The Mission Report

The MissionIR Report - Mid-January 2013

In-depth analysis, timely updates, latest market news


Market News

Company Updates


Obama Warns Congress in Debt Limit Debate

President Barack Obama again urged Congress to increase the debt ceiling, saying that inaction could roil financial markets.

“If Congressional Republicans refuse to pay America’s bills on time...investors around the world will ask if the United States of America is in fact a safe bet — markets could go haywire, interest rates would spike,” he said during the final news conference of his first term. It could even “tip us into recession.”

Obama called the last fight over the debt limit in the summer of 2011 a “fiasco” that hurt the economy and actually raised the deficit. He added that a vote to increase the debt ceiling did not authorize more spending.

The president tried to separate the debt limit from the debate over deficit reduction. Obama said he was “happy to have a conversation” with Republicans about reducing the deficit, and that he thought a reasonable goal would be about $1.5 trillion in deficit cuts.

“What I will not do is to have that negotiation with a gun at the head of the American people,” Obama said.

“There is a pretty straightforward way of doing this: And that is to set the debt ceiling aside, we pay our bills, and then we have a vigorous debate about how we are going to do further deficit reduction in a balanced way,” he added.

Analysts are concerned that the White House and congressional Republicans are locked into positions on the debt ceiling that limit the changes of compromise.

Congressional Republicans say they want to match every dollar that the debt ceiling is raised with a dollar in spending cuts.

House Speaker John Boehner said in response to Obama the American people “do not support raising the debt ceiling without reducing government spending at the same time.”

Obama repeated he would not negotiate over the debt ceiling or agree to any such ratio.

During the press event, Obama remarked that he would not support a one-month or three-month extension of the debt limit.

The United States had been scheduled to hit the debt ceiling late last year, but the Treasury Department began using extraordinary accounting measures to delay the default.

The Bipartisan Policy Center has projected that these measures would only delay hitting the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling until sometime between Feb. 15 and March 1.

Another looming issue is that legislation keeping the government running is set to expire in late March.

Many House Republicans have also said they are willing to shut down the government to force Obama to agree to cut spending.

Obama said that shutting down the government would hurt the economy.

In his statement, Boehner said that the House will pass legislation “that controls spending, meets our nation’s obligations and keeps the government running and we will insist that the Democratic majority in Washington do the same.”

Facebook Plans Mystery Press Conference

Apple long ago turned the mystery press conference into a piece of transcendent performance art. Now Facebook is following its lead.

Today at 1pm EST at its Menlo Park campus, Facebook will host assembled media for a product launch. The company has been cryptic at best about what they will unveil, but neither shaky premises nor rank speculation will stop the media from raising expectations to new heights. In their hopeless longing for a big story, the media are already at it. “It might just be a product launch,” wrote the Los Angeles Times, “but we plan to treat it like a rocket launch.”

Houston, we have a problem.

Or, more accurately, we might have a problem. If the product is truly great, all hype will be forgiven. But if the media bust their capillaries for a dud, traders will pay the price. As a result, investors need to prepare for any contingency by figuring out what to expect ahead of a "mystery" press conference.

By way of hints, all Facebook said on their invitation was: “Come and see what we’re building.” That’s as brisk and broad a stroke as words will allow, but Facebook does not seem to be promising the world.

“I think the real take away is that Facebook actually now cares if people are paying attention, it cares to build anticipation,” said Yahoo! Finance Sr. columnist Michael Santoli. “There was a lot of talk around its IPO last year that they didn’t cater to public expectations, didn’t really care what Wall Street thought, and I think we’re seeing the stock run up here in a very aggressive way probably in response to that sentiment, as much as whatever is going to be announced tomorrow.”

Some are claiming this next “big” thing will be a Facebook phone, with others positing that the company will unveil enhanced search functions. In terms of the phone, Mark Zuckerberg, chairman and CEO of Facebook, has called that prospect the "wrong strategy." But others – including The Wall Street Journal – say the mogul doth protest too much and Zuckerberg is actively working with handset makers.

Facebook is obviously not talking, so anyone who can tell you for certain whether the product is going to be phone or feature is suffering from premature prognostication.

Facebook used to hold regular pressers, but they’ve gone to the mattresses since their disastrous public offering in May. Obviously this means we’re working at a bit of a disadvantage in gauging market reaction. But here’s what we know: Zuckerberg was famously aloof and off-putting during the IPO presentations. That hardly bodes well.

When Facebook introduced Skype video chat in June of 2011, you could hardly roust members of the media from their slumber. It was mostly framed as a reaction to Google’s foray into social media, with its Google+ unveiling. Back in October of 2010, Facebook introduced their “Groups” privacy settings at a press conference. That was another snoozer. In fact, it seems that, when it comes to press conferences, Facebook is as metaphysically far from Apple as possible.

Apple Drags on S&P as Dell Jumps on New Report

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq ended lower on yesterday as worries over demand for Apple products drove down its shares and as investors braced for earnings disappointments.

In contrast, Dell's stock jumped 13 percent to about a five-month high at $12.29, offsetting some of the tech-sector weakness, after Bloomberg reported the No. 3 personal computer maker is in talks with private equity firms to go private.

Tech heavyweight Apple lost 3.6 percent to $501.75 and was the biggest weight on both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 indexes after reports that the company has cut orders for LCD screens and other parts for the iPhone 5 this quarter due to weak demand. The stock earlier hit a session low of $498.51, the first dip below $500 since February 16.

