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Al Marshall

Al Marshall
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  • Swine Flu, MERS And Medical News Concentrator April 8, 2014 To June 7, 2014 [View instapost]
    SMaturin: I hope the subscription works out for you. I've enjoyed and also profited from reading Mr. Smith's work.

    I've been on the sidelines with CYTK but your enthusiasm has encouraged me to look more closely at it. Also, CMT runs in my family so owning the stock would help me keep tabs on the company's progress.
    Apr 9 11:09 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Swine Flu, MERS And Medical News Concentrator April 8, 2014 To June 7, 2014 [View instapost]
    SMaturin: I do subscribe to smithonstocks. It's rather cheap at $150 and extremely so given the quality and quantity of Larry Smith's output and his background.

    He still posts a decent % of his material on seeking alpha so I strongly recommend folks to follow him here. That'll also give you the opportunity to see him spar with AF.
    Apr 9 02:53 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Swine Flu, MERS And Medical News Concentrator April 8, 2014 To June 7, 2014 [View instapost]
    Just joining this board based on Mayascribe's recommendation. Nice to see so many old friends here if you will. My biotech investments are mostly a subset of stocks recommended by Larry Smith and New World investor. Biggest holdings are NWBO and CUR with plans to hold for 5x gains (at 100% now on CUR and a little less on NWBO). So, I'm holding on to CUR despite the short-term opportunity based on runup into the presentation.

    Going forward my plan is to focus on Phase II companies and companies that are six to twelve months post-launch (with disappointing sales).
    Apr 9 01:07 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 322: Apr. 09 '14: Q4 & EOY 2013 Results & CC; CFO Resigns; David DiGiacinto Joins BoD; PV With Storage Financials; Petersen Worksheet Suggests PIPE Effects Nearing End [View instapost]
    Bloomberg tease and (link to) article on supercapacitors:

    TECH: The future of battery-powered electrical devices "lies with devices called supercapacitors," Leonid Bershidsky writes. "They are a cross between a battery, which charges slowly and holds a lot of energy, and a capacitor, which is the exact opposite, charging and discharging extremely fast."

    http://bv.ms/PRRF0s
    Apr 9 12:22 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 321: Apr. 04 '14: Q4 & EOY 2013 Results & CC; CFO Resigns; David DiGiacinto Joins BoD; PV With Storage Financials; Petersen Worksheet Suggests PIPE Effects Nearing End [View instapost]
    It seems management and the early investors are in this for the long, long, long haul if you get my drift. If we are at $1.50 in 2016 I'm sure $5 or $10 by the end of the decade would be a very real possibility.
    Apr 9 11:48 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 321: Apr. 04 '14: Q4 & EOY 2013 Results & CC; CFO Resigns; David DiGiacinto Joins BoD; PV With Storage Financials; Petersen Worksheet Suggests PIPE Effects Nearing End [View instapost]
    John: I didn't know that the self-discharge was a step function as you describe here. Given that information, I don't understand all the concern regarding the airport test and the two battery solution. It would seem that all you have to do is oversize the battery a bit (HT30 although that doesn't allow for the partial-state of charge normal operating state). Of course, that would take away a lot of the replacement market opportunity.

    Here's a long-term idea related to the partial-state of charge operation. It sounds strange, but given what is going on with vehicle tracking for safety, maintenance and insurance purposes, I believe this is already very doable. The PbC battery in hybrid cars could be programmed to top-itself up when it get near home (or an airport) in order to maximize its performance for the airport test. With GPS and a smart BMS it would be a relatively simple matter for the system to "learn" where the vehicle is normally parked for extended periods of time. Given that the PbC can be rapidly charged (although less so near capacity) this should be a relatively easy thing to do.

    I would also expected that future generations of vehicles will be programmed to learn the routes they are normally driven and will be able to make adjustments to save fuel, much like it is expected that NS is doing with its Crescent Corridor route. Actually, ePower could also incorporate such functionality into its BMS and even collect and consolidate the information from many trucks (GPS and wireless transmission are wonderful things).

