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madcowmonkey (< 20)

BPHX- Phoenix?



June 19, 2008 – Comments (11) | RELATED TICKERS: BPHX.DL , TTEK

So I used the caps screener for this stock and thought SWEET! Well today it just turned up a nice big double digit red % for its daily. So should I stop screening stocks that have 136 in favor of and zero in ill-favor. Naaaah. I like the screeners that I run by sometimes, but it doesn't always work. Kind of like my recent picks:) 

Another little tid bit on how bad a couple of calls for the day are TTEK and ARCADIS just took hits today as well. Just not so big.  Maybe you Fools can find a place to squeeze in on my misfortune. I think I mentioned TTEK and ARCADIS the other day and somebody figured they would send an all call out to short:) As usual, I am always happy to try and help others find a possible dip, but I am happier when I spot a possible flier/gainer. Good luck Fools.


11 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On June 19, 2008 at 1:17 PM, binv271828 (< 20) wrote:

Ouch man. Yeah, that sucks. I have endured a few 20-25% one day hits on a stock. Those are never fun. But the beauty of CAPS is that there will always be people to commiserate with :)

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#2) On June 19, 2008 at 1:46 PM, Tastylunch (28.53) wrote:

I never pick stocks straight off the screener, I make a subjective analysis afterwards, but that still hasn't stopped me from gettting really whacked on some poor decisions. I think if you took out my ten worst picks I'd probably a score of about 1500 :-(

I feel your pain dude.

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#3) On June 19, 2008 at 2:01 PM, madcowmonkey (< 20) wrote:

You know what is funny. The last couple of days I was all happy with the screener I sampled because of this pick:) I really thought it was good and it might end up being good for some other fools. Who knows. I went through the same thing with GPOR, which was downgraded do to missing analysts expectations by 2 cents, but I kept it knowing it would come back and even suggested it to others. If they would have picked it they would have 40 green points. I need to actually go and check on what is up with this guy, but not today. Thanks guys.

binv- since you are in the field of satellites, is there going to be a company that starts cleaning up the satellites and possibly recycles the faulty outdated ones. Is this even possible? Since I am out in outer space often, I would like to hear your thoughts:) Are there a ton of satellites sitting out there doing nothing or what?

 Possible gainer would be PINN. Natural gas that just got the rights to start up in Wyoming or Montana. I forgot which one. It has taken a couple good jumps recently, but it has been falling for the last couple of months. 

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#4) On June 20, 2008 at 6:22 AM, binv271828 (< 20) wrote:

That is a very intersting multi-faceted question, and one that has been given a lot of thought by my industry.

The short answer is that there is no economic way to do this.... yet. But there are have been some efforts and I will talk about those in a minute. So there are 2 main aspects, debris (actual junk floating around up there) and decommissioned satellites.

A little terminology

LEO – Low Earth Orbit. Between ~100 and 1000 miles up. Mostly scientific and spy satellites fly in this band. Most of them fly in a polar orbit to get repeating coverage of the Earth.

GEO – Geosynchronous or Geostationary Orbit. This is 22240 miles. It is the orbit which has the same period as the Earth’s rotation, 24 hours. This means the satellite is always above the same spot on the ground. This is the domain of communications satellites (DirecTV, Intelsat, Optus, etc)

First the junk

There is lots of junk in both LEO and GEO, however it is not feasible to cleanup. Just imagine the shear volume of a layer that is several hundred miles thick and covers the whole earth. So even if you knew where every particle was (and NORAD can only track particles up to a certain size), you would not have enough fuel. Plane changes (inclination changes) are very expensive maneuvers in terms of fuel cost and there is no way to make this viable with any number of satellites with today’s technology

And boy, I really have to hand it to the Bush administration for messing up another thing: the weaponization of space. I have talked to a lot of people in my industry and everyone agrees this is an extremely bad thing. Think about it, people spend anywhere from 100M-10B for a satellite, and suddenly it becomes an asset that can be destroyed as part of a military campaign. There is NO WAY for a satellite to defend itself from a missile. None, zero, at least not any current scientific, spy or commercial satellite (which is nearly all the current fleet).
So in this game its only offense, no defense. And the Bush administration has been talking about the weaponization of space for years! So if this is a game in which there is no defense, then the country who has the most number of satellites has the most to lose. Guess who has the most, yep the US! It makes no sense. And most of their rhetoric has been aimed at China for years.

