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Plant Impact LSE:PIM London Ordinary Share GB00B1F4K366 ORD 1P
  Price Change % Change Share Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  +0.00p +0.00% 10.45p 0 05:00:01
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Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Chemicals 8.06 -4.06 -3.80 9.9

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Date Time Title Posts
19/4/201807:37Plant Impact - Increasing crop capacity1,658
13/12/201711:24PIM - Built on sand?5
09/1/201722:21Attended AGM..1
17/9/201318:20PLANT IMPACT : transforming agriculture with eco-friendly solutions1,661
15/12/201108:26Plant Impact plc606

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glenglen: And in the meantime let's not forget the Share Price - 5.80pence from what was once 60 pence. When it was the latter this company was by all accounts "going places". Somewhere between then and now the full story has not been told imo. As Mthead says - we need cash now and all the talk of Veritas being used/might be used/whatever, not to mention Bayer might have a soft spot for PI and are trying to help PI out is simply BS. Are we in the same scenario as Carillion perhaps? It would appear the warning signs were there but conveniently ignored... When share price goes back to 60 pence let's talk then - but I agree that whatever can now be done is far far too late.
wan: Apologies in advance for the long post! I have a few particular questions and thoughts that have predominantly been on my mind of late, and what follows is based on a combination of my own research, conclusions and assumptions. The first one is perhaps obvious, 60p to 6p! How did we get here? The second point/question; Earlier in the year the Board initiate a project to consider alternatives to extend the Group's recent R&D advances and further support its commercial expansion. They stated that the strategic project stemmed from recent research success identifying new crop enhancement chemical molecules and formulations which could - in combination - improve soybean yield by more than 15%. Given the original development agreement with Bayer, where Bayer get exclusive first rights of commercialisation over Plant Impact's current and future pipeline of products for soybeans throughout the Americas. Why did the Board initiate the strategic project and present their R&D Platform and Pipeline, which included products for soybeans, to the wider world? Are we to assume then that Bayer are not interested in such products (which is not my understanding), hence the Board initiated the strategic project, or are there more complex issues at play here (behind the scenes) with conflicts emerging regarding Bayer's strategy/purchase of Monsanto? And finally; is there a way back to the share price highs of 60p, or at least to somewhere in between? On the first question and in my opinion only, we need to take a look at what Bayer said and then did! Due the the well publicised issues in Brazil, in Q2 Bayer undertook extensive in-channel stock evaluations to arrive at what actions and indeed what financial provision would be necessary to rectify the situation, and subsequently in July, Bayer also agreed a new purchase plan with Plant impact for the coming 2017/18 season. What Bayer said 27th July 2017 regarding Q2 (excerpts) - Substantial decline in sales and earnings at Crop Science Second-quarter sales of the agricultural business (Crop Science) fell by 15.8 percent (Fx & portfolio adj.) to EUR 2,163 million (Q2 2016: EUR 2,518 million). "This decline is mainly due to significantly higher provisions for crop-protection product returns in Brazil," Baumann explained. At the end of the harvest season, regular stocktaking revealed high channel inventories in the Brazilian market, requiring measures to be taken to normalize the situation. The high level of channel inventories was caused by weaker demand due to significantly lower insect and fungal infestation levels, while inventory-building among distributors remained at a high level. Excluding the EUR 428 million decline in sales in Brazil, business at Crop Science was up slightly year on year on a currency-adjusted basis. EBITDA before special items of Crop Science declined by 52.2 percent to EUR 317 million (Q2 2016: EUR 663 million), in particular due to the situation in Brazil, where Bayer recorded a substantial negative impact on earnings in the amount of EUR 355 million in total. This figure included EUR 173 million in provisions for product returns, EUR 53 million in impairment losses recognized on receivables and EUR 56 million in inventory write-offs, as well as EUR 73 million in other effects. Excluding the Brazil business, earnings were up slightly year on year. (END) In short, Brazil was the thorn in Bayer's side and the main issue! What Bayer said 26th October 2017 regarding Q3 (excerpts) - Third-quarter sales of the agricultural business (Crop Science) moved ahead by 2.7 percent (Fx & portfolio adj.) to EUR 2,031 million. Crop Science achieved gratifying business development in North America and Asia/Pacific, where sales rose by 9.8 percent (Fx adj.) and 7.4 percent (Fx adj.), respectively. Sales in Europe/Middle East/Africa and Latin America matched the prior-year level. "On the positive side, we were able to reduce provisions for product returns in Brazil, which shows that the measures we have implemented to normalize the situation in Brazil are taking hold," Baumann said. In that country, Bayer had to establish provisions in the second quarter due to unexpectedly high inventories of crop protection products. EBITDA before special items of Crop Science decreased by 3.5 percent to EUR 307 million in the third quarter of 2017. Lower selling prices and a negative currency effect of around EUR 20 million stood against an increase in other operating income, a decline in the cost of goods sold and a decrease in selling expenses. Positive effects in the mid-double-digit millions were recorded in conjunction with the accounting measures taken in the previous quarter in Brazil. (END) So, apparently the situation in Brazil