    Not very important right now, but the rapid charge and discharge capability of the PbC will lend itself to these sorts of strategies more than competitive batteries. Interesting.
    Apr 8 01:23 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 321: Apr. 04 '14: Q4 & EOY 2013 Results & CC; CFO Resigns; David DiGiacinto Joins BoD; PV With Storage Financials; Petersen Worksheet Suggests PIPE Effects Nearing End [View instapost]
    jmcmean: I can pretty much tell you that whenever someone has attempted such a scenario in the past they've proven to be hopelessly optimistic. Mayascribe probably came closest to hitting the mark last September when he was questioning where the revenue will come from to enable Axion to avoid future fund raising. I agreed and still do. So, with that in mind, here's my spin:

    ePower:
    2014: $200k (the 10 trucks from the 2013 order)
    2015: $1m
    2016 $5m

    NS:
    2014: $1m (OTR prototype)
    2015: $2m
    2016 $10m

    Power Cube:
    2014: $2m (at least 1 bySolar-size order per quarter from now on)
    2015: $10m
    2016 $30m

    Automotive:
    2014: 0
    2015: 0
    2016: $2m
    2017: $20m

    Other:
    2014: 0
    2015: $2m
    2016 $5m

    Surprise events:

    2014: 50% (likely financing/JV)
    2015: 75%
    2016: 100%

    Diluted shares outstanding (year-end)/Market Cap/Share price:

    2014: 300m/$60m/$.20
    2015: 350m/$250m/$.71
    2016: 400m/$600m/$1.50

    As you can see, I think revenue build is going to be slow until we get to 2016. However, I believe if Axion can achieve these numbers that the stock will achieve significant momentum, particularly in late 2015 when we would start to see the indications of any 2016 revenue ramp. I also am optimistic that Axion will be able to raise money on better terms than the PIPE which is why I have an increase of only 100m shares this summer. Some of that will be warrants but I think the raise will net $15m or so which will be enough for another year given what I think will be an increasing burn rate. In 2015 and 2016 the raises will be much larger as Axion's cash burn further increases (due to growth) but at much, much better valuations.

    To me, the upside is the surprise event which I see as a very real possibility. This year, I think that surprise could take the form of a strategic partnership that provides Axion with cash. Given the PIPE disaster, I think Axion will be more flexible on terms with the partner and I think the potential partners will also be more flexible as they see the near-death experience Axion had due to the PIPE. Yes, if Axion folds, the PbC technology will end up in someone else's hands, but there would be delays and certainly uncertainty as to how hard or easy the new owner would be to deal with. Existing and potential partners will want to avoid that.

    I also think there will be surprise customers. One example: A year or so ago JP pointed out that the starter batteries UPS or Fedex trucks would be a logical customer for PbC batteries because at every stop the driver has to turn off the engine and restart it. This is very hard on conventional batteries and the frequent changes must be a big maintenance hassle for the companies. If you add any hybridization to these trucks that only makes the economics that much more powerful. Nevertheless, few customers want to be the first and most will wait to see what results happen with the first customers then they'll start their design phase. So, we're talking about a lot of time to build momentum, but fortunately the market will anticipate that to a significant extent.

    I don't think this is one of my better posts, but I can say this type of dreaming is fun to do.
    Apr 6 11:22 PM | 23 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 320: Apr. 02 '14: Q4 & EOY 2013 Results & CC; CFO Resigns; David DiGiacinto Joins BoD; PV With Storage Financials; Petersen Worksheet Suggests PIPE Effects Nearing End [View instapost]
    dogday: I think a reasonable etiquette for departing shareholders is to write a single comment informing the group they have sold and why. That could lead to some discussion but that discussion should be limited since the post should be about informing us rather than a back and forth effort to persuade.

    Mercy Jimenez did this very well if I recall as did Rick K. I know of others who have thought long and hard about this question as well.

    I view this discussion board as a community of sorts. Yes, we all want to make money but in order to make money there has to be an element of trust. Trust gets you through the ambiguities which, no matter how much you know about a stock are rampant.

    A person who's read hundreds of JP's articles might look at his last article differently from a person who hasn't read any of his previous work. When iindelco writes something on this board, you know you should read carefully because he has a long history of strong and measured input.

