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Global Energy Innovations (GEI)


FUEL CELLS: THE RACE TO AN ENERGY SECURE FUTURE

fuelcellFuel cells are a highly efficient, combustion-less, and virtually pollution free energy source that provides electricity to power a wide array of applications including buildings, automobiles, emergency back-up systems, laptop computers, and numerous other consumer devices. In principle, a fuel cell is an electrochemical device that operates like a battery. However, unlike a battery, a fuel cell requires re-fueling, and not recharging. A fuel cell uses fuel – usually hydrogen extracted from natural gas, propane, or other carbon based fuels, and oxygen extracted from air – to produce electricity. Fuel cells will continue to produce energy in the form of electricity and heat as long as there is a constant fuel source. Hydrogen fuel cells work simply, have no moving parts, and operate silently with water and excess heat as the only by-products.

Specific industries that employ fuel cell power systems are:

  • Auxiliary Power
    o Commercial Trucking
    o Recreation Vehicles and Motor Homes
    o Marine
    o DOD Military
  • Portable Power
    o Disaster Relief Emergency
    • Back-up Stationary Power
  • Consumer
    o Defense and Homeland Security
    o Data Security
    o Telecommunications

Fuel Cell Commercialization Barriers

Although significant financial resources have been invested in fuel cell technology over the last few years, the following are typically agreed to as primary barriers to mass market commercialization. They are:

1. Lack of a hydrogen infrastructure for fuel storage and distribution.
2. Cost of ownership due to use of precious metals for fuel cell membranes.
3. Lack of large volume applications to minimize both membrane and component cost, and overall manufacturing cost, and;
4. Lack of robust fuel cell power system design that is flexible and adaptable to the varying needs of the user and minimizes engineering cost for use with multiple applications with different power requirements.

GEI’s Commercialization Strategy

Global Energy Innovations (GEI) is part of the Fuel Cell and Sustainable/Alternative Energy industry and has a target market that includes portable and on-board fuel cell power generation applications requiring efficient, clean, near-zero emissions, and silent operations in the 2kW to 10kW nominal power range.

GEI’s competitive strategy is the economicalprocessing of hydrogen from locally available logistics fuels combined with flexible, adaptable, and reconfigurable power electronics. This strategy provides a pathway to large volume commercialization of fuel cell power systems. Our innovative technology is customer centric and is driven by a commercialization reality that provides opportunities for the rapid integration of fuel cell power systems for markets typically restricted by the lack of a hydrogen infrastructure and allows for a common fuel cell architecture accross multiple application areas. This “Blue Ocean” strategy is fundamental to GEI’s success.

Their initial product offering is the GEI proprietary X5 Smart Adaptable Fuel Cell Auxiliary Power Unit, i.e. “GEI X5”. The GEI X5 has the competitive advantage of providing multiple user programmable power output channels over a wide voltage and current range that operate concurrently and independently. The GEI X5 innovation provides customers significant flexibility relative to the use of fuel cell APU’s for multiple applications with varying currents and voltages with a single fuel cell stack input.

Currently, fuel cell auxiliary units (APU’s) are designed for a single voltage output which limits the widespread commercialization of the technology, requires increased engineering and design cost for fuel cell system providers for different applications. Of most importantly the current architecture keeps the APU system cost high which limits user acceptability. Additionally, the GEI X5 smart APU provides for multiple input voltage sources, as well as multiple output power sources, to accommodate other renewable sources such as wind and solar power in addition to fuel cells.

In a nutshell, the GEI X5 de-couples the fuel cell input from the application output and allows the customer to customize the GEI X5 to individual current and voltage needs for multiple applications operating independently and concurrently. We feel our power electronics innovation is a “game changer”and will help to rapidly accelerate the adoption of fuel cell APU’s for multiple and concurrent everyday applications.

Practical Application Advantages

The advantages for commercial trucking, military, recreation vehicles, and marine applications are:

  1. Provides multiple reprogrammable output power channels supporting devices that operate at different voltages to maximize efficiency. For example, often for marine applications it is not uncommon to require 12V DC, 24VDC and 110VAC buss voltages.
  2. Allow OEM’s to provide a single platform for both US, South American, Asia and European markets that often require a different voltage bus.
  3. Allows for emergency DC/AC export power for emergency disaster relief that often require varying and uncertain power requirements.

