In our previous article on Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (OTCMKTS:ASTI) named “Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. Has Many Positives Despite Weak Stock Price“, we said that a big investor had decided to invest heavily in the company.
“The one very positive thing that can be gleaned from the latest press releases for Ascent Solar Technologies is that someone, or a collective group, has decided to invest $20 million in the company. That is not a negligible amount of money by any standards. This someone, or a collective group, obviously has faith in the company, or knows something that everyone else doesn’t. And lest we forget that less than 2 years ago, the stock was trading at about $30.00, down from a high that was well into three figures.” Source: Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (OTCMKTS:ASTI) Has Many Positives Despite Weak Stock Price
With that in mind and the fact that the share price increased when the market noticed the big investor, please check the following information. On August 1, 2017, Hong Kong Boone Group Limited elected to convert another 3,000 shares ($3.0M of invested capital) of the Series K Convertible Preferred Stock into shares of ASTI. In this piece, we will give you all the details about this new investment. But, before we explain it, have a look at the recent share price action.
For those readers who are hearing about ASTI for the first time, let’s revisit the company’s background. Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. is a Colorado company, which develops thin-film photovoltaic modules with substrate materials that are more flexible, versatile, and rugged than traditional solar panels. The modules can be sold to the clients, who integrate them into other products and off-grid applications as well as aerospace and building integrated applications. The manufacturing of the product can be seen in the following video:
On July 27, 2017, the company put out that it had been selected to present its products in the US Special Operations Command’s (SOCOM) invitation-only Technical Experimentation (TE 17-3) event held on July 17-19, 2017. 35 more companies will go to the event as well. Joe Kigin, Head of Worldwide Sales and Business Development at Ascent Solar, explained in the following words:
“While the event itself was focused specifically on Satellite Communications (SATCOM) and UGS tools used by the Special Operations Forces of the DoD, our inclusion reflects the fact that these organizations use a variety of high-powered electronic equipment that requires sustained power in order to ensure maximum operational efficiency. In most cases this power comes from batteries that must be replaced frequently, adding to weight-loads on the soldier that are coming under increased scrutiny. ” Source
That’s not all. A few days before, on July 25, 2017, it was put out that ASTI had successfully delivered the first shipment of a major contract on June 26, 2017. In this new shipment, the company delivered 21% of the total contract size. According to the press release, the remainder of the contract will be delivered in first quarter of 2018. Victor Lee, CEO and President of Ascent Solar Technologies, noted the importance of the announcement:
“This contract is by far the single largest PV sales contract in the corporate history of Ascent Solar, and the first ever large shipment of such customized high-voltage superlight thin-film for high altitude application,” Source
Another interesting news, which did not create a clear market reaction, was the election of scientist Dr. Miguel Contreras. He is now the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of ASTI. Dr. Joseph Armstrong, CTO and Founder of Ascent Solar, noted his expertise in the field:
“His extensive background in deposition processes and equipment design and development further solidifies our existing team’s prominence. His most recent work, on high specific power PV solutions, is aligned well with the core technologies at ASTI. Miguel will oversee our outstanding process engineering team, and brings his highly experienced perspective to many manufacturing challenges faced by CIGS companies.” Source
Strategic Investor Continues to Increase Shareholding in Ascent Solar to Approximately 20% – The news that moved the market
On August 1, 2017, Hong Kong Boone Group Limited decided to convert another 3,000 shares ($3.0M of invested capital) of the Series K Convertible Preferred Stock into shares of the company. The investor owns now “1,550M shares of the Company, which represents approximately 19.15% of the Company’s total outstanding shares.” President and CEO of Ascent Solar, Mr. Victor Lee, quoted:
“The continuous increase in shareholding of Ascent Solar by Boone Group, despite the large premium over the current stock price, clearly demonstrates Boone’s belief in Ascent Solar and the Company’s award-winning flexible CIGS solar technology. We look forward to working with the Boone Group to swiftly penetrate the fast growing Chinese market which is exhibiting an annual demand in solar power of well over 60 Gigawatts.” Source
We could also find the following information in a filing:
|1.Title of Security
|2. Trans. Date||2A. Deemed Execution Date, if any||3. Trans. Code
|4. Securities Acquired (A) or Disposed of (D)
(Instr. 3, 4 and 5)
|5. Amount of Securities Beneficially Owned Following Reported Transaction(s)
(Instr. 3 and 4)
|6. Ownership Form: Direct (D) or Indirect (I) (Instr. 4)||7. Nature of Indirect Beneficial Ownership (Instr. 4)|
|Code||V||Amount||(A) or (D)||Price|
|Common Stock (1)||7/28/2017||7/28/2017||A||750000000||A||$0.004||1550000000||D|
Why did the share price increase? Mr. Song Liang, Chairman and Founder of the Boone Group, said that they are long term investors and will help the company grow. He quoted the following:
“Our long term vision is aligned with Ascent’s strategy. I am glad that investors and shareholders are beginning to take note of this potential Crown Jewel. We will continue to provide other support to Ascent Solar through our vast resources in China to help Ascent Solar swiftly commercialize its state-of-the-art technology and unique PV products in the Greater China region.” Source
The market seemed to appreciate these words and pushed up the stock price the following days.
Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. has been a horrible investment for its shareholder base. The good news is that it looks like the worst is behind the company and that the low might finally be in. With the recent investment by Hong Kong Boone Group Limited, there’s certainly big money getting involved and that should reassure some shareholders. Things are certainly looking better for ASTI going forward.
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Image courtesy of jolipunk.com via Flickr
Disclosure: We have no position in ASTI and have not been compensated for this article. We have previously been compensated a fee of seven thousand five hundred usd regarding ASTI by a non affliated third party, Upstate Webwriters, Inc. This agreement has since expired.