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Biofuels & Biobased Earnings Roundup: Novozymes

by Jim Lane The Top Line. In Denmark, Novozymes (Copenhagen:NZYM-B; OTC:NVZMY) reported 4% organic sales growth for the first half and a 5 percent jump in Q2 with bioenergy reporting a 14% jump. Overall, net profit grew 5% and the company affirmed its 2018 guidance. Sales dipped to DKK 7,018m from DKK 7,278m, and EBITDA was flat at DKK 2,464m, although we primarily attribute that to currency shifts. The Big Highlights. Growth in Food & Beverages and Agriculture & Feed; Bioenergy particularly strong. Good ramp-up of recent product launches. +7% organic sales growth in emerging markets; Freshness & hygiene platform in Household Care developing according to...

Gevo Raises Money After Win At Supreme Court

Jim Lane Following just one day after a big win in the Supreme Court and a corporate update last week, Gevo (GEVO) announced that it intends to offer and sell, subject to market and other conditions, common stock units. Each common stock unit will consist of one share of common stock, Series A warrants to purchase a certain number of shares of common stock and Series B warrants to purchase a certain number of shares of common stock. The units are to be sold by Gevo subject to market and other conditions in an underwritten public offering. Update!...

Corn Ethanol Emissions Savings Skyrocket

Jim Lane In Washington, an explosive new peer-reviewed report from ICF found that greenhouse gas emission reductions from typical corn-based ethanol production have soared to 43 percent compared to 2005-era gasoline. The report projects that by 2022, corn-based ethanol will achieve a 50 percent reduction, and could reach “76 percent in 2022 if there is more widespread adoption of optimal crop production and biorefinery efficiency.” The report, issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, based its revolutionary emissions math on a November 2014 study by researchers at Iowa State University, which found that farmers around the world have...

Will Trump Bump, Thump, Or Dump The Renewable Fuel Pump?

Jim Lane  “Trump Reiterates Support for Ethanol, RFS” is the major headline to come out of the National Ethanol Conference in San Diego, which is the Renewable Fuels Association’s annual conflab and as usual produced a flurry of studies, keynotes and statements on the viability and importance of US ethanol to everything from American jobs to advanced American manufacturing. The Trump headline came out of a letter sent to the delegates to the event by President Trump which itself is a hopeful sign of support. But did the President really offer support for the Renewable Fuel Standard?...

Codexis and Shell Redraw the Advanced Biofuels Map

Jim Lane Codexis, Shell redefine relationship; Codexis gains global rights; will lay off 133 staff; adopts anti-takeover measures; what does it mean for Shell, Raizen, Iogen, Codexis and Dyadic? What does it say about strategic investors in advanced biofuels? In California, Codexis (CDXS) announced that Shell has granted Codexis a royalty-bearing, non-exclusive license to develop, manufacture, use and sell cellulase enzymes developed under the companies’ Amended and Restated Collaborative Research Agreement. The scope of the New Agreement is worldwide, except Brazil, for enzymes used in the biofuels field. Codexis already has exclusive rights to commercialize its cellulase enzymes...

FutureFuel, Present Buying Opportunity

Tom Konrad CFA FutureFuel Corp. (NYSE:FF) manufactures chemicals, biofuels (mostly biodiesel), and other biobased products.  About 60% of revenues have historically come from the Chemicals unit, with the balance of 40% coming from the Biodiesel unit. Both units saw sharp declines in revenues over the last two quarters for reasons that seem likely to be temporary (at least in part.)  The stock has sold off sharply as a result, falling from the $18-$21 range this spring to its $12 recent price Biodiesel The entire biodiesel industry has been suffering from the expiration of the biodiesel blender's tax...

Supreme Court Sides With Gevo In Patent Dispute

Jim Lane In Washington, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Gevo’s (NASD: GEVO) favor and overturned an earlier Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on the interpretation of key patent claims. On April 11, 2013, the Delaware District Court (District Court) entered a final judgment of non-infringement in Gevo’s favor following the acknowledgment by Butamax Advanced Biofuels LLC (Butamax) that Gevo does not infringe Butamax’s asserted patents under the District Court’s construction of a key claim term in Butamax’s Patent Nos. 7,851,188 and 7,993,889. At the time, Butamax appealed Gevo’s victory, and a US Court of Appeals in...

Advanced Biofuels, Ahead of Schedule for Gevo

Jim Lane Next-gen, commercial scale biofuels debut in Minnesota – is the deck cleared for the isobutanol pioneer to soar? Not quite yet, with litigation and production ramp-up pending, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel. In Colorado, Gevo (GEVO) announced it has begun startup of the world’s first commercial biobased isobutanol production plant located in Luverne, Minn. “At 1 p.m. MDT yesterday we made history by initiating production of biobased isobutanol at commercial scale,” said Dr. Patrick Gruber, CEO of Gevo. “One year ago, we broke ground with a startup goal of less than 12...

