Power from marketing, technical expertise, and manufacturing standpoints?
    16 Aug 2012, 10:38 AM Reply Like
  • LabTech
    , contributor
    Comments (1780) | Send Message
     
    Thanks WTB. Just finally got to listen to the CC and heard all the questions that you and others asked that got to the roots of my concerns.
    16 Aug 2012, 11:18 PM Reply Like
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