ALERT! Oragenics (Amex: OGEN) Price and Volume Spike

Oragenics Inc

Oragenics Inc (AMEX: OGEN) trading volume and price has spiked in recent days. Oragenics develops, markets and sells probiotics under the brand names Evora and ProBiora. The company has established two exclusive worldwide channel collaborations with Intrexon Corporation, a synthetic biology company which allow it access to Intrexon’s proprietary technologies with the goal of accelerating new antibiotic development. These antibiotics can work against resistant strains of bacteria and for the development of biotherapeutics for oral mucositis and other diseases and conditions of the oral cavity, throat, and esophagus. In addition to the Fast Track designation, AG013 has already been granted Orphan Drug status in the European Union.

FDA grants fast track designation for the development of AG013 for Oral Mucositis

Oragenics announced that the FDA has granted fast track designation for the product and the company expects to file An Investigational New Drug update and to initiate a phase 2 study in the United States and Europe in early 2017. The fast track is a process which facilitates the development and review of drugs to treat serious conditions and designed to respond to key unmet medical needs. By allowing for more frequent meetings and communication with the FDA. The company described this as another significant milestone in the path to provide a new therapy for cancer patients who developed the condition.

Oral mucositis is one of the most commonly reported side-effects associated with cancer chemotherapy – affecting up to 500,000 patients each year. If severe, these side-effects can affect the patient’s cancer treatment regime. At present, there is no approved drug to prevent the condition and current therapies are mainly comforting in nature – addressing only relief from symptoms but not treating the underlying causes.

Earlier developments

Oragenics had earlier announced that NYSE had accepted the plan to regain compliance with the continued listing standards by 10. November 2017, subject to periodic review for compliance. Oragenics trades under the ticker OGEN.

On 30 June 2016, the company announced the closing of a private placement of 9,045,679 shares of OGEN common stock to three accredited investors – raising gross proceeds of approximately $4.687 billion. The purchase price per OGEN share was $0.5159. The midpoint of the closing quote on June 29, 2016. The net proceeds, after payment of offering expenses, will be used for R&D activities and for general corporate purposes. The President and CEO, Dr Alan Joslin, said that the company was pleased that the largest shareholders continue to recognise its potential and its efforts to become the world leader in the use of novel antibiotics against infectious diseases and in the treatment for oral mucositis.

The bottom line on OGEN

The financials as of 30 September 30, 2016 showed cash and cash equivalents of $5.11 million and total current assets of $5.28 million against total shareholders equity of $ 4.48 million. The company earned no revenues and incurred total operating expenses of $2.02 million, leading to a loss from continuing operations of $2.02 million. OGEN has spiked in price and volume leading people knowledgeable with investing to revisit the company’s prospects. As always, complete your own due diligence before making any decisions on any investment.

Rent-A-Center (Nasdaq: RCII) May be Poised for Strong Growth

Rent-A-Center, Inc

Rent-A-Center, Inc. (NASDAQ/NGS: RCII) is one of the largest rent-to-own operators in the United States and operates 2,600 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Rent-A-Center stores offers quality durable products such as consumer electronics, appliances, computers, furniture, and accessories through flexible rental, and rent-to-own agreements. These agreements appeal to a wide variety of customers by letting them acquire merchandise that they might otherwise be unable to obtain because of a shortage of cash or a lack of access to credit. These agreements also appeal to customers who have a temporary need or simply desire to rent rather than buy.

Rent-A-Center is a market leader in a growing industry, which has compelling fundamentals and is focused on providing affordable, high-quality products to customers so that they can improve their standard of living. It utilizes a business model that delivers superior profitability and refines its capabilities to provide a better customer experience. It is implementing a set of significant growth initiatives within the “AcceptanceNow” segment. It is led by a seasoned management team with plenty of experience and a proven track record of returning capital to investors.

The company is committed to returning value to shareholders by generating strong cash flows in the Core US segment. The objectives of the Core US segment are to optimise profitability in a business which is maturing, increase margins by reducing sourcing costs and new pricing capabilities, reducing expenses through enhanced productivity and operational expenditure optimisation, growing the customer base by expanding into the e-commerce business and optimising the store footprint. The objectives of the “AcceptanceNow” business is to maximise revenue growth and profitability, increase the number of locations via new commercial capabilities, and rely on National Accounts teams to grow the offerings beyond the staffed model with the use of virtual technology. The objectives for capital allocation include a disciplined approach, which includes debt reduction and dividends with a target leverage ratio of debt to EBITDA of 2 to 2.25.

