Proactiveinvestors RSS feed en Sat, 23 Jun 2018 15:58:43 -0400 Genera CMS (Proactiveinvestors) (Proactiveinvestors) <![CDATA[News - Cancer biotech company Autolus Therapeutics raises US$150mln in IPO ]]> Cancer biotech company Autolus Therapeutics has raised US$150mln in an initial public offering (IPO) of 8.8mln shares at US$17 each.

The London-based company, which is at a clinical stage in developing blood cancer therapies, is expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market today.

The IPO price was at the upper end of the US$15 to US$17 range.

Clinical stage company

The funds raised in the flotation will aid Autolus in developing CAR-T treatments for targeting cancer and a commercial platform to support the rollout of its programmes.

The company was founded in September 2014 by healthcare company Syncona, which retains a 33.8% stake after investing US$24mln in the IPO.

“Autolus is now a globally differentiated, clinical stage company at the forefront of a potential revolution in cancer treatment,” said Syncona chief executive Martin Murphy.

“We look forward to our continued partnership as significant owners and strong supporters of the business as it executes its plan to deliver transformational treatments to patients.”

Woodford and Arix retain stakes 

Star investor Neil Woodford’s Woodford Capital Trust PLC (LON:WPCT) has kept a 15.9% stake in Autolos. The fund management firm said the value of its holding has increased by 51% to US$104.7mln after the IPO.

Arix Bioscience Plc (LON:ARIX) owns an 8.2% interest in Autolus worth US$53.7mln, which is 73% higher than it was before the flotation.

“Since the inception of Autolus four years ago, the company has commenced 6 clinical trials in 5 programmes and added the capabilities needed to bring its next-generation T-cell therapies to market,” said Arix chief executive Joe Anderson.

“We believe Autolus is at the forefront of a revolution in cancer treatment and that its innovative approach to T-cell programming has the potential to offer life-changing therapies for patients, with both haematological and solid cancers.”

Goldman Sachs and Jefferies acted as joint book-running managers for the offering.

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 07:46:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Indian banks relying on blockchain to ‘expedite’ trade loan approvals, says Intelegain Technologies ]]> Banks responsible for about half of India’s internal trade are planning to leverage bitcoin’s technology endoskeleton, blockchain, to speed up processes and “expedite processes,” and “eliminate hurdles” to approve new trade loans, said experts at custom software development company Intelegain Technologies, which has offices in the US and India.

Bloomberg earlier reported that 14 local banks have signed up for the India Trade Connect consortium, which hired the Bengaluru-based software firm Infosys Ltd. (NYSE:INFY) to develop a blockchain platform for loans that back trade transactions within India.

The traditional paper-intensive trade finance process within India can take as long as 22 days to complete, according to Yes Bank Ltd., another member of the six-month-old consortium.

The blockchain project should reduce those delays to less than a day, according to Yes Bank’s chief information officer, Anup Purohit. In later phases, the project could be extended to remittance processing.

“The blockchain technology offers such a solution that it can reduce the loan trades to particular T+3 days of settlement period by utilizing a central platform in order to process loans and administer trades,” accordning to a blog posted on Intelegain Technologies' website.

“In order to facilitate this, the key aspects of the credit agreement in regard to the loan transferability are coded into a “smart contract” on the blockchain platform,” Intelegain said.  

The nature of blockchain — a distributed ledger that records information in a tamper-proof, trustworthy way — has the potential to make all sorts of services and transactions more affordable, and include individuals who have been at the margins into the global economy. 

Indian banks and financial institutions have been quick to adopt blockchain technology and experiment with their own private ledgers in the hope of streamlining the transfer of stocks and financial products. 

Leveraging ‘accuracy and reliability’

“It’s is hardly surprising that banks are considering blockchain solutions for trade finance – as with blockchain - all participants in the supply chain are allowed to view the same ledger recording of the progress of documents as well as goods through different stages of the supply chain,” said the post.

“This definitely increases the speed of the end-to-end documentary trade processes and brings more accuracy and reliability to the process – which significantly reduces risk to a financing bank.”

Indian business and government sector have been enthusiastic about adopting new technologies like blockchain. Not only is it a staple in the sharing economy, used widely by companies like peer-to-peer bike and car rental company Drivezy, but it’s also being explored for tasks like land registration.

“The southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh is working with a startup ChromaWay on a land registration pilot that uses blockchain to track the ownership of property,” Prasad Vanga, founder and chief accelerator, Anthill Ventures told Proactive Investors.

Mon, 11 Jun 2018 16:23:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Canaccord Genuity sees major upside for Canadian cannabis as legalization of pot in Canada 'rounds 3rd base' ]]> Analysts at Canaccord Genuity hailed the Canadian Senate’s decision Thursday to legalize recreational marijuana as a “watershed moment” and they expect cannabis to go on sale by September or October.

However, the analysts pointed out that there were several logistical hurdles because new retail systems needed time to launch successfully.

The Canadian Senate voted Thursday to pass Bill C-45 — the landmark legislation to legalize recreational marijuana — by a vote of 56 to 30, with one abstention. The bill also included amendments that the House of Commons will need to decide on before the law can be passed.

Amendments likely procedural in nature

“The official legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada has effectively reached the finish line; however, the amendments made to the Bill in the interim will have to be approved in the House of Commons and then ratified by the Senate,” wrote Canaccord Genuity analysts Matt Bottomley, Neil Maruoka, Jenny Wang and Nick Warner.

“We expect this remaining process to be procedural in nature and likely completed in the coming week,” they added.

Read: A game-changing vote: Canadian senate votes ‘Yes’ to legalize recreational cannabis

Canada is set to become the first "major country" in the world to approve adult-use cannabis at the federal level. “As a result, we believe Canada will continue to be a global leader in cannabis regulation, infrastructure, expertise/knowledge and access to capital,” wrote the analysts.

Sales roll-out on a national level by September/October

While there is not yet a defined date when recreational marijuana will go on sale, clearing the Senate appeared to be the last serious hurdle for the bill, with a number of Conservative senators opposing legalization.