was improving, which the conference call for Q3 also appeared to confirm (excerpts) - Question from Richard Vosser, JP Morgan; could you just go into a little bit more detail around the demand dynamics you’re seeing in Brazil and how you see the picture for Brazil for the rest of the year and, potentially, actually, for the rest of the markets in Latin America and beyond? And then, finally, thinking about 2018, again for Crop, it seems as though the recovery in the Crop market probably won’t occur in 2018, so could you give some colour on expectations for your part of the Crop business in 2018? Answer from Liam Condon, Bayer; So, thanks, Richard. I’ll refer to the question around demand dynamics for Brazil and outlook for 2018. I think it’s really important to note that, as we had highlighted in Q2, there is a disconnect in the crop-protection market in Brazil between sell-in and sell-out – what is actually consumed in the market. And what we have seen is that there has been, for some time now, too much stock in the channel, particularly related to fungicides and insecticides, whereas, on the consumption side, there’s relatively robust demand, and this is in the region of single-digit growth that we are seeing on the consumption side. You’re not seeing it in the sell-in numbers, simply because the stock levels are so high. And this was the reason that we took quite significant measures in the second quarter – financial measures – to address the overall issue. And with that, we’ve combined these financial measures with a lower sell-in for the year and, ultimately, this should lead to a normalisation of the situation for our stocks. And I think what you will see going forward then in Brazil for 2018 is, basically, a balance between sell-in and sell-out, with robust growth in Brazil, because we know consumption growth today is robust and it’s forecast going forward to remain relatively robust. But again, we just have this disconnect particularly on the fungicides and insecticides, due to various issues in the past. Overall outlook for 2018, we will continue to forecast for the slow return to growth. This will be based on, basically, all regions. We are expecting growth in Latin America and further growth again in North America and APAC, and probably a flattish Europe. Question from Jeremy Redenius, Bernstein Hi, it’s Jeremy Redenius from Bernstein. A few questions, please. First of all, I read that you’ve had price reductions in Crop Science in Brazil. I’m wondering if you could talk a little bit about the nature of those price reductions. Second, I’m just looking for further observations from the Crop Science business about 2018. I think one thing I’ve noticed here is it sounds like Seeds has done particularly well. Did that also include, let’s say, seed-treatment sales, which might be a positive indicator for 2019 because farmers are looking to invest to protect their seed more so than you might have expected them to otherwise, or is that just simply buying seeds earlier? Answer from Liam Condon, Bayer; Yes. Thanks, Jeremy. The price decline in Q3 was mainly driven by our Crop Protection business in Brazil, as you can imagine. And in Brazil, this price decline is, to a large extent, directly connected to the channel de-loading programme that we have. And the way that works is we have it basically with the provisions that we have built, and we could either take back stock or, if the distributor wanted to keep product, we could negotiate new payment terms. If we negotiate new payment terms, then, of course, you have to take the current price lists and not price lists from that past. And given that there’s been quite a significant and unfavourable movement on the Brazilian real versus US dollar foreign-exchange rate and our price lists are always fixed to the US dollar, this automatically leads, basically to the fact that the stock the distributor received in the past would be overpriced from today’s perspective. And then we simply have to build in that you get a technical price decline then through this stock novation. However, for us, overall, we see it as a much more beneficial effect because, in essence, we take back less product and we have less logistical costs involved, less write-downs, and it shows confidence that the distributors are confident that they can actually get this product onto the field. So, overall, it looks like very ugly pricing, but there’s a positive connotation to this overall. On the 2018 expectations as well, going forward, as you said, we’ve had a very strong Seeds business this year – double-digit growth year-to-date – and we note from other competitors that their Seeds business has been doing also pretty strongly, and this is our expectation that that sets a solid base for further growth next year. The issue that we’re seeing with the sluggish or low or declining growth in Crop Protection is largely related to this channel-inventory issue in Brazil, which we hope will be cleaned up in the current season, so that we would be back to what you would classify as normal growth from next year. (END) (all Reports/excerpts available here - What I read into all of this was that fungicides represent the biggest issue, declining over 40%. And subsequently the complimentary selling of Veritas alongside Bayer's fungicide would therefore impact Veritas accordingly, in this case also pushing up inventory of Veritas in Bayer's channels, but Bayer had worked out what was necessary to rectify the situation, in fact reducing some provisions in Q3 that they had made in Q2! However, after agreeing a new purchase plan with Plant Impact and just 7 weeks after reporting being able to reduce provisions and forecasting a return to normal growth for 2018, Bayer say that "given its well-publicised challenges within the Brazilian market, it will not be able to meet its commitments within the Purchasing Plan, as it needs to further accelerate its destocking activities." Which does not add up in my book, unless Bayer go onto reverse what was stated previously! So this area will make interesting reading when Bayer report their full year in February, because I am