It represents 33% of an industry estimated to be more than $9 billion. It estimates that financially underserved domestic consumers number more than 50 million of whom secondary finance accounts for 10 million. The 20 million sub-prime credit consumers are estimated to generate $25 billion in annual revenues. Increasing numbers of sub-prime consumers have been attracted by traditional financing over the last few years and are utilising this source of credit at an increasing pace.

RCII Results for the third quarter of FY 2016

For the quarter ending 30 September 2016, on a GAAP basis, the diluted EPS was $0.12 compared to ($ 0.08) in the previous year. Consolidated total revenues declined by 12.3% to $693.9 million and same-store sales by 8.4%. AcceptanceNow revenue declined by 1.1%, primarily due to the decline of 0.09% in same-store sales. Core US revenue declined by 16.3%. Same-store sales declined by 12% because of the impact of information management system implementation and other factors, including the revamp of the smart phone category and declines in televisions, computers and tablets. EBITDA as a percentage of total revenues of 5.4% down by 3.7% from the previous year and operating profit was 2.5%, down 4%. For the nine months, the company generated $374.6 million in cash from operations, capital expenditure came to $46.8 million and the company ended the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $130.3 million.

Robert D. Davis the CEO said that the end of the third quarter saw a significant improvement in system availability and the reduction of outages. Despite the disappointment of the third quarter results and the challenges from the macro environment, the company has successfully rolled out e-commerce in October and significant progress has been made in pilot programs with several large national retailers In “AcceptanceNow”. He is enthusiastic about these opportunities and continues to believe that the business model provides a better customer experience for both the retailer and the end consumer.

The bottom line

Research firms who watch RCII are expecting on consensus $0.15 per share for the last quarter of FY 2016, compared to the EPS of $0.11 for the third quarter. They have a one-year target price of $10 – $19. RCII currently quotes at around $10.59. The average analyst brokerage rating is 2.6 on a scale where 1 represents a strong buy and five represents a strong sell. The average rating of 6 research analysts is a consensus of Buy, and a consensus price target of $17.72. As always, do your own due diligence before making any investments.

Uni-Pixel (Nasdaq: UNXL) Makes Touchscreens Better

Uni-Pixel Inc

Uni-Pixel Inc. (NASDAQ: UNXL), manufactures sensor films for touch screens. The manufacturing places conductive elements on thin films. The technology includes markets such as touch panel sensors and hard coat resin (for cover glass replacement) as well as protective cover film applications. The Company has developed a hard-coat resin that can be applied using film, spray, or inkjet coating methods for applications such as protective cover films, a cover lens replacement, or a coat for plastic components.

Uni-Pixel focuses on applications of performance engineered films (PEFs) – transparent electrically conductive films, and diamond guard cover glass replacement and protective cover films. They continue to work with touch screen manufacturers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to design products based on its technology and are in discussions with various third party coating manufacturers for sales of hard coat resin.

Company overview

Uni-Pixel’s technology is utilized by the leading tablet and laptop manufacturers. Uni-Pixel has developed the Copper Metal Mesh technology. It has enjoyed success due to its sensitivity to stylus and finger touch which enables manufacturers to create thinner and smaller devices. Since the commercial launch of the technology (2nd quarter of 2015), the company acquired 22 world-class customers. The markets are estimated at: $1.4 billion for tablets, $136 million for PC displays, $ 67 million for auto applications and $3 billion by 2020 for smart phones.

Uni-Pixel has received orders from leading PC manufacturers such as HP, Toshiba, and Dell. Their sales pipeline includes many tier 1 and tier 2 original equipment manufacturers.

The financial picture

 The revenue pipeline currently stands at $17 – $19 million for the second quarter of 2016. The manufacturing improvement programs include a 38% cost reduction for in-house base coating,15% in creating chemistry enhancement, a 5% improvement in hybrid metal and a reduction of 9% in diamond guard overcoat. As of June 30, 2016, cash and cash equivalents were $11.3 million, prepaid licenses totaled $ 8.1 million, total assets were $22.5 million with zero long-term debt and $17.9 million in shareholder equity.