The analysts noted that looking ahead, provinces will continue to finalize respective distribution platforms.

“We expect meaningful legal rec sales to roll-out on a national level by September/October,” wrote the analysts.“However, we caution investors that there remain several issues to be ironed out, and it is not likely that the launch will be smooth given challenges for retail distribution and ramping up cultivation capacity.”

Positive catalysts  

Despite logistical hurdles, the analysts believe “positive industry catalysts” are still on the horizon.

Read: Canadian medical marijuana company Aphria pegs C$225mln war chest to build new facilities

“This includes major provinces such as Ontario, Alberta and BC still to announce initial tender allotments for product and the legislation of more recreational friendly products, such as vape pens, edibles and other derivative cannabis product that will become increasingly important for producers as the cultivation of cannabis is expected to become largely commoditized,” wrote the analysts.

According to The Independent, Ontario, Canada's most populous province plans 40 government-run stores at first, rising to 150 by 2020. It said Quebec, the second largest, will start with 20 stores but has deferred any expansion plans.

“By contrast, the US state of Colorado is now home to around 1,000 marijuana retailers after legalising the drug in 2012,” pointed out the newspaper.

Fri, 08 Jun 2018 15:40:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - MEI Pharma's price target lifted by Oppenheimer on strong Phase 1b trial for ME-401 cancer drug ]]> The price target for the oncology group MEI Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:MEIP) has been raised to US$4.50, with an Outperform rating, by Oppenheimer's Leah Rush Cann thanks to a successful Phase1b study for its lead cancer drug ME-401.

Rush Cann’s bullish stance comes in response to study data that demonstrates a 90% response rate to the drug in patients with various forms of lymphoma.

“The results of the phase1b study, presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology conference, are very impressive, with an objective response rate of 90%,” writes Rush Cann.

In morning trade, MEI Pharma’s shares jumped 10% higher to US$3.92.

Rush Cann forecasts that the optimistic1b trial results mean that ME-401could be filed with the Food and Drug Administration by 2021. She projects a commercial launch for the drug in 2022, with sales of US$620mln by 2023.

Rush Cann is also optimistic about MEI Pharma’s development-stage drug Pracinostat, which is used to treat acute myeloid leukemia and myeloid dysplastic syndromes.

“We anticipate MEI Pharma will commercialize its development-stage drug Pracinostat in acute myeloid leukemia and myeloid dysplatic syndromes and MEI-401, in chronic lymphocytic leukemia and follicular lymphoma in 2022,” she writes. “We estimate that total revenue will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 126.1% for the next six years, increasing to US$747.4mln in 2023.”

Tue, 05 Jun 2018 11:12:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Oppenheimer analyst keeps Perform rating on CRISPR Therapeutics despite FDA setback ]]> In the wake of the news that the US Food and Drug Administration is placing a clinical hold on CRISPR Therapeutics's new drug application, CTX001 which treats sickle cell disease, shares in the gene-editing company fell sharply.

Investors have been thrown off by the FDA's news, sending the group's shares down 8.7% in afternoon trade to US$67.17.

But Leah Rush Cann, an analyst with Oppenheimer, is still keeping her Perform rating on the stock. “We are surprised by this clinical hold by the FDA,” she wrote in a note. “This clinical hold does not impact our outlook for timing or for collaboration revenue.”

The FDA’s clinical hold on CTX001 will remain in place until certain questions about this drug therapy are cleared up.

A new drug application was first submitted by CRISPR and its partner Vertex Pharmaceuticals to the FDA last April to support the start of a Phase1/2 trial in the US in adults with sickle cell disease.

CTX001 is a stem-cell therapy for patients suffering from B-thalassemia and sickle cell disease. The start of a Phase1/2 trial of CTX001 is still expected to go ahead in Europe by the second half of this year.

CRISPR and Vertex hope to glean additional information about the FDA’s questions in the near future and work rapidly to resolve them in a bid to advance towards the drug’s approval.

Rush Cann expects that CRISPR will make most of its money from its current collaboration agreements and projects that the company’s total revenue will reach US$357.3mln by 2022.

“We do not anticipate CRISPR Therapeutics will have a commercial product prior to 2022 and therefore estimate that collaborative agreement payments will continue to be the primary contributor to revenue through 2022,” she concluded.


Thu, 31 May 2018 11:52:00 -0400
<![CDATA[Media files - Small-Cap Snapshot: Curis shares rise after reverse stock split, Oragenics' Phase 2 trial sees positive results ]]> Wed, 30 May 2018 09:50:00 -0400 <![CDATA[News - HP Inc matches market estimates for fiscal 2Q profits on the back of sales of its personal computers ]]> HP Inc. (NYSE:HPQ) , the US computer maker, matched market expectations for its fiscal second-quarter revenue and profit on the back of sales of its personal computers.

On a non-GAAP basis, the company’s diluted net earnings per share came to US$0.48 on net revenue of US$14bn. These figures were in line with Wall Street’s estimate of US$0.48 on revenue of US$13.6bn.

Net revenue from HP’s personal systems climbed 14% in the quarter from the year-ago period while revenue from commercial systems jumped 16% over the same period.

Separately, the company also named Steve Fieler as its new chief financial officer. He replaces Cathie Lesjak who will take on the role of interim chief operating officer.

“We delivered another quarter of double-digit year over year revenue and profit growth, strong earnings per share and impressive free cash flow and performed well across segments and regions,” said Dion Weisler, HP’s president and chief executive.

For this fiscal year, HP expects its estimates for non-GAAP diluted net earnings per share to fall in the range of US$1.97 to US$2.02 per share. It also is projecting free cash flow of at least US$3.7bn for the year.

HP shares were flat in the late trading session at US$21.35.

Tue, 29 May 2018 16:39:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Pret a Manger to be sold to JAB Holdings in £1.5bn deal ]]> British sandwich chain Pret a Manger is to be taken over by Luxembourg-based JAB Holdings in a deal worth over £1.5bn.

