Briefcase – March 2017

CLOSINGS

Crocs Inc. (Nasdaq: CROX), the Niwot-based shoe company, will close 160 retail stores as it seeks to recover from disappointing earnings and declining revenues. Andrew Rees, who joined Crocs in June 2014 as president, will assume the newly combined role of president and chief executive June 1. Current CEO Gregg Ribatt will remain on the company’s board of directors. Crocs’ store closures will be completed by the end of 2018. It is unclear how many jobs will be affected. The closures represent about 28 percent of Crocs’ 558 stores.

Fast-casual pasta chain Noodles & Co. will close 55 underperforming restaurants nationwide “to eliminate the negative cash flow of these restaurants and improve overall performance.” Noodles also filed a form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a public offering of its common stock, seeking to raise up to $36.8 million. The offering is not yet effective. The closures will come during the first and second quarter of 2017 and represent more than 10 percent of the company’s 510 locations. Noodles did not specify which restaurants will close.

Whole Foods Market Inc. closed two Colorado stores as part of a larger restructuring amid sluggish sales. The store at 2584 Baseline Road in Boulder closed Feb. 26. One in Colorado Springs also is closing. Overall, Whole Foods will close nine stores, including the two in Colorado and others in Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, New Mexico and Utah.

Conduent Inc., formerly the business-services unit of Xerox, will close its Greeley call center, effective March 31. The closure will eliminate 99 jobs and comes soon after Conduent’s spinoff from Xerox, Jan. 3. Xerox created a buzz when it announced plans for the Greeley call center at 244 Dundee Ave. in 2012, bringing 700 jobs to a building formerly occupied by StarTek Inc.

CONTRACTS

Boulder Community Health formed an alliance with Aurora-based Children’s Hospital Colorado to provide inpatient care for children younger than age 15, in response to a decline in the number of pediatric inpatients treated at BCH’s Foothills Hospital. BCH will stop providing those services May 1, with the exception of newborns and infants up to four weeks old, who will be treated in BCH’s Intensive Care Nursery.

Fort Collins-based FVC Americas is partnering with the University of Denver to identify new ways to bring products to market and provide investment opportunities for faculty researchers at the university. FVC Americas is a subsidiary of Future Venture Capital Co. Ltd., a venture-capital firm based in Japan.

Surna Inc. (OTC: SRNA), a tech firm based in Boulder, was hired to design and provide equipment for a cannabis-cultivation facility in Canada. Vancouver-based Sante Veritas Therapeutic hired Surna to design and equip its first indoor grow facility, to be built in Powell River, British Columbia. Surna expects to ship and recognize revenue of $835,000 in the third quarter of 2017.

Lamar Advertising Co. (Nasdaq: LAMR), announced a new transit advertising contract with the city of Fort Collins. The agreement, which commenced Jan. 1, will allow local, regional and national brands to reach consumers through a variety of advertising displays managed by Baton Rouge, La.-based Lamar on Transfort buses.

Global Imaging and Massivit 3D signed a distribution agreement enabling Global Imaging to sell and support Massivit 3D’s wide-format 3D printing solution. The printer is available for demonstration at Global Imaging’s Workflow Studio in Louisville.

EARNINGS

Array BioPharma Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRY) reported an increase in revenue and a reduction in losses during the second quarter of its fiscal year 2017 that ended Dec. 31. The Boulder-based biotech posted revenue of $44.5 million, compared with $39.3 million for the prior quarter. The bump in revenue mainly was driven by earning a $6 million milestone from Loxo Oncology for the advancement of the cancer-fighting drug larotrectinib, and a $2.5 million milestone from Roche for the advancement of danoprevir, which fights hepatitis C. Array still posted a loss of $23.3 million, or 14 cents per share, but it was less than the loss of $28.6 million, or 20 cents per share, that was recorded in the previous quarter. For the second quarter in a row, the company has spent about $45.5 million on research and development.

Crocs Inc. (Nasdaq: CROX). the Niwot-based shoe company, lost $44.5 million in the fourth quarter, an improvement from the year-ago quarter, when the company lost $73.9 million. Revenue for the fourth quarter totaled $187.4 million, compared with $208.7 million the prior year. For its full year, Crocs reported a loss of $31.7 million on revenue of $1.04 billion. Its full-year revenues reflected a decline of 4.7 percent.

