Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko

Editor's Choice

  • Special Dividends Can Be Especially Destructive

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - December 3, 2012 | Tickers: COST, DDS, LVS, WMT, WLK | Editor's Choice

    The Bush Tax Cuts, which began in 2003, are due to expire at the end of 2012. It’s not really as apocalyptic as the mainstream media makes it sound; several taxes are simply returning to pre-2003 levels (Reminder: investors with sound strategies still made money before 2003). That hasn’t given pause to the 173 companies that are offering special dividends to shareholders (up 137% from 4Q11). You have more »

  • The Future Contains Lots of Pulp

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - November 29, 2012 | Tickers: UFS, ECL, IBM, IP, LMT | Editor's Choice

    “Ben, just one word. Are you listening? Plastics.”

                                                                                        -Mr. McGuire in The Graduate (1967)

    The infamous movie quote came after Ben was asked what he planned to do with his future. He wasn’t very upbeat about the lack of direction in his life, but you should have a much clearer investment strategy. And it should probably include the next game-changing, world-transforming material: nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC).


    Yes, NCC should more »

  • What the Bioeconomy Means for Investors

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - November 27, 2012 | Tickers: AMRS, CERE, LIFE, MON, MYGN, SZYM | Editor's Choice

    On April 1, the White House released the National Bioeconomy Blueprint (opens PDF) that outlined the importance of transitioning health/life science, chemical production, agriculture, and other industries into the 21st century. Yes, it was April Fool’s Day. No, the White House wasn’t joking.

    Despite being lost in the midst of an election year the message was clear: an American bioeconomy can transform the world. The report more »

  • Can Raytheon Turn Iron Into Gold?

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - November 26, 2012 | Tickers: LMT, RTN | Editor's Choice

    You may not realize it from the storybook views of the profession, but the fabled alchemists of history gave rise to modern-day chemistry and the scientific model we still use today. Sure, the millions of attempts at creating the Philospher’s Stone – which was believed to have the power to turn base metals into gold and silver – came up empty-handed. But perhaps we were looking in the wrong place all more »

  • It's the Efficiency, Stupid

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - November 13, 2012 | Tickers: ANR, ACI, GEN, NRG | Editor's Choice

    I find it a bit comical that an election that virtually neglected energy – in the debates, on the campaign trail, at the voting booths – is now being blamed for a “War on Coal.” Privately-held Murray Energy, citing the Electoral College’s final tally, has thrown a public temper tantrum by firing 163 workers. Murray isn’t alone. In the last year the entire coal industry has been shaken up by more »

  • The Only CAFE That Makes You Lose Weight

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - November 6, 2012 | Tickers: AA, F, GM, MGA, ZOLT | Editor's Choice

    In late August the White House and EPA announced that new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards had been finalized. The new laws will bind automakers to flaunt fleets with an average fuel economy of 54.5 mpg by 2025. The average for 2011 model years was just 28.6 mpg. In English: this will be no easy (or inexpensive) feat. 

    Yo car so fat it wishes it was made more »

  • The Road to Profits in 2020

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - June 11, 2012 | Tickers: CLNE, KRA, NRG, TSLA | Editor's Choice

    Question: What accounts for 10% of domestic GDP production and is the fifth largest employment industry in the country?

    Answer: transportation.

    It is another blatantly obvious part of everyday life that resides in the family of non-obvious investments. But think about it -- Vast transportation networks contribute to economic growth around the world in countless ways, which makes investments tied to the industry a great way to make steady, long-term gains more »

  • Domestic Oil Production is a Marathon, Not a Race

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - June 4, 2012 | Tickers: HES, MRO, STO | Editor's Choice

    There are numerous articles detailing the production potential of the Bakken formation, the Eagle Ford formation, the Marcellus Shale formation, the Woodford Shale in Oklahoma, and other rejuvenated domestic oil plays. How are investors supposed to keep up with developments with so many numbers – sometimes contradicting – being published? What is the best way to jump into the new onshore United States oil boom?

    Three companies that have been actively increasing more »

  • The End of Moore's Law

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - May 30, 2012 | Tickers: AMD, INTC, NVDA | Editor's Choice

    Most people are familiar with Moore’s Law, which states that computer chips double their capacity about every 18 months. But how many people know that it will one day cease to exist? That’s because real laws, such as those that govern physics, will overtake Moore’s Law sometime in the 2020’s. In his new book Physics of the Future theoretical physicist Michio Kaku describes exactly why this more »

  • Who Says Money Doesn't Grow on Trees?

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - May 30, 2012 | Tickers: UFS, IP, RFP | Editor's Choice

    It may never occur to you to invest in a paper company. There is probably a good chance you never looked at a paper product and wondered how it was made or where it came from. That’s because it is so seamlessly integrated into every aspect of everyday life, from paper towel rolls to parking tickets. That of course makes it a good candidate for a steady investment.