JAB, which acts as an investment vehicle for the reclusive Reimann family, currently owns doughnut maker Krispy Kreme as well as coffee brands Kenco, Douwe Egberts, and Tassimo, and secured a US$18.7bn deal earlier this year to acquire fizzy drinks maker Dr Pepper Snapple.

The sale of Pret is a lucrative one for the chain’s current owners, UK-based private equity firm Bridgepoint, who bought the chain for £364mln ten years ago.

Pret a Manger has expanded rapidly in recent years, opening 50 shops in the past year taking the total number of stores to more than 500 and generating revenues of £879mln.

Angus Grierson, managing director at LGB Corporate Finance, commented: “The sale of Pret a Manger to JAB is a significant win for private over public markets. With deeper pockets than public markets, private firms and conglomerates such as JAB are able to pay towards the higher end of valuation ranges in order to bring their desired brands into their portfolios. Today’s announcement is a landmark and lucrative exit for Bridgepoint, which paid £364m, including debt, to buy the Pret chain a decade ago and comes at a time when most fast-food stocks have struggled due to a confluence of rising wages, supply chain costs and ever-evolving consumer tastes.

He added: "JAB’s purchase of Pret will allow the firm to capitalise on the brand’s continued evolution of one-dimensional offerings to more artisanal, innovative new products that respond to consumer desires for freshly prepared food and drink. The firm will use its extensive experience and increased scale to help Pret compete in a challenging market to gain a stronger foothold in the US, the world’s largest coffee market.”

--Adds analyst comment--


Tue, 29 May 2018 09:30:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Evogene posts 1Q loss despite new tie-up with rival BASF ]]> Evogene (NASDAQ:EVGN) posted a loss of US$5.4mln in its first quarter, despite a new tie-up with rival BASF over the development of insecticides.

On a per-share basis, the agricultural crop company, which is based in Rehovot, Israel, said it had a loss of US$0.21per share on revenue of US$400,000. Its results couldn’t be compared to Wall Street’s estimates as the stock remains uncovered by analysts.

The company blamed its decline in revenue on the decrease in reimbursement for research and development from its various collaboration agreements with other companies, a problem which is partly due to the progression of Evogene’s multi-year partnership with its bigger rival Monsanto Co (NYSE:MON).

Its operating loss in the first quarter was US$4.9mln, down from US$5.3mln in the first quarter of 2017.

Despite its lackluster performance, Ofer Haviv, Evogene’s president and chief executive, was enthusiastic about the company’s advances in the quarter.

A new collaboration between Evogene and BASF involving the development of insecticides marks its second partnership with BASF, which is also working with Evogene to develop herbicides.

The company is also working to develop corn bio-stimulants and is also assessing the wider use of its bio-fungicides for fusarium in corn and its bio-insecticides for western corn rootworm.

In morning trade, Evogene shares were down 2.9% to US$3.00.

Tue, 29 May 2018 09:26:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Here's why US small-caps are flying high in the face of inflation and risk ]]> Shares of small-cap companies are climbing to new peaks, showcasing the sizzling potential of companies with market caps of less than $2bn.

The Russell 2000 and the S&P 600 are both marching higher, having reached new all-time highs in recent weeks, with the Russell 2000 now trading above 1,623 and the S&P 600 breaking through the key psychological barrier of 1,000.

Over the past 52 weeks, the Russell 2000 is up 18% and the S&P 600 as much as 20% against a 13% rise in the benchmark S&P 500.

And over the course of the last two years, the small-caps’ lead is even more pronounced as the Russell 2000 and the S&P 600 have both jumped 47% compared with a 32% rise by the S&P 500 and a 41% rise from the Dow Jones Industrial Average index.

“There is something special about the way the small-cap market is rallying,” said Tarun Chandra, an investment analyst with the advisory firm Graycell Advisors.

The outperformance of small caps against their more prominent large-cap counterparts since the year’s start suggests that small caps – which tend to boast revenues focused on the domestic economy – can be a shrewd choice when markets are thrown off by broader economic and political concerns of an international nature.

Domestic bliss

With President Trump’s abrupt move to cancel the North Korean summit and the threats of a trade war with China, US tariffs on foreign automobiles as well as rising inflation, small-caps are coming into vogue as they seem far less exposed to the world’s problems.

“With all the talk of trade wars and tariffs, small-caps look particularly appealing since they are largely domestic plays,” says Craig Hodges, chief executive officer and a small-cap portfolio manager at Hodges Mutual Funds

Hodges also points out that small-caps are the chief beneficiaries of the recent changes to the US tax code and the decrease seen recently in regulation. He forecasts that a wave of mergers and acquisitions is also likely to benefit smaller companies as large companies look for ways to spend their cash piles.

“Instead of buying back stocks, large-caps will move into mergers and acquisitions as well and that will boost small-caps,” Hodges says.

Chandra, a well-known financial writer, stresses that there’s something democratic about the dramatic rise of the small-caps.

“As investors have become accustomed to a market being consistently led by a group of mega-caps like Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Nvidia and Microsoft, the small-cap rally being witnessed this month is a pleasant departure and provides a more democratic tenor to the bull market,” Chandra wrote in a recent investment newsletter.

Buyer beware

Another reason behind the growing popularity of small-caps is that there are simply fewer listed equities to buy into. Twenty years ago, there were as many as 7,800 listed companies and that number has been more than halved to about 3,500, by Hodges’ estimates.

“A lot of stock has been retired. There have been a lot of buyouts and a lot of big companies are staying private. So, there’s a lot less stock to go around,” Hodges says.

The strengthening US dollar is also playing well for smaller companies. This is because they are not particularly exposed to the threats and counterthreats of the ongoing tariff wars being staged now.

Higher volatility, diminished liquidity and a dearth of research,  however, are among the risks when investing in small-caps, fund managers warn.

