Monthly Archives: March 2014

Finavera Wind Energy: Bak From The Dead

Tom Konrad CFA Disclosure: Long FNVRF, short PEGI $30 and $35 calls, $20 and $25 puts. The Good News Finavera Wind Energy (TSXV:FVR, OTC:FNVRF) shareholders have had a long and trying wait for the sale of its wind projects to Pattern Energy Group (NASD:PEGI) since the deal was announced in December 2012.  The timeline has slipped repeatedly, two of the projects proved impossible to permit, and there have been questions about just how large the remaining ones would be.  The long silence since the company’s interim financial update last November has probably led many investors to give the company...

SolarCity: Overpriced or Opportunity?

Does SolarCity (SCTY) look like a good investment at current prices? The most recent financials released by SCTY fills out the picture of how this unique company performed for 2013. Do the numbers justify the outsized stock performance, which has risen 222% in the past 12 months, and 384% since its Initial Public Offering in December 2012? Or on the other hand, are recent filings more reflective of the 42% drop since the highs of a month ago? This article will follow the data to see where this distinctive energy stock stands now, and forecast where this...

Gevolution 2014: Gevo’s Progress, And Detours

Jim Lane This week, Gevo (GEVO) reported its year-end results, generally in line with expectations, with a $0.35 loss per share and $24.6M in the bank. Given the company’s rate of progress with isobutanol, the cash burn rate, the low share price, and high prices for ethanol the company announced that it is “transitioning the Luverne plant to the production of both isobutanol and ethanol…Producing both ethanol and isobutanol allows Gevo to fully utilize the Luverne plant and increase cash flow as Gevo continues to commercialize its isobutanol production capabilities.” “Our original vision was to focus...

Solazyme Launches Biodegradable Encapsulated Lubricant For Drilling Market

Jim Lane Enters oil & gas drilling market with world’s first encapsulated lubricant. Solazyme: “Targeted delivery technology provides improved performance and sustainability.” In California, Solazyme (SZYM) announced its entry into the oil and gas drilling fluids additive market. Building upon its proprietary platform of high performance, sustainable Tailored oils, Solazyme has introduced Encapso, the world’s first encapsulated biodegradable lubricant for drilling fluids designed to deliver high-grade lubricant precisely at the point of friction where and when needed most. At the same time, the company announced its intent to offer $100M in aggregate principal notes due in 2019 and...

Our Investments Matter

The stocks and mutual funds we own have a real effect on the behavior of the companies we choose (not) to invest in.

China, EU Reach Solar Settlement But More Defaults Loom

Doug Young China and the European Union have reached a new settlement that should formally end their ongoing dispute over solar panels, contrasting sharply from a more confrontational tack taken by the US in a similar spat. Meantime in other solar news, a looming new bond default by a mid-sized panel maker has become the latest sign that Beijing is prepared to let more of these smaller companies miss their debt payments. That approach will force these smaller firms to either leave the industry or sell their money-losing operations to larger peers, in a much-needed industry consolidation....

AMSC Consolidates US Wind Operations To Focus on Europe

Meg Cichon AMSC (NASD:AMSC) will shutter its manufacturing facility in Middleton, Wisconsin by the end of 2014, but hopes to fold its product development operations and employees that are willing to relocate into its headquarters in Devens, Massachusetts, which recently underwent a workforce reduction. While it consolidates its U.S. workforce, AMSC plans to open a new wind turbine controls manufacturing facility in Timisoara, Romania in 2014, which will serve all of its clients outside of China. Its Chinese facility will continue to cater solely to China customers. With this move, AMSC corporate communications manager Kerry Farrell said it has...

The Pros’ Clean Energy Picks: Solar Dominates, Emerging Markets Drag

I check in with professional green money managers Shawn Kravetz, Garvin Jabush, Jan Schalkwijk, and Rafael Coven to see how their fourteen top picks for 2014 are doing.

