Friday, October 17, 2014

Perma-Fix's Pursuit of Isotopes - Part I

In August 2014, Dr. Louis Centofanti, the chief executive officer of Perma-Fix Environmental Services, Inc. (PESI:  Nasdaq), delivered a paper at the 8th International Conference on Isotopes sponsored by the World Council on Isotopes.  Now Perma-Fix is a self-described nuclear services company that provides “nuclear and mixed waste management services.”  Indeed, PermaFix’s bread and butter come from government contracts like the one recently announced to characterize and treat wastes from the Los Alamos National Laboratory.  These are wastes generated by government scientists as they developed nuclear weapons and energy technology.  Granted isotopes are in the nuclear neighborhood, but why would a company with such weighty responsibilities rub elbows with health care industry representatives?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fuel Cell Follies off the Road

Consumer adoption of hydrogen-fueled vehicles could have quite a catalytic impact on the entire fuel cell industry.  Two of the public fuel cell technology companies come to mind first:  Plug Power, Inc. (PLUG:  Nasdaq), FuelCell Energy, Inc. (FCEL:  Nasdaq) and Ballard Power Systems, Inc. (BLDP:  Nasdaq).  These companies have been toiling away for years on fuel cell technologies, finding success on the periphery with industrial, campus and power generation solutions.  All three companies trade at modest prices and could look like great bargains for investors with an extended investment horizon.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fuel Cell Cars: Hedge Against Failure

Last month the head of Volkswagen’s Japan operations, Shigero Shoji, joined Tesla’s Elon Musk is expressing skepticism for fuel-cell powered cars.  Everyone expects Musk to down play the importance of anything but electric cars since he has staked his reputation on the Tesla all-electric car.  However, Shoji is from Japan where the government has invested heavily in hydrogen infrastructure and offers consumers large subsidies for fuel-cell-power cars. 

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

KiOR Squanders Waste-to-Energy Leadership

KiOR (KIOR:  OTC/PK) was among the first public waste-to-energy companies, launching its initial public offering mid-year 2011.  The stock debuted near $15.00 per share and very briefly provided its shareholders with a modest gain.  It has pretty much been downhill every since, with the stock ending last week near its all-time low of $0.10 per share.  Part of the problem in recent weeks has been KiOR’s fall from grace with Nasdaq.  The company apparently failed to pay all fees required by Nasdaq.  Rather than follow the usual appeals process, the company accepted its delisting fate, landing unceremoniously as a quotation on the Over-the-Counter service.