Amyris Aims For Huge Second Half

Jim Lane The Pharaohs of Farnesene continue to pick up momentum. In California, Amyris (AMRS) reported a net loss of $35.5M for the second quarter of 2014 on sales of $9.3M, with a 5.4 percent increase in sales over Q2 2013. Renewable product sales were $4.4M for the quarter, while “Recognized grants and collaborations revenues” reached $4.9M. In announcing results, the company highlighted: • End of quarter cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments balance of $90.2 million. • Lowest farnesene production costs to date and successful start of fragrance molecule production. • Addition of Braskem as a...

American Refining Group Joins Amyris And Cosan In Renewable Base Oil JV

Jim Lane IIn California, American Refining Group has committed to a 33.3% equity investment into Novvi , a joint venture of Amyris (AMRS) and Cosan (CZZ). Both Amyris and Cosan will continue to hold share ownership stakes in Novvi, together with ARG. It’s not a tiny market by any means. The global markets for base oils and lubricants, are expected to reach $42 billion and $70 billion in size, respectively, by 2020, according to Amyris. For ARG: Why Novvi, why now? Think novel performance. It goes in two directions. First, there’s low-carbon performance customers want...

Spring Blossoms: Amyris First Quarter Earnings

Jim Lane Lily flowered tulip 'Maytime' photo by Tom Konrad In California, Amyris (AMRS) announced net income of $16.4M on revenues of $6.2M for Q1 2014, after reporting a $32.6M loss in Q1 2013 on revenues of $9.0M. The change in net income was primary due to a non-cash benefit relating to outstanding convertible notes, a result of a decrease in the Company’s stock price at 3/31/14 compared to the stock price at 12/31/13. In a release accompanying the results, the company highlighted that it: Achieved combined...
oil price spurs biofuels

The Return of Advanced Biofuels

by Jim Lane For several years now we have seen a significant number of players pivoting from biofuels towards smaller but higher-value markets in chemicals, nutrition,  nutraceuticals, pharma, materials, flavorings, fragrances, cosmetics and more. We’ve reported on the proliferation of applications both in the Digest and in What’s Nuu? and indeed there’s been so much that’s Nuu, it’s been dizzying at times with all the spinning and twirling. Capital costs and policy uncertainty have played their part, but the foot on the pedal for many has been oil prices. The scale of operations to compete with oil prices in the 2014-2017 period...

Biobased and Biofuel Investments: A System

Jim Lane A Biofuels and Biobased investment primer: An 18-combination, 8-character system for classifying bio investments Here’s our investment primer on how to size up the risks and the rewards and tune them to meet your goals. And, a system for organizing opportunities. So, you’re thinking about investing in bio? Here’s the good news – you’re not alone. Here’s the bad news – you’re not alone. There are retail, private equity, hedge fund, sovereign wealth, strategic, grower, VC and institutional investors snooping around too, and making active investments. For one thing, carbon’s making a comeback as the...

BioAmber: Fingers Crossed

by Debra Fiakas CFA Plastic is everywhere  -  our homes and offices, the cars we drive, our personal items, food containers and even our dental fillings.  Plastic is also toxic.  Dioxins, BPA (bisphenol A) and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl), both of which are critical chemicals in plastics, have been identified as endocrine disruptors, upsetting hormonal balance, triggering the growth of tumors and interfering with sexual development in fetuses. Even people who deliberately avoid plastics are exposed to the toxicity.  For example, we ingest BPA when eating fish that lived in waters contaminated with plastics.  Remember that ‘island’...

Ramp-Up Delay Sends Solazyme Stock Into Free-Fall

Jim Lane Revenue and customer numbers are up at Solazyme (SZYM), 60% YOY growth from Q3 2013 to Q3 2014. But a slowdown in the rollout at Moema capacity leads to a spectacular 58% one-day drop in the stock price. What happened? Solazyme has been on a relatively steady downward trajectory for the past few quarters, dropping from the $11-$13 range and down into the $6-$8 range. And then plunged a stunning 58 percent to $3.14 yesterday – amidst downgrades by Cowen & Company, Pacific Crest and Baird generally to Market Perform or Neutral, and remains...

Solazyme: Now, Express Yourself in the oils you choose.

