Metabolix Inc (NASDAQ:MBLX)

CAPS Rating: 1 out of 5

The Company is a biotechnology company that develops and plans to commercialize environmentally sustainable, economically attractive alternatives to petrochemical-based plastics, fuels and chemicals.

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Member Avatar SmartAce (99.87) Submitted: 9/10/2014 10:50:54 AM : Underperform Start Price: $1.30 MBLX Score: +66.16

Does destroying a yellow jacket nest while getting stung multiple times count as a victory?

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Member Avatar PenchyOne (< 20) Submitted: 3/16/2014 11:54:09 AM : Outperform Start Price: $1.40 MBLX Score: -77.13

I like the technology.

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Member Avatar SqwiiTrader (< 20) Submitted: 2/28/2014 4:19:12 AM : Outperform Start Price: $1.33 MBLX Score: -75.21

massive IHS

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Member Avatar IU2007 (< 20) Submitted: 2/16/2014 8:03:55 PM : Outperform Start Price: $1.37 MBLX Score: -77.23

sales growth, cash on balance sheet relative to market cap.

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Member Avatar BuffettJunior1 (97.74) Submitted: 11/12/2011 8:42:58 PM : Underperform Start Price: $3.94 MBLX Score: +151.68

This is a terrible business! There is no way this company is worth anything close to 120 million, as its market cap suggests.

Since the company went public almost 10 years ago it has never even been able to earn over 5 million in revenue. Additionally, the company has been losing an increasing amount of cash every year. I just don't see anything about this company that would make it a worthy investment at any price.

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Member Avatar Latrix (< 20) Submitted: 2/26/2011 12:54:56 PM : Outperform Start Price: $9.33 MBLX Score: -150.11

Slow move away from oil based plastics to natural ones that are Eco friendly

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Member Avatar orono1 (< 20) Submitted: 12/8/2010 4:30:03 PM : Outperform Start Price: $11.57 MBLX Score: -162.65

We need to support this type of effort by a company that can reduce plastic waste. There technology is easily converted into products that will spur the " Green " revolution and will reduce our dependence on oil or at least divert oil to a better use

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Member Avatar MattyCat (< 20) Submitted: 11/23/2010 9:15:23 PM : Outperform Start Price: $10.55 MBLX Score: -168.92

Many companies are pushing this type of biotech research. MBLX just completed their second factory and is on the cusp of sending out initial orders. This is the time to buy in!

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Member Avatar Robear1020 (< 20) Submitted: 9/13/2010 4:38:01 PM : Outperform Start Price: $10.52 MBLX Score: -179.88

Frozen dinner trays, plastic-forks-knives-spoons, plastic-cups-plates-table cloths… Billions of pounds of plastics everywhere you look and most are made from petrochemicals. Metabolix has a solution for this; they offer a biodegradable substitute named Mirel (made from biodegradable plant-based polymers) that could be used in a “range of commercial applications, including products used in agriculture and horticulture, compost and organic waste diversion bags, marine and aquatic applications, consumer products, business equipment and durable goods, and general packaging materials. In addition, the company is also developing a proprietary platform technology for co-producing plastics, chemicals, and energy from crops, such as switchgrass, oilseeds, and sugarcane” (quote from the MBLX/Yahoo profile)

This year Metabolix took two big leaps forward as they completed their first large scale Mirel manufacturing plant (located in Clinton Iowa) and they received FDA approval for use of their biodegradable plastics in food contact applications.

IMHO, the FDA approval greatly expands their potential customer base as: “Mirel F1005 and F1006 grades are now cleared for use in non-alcoholic food contact applications. The conditions of use range from frozen food storage to boiling water up to 212*F, including microwave reheating. Mirel is suitable for a wide range of injection molded food service and packaging applications including caps and closures, and disposable items such as forks, spoons, knives, tubs, trays, and hot cup lids. The clearance also includes products such as house-wares, cosmetics and medical packaging” (quote from a Metabolix press release)

Coming up during the next couple quarters…
1) FDA submittals to sell Mirel into thermoforming and film food contact markets; once approved, Metabolix will be able to service thermoformed applications such as coffee lids and yoghurt cups and film applications for using food packaging and storage bags. FDA approval is expected in either the fourth of this year or the first quarter of next year.
2) Delivery of C4 product samples to potential customers to garner customer feedback… Metabolix is creating a biobased replacement for the c4 (four carbon) chemicals used to make spandex fibers, polyurethanes, engineering resins, and personal care products. Currently c4 chemicals are produced from non-renewable, fossil-based hydrocarbons; the total global market for these chemicals is over 2.5 billion pounds per year. Metabolix expects to provide customers with samples of their c4 replacement some time during the first quarter of next year.

