December 6, 2017

Briefcase – December 2017

CLOSING

Door to Door Organics is no longer in business, according to a letter to its customers posted to its website. The 20-year-old, Louisville-based company cited funding and recent events as reasons it was abruptly shuttering. The news came a month and a half after Door to Door launched a curated meal plan for customers.

DEADLINES

Nominations of outstanding business leaders who shape our community are being accepted for the Boulder County Business Hall of Fame until Jan. 31. The hall’s board of directors is looking for names of those from the past and present whose business efforts have resulted in community-wide economic, social or cultural benefits to Boulder County and its citizens. Nominations may be submitted at halloffamebiz.com. The new honorees will be announced in March and saluted and inducted into the Boulder County Business Hall of Fame at a luncheon on April 25 at the Plaza Convention Center in Longmont.

The National Park Service extended the deadline to comment on proposed fee increases at national parks, including Rocky Mountain National Park, by 30 days. The deadline is now Dec. 22, extended after Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., requested more time for people to submit feedback. Peak-season daily entrance fees to Rocky Mountain and 16 other national parks would increase to $70 per private vehicle, $50 per motorcycle and $30 per person on foot or bike starting June 1, up from current fees: $20 per private vehicle, $20 per motorcycle and $10 per person on bike or foot. Those fees would remain from November to May. Annual Rocky passes would also increase from $60 to $75.

EARNINGS

AeroGrow International Inc. (OTCQB:AERO), a Boulder-based manufacturer and distributor of indoor-gardening systems. increased revenue and cut losses for the second quarter of its fiscal year 2018  that ended Sept. 30, compared with the same period a year ago. Aerogrow recorded revenue of $5.7 million, an increase of 156 percent compared with the same period a year ago. Loss from operations was $129,000, down from a loss of $627,000 in the prior year.

Array Biopharma Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRY) was in line with analyst expectations with a first-quarter loss of 22 cents per share. The company missed on revenue expectations, however, by $3.53 million. Revenue was $29.75 million, a drop of more than 24 percent from the same period last year. The Boulder-based biopharmaceutical company works on developing and commercializing targeted small molecule cancer therapies. Its total net loss for the quarter was $38 million, or 22 cents per share. It’s a greater loss than in the first quarter of last year, which was $28.6 million, or 20 cents per share.

Clovis Oncology Inc. (Nasdaq: CLVS) missed analyst expectations by 2 cents, with a third-quarter loss per share of $1.24. Revenue for the Boulder-based company was $16.8 million, a miss of $4.3 million. Clovis had a net loss of $60.6 million, or $1.24 per share, an improvement over the same period last year, when its net loss was nearly $65.7 million, or $1.70 per share.

Crocs Inc. (Nasdaq: CROX) beat analyst expectations for its third quarter by 2 cents per share, although the Niwot-based company posted a loss per share of 3 cents. It was an improvement from the same period last year, when Crocs had a loss per share of 7 cents. Net loss was $2.3 million, compared with a loss of $5.3 million last year. This year’s loss included $3.6 million in charges attributed to reduction of selling, general and administrative expenses. The company shrank its SG&A from $123.5 million in the third quarter of 2016 to $120.8 million in 2017. Revenue was down 1 percent year-over-year, but Crocs still managed to beat expectations by $5.76 million. The company posted revenue of $243 million.

Gaia Inc. (Nasdaq: GAIA), a media company in the yoga and mindfulness space, posted a loss per share of 34 cents in the third quarter this year, a significant difference from the $6.64 earnings per share the company had for the same period last year. The Louisville-based company had a net loss of $5.2 million, down significantly from last year’s net earnings of more than $100 million. The company attributes the difference to the $114.5 million gain on the sale of the Gaiam business and the repurchase of 40 percent of outstanding stock in July 2016. Despite the major change in net income, the company did grow its total net revenue from $4.4 million in 2016 to $7.5 million in 2017, a 69 percent growth. Streaming revenue grew 85 percent year-over-year from $3.8 million to $7 million. Paying subscribers grew from 180,000 in the third quarter of 2016 to 311,000 in the third quarter of 2017.

