...and others who may be interested.
Seeing all the talk of PLUG this week reminded me-
The EIA got around to releasing their final Form 923 figures for 2012 on 12 November. Amongst the renewable energy system studies we're working up is one for fuel cells (there were 27 EIA reporting systems for 2012).
The one of immediate interest to me was Apple's Bloom Energy system at their North Carolina facility, which we discussed here at some length when they announced they were building it.
The system began reporting in September of 2012. For the last four months of the year, they achieved a heatrate of about 7.27 MMBtu / MWh (we had calculated 6.6 based on Bloom's technical specifications), for a hypothetical thermal efficiency of 46.96% (predicted value was 51.71%). Obviously their annualized capacity factor isn't very impressive, with only four months' operation, but their high was in December, with 0.3009 (lowest was November, at 0.1414).
I had initially worked up a cost structure on the presumption that they would use pipeline gas for fuel, but it turns out they used landfill gas exclusively, so all that goes out the window. The LFG caloric assay was reportedly 0.6 MMBtu / Mcf, well below 60% of typical pipeline fuel.
Altogether, I suspect this will stack up reasonably well against more conventional systems (e.g., combustion turbines).
I'll be backtesting the entire analysis (all 27 systems) this week-end; if you're interested in having the whole thing drop me a line.
I honestly have no idea. The "Enterprise Bankruptcy Law of the People's Republic of China" is far from a model statute. They lack a dedicated bankruptcy court system, with filings instead being handled through the local People's Courts.
Back in May of 2012, I found an article in the Chinese online press (it was in either 21st Century Business Herald or Caixin online; can't recall just which at the moment) in which a Chinese attorney was quoted on the subject of bankruptcy. His comment was, "It is difficult for a Chinese company to succeed; even harder for it to die.".
I don't know whether it's a result of the cumbersome bankruptcy statute, or simply a cultural phenomenon, but it seems that simply letting a company wither and fade away is a more frequently followed course than managed bankruptcy.
Taking a moment here to wish all a Happy Thanksgiving. For those also (or alternatively) observing Hanukkah, may your celebrations also be delightful.
The beer's a-callin; I'll look in on y'all next week sometime.
Well, as another poster pointed out a couple of days ago, LDK shareholders' equity is closing in on negative one billion dollars. Simultaneously, their current ratio for this quarter is 0.173 (down from 0.187 in the previous period). Admittedly, it's been nearly forty years since I took an accounting class, and theories may have changed in that time, but these sorts of numbers don't seem to me to indicate a healthy company by any accepted accounting principle I understand.
I'm not even sure what you would use as a comparison, but just for the sake of discussion let's look at Evergreen Solar. In their last periodic filing before they were taken into bankruptcy, they had shareholder equity of negative 81.534 million dollars, and a current ratio of 3.213.
Obviously, if the Chinese are willing, they can keep shoveling loans into this almost indefinitely. In my view, though, this is less about keeping LDK afloat than it is about preventing LDK's creditors from being bankrupted.
Much like feeding a dying mule so that the parasites living on its carcass don't starve.
Published short interest for te reporting period ended 15 November is 641,375 shares. That represents a reduction of 7,669 shares from the prior period.
Taking into account that reduction, plus daily short sales, T + 3 rule, etc., I come up with 280,930 short shares covered in the period.
This next reporting period may be more interesting. Due to the volume spike, over 2 million shares were sold short in the course of daily trading; I'd bet that most, if not all, will prove to have been covered.
The CleanTech matter is interesting. I had supposed that, having won their delisting appeal before the SEC, they would promptly move to regain their listing.
However, they remain delinquent in their SEC filings (last filing was for 1Q 2012, filed 25 June 2012), and thus per se ineligible for NASDAQ listing. Makes one wonder whether more is going on there than has been revelaed in the press.
I think I'd prefer to keep this on the open forum here, so that others might benefit. Please feel free to ask what you will, and I will endeavor to answer.
Please also note that my original post is in error with regard to the senior notes; the face amount due is actually 1.2 billion RMB (lost an exponent, there-sorry).
I've been thinking about this, and their debt load, for two days now, and I'm having difficulty seeing where this changes anything.
The language of the agreement specifically prohibits LDK from using this to retire debt. The language further seemingly restricts the use of these funds to operating expenses, certainly limited to Mainland China, if not to Jiangxi exclusively.
