Google (NASDAQ: GOOG ) has added new satellite images to make Maps more accurate and comprehensive, the company announced this week.
Working with data from the U.S. Geological Survey and NASA’s Landsat 7
satellite, Google has sifted through mountains of data to identify and “stitch” the new images together on Maps. While in the past Google relied on one picture to create an image, Google says it now uses thousands of images together to get rid of any clouds and other atmospheric effects. Users can see these clear, high-definition images when they use Maps’s satellite view or Google Earth.
Google has also refreshed some of its images from around the world. As areas have changed over the past few years, Google has updated its images to ensure users have a “current” image of places from central Africa to Saudi Arabia.
This is Google’s second mapping announcement in recent months. Last month, the company unveiled its Earth Engine time-lapse imagery of the earth from 1984-2012. Google used the same technological process here to create the new Map images.
Top 10 New Companies To Watch In Right Now: Ceres Inc (CERE)
Ceres, Inc. (Ceres), incorporated in March 1996, is an agricultural biotechnology company selling seeds to produce renewable biomass feedstocks that can enable the large-scale replacement of petroleum and other fossil fuels. The Company’s large-scale commercial products are sweet sorghum varieties that can be used as a drop-in feedstock to extend the operating season of Brazilian sugarcane-to-ethanol mills. Its products include sweet sorghum, high biomass sorghum, switchgrass, miscanthus and row crops Its energy crops can also be used for the production of second-generation biofuels and bio-based chemicals, including cellulosic ethanol, butanol, jet fuel, diesel-like molecules and gasoline-like molecules, from non-food biomass. Baseload utility scale electric power can also be generated from the biomass feedstocks grown from its seeds. Ceres has started marketing sweet sorghum seeds in Brazil and has sold switchgrass and high biomass sorghum seeds in the United States u nder its brand, Blade Energy Crops (Blade). In January 2010, the Company incorporated a subsidiary, Ceres Sementes do Brasil Ltda.
The Company generates its revenues from government grants, research and development collaboration agreements and from product sales. Product sales primarily consists of sales of seeds. Collaborative research revenues consist of payments for research and development activities for specific projects. Government grant revenues consist of payments from government entities. Ceres markets its seeds and traits directly to ethanol mills, utilities, independent power producers, cellulosic biofuel companies, individual growers and grower cooperatives. It also works with technology providers and other market participants, such as equipment manufacturers and enzyme or fermentation technology companies. The Company markets its products to biorefineries and biopower facilities.
Ceres’s activities in cellulosic biofuels encompass a r ange of activities, including field trials, co-evolution agr! eements, and commercial sales. Its products have been tested in the conversion processes of EdeniQ, Inc., Choren USA LLC, Gruppo M&G, ICM, Inc., and UOP, LLC (a Honeywell company), among others. The Company has also conducted joint trials with, or sold seed to, AGCO Corporation, EdeniQ, Inc. and Hawai’i BioEnergy, LLC, among others. It has begun collaboration with Valero Services, Inc. to further evaluate feedstock supply strategies with energy crops. Ceres also works with refining technology companies to optimize feedstock for their refining processes. These collaborators include Novozymes North America, Inc. and ThermoChem Recovery International, Inc.
The Company’s products are drop-in solutions as they can be planted, harvested and processed using existing agricultural equipment with little or no modification and are being developed to be drop-in for all conversion technologies using sugarcane or biomass feedstocks, facilitat ing their rapid adoption. In collaboration with Boa Vista/Nova Fronteira, which is a joint venture of ethanol producers Grupo Sao Martinho, S.A. and Petrobras Biofuels, the Company has completed a commercial-scale trial on approximately 250 hectares of its sweet sorghum, which was planted and harvested using existing planting and harvesting equipment, fermented into ethanol without retrofitting or altering the existing mill and the remaining biomass combusted for electricity production, using existing boilers. It has also conducted smaller trials using its other energy crops with numerous industry participants engaged in cellulosic biofuels and biopower production. The Company’s products have been tested in the conversion processes of Amyris Biotechnologies, Inc., Choren USA LLC, EdeniQ, Inc., Gruppo M&G, ICM, Inc., Novozymes North America, Inc., ThermoChem Recovery International, Inc. and UOP, LLC (a Honeywell company), among others. DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol LLC (DDCE) also plans to validate the Company’s products in th! eir conve! rsion process.