“The nature of small-cap stocks lends itself to poorer overall quality, which requires a discerning view to avoid value traps,” wrote Ehren Stanhope and Chris Meredith, investment analysts with O’Shaughnessy Asset Management in a note. “Liquidity is an important consideration because it can erode excess returns in real-world application.”

The small-cap space also still suffers from a dearth of research analysts digging into it. “Because of the popularity of passive investing, less and less people are doing bottom-up research into small-cap stocks,” says Hodges.

But Chandra points out that small-caps are a barometer for investors’ appetite for risk-taking. The new highs suggest that investors remain willing to take less conventional bets, even though they still appear to be harboring reservations about volatility and rising interest rates.

A changing climate

Looking to history as a guide, it could well be the case that any surge in the small-cap arena is accompanied by sluggish economic growth.

From 1979 to 2015, annual gross domestic product growth fell below 3% about half of the time, according to research provided by the FTSE Russell, the UK index provider. In those years of lackluster GDP growth, small-caps tended to outperform large-caps. Most notably, small-caps did better than large-caps in two of the three years in which GDP growth was negative during those years.

Times change, however. Seth R Freeman, a senior managing director with GlassRatner Advisory & Capital Group LLC, said he doesn’t think this historical trend is always the norm. He sees more of a symbiotic relationship between large-caps and small-caps as a number of small-cap companies act as vendors and service providers to large-cap ones and tend to profit in periods of largesse and struggle when large companies' fortunes diminish.

“They can be a little more nimble than large-cap ones and they can be more entrepreneurial,” he said. “But a lot of small-cap companies are vendors and service providers to large-cap companies.”

In an economy that is beginning to inflate and where interest rates are poised to rise, small-cap companies in the US will have fewer financing options than they once had, according to Freeman. But they will be saved by the recent tax law changes, which permit them to deduct their capital investments.

“The tax code changes are good for small-caps,” concludes Freeman. “In my view, the new tax laws are going to constrain a cyclical recession.”

Fri, 25 May 2018 15:00:00 -0400
<![CDATA[Media files - The Daily CryptoCann Report: Glance Technologies, McAfee, Leafbuyer Technologies ]]> Wed, 23 May 2018 18:37:00 -0400 <![CDATA[Media files - Small-Cap Snapshot: Cara Therapeutics, USA Technologies, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Revlon ]]> Wed, 23 May 2018 13:34:00 -0400 <![CDATA[Media files - The Daily CryptoCann Report: Future Farm Technologies Inc, Bitcoin Pizza Day, Operation Crypto Sweep ]]> Tue, 22 May 2018 16:26:00 -0400 <![CDATA[Media files - Small-Cap Snapshot: America’s Car Mart, Dycom Industries, Melinta Therapeutics, Roadrunner Transportation Systems ]]> Tue, 22 May 2018 12:47:00 -0400 <![CDATA[Media files - Small-Cap Snapshot: Monro, MB Financial, Avenue Therapeutics, Carver Bancorp ]]> Mon, 21 May 2018 13:37:00 -0400 <![CDATA[News - LexinFintech shares slump after missing Wall Street's first-quarter profit estimate ]]> Shares of LexinFintech Holdings Ltd (NASDAQ:LX) slumped in early trade after the Shenzhen, China-based consumer finance group missed Wall Street’s first-quarter profit estimate, but whizzed past the market’s revenue projections.

For the opening three months of the year, the company posted first-quarter earnings of US$0.13 per share on revenue of US$250.4mln.

The results were mixed as analysts had expected LexinFintech to earn US$0.18 per share on revenue of US$231.9mln.

LexinFintech shares have jumped 31% since the year’s start, but shed 6% to US$17.19 in morning trade on the company’s mixed first-quarter performance.

Mon, 21 May 2018 09:38:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Cheetah Mobile trumps Wall Street's 1Q revenue estimate on rise in monthly active users ]]> Cheetah Mobile Inc. (NYSE:CMCM), the Chinese mobile internet group, beat Wall Street’s estimates on revenue in the first quarter thanks to an impressive number of monthly active users (MAU).

In the opening three months of the year, Cheetah, the maker of the Piano Tiles 2 game and the streaming product, reported revenue of US$182.6mln or RMB1,145.1mln, which surpassed Wall Street’s consensus estimate of US$180.34mln.

Cheetah’s average number of global mobile monthly active users came to 574mln in the first three months of the year. Customers from outside of China accounted for three-quarters of that figure, underlining Cheetah’s international reach.

On a non-GAAP basis, its diluted income per shares was US$0.08 per share, which matched analysts’ expectations.

Cheetah’s gross profit jumped 2.9% year over year to US$120.2mln or RMB753.9mln in the quarter while its gross margin was close to 66%, up from 61.5% in the year-ago quarter

Cheetah draws its hundreds of millions of monthly active via products such as Clean Master and Cheetah Keyboard. It also makes considerable revenue by selling advertisements to companies and mobile advertising networks, which are looking for access to its large base of mobile users.

In the second quarter, Cheetah expects its total revenue to fall between US$163mln and US$172mln.

The company has been listed via ADRs on the New York Stock Exchange since May of 2014.

In pre-market trade, Cheetah's shares dipped 3.5% to US$11.88.

