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American Superconductor Corporation Message Board

barrygeo 400 posts  |  Last Activity: Jul 9, 2014 10:02 AM Member since: Oct 8, 2004
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  • barrygeo barrygeo Jul 9, 2014 10:02 AM Flag

    Two previous Sinovel CEO's resigned in the last few years, and each time posters on this msg board speculated that a settlement was around the corner. Wishful thinking.

    This resignation comes close to Sinovel's next earnings report. Could mean news will not be good. There has been speculation in the media that Sinovel could default on their bonds. Sinovel showed improvement in their sales last quarter, so that offered hope that the company could turn around. Those hopes could be either confirmed or dashed by their next earnings report. The CEO resigning at this time could mean something ... or could mean nothing.

    Sinovel last reported a cash balance of about $470 million. If the cash burn continues, then the window for a meaningful legal reward or settlement for amsc is closing.


  • Inox Winds aims to raise $165M through IPO this fiscal

    The firm aims to execute orders worth 500 MW by this fiscal which may translate into a top line of Rs 3,000 crore in FY15.

    Optimistic about the next wave of growth in wind power, the USD 2 billion Inox Group is looking at the capital market for Inox Wind Ltd to raise around Rs 1,000 crore by this fiscal.
    It would be the third entity of the group to get listed.
    "We are looking at raising around Rs 1,000 crore from the market. Our merchant bankers have indicated that we may get the approval from regulators soon. We may list it by this fiscal," Inox Wind Ltd director Devansh Jain told PTI.
    He said the company will dilute only a minority stake in the proposed public offer.
    Wind power solutions providers since 2010, Inox Wind is a subsidiary of listed Gujarat Fluorochemicals. The other publicly held company under the group is Inox Leisure.
    Jain said the new government is giving a major thrust to the renewables including wind power and he hoped that a domestic market of wind power projects totalling 3.5 GW will roll out year-on-year.
    He said the company expected accelerated depreciation benefit being restored for wind power and a boost for this form of renewable energy industry to come out of sluggish growth seen in the last 2-3 years.
    "We have generation based incentive now and do not see any reason that accelerated depreciation benefit being restored as government has recognised the issue," Jain said.
    Despite odds the the industry trend has been bucked and is profitable since 2011, Jain said.
    Speaking about application of the Rs 1,000 crore proposed from the IPO, Jain said the fund will be used for ramping up capacity, increasing land bank and enhancing power evacuation infrastructure, meeting working capital needs and other corporate purposes.

  • Reply to

    sold amsc

    by barrygeo Jul 3, 2014 10:50 AM
    barrygeo barrygeo Jul 3, 2014 1:18 PM Flag

    I dont know, sigur. I'm just back in "watch" mode now. Could even buy back in at a higher price if it looks right ! Wait and see how the stock behaves, and probably wait for after earnings to see if I get a better feel for things.

    I'm convinced that REG is not the thing to get excited about. Yes, an announcement of a REG order could pop the stock, but revenue is so far away the pop won't last, imo. Plus that, I'm beginning to believe this is going to be another DHS project. (I don't know) If it's funded by DHS, then this is not the beginning of a commercial market.

    Coming improvement in amsc's non-superconducting businesses is what encourages me.

    good luck

  • barrygeo by barrygeo Jul 3, 2014 10:50 AM Flag

    Today at 1.69. 16% profit on shares held about a week.

    It seems for the last few years to poke its head above the 200dma and then give up. These patterns never last forever, and I could be making the wrong call. If it runs, I'll regret selling but I'll be happy for ya'll still holding. I aint greedy.

    good luck to all

  • Reply to

    Yaskawa Electric to buy The Switch

    by barrygeo Jul 2, 2014 6:53 PM
    barrygeo barrygeo Jul 3, 2014 9:30 AM Flag

    Would be nice, but no. Good luck.