Sweet sorghum is a type of sorghum that accumulates free sugars in its stalk. It is sown by seed, and requires less water and nitrogen fertilizer to grow to harvestable maturity. Sweet sorghum plants can be harvested in 90 to 140 days after sowing. Because sweet sorghum is an annual crop, multiple harvests or crop rotations may be possible during the season.
High Biomass Sorghum
High biomass sorghum is a type of sorghum, which is primarily developed for biomass yield. As such, high biomass sorghum is suited for the generation of renewable electric power and the creation of cellulosic biofuels. High biomass types are seed propagated, and requires less water and nitrogen fertilizer. As an annual crop, sorghum is harvested the year it is planted. This provides bioenergy facilities with a growing and flexible source of biomass, and a complementary feedstock to perennials, such as sugarcane or switch grass. The Company’s ES 5200 and ES 5201 products contains its Skyscraper trait. These hybrids, developed through its partnership with Texas A&M University, are designed for single-cut production systems.
Switchgrass is a perennial grass indigenous to North America that offers high biomass yield potential. It requires less water and nitrogen fertilizer, and can grow under semi-arid conditions. Switchgrass is seed propagated. As a perennial, switchgrass is not harvested for sale during the first year when the crop is being established. A properly managed stand of switchgrass may persist for a decade. During the year ended December 31, 2010, it introduced three products: EG 1101, EG 1102 and EG 2101. These high-yielding varieties is developed through its partnership with The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation.
Miscanthus x giganteus is a tall perennial grass that grows well in cooler climates. It is veg etatively propagated. It has been used as an energy crop on ! a small s! cale across Europe. The Miscanthus genus includes several perennial species that has energy crops. The variety adopted in the United States and Europe, miscanthus x giganteus, is a sterile hybrid of M. sinensis and M. sacchariflorus. This miscanthus hybrid requires about the same water as corn, but up to two-thirds less nitrogen depending on crop management practices. As a perennial crop, miscanthus is not harvested for sale during the first year when the crop is being established. Ceres is also working on extending the region of adaptation. To these ends, the Company is collaborating with the Institute of Biological, Environmental, and Rural Sciences of Aberystwyth University in Wales, the United Kingdom.
The Company competes with Advanta India Limited, The Dow Chemical Company, Monsanto Company, Pioneer Hi-Bred (DuPont), KWS and Syngenta.
- [By James E. Brumley]
Despite the fact that markets are right around breakeven levels for Wednesday, there are relatively few stocks that are up today, and even fewer that are up on strong volume. For the NYSE, 54% of its listed equities are in the red this morning, and 58% of the total volume seen so far has been bearish volume. That’s what makes Ceres Inc. (NASDAQ:CERE) so interesting early Wednesday. As one of the few tickers that’s not only up, but up on higher volume, CERE is a standout worth a closer look. And, that closer look reveals something even more compelling about the way things are coming together for this small cap stock.
- [By Maxx Chatsko]
Shares of energy crop developer Ceres (NASDAQ: CERE ) surged more than 100% from the opening bell Monday to early trading on Thursday. In fact, over one-third of the total outstanding shares traded hands on Thursday. Even with the move the company is trading for “only” $100 million. With some of the biggest names in industrial biotech on its side — such as Syngenta (NYSE: SYT ) , Petrobras, Amyris, Valero, Novozymes, Gruppo M&G, and Mascoma, to name a few — this must be a good buy right? Not so fast.
- [By Roberto Pedone]
Another renewable energy player that looks ready to trigger a big breakout trade is Ceres (CERE), which sells seeds to produce renewable biomass feedstocks that can enable the large-scale replacement of petroleum and other fossil fuels. This stock has been hammered by the bears so far in 2013, with shares off sharply by 66%.