not sure that that much has changed, with both Bayer and Plant Impact reporting (stocking issues aside) continued growth in demand. And thus I don't think any blame lies squarely at Veritas alone. And with Veritas making up a tiny fraction of Bayer's overall sales, it makes it even more difficult to understand Bayer's actions. What I did note during my research was that, although the lower pricing of products that Bayer saw in Brazil was very heavily dominated by their provisioning effect, generic competition was, as always, another factor (that got a small mention). Given the backdrop of low commodity prices, and given that generic fungicide, insecticide and herbicide producers tend to benefit during periods of low commodity crop prices, as farmers switch to cheaper generics to cut costs. So one does wonder if such players might have at least exacerbated Bayer's inventory issues, and perhaps they will also curtail Bayer's destocking efforts. (In 2016 generic producer Albaugh was one of the companies that grew the most in the Brazilian market for pesticides - it jumped from 1.5% to 2.4% in share, while the sector had a decline of 1% in sales.) With Bayer apparently having the stocking issue in Brazil under control it does not get us any closer to understanding why Bayer reversed their agreement on the revised Purchase Plan with Plant Impact! So we have to assume there are a number of factors playing out here (in front and probably mostly behind the scenes). But on the face of it, Bayer's actions are arguably the main reason why we are here and arguably the relationship between the parties appears to have taken on a different context! Which brings me onto my remaining points/questions. More from me later.
wan: A couple of excerpts and food for thought regarding Plant Impacts terms of the Value Creation Plan Options - Excerpts from NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 28 October 2014 2. Participation It is intended that only Executive Directors and senior managers selected by the Remuneration Committee will be granted VCP-Options. It is intended that of the 12 million shares which would be available for allocation, 40% would be allocated to the Chief Executive Officer, with the remaining 60% being allocated to up to three other Executive Directors or senior managers. The individual participation limit of 150% of salary which applies to other Awards under the Plan will not apply to the grant of VCP-Options. 3. Change of control and other corporate events In the event that before a VCP-Option has vested, there is a change of control of the Company as a result of a general offer or compromise or arrangement (“Change of Control Event”), the VCP-Option shall vest in accordance with the table set out above on such event as if the offer price offered per share pursuant to such general offer or compromise or arrangement were the Share Price, but without reference to Gross Profit. A Change of Control Event shall not include a change of control where at least 75% of the acquiring company’s shares are expected to be held by substantially the same persons who immediately before the obtaining of control were shareholders of the Company, such as on a reorganisation involving a new holding company being put in place. In the event that a Change of Control Event occurs within the period of two years after vesting of a VCP-Option (or part of it) (but before it has become exercisable, to the extent vested, in relation to that part), it shall become exercisable immediately upon such Change of Control Event. Excerpts from the Chief Executive Officer's Restricted Share Units 31st July 2015 - The RSUs issued to Mr. Brubaker are over a maximum of 4,800,000 Shares and will vest on a date which is the later of: (1) a pre-determined contractual vesting date ("Vesting Date"), being three or more years from 20 November 2014; (2) the date on which the Share Price achieves a certain level ("Share Price Hurdle"); and (3) the date on which the Gross Profit, per the Group's most recently published audited annual accounts, exceeds certain thresholds. At 20 November 2014, the date of the 2014 AGM at which shareholders approved the Remuneration Committee' ability to amend the Performance Share Plan to introduce the Value Creation Plan, the Group's Share Price was 35 pence, and the average closing price over the prior 12 months was 21.2 pence. The Company's most recently published Gross Profit at that time was GBP1.8 million. Resolution 7 allows the Remuneration Committee to mitigate any adverse tax consequences for potential recipients where it considers it appropriate to do so . In the case of Mr Brubaker, who is liable to US taxes, there may be extraordinary US taxes over and above normal tax charges, which apply if awards vest in certain circumstances where the Company is sold and performance conditions on the awards are waived in favour of the holder. These tax charges arise under section 4999 of the US Internal Revenue Code. There is no intention by the Board to ease performance conditions, however, in circumstances where the Company is sold before the "Gross Profit Thresholds" are met but for a consideration that computes to an implied share price that meets the Share Price condition, the Gross Profit condition ceases to apply and this may mean that the Mr Brubaker faces an extra tax charge of up to 20% of the gain over and above the standard income tax and social security charges which arise on vesting of the RSUs. The Remuneration Committee has accordingly determined that given that a potential sale of the Company at a price supported by the shareholders is in their interest and accordingly should be an outcome provided for in the CEO incentive structure, and further that the falling away of the Gross Profit condition under the circumstances of a complete sale of the business is not to the detriment of the shareholders, that in these extraordinary circumstances, it is appropriate for the award to the CEO to include provision for the Company to underwrite any section 4999 tax liability which arises for the CEO (but not standard income tax and social security liabilities).
