smilingwolf, regarding your statement: "Mind you, it takes time to heal and we have no event/catalyst to hang our hats on for a few months."
You may be right, but then again you may be wrong... When waterblock tech starts to make it into next generation cell phones (and Beyond) we could have very good reasons to own. Especially since Zagg is one of the few ways to invest in that technology.
The time is coming fast when millions of products will be protected from water damage and whoever owns the tech will have big dollars to show for it. You wouldn't think that the summer time would be the time for that sort of tech to take off but lots of water damage happens from swim pools, small lakes and other places where summer fun occurs. The advent of waterblock technology is something that Zagg owns a piece of (albeit smaller than they once had) and within the next year it could replace their screen protectors as their most valuable asset.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
Been watching the friends of HzO grow on Facebook and keep wondering when/if their waterblock technology will show up in one of the major cell phone manufacturer's product line. A few here have speculated that the recent delay in Apple's product could due to the time it takes to integrate and test that sort of technology. Personally I don't like that type of short term speculation but agree with Buffett; I foresee a much different Zagg / HzO picture building over the next five years; perhaps even one where Zagg's investment in HzO is worth many times what Zagg's market cap currently is.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
That should read: "Zagg owns about 37% or more of that company"... According to the last figures I saw.
The writing is on the wall for screen protectors and they are a very large part of Zagg's market still. Analysts are going to continue to rag on that issue unless they see a glimmer of hope somewhere else. All of Zagg's products have a large amount of competition so the only thing that can help them is shelf space or new tech. The waterblock technology created by HzOInside is some of the most exciting tech I've seen in a long time and Zagg only around 37% or more of that company. It is something the analysts should start taking into consideration when they build their 12 month and five year projections.
normey, there are a small subset of shorts who are rather desperate to get out; they make up stuff, lie, deceive and hope that the price will follow. Fortunately the retail investors here are too smart for their antics and get a pretty good laugh out of their attempts. Our new friend hirmo is one of those... He knows not when the quarter ends (just that he is on his last quarter and the end is near). He knows nothing about their new or existing product lines (instead he makes up stuff from labels he found on a clothes line). He is poking and jabbing at longs (while missing the joke in his mirror). If he really believed his own tripe then he’d be shorting the stock; it’s not happening (all bark and no bite).
Sentiment: Strong Buy
Last year Eno was forced to create a new playbook and in doing so he began a multiyear turn around that has the potential to take this from a one dollar stock to a twenty dollar stock (over the course of the next several years). Of course, he has to survive the short term in order to achieve significant growth over the long term. Only time will tell us if his new playbook is successful yet it certainly appears to have the potential.
The old playbook involved signing up a big partner (ADM), developing a breakthrough product (Mirel), creating a large manufacturing facility and then selling the heck out of that product. Unfortunately that process was hindered by years of delays; some caused by the construction process and many caused by the time it took for customers to evaluate their move from petroleum based materials to bio based materials. In the end, both price and time caused many companies to pass on the bio based option… The biodegradable product called Mirel has many many desirable attributes that make it a viable alternative to plastic, and it is an important product to the long term health of this planet, but the price currently makes it impractical for many thermal forming applications and therefore part of the old playbook.
The new playbook (started in February of 2012) involved finding a partner that already has a fermentation facility (no need to build a gia-normous one from the ground up), focus primarily on their most successful markets (i.e. the film market and the performance additive market) and provide new offerings to target high-valued applications.
Most of the new playbook can be found by reviewing last year’s earnings calls; here are a few quotes by Metabolix’s CEO Richard Eno:
“We believe the focused approach we are outlining will offer us near-term profitability plus considerable growth potential as we continue to build the business and gain economies of scale. Our launch strategy will be built around three primary areas. Each is large, offers high-valued opportunities and has market needs that align very well with the characteristics of our biopolymer products. The first two, film and plastic additives, will be receiving the majority of our business focus. As our third area we’ll be pursuing very specific customer opportunities with a biodegradation properties of PHAs offer exceptional value.”
“Films are the largest single processing application in the plastics industry representing approximately £100 billion per year of demand. Bio-based and biodegradable are compostable films are an evolving subset of this market showing substantial growth. This is approximately a £200million-a-year market growing in about 15% - 20% percent per year. Growth is driven by rapid technical advances across the entire value chain, consumer demand of a bio-based solution and in some cases, Government regulation banning non-biodegradable bags… We have a series of offerings in the film market which offer a range of performance depending on the specific customer requirements. In general, we have roughly comparable in performance to a petroleum-based film such as that produced by C4 Linear Low Density Polyethylene but our product is based in a renewable feedstock depending on grade either biodegradable or compostable. We also have seen opportunities to continue to expand our margins in this sector. Our initial products target the compostable bag market, but we see substantial room to utilize our film capabilities to pursue higher performance film applications such as: barrier film, protective wrap, agricultural multi film and high strength films. We have encouraging early results in each of these high-valued applications.”