There are several catalysts for future growth. The first is the demand from the market for more responsive, thinner and lighter mobile devices. The metal mesh offers the best experience for the user and is the high-end performance choice for manufacturers. The patented sensor design allows a thinner glass cover lens of 0.4 mm or less, which cannot be matched by competition and the technology for laptop computers has a high entry barrier for competing companies. Secondly, the design is future ready and able to accommodate flexible displays and stylus-based apps. The high degree of integration results in reduced costs, combined with increased product reliability and simplifies the supply chain by providing sensors directly to display makers.

The bottom line

It should be kept in mind that the results for the June quarter reflects the legacy business and the business from the new technology will only materialize during the second half of 2016. Consequently, the negative gross margins and disappointing results should improve over time because operating costs are unlikely to increase significantly when revenues continue to rise. The key to the success of the company is the metal mesh sensor technology – which many believe is promising. However, Uni-Pixel should be regarded in the same light as a start-up technology company. It could be a high risk, but potentially high return, investment and investors should perform their own sue diligence and ensure that they have the appetite for high risk investments.

BioHiTech Global, Inc. (OTCQB: BHTG) Poised to take advantage of gov’t waste treatment mandates

BioHiTech Global, Inc.

BioHiTech Global, Inc. (OTCQB: BHTG) provides eco-friendly solutions for the disposal of food and non-food organic waste. It has global distribution rights for the Eco-Safe Digester process which transforms food waste into nutrient-neutral water. This process is already being utilised by food related businesses in approximately 40 states and 10 countries including the United Kingdom, Canada, and Israel.

The BioHiTech Cloud gathers data and helps customers identify, in real-time, where, when, and how waste is being created. The mobile application called BioHiTech Cirrus is available for free to existing BioHiTech Cloud customers and is available through the iTunes Store and Google Play.

Financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2016.

There was a 57% growth in revenue from the core waste digester business with the revenue reaching $451,281. Recurring revenues from rental, service and parts made up 74% of total revenue and grew by 38% compared to the same quarter of the previous year. New customer orders registered strong growth with 25 orders for new units being received, including seven from a Fortune 100 warehouse retailer for California locations, bringing the total order backlog to 99 units by the end of the second quarter. The company believes that future domestic sales will be boosted by the implementation of the organic food waste laws in California in April 2016, requiring businesses which generate eight or more cubic yards of organic waste per week to arrange for organic waste recycling. It is important to note that this requirement will be lowered to 4 cubic yards in January 2017.

The international sales expansion consisted of exclusive multi-year agreements with distribution partners in Singapore and Malaysia. In addition, the company entered the Australian and New Zealand markets. The company announced the formation of a wholly owned subsidiary (Entsorga North America LLC) which has acquired exclusive distribution rights in 11 north-eastern and mid-Atlantic states to a technology solution for large-scale mechanical and biological treatment of municipal and regional waste. During the quarter, the company initiated the design of its next generation products and concluded a partnership with Tusk Ventures.

Total revenue for the second quarter showed a 40% increase to $451,281 compared to the previous year and revenue in the core business increased by 57%. Gross margin increased to 20% in the quarter – a 15% increase over the previous year. Gross profit was $89,967 – 424% higher than the previous year. Net loss for the period was $ 1.72 million or ($ 0.21 per share) due to increased operating expenses resulting from additional personnel.

Management points out that the company is progressing on many fronts in its bid for sustainable future growth. The decision of emphasising the Eco-Safe Digester rental model has resulted in double-digit growth in revenues and triple-digit growth in gross profit for the quarter. The expansion into Australia and New Zealand and the strengthening of the distribution agreement for Southeast Asia will help in the addition of many value-added services and improved functionalities.
The bottom line

The company operates in a well-defined market. Food waste for more than 35% of the total waste deliver to landfills in the US – approximately 34 million tons. Some experts believe that the food-waste market will remain attractive due to the combination of a strong regulatory environment. The federal government has announced the first ever national food loss and waste goals, asking for a 50% reduction by 2030. This government guidance could boom this small niche industry into a $5 billion market within a few decades.