As KiOR Stumbles, Aemetis Soars: What Made The Difference?

Jim Lane Is it just coincidence that KiOR’s stock is down sharply as Aemetis has been on a tear?  Just a lucky break for ethanol based on attractive “crush spreads”? Or something important about the strategy and how it has played out? On a clear morning last October at ABLCNext in San Francisco, two companies joined us on stage to discuss their technologies, and their pathway to commercialization. They had a lot in common. Both companies produce advanced biofuels for the American domestic market. Both utilize advanced technologies deployed at commercial-scale in the past 24 months. Both...

Will Outsized Solar Stock Returns Continue?

By Harris Roen Any way you slice it, solar investing has been on a tear for the last year. Of the 69 solar stocks that the Roen Financial Report tracks, three quarters are up for the year. On average solar stocks have gained 85% for the year, with 60% of solar companies up in the double digits. What is most impressive is that the top 17 solar stocks are all up in the triple digits, and one, Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ), is up 903%! This article will look at who these outsized performers are, what...

Atlantic Power: Not So Clean

Atlantic Power (AT) presents itself as a "clean" electricity generator. People who don't consider natural gas "clean" will disagree.

Can KiOR Continue As A Going Concern?

Jim Lane Delayed 2013 results includes going concern statement. Future Khosla financing contingent on milestones. Default looms as soon as April. Financing after August unclear. In Texas, KiOR (KIOR) announced a $347.5M net loss for 2013, and issued a “going concern” statement that focused on its ability to raise future capital to sustain operations and build its next plant. In a 10-K filing with the SEC made today, the company said that “Currently, we have ceased work on a series of optimization projects and upgrades at the Columbus facility and are bringing the facility to an idle state,” and...

Gevo: Are We There Yet?

by Debra Fiakas CFA The renewable chemicals and biofuel company Gevo, Inc. (GEVO:  Nasdaq) is scheduled to report fourth quarter 2013 financial results on March 25th.  Analysts have a couple of weeks to prepare questions for management during the earnings conference call.  Top on the list has to be got to be about Gevo’s recent agreement to license its novel isobutanol technology to Porta Hnos of Argentina.  Porta Hnos is a well established ethanol producer so if the license is consummated, it is expected that this partner has the ability to execute on plans to produce isobutanol for...

Toyota’s Asset Backed Green Bond: This Is Big

Sean Kidney Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM) will close mid-next week on what will be the world’s first green bond backed by auto loans – electric vehicle and hybrid car loans to be specific. And what a kickstart for that market, at $1.75 billion. According to a report in International Financing Review (IFR), the bond will be in multiple tranches, each at a different ratings level: A2 tranche, A3 and A4 (Moody’s ratings). First thing to know: they told the media a week ago it would be a US$774.675 million bond. Rumour has it that initial investor interest...

A Dangerous Game Of Us vs. Us Played With Our Life Savings

Tom Konrad CFA US law requires that money managers put their clients’ interests first. Investment advisers and money managers almost universally assume this means that they must try to make as much money for clients as possible. If your job is all about money, this can seem like a natural interpretation. More money is better, right? For others, equating making money to serving clients’ interests seems like a very narrow view of the world. If Tracy is saving for retirement, she obviously wants to have enough money to pay for it. She also wants to be healthy enough...

Turning Conventional Battery Tech into Unconventional Profits

by Debra Fiakas CFA Near the end of February 2014, Highpower International (HPJ:  Nasdaq) announced its first order for large-format lithium ion batteries to use in electric vehicles. Its customer, Huizhou Yipeng Energy Technology will be integrating the batteries into buses destined for the sales outlets of China-based manufacturers. The boost in sales for Highpower is likely to be meaningful.  Management estimates each bus will use as many as 288 of the company’s 20-ampere-hour battery.  Guidance for annual sales from Huizhou Yipeng alone is in a range of $4 million to $5 million.  In the most...