Jim Lane In an on-time arrival, Solazyme starts up at 500,000 liter scale in Clinton, Iowa.  In California, Solazyme (SZYM) announced that commercial operations have commenced at both Archer Daniels Midland Company’s (ADM) Clinton, Iowa facility, and the downstream companion facility operated by American Natural Products in Galva, Iowa. Highlighting the flexibility of Solazyme’s technology platform, Solazyme, ADM and ANP have successfully manufactured three distinct and unique tailored oil products at the facilities, and products are currently being sold and distributed in both the U.S. and Brazil. Volumes shipped to Brazil are being utilized for...

Biobased’s Hot Babes Hook Up

Comet, BioAmber in big cellulosic sugar partnership Jim Lane In Ontario, Comet Biorefining has signed an off-take agreement with bio-succinic acid producer BioAmber (BIOA) for cellulosic dextrose from Comet’s upcoming first commercial plant in Sarnia, Ontario. The dextrose will be produced from agricultural residues using Comet’s innovative technology. The agreement also provides increasing shape to the development of an biobased industrial cluster in the Sarnia region of Ontario a corn-growing region where farmers will provide agricultural residues which will be processed into industrial-grade cellulosic dextrose by Comet. In turn, BioAmber will be the offtake partner for those...

Amyris: 90 Days To Build The Future

Jim Lane In California, Amyris (AMRS) reported Q1 revenues of $13.0M compared with $8.8M for Q1 2016, and touted the “significant increase in product sales, primarily in the personal care and health and nutrition markets, offset by a slight decline in collaboration revenue.” Collaboration revenues contributed $4.7M and product sales added $8.3M for the quarter. Big Q1 miss vs analyst expectations As Jeff Osborne at Cowen & Co noted, “Amyris reported revenue of $13.0mn, well below our estimate of $37.1mn due to much lower collaboration payments than we had anticipated. Management has highlighted that these payments can...

Amber Means Caution But BioAmber Means Go

Jim Lane In Canada, BioAmber (BIOA) recorded net income of $4.8M for Q2 2016 and an operating loss of $1.0M on revenues of $2.5M. Revenues were up 73 percent over Q1 and 637 percent compared to Q2 2015. For those less familiar with the company, it produces succinic acid from sugar at a first commercial-scale plant which opened recently in Sarnia, Ontario. Succinic acid has a small existing global market but can be converted into a variety of chemical building blocks used to produce a range of plastics, paints, textiles, food additives and personal care products. If for...

Amyris, Cosan JV Launches 100% Renewable Base Oils

Jim Lane Portrait of a breakout: Amyris (AMRS), Cosan (CZZ) JV Novii launches “next generation of revolutionary oils” touting “unmatched value” and “unbeatable economics” In California, Novvi unveiled two new 100 percent renewable base oil products, a 100 percent renewable polyalphaolefin (PAO) Group IV and a 100 percent renewable version of its NovaSpec Group III+ base oil. Both will be manufactured at the company’s production facility in Houston. Base oils are blended with additives to make the engine oils and lubricants sold on the market today. So, here’s the technical scoop. Novvi’s 100 percent renewable...

The Velocity of Amyris

Jim Lane What makes Amyris (AMRS), Amyris? We look at the products, the evolution of the story, the partners, the focus on yield, and deeper into the story of Rate. “I mean, man, whither goest thou? Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?” “Whither goest thou?” echoed Dean with his mouth open. We sat and didn’t know what to say; there was nothing to talk about any more. The only thing to do was go.” Jack Kerouac, On the Road Amyris experienced last month what CEO John Melo referred to as “our...

TerraVia: No Going Back

Jim Lane   At the outset of his historic Conquest, Cortés gathered the men and burned the boats. As TerraVia jettisons its break-out industrial product line and completes the pivot to Food, what lies ahead in the New World? Gromeko: They’ve shot the Czar. And all his family. Oh, that’s a savage deed. What’s it for? Zhivago: It’s to show there’s no going back. Dr. Zhivago In California, TerraVia (TVIA) recorded a loss of $27.4M for Q2 2016 on revenues of $9.9M as the company made milestone announcements in its transition from industrials to nutrition including...

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...

Solazyme’s Detours on the Way to Algae Biofuel

by Debra Fiakas CFA Investors who took the time to read my last two posts on algae-based biofuel – “Algae Takes Flight” and “Emission Standards Driving Aviation Fuel Sourcing”  -   might have wondered why there was no mention of Solazyme, Inc. (SZYM:  Nasdaq).  California-based Solazyme has been pursuing algae-based oils for transportation since 2004, and managed to record its first product sales in 2011.  However, that revenue was not from biofuel. On the long road to finding a scalable and efficient way to get renewable fuel from algae, Solazyme scientists found an interesting extract...
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