  • By Ben Backwell in London Wednesday, July 02 2014
    Updated: Wednesday, July 02 2014

    Japanese motion control and robotics company Yaskawa has signed an agreement to acquire The Switch, a leading supplier of permanent magnet generators and full-power converter packages for the wind industry and other renewables sectors.
    The Switch says the acquisition "will support both companies' strategic objectives and strengthen their international presence."

    The deal is expected to close within "a few weeks", The Switch says.

    In Autumn 2013, the two companies entered into a strategic collaboration agreement which gave Yaskawa access to its megawatt-class power generation, while allowing The Switch to develop its presence in the growing Japanese market.

    "This acquisition is a natural next step forward from our initial strategic collaboration," says Hiroyuki Ougi, Yaskawa's corporate senior vice president, general manager, System Engineering Division.

    "Now we can both gain access to new global markets with our wider range of innovative products."

    "From our customers' point of view, this acquisition ensures global availability of The Switch offering," says The Switch president and CEO Jukka-Pekka Mäkinen, who is a member of Recharge's Thought Leaders Club.

    In March 2011, The Switch reached an agreement to be acquired by US power electronics and wind turbine design firm AMSC.

    However the deal fell through in October that year after AMSC suffered the effects of its traumatic falling out with its main customer, Chinese turbine manufacturer Sinovel.

    The Switch retained a #$%$14.2m ($20.6m) advance payment that was made by AMSC in June in order to extend the preliminary sale agreement between the two companies.

  • barrygeo by barrygeo Jul 2, 2014 10:19 AM Flag

    Today at 1.32. 18% profit on shares held about 3 weeks.

  • Reply to

    REG hype (First)

    by barrygeo Jun 30, 2014 2:19 PM
    barrygeo barrygeo Jul 1, 2014 10:58 AM Flag

    Hi lafeet,

    The March 2010 LS Cable announcement described the agreement as being “to deploy more than 50 kilometers (km) (31 miles) of superconductor power cables in commercial power grids over the next five years” The prototypes you mention account for maybe one-fiftieth of that amount. Obviously, the agreement no longer survives in the same form as it was described in 2010.

    You have pointed out many times in the past that fulfilling the LS Cable agreement would take high volume production of HTS wire. You've cited a particular quote that 2g wire is only now available in large quantities, and you've looked forward to what you call the "new production line" as an important event.

    Now read carefully the words of the CEO in the last conference call:

    “REG represents what AMSC will be in the coming years. The REG system solution demonstrates A FUNDAMENTAL SHIFT TO OUR STRATEGY AROUND SUPERCONDUCTORS. PREVIOUSLY, WE’VE BEEN FOCUSED ON INCREASING WIRE SALES AND USING VOLUME TO DECREASE COSTS. With the REG system, we will be selling a full system solution providing revenues in multiples of the wire value. This means that we need to sell less wire for our superconductor-based product line to contribute to profitability.”

    (The caps are mine.)

    It looks to me like they’ve given up for the time being on the idea of selling large volumes of wire. I don’t deny that there could continue to be a trickle of sales to LS Cable. But the 2010 plans to deploy 31 miles of cable in Korea apparently no longer exists.

    Good luck.

  • I believe It was part of one of China's recent economic plans to start manufacturing wind turbine power converters domestically. Sinovel's attempt to steal amsc's IP and develop their own power converter via Guotong Electric was (in my opinion) probably done with the actual or implied consent of the Chinese Communist Party. It was a "national interest". (Which is the main reason I am highly doubtful anything will come of any of the legal actions).