    Let more »

  • A Supercomputer Company? That's Cray

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - May 29, 2012 | Tickers: CRAY, INTC, NVDA | Editor's Choice

    You might think that supercomputers are the stuff of crazy government research labs and that no straight-thinking company would ever target such a complex and surely sparse market. But you would be wrong, of course. With major advances in high performance computing (HPC) in recent years that “sparse” market has grown quite a bit. Worldwide revenue for large-scale HPC systems -- defined as those that sell for more than $0.5 more »

  • Beware Facebook, Hubris Killed Sustainable Chemicals

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - May 22, 2012 | Tickers: AMRS, CDXS, FB, KIOR, SZYM | Editor's Choice

    A lot of attention has been paid to Facebook’s (NASDAQ: FB) IPO. Is the social media giant overvalued? The answer is clear to Peter Cauwels and Didier Sornette, entrepreneurial risk analysts at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, who have published their detailed valuation tools for social media companies. The duo believes Facebook is really only worth about $30 billion. With overvaluation fresh in mind, I want to more »

  • When a Minnow Swallows a Whale

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - May 22, 2012 | Tickers: DGI, GEOY | Editor's Choice

    Investors and analysts are keeping a close eye on the acquisition battle being played out between satellite imaging companies GeoEye Inc. (NASDAQ: GEOY) and DigitalGlobe Inc. (NYSE: DGI). Most of the “experts” seem to believe that smaller GeoEye is out of its league for countering a DigitalGlobe takeover bid with one of its own. According to Yemi Oshodi, managing director of mergers and acquisitions and special situations at WallachBeth Capital more »

  • How to Profit from the World's Sweet Tooth

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - May 20, 2012 | Tickers: ADM, BG, CZZ | Editor's Choice

    The future is sweet for sugar, which is good news if you are an opportunistic investor. Its use has increased mightily in recent years in two major ways: as an alternative feedstock for chemicals and fuels and as an ingredient in foods and beverages. Analysts and experts have touted an inevitable sugar economy in Brazil as the primary explanation for their bullish views. If the United States ever makes the more »

  • When Slashing a Dividend is the Right Move

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - May 14, 2012 | Tickers: FRO, VLCCF, NAT, TK | Editor's Choice

    There is more to income investing than chasing high yields. For instance, does a company have a steady history of paying its dividend? Is the dividend sustainable with future earnings potential? These questions and others need to be answered before jumping into any investment because, let’s face it, no one wants to wake up to the unexpected slashing of a dividend.

    However, there are times when dividend slashing is more »

  • Time to Bakken to a Hess Position

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - May 14, 2012 | Tickers: HES, MRO, STO | Editor's Choice

    Despite the rosy projections heralding the Bakken formation as the United States’ Holy Grail of energy investors, we found a rare piece of bad news when Hess Corp. (NYSE: HES) announced that their wells would produce below the previously expected 60,000 barrels per day (bpd) by year end. The news kept shares downward in a slide that began in late February.

    That can be great news when you consider more »

  • What Does Iogen's Fate Mean for Codexis?

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - May 8, 2012 | Tickers: CDXS, MRK, RDS-A, SZYM | Editor's Choice

    Last week Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS-A) and industrial enzyme producer Iogen Corporation announced that plans to build a 10 million gallon per year (MMgy) cellulosic ethanol facility in Manitoba, Canada would be suspended. Since 2004 Shell has invested an estimated $500 million into the joint-venture, named Iogen Energy. The most recent agreement began in mid-2010 and was due for reevaluation in 2012 after the proposed process (opens PDF) was more »

  • A Non-Obvious Investment in Natural Gas

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - May 7, 2012 | Tickers: GLNG, GMLP, GASS, TK, TGP | Editor's Choice

    Investing in a company before the crowd sees value in its products or services not only makes you look like a genius, but can generate steady returns and help to anchor your portfolio for years. Just ask Warren Buffett. When investing in the natural gas industry it may be easy to narrowly consider rig and well owners or liquid natural gas (LNG) operators, but in a market with historically low more »

  • Export Natural Gas, Import Profits

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - May 1, 2012 | Tickers: LNG, COP, SRE, SUG | Editor's Choice

    On most occasions the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s report on energy consumption and production projections conjures up little more than a yawn. Every once in a while, though, something such as horizontal drilling comes along and turns every projection on its head. The administration’s latest report projects that shale gas will represent half of the total dry gas produced by 2035, up from 23% in 2010 and more »

  • Will Codexis Cash-In on Cellulases?

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - March 19, 2012 | Tickers: CDXS, DD, NVO, RDS-A, SZYM | Editor's Choice

    Today we further explore the importance of enzymes in the sustainable chemicals industry. Codexis (NASDAQ: CDXS) is currently producing CodeXyme™ cellulase enzymes, which they and partner Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS-A) are hoping can capture a significant share of the $10 billion cellulase market in 2020. There are several reasons to believe the company’s cellulase products will be successful – the most important being its licensed C1 technology.

    The C1 more »

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