Encision Inc. (OTC: ECIA), a Boulder-based medical-device company, reported a net loss of $274,000 for its third quarter ended Dec. 31. That loss compared with a net loss of $200,000 for the same period a year ago. Net revenue dropped to $2.23 million, compared with $2.29 million in the prior-year third quarter, but the most-recent quarter was higher than second-quarter revenue of $2.15 million. For the nine months ended Dec. 31, Encision reported net revenue of $6.66 million, down from $7.05 million for the prior-year nine months. The company posted a nine-month net loss of $612,000, up slightly from a net loss of $598,000 a year ago. Encision designs and markets a portfolio of high-performance surgical instrumentation.

FirstBank, Colorado’s second-largest bank, reported net income of $190.6 million for 2016, a 7.2 percent increase compared with 2015. FirstBank operates more than 120 locations in Colorado, Arizona and California. It has branches all along the Front Range, including Boulder, Fort Collins, Greeley, Broomfield, Longmont, Louisville, Loveland and Windsor. As of Dec. 31, FirstBank’s total assets grew to $17 billion, an increase of 9.6 percent, total deposits increased to $15.4 billion, up 9.7 percent, and net loans totaled $9.5 billion, an increase of 9.3 percent compared to the same period in 2015. FirstBank also donated more than $4 million to 809 nonprofit organizations across Colorado, Arizona and California, bringing its charitable donation total to $57 million since 2000.

Telecom Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT) reported a decline in revenue and profit for 2016 compared with 2015, as it prepares to be acquired by CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) in a deal valued at $34 billion. For the full-year 2016, The Broomfield-based telecom posted revenue of $8.17 billion compared with $8.23 billion for 2015. Profit for the year was $677 million compared with $3.4 billion for 2015, which included a noncash benefit to the fourth-quarter 2015 income-tax expense of approximately $3.3 billion related to the release of a valuation allowance against U.S. federal and state deferred-tax assets. Earnings per share was $1.87 compared with $9.58 in 2015. In the fourth quarter of 2016, the company generated a profit of $250 million on revenue of $2.03 billion and earnings per share was 70 cents. In the same quarter a year ago, Level 3 posted revenue of $3.3 billion driven by the valuation allowance. It had revenue of $2.05 billion and earnings per share was $9.33 in that quarter.

Nivalis Therapeutics Inc., a biopharmaceutical company based in Boulder that is developing treatments for cystic fibrosis, reported a loss of $31.5 million for its fiscal year that ended Dec. 31, and is continuing its staff reduction as it winds down research-and-development activities. The job cuts are affecting 25 employees, including Jon Congleton, the company’s former president and chief executive, and Dr. David Rodman, the company’s former chief medical officer, who were terminated Jan. 15. When the job cuts are completed, five employees will remain. The $31.5 million loss was more than the company’s net loss of $22.8 million for the prior fiscal year. For the fourth quarter that ended Dec. 31, Nivalis (Nasdaq: NVLS) reported a loss of $7.7 million, or 50 cents per share, compared with a loss of $6.6 million, or 42 cents per share, during the fourth quarter of 2015. General and administrative costs increased in 2016 and were largely related to operating as a publicly traded company for the entire year of 2016. As of Dec. 31, Nivalis had $61 million in cash and marketable securities. It has no outstanding debt and there were 15.6 million shares of common stock issued and outstanding as of Dec. 31.

Greeley-based chicken-processing firm Pilgrim’s Pride Corp.’s profit for 2016 of $440.5 million was down 31.8 percent compared with $646 million posted in 2015. Revenue was also down for the year at $7.9 billion, compared with $8.2 billion in 2015, a 3 percent decline. For full-year 2016, adjusted earnings came in at $1.75 per share, compared with $2.60 per share recorded in the prior-year period. For its fourth quarter that ended Dec. 27, Pilgrim’s profit was down 2.7 percent, $70.6 million compared with $63.1 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenue was down 2.7 percent, from $1.96 billion in fourth-quarter 2015 to $1.91 billion for the most recent quarter. Price per share increased to 28 cents, compared with 25 cents in the previous fourth quarter. Pilgrim’s Pride (Nasdaq: PPC) spent $200 million to repurchase shares and has paid out $2.2 billion in special dividends in the last two years.

Broadband infrastructure provider Zayo Group Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ZAYO) reported an increase in revenue and profit for the second quarter of its fiscal year 2017 that ended Dec. 31. The Boulder-based firm generated revenue of $506.7 million and a profit of $19.8 million, or 8 cents per share, for the quarter. The company had $369.6 million in revenue and recorded a $10.8 million loss for the same quarter a year ago. The most recent quarterly income increased $4.1 million compared with the previous quarter.

