Third Quarter Earnings: Biofuels: Gevo, Solazyme, and Amyris

Jim Lane SZYM, AMRS, GEVO check in with Q3 results. What’s heavenly, what’s hellish? In years gone by, it was not too hard to write up a summary of Gevo (GEVO), Solazyme (SZYM) and Amyris (AMRS) all aimed at fuels, all in the development stage, all used synthetic biology in closed fermenters, all had big backers ranging from brand-name equity partners to big-time strategics, all went public in the same 2010-11 IPO window. These days, much more complex. It’s a jungle of production costs, average selling prices, offtake deals, LOIs, and MOUs. Following them...

Rentech Retrenches

by Debra Fiakas CFA Clean energy solution provider Rentech, Inc. (RTK:  NYSE) is scheduled to report second quarter 2012 results the first week in August.  Usually the seasonally strong period, this year the June quarter has shareholders sweating.  That is because the warm weather conditions sent farmers out into fields earlier than usual to prepare fields.  Orders for fertilizer products from Rentech’s East Dubuque, Iowa facility were coming even before the end of the March quarter.  The net effect was to pull sales forward.  The question now is whether June will now present...

Rentech’s Wood Saw Hits a Knot

by Debra Fiakas CFA Last week Rentech, Inc. (RTK:  NYSE) revealed plans to idle its wood pellet production facility in Wawa, Ontario Canada.  To operate efficiently the plant requires additional repairs and upgrades beyond the replacement of conveyors that was completed in Fall 2016.  Beside the fact that the additional repairs were not included in the regular capital budget, Rentech management has apparently determined the expenditure is not economic given profits from Wawa.  When Rentech reports financial results for the fourth quarter ending December 2016, shareholders will be treated to an asset impairment charge for the Wawa facility....
biofuel dispenser

List of Biofuel Stocks

Biiofuel stocks are publicly traded companies whose business involves transportation fuels or any other form of liquid fuel made from plant or animal feedstocks (also called biomass).  Included (but listed separately) are ethanol and biodiesel stocks. Algae-Tec, Ltd. (ALGXY) Amyris, Inc. (AMRS) Andersons Inc (ANDE) Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Calyx Bio-Ventures Inc. (CLX.V) Ceres, Inc. (CERE) Codexis, Inc. (CDXS) Dyadic International (DYAI) Dynamotive Energy Systems (DYMTF) Gevo, Inc. (GEVO) Green Earth Technologies (GETG) GreenHunter Energy (GRH) Greenshift Corporation (GERS) Metabolix, Inc. (MBLX) Neste Oil (NEF.F,NESTE.HE,NTOIY,NTOIF) Novozymes (NVZMY) Rentech (RTK) Viral Genetics, Inc. (VRAL) If you know of any biofuel stock that is not listed here or in the lists of ethanol or biodiesel stocks, and should be, please let...

The Rocky Road to Biofuels Heaven

Codexis chief out, Ceres IPO delayed Jim Lane Ceres delays IPO (again); Codexis CEO and enzyme guru Alan Shaw resigns. In California, visionary industry leader Alan Shaw resigned as CEO of Codexis (CDXS) and the Ceres IPO, scheduled for last Thursday, did not occur and has yet to be rescheduled as of press time. The Ceres IPO remains on the NASDAQ calendar. At the same time, Ceres said that current shareholders had indicated that they would purchase up to 1 million shares in the company’s upcoming IPO, and the company warned that severe drought conditions...

Controlling Feedstock Costs Creates Value in Biofuel Companies

Jim Lane Companies creating opportunities in feedstocks are getting lots of love from investors, and giant downstream partners like BP and Shell. What’s up in the new upstream? It has not escaped the attention of investors that Renewable Energy Group’s (REGI) IPO resulted in a $262 million valuation for a company actively earning $2.11 per share through the sale of 200 million+ gallons of biodiesel, while Ceres recently increased the target for its IPO to a valuation above $500 million, despite being, in essence, a pre-revenue company. What gives? The secret, it turns out, is in feedstock. In...

The Dew Drop Inn Who’s Dropping in What in Biofuels?

Jim Lane Dew Drop Inn, Hathern.  © Copyright Chris J Dixon and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence. B20, B5, B100, E10, E22, E85, Bu12.5, HEFA 50 Is your head swimming with acronyms and blend ratios? Who exactly is making drop-in fuels, and what does that mean? “Drop-in” a spectrum more than a spec when it comes to renewable fuels. In the world of alternative fuels and transport, there are two types of technologies that are highly controversial:...

Alaska Airlines and Gevo to Demonstrate Alchohol-to-Jet Fuel

In Colorado, Gevo (GEVO) and Alaska Airlines announced a strategic alliance to purchase Gevo’s renewable jet fuel and fly the first-ever commercial flight on alcohol-to-jet fuel (ATJ). The demonstration flight is expected to occur after Gevo receives ASTM International certification for its fuel, sometime in mid to late 2015. Gevo has been working through the rigorous ASTM process for six years, which includes extensive engine testing and data analysis by all of the major original equipment manufacturers to establish the specification for this drop in fuel. Once approved, this fuel can be seamlessly integrated into the existing distribution...

