• The Good Idea, Horrible Investment Paradox

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - December 3, 2012 | Tickers: DDD, AMRS, FSLR, JCI, SSYS

    One sobering reality of investing is that not every company with the potential to change the world is a great investment. All good investors realize this at some point, some through costly mistakes of their own (my hand is raised). Initially, it is difficult to rationalize how this can possibly be true. A company that makes it to the public market has surely survived the “big” problems in product development more »

  • Continuing Challenges in Biofuels

    By Joshua Bondy - December 1, 2012 | Tickers: AMRS, GPRE, KIOR

    Biofuels promise energy independence and local jobs. Sadly such promises have not played out exactly as was hoped. The ethanol craze came about and the resulting pressure on corn prices and the world's food supply soured investors’ opinions on the technology. As the price of crude came off of its highs of $150 per barrel investors became more conservative. Higher input prices and lower revenues are not encouraging trends more »

  • Fuel Your Portfolio With This Undervalued Energy Company

    By Adam Levy - November 28, 2012 | Tickers: AMRS, REGI, SZYM | Editor's Choice

    Should there be any question that biofuels will play a significant part of the United States’ future? In the first year of President Obama’s first term, the EPA released revisions to the National Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. Among the revisions, the most important to note is an increase in the volume standards for biofuel, with required volume increasing to 36 billion gallons of total renewable fuel in the 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 »

  • When Scaling up Brings You Down

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - November 26, 2012 | Tickers: AMRS, CDXS, GEVO, KIOR, SZYM

    Despite sky-high hype before their IPOs and the honeymoon periods shortly thereafter, nearly all sustainable chemical producers trading on the public market are deep in the red today. The capital intensive and headache-filled task of scaling up has been met by Mr. Market’s valuation catapult with a one-way ticket back to reality. Investors who fell to the Siren Song of these greentech IPOs are now (wrongly) questioning the viability more »

  • Pinned on Paradise

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - November 18, 2012 | Tickers: AMRS, SNY, SZYM, TOT

    Once upon a time Amyris (NASDAQ: AMRS) was the darling of the sustainable chemicals industry. It was championed by legendary VCs Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Vinod Khosla, who individually suggested they transition from malaria wonder-drug artemisinin to impurity-free, drop-in diesel fuel. That suggestion catapulted the company into the center of the biofuels conversation just a few short years ago and created a vision that, through investor’s eyes, remains more »

  • Take a SWOT at Renewable Energy Group

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - November 14, 2012 | Tickers: AMRS, REGI, SZYM

    It is easy to get overwhelmed by a sea of information when researching a potential investment. What is noise? What really matters to the long term prospects for an investment? Remember, when you buy shares in a company you own a piece of that company – not just a three to five-letter ticker on the other end of your login page. A great way to organize your research is to perform more »

  • Solazyme: A Lesson in Patience

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - November 6, 2012 | Tickers: AMRS, BG, CVX, KIOR, SZYM

    I have given the investment community targeted warnings about Solazyme’s (NASDAQ: SZYM) valuation in February ($14.34 per share), March ($15.13 per share), May ($9.71 per share), and August ($13.50 per share). Despite these words of caution I have been constantly drowned out in a sea of overconfidence and opinions that shift to fit the situation at the moment. Now I know how Kyle Metivier feels more »

  • Who Needs Fracking When You Have DNA?

    By Robert Zimmerman - October 6, 2012 | Tickers: AMRS, BP, COG, DD, SZYM

    Without a doubt, one of the biggest things to hit the US energy market is hydraulic fracturing.  This technology has allowed domestic oil and natural gas production to soar.  Investors in gas producers like Cabot Oil and Gas (NYSE: COG) have profited nicely from the development of so-called shale gas.  COG has risen from $15 to $43 in two years.  The company claims to have 14 of the top 20 more »

  • Should your Portfolio have Greentech Stocks?

    By Kevin Gill - August 16, 2012 | Tickers: AMRC, AMRS, CDXS, CVA

    Renewable energy sources will have to replace traditional and non-renewable sources more and more if urbanization and current American lifestyles are to continue, no less the improvement of lifestyles (i.e. increased energy consumption) in emerging countries.

    The wise investor sets aside personal leanings and emotional factors to objectively assess any yield potential from any given form of stock or even a whole sector. Whether or not you’re the more »

  • Don’t Let Solazyme’s Bright Future Blind You to Risk

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - August 8, 2012 | Tickers: AMRS, ARCO, MAKO, SZYM, TRLG

    What better way to come back from a two-month writing hiatus than to ruffle the feathers of a religious group of investors? The market has witnessed Solazyme (NASDAQ: SZYM) trek steadily upward recently, but I believe the stock currently offers more of a value trap than a growth opportunity.