They have 1.2 million RMB plus accrued interest due in three months, do they not (senior notes due 28 February)? If you look at where the notes are trading (look up ISIN XS0592597099) it's fairly obvious that nobody believes they're going to be able to pay these.
According to the 6k, they took on another $33 million or so in debt yesterday, and they still have the other long-term debt.
Now, $33 million would correspond fairly well with their cash burn rate to get them through the end of the year. If they were showing any profits, why would they need the additional line of credit?
Obviously we'll know more Tuesday, but I'm not particularly optimistic that we're going to find any material improvement.
Evidently the NHTSA isn't amused by ol' Elon (excerpt from AP story out this afternoon):
"DETROIT (AP) -- A U.S. safety agency is tightening the guidelines that control how automakers use government crash tests in advertising.
The change by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was prompted by Tesla Motors Inc., the Palo Alto, Calif., electric car company. Tesla has promoted its electric Model S as the safest car in America, saying it earned a 5.4-star rating from the government.
The new guidelines stress that NHTSA doesn't give crash-test ratings higher than five stars. The agency says automakers who claim ratings higher than that are misleading the public.
"Tesla's claim was an example of the potential confusion and inaccuracy that could be caused by incorrect use of the five-star ratings information in advertising and marketing statements," NHTSA said Wednesday in a statement. "As a result, NHTSA reviewed its advertising guidelines and made updates to ensure consumers receive accurate and consistent information."
Companies that don't follow the guidelines could see "buyer alert" warnings from the government. They could also be kicked out of the ratings program or be referred to other agencies for further, unspecified action.
NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said Wednesday on the floor of the Los Angeles Auto Show that the agency needed an enforcement mechanism to make sure all automakers follow the rules. He said Tesla prompted the change, but other manufacturers that he didn't identify also have violated the guidelines."
A couple of nuggets from Elon Musk's blog today:
"(W)e have rolled out an over-the-air update to the air suspension that will result in greater ground clearance at highway speeds....Another software update expected in January will give the driver direct control of the air suspension ride height transitions."
"(W)e will be amending our warranty policy to cover damage due to a fire, even if due to driver error. Unless a Model S owner actively tries to destroy the car, they are covered. Our goal here is to eliminate any concern about the cost of such an event and ensure that over time the Model S has the lowest insurance cost of any car at our price point."
I've lost a Saturday night here and there; never ten years, though. That's some world-class beer drinking.
"I've been in this stock since 1997..."
Pray do tell us how you managed that. my understanding is that ZQ Power tech wasn't established until August of 2002, and ABAT didn't buyout BuyItCheap until May of 2004.
Getting in five years ahead of the creation of the company, and seven years before it traded publicly, is quite a feat.
Proved to be an interesting (and, at times, entertaining) week.
According to my records, you'd need to go back to the first week of May 2012 to find another week posting in excess of two million shares' volume. Volume on the tape was 2,062,445 shares, and FINRA is showing 2,062,145; a very small error given the unusual volume. Total shares sold short were 959,286, about 47% of volume. With that in mind, I'd draw the inference that, while there was obviously enough buying interest to bring the price along, there was a certain amount of "selling into strength".
I'm off for some beer, but I'm certainly looking forward to next week. Y'all have a fine week-end.
That's an absolute hoot, "Skipper". When you're telling fishing tales, no sense talking about mullet when you can just as easily call it a marlin, eh?
Starboard watch, man the pumps!
Actually, this is the type of language one more typically sees in settlements involving "whistleblowers". Labor relations, wage / hour administration, wrongful termination, that sort of thing.
I'm sure there's a good reason for it, just noting hat it's not exactly pro forma in shareholder suits.
I found this one (settlement stipulation) a bit curious:
"E. ABAT and the Individual Defendants will set up a toll free voice mail box for anonymous complaints or comments from employees. The Company’s counsel shall monitor the mail box and report monthly, in writing, to the independent directors the substance of the messages and the status of the investigation of such messages."
I haven't followed the NY State case, so I'm not sure what exactly that's intended to address.
At present, I imagine attorneys on both sides are gleefully rubbing their hands together in anticipation of a couple of years' worth of billable hours. Ultimately, I suspect it will go the way of MTLQQ (the "old" GM), with secured creditors receiving pennies, or fractions thereof, on the dollar, and bondholders / shareholders nothing at all.
One possible strategy might be to as your broker for paper share certificates. Buy some cheap frames, and sell them on eBay as "pop" art. Not going to beat Andy Warhol, but better than nothing.