MiRagen Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: MGEN), had a net loss per share of 27 cents for the third quarter of 2017, a significant improvement over the same period last year, which had a net loss per share of $6.92. The improvement, however, doesn’t come from reducing its net loss. Rather, the company increased its number of shares from 601,667 in 2016 to more than 21 million in 2017. Net loss grew from $4.1 million to $5.8 million in 2017. Total revenue grew from $936,000 for the third quarter of 2016 to $1.6 million in 2017.

Noodles & Co. (Nasdaq: NDLS) was in line with analyst expectations with 2 cents earnings per share for the third quarter. The Broomfield-based fast-casual restaurant company missed on revenue by a quarter million dollars, down 6.9 percent year-over-year with revenue of $114 million. Noodles attributes its miss on revenue to the closure of 55 restaurants during the first quarter of 2017. Net loss was $8.3 million, or a 20 cent loss per share, an improvement of a net loss of $9.8 million, or 35 cents per share, for the same period the year before. When income is adjusted and account adjustments made for the impairment of 18 restaurants and ongoing costs of restaurant closings, the company’s net income was $900,000, or 2 cents per share. Comparable restaurant sales decreased 3.5 percent across the brand’s system. It decreased 3.8 percent for company-owned restaurants and 1.6 percent for franchise restaurants.

Surna Inc. (OTCQB: SRNA), a Boulder-based manufacturer of equipment for cannabis and traditional indoor agricultural growing operations, reported a loss of $1.2 million despite a 34 percent increase in revenue for its third quarter that ended Sept. 30. Surna reported revenue of $1.6 million for the quarter, an increase of $395,000 compared with the third quarter of 2016. During the quarter, the company was awarded $2.4 million in new contracts, bringing its nine-month total for the fiscal year to $7.2 million.

UQM Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UQM), a Longmont-based developer of alternative-energy technologies, reported revenue of $2.8 million for the third quarter ended Sept. 30. That compares with revenue of $1 million in the third quarter last year, an increase of 169 percent. Net loss for the third quarter totaled $543,000, or 1 cent per common share, compared with a net loss of $2.4 million, or 5 cents per common share for the same period last year.

Woodward Inc. (Nasdaq: WWD), a Fort Collins-based designer and manufacturer for aerospace and industrial components, beat analyst expectations by 6 cents per share, with fourth-quarter earnings per share of 98 cents. Net earnings, however, fell slightly from the same period last year. Earnings for the fourth quarter of 2016 were $63 million, compared with $62 million this year. Earnings per share were 98 cents this quarter and 99 cents per share for the same quarter the prior year. Revenue grew 2.7 percent year-over-year, growing to $607 million for the fourth quarter and beating analyst expectations by $8.8 million. For the entire year, net sales were $2.1 billion, a 4 percent increase compared with $2.02 billion the prior year. Net earnings also grew 11 percent year-over-year, from $181 million in 2016 to $201 million in 2017. Earnings per share grew from $2.85 to $3.16.

Zayo Group Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ZAYO), a broadband infrastructure provider, missed analyst expectations by 5 cents per share for the first quarter, posting an earnings per share of just 9 cents. The Boulder-based company also missed slightly on revenue, with $643.5 million this quarter rather than the expected $644.93 million. Revenue did grow year-over-year, however, improving by 27 percent from the same period in 2016, when revenue was $504.9 million. Net income grew from $15.7 million from the period that ended Sept. 30, 2016, to $23.2 million in the period that ended Sept. 30, 2017.

KUDOS

Fort Collins ranks fifth in the Georgetown University Energy Prize competition after residents reduced overall energy use 5.4 percent — enough to power 9,800 homes for one year. The community now advances with nine other cities to the final round of the national contest, which challenged small- and medium-sized cities and counties to reduce energy consumption and increase efficiency in 2015 and 2016. A winner will be named in December.