If you take a look at the chart for Ceres, you’ll notice that this stock has just started to trend back above its 50-day moving average of $1.45 a share with heavy upside volume flows. Volume so far today has already registered over 1.15 million shares, which is well above its three-month average action of 670,538 shares. This spike back above its 50-day is now quickly pushing shares of CERE within range of triggering a big breakout trade.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CERE if it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $1.67 to $1.68 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that hits near or above its three-month average action of 670,538 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then CERE will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $2 to $2.50 a share. Shares of CERE could even tag $3 if this breakout triggers with strong volume.
Traders can look to buy CERE off any weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below $1.40 a share. One could also buy CERE off strength once it takes out those breakout levels with volume and then simply use a stop that sits a comfortable percentage from your entry point.
Top 10 New Companies To Watch In Right Now: Zinco Do Brasil Inc (ZNBR)
Zinco do Brasil Inc., formerly TurkPower Corporation, incorporated on November 4, 2004, has been a Turkish-American consulting and service operations firm and junior mining company. TurkPower offered its domestic and international clients consulting services and plans to act as a full service operator for wind, hydro, solar, coal and geothermal energy parks in Turkey.
In November 2011, the Company ceased all operations in Turkey. During the fiscal year ended May 31, 2012 (fiscal 2012) the Company impaired its entire mining company investment.
- [By Peter Graham]
Small cap mining stocks Discovery Minerals Ltd (OTCMKTS: DSCR), Zinco Do Brasil Inc (OTCMKTS: ZNBR) and Amalgamated Gold and Silver Inc (OTCMKTS: BCHS) have been getting some extra attention lately as one stock surged last Friday while the other two are or have been in the past, the subject of paid promotions. It goes without saying though that small cap mining stocks tend to be riskier than your average stock. But do these three small cap mining stocks have what it takes to produce a mother lode for investors? Here is a deeper dig into all three:
Top 10 New Companies To Watch In Right Now: Gevo Inc (GEVO)
Gevo, Inc., incorporated in June 2005, is a renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels company. The Company is focused on the development and commercialization of alternatives to petroleum-based products. The Company operates in two segments: Gevo, Inc. Segment and Gevo Development/Agri-Energy Segment. Gevo, Inc. Segment is responsible for all research and development activities related to the future production of isobutanol, maintaining and protecting its intellectual property portfolio, developing future markets for its isobutanol and providing corporate oversight services. Its Gevo Development/Agri-Energy Segment is responsible for the production of ethanol and related products. In September 2010, the Company acquired a 22 MGPY ethanol production facility in Luverne, Minnesota that the Company intends to retrofit to produce isobutanol.
The Company’s isobutanol can also be converted by its customers into a range of hydrocarbons, which form the basis for the production of many products, including plastics, fibers, rubber and other polymers and hydrocarbon fuels, including jet and diesel fuel. Its technology platform consists of biocatalysts and a isobutanol separation unit. Together these technologies form the Gevo Integrated Fermentation Technology (GIFT). GIFT is designed to allow relatively low capital expenditure retrofits of existing ethanol facilities, enabling isobutanol production from a range of renewable feedstocks. The Company’s biocatalysts are microorganisms that have been designed to metabolize sugars to produce isobutanol.
GIFT consists of two components, biocatalysts which convert sugars derived from multiple renewable feedstocks into isobutanol through fermentation, and a separation unit which is designed to continuously separate isobutanol from water during the fermentation process. The Company developed its technology platform to be compatible with the existing approximately 20 BGPY of global operating ethanol production capacity, as estimated by the R! enewable Fuels Association (RFA).
The Company competes with Butamax Advanced Biofuels LLC (Butamax), BP p.l.c. (BP), E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Butalco GmbH, Cathay Industrial Biotech Ltd., METabolic EXplorer S.A., TetraVitae Bioscience, Inc., Cobalt Technologies, Inc., Green Biologics Ltd. Shell Oil Products US (Shell Oil), BP, DuPont-Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol LLC, Abengoa Bioenergy, S.A., POET, LLC, ICM, Mascoma, Range Fuels, Inbicon A/S, INEOS New Planet BioEnergy LLC, Coskata, Archer Daniels Midland Company, BlueFire Ethanol, Inc., KL Energy Corporation, ZeaChem Inc., Iogen Corporation, Qteros, Inc., and AE Biofuels, Inc.