Well guess what, China decided to show that they can play the game. So in 2007, China blew up one of its old scientific satellites 500 miles up. Just to show that it could, and could do the same to our satellites. Well done Bush. So it an act of reciprocity, the US shoots down one of our old satellites. Yeah, yeah, they say it was in the name of public safety (99.99999% garbage, 0.00001% truth). They used truth part to justify the real agenda, to shoot down a satellite just to prove we could do it too. The real space wars have now begun. And not like Reagan, and we have so much more to lose now.

So what does this have to do with junk? Think about of the tiny debris that was generated from just these two events alone. Most will harmlessly deorbit and burn up in the atmosphere. But some of this debris will be whizzing around for decades and very small ballistic projectiles, just waiting to damage some unsuspecting satellite. And there is no way to clean stuff like this up. Micrometeorids also fall in this class and also do damage… but the big difference is, we didn’t create those.

Second, old satellites

Next I will turn my attention to the GEO belt. These are the most likely candidates for what your are suggesting. So there are 3 basic ways a satellite can fail: it runs out of fuel, components eventually break, or exterior surfaces degrade too much. So space is an extremely harsh environment.

Not only do you have to survive a ride on a rocket first, but then you have to stay up there for typically 15 years.  And so you have to make sure that you send up enough fuel to last you all 15 years. At the end of 15 years, when the mission is over, every satellite is required to carry enough fuel for an end of life burn. Basically out a GEO altitudes, the satellite will not de-orbit for millennia. And all the satellites take up slots in the equatorial plane. So in order for a dead satellite to not take up a slot, this end of life burn does a plane change to move away from equatorial. It is usually about 10-100 miles. Not very much, just enough to keep them from being obstacles.

With those years you have to endure cosmic rays and other high energy particles. Most satellites weather these storms, but sometimes parts get fried (a proton gets embedded in a processor or something) and it maybe catastrophic. If so there is no resurrecting these.

Also you have surface degradation. Out in space you are exposed to the full UV spectrum and full radiation from the sun. This is much more punishing than on Earth. Here we have the atmosphere to lessen these effects and protect us. Space is rough. So over time solar cells degrade (they put out less power for the same amount of sunlight), and thermal control surfaces degrade (they become less effective at blocking or reflecting away the sunlight causing the spacecraft to run hotter).

So every satellite definitely has a finite life. Even if it is sitting out there at the end of its life, it is still being punished by the sun, still degrading all of its surfaces.

Now the #1 reason what satellites are decommissioned is because they run out of fuel. Typically we design satellite with a fair bit of margin and the performance through the life is better than predicted. So a satellite could run longer, if it had enough fuel for station keeping.

This is where proposed Robotic Servicing Missions come in. Robotics have been entering space in a big way over the past 5-10 years. Being able to do complicated tasks autonomously with appendages and tools is exceptionally difficult. And so is doing autonomous rendezvous and docking. Extremely difficult! But there have been some recently successful missions that have demonstrated this. Orbital Express is just such a mission, check this out

So one crazy idea is to take a satellite like Orbital Express specifically design to access the fuel ports on a GEO communications satellite, load it up with fuel and fly out to the GEO belt and fill ‘er up. It is like the gas station coming to the satellite. The problem is the launch cost of launching all that fuel (fuel makes up almost the biggest percentage of a spacecrafts weight). So it is definitely not economically viable. But as the costs of making the servicing satellite get smaller, it may happen. It is an idea that many of my co-workers really want to see happen and are working hard for.