wan: It's currently challenging to be optimistic from a share price perspective, but I note a few things that suggests that perhaps the backdrop is not half as bad as the share price suggests (hopefully!). Here's one - Anne Suty Heinze Biostimulants – Enabling Stronger Crops Agricultural practices are constantly evolving and the use of Biostimulants in plant production systems is increasing year by year with the objective of improving crop productivity. The 3rd World Congress on the Use of Biostimulants in Agriculture will be taking place from November 27-30, 2017 in Miami. As the largest conference on agricultural Biostimulants, this event is a great opportunity to share, learn and exchange the latest trends and findings in the area of Biostimulants. As a provider of innovative solutions for sustainable agriculture, Bayer is committed to contribute to the development of this field of activity. At Bayer, we are looking at Biostimulants as one additional way to help farmers increase the productivity of their crops and marketable quality in a sustainable manner. Besides our own Research activities, we are partnering with Biostimulants companies like SICIT 2000 S.p.A. or Plant Impact Plc to complement our crop protection range with high qualitative science-based Biostimulants that meet high safety and efficacy standards. If you plan to attend, I recommend that you listen to the presentation from Steven Adams from Plant Impact Plc on Thursday, November 30th. He will show how a soybean crop enhancer containing an advanced Calcium technology was developed using high agronomic standards. This product helps the soybean plant’s ability to fixate flowers and pods, thus contributing to filling grains. The benefit: better yield and enhanced profitability for the growers. Full story -
wan: Glen...I am certainly no expert and I appreciate we have all got to learn, but I am not sure you should be investing directly in shares, or even commenting given your obvious lack of knowledge, especially in terms of the risks.....share prices can and do go down as well as up! I appreciate your frustration when an investment goes the wrong way, but buying shares is not a one-way street to making money! Fwiw, I have level 2 access and I don't see anything unusual in the price movements, other than individual trades (inc delayed/late reported) as causing PI's share price to move (up or down). Recall that PI see the current setback as "temporary", so depending on where you are in terms of risk and understanding the company, its potential and its markets, one could argue that the current share price could be offering a decent opportunity, but only time will prove whether that is the case or not!
glenglen: I am glad to see others are not too impressed with the fall in the share price of PI - buywell3 and rlivesy's comments echo my thoughts. I myself amin for long term more from stubbornness than fundamentals at this stage - my stake is reasonably small. I note the optimism of Wan and others and am hoping, I suppose, that they are right. The above being said, the concern on the share price is understandable (I share it) as there is all this optimism from the Board who are being paid substantial salaries but are not performing - sure they have reasons for non-performance but for how long is this going to last. With all this R&D going on it seems to me PI is really a faculty in a university except the students are getting paid whether they perform or not. The bottom line is the share price drop is substantial and the price at the moment does not inspire confidence - the Board needs to address these concerns and give their reasoned opinion as to why just over a year ago the price was 60p and has halved to 30p and what they are actually doing to rectify matters? I do not think that is an unreasonable request.
