June 16, 2017

Briefcase – June 2017

CLOSING

Walmart’s Neighborhood Market at 2972 Iris Ave. in Boulder is slated to close June 16. The 53,500 square-foot store was protested when it opened less than four years ago. No other closures are planned, and the 70 Boulder employees will have the option to transfer to a nearby store. Walmart has locations in Lafayette, Broomfield and Longmont.

Walnut Brewery, a longtime fixture at 1123 Walnut St. in downtown Boulder, closed June 4, to be replaced by another staple of the city: Boulder Beer. Tennessee-based CraftWorks Restaurants & Brewery Group, the current owners of Walnut Brewery, said a transfer of ownership to Frank Day, founder of the original Old Chicago in Boulder, had completed. Day’s wife, Gina, is a part-owner of Boulder Beer, which will open Boulder Beer on Walnut in July.

CONTRACTS

Intuicom Inc., a wireless solutions provider for intelligent transportation systems, is providing communications infrastructure to Superior to connect it to Louisville. The Boulder-based company makes data solutions for long-range mobile networking, such as what’s needed in intelligent transportation management, and it will provide the infrastructure for the town of Superior’s Advanced Traffic Management System. Louisville already has the software, and the contract for Superior will allow for secure communications between the two cities.

Neenan Co., a design-build firm based in Fort Collins, and Corvallis, Ore.-based Gerding Builders LLC broke ground on the redevelopment of a 126,000-square-foot hospital for Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital in Newport, Ore. Neenan is the lead architect and general contractor for the project.

Wana Brands, a Boulder-based provider of edible cannabis products, signed a licensing deal to sell AltMed Enterprises’ medical products infused with marijuana in Colorado. The deal also allows Sarasota, Fla.-based AltMed to sell Wana Brands’ medical edibles in Arizona. Financial terms of the licensing agreement were not disclosed.

Boulder-based Array BioPharma Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRY) is partnering with Merck to collaborate on a clinical trial. The tests will examine the safety and efficacy of one of Array’s drugs, binimetinib, along with Merck’s therapy Keytruda. The studies will be done with colorectal cancer patients who have stable tumors.

Miragen Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: MGEN), a biopharmaceutical company based in Boulder and focused on gene-targeted therapies, is extending its research collaboration with Paris-based international pharmaceutical company Servier. The partnership, formed in 2011, is now extended through September 2019. The amendment provides Servier with an exclusive license to research, develop and commercialize RNA-targeting therapeutics in the cardiovascular field and the right to obtain an exclusive license for another target to be named by Servier by a specified date. In turn, Miragen is entitled to milestone payments and royalties. Miragen retains commercialization rights in the United States and Japan.

EARNINGS

Fort Collins-based Advanced Energy Industries Inc. (Nasdaq: AEIS) posted revenue of $149.4 million for its first quarter, up 45 percent from the same period last year. Earnings per share was 88 cents, up from 50 cents per share in the first quarter of 2016, with income from continuing operations of $35.4 million.

Boulder-based Array BioPharma Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRY) missed analyst expectations by 4 cents when it posted a third-quarter loss per share of 21 cents. The cancer-research company also missed on revenue. Its $33.3 million for the quarter was a 23 percent slide from the same period last year and missed analyst expectations by nearly $4 million. Operating expenses grew year-over-year by about $2 million to $65 million. And loss from operations grew from $20 million for the third quarter 2016 to about $32 million in this latest quarter.

Broomfield-based can manufacturer Ball Corp. (NYSE: BLL) reported a profit of $68 million, or 38 cents per share, on sales of $2.5 billion for its first quarter that ended March 31. The first-quarter numbers were an improvement compared with the first quarter of 2016 when the company reported a loss of $127 million, or 90 cents per share, on sales of $1.8 billion. Ball Corp.’s subsidiary, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Inc. based in Boulder, reported earnings of $21 million on sales of $236 million, compared with $18 million on sales of $180 million during the same period in 2016. Ball Aerospace’s contracted backlog ended the quarter at $1.4 billion.