FLOOD RELIEF

Nonprofits and quasi-governmental agencies in 19 counties in Colorado — including Boulder, Larimer and Weld — can apply for grants up to $150,000 to be used for marketing efforts to attract visitors to communities that suffered economic losses from floods and fires in 2012 and 2013. Organizations in counties impacted by the September 2013 floods, and the High Park, Black Forest, Waldo Canyon and Royal Gorge fires, are eligible to receive the grants. The grants are being dispersed by the Recover Colorado Tourism Marketing Grant Program offered through the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. OEDIT has $728,300 in grant funds available, which it received from the state’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Grant proposals are due by April 15 and will be evaluated for quality of proposal and use of funds, reliance on tourism, documented per capita and total impact of the disaster, matching funds and in-kind contributions.

KUDOS

First National Bank’s Home Mortgage Division named its Circle of Excellence award winners for 2016, recognizing its top mortgage loan originators in terms of closed loans across the company annually. Award winners in Colorado include Dale Maddox ($40.5 million in loan volume) and Debbie Matthews ($36.8 million in loan volume) in Fort Collins; and Randy Lis ($34.0 million in loan volume) in Boulder. First National has 24 retail branches along the Front Range including multiple locations in Fort Collins, Boulder, Greeley, Loveland, Longmont and Broomfield.

The Boulder County Business Hall of Fame’s 12-member Class of 2017 will be inducted April 26. The induction luncheon will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Plaza Convention Center, 1850 Industrial Circle in Longmont. This year’s inductees are: Brad and Lisa Golter, owners, Longmont Florist Inc., Longmont; Jon F. Kottke, attorney, Kotte and Brantz, Boulder; Jeff Nading, founder, chief executive and chairman, Golden Triangle Construction Inc., Longmont; Tom Robichaud, founder and president, Precision Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electrical, Boulder; Rick Sterling, co-founder, Sterling-Rice Group, Boulder; and The Wood Family: Mitzi Wood, Tom Wood, Don Wood, Karen Kanemoto Wood, Eric Wood, Cindy Hoge and Kathy Pillmore. Gold Key Travel, Longmont. Tickets to the luncheon may be purchased by contacting Emily Frare at 303-630-1953 or efrare@bizwest.com. To become a sponsor of the program and event, contact Ken Amundson at 970-215-3060 or kamundson@bizwest.com.

Attorney David Wood received the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce’s Collins Award, for longstanding contribution to the community. The 112th annual dinner at The Hilton Fort Collins was attended by more than 550 people. Additional awards went to Mark Culloton of Austin’s American Grill, who received the 2016 Young Professional of the Year award, and Chris Otto of accounting firm EKS&H, who received the 2016 Volunteer of the Year Award.

The Boulder Chamber held its 2017 Celebration of Leadership program on March 2 at the Dairy Arts Center in Boulder. Tamil Maldonado-Vega and José Beteta, executive director of the Boulder County Latino Chamber, received a Community Impact Award. Boulder Organic Foods LLC received a Rising Star Award, which was accepted by Kate Brown, founder and president, and chief executive Greg Powers. Techtonic Group, a provider of custom web-based software and mobile application development, was named Innovative Company of the Year; CEO Heather Terenzio accepted the award. Dirk Friel and Gear Fisher, co-founders of Peaksware, won the Virginia Patterson Business People of the Year Award. Jon Kottke, co-Founder and partner at Kottke & Brantz LLC, and Betsey Martens, executive director of Boulder Housing Partners, each received Franny Reich Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Connecting Point Greeley for the sixth time was named by CRN to its 2017 Managed Service Provider 500 list in the Pioneer 250 category. The MSP500 is CRN’s annual list recognizing North American solution providers with cutting-edge approaches to delivering managed services.

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

Active Interest Media sold its Show Management division to Informa, a London-based publishing and events company. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Founded in 1976, Show Management was purchased by Boulder-based Active Interest Media in 2006.

In-Situ Inc., a Fort Collins-based manufacturer of onsite water-monitoring instruments, acquired Sydney, Australia-based Measuring and Control Equipment, or MACE. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. MACE is a privately held company that designs and manufactures electronic monitoring instruments, including ultrasonic flow meters, data loggers and controllers.

H.W. Kaufman Financial Group combined US-Reports and Canadian Reports, rebranding both companies under the name Afirm. The merger will continue to allow a single source for loss-control inspection, premium audit, and risk-mitigation services under the Afirm brand. Global headquarters for Afirm will continue to be based in Fort Collins, the home of US-Reports. The company acquired Toronto-based Technical Risk Services in 2016 and Colorado-based Essential Insurance Services in January.

Calgary, Alberta-based Burnco Rock Products Ltd. acquired Bestway Concrete Co., a Milliken-based ready-mix concrete and aggregate producer serving Northern Colorado and metropolitan Denver. Bestway’s management team and name will remain in place, and Bestway will continue to operate from its Milliken headquarters.