- [By John Udovich]
Small cap biofuel or synthetic fuel stocks Gevo, Inc (NASDAQ: GEVO), KiOR Inc (NASDAQ: KIOR), Solazyme Inc (NASDAQ: SZYM) and Syntroleum Corp (NASDAQ: SYNM) all seem to have been seeing some trading action in recent days – meaning its worth taking a closer look at all four before taking a look at their rather dismal long term performance while noting that none are yet profitable:
- [By Robert Rapier]
KiOR (Nasdaq: KIOR) is one of three advanced biofuel companies that venture capitalist Vinod Khosla took public in 2011. The other two were Amyris (Nasdaq: AMRS) and Gevo (Nasdaq: GEVO). Each of these companies has seen its share price drop sharply since the IPO. While KiOR is one of the few companies to have produced advanced biofuel for sale, the volumes have consistently come in below company guidance, and I expect production costs to remain above the sales price for the foreseeable future.
Top 10 New Companies To Watch In Right Now: SolarCity Corp (SCTY)
SolarCity Corporation (SolarCity), incorporated on June 21, 2006, is engaged in the design, installation and sale or lease of solar energy systems to residential and commercial customers, or sale of electricity generated by solar energy systems to customers. The Company sells renewable energy to its customers. As of December 12, 2012, the Company served customers in 14 states. The Company’s residential customers are individual homeowners and homeowners. The Company’s commercial customers represent several business sectors, including technology, retail, manufacturing, agriculture, nonprofit and houses of worship. The Company has installed solar energy systems for several government entities, including the the United States Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy, and the Department of Homeland Security. The Company purchases major components, such as solar panels and inverters directly from multiple manufacturers. As of September 30, 2012, its primary solar panel suppliers we re Trina Solar Limited, Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited and Kyocera Solar, Inc., among others, and its primary inverter suppliers were Power-One, Inc., SMA Solar Technology, AG, Schneider Electric SA, Fronius International GmbH and SolarEdge Technologies, among others.
Solar Energy Products
The Company’s solar energy products include Solar Energy Systems, and SolarLease and power purchase agreement finance products. The major components of its solar energy systems include solar panels that convert sunlight into electrical current. Most of its solar energy customers choose to purchase energy from the Company pursuant to one of two payment structures: a SolarLease or a power purchase agreement. In both structures, the Company charges customers a monthly fee for the power produced by its solar energy systems. In the lease structure, this monthly payment is pre-determined and includes a production guarantee. In the power purchase agreement structure, the Company charges customers a fee per kilowatt! hour based on the amount of electricity actually produced by the solar energy system.
Energy Efficiency Products and Services
The Company’s energy efficiency products and services include home energy evaluation and energy efficiency upgrades. The Company sells home energy efficiency evaluations to new solar energy system customers and existing customers. The Company’s energy efficiency upgrade products and services address heating and cooling, air sealing, duct sealing, water heating, insulation, furnaces, weatherization, pool pumps and lighting. As of December 12, 2012, the Company had completed over 13,000 home energy evaluations and performed more than 2,000 energy efficiency upgrades.
Other Energy Products and Services
The Company’s other energy products and services include electric vehicle charging and energy storage. The Company installs electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment that it sources from thir d parties. SolarCity markets EV equipment to residential and commercial customers through retail partnerships with companies, such as The Home Depot, and through EV manufacturers and dealerships, such as its partnership with Tesla Motors, Inc. The Company is developing a battery management system built on its solar energy monitoring communications backbone. As of December 12, 2012, the Company had over 100 energy storage pilot projects under contract. As of December 12, 2012, the Company had sold over 750 charging stations.
The Company’s enabling technologies include SolarBid Sales Management Platform, SolarWorks Customer Management Software, Energy Designer, Home Performance Pro and SolarGuard and PowerGuide Proactive Monitoring Solutions. SolarBid is a sales management platform, which incorporates a database of rate information by utility, sun exposure, roof orientation and a range of other factors to enable a detailed anal ysis and customized graphical presentation of each customer