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  • Energy Conversion Devices Moves Sideways [View article]
    Three points:

    1. Can an exploding US PV market save ENER?

    The California Solar Initiative public database keeps detailed statistics about installations and proposed installations for non-utility PV solar in California (California accounts for about 50% of the US PV market) - these are very reliable data, as they are used by the State to disburse incentive money. According to those data, ENER's share of the California non-utility PV market has been 0.1% (yes, zero point one percent) in
    the past year (and ENER has ZERO presence in utility-scale PV
    projects in California). ENER's market share has been rapidly declining - it used to be about 5% several years ago, and about 0.2% in 2009. Therefore, regardless of the growth in the US PV market, ENER is simply missing in action in the United States. Unless management can provide investors with detailed account of their US sales by state, one should take their statements about the promise of the US PV market with a BIGGER grain of salt.

    2. To whom does ENER loan money and sell products?

    The Winch VIE discussed in the Mr. Lofing's analysis is headed by Mr. Nicholas Wrigley, the former Chairman of Helms Finance SGR, the hedge fund placed under forced liquidation by Italy's Finance Ministry in 2009.

    3. How was the gross margin improvement (lower cost of manufacturing) achieved?

    ECD's management changed the method of accounting for costs a few months ago (they "automated" their calculations), purportedly to address the material weakness in their internal controls identified by the auditors. How much of that gross margin improvement was due to the "new method" of cost calculations? Note that ENER management have now guided for cost increase in the current, March 2011, quarter.
    Feb 17 01:03 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Shining a Light on Solar's Fundamentals [View article]
    ENER has never, I repeat, NEVER, generated positive free cash flows on an annual basis in its 51-year history, and it will not do so in its remaining 3 years (at most) to bankruptcy. ZenPrime software is not ready for prime time, it seems.
    Jan 30 12:50 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Energy Conversion Devices: Profitability Through Impairments [View article]
    markeetomarket: No need to spend much time to find "problems," as you know very well given that you have been lurking around for at least a year. The auditors have done the work for you and me. They issued an adverse opinion on ENER. Which other companies issue false press releases, secretly modify a press release AFTER it has been issued, have discrepancies in the SEC filings, and have an adverse opinion by the auditors?

    Now, if all companies "stretched the truth" as you suggest, then that indeed would be pretty creepy, no?
    Dec 2 09:37 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ascent Solar: Using the Sun to Take the Market by Storm [View article]
    javko: According to ASTI's 10Q filing, "[revenues] for the three months ended September 30, 2010 included $176,000 of product sales." Given that their products are still illegal to sell for grid-connected BIPV (they are missing IEC 61730 or UL 1703 certifications), most likely the "products" sold were EIPV modules to be used in portable/off-grid "solar chargers" (unfortunately, there they compete directly with crystalline PV cells, which are much more efficient and much cheaper to manufacture).

    Regarding patents: In the PV solar business, patents are essentially worthless - it is a commodity business where costs of manufacturing and execution trump any "technological" advantage. Plus, the flexible PV segment is already really crowded - the competitors include Unisolar, Xunlight, Fuji, Powerfilm, Solarion, PVflex, Solarion, SoloPower, Global Solar, etc - all losing money and likely out of business within 3 years. The real problem for Ascent is that one can buy more-efficient and cheaper-to-make flexible PV "laminates" from some of those other guys.
    Nov 23 12:38 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ascent Solar: Using the Sun to Take the Market by Storm [View article]
    henry2070: Happy birthday and thank you for providing the definition. Now, here is what I learned about how efficiency is calculated:

    homepower.com/files/PV...

    The WSLB-0420-024-ST-06 module is 1.950 meter long and 0.33 meter wide, and is rated 42 Watts. Thus, it is 6.5% efficient [ 42/(1.950 * 0.33 )/1000 ].

    For comparison, the Unisolar's PVL-144 module, in production for three years, is 6.7% efficient.

    Would you now please apologize for your false accusation?
    Nov 18 08:57 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Ascent Solar: Using the Sun to Take the Market by Storm [View article]
    It is not true that "Ascent received certification for its CIGS line of solar panels." Ascent received an IEC 61646 certification for JUST ONE OF THEIR "PANELS," the 6.5%-efficient WSLB-0420-024-ST-06 module:

    www.ascentsolar.com/si...

    Therefore, Ascent's installation manual appears deceptive, as it claims on page 5 that modules WSLB-0042-024-ST-06 and WSLB-0046-024-ST-06 are certified:

    www.ascentsolar.com/si...

    And, therefore, Ascent's datasheet appears deceptive, as it claims that WSLB-045-24 is certified:

    www.ascentsolar.com/si...