Although Boulder-based Clovis Oncology Inc. (Nasdaq: CLVS) posted first-quarter earnings per share that were a loss of $1.33, it still beat analysts’ expectations by 15 cents. The oncology research and development company was buoyed by the first-quarter launch of Rubraca, a drug used for the treatment of patients with a certain mutation associated with advanced ovarian cancer. It brought the company’s revenue to $7 million, beating expectations by $2.16 million. During the same period last year, the company brought in no revenue. Despite that, Clovis operated at a loss of more than $56 million, and while it’s a 34 percent tightening from the same period of last year, it still resulted in a net loss for the company of more than $58 million.

Crocs Inc. (Nasdaq: CROX) reported an increase in profit despite a decline in revenue for its first quarter that ended March 31. The Niwot-based maker of casual footwear posted a profit of $7.2 million, or 8 cents per share, compared with a profit of $6.4 million and 7 cents per share during the same period a year ago. Revenue for the quarter was $267.9 million, down 4 percent compared with the first quarter last year.

FirstBank reported a profit of $48 million for its first quarter 2017 that ended March 31, a 10.6 percent increase compared with the same quarter a year ago. The Lakewood-based bank has branches in Boulder, Broomfield, Larimer and Weld counties, as well as other counties in Colorado, Arizona and California. Total assets grew to $17.3 billion, an increase of 7.8 percent, and total deposits increased to $15.6 billion, up 8.1 percent. Net loans totaled $9.6 billion, an increase of 8.5 percent. In Boulder County, assets grew 16.8 percent during the first quarter from $543.1 million to $634.2 million. Total deposits increased 9.4 percent to $819 million and loans increased from $535.4 million to $627.4 million, an increase of 17.2 percent. The bank did not release information on its operations in the city and county of Broomfield. In Northern Colorado — Larimer and Weld counties — assets grew 4.4 percent from $849.6 million to $886.7 million. Total deposits increased 5.3 percent to $743.1 million and loans increased from $828.2 million to $865.9 million, an increase of 4.6 percent.

Heska Corp. (Nasdaq: HSKA) reported a profit of $4.6 million for its first quarter that ended March 31. The Loveland-based provider of veterinary diagnostic products reported revenue of $30.4 million for the quarter, up 12 percent compared with the same period in 2016, and logged 61 cents earnings per share. On March 31, Heska had $12.2 million in cash and cash equivalents, compared with $6.2 million in the prior year, and working capital of $24.9 million. Stockholders’ equity increased to $92.7 million as of March 31, up from $87 million as of Dec. 31.

Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT) missed analyst expectations by 2 cents, posting 34 cents earnings per share in its first quarter. The Broomfield-based telecommunications company, soon to be acquired by CenturyLink, had revenue of $2.05 billion, flat year-over-year but beating expectations by $10 million. Its 34 cents per share earnings exclude a $44 million loss on Level 3’s modification of debt during a refinancing transaction during the quarter. Including that loss, earnings per share were 26 cents, a 10-cent drop from first-quarter 2016. Net income, including the $44 million loss, was $95 million, a 26 percent drop year-over-year.

Nivalis Therapeutics Inc. posted a net loss of $8.9 million, or 57 cents per share, for its first quarter earnings. The Boulder bioscience company posted its results shortly after announcing a merger with Alpine Immune Sciences Inc., a privately held biotech company. The combined company is expected to have $90 million in cash and cash equivalents following the closing of the transaction. The company’s net loss grew slightly from the same period last year, when its loss was $7.8 million, or 51 cents per share. Nivalis said the increased loss was the result of $3.5 million in restructuring charges and a $2 million increase in stock-based compensation expenses, related to the termination of all but five employees. The combined company will operate under the name Alpine Immune Sciences Inc.

Noodles & Co. (Nasdaq: NDLS) missed analyst expectations by 91 cents, posting earnings per share of  99 cents for the first quarter. Despite missing on earnings, the Broomfield-based restaurant chain managed to increase its revenue by 2.4 percent to nearly $117 million, beating expectations by about $1.4 million. The company overall had a net shareholder loss of $27.8 million in the first quarter compared with a net loss of $2.4 million for the same period in 2016.

Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. (Nasdaq: PPC) reported a profit of $93.9 million for its first quarter that ended March 31. The Greeley-based company chicken-processor recorded revenue of $2.02 billion, a 2.9 percent increase compared with the same quarter a year ago. Pilgrim’s Pride posted earnings per share of 38 cents.

Surna Inc. (OTC: SRNA), a Boulder-based manufacturer of climate-controlled systems for the indoor cannabis-cultivation industry, reported a loss of $1 million, or 1 cent per share, for its first quarter that ended March 31. The loss was 34 percent greater than its loss of $746,214 it reported during the same period a year ago. The company’s revenue declined 36 percent from the comparable quarter of last year, from $2.5 million to $1.6 million. As of March 31, the company said it had a backlog of contracts valued at about $3.8 million, of which approximately $2.3 million was attributed to contracts entered into during the most recent quarter.

UQM Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UQM) reported a drop in revenue and a loss of $1.6 million for its first quarter that ended March 31. The Longmont-based manufacturer of electric motors, generators,  and fuel-cell compressors for the automotive, marine, military and industrial markets, posted revenue of $1 million for the quarter, down from $1.5 million in the same quarter last years. The quarterly loss was greater than a loss of $939,000, or 2 cents per share, for the same period a year ago.

Zayo Group Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ZAYO) beat analyst expectations by 2 cents when it posted third-quarter earnings of 11 cents per share, an increase from the company’s loss of 8 cents per share during the same period in 2016. Although revenue also grew — from $478 million in the third quarter 2016 to $550 million in 2017 — the Boulder-based company still missed analyst expectations by about $5 million. Net income was $27 million, a 36 percent jump from Q3 2016, and operating income remained stable year-over-year at $90.7 million.

KUDOS

Caribou Ranch, the famed Colorado music studio, will be inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame in August. The studio, built in a barn near Nederland, will be honored at an induction concert Aug. 13 at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre in Greenwood Village. Caribou Ranch was built by Jim Guercio in 1971 and was used by many famous singers and bands.

Hampton Inn & Suites in Greeley, managed by Fort Collins-based Spirit Hospitality LLC, again earned a spot on the Hampton Wall of Fame for the first quarter of 2017. Only those in the top 15 percent of all North-American Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, and Hampton by Hilton properties can boast this accomplishment. The three-story inn at 2350 W. 29th St. includes 74 guest rooms, fitness center, laundry facilities and meeting space.

Meadowlark Optics Inc. in Frederick and Vairex Air Systems in Boulder are among three companies statewide to receive the 2017 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Exporting for their contributions to the Colorado economy through international trade. Awardees will receive $500 worth of consulting services through the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade’s Global Consultant Network.

StickerGiant.com LLC in Longmont and SurveyGizmo in Boulder have been named to Forbes Magazine’s 2017 list of the “25 Best Companies in America.”

Longmont United Hospital was designated as a “Planetree Designated Person-Centered Hospital” for the third time in seven years. Planetree International is a mission-based not-for-profit organization that has partnered with more than 700 health care organizations around the world and across the care continuum to transform how care is delivered.

Molly Winter, executive director of the city of Boulder’s Department of Community Vitality, was named the 2017 James M. Hunnicutt, CAPP, Parking Professional of the Year by the International Parking Institute.

An audience of nearly 350 people on May 4 at the Rayback Collective in Boulder chose Boulder-based National Habitat Adventures as “the most exciting company in Colorado.” during a Colorado “Companies to Circle” Event & Awards Ceremony, hosted by Luke’s Circle, a Denver-Boulder professionals’ community.

Longmont Power & Communications was been recognized as a Reliable Public Power Provider with a Diamond rating by the American Public Power Association.

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

W.W. Reynolds Cos. acquired Freeman Myre Inc., a commercial real estate brokerage and property-management firm, from Andrew Freeman. Financial terms of the deal between the two Boulder-based firms were not disclosed.