Fresca Foods Inc. in Louisville acquired the assets and brands of healthy-snack maker Front Range Snacks Inc. in Centennial. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Denver-based Centennial Bank and Trust, a subsidiary of Heartland Financial USA Inc., and Aurora-based Citywide Banks, a wholly owned subsidiary of Citywide Banks of Colorado Inc., said their parent companies plan to merge Citywide into Heartland in a stock and cash transaction valued at approximately $203 million. Citywide Banks will be merged into Centennial Bank and Trust, with the resulting institution operating under the Citywide Banks brand name. Citywide Banks is a 53-year-old commercial bank that operates 12 banking centers across metro Denver and Boulder. Centennial Bank and Trust has 17 locations across Colorado, including Boulder, Broomfield and Erie.

PanTheryx Inc., a Boulder-based life-science company, acquired two companies that process colostrum harvested from cows, a key ingredient in the company’s flagship nutritional product, DiaResQ. PanTheryx acquired Phoenix-based APS BioGroup and Bellingham, Wash.-based La Belle Associates, and plans to expand manufacturing capacity at the plant in Phoenix. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. PanTheryx, 5480 Valmont Road, Suite 325, plans to add several research and development, marketing, finance and accounting positions.

Aztech Software, a Greeley-based developer of software applications for petroleum/fuel and convenience store markets, was merged into Fargo, N.D.-based Red River Software, a sister company. Both companies had previously been acquired by Cultura Technologies LLC — Red River in 2015 and Aztech in 2016.

The Cigarette Store Corp., doing business as Smoker Friendly, acquired Cigars on 6th, an iconic tobacco products and cigar store in Denver. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Boulder-based Smoker Friendly will continue to operate the store at 707 E. 6th Ave., under the Cigars on 6th name, and it will introduce the Smoker Friendly brand of cigars in the store.  

MOVES

BOULDER — Mariah Mayhew, chief executive and president of outdoor-furniture store Fruehauf’s in Boulder, said Friday the company is planning to move the retail store to a new location at the end of this year.

The nearly two-acre site at 1665 33rd St., occupied by Fruehauf’s since 1977, was acquired by Boulder-based developer Don Altman, who plans to build affordable senior housing there.

“We’re looking for a space in either Boulder County, Broomfield or Westminster,” Maydew said. “We will continue to operate here (1665 33rd St.) through this selling season. Our lease runs out at the end of 2017.”

Prairie Mountain Media is consolidating the staff of the Longmont Times-Call in the company’s Boulder office. The Times-Call staff — 22 employees — will move from the current location at 1860 Industrial Circle in Longmont to Prairie Mountain Media’s offices at 2500 55th St. in Boulder, which houses the Boulder Daily Camera, Broomfield Enterprise, Colorado Hometown Weekly and the Colorado Daily.

Colorado Early Colleges Fort Collins, a sixth- through 12th-grade charter school that is reporting increased enrollment, is in the process of remodeling the former Advanced Energy Industries Inc. building on Innovation Drive in Fort Collins, where it will move its high school in August. The school hired The Neenan Co., a design-build firm based in Fort Collins, to update and remodel the industrial building. Construction is under way on the 91,000-square-foot space that will provide more room for the growing school.

OPENINGS

Blue Federal Credit Union opened a 2,800-square-foot branch at 2261 E. Drake Road, just east of Timberline Road, its third in Fort Collins. Blue Federal is the result of the merger of Wyoming-based Warren Federal Credit Union and Broomfield-based Community Financial Credit Union in April of last year. Blue Federal operates branches at 136 W. Mountain Ave. in Old Town and at 181 Boardwalk Drive east of South College Avenue. It also has branches in Broomfield, Boulder, Wellington and Wyoming.

Front Range Orthopedics & Spine Center will open a new center in Longmont on Monday, March 13. The 32,000-square-foot, two-story center at 1610 Dry Creek Drive in southwest Longmont provides access to 10 board-certified, fellowship trained surgeons who specialize in orthopedics and spine procedures. It also has an outpatient surgery center capable of handling 2,500 patients annually, a 3,000-square-foot physical therapy center, digital x-ray and high-resolution MRI services. Front Range Orthopedics & Spine will continue to operate clinics in Frederick and Lafayette. The 10 orthopedic surgeons “float” among the three locations.

UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital on Feb. 26 opened its three-story, 185,000-square-foot expansion on South Lemay Avenue in Fort Collins, including an emergency department more than three times the size of the hospital’s former emergency space. The facility also features a clinical laboratory, orthopedics unit, retail pharmacy, rooftop helipad and additional parking.