    I also think that this board is about the people who are lurking but aren't invested. If a potential investor feels s/he is reading an objective discussion about AXPW then it is more likely they'll believe what they are reading and eventually invest. Existing shareholders will also be more likely to stick around in spite of bad news. This last point is huge. To a large extent I view this board as a support group and wouldn't still be in the stock if it weren't for this board.

    Finally, as we build trust amongst each other we share non-Axion ideas with each other. I just learned about Focal Point Analytics Swine Flu and Medical News Concentrator from another Axionista. Good stuff I would otherwise have missed.

    Yes, you have to expect existing investors to talk their book but we should aspire for more than that and I think that will go a long way towards the eventual success of this endeavor that Mayascribe started several (soon to be "many") years ago.

    In other words, take the long view. Stefan does more for you and your investment than any of the cheerleaders on this board.
    Apr 4 02:11 PM | 15 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 320: Apr. 02 '14: Q4 & EOY 2013 Results & CC; CFO Resigns; David DiGiacinto Joins BoD; PV With Storage Financials; Petersen Worksheet Suggests PIPE Effects Nearing End [View instapost]
    Reading through some links that I believe Stefan provided provided some interesting reading which I'll discuss below.

    This article included a one para summary on a Kauai storage project as well as the link to the RFP published by Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (also below).

    http://bit.ly/1jFZ6mt

    I couldn't follow all of the RFP but enough to be helpful. Over the next year solar will increase from a peak of 1/3 of mid-day electricity to over 90%. They have two big challenges as a result of this. First, what to do with excess production during the day as the conventional power plant's minimum output is about 10 MW and the ramp up into the early evening peak of 65MW. Essentially they want to store afternoon power and shift it 4-6 hours. There is a nice graphic. The other problem is the moment to moment fluctuation in solar output due to clouds. A 1 minute resolution chart of a 6MW output solar project shows dozens of multi-megawatt fluctuations and probably a dozen 4-5 megwatt fluctuations with a peak of 2 such fluctuations in a minute (ie 10MW by their measure). They currently have 4.5MW of battery systems to help with that but that won't be enough when they add two 12MW solar installations over the next year.

    Although these solar projects will probably complement each other to some extent, and thus the need for additional storage would not be linear, it would seem that this would be a 10MW opportunity for PbC-type batteries, all in a 60MW system on an island of 70,000 people.


    http://bit.ly/1jFZ6mv
    Apr 3 02:42 PM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 320: Apr. 02 '14: Q4 & EOY 2013 Results & CC; CFO Resigns; David DiGiacinto Joins BoD; PV With Storage Financials; Petersen Worksheet Suggests PIPE Effects Nearing End [View instapost]
    Edmund: My "name calling" was intended only as humor since I think few of us would think of JP as a wide-eyed optimist but even he thought NS had put the batteries in another locomotive that was being tested elsewhere out of the limelight.

    If I had a problem with John I'd reach out to him directly just like I have so many times when I've had questions and issues. Every time he has graciously taken my calls and patiently answered my questions even when it was clear that I didn't agree with him.

    As far as the Norfolk Southern progress goes I did acknowledge the progress implied in the patents but also placed it in the "two birds in the bush" category. Agree or disagree as you wish.

    If you took the time to look at my posting history I think you'd have a hard time finding a case where I ever attacked anyone personally, and that includes Tom Granville. What you will see is someone who is attempting to make a positive contribution to this board by looking critically and objectively at each issue and writing relatively few but in-depth (at least long) comments. You may think I'm a bear and I'm OK with that. But if you look, you'll see plenty of instances where I make bullish points as well.

    I really appreciate the statements some folks wrote down below in the thread.
    Apr 2 10:38 PM | 20 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 320: Apr. 02 '14: Q4 & EOY 2013 Results & CC; CFO Resigns; David DiGiacinto Joins BoD; PV With Storage Financials; Petersen Worksheet Suggests PIPE Effects Nearing End [View instapost]
    Valleywood: Permit me to argue the "bear" side if you will.

    First, the stock was down a penny or two on the 10K alone before the call started so the call did result in roughly a 10% increase in the share price.

