BioProcess Algae LLC has been selected to receive a grant of up to $6.4 million from the U.S. Department of Energy as part of a pilot-scale biorefinery project related to production of hydrocarbon fuels meeting military specification.
BioProcess Algae is a joint venture among Franklin-based Clarcor Inc., a provider of filtration products, BioProcessH2O LLC, a wastewater purification technology company, and Green Plains Renewable Energy.
The project will use renewable carbon dioxide, lignocellulosic sugars and waste heat through BioProcess Algae's Grower Harvester technology platform, co-located with the Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc. ethanol plant in Shenandoah, Iowa.
"We believe our Grower Harvester platform will be vital in the development of this project with the DOE," said Tim Burns, president and CEO of BioProcess Algae. "For this project, we will integrate low-cost autotrophic algal production, accelerated lipid production, and lipid conversion in an effort to develop a cost-effective advanced biofuel for military needs. This development is consistent with our current plans to build the next phase of Grower Harvester reactors in Shenandoah."
The project will demonstrate technologies to cost-effectively convert biomass into advanced drop-in biofuels and the recipient is required to contribute a minimum of 50 percent matching funds for the project.
Brian Drab at William Blair has cut his rating on shares of Clarcor to 'market perform' from 'outperform,' where he had had them since August of 2011. The move comes shortly after Franklin-based Clarcor reported Q4 profits and said its 2013 would be below the Street's consensus. Shares of Clarcor (Ticker: CLC) ended last week up about 3 percent and have risen about 10 percent over the past three months.
Edward Westlake, refining analyst at Credit Suisse, sees more good things ahead for Delek US Holdings and other independent refiners even though he has lowered his Q4 earnings estimates a bit. Looking forward to 2013, his big themes include both improvements in the margin dynamics and "continued appreciation of the free cash generation and the value of higher multiple businesses within the group which suggest the shares still offer value." Because of that, Westlake has boosted his price targets for Delek and a number of its peers by about 7 percent. Delek (Ticker: DK) is up more than 20 percent year to date and has soared 60 percent since late July.
Investment management firm Eaton Vance saw value in shares of Franklin-based Clarcor in the wake of their post-earnings September swoon. The firm this week reported that it now owns more than 4.3 million Clarcor shares, up from roughly 1.4 million shares on Sept. 30. Eaton Vance, which manages about $200 billion, is now Clarcor's No. 2 shareholder behind Neuberger Berman. Clarcor (Ticker: CLC) is up almost 10 percent in the past three months.
Franklin-based Clarcor said late Monday it plans to spend an unspecified amount to increase the size of its Dallas air filter plant by more than half. The construction, which is supposed to wrap up by the end of this year, will add about 45,000 square feet of manufacturing and distribution capacity to the 22-year-old plant. The company (Ticker: CLC) also plans to hire more workers.
Outspoken hospital analyst Sheryl Skolnick got some time on CNBC Monday, where she talked about the political climate's effect on the sector. The CRT Capital researcher also was asked about her 'sell' rating on Community Health Systems. Her response: There's still an overhang from the various regulatory issues that Chairman and CEO Wayne Smith and his team face, the company is dependent on acquisitions for growth and — this is music to the ears of deep-down-number-crunching investors everywhere — cash flows aren't keeping up with earnings.
Richard Eastman at Robert W. Baird has lowered his price target on shares of Clarcor to $52 from $55 following the company's Q3 miss. But, he notes, the Franklin-based maker of filtration and packaging products still has the ability to grow its margins and he is keeping his 'outperform' rating. Barron's has more on that and on the recent dividend hike.
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