Open Door Brewing Co. is almost ready to open a tap room at 2030 Ionosphere St. in Prospect New Town at the southern edge of Longmont. After a soft opening, owners and cousins Andy Riedel and Billy McDivitt expect to hold a grand-opening celebration March 24.

Louisville-based Bolder Insurance, an independent personal and business insurance agency, opened a new office at 2575 Pearl St. in the Cox Corner building in Boulder. Bolder Insurance will maintain its office in downtown Louisville at 800 Jefferson Ave., where it moved five years ago from Boulder, where it had been operating for 22 years.

Ballard Spahr LLP, a Philadelphia-based law firm, expanded into Boulder, the firm’s 15th office nationwide. Joining the firm as partners were Carin M. Cutler, Nathan E. Seiler and Steven N. Dupont, formerly with boutique Boulder law firm Gross Cutler Seiler Dupont. The three will focus on corporate and securities, mergers and acquisitions, licensing and strategic transactional matters for emerging growth and venture-capital clients.

Nest Home Lending LLC launched operations in Colorado, including locations in Greeley and Longmont. The new Longmont-based mortgage company is a joint venture between Cornerstone Home Lending Inc., one of the largest independent home lenders in the United States, and Oakwood Homes, one of the largest privately owned homebuilders in Colorado.

Oskar Blues Brewery opened an events/meeting room at its brewery in Longmont. The Oak Room, at 1800 Pike Road, has 4,275 square feet of space that can be rented out for private events. It has a private bar, oak-barrel furniture and accessories, and a 24-foot projection television screen. It can handle up to 280 occupants. Guests will have views through windows of Oskar Blues’ barrel-aging room, and aromas of freshly roasted Hotbox Roasters coffee beans.

MAD Greens opened its first and only drive-through restaurant on Feb. 20 at 944 W. Dillon Road in Louisville.

Dare2Coach launched in Windsor with the vision of revolutionizing the sports coaching industry by utilizing feedback tools that will guide coaches and administrators across the country. It’s available in three pricing models: one for school districts, one for youth sports clubs, and one for individual coaches. For more information, visit Dare2Coach.com or contact the company at info@dare2coach.com or 970=556-8895.

PRODUCT UPDATE

Fort Collins-based Otter Products unveiled a new line of modular iPad cases aimed at the business-to-business market. Otter unveiled the upcoming system at the inaugural OtterBox uniVERSE B2B Summit. The offerings will include the modular iPad case system that offer both protection for devices but also room to accessories. Otter launched the line with eight accessory partners but now has 80, the Post reports. Otter recently launched a business-solutions group, aimed at the B-to-B market; it now employs 20 people.

SERVICES

Loveland-based Green Ride Colorado will take over some Northern Colorado routes for Phoenix-based SuperShuttle. Green Ride will begin offering former SuperShuttle customers direct service to Denver International Airport from the Harmony Transfer Center and the Loveland Shuttle Stop 36 times per day, as well as home pickup and hotel service in Fort Collins, Windsor and Loveland. The locally owned airport-shuttle company, which started operations in 2009, became the only shared-ride airport shuttle company serving Fort Collins, Loveland and Windsor. SuperShuttle will continue to serve the Denver/Boulder market with both SuperShuttle and ExecuCar service. SuperShuttle announced in January that it would end service between DIA and Longmont, and would drop its service to Greeley/Evans. Those routes were included in the transaction with Green Ride, but Green Ride does not immediately plan to launch direct service from those cities. However, Greeley has an operational shuttle service — Greeley Shuttle LLC — as an alternative to SuperShuttle’s service, and the Green Ride affiliate in Boulder is planning to start a direct service in Longmont, beginning May 1.

Radish Systems became a Silver level member in Oracle PartnerNetwork, allowing it to introduce and sell the ChoiceView Visual Interactive Voice Response and Visual Live Assistance platform to Oracle Cloud customers.

Bank of Colorado is introducing ATM Live, an Interactive Teller Machine at 4848 Thompson Parkway in Johnstown. By combining the convenience of an ATM with the service and expertise of an in-person bank visit, ATM Live creates an experience much like video chatting with a banker. Bank of Colorado is the first community bank in Colorado to debut this new service, with several ATM Live locations in Northern Colorado.

Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer, self-proclaimed mayor of HeidiTown, expanded her HeidiTown.com coverage of festivals and travel from Colorado to six states surrounding it.  well-respected source of online information about Colorado festivals and travel. The brand, which also has a presence on numerous social media platforms, now will also cover parts of Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico — destinations that can be reached from the Denver area in a day’s drive.


 

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