The city of Fort Collins won a 2017 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. It was the only city on the list of winners and the only Colorado entity to be honored this year. The U.S. Commerce Department’s Boulder-based National Institute of Standards and Technology manages the Baldrige Award in cooperation with the private sector.

Forty-one companies in Colorado appear on Outside Magazine’s list of “100 Best Places to Work in 2017.” The ratings look at number of employees, average salary, vacation time and additional perks the workplace might have. Colorado businesses take the top four spots in the ranking, with Aspen-based Forum Phi Architecture at No. 1. Denver-based Ground Floor Media was ranked No. 2, followed by Boulder-based Avid4 Adventure. In the Boulder Valley, Boulder-based Room 214 ranked seventh, Louisville-based Natural Habitat Adventures was 13th, and Boulder-based Pellucid Analytics, TeamSnap, Sterling-Rice Group, Creative Alignments, VictorOps, MondoRobot, TDA Boulder, CampMinder, BSW Wealth Partners, Namaste Solar and Tendril placed 14th, 25th, 31st, 41st, 43rd, 53rd, 56th, 58th, 64th, 77th and 82nd, respectively. Fort Collins-based New Belgium Brewing ranked No. 83.

Louisville-based Solid Power Inc., a developer of solid-state rechargeable batteries, was named 2017 Breakout Cleantech Company of the Year by the Colorado Cleantech Industries Association.

Blackeagle Energy Services has worked more than 2.5 million man-hours without a lost time incident. The Berthoud-based company, which works in the pipeline construction industry, said in a statement that its peers in the industry lost 3.3 days per 100 workers due to injury.

Boulder-based Ball Aerospace was awarded an Aviation Week Program Excellence Award for its work on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope cryogenic electronics system. Ball is the principal subcontractor to Northrop Grumman for the optical technology and optical system design, including the cryogenic electronics system.

Toll Brothers’ Kechter Farm  was honored as having the “Best Floor Plan” for its Durango model in the 2017 Home Builders Association of Northern Colorado Parade of Homes. The September event covered homes from Platteville to Wellington, and awards were presented at the Parade of Homes Awards Reception held at The Ranch in Loveland. The judges said Kechter Farm in Fort Collins scored highest in overall design, appeal and usability of its floor plan.

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

Shareholders of Loveland-based Information Real Estate Services Inc. and Denver-based REcolorado, the two multiple-listing services that serve Northern Colorado and the greater Denver metro area, will vote on a merger of the two, creating a single MLS that would serve 26,000 real estate professionals. Financial terms of the merger and information on who would lead the new organization have not been released. Shareholders of IRES are the Boulder Area Realtor Association, Fort Collins Board of Realtors, Greeley Area Realtor Association, Longmont Association of Realtors and Loveland Berthoud Association of Realtors.

Toymakers David Bowen and Chris Clemmer of Fort Collins reclaimed Sprig Toys Inc., buying back the company that makes an eco-friendly line of toys that they sold to Wham-O Inc. in 2010. Bowen and Clemmer bought Sprig Toys from Wham-O for an undisclosed amount. The company, in a prepared statement, said it will bring back manufacturing jobs to the United States from China, but did not provide the number of jobs or where they will be. Sprig’s headquarters are at 120 W. Olive St., Suite 220, in Fort Collins, and its manufacturing partner is in Colorado Springs. A company spokeswoman said Sprig has about 25 employees, and that its manufacturing partner plans to hire eight to 10 people to accommodate planned growth.

Venture capital firm Boulder Food Group, which invests in early-stage food and beverage companies, sold its investment in an Austin, Texas-based cold brew coffee company to Nestlé. Chameleon Cold-Brew Coffee was founded in 2010 and sold more than 4 million bottles in 2016. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Congruex, a Boulder-based company formed in May, made its first acquisition as it begins its plan to develop an engineering- and construction-management platform for broadband networks. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Congruex, led by chief executive Bill Beans and executive chairman Kevin O’Hara, a co-founder of Level 3 Communications Inc., plans to acquire and grow engineering and construction companies focused on the utility and communications services sectors. The acquisition of Georgia-based CCLD Technologies follows Congruex’s recent partnership with Crestview Partners, a New York-based private-equity firm with experience in cable, telecommunications and business services.