It takes quite awhile to move new customers through the development cycle and into production (typically anywhere from nine to fifteen months) so don’t expect a lot of revenue growth during the rest of this year, but if the CEO and CFO are right then 2011 should be a very good year... Personally, I’ve added a little MBLX to my son’s college fund and looking forward to seeing it grow over the next ten years.

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Member Avatar EclecticRecluse (80.40) Submitted: 8/13/2010 7:44:26 AM : Underperform Start Price: $12.77 MBLX Score: +187.19

High Short Interest with Low Sales

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Member Avatar nedrac (54.16) Submitted: 8/8/2010 4:38:21 PM : Outperform Start Price: $13.68 MBLX Score: -179.61

Malcomb Berko, writer for "taking stock" articles, recently
recommended METABOLIX for the companys proprietary
system to develop "Green" or BIODEGRADABLE plastics.

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Member Avatar rknapton (< 20) Submitted: 6/24/2010 3:49:58 PM : Underperform Start Price: $14.95 MBLX Score: +189.39

Who wouldn’t want to own MBLX?

Here’s a company with an amazing technology.

Metabolix (MBLX)

Basically, they make plastic out of plants rather than oil. This has to be the future of plastics. Non petrochemical-based plastics that have biodegradable characteristics… Simply amazing!

As Warren Buffett has said:
“The key to investing is not assessing how much an industry is going to affect society, or how much it will grow, but rather determining the competitive advantage of any given company and, above all, the durability of that advantage. The products or services that have wide, sustainable moats around them are the ones that deliver rewards to the investors.”

So again, who wouldn’t want to own MBLX? (rknapton shorts the stock, purchases put options, and then raises hand)

The company’s technology sounds great, and maybe the company could be worth a small speculative bet… until you see how much money they are losing, combined with an astonishing P/S ratio. The future potential earnings premium being given to this company by the market valuing the company at $400 million is just crazy.

How much money are they losing? Well since 2007, their annual revenues have been declining from almost $1.7 million, down to just over $1.4 million in 2009. And for these revenues, they consistently have an operating loss of over $30 million annually. Ouch.

Do they have a “moat” with their proprietary “stuff” (microbial fermentation system to produce a family of polymers known as polyhydroxyalkanoates under the Mirel name)? I don’t know, but it’s not as if other companies are not also already making proprietary bio-based renewable plastics. Here’s another company, Cereplast that already has more revenues and doesn’t lose as much money (although I’m not recommending this company either). http://www.cereplast.com/homepage.php I’d expect many more companies will be doing the same thing a decade from now too.

Hopes Dreams and Aspirations.

Let me provide a historical example that I think is fairly similar to how MBLX is trading at a price of over 300 times their revenues.

From “The Focus Investor”, by Richard M. Rockwood:

(writing about TheGlobe.com… you know, it had something to do with the “Internet” and that is going to change the World, so it had to be worth a lot right?)

“Based on its price at the end of its first day of trading, its market cap reached $841.8 million.
Lets examine just how insane this market cap was. The company reported $2.7 million in total revenues for the nine months of 1998, compared with just $415,000 posted a year earlier. Its net loss widened to $11.5 million for the same nine-month period, compared with $2.6 million the previous year. These financials indicate speculators were willing to pay $841 million for a company with a measly $2.7 million in revenues and no profits anywhere in sight.”

So yeah, we know what happened to investors in TheGlobe.com. Will MBLX that is trading at a market cap of $400 million, for their measly $1.4 million in revenues have the same fate?

I’m counting on it.

On a positive, the company does have a decent amount of cash on their balance sheet… But considering the shareholder dilution that is happening, I’m not worried about it. From Q1 09 to Q1 10, their share count has gone from 22,975,459 up to 26,536,924, for an increase of 15.5%.