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Medient Studios, Inc. (OTCQB: MDNT)


Medient Studios, Inc. (OTCQB: MDNT) is an entertainment content creation company with a strong presence in North America, Europe and India. Medient’s management team has approximately 150 years of experience in the motion picture industry and is responsible for producing and/or financing over 250 movies. Medient is realigning the content creation process to enable efficiencies of scale and eliminate process waste by building a fully integrated movie and game production facility and campus on a 1550 acre property in Effingham County, Georgia. Once operational this production facility will be the largest of its kind in the United States.

The Company has produced a broad spectrum of films across various genres. These include such films as “Bombay Boys”, a genre-defining Indie film that carried Indian cinema beyond the “song and dance” routine of Bollywood, and the award-winning Malayalam film “Aakshagopuram”, which was the first Indian film to be entirely produced outside of that country. The film, which bought together talent from India and the UK, set a new benchmark in East – West collaboration. “Storage 24″, a British horror film starring BAFTA award winner Noel Clarke was produced by Medient and released in 2012 by Universal Pictures.

Medient’s latest film, “Yellow”, is directed by Nick Cassavetes (The Notebook) and premiered to rave reviews and audience acclaim at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival (“TIFF”). Critic reviews from TIFF included “surreal imagination”…”bizarre parallel realities”…”wildly inventive”…and “a cinematic trip of mind-bending proportions”.

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Fresh Market profit up 17% trims outlook


Fresh Market Inc.’s TFM -4.64% fiscal second-quarter earnings increased 17% as the specialty grocer recorded a double-digit increase in sales.

The company lowered its full-year earnings guidance to a range of $1.50 to $1.55 a share from its prior forecast of $1.51 to $1.58 a share. It lifted the low end of its same-store sales outlook, now projecting growth of 3% to 4.5%. Its previous outlook called for same-store-sales growth of 2.5% to 4.5%

Fresh Market, which went public in late 2010, focuses on higher-margin foods and services such as imported cheeses, organic produce and on-site butchers. Located predominantly in the southeastern U.S., Fresh Market has a smaller footprint than rival Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFM) but has been growing.

Fresh Market said it intends to open 21 to 22 new stores in fiscal 2013. As of July 28, it operated 136 stores in 26 states.

For the quarter ended July 28, Fresh Market reported a profit of $15.6 million, or 32 cents a share, up from $13.3 million, or 28 cents a share, a year earlier. Sales rose 13% to $354.8 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently projected earnings of 32 cents a share and revenue of $357 million.

Same-store sales improved 3.4%, the result of a 1.6% rise in average transaction size and a 1.8% increase in the number of transactions.

Gross margin widened slightly to 34.2% from 34.1%.

The year-ago quarter included $1.1 million of transaction costs related to a public stock offering and legal-settlement payments.

Shares slipped 1.9% to $53.25 after-hours Wednesday. Through the close, the stock has climbed 17% over the past three months.

Write to Nathalie Tadena at nathalie.tadena@wsj.com

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SOURCE: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fresh-market-profit-up-17-trims-outlook-2013-08-28

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Ameresco cuts view citing market, storm delays


Ameresco Inc. AMRC -1.56% cut its view for the year, saying its fourth-quarter results were hurt by storm-related weather delays as well as an even more challenging solar market.

The renewable-energy company expects revenue of about $630 million and income to be in the range of $17 million to $19 million. This compares with its November expectation for revenue between $640 million and $660 million on income between $22 million and $26 million.

Still, Chief Executive George P. Sakellaris said the company is “confident about the long-term fundamentals of our business as well as the demand for energy efficiency.” He added that total construction backlog of awarded projects and fully-contracted backlog maintained a record level at roughly $1.5 billion.

