Solazyme Inc (SZYM): John Burbank’s Passport Capital Now Owns Over 10% of the Company

John Burbank’s Passport Capital is going even bigger on Solazyme Inc (NASDAQ:SZYM). As a recent filing with Securities and Exchange Commission shows, the fund bought an additional over 1.65 million shares to bring its total holdings in the stock to over 8.08 million shares.By the end of second quarter of this year, Solazyme Inc (NASDAQ:SZYM) was the second largest equity holding of Passport Capital with over 6.4 million shares.


Burbank started Passport Capital in 2000, with just $800,000 as assets under management. Over the years, owing to its phenomenal returns, the fund has grown tremendously in size and as of September 30, 2014 manages approximately $4.1 billion in assets. Passport capital’s flagship fund, Global Strategy, generated returns of over 219% in 2007 when the markets were on their way to a major financial crisis. Burbank graduated from Stanford Business School. However, it was only in 1994 at age of 30 that he started investing professionally with $50,000 borrowed from credit cards.

Burbank started buying Solazyme Inc (NASDAQ:SZYM)’s shares during the last quarter of 2012 and since then has gradually increased his stake in the company. With this recent purchase, Passport capital now owns over 10.26% of all common stock of Solazyme Inc (NASDAQ:SZYM). Apart from Solazyme Inc (NASDAQ:SZYM), Passport Capital is also a major investor in Vipshop Holdings Ltd – ADR (NYSE:VIPS), shares of which are up by around 150% year over year, and CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CF), shares of which are up more than 25% year over year.

Solazyme Inc (NASDAQ:SZYM) is a $462 million market cap producer of renewable oil. In its second quarter results for 2014, the company declared total revenue of $15.9 million, compared to $11.2 million in the same period last year. The net loss of the company increased to $0.56 per share, compared to $0.42 in the second quarter of 2014. Recently the company announced appointment of former CFO of DuPont Gary Pfeiffer to its Board of Directors. In its second quarter earnings call, the company’s CEO, Jonathan Wolfson,  mentioned that the company’s OPeX excluding scale up costs can increase by 15% over 2013 (according to the transcript). Most analysts on the Street expect Solazyme Inc (NASDAQ:SZYM) to reduce its losess substantially in 2015 and post a negative yearly EPS of $0.61, compared to $1.71 that they expect it to post for this year.

Steve Cohen’s family office, Point72 Asset Management, is also a major shareholder of Solazyme Inc (NASDAQ:SZYM), which as of June 30, 2014 owns over 1.38 million shares.  Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates is bullish on the stock, during the second quarter it increased its stake in the company by 76% to 617,000 shares.