    With just a 6.5%-module-level efficiency, Ascent is obviously not a "an industry leader" or "America’s strongest contender." And, of course, "a deal that could be worth billions" has to wait until Ascent 1) obtains an IEC 61730 or UL 1703 certification first, 2) miraculously lowers cost of manufacturing to less than 80c per Watt today (and less than 60c per Watt in two years).
    Nov 17 06:37 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Energy Conversion Devices: Profitability Through Impairments [View article]
    Dear MR.Mark:

    I know you are "ready to listen" to me. Unfortunately for you, the auditors slapped ENER with an adverse opinion. Are you "ready to listen" to them?
    Oct 26 01:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Energy Conversion Devices: Profitability Through Impairments [View article]
    Seeking the truth is aberrant behavior?

    If it were a common typo, why didn't ENER management issue a regular correction to the newswire (like they have done in the past, and like they are supposed to)? Why alter just the content on their investor relations site and on uni-solar.com without notifying investors? The only way to "fix the obvious typo" was to issue and disseminate a correction. That "someone" did not do that. As result, investors relying on ENER's official newswire are led to believe that "USOJN will import solar cells from United Solar's sister plants in Michigan and assemble them into 5.2 meter long 144 kWp flexible solar laminates at the Tianjin facility." So, either that someone's action was authorized by management, or it wasn't. If it were, management have to explain why the press release was secretly "fixed" on ECD/Unisolar site only but was kept with the "typo" on the newswire. If the action was not authorized, management have to explain why the serious security breach was not disclosed to investors.

    A common typo, by the way, does not explain the adverse opinion by ENER's own auditors.
    Oct 26 08:37 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Energy Conversion Devices: Profitability Through Impairments [View article]
    Again, there is no conspiracy, there is no half truth, and there is no theory.

    Re: NYKE: If indeed NYKE purchased 500kW from USOJN, then where is the demo installation scheduled for completion by mid-July, 2010? NYKE have shown pictures of their recently completed 200kW non-Unisolar project (see photos taken in September nykejn.com/Html/NewsVi... ). Where is the picture of the Unisolar system?

    Re: Press release: Who could have made "a correction" of a press release on ENER's own investor relations site (hosted at shareholder.com) and on Unisolar's web site ( uni-solar.com ) other than ENER's management? A rogue employee? A hacker? Why would a rogue employee or a hacker change only one ENER press release? Or are others changed, too? Altering a press release without management knowledge and authorization surely constitutes a material event. If management is aware of the unauthorized alteration, why hasn't the management issued an 8K to report it to the SEC and investors? If management is still unaware of the alteration, does it mean they don't even read their own press releases? So, here are three alternatives: 1) management intentionally and secretly altered a press release, 2) management is unaware of the alteration, which was unauthorized, even five months after the alteration occurred, or 3) management is aware of the alteration, which was unauthorized, and has failed to inform investors about the security breach. Pick one!

    ENER has never generated positive free cash flows on an annual basis in its 50 year history, and has relied on shareholder dilution for survival, but now ENER has debt due 2013. ENER's management is behaving as expected.
    Oct 25 10:19 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Energy Conversion Devices: Profitability Through Impairments [View article]
    There is no conspiracy. ENER's management issued an important press release (one that quoted the US Commerce Secretary and described a 500kW, that is,. $1 million+, sale). Then ENER's management secretly altered the press release. Moreover, the so-called "customer" never mentioned any 500kW purchase in their own flashy news release (or subsequently).

    Here are some more details:

    ENER's management simply altered the press release at investor.shareholder.c... without notifying investors and/or the wire services, sometime between 21 MAY 2010 and 28 MAY 2010, as evidenced by "notarized" copies generated by an electronic archiving service, and the original press release submitted to GlobeNewswire.

    Also, ENER's press release insisted that "United Solar Ovonic entered into an agreement with NYKE Solar Integrators, a Chinese solar integrator, for the sale of 500 KW of UNI-SOLAR® PV laminates for installation on NYKE's Solar Technology Demonstration Center and manufacturing facility as a demonstration project ... scheduled for completion in mid-July, 2010." NYKE, however, in their own announcement, stated only that it "signed an agreement with U.S.-based United Solar Ovonic to cooperate further in the development of solar technology as well as expansion into international market." Since then, NYKE have made several announcements, including a completion of a 200KW BIPV system and a 8MW rooftop project win, but not one of those announcements mentions any 500kW or Unisolar project.
    Oct 24 11:51 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Energy Conversion Devices: Profitability Through Impairments [View article]
    Here is a meaningful fact: ENER's own auditors have issued an adverse opinion, stating that there is "a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of [ENER's] annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected." ( see pages 47, 97 and 98, sec.gov/Archives/edgar... )

    Here is another meaningful fact: ENER's management secretly altered a press release from its original language, instead of issuing a correction to the wire services. The original ( www.globenewswire.com/... ) stated "144 kWp," while the secretly altered one states "144 W" ( www.uni-solar.com/unit.../) - that's a difference of a 1000x.