RK

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Member Avatar dlaut (< 20) Submitted: 12/1/2009 6:34:26 PM : Outperform Start Price: $11.62 MBLX Score: -181.69

Metabolix is about to start full-scale production at it's Clinton Iowa plant. The plant was funded and built by ADM for the J/V with Metabolix.

The product is bio-degradable plastic produced as a by-product of the ethanol process (already located in Iowa) and orders are expected to cause the plant to run at capacity quickly enough that Metabolix is already looking at the timing of construction for additional plants at the same location (the infrastructure for future plants was installed during the construction of phase 1 which will be completed by 1stQtr 2010).

Metabolix is a group of MIT scientists who have been researching bio-engineering since the mid 1980's. They have patent protected their processes and compounds internationally. Bio-degradable plastic is the first of several products in this line of research and development. The next porduct in line is a class of chemicals know as C4 (four carbon) chemicals, which are used widely as industrial solvents in other mfg. processes. These chemical (and plastics) are currently made from oil.

The stock had a high in the mid $28 range without a plant to produce anything....just patents. It has taken a thumping due to delays in the completion of the Clinton plant (not Metabolix fault...ADM's poor management), but should jump upwards nicely once shipments begin (1st Qtr 2010), and as their customer list becomes available. Also, FDA approval for long-term food contact usage should be granted before year's end.

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Member Avatar wisesilverwolf (< 20) Submitted: 11/26/2009 12:27:04 PM : Outperform Start Price: $10.75 MBLX Score: -186.29

Sounds like a good plan.

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Member Avatar TDUBFISH313 (< 20) Submitted: 8/5/2009 10:40:34 PM : Outperform Start Price: $11.04 MBLX Score: -201.62

Bioplastics is oil free plastic. If this takes off with everybody going green this could revolutionize everything.

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Member Avatar normey (< 20) Submitted: 6/26/2009 7:55:56 PM : Outperform Start Price: $8.05 MBLX Score: -219.60

MBLX is getting fairly close to opening its first large scale factory (Clinton, IA Phase 1). While the delays in construction and unbelievable incompetence in estimating construction costs have rightfully driven the price down, as they approach production MBLX is gathering good customers. The recent announcment of Newel-Rubbermaid as a client is exactly the sort of thing that should lead to upcoming announcements regarding the expansion of Clinton Phase 1. While the current 110M pounds per year capacity of Clinton 1 is boutique in plastics, the possible expansion to 440M lbs per year is interesting.

Beyond the demands that hopefully will be made by Newel-Rubbermaid, MBLX is uniquely situated to target a 4-6B lbs per year agricultural mulch/film business in that their product will compost in normal (non-industrial composting) soil. Currently this is a significant distinguishing trait and their current work with Penn State University in field tests will hopefully lead to a giant new market for their product.

Finally, I believe the promise in Switchgrass, Sugarcane, Oilseeds and some C4 Chemical applications are all more promising than the Mirel product line that is being launched with ADM.

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Member Avatar rockambo (< 20) Submitted: 12/5/2008 1:58:51 PM : Outperform Start Price: $6.52 MBLX Score: -241.57

plastics from non-petroleum based source (i.e. corn). Cool idea.

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Member Avatar ricedavh (< 20) Submitted: 10/14/2008 11:26:08 PM : Outperform Start Price: $8.92 MBLX Score: -212.23

Currently, Metabolix Inc. & ADM are the only companies working on developing this product, that I know of. Mirel plastic can be used for hundreds of different applications making it very appealing to a wide spectrum of industries. With the drive to become less dependent on petroleum based products, Mirel will put Metabolix on the map. It won't be long after the start of production of Mirel plastic that plastic derived products we buy at the store will be stamped with a biodegradable symbol!

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Member Avatar mchrist152 (97.54) Submitted: 10/14/2008 12:33:02 AM : Outperform Start Price: $10.24 MBLX Score: -197.92

Recyclable plastics is the future. These guys have the best product.

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Member Avatar foritzel (< 20) Submitted: 8/28/2008 12:23:29 PM : Outperform Start Price: $11.34 MBLX Score: -159.97

They are not making any money but they have a strong cash reserve, BUT they are working in an industry that is in vogue. The trend of the stock price seems to be on the upswing

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