Linc Energy: Making Synthetic Crude From Coal Downunderground

by Debra Fiakas CFA Gas-to-liquids is back on my radar screen after an article appearing in early March 2015 on Biofuels Digest described progress Emerging Fuels Technology (EFT) has made in perfecting the Fischer-Tropsch process to convert carbon-based feedstock to liquid fuel, otherwise called Gas-to-Liquids.  Fischer-Tropsch often referred to as FT for short is a series of chemical reactions to convert carbon monoxide and hydrogen into liquid hydrocarbons.  The reactions are triggered by a catalyst, usually cobalt or iron, and managed under high temperatures in a chamber or reactor.  Some might consider it a neat trick...

Why We Can’t Take Our Eyes Off Gevo

Jim Lane  So, feel the bioeconomy backbeat and let the music flow. AY-YI YI-YA AAAY, Gevo (GEVO) just can’t stop dancin’. (Whoops, that was Becky G‘s Can’t Stop Dancin’, not Gevo’s.) But there’s something so cool in that technology that we can’t take our eyes off the company and its progress, even though looking at the balance sheet can feel like watching a car crash in slow motion. This week, Gevo executed a series of moves including signing up its first direct customer for hydrocarbons for the proposed expansion of its Luverne, Minnesota plant. The highlight was a...

Ethanol Blends: High Octane, Low Carbon, High Controversy

by Jim Lane, Biofuels Digest For every ethanol blend everywhere these days, there seems to be a war on. A war in India over 22% blends. A war in Brazil over exactly what baseline blend ratio (somewhere int he 20s) is ideal. A war on in Europe to roll back first-gen ethanol to around 2% blending. A war in New South Wales, Australia over whether there should be any ethanol mandating at all. A war in the US as conservatives aim to haul belnding down to 9.7% while ethanol producers have clearly aimed at a 15% baseline blend. And so on and...

The Biofuel IPO Pipeline: Delays, Shifts, and Accelerations

Jim Lane In this two-part series, we look at the IPO market for industrial biotech stocks. Today, we look at 10 companies in the IPO queue right now. Who’s been revising their prospectus, and what does that mean? In Part II of our series, we look today at Ceres, Myriant, PetroAlgae (PALG.PK), BioAmber, Elevance, Genomatica, Enerkem, Mascoma, and Fulcrum Bioenergy. In Part I, yesterday, we looked at the performance of the six IPOs to date in the aftermarket, and at important changes in Coskata’s recent filings. Ceres: delaying its IPO Headline news from the world of...

An Interesting Way To Play Cellulosic Ethanol

Last Friday (Feb. 2), the Globe & Mail's business section (the G&M is Canada's top national newspaper) ran an interesting piece by a senior business writer on cellulosic ethanol. I wish there was a way to view this article for free, but, unfortunately, the G&M charges for access to certain of its articles, and this is one of them. The gist of the argument is as follows: (a) forget corn-based ethanol, the future lies with cellulosic (yyaawwnn...); (b) deep down inside, Bush knows this; (c) to make cellulosic ethanol competitive, you need super-enzymes that speed up the process...

Green Plains Bets on Ethanol Recovery

by Debra Fiakas CFA Last week the Chief Executive Officer of Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc. (GPRE:  Nasdaq), Todd Becker, revealed during conference calls following its quarter earnings report that the company has been in discussions to sell ethanol to industrial users in Mexico.  It is news that could be music to shareholders ears.  U.S. storage tanks are brim full of ethanol as producers like Green Plains stock pile inventories waiting for better selling prices.  Green Plains has made claims to Mexico sales before, but has never revealed customer names or volumes.  None were named...

Codexis: a 5-Minute Guide

Jim Lane Address: 200 Penobscot Drive Redwood City, CA 94063 Year founded 2002 Annual Revenues: $107 million (2010) Company description: Codexis serves major worldwide markets where clean technology can make a positive economic and environmental impact. Codexis CodeEvolver ™ directed evolution technology accelerates development of high value sustainable products. Our focus is on the cost-effective conversion of renewable resources into transportation fuels, pharmaceuticals and biobased chemicals, and on the development of new technologies for effective air and water treatment. Stock: CDXS; NasdaqGS Type of Technology(ies): Directed evolution – CodeEvolver™ directed evolution...

Ethanol Producers Vs. California Air Resources Board

by Debra Fiakas CFA Sometime back Poet, LLC, the private producer of ethanol based in Sioux Falls, SD (my home state), filed a lawsuit against the State of California, strenuously objecting to rules related to ‘carbon intensity’ adopted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) When the dust settled, the California rules were still standing and Poet skulked off to the appeals court.  The appeal was filed this week in the California’s Fifth Appellate District in Fresno. Originally approved in 2009, California’s ‘low carbon fuel standard’ (LCFS) is aimed at sorting apples and oranges in the renewable...