Ameresco, which went public in 2010, provides energy-efficiency services for facilities and builds small renewable-energy plants. Growing U.S. interest in energy upgrade projects has been a driver behind recent results. But the pace of converting awarded projects into signed contracts has recently slowed in a few segments.

In November, Ameresco said its third-quarter earnings fell 45% as the lengthening of backlog conversion times contributed to the company’s revenue decline.

Class A shares closed Thursday at $8.97 and were recently inactive premarket. The stcok has fallen 33% in the past 12 months.

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SOURCE: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ameresco-cuts-view-citing-market-storm-delays-2013-02-15

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BMC Software profit fell 11% on higher costs


BMC Software Inc. BMC -0.04% fiscal third-quarter earnings fell 11% on higher operating expenses, stock-based compensation charges and other items.

Shares were down 7.3% at $41.25 in recent after-hours trading as adjusted earnings and revenue missed expectations and the company reduced its guidance for the fiscal year. Through the close, the stock is up 12% this year.

The business-software company now expects per-share earnings of $3.35 to $3.45 on revenue growth in the low-single digits on a percentage basis, compared with its prior estimate for a per-share profit of $3.49 to $3.59 and revenue growth in the mid-single digits.

BMC has generally posted improved core profit and revenue by leveraging increased demand for cloud computing, which allows users to run programs and store information remotely, eliminating the cost of operating the equipment themselves.

The company, which has faced challenges from higher costs and soft demand, has been working to strengthen its product pipeline and has been recovering from workforce attrition issues that hurt revenue last year.

“Our overall win rate remains high, but we need to be more consistent and disciplined in how we approach and secure large, transformational deals,” said Chief Executive Bob Beauchamp. “We are scrutinizing the entire company to improve our operational discipline. This review is currently under way, and it should position us well as we enter” the new fiscal year.

For the quarter ended Dec. 31, BMC Software reported a profit of $106.3 million, or 70 cents a share, down from $119.9 million, or 71 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding share-based compensation and other items, adjusted earnings were up at 99 from 93 cents. Revenue increased 5.8% to $580.2 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently projected earnings of $1.01 a share on revenue of $587 million.

Selling and marketing expenses increased 14% and overhead costs rose 12%. Research and development costs were up 8.8%.

Maintenance revenue–the biggest contributor to the top line–improved 6% to $232.3 million. Licensing revenue rose 3.2% to $232.3 million, while services revenue climbed 16% to $59.2 million.

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SOURCE: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bmc-software-profit-fell-11-on-higher-costs-2013-01-28

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Xyratex cuts Q3 revenue view on reduced demand


Xyratex Ltd. XRTX +0.37% lowered its fiscal third-quarter revenue expectations, pointing to reduced demand from large customers in its core enterprise data-storage division and the deferral in meeting acceptance testing criteria for its latest products.

The storage-systems provider’s shares were halted after hours Tuesday. Through the close, the stock has fallen 19% since the start of the year.

For the fiscal third quarter, which ended Aug. 31, Xyratex sees revenue between $271 million and $276 million. It previously had expected revenue of $313 million to $373 million.

Chief Executive Steve Barber said the company’s preliminary results reflect specific technical and performance requirements that haven’t yet been met and have delayed product acceptance and revenue recognition for the company’s latest capital equipment and high-performance computing products. The company is working closely with its customers to meet the required acceptance specifications, he said.

“In light of the macro-economic environment and concerns indicated by a number of our customers, we are reviewing our fiscal fourth quarter planning assumptions and will be aligning our business assumptions with our revised estimates of demand,” Mr. Barber said.

The company will report its fiscal third-quarter results on Oct. 2.

U.K.-based Xyratex, which sells its storage systems to makers of computer equipment and disk drives, saw earnings improve earlier this year on wider margins and lower input costs. The company previously had reported a string of quarters in which profit tumbled on weak demand for its data-storage infrastructure. Flooding last year in Thailand added another hurdle, as the company struggled to stretch a limited supply of disk drives to meet the requirements of its enterprise data-storage customers.

In July, Xyratex reported it swung to a fiscal second-quarter profit as margins improved, though revenue in the enterprise data-storage segment declined.