The Proof in Ceres’ Pudding

by Debra Fiakas CFA Judging by stock prices, investors have decided Ceres, Inc. (CERE:  Nasdaq) is the favorite horse in the cellulosic ethanol race  -  at least among those that have publicly traded stocks.  Ceres develops and sells sorghum, switch grass and miscanthus seeds to feedstock growers that supply cellulosic ethanol mills. The stock is selling for a buck and change, which is far more impressive that the stocks of most companies that could be included in the “cellulosic biofuel” sector. Ceres announced fiscal second quarter 2014 results at the beginning of this month.  The company...

Gevo: Isobutanol Lottery Ticket

by Debra Fiakas CFA The last time renewable chemicals developer Gevo (GEVO:  Nasdaq) was featured in this forum in August 2014, the stock was looking quite oversold around $0.50 per share. The stock had recently taken a tumble after management sold 30 million shares of the company’s common stock at $0.60 a share at the end of July 2014.  The plan was to use the $19 million in new capital to upgrade a production plant in Minnesota to better produce renewable isobutanol along with ethanol fuel.  Isobutanol is a popular solvent used widely in industrial applications. ...
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Rapidly Growing Alternative Energy Companies

The last post highlighted several companies in the alternative energy, conservation and environment technology fields that have delivered exceptional price performance over the last year.  Prospects for growth in sales or earnings appeared to be key drivers of the price movement.  It makes sense to seek indicators of growth as cues for those companies that may become tomorrow’s price movers. Crystal Equity Research’s novel alternative energy indices were a good place to go on a ‘quest for growth.’ Beach Boys Index  -  Biodiesel The two analysts who publish estimates for Renewable Energy Group (REGI:  Nasdaq)apparently expect a surge in growth in the current year followed by a leveling...

Advantage Biodiesel

By Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA Because of rising fertilizer prices, farmers are planting more soybeans than corn.  Soybeans are a legume, meaning that they can fix their own nitrogen in the soil, meaning that they need less nitrogen fertilizer, the price of which is spiking due to rising natural gas prices.  Corn, in contrast, needs more nitrogen than most other crops.   High gas prices are rising because of Putin’s war on Ukraine, which is also preventing Ukrainian farmers from planting this year’s wheat crop, while sanctions are likely to disrupt wheat supplies from Russia as well. Corn and (to a lesser extent,...

Renewable Energy Group Raises $72 Million in Biodiesel IPO

Jim Lane In Iowa, the Renewable Energy Group IPO priced last night, and the company’s shares began trading Thursday on NASDAQ under the REGI symbol. The company sold 7.2 million shares at $10 per share, well below its midpoint target of $14 per share announced last week, with total proceeds of up to $82.8 million if all over-allotments are covered by underwriters. Without over-allotment sales, the offering will raise $72 million. UBS Securities LLC and Piper Jaffray & Co. are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering. Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated and Canaccord...

Visual Comparison of Alternative Transportation Fuels

I've recently agreed to do a of couple presentations on "Investing In Green Energy" at conferences this October, and so I've decided it's time to update and expand on some graphs I constructed this spring: I created a pair of graphs which give an overview of how different electricity generation technologies compare.  These are not precise graphs with anything resembling scientific accuracy, but I think they're a useful too for understanding the strengths and weaknesses of various technologies.   This is my attempt to do the same for transportation fuels.  Note that I'm really only talking about cars and trucks...

EPA Issues On-time, Robust Renewable Fuel Standard For 2017-18

Jim Lane In Washington, the US Environmental Protection Agency released the 2017 renewable fuel volume obligations (and the 2018 volume obligations for biomass-based diesel), with a strong push beyond what has been termed the “blend wall” and stimulating refiners to implement more “cost-effective changes at their refineries to blend more renewable fuel.” The agency finalized a total renewable fuel volume of 19.28 billion gallons, of which 4.28 BG is advanced biofuel and 311 million gallons is cellulosic biofuel. Thus, the implied RVO for conventional biofuels like corn ethanol will be 15BGup from the 14.8 BG proposed in May. “Renewable...

Brew-ha-ha: Is Amyris’ Brazillian JV Over?

Jim Lane In a Brazilian securities filing, with respect to the Joint Venture between São Martinho and Amyris (AMRS), Sao Martinho reports “the non-achievement of certain contractual targets by Amyris, impacting the viability of the project. Thus, Sao Martinho decides not to approve the continuation of the Joint Venture Plant construction with the US company Amyris Inc. and its Brazilian subsidiary Amyris Brazil Ltda.” The company did not elaborate as to which contractural targets were not achieved by Amyris. In the filing, Sao Martinho added: “Amyris may provide new information regarding the project feasibility in...
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