    We exit the call with the very strong indication that there will be at least one powercube sale by mid-May. While the 45 day time period is shorter than the "it won't be 6 months" date mentioned in the last call, they essentially cover the same time frame. Therefore, we should think of it as TG doubling down on the promise he made last fall. That's good but not earth-shaking if you believed him in the first place.

    The fact that NS confirmed that it is delayed and has provided a new timeline is also moderately good news. That is partially offset by the dashed hopes (even JP that great hopium smoker himself) that the program was moving ahead under secrecy. So, yes, having a date is a positive, but it also confirms that Norfolk Southern moves at a glacial pace. Actually, that's probably unfair to glaciers since we're looking at 2 years from the time they placed the order for the batteries and when they'll actually put them in the prototype unit to begin operational testing.

    Not part of the call, but I'm sure you know way better than the rest of us that once the 999 becomes operational they aren't just going to run it around for a few weeks and declare success like they did last time and place an order. My guess is that the over/under for the testing period will be a year. On the flip side, the new patent information indicates to me that NS may be dramatically increasing its expectation of the potential for electrification in its business. So, long-term VG but over the next year all we have to look for from NS is a possible single OTR sale.

    To me, those two items were the key items from the call that could impact the stock price in the short-term. Nothing new came from ePower and that total lack of mention of automotive certainly indicates that the entire industry, not just BMW, is not being counted on for anything.

    To me, that adds up to little more than a relief rally that there wasn't really any bad news. When you couple those two points with the lack of automotive progress and the 10K statement that the flooded contract is going to start to wind down I can see the stock essentially ending up where it was going into the call as a victory of sorts.

    To me, this last point is of great importance, especially when combined with Maya's point from last summer about margins and revenue growth.

    Axion's burn rate of $1.5m to $2m per quarter would likely be significantly higher if it weren't for the flooded contract. If we assume 20% margin on the roughly $8m in flooded business, that is $400k per quarter (remember because EP supplies the materials that $8m is just for labor and overhead).

    If Axion has 25% margin on the PbC then to make up for that contract the company would have to sell $1.6m of PbC's each quarter or nearly 2 megawatt hours of powercubes, which is equal to six bySolar deals. To get to break-even, we're talking more like 6 - 8 megawatts hours of powercubes each quarter. My point being is that the 10K and call in total indicated to me that Axion very likely will experience a decrease in revenue in the coming quarters as the toll business declines before PbC ramps.

    Some will argue that the new EP factory won't be coming on line until year-end and thus Axion won't experience a decline in flooded revenue until 2015. My bet is that TG wouldn't have put it in the 10K right now but instead would have waited until the 4Q quarterly report when nobody would care because the ramp in PbC revenue will have already started.

    Personally, the call was enough to give me a feeling of relief because I had feared we were headed back down to $.10 based on the 10K.
    Apr 2 04:41 PM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 319: Mar. 31 '14: Q4 & EOY 2013 Results & CC; CFO Resigns; David DiGiacinto Joins BoD; PV With Storage Financials; Petersen Worksheet Suggests PIPE Effects Nearing End [View instapost]
    RBrun: I was also intrigued by the statement that investor-based entities are now in the customer base. I interpreted that as being the bySolar project and assume a group of investors have set up an entity to invest in these sort of projects which may be set up to partner with industrial or commercial customers as I think was done with co-generation facilities.

    The commercial partner would provide land and some payment for guaranteed backup power (and green credibility) while the investor-based entity would bear the cost of the project and make its money primarily from frequency regulation but also from selling the solar power and monetizing the backup power while taking advantage of the tax breaks.

    The extra boost from the free land and the backup power might boost the ROI to the 20% range. If the investor-owned entity can lever up their equity with significant low-cost debt (presumably this will become increasingly possible as the technology and business model become more proven) the returns can get extremely strong.

    Playing out this scenario, of course, as the technology and model become more established and competitive, the auction process will serve to bring down the ROI to a "normal" profit level.

    The wrinkle in this would be the first mover advantage in natural monopoly situations (where one provider can satisfy the needed amount of frequency regulation).