Monroe, La.-based CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) closed on its $34 billion acquisition of Broomfield-based Level 3 Communications (Nasdaq: LVLT). Holders of Level 3’s common stock received $26.50 per share in cash and just over 1.4 shares of CenturyLink stock for each Level 3 share they owned. CenturyLink shareholders own about 51 percent of the combined company, while former Level 3 shareholders own 49 percent. The combined company is operating under the CenturyLink name. Level 3 has filed a notice of delisting with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Longtime Fort Collins health-club chain Miramont Lifestyle Fitness was sold to Genesis Health Clubs, a Wichita, Kan.-based chain of fitness centers. Genesis is a chain of 44 fitness centers in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Colorado, The transaction includes three Miramont health clubs in Fort Collins, as well as Reve Fitness, located at Jessup Farm. Miramont includes 23,000 members, and the local clubs will retain the Miramont name, and will be branded as Miramont by Genesis Health Clubs.

MOVES

Liqid Inc., a developer of agile technologies for data centers, will move its headquarters from Lafayette to the Interlocken business park in Broomfield. Liqid will move from 1408 Horizon Ave. to 20,846 square feet of space at 329 Interlocken Parkway.

Lightwave Logic Inc., a tech company that makes photonic devices for high-speed telecommunications, is relocating from Longmont to a new facility in Englewood. The location, at 369 Inverness Parkway, is just south of the Denver Technology Center. All corporate and research and development operations will take place in the new location, doubling the combined square footage of Lightwave’s current locations in Longmont and Newark, Del.

NAME CHANGES

Heath Construction in Fort Collins changed its name to Saunders Heath and will be using a new logo to reflect the change. In 2014, Heath Construction became a subsidiary of Denver-based Saunders Construction Inc., following a merger of the two construction companies.

OPENING

BOULDER — Food-industry veterans Kay Allison and Mike Senackerib launched Farm&Oven Snacks Inc., a Boulder-based maker of natural snacks. The duo established the company in January but began production and started shipping products this month.

Boulder-based eatery Snarf’s will open new sandwich and burger locations in Denver in 2018. A new Snarf’s in the old Sinclair gas station at 1490 S. Broadway in Denver is now open. Next year, new locations will open at 2527 Federal Blvd. and Terminal A at Denver International Airport, and a Snarfburger will open at 2535 Federal Blvd. A new Snarf’s and Snarfburger also will open at 131 Blue River Parkway in Dillon.

The PizzaRev Taproom will open in December at 649 S. College Ave. in Fort Collins. The “build-your-own-pizza” concept has locations in Boulder and Lafayette, but this will be the first in Northern Colorado. The brand features 30 gourmet toppings where customers can make their own pizza or choose pre-made options.

Alison Werning and Mary Cochran formed Launching Labs Marketing, a Boulder-based digital and traditional marketing agency combined with project and sales management services.

PRODUCT UPDATE

Longmont-based husband-and-wife company Anemoment LLC developed a new ultralight 3-D wind sensor. The anemometer is just 9 centimeters by 9 centimeters.

LoveTheWild, a Boulder-based maker of frozen seafood meal kits, signed a deal to sell its products at more than 420 Whole Foods Market stores nationwide. LoveTheWild first became available in Whole Foods stores in the company’s south region in fall 2016.

Dacono-based Earthroamer unveiled a newly completed XV-HD recreational vehicle, which comes with a washer, dryer, two TVs, full kitchen and floor heating. The XV-HD is built on a four-wheel drive Ford F-750 frame designed for off-the-grid adventures that spare no comforts for $1.5 million.

SERVICES

Colorado’s Secretary of State added new online submittal options for business filings.

The forms are for business transactions that affect foreign entity filings — that is, anywhere outside of Colorado. The filing fee for each form has been dropped to $10. Previously, to file a correction would cost $150.

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