Thanks for the question. man! Sorry I rambled a bit in answering it, there are just a lot of things to consider :)

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#5) On June 20, 2008 at 7:49 AM, madcowmonkey (< 20) wrote:

Dude, ramble away. It sounds like something that will eventually have to be dealt with in the future, so it is good to see people working on it now. The main antagonist is fuel as usual. Hopefully this will not be a problem in the next 25-50 years. I can't imagine my boys or your kids growing up and worrying about the price for a gallon of gas. How ridiculous if you sit back and think about it. I wonder if the compressed air engine could help. The satellites could have their own power supply from solar and they could compress the air when needed. This would take away the affect of having to lug around fuel for the entire life of the satellite, which would make it much lighter. Not sure if solar would power it enough to run the compressor. Maybe the robot could fill the tanks instead of fuel. I don't know. I always thought that was the way they maneuvered in the first place? By using air. Now I will be thinking about this stuff all day:) 

Why would Bush want to start blowing up satellites when we have more of them than any other country. Don't you think he would work on a way to preserve instead of destroy. That guy needs an attitude adjustment:)

Thank you for the information. I learned something today and it is only 7 am. I have not done that since I was in school:) 

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#6) On June 20, 2008 at 8:41 AM, binv271828 (< 20) wrote:

Hey madcow,

No, actually the fuel of choice for most satellites in Hydrazine. This is a Nitrogren based fuel similar to ammonia. There are many reasons why this is used for on-orbit (in vacuum) maneuvaring, including portability, prop system flow / blow-down, efficiency (Specific Impulse), etc.

No, the compressed air wouldn't help. Air makes a lousy propellant (doesn't store much energy) and you can't recompress any air, becuase there is no air in space :)

Momentum wheels and torque rods are some ways that some satellites use inertia and the Earth's magnetic field to do maneuvaring without needing fuel, but those are fairly weak and can't be used for station keeping, really only stability. Unfortunately you need a fuel of some sort. :( No real way around that, at least with current technology.

I have no idea why Bush does 90% of what he does. Oh well. Yes, you can see how well angry rhetoric has served us....

No problem about the info man! Thanks for the opportunity to ramble. This stuff is always interesting to talk about. Space, renewable energy, organic food. I am basically as sci-fi, space-age hippie :) yuk, yuk.

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#7) On June 20, 2008 at 8:51 AM, madcowmonkey (< 20) wrote:

No air! I am laughing so hard right now. I think I will grab another cup of coffee:) I didn't even think about that when I was posting the reply. Are you in VA?

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#8) On June 20, 2008 at 9:19 AM, madcowmonkey (< 20) wrote:

Oh my Shekel. Here is what I got from a press release from BPHX.

Mr. Kilman continued, “Currently, we anticipate adjusted, non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.14 

to $0.18 for the second quarter, reflecting the impact of the Shekel against the U.S. Dollar and 

higher expenses related to headcount in anticipation of accelerated progress in deal closing 

during the later part of this year. We expect similar results in the third quarter, and are optimistic 

that that we will see substantial business growth during the fourth quarter. We are not providing 

an update on full-year guidance due to the possible upside impact of several major deals in 

various stages of discussion.” 


“The U.S. Dollar, however, continues to deteriorate against the Israeli Shekel and other 

currencies and this will likely impact our adjusted non-GAAP earnings for the year,” Mr. Kilman 

concluded. “As we discussed in our last earnings call, we are not planning to adjust our guidance 

on a monthly basis as the Dollar fluctuates. However, based on current exchange rates we 

expect an approximate $0.06 to $0.07 impact against our earnings over the next three quarters.” 

Here is the link (hopefully)

BluePhoenix Solutions Provides Business Update 

A 40% drop in one day! Get in in another 2 to 4 business days. 

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#9) On June 20, 2008 at 9:36 AM, binv271828 (< 20) wrote:

No worries man! Yes, it is still early, it would have been an obvious statement after another cup of coffee :)

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#10) On June 21, 2008 at 5:49 PM, Tastylunch (28.53) wrote:

I hate Bush too. The man's incompetence is astounding.

I can't say I'm at all surprised his admin's tactic to "star wars" is completely stupid.

Great writeup BINV, you really should copy and paste it to your blog so you can get Recs

madcow I'll check out BPHX might bea n interesting play ifit sin't broken. :-)

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#11) On June 21, 2008 at 6:26 PM, binv271828 (< 20) wrote:

Thanks Tasty! Yeah, I just makes me so frustrated to hear so much angry rhetoric. It does the US absolutely no good, and is destroying our image and standing with the rest of the world. I think the next few administrations will be spent undoing so much of the damage that was done with this one.

As far as the post, I don't know if it is good enough to stand on its own. It was really more the rambling answer to a question, and not really a full fledged idea on its own :) Thanks for the thought though.

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