The merger of Kansas-based Sunflower Financial Inc. and Texas-based Strategic Growth Bancorp Inc. is expected to close June 19, having received the required regulatory approvals for the merger. Announced last year, the merger includes banking entities Sunflower Bank N.A., First National Bank of Santa Fe and Capital Bank SSB, as well as Guardian Mortgage Co. Inc.  The combined holding company will be named FirstSun Capital Bancorp and will be headquartered in Denver. It will have $4.1 billion in assets and $3.2 billion in deposits, making it the third-largest banking institution by total assets headquartered in Colorado. The banks will operate as Sunflower Bank in Colorado, Kansas and Missouri, and as First National 1870, a division of Sunflower Bank, in New Mexico and Texas. In Colorado, Sunflower has locations in Longmont, Boulder, Denver, Monte Vista, Pueblo, Canon City and Greenwood Village. Strategic Growth Bancorp had been operating in Colorado as First National Denver, which has two branches in Longmont, and one each in Boulder and Loveland.

Boulder-based IT firm iSupportU is changing hands as its founder enters a sabbatical to sail the world. But the transition process has been deliberate, as founder Shaun Oshman has had the team interview new owner Brett Ramberg, and Oshman will be staying on for a month to train Ramberg. Financial details of the sale were not disclosed.

Greeley-based beef, lamb and pork processor JBS USA Food Co. closed the deal announced in March to acquire Danish Crown A/S’ U.S.-based bacon, ham and deli meat business, Plumrose USA, for $230 million. Greeley-based JBS USA, a wholly owned subsidiary of JBS SA in Brazil, acquires five prepared foods facilities, including one in Elkhart, Ind., two in Council Bluffs, Iowa, one in Booneville, Miss., and one in Swanton, Vt., plus distribution centers in South Bend, Ind., and Tupelo, Miss. Plumrose’s 1,250 employees are expected to join JBS USA.Plumrose’s annual net revenue is estimated at $500 million. JBS USA is also a majority shareholder of Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. in Greeley.

Four small hospitals operated by Broomfield-based SCL Health in Aurora, Northglenn, Littleton and Westminster were purchased for $135 million by Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Healthcare Trust of America, a publicly traded real estate investment trust focused on medical properties. The seller was Duke Realty, based in Indianapolis.

Congruex, a company created in Boulder earlier this year by Level 3 Communications Inc. co-founder Kevin O’Hara and telecom veteran Bill Beans, struck a partnership with a New York-based private-equity firm to acquire and grow engineering and construction companies focused on the communications services and utility sectors. Financial details of the partnership were not disclosed. Crestview Partners is committing up to $200 million of equity as part of what is expected to be a total investment of approximately $500 million.

MOVES

Boulder-based Law firm Knight Nicastro LLC moved from 4770 Baseline Road to 929 Pearl St., Suite 350.

Denver-based Comunale Properties has landed two tenants for its industrial/flex building at the Summit at Colorado Technology Center in Louisville, the first phase of a project built on speculation. Colorado Therapeutics LLC will move from a building it leases from Comunale in Broomfield to 33,600 square feet, and Solid Power Inc. will move within the CTC to lease 19,200 square feet in a 62,400-square-foot building at 486 S. Pierce Ave.

Lightning Hybrids, now doing business as Lightning Systems, is moving to larger headquarters in Loveland at at the Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation and Technology, at Southwest 14th Street and Taft Avenue.

The Butterfly Pavilion, located in Westminster for 25 years, is considering a move to Broomfield. The pavilion and its affiliated Center for Invertebrate Research and Conservation plans to move to a new facility in the North Park development at Colorado Highway 7 and Sheridan Boulevard. North Park, a development of Loveland-based McWhinney, also will be home to a 150,000-square-foot, $220 million operations center for JPMorgan Chase. The Butterfly Pavilion in February solidified plans to build a butterfly pavilion at the Gardens on Spring Creek in Fort Collins.