wan: I note we now have a new (presumably 12 month) broker price target of 47p, which is interesting given the comments above regarding the Value Creation Plan (VCP) and the relevant share price hurdles etc. In my view, with the 50p share price hurdle and gross profit target having already been met, clearly the next target is maintaining a share price above 50p in order that it can be exercised, with 70p being the next target......let's hope that one is achievable and, at the very least, holds. It should certainly serve to focus minds! Geographic expansion obviously came a bit late to help matters, but I sense growth guidance overall is now more conservative compared to previous guidance. Nonetheless, geographic expansion is happening and hopefully this will be felt more than the current (conservative?) guidance going forwards. Brazil will remain a large and important market though, but nonetheless, the percentage share of revenues from Veritas in Brazil should reduce going forwards as sales expansion elsewhere gains momentum and(hopefully)other products make their way through to commercialisation proper. I have now had time to catch up with Bayer's Results commentary in detail, and in my view, for the best indication and insights as to what happened on the ground in Brazil, comes via the Conference Call, namely the Q & A section (pages 6 - 23 of the transcript below), where some interesting questions were raised and effectively answered. In short, Bayer do appear to have locked the situation down and further rolled out their sophisticated inventory management system (to the extent that it should prevent a similar situation going forwards). Importantly, current demand is described and forecast as being "robust". Transcript of Bayer's Conference Call - hxxp://
wan: Visionon...The earliest vesting date is 20th November, but the performance criteria will ultimately dictate at what date vesting can be achieved, however, the VCP option is not capable of exercise for another two years after the vesting date, and it is the exercise date to which the restriction you refer to applies - "Once (and to the extent) vested, a VCP-Option will generally not be capable of exercise for a further two years after the vesting date (except in the event of certain corporate events or in the case of certain leavers as described below). However, if by the permitted exercise date of a VCP-Option (or part of it), the Share Price is more than 30% below the Share Price Hurdle which triggered vesting of that VCP-Option (or that part of it), exercise of that VCP-Option (or part) is not permitted until the Share Price again achieves that Share Price Hurdle on average for at least 20 consecutive dealing days." hxxp://
horace_h: I'd pretty much entirely agree with that Wan, especially the commitment of the existing institutional investor. There's also the sentence: "The Company now has a significant number of product development projects in the final stages of pre-commercial testing, and the Board has determined that it is in the best interest of shareholders to sustain the momentum of the R&D supporting these projects." In one sense, that subjective non-specific comment can be viewed as "predictable sugar coating" but, if "final stages" means "success sooner rather than later" all thoughts of prime dependence on one product will go away. I held when the share price topped 60p in the hope that the release of the Wheat Suite of products would propel the share price closer to the option exercise territory that PIM Board members financial reward kicked in and all shareholders enjoy gravy with their green vegetables. I've lost a lot of profit for now but the low level of selling, as pointed out by Cerrito, keeps me on an even keel. I've little doubt that "ShortWell" will disagree - for whatever motivation - that's the market.
horace_h: The last two wonderful summers in the US Midwest have significantly increased the Supply of Corn, Wheat and Soyabeans and thus depressed the price. For those that read charts based solely on price action (Supply and Demand), Soyabean Futures are currently sitting in a Monthly Demand zone and a price rise is the higher probability trade. The debate above as to the significance of that, is interesting and we'll all form our own conclusions as to the relevance of the product price. Having said that, I really don't understand why Mthead is still in this share. When (I clearly had more spare time than sense) I looked at his/her ADVFN posts on PIM. The last time he/she said something positive was 2011, although there was a reference to having a break-even holding price of 31 when another poster was bemoaning buying at 60p. Everything else has been critical or negative. You're obviously entirely welcome to express your opinion but six years of negativity appears a bizarre use of time. Before I get the rosy-tinted label, I AM disappointed that a commercial Wheat product hasn't appeared quicker but the share price and everything else is a vast improvement since John Brubaker assumed control - in 2011. H & T is probably right to observe that the share is "tradeable" until something significant happens but I see PIM as an investment. If I'd sold when we were in the vicinity of 65p, I'd be very pleased and would have bought back in somewhere around now. IF PIM had been (or is) bought out at far higher than 65p, before I got back in, I'd feel stupid. That's obviously the game. I appreciate Wan and others sharing their diligent research and I personally value his objectivity. Yes, he is mostly positive but why wouldn't he be if invested in a share that he (and I) feel has the potential to significantly rise in price. I also appreciate genuine reports on the share that are NOT supportive of a price rise to see if the upside is too limited to stay. I'm not going to speculate why you are so consistently negative - it's not as if you can short the share. As noted, if all you want to do is knock the company and its management that dictate the success of your investment then that's up to you. Have fun but please try and spread a little sunshine occasionally...
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