Mon, 21 May 2018 08:52:00 -0400
<![CDATA[Media files - Small-Cap Snapshot: AmTrust Financial Services, Mannatech, Shineco, Mattel ]]> Fri, 18 May 2018 12:53:00 -0400 <![CDATA[Media files - Small-Cap Snapshot: Small-Cap Snapshot: Loxo Oncology, World Wrestling Entertainment, Aircastle, Jack in the Box ]]> Thu, 17 May 2018 14:32:00 -0400 <![CDATA[Media files - Small-Cap Snapshot: Boot Barn, Blink Charging, Evolus, National Beverage ]]> Wed, 16 May 2018 14:38:00 -0400 <![CDATA[Media files - Mod Cloth founder says his invite-only cryptocurrency called Merit will make blockchain more secure ]]> Wed, 16 May 2018 13:42:00 -0400 <![CDATA[Media files - Small-Cap Snapshot: Boxlight, CUI Global, Gold Resource, Restoration Robotics ]]> Tue, 15 May 2018 12:56:00 -0400 <![CDATA[Media files - Proactive Investors Small Cap Snapshot: Myomo, Sears, NetSol Technologies, Ominto ]]> Mon, 14 May 2018 13:12:00 -0400 <![CDATA[Media files - Small Cap Snapshot: Nature's Sunshine Products, Noodles & Company, Obalon Therapeutics, Fate Therapeutics ]]> Fri, 11 May 2018 15:08:00 -0400 <![CDATA[Media files - Investors turning to gold following US withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Deal ]]> Fri, 11 May 2018 13:06:00 -0400 <![CDATA[Media files - Small Cap Snapshot: ARMO BioSciences, Ipsidy, Pressure BioSciences, MDC Partners ]]> Thu, 10 May 2018 12:51:00 -0400 <![CDATA[Media files - Former Ecuador mining minister says he expects $4bn in mining investments into Ecuador by 2021 ]]> Thu, 10 May 2018 11:26:00 -0400 <![CDATA[Media files - Small-Cap Snapshot: Superior Industries International, Sears Holdings, Lipocine, Caesarstone ]]> Wed, 09 May 2018 14:18:00 -0400 <![CDATA[News - Mindbody shares plunge after reporting 1Q loss ]]> Investors sent shares in Mindbody Inc (NASDAQ:MB) plummeting after the software company which caters to the fitness and wellness sectors met Wall Street’s estimates, but reported a first-quarter loss.

 Mindbody matched analysts’ projections by posting a loss of US$0.04 per share on revenue of US$53.8mln.

But its shares slumped 15.2% in pre-market trade.

Despite the negative reception from investors, Rick Stollmeyer, Mindbody’s co-founder and chief, said that in the wake of its acquisitions of FitMetrix, Booker and Frederick, Mindbody is poised to grow.

“With nearly 45mln consumer bookings on our mobile apps and a more than doubling of promoted offer sales year over year, our consumer marketplace strategy is in full swing,” Stollmeyer said. “Now, with the acquisitions of FitMetrix, Booker and Frederick, we are positioned for an acceleration of consumer adoption and strong growth for years to come.”

The company has raised its revenue forecast for the year to a range of US$246mln to US$252mln, up from its previous guidance of between US$230mln and US$236mln. These projections handily beat the consensus estimate of revenue of US$238.5mln.

Wed, 09 May 2018 10:20:00 -0400
<![CDATA[Media files - Small-Cap Snapshot: Impinj, Fiesta Restaurant Group, Aralez Pharmaceuticals, Entercomm Communications ]]> Tue, 08 May 2018 13:31:00 -0400 <![CDATA[News - Sharing Economy International climbs on license agreement with Ecrent Capital Holdings ]]> Sharing Economy International Inc. shares jumped after the company announced that its Sharing Economy Investment Limited subsidiary has entered into a license agreement with Ecrent Capital Holdings Limited that grants Sharing Economy what it called "an exclusive and sublicensable license" to use certain software and trademarks in order to develop an online platform in Taiwan, Thailand, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Japan, and Korea.

In return, Sharing Economy International said it will issue 530,000 shares of common stock to Ecrent. Sharing Economy said Ecrent will guarantee that the operation of its related websites, mobile applications and business services will contribute revenue of US$15mln and gross profit of US$2.9mln from the closing date until 31 December 2019.

Shares of Sharing Economy International were up around 14% in mid-morning trading, at US$4.20 a share.

"I believe this is the perfect way to start working with Ecrent in pursuit of our common goal of proliferating the sharing economy business," said Parkson Yip, Sharing Economy vice president.

"We are very happy to have structured this 'win-win' cooperative agreement, which enables both of us to utilize the counterparties' competitive advantages to further develop our own business," Yip said. "Being a leading global rental classified ad platform, Ecrent is becoming the central repository for rental and service opportunities in the global market. Ecrent represents a true sharing model, where people can share and rent items from each other via a peer-to-peer network. Ecrent will play a crucial role in our online strategies to create effective matchups between supply and demand within the SEII sharing economy ecosystem."

Sharing Economy International, through its affiliated companies, designs, manufactures and distributes a line of proprietary high- and low-temperature dyeing and finishing machinery to the textile industry. The company said its latest business initiatives "are focused on targeting the technology and global sharing economy markets, by developing online platforms and rental business partnerships that will drive the global development of sharing through economical rental business models."

Tue, 08 May 2018 10:13:00 -0400
<![CDATA[Media files - Proactive Investors Small-Cap Snapshot: Blink Charging, Evolus, Kindred Biosciences, Del Frisco's ]]> Mon, 07 May 2018 13:40:00 -0400 <![CDATA[News - IPO Roundup: AXA Equitable Holdings may be the largest IPO this year ]]> Five companies are expected to price shares on US exchanges this week, including a streaming platform, two biotechs from Massachusetts and two financial services companies.


Evelo Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:EVLO) will price its shares on Wednesday. The Massachusetts-based company develops treatments for inflammatory diseases and cancers using monoclonal microbials, or medicines that use single strains of microbes that target human gut cells. The biotech is issuing more than 5.3 million shares priced between US$15 and US$17, raising up to US$85mln at the midpoint price.

Origin Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:OBNK), a Louisiana-based financial holding company, will price more than 3.6 million shares between US$33 and US$35, raising up to US$124mln at the midpoint price. Founded in 1912, its subsidiary Origin Bank provides financial services in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

READ: Carbon Black shares jump after the cybersecurity company’s trading debut Thursday

AXA Equitable Holdings Inc (NYSE:EQH) will price its shares on Thursday. The financial services company is the U.S. subsidiary of AXA Group, a Paris-based life insurance and asset management firm. The New York-based company will price more than 137 million shares between US$24 and US$27. AXA could raise as much as US$3.5bn, making it the largest IPO this year, according to NASDAQ.