    Let’s set the record straight: Solazyme does offer some amazing growth potential. However, buying into a great growth story means more »

  • No News is Good News?

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - June 12, 2012 | Tickers: AMRS, SZYM

    Sustainable chemicals producer Amyris, Inc (NASDAQ: AMRS) gave a whole new meaning to “no news is good news” last week. Shares traded as high as $3.53 on Wednesday after the company announced that its renewable jet fuel would be used on a demonstration flight during the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. Investors were probably shocked to see any signs of life from the company, but in more »

  • The New Status Quo in Aviation Fuels

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - May 25, 2012 | Tickers: AMRS, DAL, HON, SSL, SZYM

    What happens when an airline buys an oil refinery? Well, it is too early to really say, but that ignores the preceding question: why would an airline buy an oil refinery? Since the dawn of commercial flight airlines and oil companies have respected the status quo. One flies people (cue the crying baby) from airport to airport and the other makes petroleum based chemicals and fuels. What gives?

    A quick 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 »

  • Red Flags for Green Companies

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - March 27, 2012 | Tickers: AMRS, CVX, FSLR, SZYM, TOT

    Given my background as a bioprocess engineer I am obviously optimistic about the future of sustainable technologies. It is tough not to be after speaking with management at top companies such as Solazyme, Codexis, Joule Unlimited, and others. Everyone touts the market value of this chemical and that fuel, the potential of this management team and that biological patent.

    That’s great, but it is important to come back to more »

  • Amyris Financing Round is a Royal Success

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - February 28, 2012 | Tickers: AMRS

    What happened?

    On Monday Amyris, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMRS) announced that it had secured $83.7 million in financing. The move came on the heels of a setback the company encountered while scaling its farnesene production process. During a conference call with investors on February 10th, CEO John Melo dropped a bomb when he unveiled the company would suspend construction at an Antibioticos facility in Spain to focus on quality more »

  • Five Ways Solazyme Beat 2011

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - February 28, 2012 | Tickers: AMRS, BG, CDXS, SZYM

    Solzayme (NASDAQ: SZYM), the anointed champion of the sustainable chemicals industry, recently reported earnings for fiscal year 2011. The company demonstrated that making even incremental progress in the sustainable chemicals industry is enough to win the hearts and hard-earned dollars of investors. The company had an impressive 2011 and remains the bright-spot in a gloomy, beaten-down industry. Here are five ways Solazyme beat 2011:

    •  Total revenue for 2011 came in more »
  • Fueling Tomorrow: Codexis

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - February 13, 2012 | Tickers: AMRS, CDXS, CZZ, PFE, RDS-A

    If you think Solazyme is a tough act to follow, then you certainly aren’t familiar with the next company in the FuelingTomorrow series. Despite being severely underappreciated and undervalued, Codexis Inc. (NASDAQ: CDXS) can hang with the best of ‘em.

    As TheStreet’s Eric Rosenbaum correctly noted, biofuels IPOs may be a worse investment than social media IPOs. However, he incorrectly threw Codexis into the group of unsuccessful biofuels more »

  • Energy Common Sense: Sorry Wall Street, Amyris Made the Right Move

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - February 11, 2012 | Tickers: AMRS, BG, GEVO, MBLX, SZYM

    What Happened?

    Last Friday, shares of Amyris Inc. (NASDAQ: AMRS) fell $2.74 or 28.16% after the company announced that they will not complete an expansion project in Spain in order to focus on scaling farnesene production at their Paraiso, Brazil facility.

    What Does It Mean?

    The unexpected move means the company will not achieve a positive cash flow for fiscal year 2012. Furthermore, it means the company will more »

  • Fueling Tomorrow: Solazyme

    By Maxxwell A.R. Chatsko - February 9, 2012 | Tickers: AMRS, BG, HNZ, SZYM, DOW, UN

    Today we will pick up the Fueling Tomorrow series with Solazyme (NASDAQ: SZYM). Although it is one of the most promising companies in the sustainable chemicals industry, Solazyme likes to focus on producing results – not promises.

    “That’s delusional. I love it.”

    Two dorm mates from Emory University, CEO Jonathan Wolfson and CTO Harrison Dillon, had always discussed starting a biotechnology company. But as college sophomores they were never sure more »

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