    I find it very interesting. Any Axionistas familiar with the PJM frequency regulation market who'd care to share information?
    Apr 2 12:04 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 319: Mar. 31 '14: Q4 & EOY 2013 Results & CC; CFO Resigns; David DiGiacinto Joins BoD; PV With Storage Financials; Petersen Worksheet Suggests PIPE Effects Nearing End [View instapost]
    JP: I'm with mayascribe on his comment about your 6:04pm note. Investors, including Axionistas have been buying and holding well over 100m shares.

    If TG needs a strong share price and he can't deliver results then maybe he needs to make a change in his approach to Axionistas.

    The basics with regard to the conference calls and actually answering questions would be a nice start. Providing straightforward answers to questions rather than splitting hairs and making misleading statements would also help. Honest timelines would be most important. An ounce of respect would also be nice. Since he doesn't have institutional investors maybe he could treat us the same way he would treat an institution.

    We are doomed if TG shows the same creativity in managing battery technology that he demonstrates in managing his decidedly unconventional share holding base enabled by the new communications technology.

    Tom Granville needs to lead. I think he should cut the BS and speak straightforwardly to us. If he has to apologize to a potential customer for saying too much, so be it. If they walk away then too bad for them. CEOs have to balance the needs of multiple constituencies. TG doesn't seem to understand that he has to manage his investors. He's lucky the market cap is as high as it is.

    I'm really ticked.
    Apr 1 01:21 AM | 20 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 319: Mar. 31 '14: Q4 & EOY 2013 Results & CC; CFO Resigns; David DiGiacinto Joins BoD; PV With Storage Financials; Petersen Worksheet Suggests PIPE Effects Nearing End [View instapost]
    Remember, the cube is not the entire system. Going back to the model that Axion released on January 31st, the storage system costs $225k per 100kwh. The Princeton Power press release from January 21st (link below) states that the system has 300kwh of PbC batteries so, if true, the storage portion of the Bysolar project should cost in total $675k. If it's 400kwh then $900k.

    The January 31st information from Axion indicated that the sample system with 400kwh of storage would generate $115k/year of frequency regulation income vs. the 10k which says the installation will generate $108k. If Princeton Power is right on the quantity of batteries then the frequency regulation revenue per kwh is $360 vs. $287.50 from the Axion January 31st announcement. Again, if the Princeton Power release is correct (it was issued first) then you can see that the Axion release didn't use the real numbers for the bysolar project.

    Now, given that the Bysolar contract netted Axion $320k. If it is 300kwh then it could be roughly 600 30HT-sized batteries, which at $357 each would be $214k for batteries or 2/3 of the contract. If it were 400kwh or 800 batteries then the batteries would make up $285k of the $320k contract. Maybe iindelco or 3 could provide an informed estimate based on the other aspects of the project, if this hasn't already been determined.

    I think this means that the IRR for bysolar is roughly the same or even higher than I calculated in my spreadsheet derived from the January 31st press release.

    I'll close with a quote from the Princeton Power press release, which you all probably have seen although I'll admit I haven't because I sometimes get lazy and don't click on all the links...Busted.

    “When configured for frequency regulation, the Princeton Power Systems 500kW inverter combined with Axion’s 300kWH
    battery creates a revenue-generating backup power system,” said Darren Hammell, Chief Strategy Officer and Co-
    Founder, Princeton Power Systems. “The investment in the system will be repaid within five years while providing the
    assurance that power will always be available should the grid be impaired.” [I calculated a 4.4 year payback in my model based on the January 31st press release].


    http://bit.ly/1gj0Soa
    Apr 1 12:14 AM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 319: Mar. 31 '14: Q4 & EOY 2013 Results & CC; CFO Resigns; David DiGiacinto Joins BoD; PV With Storage Financials; Petersen Worksheet Suggests PIPE Effects Nearing End [View instapost]
    bazooooka, not to ruin your day but I think the page 5 statement below implies that the toll contract volume will decline. Do notice that the way it is written may make one think that PbC will offset the decline but it doesn't actually say that.

    "As 2014 progresses, we expect a decline in our lead-acid battery production and an increase in the production of our PbC batteries."
    Mar 31 06:31 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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