I always get fascinated by companies that are doing well in business lines not many will think of venturing into. Solazyme
What is it that gets me so excited about this company that's hardly six months into the market and has yet to see a profitable quarter? Just three reasons -- read on and you'll know why I give this stock a thumbs-up.
Solazyme's technology is unique and interesting. Using microalgae, it converts cheap plant-based sugars into tailored oils. Tailored? Well, Solazyme can easily adapt its oils for use in almost anything you can think of-- from fuels to food to beauty products.
But, you might argue, it's not the only company trying out the green route. True, there is competition, but it doesn't look threatening. There's Amyris
Similarly, Solazyme's oils are more flexible compared to Gevo's corn-to-isobutanol technology that can be used in jet fuel and synthetic rubber. Then there's Kior
Now you have an idea of how Solazyme appears well ahead in the race. Wait till I tell you what kind of companies are showing interest in it -- you might be surprised!
It's finding more takers
Solazyme's oils are permeating all sorts of industries -- from the ground to the skies.
Recently, a flight from Houston to Chicago made for an interesting headline -- it was powered by a biofuel developed by Solazyme in collaboration with Honeywell International's
Now, Solazyme has signed a Letter of Intent with highflier United Continental's
On the ground, apart from supplying marine diesel fuel to the U.S. Navy, Solazyme is now gladly adding the who's who of companies to its customer list.
It signed its fourth agreement with Unilever last month, to brainstorm how to use its oils in products like soaps. If this is successful, Unilever might actually end up buying commercial quantities of these oils for many years to come! J.C. Penney is also stocking up on more of Solazyme's microalgae-based luxury skin-care line in its stores now.
Solazyme's also forming a joint venture with Bunge
Already overwhelmed? Wait, there's more! Solazyme has multiple agreements with none other than oil major Chevron
Solazyme couldn't have asked for a better start! What's more, it is also generating more revenues than before.
Its revenues are looking up
Solazyme's revenues are growing by the day. Its third-quarter top line surged to $8.9 million from $$4.6 million a year ago, as research agreements fell into its lap. In its second quarter, too, revenues had jumped 68% from a year ago to $7.4 million.
Solazyme has been spending a lot on research and development, product launches, and marketing. As a result, its operating expenses are higher than its revenues, thereby resulting in losses. Its third-quarter net losses widened to $14 million from $8.9 million a year ago.
But consider this: Solazyme is currently trying hard to gain wider recognition and acceptance of its innovative technology. Once it gets a good foothold, it shouldn't take the company much time to turn its losses around. Growing revenues could then be the key to a great future.
The Foolish bottom line
Solazyme's business line is extremely interesting, and its latest developments and growing top line are enough to excite anybody. So what if the company's bottom line is yet to see black? Its technology has the power to take the world by storm -- a world that's trying hard to make living cleaner and greener. I can't help but put my faith in Solazyme. Just a little patience, and who knows how good this bet could turn out to be!
It could really be worth knowing all about which new nooks and crannies Solazyme's oil is seeping into. Don't you think so? Do chime in with your comments below. And also add this unique oil stock to your stock Watchlist, our free and personalized stock-tracking service, to stay updated.
Neha Chamaria does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Solazyme and Amyris. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Chevron. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.