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SOURCE: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/xyratex-cuts-q3-revenue-view-on-reduced-demand-2012-09-11

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Five Below Q2 profit falls 44% on debt expenses


Five Below Inc.’s FIVE -1.64% fiscal second-quarter profit fell 44% as the teen discount retailer logged heavy debt-related expenses, masking an increase in sales.

Shares fell 7.6% in after-hours trading to $32.16. Through the close, the stock had more than doubled from its July initial offering price of $17.

Targeting teen and pre-teen shoppers, Five Below offers everything from headphones to nail polish, priced at $5 or less. The company’s quickly revolving merchandise is intended to draw in repeat customers, helping it book 25 straight quarters of same-store sales growth.

The latest quarter included a loss of $1.59 million on the extinguishment of debt. Interest expense reached $1.32 million, up from $5000 a year ago. The interest expenses were related to a term loan of $100 million taken in the second quarter, of which $65.3 million was repaid after the company’s public launch.

For the quarter ended July 28, the company posted a profit of $1.25 million, down from $2.21 million a year earlier. On a per-share basis, which includes the effects of dividend payments, the company reported a loss of $3.41, compared with a year-ago loss of 10 cents. Excluding dividend payments and expenses related to founders’ stock compensation, per-share earnings were flat at four cents.

Sales increased 40% to $86.8 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a per-share profit of a penny on sales of $82 million.

Gross margin widened to 33.1% from 32.3%.

Same-store sales grew 8.6%.

Five Below opened 27 stores in the second quarter, ending with 226 stores.

For the current quarter, the company expects to report per-share income of breakeven to a penny, excluding tax-related expenses, on revenue of $79 million to $81 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters recently expected per-share earnings of breakeven on revenue of $80 million.

For the year, Five Below expects adjusted per-share earnings of 45 cents to 47 cents, with sales of $402 million to $407 million. The Street expected per-share earnings of 44 cents on revenue of $399 million.

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SOURCE: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/five-below-q2-profit-falls-44-on-debt-expenses-2012-09-10

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Guidewire swings to Q4 profit as revenue rises


Guidewire Software Inc. GWRE +2.80% swung to a fiscal fourth-quarter profit as the insurance software maker reported broad-based revenue growth, led by gains in services revenue.

Shares surged 12% to $32.90 after hours as results topped analyst expectations.

Guidewire, which went public in January, makes core system software for the property and casualty insurance industry. Its programs underpin a range of functions from underwriting to claims management and billing. The company has said it benefits from an aging technical infrastructure and scarcity of experienced technology workers at property-and-casualty insurers, as well as pressure for insurers to venture into new products and to use the Internet to reach customers.

The company had reported weaker bottom-line results in the prior two quarters, though revenue has continued to grow.

For the quarter ended July 31, Guidewire reported a profit of $3.5 million, or six cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $1.2 million, or six cents a share. Excluding stock-based compensation, a year-ago litigation provision and other items, per-share earnings slipped to 10 cents from 24 cents. Revenue was up 33% at $67.6 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently projected earnings of four cents a share and revenue of $62 million.

Gross margin narrowed to 59.7% from 63%. Operating expenses slipped 5.5%.

Services revenue, the biggest contributor to the top line, jumped 61%. License revenue increased 11%, while revenue at its smaller maintenance segment rose 33%.

Through the close, the stock has more than doubled from its January initial public offering price of $13 a share.

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SOURCE: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/guidewire-swings-to-q4-profit-as-revenue-rises-2012-09-04

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Baidu to invest $1.6B in cloud-computing center


BEIJING–Baidu Inc. BIDU -0.51% said Monday that it would invest roughly 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) in a cloud computing center.

Baidu didn’t give further details such as where the center would be located and how it was going to pay for the investment.

China’s leading search engine by revenue has been pushing hard to expand its hold of the rapidly growing mobile Internet market, and cloud computing–or remote online data storage–has been a key part of that initiative. The company has been offering remote storage to users and application developers to woo them to use its mobile services.