    So much for half-truths, leaps, and wrong conclusions.

    And while we are at it, how does ENER's management explain the fact that NYKE Solar Integrators had these great pictures of the US Commerce Secretary, yet did not mention any 500KW purchase agreement in their news release?

    www.nykejn.com/Html/Ne...
    Oct 23 05:42 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Energy Conversion Devices: Profitability Through Impairments [View article]
    Michael, you would be interested to know that I have documented numerous tiny unexplained discrepancies in the company's SEC filings since the new CEO came on board, ranging from geographic distribution of revenue, to cash flows, to inventories, to operating income. And you probably noticed that the company's CFO left earlier this year (now they have an interim CFO, a bankruptcy expert). But did you notice that stealth bankruptcy reorganization (aka "debt exchanges") as disclosed in the recent 8Ks?

    Regarding that "Hybrid-Nano" (that "should increase efficiency to 12% by the end of calendar year 2012") - it is a scam. Just read this 1985 press release (yeah, 25 years ago) in which the current solar business' Chairman, Mr. Guha, promised a 12.2% efficiency in large-area production shortly: docs.google.com/View?i...

    By the way, the company's CEO promised in 2007 a 152-154 Watt module (7.1% efficient) with the same area as the PVL-144, for delivery in 2008 - never happened. Today's most efficient module sold by the company is still the 6.7%-efficient PVL-144 (see page 15 here: docs.google.com/filevi... )

    Oh, and the company issued two false press releases last week, claiming that the "new" Powershingle "is the first ever, UL-approved, standard production residential solar module roof shingle available for the U.S. photovoltaic marketplace." That's clearly untrue, as SHR-17 was "the first ever, UL-approved, standard production residential solar module roof shingle available for the U.S. photovoltaic marketplace" until it lost its UL certification and became illegal to sell in the US.

    All this is just the tip of the iceberg, of course.
    Oct 20 11:21 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Five 'Green' Stocks Set to Rebound [View article]
    ENER's future is far from green.

    First, the auditors slapped them with an adverse opinion (see the 10K), stating that there is "a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of [ENER's] annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected."

    Second, the company is undergoing a stealth bankruptcy reorganization (read those 8Ks!) - the shareholder ownership is being transferred to the bondholders in a series of "bond exchanges" (which has the side effect of supplying plenty of shares to the shorts, just like the way a toxic convert works).

    Third, the company issued two false and misleading press releases last week, claiming the "new" Powershingle is "the first ever, UL-approved, standard production residential solar module roof shingle available for the U.S. photovoltaic marketplace." Clearly not true, as SHR-17 was the "the first ever, UL-approved, standard production residential solar module roof shingle available for the U.S. photovoltaic marketplace." Not a good sign.
    Oct 18 02:19 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Energy Conversion Devices Likely to Remain Stuck in the Mud [View article]
    But Mr. Dwinnell:

    Even their own auditors claim that there is a reasonable possibility that whatever results ENER's management has "posted," they could be materially misstated. Didn't the auditors express their opinion clearly in the 10K?

    Stocks move up or down for all kind of reasons in the short term. ENER is a volatile, illiquid stock - iVolatility.com estimates the "mean" implied volatility over 70%, meaning the implied daily volatility is over 4%, meaning that there is about 15% probability that the stock will be up over 4% (and about 15% probability that it will be down over 4%) on any given day. Traders do all kind of crazy, noisy things.

    But, true, the stock does remain "stuck" indeed - the question is, how long before the stealth bankruptcy reorganization that's going on makes it unstuck. Toxic converts (or equivalents) make things unravel pretty quickly - but you already knew that.
    Oct 13 04:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Energy Conversion Devices Likely to Remain Stuck in the Mud [View article]
    Dear Mr. Dwinnell:

    Are you mad? What positive developments? Did you even read the 10K? As I mentioned in my previous comment, even ECD's auditors have expressed an adverse opinion, stating that there is "a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of [ECD's] annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected." Hello?

    In the mean time, the company issued TWO false and misleading press releases this week, claiming that their PowerShingle is the "first ever, UL-approved, standard production residential solar module roof shingle available for the U.S. photovoltaic marketplace." That is patently false. Because SHR-17 was the "first ever, UL-approved, standard production residential solar module roof shingle available for the U.S. photovoltaic marketplace" - and it has been around since 1998, until it lost its UL certification and became illegal to be put on customers' roofs in the US.

    The stock is sitting less than $1.50 above its 25-year lows, while the company is engaging in a stealth bankruptcy reorganization (transferring shareholder ownership to the bondholders - read those 8Ks!). You call those positive developments?
    Oct 13 09:41 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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