Huya Inc (NYSE:HUYA), one of China’s largest gaming and e-sports live streaming service, will price its shares at the end of the week. Based in Guangzhaou, the interactive platform will list 15 million shares priced between US$10 and US$12. At the midpoint price, Huya could raise as much as US$165mln.

Abpro Corp (NASDAQ:ABP) will also price its shares on Friday. Based in Massachusetts, the biotech company develops immuno-oncology treatments. Through the use of its antibody discovery platform, the company uses the body’s immune system to treat cancers and other diseases. The company will price its 4 million shares between US$14 and US$16, raising as much as US$60mln at its midpoint price.

Mon, 07 May 2018 10:30:00 -0400
<![CDATA[Media files - Mining Capital turnout 'a good cross-section of industry sentiment' ]]> Fri, 04 May 2018 12:12:00 -0400 <![CDATA[Media files - Proactive Investors Small-Cap Snapshot: Portola Pharmaceuticals, Iconix Brand Group, Universal Electronics, Fred’s ]]> Fri, 04 May 2018 11:58:00 -0400 <![CDATA[Media files - Proactive Investors Small-Cap Snapshot: Achaogen, EMCORE, STAAR Surgical, Rudolph Technologies ]]> Thu, 03 May 2018 13:10:00 -0400 <![CDATA[News - Proactive Investors kicks off spring event schedule with two new investor forums focused on biotech and mining ]]> Proactive Investors is ushering in its spring event schedule in New York City with the launch of two new investor forums.

The first will focus on the biotech sector, to be held May 16, while the second event will be dedicated to the intricacies of mining production and be held on June 13.

Both events take place at 3 West Club, 3 West 51st St. in Manhattan.

The first of the two, "The Biotech Forum," offers investors, money managers, influencers and high-net-worth individuals the chance to listen to presentations delivered by the heads of publicly traded biotech companies who have been asked to address how they use technology to advance their businesses.

"The Producers: Mining Capital Forum" will showcase mining producers who will discuss how to get into and handle production, as well as what investors with stakes should watch out for as mining companies develop their businesses.

READ: Industry leaders debate future of cryptocurrency and cannabis at Proactive Investors' CryptoCann forum

Proactive Investors' CEO forums have gained recognition for the way in which they provide the opportunity for the heads of listed companies to share their views with institutional and retail investors.

“We are proud to host forums where investors can gain fresh insight into these growing and compelling sectors and explore where opportunities exist – and how to profit from them,” said Proactive Investors co-founder and CEO Ian Mclelland.

These two free events will feature presentations by CEOs about their publicly traded companies, followed by a panel discussion to explore investment opportunities, and then an audience Q&A accompanied by a networking session.

Same-day registration for these two exclusive forums starts at 4:30 p.m. ET on the day of each event. Presentations and panel discussion conclude at 6:30 p.m., followed by an hour of networking with an open bar and hors-d'oeuvres until 7:30 p.m.

To pre-register for the Biotech Forum, please click here; and for The Producers: Mining Capital Forum, please click here.

Wed, 02 May 2018 14:50:00 -0400
<![CDATA[Media files - Proactive Investors Small-Cap Snapshot: HC2 Holdings, Nanometrics, Community Health Systems, Esperion Therapeutics ]]> Wed, 02 May 2018 13:31:00 -0400 <![CDATA[News - Oppenheimer analyst bullish about MiRagen Therapeutics’ Phase 2 trial for its drug MRG-110 ]]> The price target for the stock of MiRagen Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:MGEN), a development-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of microRNA-targeted therapies, has been raised to US$13 and has received an Outperform rating from Leah Rush Cann, an analyst with Oppenheimer.

Cann describes a coming second early stage trial for MRG-110, a microRNA-92 inhibitor – which is in preclinical development – as “encouraging.”

As part of this second Phase 1 trial, healthy volunteers with induced wounds from biopsies will each receive an intradermal injection of MRG-110. After showing that it can accelerate the formation of new blood vessels in preclinical testing, MRG 110 may represent a possible treatment option not only for wound repair but for heart failure and peripheral artery disease.

Rush Cann of Oppenheimer estimates that MiRagen will first have revenue from its products in 2022 and in that year, its total revenue will amount to US$414.2mln. This figure could potentially grow to US$1.2bn in 2025, according to her estimates.

MRG-110 is being developed in collaboration with Servier, the French pharmaceutical company.

Rush Cann argues that MiRagen will outperform and hit its $13 target price within 12 to 18 months. She also projects that MiRagen will commercialize its development-stage drugs MRG-106, which fights cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, in 2022 and MRG-201, which takes aim at cutaneous fibrosis, in 2025.

In afternoon trade, MiRagen Therapeutics shed 1.6% to trade at US$6.76.

Tue, 01 May 2018 13:27:00 -0400
<![CDATA[Media files - Proactive Investors Small-Cap Snapshot: Nutrisystem, Inogen, Biglari Holdings, Intevac ]]> Tue, 01 May 2018 12:15:00 -0400 <![CDATA[News - NutriSystem Inc. 1Q beats the Street boosted by revenue ]]> Shares of NutriSystem Inc. (NASDAQ:NTRI) soared in the extended session on Monday after the California-based company beat Wall Street's earnings and revenue expectations. 

Shares of NutriiSystem soared 8% to US$31.35 in extended trade.

For the quarter ended March 31, the company booked earnings of US$2.8mln, or US$0.09 a share. According to Yahoo Finance the consensus earnings estimate was US$0.06 a share on revenue of US$2.6mln. 

The company said it expects second quarter earnings of US$0.78 to US$0.83 per share on revenue of US$186 mln to US$191mln, versus the consensus of US$190mln.

“We’re pleased first quarter 2018 revenue and earnings per share exceeded our expectations, driven by better than expected results in Nutrisystem’s direct-to-consumer business,” said NutriSystem Inc. CEO Dawn Zier in a statement.