Earlier in the day at the Baidu Technology Innovation Forum in Beijing, the company introduced a new mobile web browser that offers Baidu services, speedy downloads, and applications that can run directly in the browser.

The cloud center and new browser are the most recent steps in Baidu’s gambit to gain a better foothold in the still young, but rapidly expanding, mobile Internet space.

Baidu has dominated online search in China since U.S.-based Google Inc. (GOOG) said it would stop working with Chinese censors and moved its search service to Hong Kong in 2010. But as China’s customers increasingly turn to smartphones to access the Internet, users have more often turned to other search engines as well as social networks to surf the web.

To counter the trend, Baidu launched an Android-based smartphone operating system in May and has been cooperating with handset makers to feature the software on an increasing number of phones sold in China.

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SOURCE: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/baidu-to-invest-16b-in-cloud-computing-center-2012-09-03

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Statoil to enter new shale plays in 2012


STAVANGER–Statoil ASA STO -0.71% , the Norwegian oil giant, said Thursday it was looking to enter new shale plays as it eyes early moves in a nascent global “land grab” for shale oil and shale gas resources.

Statoil wouldn’t say which countries it was currently exploring but presented an optimistic view on the role for shale oil and shale gas worldwide, amid a U.S. shale “revolution” that could significantly reduce the country’s energy import needs. The shale boom could also affect other regions, Statoil said.

“There are many interesting countries,” said Atle Rettedal, Statoil’s senior vice president Global New Ventures, adding an announcement will be made “in the relatively near future,” likely later this year.

“There is a global land-grab going on,” Mr. Rettedal said during a press conference at the Offshore Northern Seas oil event in Stavanger, on the south-west coast of Norway.

Some countries might have shale resources “the size of the U.S., or even more,” Mr. Rettedal said, adding that “the importance of shale shouldn’t be underestimated” and it will likely “play a very important role in the supply of oil and gas in the decades to come.”

In the U.S., shale gas is likely to account for 49% of total natural gas production by 2035, according to the Energy Information Administration, but globally the exploration of shale oil and shale gas resources is at a very early stage. At the end of 2011, Statoil said, the U.S. had drilled more than 32,500 shale gas wells, but Canada had only drilled 1,400, South America about 30, Australia 15, China about 60, and in all of Europe just 35 wells had been drilled.

Statoil is exploring shale resources in Australia’s Northern Territories in a joint venture with Petrofrontier Corp. , spending at least $25 million in the hope of finding shale oil, Mr. Rettedal said. The company is also entering the Stavropol shale play near the Caspian Sea, in cooperation with Russia’s state-controlled giant OAO Rosneft .

“We’ll likely move on to drill wells next year,” said Mr. Rettedal.

Statoil has tried to enter Chinese shale plays, but has found the climate difficult since the Norwegian Nobel committee awarded the 2010 Peace Prize to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.

“China potentially has a lot of shale [resources]. But we haven’t been in position yet,” said Mr. Rettedal. “The Nobel prize has had an effect on the Norway-China relationship.”

Statoil has recently entered several U.S. shale plays. It became a partner in the Marcellus play in 2008, moved into Eagle Ford as an operator in 2010, and entered Bakken in 2011.

Statoil aims to produce a total 2.5 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2020, from 1.9 million barrels per day in 2010, and international production is a significant part of that. In the U.S., Statoil aims to increase its onshore and offshore production to 500,000 barrels per day from 100,000 barrels per day. Statoil’s U.S. production is currently 60% shale gas and 40% shale oil.

Like other companies in U.S. shale plays, Statoil has been affected by lower natural-gas prices caused by the recent ramp-up in U.S. production.

“The development in gas prices has been negative for the last couple of years, but we believe it will turn,” said Torstein Hole, Statoil’s senior vice president U.S. onshore, in an interview.

Statoil’s shale oil production is “quite competitive” against the rest of its portfolio,” said Mr. Hole. “We have said that we have [a break-even cost of] about $50 and $60 a barrel for our Bakken production. With the current price level, that’s good.”

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SOURCE: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/statoil-to-enter-new-shale-plays-in-2012-2012-08-30

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