    I was surprised to see in the following link that 95% of wind power converters in China were still being
    supplied by foreign corporations at the end of 2013. If true, then apparently, China's designs to go to
    domestic production have not made much progress yet. google the following:

    Wind Power Converter Industry in China 2016 Forecasts

    cut and pasted:

    "China’s domestic wind power converter manufacturers started late on the business.
    By the end of 2013, foreign players dominated about 95% of China wind power converter market,
    with ABB, Converteam, AMSC and Emerson being the leaders. Domestic Chinese companies chiefly
    involve Beijing Corona, Sungrow Power, Hopewind, Zhuzhou CSR Times Electric and Qharvest.
    At the end of 2013, Sungrow Power, Hopewind and Zhuzhou CSR Times Electric had wind
    power converter capacity of 1,000 sets/a each."

    end quote. Interestingly, Guotong is not even mentioned here. Perhaps that effort was a total flop.


  • Reply to

    REG hype (Second and Third)

    by barrygeo Jun 30, 2014 2:23 PM
    barrygeo barrygeo Jun 30, 2014 3:25 PM Flag

    "$80 million will be spread out over 12 to 18 months from the time the revenues acutally start"

    amd, that statement is not correct. McGahn said they wouldn't get any revenue at all until 12 and 18 months after the order is recieved, (I think that's where you are confusing the 12-18 months figure) After that waiting period, then the revenue would be spread out over "multiple years". He did not specifically say how many years he means by "multiple", but I was assuming 4 years would be close to the mark, looking at how long Hydra has taken to complete. Here are his exact words, according the seeking alpha transcript:

    "Meaningful revenue would be expected to occur 12 to 18 months after an order is received. It is possible that a project of sufficient size could result in total revenue roughly equal to our current annual revenue; however, let me be clear – deployment would occur over multiple years"

    end quote

    Your understanding of utilities is not strong in my opinion. They are extremely conservative in adopting new technologies, which is one of the reasons why hts cables have seen no commercial sales yet. If REG is the real thing, its adoption will by utilities will be slow in coming, in my opinion.

    Your statement that gross margins will be 25% or better for REG is based on nothing whatsoever, and in my opinion is far too optimistic.

    Good luck

  • Reply to

    REG hype (First)

    by barrygeo Jun 30, 2014 2:19 PM
    barrygeo barrygeo Jun 30, 2014 3:08 PM Flag

    You can't imagine how many different posters have made the same response to me over my hts skepticism over the years. "If you wait till it happens, it will be too late!!!"

    I see nothing original about you in that respect. But occasionally you make some interesting observations and I always look forward to your civil and well-thought posts.

    Anyway, I do own some shares right now. Partly a technical decision, partly based on business improving several quarters down the road. Technically, the stock held up or went up after a miserable earnings and miserable guidance for 1q. Fundamentally REG did play a role in my thinking (sort of speculative), but I'm more encouraged by Inox and the defeat of the climate skeptics in Australia than I am in hts promises.

    Good luck.

  • Second, the idea some have expressed here that we will see a quick succession of orders for REG is not realistic. Utilities are difficult and conservative customers. They will wait and see how Hydra goes, and, if there is another REG order, how that one goes. (Gosh, have they even gone live with Hydra yet?)

    If we get an order this year, maybe the next to come will one to two years later. In time, we could possibly see more than one project per year. In time.

    Third, I am a little skeptical about how much bottom line profit that could be realized from REG. As others have pointed out, while the whole project revenue could be in the vicinity of $80m, that would be spread over several years. So, maybe $20m per year. Which is great. But how much just passes through amsc and goes to subcontractors? Let’s not forget that amsc does not build the cable. They provide the wire which is somehow manufactured with a built-in current limiting ability, and pass that wire to the cable manufacturer.
    I don't know how much of the revenue will have to passed to subs, but my guess is the cable oem gets a nice chunk.

    If you look at what McGahn said in the last cc, he mentions both REG and degaussing cables as being “key” for the superconductors business to generate positive cash flow. So the way I see it: Superconductors, as always, is burning cash. Does a single REG order get superconductors to breakeven, or do we need to get both REG and degaussing up and running? Here’s what McGahn said:

    “These events are as follows: one, win an order for the resilient electric grid, or REG, system; two, secure a contract for the ship protection degaussing system from the U.S. Navy. These orders are expected to be the building blocks to further diversify our grid tech solutions product line. Additionally, we believe these two new product introductions are key to generating sustainable, positive cash flows from one of our core technologies, namely superconductors.”