“Our second focus area will be the use of our Mirel biopolymers as performance plastic additives. After evaluating our historical sales, we concluded that many customers were buying our Mirel products due to these unique property attributes above and beyond their classic biodegradation properties. These properties include and characteristics include, our products are miscible and compatible with a broad range of materials both bio-based and petroleum-based. Our products can positively impact a range of performance attributes typically demanded by plastics customers. This include impact strength, barrier properties such as for odor, heat distortion temperature, process ability, plasticization and in addition, we provide bio-based content which is increasingly in demand. In summary, we learn that we can do a lot of current petroleum-based polymer additives do but do it with a renewable differentiated material. Additives are widely used in the plastics industry as a tool to improve the performance of basic materials. The plastic additives market has a volume of about £25 billion with selling prices ranging from $1 to over $5 per pound depending on the properties being brought to bear. We’ll be initially pursuing the performance polymeric additives segment which reflects about £1.5 billion of annual demand with the tract of selling prices. As an example, last week we announced some very encouraging results where our Mirel biopolymers substantially improved the properties of PVC. PVC markets demand as much as £77 billion per year and a compounded product is typically formulated with about 20% - 40% performance additives. Our testing shows that our Mirel product has the potential to PVC impact resistance beyond that achievable with leading polymeric modifiers and at the same time serve as a non-migrating, non-(falle) plasticizer. This offers numerous value propositions including lower migration through the reduced use of (falle) plasticizers and the creation of tougher PVC compounds. In addition, our product is bio-based which is a further differentiator. In aggregate, these are very compelling properties and we are already seeing substantial interest. We were supported in this work by Alpha Gary, a leading compounder of PVC.”
“Finally, our third area of focus will be on supplying customers that are pursuing high-valued applications where biodegradation is key. These include products specifically designed for use in anaerobic digesters, for use in water treatment, marine applications and soil degradation. While our product is very differentiated and valuable in these applications the supply chains here tend to be embryonic and as a result development cycles can be longer. We will be very selective here and qualify our opportunities based on margin potential and development time.”
“It’s important to note that we are not walking away from the hundreds of opportunities we have seen over the years. We firmly believe as our technology moves down the cost-cure band the market and supply chains mature, we’ll be supplying many of these applications in addition to those I outlined today.”
“We believe our approach has the ability to generate margins in the near-term by offering substantial long-term growth opportunities as the cost structure continually improves.”
FYI, if you review last December’s press releases you’ll find that many of the plays from the new playbook are already taking shape. It may take a few more quarters to prove that Eno has a winning strategy but that didn't keep a few insiders from picking up shares on the open market and several more from adding shares via their 401k’s. Personally I've been buying dips on the open market and plan to hold the majority of my shares for at least five years with the expectations of significant gains.
The recent Forbes article on Metabolix (by George Bradt) was well written and had an excellent title but clearly did little to defeat the Short & Distort campaign against this stock. Unfortunately its main purpose wasn't to call attention to the new path that Metaboix is on; it was to help sell copies of “The New Leader’s Playbook” (a series of steps that may be taken to “evolve people, plans and practices to capitalize on changing circumstances”. When/if Eno succeeds at turning Metabolix around it may become the first example of a successful turnaround assisted by following the basic steps of the playbook (we can certainly look forward to another Forbes article when that happens :)
Sentiment: Strong Buy
I can’t really tell if the guy who loves pelo is part of the short and distort campaign or someone who got burned a long time ago and just-won’t-give-it-up. I highly suspect that he is part of an s&d campaign but it is possible that he simply snapped due to prior loss and now the only joy he gets is in trying to pelo on new investors. If his beef is with the company you’d think that he’d take it up with them rather than spend day after day doing his pelo bit here.
What is clear is that the company has a poor track record of landing new clients, but I suspect that much of that had to do with pricing and cost of manufacturing Mirel. The Metabolix / ADM partnership built a “very large facility” in order to manufacture product and the price of Mirel suffered partially because of it. Since then Metabolix and ADM have split and ADM is the sole owner of the 400 Million Dollar facility that both built. Our misinformed pelo thinks that all of that money went into Metabolix and that ADM walked away with a 400 Million Dollar loss but in reality ADM used it as a 400 Million Dollar write off and then almost immediately leased out the facility that the Mirel partnership built (on ADM land). That was hardly a loss for ADM but pelo would love you to believe it was.
This year Metabolix is working with Antibioticos and things are very different from when they worked with ADM. The Antibioticos facility was built long ago so Metabolix did not have to help them build a new facility from the ground up; instead they are integrating part of their FAST technology into Antibioticos with the expectation of completing the integration early this year. In addition to Mirel they have also developed two specialty products that could perform very well for them. The first is a product that enhances the physical attributes of PVC which is a material that is used worldwide in almost all construction projects (a fairly large market by most standards). The second is a derivation of other products that they’d developed; it is a “compostable film” that can be used to create single-use bags for the retail market (another fairly large market by most standards).
This company currently has a very interesting combination of products, cash, patents and research that could turn into a boat load of money for investors. There is a possibility that if they aren’t able to capitalize from their assets within the next two years then they will need to sell or worse, but that isn’t an issue right now even though the short & distort campaign would like you to believe it is.
There are good reasons why Antibioticos would work with Metabolix, there are good reasons why Kenmare would decide to work with Matabolix and there are good reasons why institutions continue to give grant money to Metabolix… They all see potential here and want to be part of it.
Who would you like to see buy Tivo?
Apple, Microsoft, Google... Someone else?
Or should this subject never be considered?
Personally, I'd love to see the Tivo DVR become the Apple Tivo TV++ or at least some sort of team effort between the two companies to bring a single box with combined features to the masses.
If Tivo were to include internet voice and video services which would you prefer: FaceTime, Skype or GoogleVoice ?