“As anticipated, South Beach Diet revenues increased significantly year-over-year, and we remain excited about the long-term opportunity it represents,” added Zier.

Mon, 30 Apr 2018 16:45:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - IPO Roundup: PermRock Royalty Trust, Aslan Pharmaceuticals and more ]]> Seven companies are expected to price shares on US exchanges this week, including two biopharmaceutical companies.


PermRock Royalty Trust (NYSE:PRT) is the only company so far pricing its shares on Wednesday. The Delaware-based company is a trust set up to receive 80% of the net profits of Texas-based oil and gas company Boaz Energy. The company is issuing 6.2 million shares priced between US$19 and US$21, raising up to US$124mln at the midpoint price.


Aslan Pharmaceuticals Ltd (NASDAQ:ASLN), a biopharmaceutical company that develops cancer treatments, will issue 7.5 million shares priced at US$8.50. The Singapore-based company may raise as much as US$63.8mln.

Unity Biotechnology Inc (NASDAQ:UBX) is the second biopharma company pricing its shares on Thursday. The Delaware-based company develops therapeutics to combat age-related diseases, such as osteoarthritis and eye diseases. The company will issue 5 million shares priced between US$16 and US$18. At the midpoint range, the company may raise up to US$85mln.

Inspire Medical Systems Inc (NYSE:INSP), a medical technology company, will also be pricing its shares. The Minneapolis-based company develops treatments for patients with obstructive sleep apnea, including an FDA-approved neurostimulation device that opens airways while a patient is sleeping. The company will price 5 million shares between US$14 and US$16, raising as much as $75mln at the midpoint price.


Construction Partners Inc (NASDAQ:ROAD) will price its shares at the end of the week.  The civil infrastructure company will issue 11.25 million shares priced between US$15 and US$17 and may raise as much as US$180mln at the midpoint price. Based in Alabama, the company specializes in building and maintaining roadways in the southeastern United States.

Software company Carbon Black Inc (NASDAQ:CBLK) will price its shares as well. The Massachusetts-based company will issue 8 million shares priced between US$15 and US$17. The tech company develops endpoint security software, including the Cb Predictive Security Cloud Platform. Its IPO may raise up to US$128 million at its midpoint price.

Spirit of Texas Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:STXB) also prices on Friday. The Texas-based company provides financial services to businesses and individuals within the Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth area. The company will issue 1.9 million shares priced between US$20 and US$22. The IPO may raise as much as US$40mln at the midpoint price.

Mon, 30 Apr 2018 11:43:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - First Data surges on 1Q results that beat estimates and higher earnings guidance for 2018 ]]> First Data Corp. (NYSE:FDC) surged on first-quarter results that were nicely ahead of analyst estimates and a boost in bottom-line guidance for all of 2018.

In mid-morning trading, shares of First Data were up around 14%, at US$17.40 a share.

First Data reported net income for the quarter of US$101mln, or US$0.11 a share, nearly triple its year-earlier net income of US$36mln, or US$0.04 a share. Non-GAAP net income rose 8%, to US$279mln, or US$0.29 a share, from US$258mln, or $US0.28 a share, in the first quarter of 2017. Yahoo Finance put the average earnings estimate of 28 analysts at $0.26 a share.

First Data said revenue excluding reimbursable items increased nearly 11%, to US$2.08bn from US$1.88bn. Yahoo Finance put the average revenue estimate of 18 analysts at $US1.86bn.

Frank Bisignano, First Data chairman and CEO, said the provider of commerce-enabling technology "had an excellent start to 2018" that has enabled the company to raise its guidance for the full year.

First Data said it now is putting total segment revenue growth for 2018 in a range of 6% to 7%, which compares to the previous range of 5% to 7%.

In addition, First Data now is forecasting adjusted earnings per share for 2018 in a range of US$1.42 to US$1.47, up from its previous range of US$1.35 to US$1.40. Yahoo Finance put the average full-year earnings estimate of 30 analysts at US$1.38 a share.

The company expects its adjusted effective tax rate for the year will be around 25%, compared to previously disclosed guidance of 27% to 29%.

Mon, 30 Apr 2018 10:35:00 -0400
<![CDATA[Media files - BTL Group CEO McCann excited about launch of blockchain platform Interbit ]]> Thu, 26 Apr 2018 13:47:00 -0400 <![CDATA[Media files - Mining Capital's Alastair Ford says copper is shining and lithium continues to rise ]]> Thu, 26 Apr 2018 12:58:00 -0400 <![CDATA[News - S&P's Case-Shiller home price index shows US house prices are still rising; PulteGroup shares rise on 1Q beat ]]> Home prices across the United States continue to rise and show little sign of altering their upward course.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index, a popular measure of US house prices, has reported a 6.3% annual gain in February, up from 6.1% a month earlier.

Year-over-year prices have increased continuously since May 2012, S&P's data suggests. Over that time, the annual price increases averaged 6% per year, which is comparable to the span between January 1992 and February 2007, when prices averaged 6.1% annually.

“Home prices continue to rise across the country,” said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Increasing employment supports rising home price both nationally and locally.”

In the last 12 months until the close of February, Seattle saw the largest gain in home prices, reporting a 12.7% year-over-year increase. Chicago, meanwhile, only posted a 2.6% year-over-year increase in its house prices while San Francisco ended the same period with a 10.1% increase.

Homebuilder PulteGroup fares better than Wall Street expected

Shares of PulteGroup (NYSE:PHM), the US homebuilder, rose by 3.5% to US$29.90 in afternoon trade on Tuesday after its first-quarter results beat Wall Street analysts’ expectations by a mile.

Its net income jumped to US$170.8mln, or US$0.59 per share, which was almost double the US$91.5mln, or US$0.28  per share in the same period a year ago, and higher than Wall Street’s estimate of $US0.46 per share. PulteGroup’s revenue, meanwhile, climbed to US$1.97bn, up from US$1.63bln and better than the US$1.83bn consensus estimate from Wall Street analysts.