  • barrygeo by barrygeo Jun 30, 2014 2:19 PM Flag

    A reality check here:

    First, it has to actually happen. A valid point of view one can take is that REG is simply the latest in a long string of promises for hts commercial products, none of which have panned out. One of the first was AC hts cable, going all the back to the failed Pirelli demonstration and the original purchase of Devens to mass produce 1g wire. Lots of cable demo’s since then, all supported by govt taxpayer money. Not a single commercial sale.

    Next came the promise for a commercial ship motor market by around 2005. Nada.

    Then the Supervar product was rolled out, which amsc called the first “commercial” hts product. That product no longer exists.

    Let’s see … we have wind turbines (Sea Titan still exists only on paper) … the LS Cable contract (apparently this is dead in the water), an offering of a commercial FCL in the U.S. (two years later, not a single taker)

    At each time these new products or plans were announced, you could find posters on this msg board fantasizing about billions in future sales, just as today you see some here letting their imaginations get away from them about REG. So you can’t blame the naysayer who takes into consideration the history, and chooses to be skeptical about REG.

    Having said that, I will say that I have more confidence in this product producing some real results than previous products. It’s not that I have a deep understanding of the technical aspects of REG (I don’t), it’s just that I have a little more trust in McGahn’s guidance for hts expectations than I did for Yurek’s guidance. Yurek was a pure hyper. When McGahn says “we believe that we will receive an order for the REG system during the fiscal year” I put a little more faith in it.

    But for me it’s still a matter of “show me first”. After all, you insert “we believe” in the above quote, and you’re covered under Safe Harbor.

  • barrygeo by barrygeo Jun 29, 2014 7:16 PM Flag

    A small detail I missed. Last quarter the company realized an impairment on their minority investment in Blade Dynamics of about $1.3m. The 10k states that the impairment was realized because, in the process of the efforts to sell their stake in Blade Dynamics "certain indicators of impairment existed".

    Which sort of makes me wonder it that's an indication that a sale might be getting close. (I don't know). If so, they are not going to get much at all, imo. The company originally bought their stake at a cost of $8m, and have reduced the value of that investment on the balance sheet over the years according to amsc's proportion of Blade Dynamic's losses. After the $1.3m impairment, they are now carrying a value for their minority interest in Blade Dynamics at just $3.7m.

    Looking at Blade Dynamics' website, I see not a single scrap of news that they have made an actual sale. Just development milestones, and partnerships to develop blades. Louisana gave the company a $30m incentive package to set up shop in that state, with a goal to hire 450 people by this year, but my guess is they are not even close. Google "Blade Dynamics fails to meet job incentives" for a July 2013 article, in which the CEO declined to even state how many employees his plant had.

    Anyway, just sell the thing, if you can, even if it's just a few million. Anything is better than dipping into this ATM at $1.50 share price. Folks, we are over 80 million shares out now !!


  • barrygeo barrygeo Jun 27, 2014 11:42 AM Flag

    Not in the cards. So as a retail shareholder, you have to accept the company the way it is, or sell your shares if you don't like it. You can imagine anything you want, but the reality is there are no indications the company plans to do anything like that, and you are powerless to change that.

    Besides, did you see the latest news from Australia? The govt's scheme to slash that county's renewable energy target appears to have been torpedoed. If so, amsc's dvar business should eventually pick up in Australia, where they had previously enjoy good dvar sales that were growing. It could make a nice profitable contribution for the company.