OPENING

Big Fish Payroll Services, a California-based boutique human-resources service, opened offices in Broomfield and Denver to serve companies in the Boulder Valley, Northern Colorado and Denver. Big Fish operations in Colorado will be managed by longtime Colorado businessman Darren Knauss, who lives in Broomfield. Knauss will stage operations from his home office and from 8354 Northfield Blvd., Suite 3700, in Denver.

Heavy-equipment dealer H&E Equipment Services Inc. opened a branch in Loveland to provide service to customers in Northern Colorado, western Nebraska and southeastern Wyoming. The 5,295-square-foot facility sits on two acres at 5874 Langley Ave.

Frank and Kim Brewster expect to open a MidiCi pizza parlor franchise at 3581 E. Harmony Road, Suite 170, at Harmony Commons in south Fort Collins this July. The Los Angeles-based MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Co. chain is known for authentic, traditional Neapolitan cuisine with natural, fresh, non-GMO ingredients.

The Denver-based Metro Wastewater Reclamation District opened a $417 million Northern Treatment Plant in Brighton on May 24.

Chuze Fitness, a California-based operator of fitness centers, leased 36,963 square feet in Broomfield, where it plans open a center this summer in an anchor spot in Broomfield Plaza, 5105 W 120th Ave. The plaza is owned by NewMark Merrill Cos., developer of the Village at the Peaks outdoor retail center in Longmont.

The Eye Center of Northern Colorado PC opened its second location in Fort Collins at the corner of Precision and Ziegler drives within the Harmony Technology Park. The Eye Center has clinics at 1725 E. Prospect Road in Fort Collins, and at 2551 13th St. and 6125 Sky Pond Drive at the Centerra development in Loveland.

Northern Colorado staple Wing Shack, which started its first store in 2004, opened its sixth shop on May 17 at 1430 Stillwater Ave. in Cheyenne, the chain’s first Wyoming location. Wing Shack already has locations in Garden City, Greeley, Loveland, Windsor and Fort Collins.

Greenwood Village-based Bellco Credit Union will open a branch at the Village at the Peaks outdoor shopping area in Longmont. Construction is under way on the 2,400-square-foot branch at 1250 S. Hover St., No. 200. It is expected to open in July. This will be Bellco’s 24th branch and second in Boulder County; it opened a branch in Louisville in 2016.

Egg Strategy, a company that provides strategy and consulting services, opened its third office, this time in New York. The Boulder-based company, founded in 2005, already has offices in Boulder and Chicago.

Husband-and-wife team Brian and Lenore Jagerson opened a Growler USA franchise in Louisville. The brewpub at 1071 Courtesy Road is Growler USA’s third franchise in Colorado.

Atlanta-based GreenbergFarrow, a global architecture, engineering, planning and development services firm, opened an office in Broomfield, its 16th office nationwide. Alicia Khine, program manager, will lead the office at 11001 W. 120th Ave.

The Organic Sandwich Co. in Boulder plans to open a shop in Louisville this summer, becoming the latest restaurant to take a shot at 459 S. McCaslin Blvd., Suite 5, which until recently housed BlueBox Doughnuts.

Little Man Ice Cream is planning stores in Stapleton and Fort Collins, 10 years after the milk jug-shaped kiosk was first opened at West 30th Avenue and Tejon Street in Denver’s LoHi neighborhood. A 22-foot tall kiosk in the shape of a hand-churned ice cream bucket will be the anchor tenant at The Exchange in Fort Collins.

Amazon is planning a small distribution center and office that could be up and running by the end of summer, according to building permits. The $1 million renovations would take place in at 19,000 square-foot space at 3550 Frontier Ave. in Boulder, although it’s unclear which space they’ll occupy in that property.

Leawood, Kan., energy company Tallgrass Energy Partners LP (NYSE: TEP) will develop a new oil terminal in Platteville, in partnership with Saddle Butte Pipeline. The terminal will be located in the Platteville oil terminal complex and will interconnect with Saddle Butte’s Denver-Julesburg Basin crude oil gathering system.