For the quarter, new orders for homes on a net basis increased 12% over the prior year to 6,875 homes and the dollar value of net new orders increased 18% to $2.9bn

PulteGroup’s home sale revenues for the first quarter, meanwhile, totaled $1.9bn, an increase of 21% over the prior year. Higher revenues for the quarter were driven by a 10% increase in the average selling price to $413,000, in combination with a 9% increase in closings to 4,626 homes.

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 13:42:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Travelers 1Q earnings miss on unusually high catastrophe losses ]]> Shares of Travelers Companies Inc. (NYSE:TRV) plunged in pre-market trading on Tuesday after the company reported first-quarter earnings that missed analyst estimates, even as net income jumped.

Travelers shares fell 2.65% to US$133.60 in pre-market trade.

The property and casualty insurer reported first-quarter March 2018 earnings of US$2.46 per share on revenue of US$7.3bn. The Earnings Whisper number was $2.76 per share. 

“We were pleased to report first quarter core income of US$678mln, up 10% over the prior year quarter, and core return on equity of 11.9%, particularly in light of yet another unusually high level of first quarter catastrophe losses,” said Travelers Companies Inc. CEO Alan Schnitzer.

The company said it was raising its dividend 7% to US$0.77 cents per share. 

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 08:51:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Canadian National Railway 1Q profits drop as expenses shoot up ]]> Shares of Canadian National Railway (USA) (NYSE:CNI) fell on Monday in extended hours after the rail transporter posted a decline in first quarter profits as expenses shot up.

Canadian National shares were down 0.6% to US$75 after hours.

The Montreal-based company's net income fell to C$741 mln, or C$1 per share, from C$884 mln, or C$1.16 per share a year earlier.

The company's revenue, which dropped for the first time in four quarters, was at C$3.19bln compared with C$3.21bln a year earlier.

The railroad company said that operating expenses rose 9% to C$2.16 bln in the quarter as the railroad operator spent more to transport goods in a harsh winter.

Operating ratio, a key metric watched closely by analysts, rose to 67.8 percent from 61.8%. A lower ratio indicates higher efficiency.

The company said it now expects 2018 adjusted earnings C$5.10 to C$5.25, compared with its earlier estimate of between C$5.25 to C$5.40.

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 17:00:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Apple supplier AMS warns of a sales slowdown ]]> AMS (SWX:AMS), the Austrian chip maker that supplies optical sensors to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), has warned of a slowdown in second-quarter sales due to weaker demand from one of its big customers, Reuters reports.

While AMS declined to name the customer, the group makes components for the iPhones put out by Apple, which has seen its shares take a beating recently over mounting concerns over a slowdown in iPhone demand.

As a way of explanation, Moritz Gmeiner, AMS head of investor relations told Reuters: “We are not able to discuss the specific customer, but we are seeing significantly lower business from a large smartphone program and that I having a strong impact on the consumer business and the company as a whole.”

Looking ahead to its second quarter, AMS now expects its sales figures to fall between US$220mln and US$250mln, a steep drop from the US$452.7mln in sales it saw in the first three months of 2018.

Read: European regulators launch probe into Apple's takeover of Shazam

The diminished outlook stems from a slowdown in both present and forecasted orders. Alterations to upcoming products, which stops the pre-production of parts, will impede production at its factory and also hit profit margins at the company, which manufactures sensors for cars and industrial gear as well.

Analysts have reported in the past that AMS receives about 35% of its revenue from Apple and that mobile phone parts account for most of its business with the company, according to Reuters.

In the first quarter, the group’s net profit climbed to US$99.9mln from a loss of US$19.9mln in the first quarter of last year.

AMS shares were down 0.4% at US$95.62 in afternoon trade while Apple Inc’s shares dipped slightly as well, losing 0.6% to trade at US$164.72.

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 14:50:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - IPO Roundup: DocuSign among several companies to price shares this week ]]> A total of seven initial public offerings will be priced this week, including two biopharmaceutical companies on Monday.


Mereo BioPharma Group, a London-based biopharmaceutical, will price its shares on Monday. The company acquires drug candidates from existing companies, like AstraZeneca, and continues clinical trials that would otherwise be set aside. It will list on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol “MREO”, making a total of 2.8 million shares available at US$17.62 per share. It could raise up to US$49.3mln.

The second biopharmaceutical company pricing its shares this week is Alzheon Inc. The Massachusetts-based company develops treatments for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders. It will list on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “ALZH”. A total of 5 million shares will be available between US$13 and $15. At the midpoint price of US$14, the biopharma company could raise US$70mln.


Cloud software company Ceridian HCM Holding Inc will price its share on Thursday. Based in Minneapolis, the company provides human resource services, such as payroll and benefits, using its cloud platform. It will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “CDAY”. 21 million shares will be made available in its IPO at US$19 to $21 per share. The company could raise as much as US$441mln.


Goosehead Insurance, a franchise insurance agency, is the first of several IPOs pricing its shares on Friday. The Texas-based company will list on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “GSHD”, offering 8.5 million shares between US$14 and $16. At the midpoint price of US$15, the insurance company could raise US$127.5mln.

NLight, a semiconductor and fiber laser company, will also price its shares on Friday. The Washington-based company’s lasers are used across several markets, including aerospace and defense. It will list on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “LASR”, offering 5.4 million shares between US$13 and $15. At the midpoint price of US$14, the laser company could raise US$75.6mln.

DocuSign, an electronic signature company, will price its shares at the end of the week as well. Based in San Francisco, the company provides service to 370,000 subscribers, as well as millions of non-paying users, according to its site. It will list on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “DOCU” and will offer 21.7 million shares between US$24 and $26. The company could raise as much as US$564.2mln., Inc is the last company on the list and the second human resources software company to price its shares this week. The Washington-based company provides a work management platform for companies like Colliers International and Mod Pizza. It will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “SMAR”, offering 11.6 million shares between US$10 and $12. At the midpoint price of US$11, the tech company could raise US$127.6mln.

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 14:45:00 -0400