    Also, HTS is amsc's legacy technology, and there remains a sizable chunk of shareholders here who are hts dreamers. Cut off the grid segment, you alienate those guys

    good luck

  • Reply to


    by fatmoose8 Jun 26, 2014 2:01 PM
    barrygeo barrygeo Jun 26, 2014 3:25 PM Flag

    fatmoose, I think the mistake you make is in assuming that a doubling of Inox's backlog translates exactly into a doubling of amsc's revenue from Inox in a single year. My guess is that much of that backlog will be realized by Inox further out than one year.

    Of course, neither you nor I know for sure, and I could be wrong. But I'm going on the assumption that growth from Inox this year corresponds roughly to going from the 2013 $30m order to this year's $40m order.

    good luck

  • Reply to


    by fatmoose8 Jun 26, 2014 2:01 PM
    barrygeo barrygeo Jun 26, 2014 2:47 PM Flag


    The Inox order announced in 2013 was for $30m, while the most-recently announced order was for $40. That's a 33% increase from Inox. The delivery schedules are a little vague, but it looks to me like the $30m order took place over roughly 12 months, so the current order might have about the time frame.

    I do not expect revenue from Inox to double this year, but the credit report shows us that Inox has plenty of business lined up, so I think it looks nice going forward beyond this fiscal year for amsc.

    That would sort of jive with amsc's description of this year as one in which the company will "position itself for FUTURE growth" (hopefully, not an empty promise). What's implied is that we shouldn't expect much growth, if any, in the current fiscal year.

    good luck

  • barrygeo by barrygeo Jun 26, 2014 2:06 PM Flag

    today at $1.45. Good luck to all

  • This potentially means amsc's dvar business in Australia will regain its footing, although I don't know how long that would take to become a reality. Cut and pasted a portion of the article.

    Palmer to support renewables target, CEFC and CCA

    By Giles Parkinson on 25 June 2014

    Clive Palmer says his 3-person Senate team will not support any change to Australia’s renewable energy target, and will also vote against the repeal of the Climate Change Authority, and the Clean Energy Finance Corp.

    Palmer said he would support the Abbott government’s repeal of the carbon price, but would push for an emissions trading scheme to be implemented when Australia’s major trading partners did the same. He said Direct Action was a waste of money.

    Palmer made the announcement in company with former US vice president Al Gore, who said he regretted the demise of the carbon price, but looked forward to Australia continuing its leadership on climate and renewable energy policies.

    Palmer’s decision – presuming he holds to it – effectively stops the Abbott government from its planned scalping, or possible repeal, of the renewable energy target, which calls for 41,000GWh of renewable energy to be built by 2020

  • barrygeo by barrygeo Jun 25, 2014 7:14 PM Flag

    Yahoo had a problem posting the last two continuations. I'll try again:

    CRISIL believes that IWL's operations will remain working-capital-intensive as the company needs to fund its receivables as well as advances to suppliers, leading to moderation in its financial risk profile. Its working capital management will, therefore, remain a key rating sensitivity factor. IWL's outstanding debtors remained high at 165 days as on March 31, 2014, and CRISIL expects the stretch in receivables to persist over the medium term. The continued stretch in IWL's working capital cycle kept the gearing high at about 1.30 times as on March 31, 2014.

    For arriving at the ratings, CRISIL has now combined the business and financial risk profiles of IWL and Inox Wind Infrastructure Services Ltd (IWISL), a 100 per cent subsidiary of IWL, which is involved in erection and maintenance of wind turbines for customers of IWL.

    Outlook: Stable
    CRISIL believes that IWL will maintain its credit risk profile over the medium term, supported by strong financial and managerial support from its parent, GFL, and a healthy order execution pipeline for 2014-15. The outlook may be revised to 'Positive' if IWL demonstrates a sustained healthy operating performance and improvement in its working capital cycle. Conversely, the outlook may be revised to 'Negative' if the company reports significant erosion in its profitability margins owing to adverse currency movements, or further deterioration in its working capital cycle, thereby adversely affecting its financial risk profile, or if there is any reduction in support from GFL.

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