PRODUCT UPDATE

Sphero has debuted a new app-enabled toy fitting into the Disney universe. The Ultimate Lightning McQueen is an interactive race car meant to be a lifelike version of the red animated speed racer voiced by Owen Wilson in June 16’s Disney-Pixar film “Cars 3.” The toy features animatronic features to mimic the character, and can drive, drift and race, and has a reactive touch to interact with fans.

New Belgium Brewing Co. in Fort Collins and Colorado State University are teaming up for a one-of-a-kind collaborative beer, Old Aggie Superior Lager. Packaging features CSU’s ram mascot, with a green and orange vintage color scheme. Old Aggie Superior Lager will be released July 1 in 12- and 24-ounce cans and on draft. The beer will be a year-round offering available for distribution only in Colorado.

Lindsay Holden, a University of Colorado Boulder alumna is looking to make financial planning more fun with her San Francisco-based savings app Long Game. The app works using a prize-based mechanism. Customers sign up for the FDIC-insured savings app and deposits money into it, much like a regular savings account. However, as savings are added to the account, the client gets a chance to play games, where he or she can win anywhere from 10 cents to $1 million to more chances to play. Unlike the lottery, money is never lost. The goal is to incentivize people over time to continue saving.

Fort Collins-based OtterBox is debuting a new product, and this time it has nothing to do with phone cases. It’s getting into the rugged-cooler business, competing with well-known favorites such as Yeti and Rtic. The new Venture coolers are designed to be bear-resistant, hold ice for up to 14 days and are drop-tested for every side, both empty and full.  The coolers, which come in three sizes, have mounts to attach accessories, and come with a cutting board, dry-storage tray and separators to organize the internal space. There’s also a side table, cup holders and clips.

Tampa, Fla.-based Cigar City Brewing, owned by Longmont-based Oskar Blues Brewing, now is distributing its beer in Colorado. Cigar City will partner with several distributors in the state, including RMC Distributors, Coors Distributing Co., High Country Beverage and Mountain Beverage Co.

A small tech company run by two former Hewlett-Packard engineers have figured out a way to design a simple, easy-install, nearly wireless backup camera, QuickVu, for cars. Trail Ridge Technologies LLC is a Fort Collins-based company consisting of Bob Morain and Mitch Hanks, both of whom took early retirement from H-P in 2008. Hanks, a hardware engineer, and Morain, a software engineer, partnered to create a company that would simplify complex products and bring them into people’s lives.

Former barkeep Quinton Bennett launched Wheelhouse Canning Co. and will produce its first 600-case run of canned cocktails out of Mobile Canning in Longmont. It also plans to roll out a canned whiskey cocktail in coming months. Wheelhouse’s first release will include three flavors: a mint/cucumber vodka, a grape/mint gin and a black tea/lemonade vodka.

SERVICES

BizWest announced several changes and new features for its website, bizwest.com. A new subscription system means that content originally produced for the monthly print edition will be categorized as “premium,” meaning that it will be available only to digital or print subscribers. Some content, including most daily-news items, will be free for 48 hours. BizWest also launched a video series, in partnership with Fort Collins-based V3 Media. The Leadership Series will be under the umbrella of BizWest TV.

Comcast is launching residential Internet service with speeds up to 1 gigabit-per-second throughout Colorado. The announcement comes after the company launched a new platform Xfinity xFi, a digital dashboard for customers to set up their home Wi-Fi network.

The Regional Transportation District added four routes to and from Boulder and Denver International Airport. RTD operates the new trips as route AB2, picking up passengers in Boulder at Boulder Junction at Depot Square, 2280 Junction Place; near the University of Colorado Boulder’s east campus at the corner of 28th Street and Arapahoe Avenue and 28th Street and College Avenue; and the Table Mesa Park-N-Ride, 5170 Table Mesa Drive. There will be two runs to and from the airport in the morning originating from Boulder Junction at 7 and 8 a.m., and two in the afternoon leaving at 6 and 7:05 p.m. The existing AB route that goes to and from Boulder and the airport will continue its service, but it is being renamed AB1.

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