"With Apple, it seems as if the sentiment has shifted from this being the one stock that everybody wanted to own to people beginning to look at it as a company (whose) business is slowing down somewhat," said Eric Kuby, chief investment officer of North Star Investment Management Corp in Chicago.

Adding to investor unease, fourth-quarter earnings kick into high gear this week. Analyst estimates for the quarter have fallen sharply since October, with S&P 500 earnings growth now seen up just 1.9 percent from a year ago, Thomson Reuters data showed.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 18.89 points, or 0.14 percent, at 13,507.32. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 1.37 points, or 0.09 percent, at 1,470.68. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 8.13 points, or 0.26 percent, at 3,117.50.

Apple suppliers also lost ground, with Cirrus Logic (CRUS.O) off 9.4 percent at $28.62 and Qualcomm (QCOM.O) down 1 percent at $64.24.

The Dow fared better than the other two indexes, helped in part by Hewlett-Packard shares, which rose 4.9 percent to $16.95. The stock, which was up early in the session after JPMorgan upgraded its rating on the stock and raised its price target to $21 from $15, added to gains after the Dell report.

Appliance and electronics retailer Hhgregg slumped 5.7 percent to $7.44 after the company cut its same-store sales forecast for the full year.

Earnings reports are due this week from Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Intel, and General Electric, among other companies. Third-quarter reports ended with a gain of just 0.1 percent, the worst for an S&P 500 profit period in three years, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Cardium Therapeutics, Inc. (CXM)

In recent news, Cardium Therapeutics announced it has entered a distribution agreement with Academy Medical, LLC to market, sell, and distribute Excellagen to U.S. government medical providers, including the Veterans Administration (VA) healthcare system and military hospitals. An FDA-cleared gel, Excellagen is used to support advanced wound care in a broad range of dermal wounds.

Academy Medical will initially focus on providing education and training on the use of Excellagen in the treatment of traumatic wounds, non-healing venous, pressure and diabetic ulcers, limb salvage, and post-Mohs skin cancer surgery, while supporting distribution within its growing customer base of over 35 VA and military hospitals within the U.S. Notably, the VA operates the nation’s largest integrated healthcare system with a healthcare budget of over $50 billion.

About Cardium Therapeutics, Inc. (CXM)

Cardium Therapeutics, Inc. is a health sciences and regenerative medicine company focused on acquiring and strategically developing new and innovative products and businesses to address significant unmet medical needs. Comprised of large-market opportunities with definable pathways to commercialization, partnering, and other economic monetizations, Cardium's current portfolio includes the Tissue Repair Company, Cardium Biologics, and the company's in-house MedPodium Health Sciences healthy lifestyle product platform.

The company's lead commercial product Excellagen® topical gel for wound care management recently received FDA clearance for marketing and sale in the United States. In addition to plans to advance the product's commercialization in the U.S. and internationally via strategic partnerships, the company plans to develop new product extensions for additional wound healing applications and is working towards securing approval for marketing and sale in South Korea and through the CE Mark application process in the European Union.

Generx®, Cardium's lead clinical development product candidate, is a DNA-based angiogenic biologic designed to treat patients with myocardial ischemia due to coronary artery disease. Cardium recently initiated its Generx Phase 3 / registration study in Russia. Consistent with its capital-efficient business model.

Cardium is also actively evaluating new technologies and business opportunities. The company utilizes its team's skills in late-stage product development to bridge the critical gap between promising new technologies and product opportunities that are ready for commercialization. Cardium is dedicated to building on its core products and product candidates to continually create new opportunities for greater success. Leveraging the advantages of its capital-efficient, asset-based business strategy, the company provides a diversified and more balanced portfolio of risk/return opportunities with the chief objective of providing long-term shareholder value.

GlobalWise Investments, Inc. (GWIV)

GlobalWise Investments and its wholly owned subsidiary Intellinetics reported the upcoming launch of a new sales campaign with its channel partner Tiburon. This campaign, which is expected to kick off in the next three weeks, will target Tiburon’s client base of over 600 leading public safety agencies in North America.

“Intellinetics has become one of our benchmark partners, setting a high standard for partner support, technology integration, and hard work to deliver results,” stated Kirke Kurtis, Marketing Director for Tiburon. “The Intellivue™ platform has the unique blend of advanced privacy features, integration flexibility and ease of use that is absolutely vital to our clients. Intellinetics has been an important part of winning new clients for our company, and we are excited to bring that success into our large installed client base.”

About GlobalWise Investments, Inc. (GWIV)

GlobalWise Investments, Inc., via wholly-owned subsidiary Intellinetics, Inc., is a leading-edge technology company focused on Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions for the digital age. The ECM industry continues to grow rapidly as a result of unrestricted proliferation of digital content within today's business environment. Leveraging its proprietary cloud-based computing software, GlobalWise is poised to capture a significant market share of this burgeoning industry.

GlobalWise's ECM service is delivered to customers via five unique delivery models which cover the spectrum of business needs: Cloud/Saas (Software as a Service), Hardware Vendor Integrated Service, Software Vendor Integrated Service, Premise (Client-Server), Hybrid (Premise & Cloud/Saas).This diversity gives advanced security & privacy features with an on-demand structure needed for large Tier 3 and Tier 4 businesses that are currently underserved by the market.

The Intellinetics platform defines a new industry benchmark and game-changing approach by combining advanced virtualization & automated content management with an open and service-oriented architecture using web services. The company provides strategies, tactics, and technologies used to manage paper and digital assets from capture to long-term archive, without the need for manual processes conducted by a full time employee.

GlobalWise's management boasts a combined total of over 150 years in ECM leadership and industry experience. The ECM industry is expected to exceed $5.1 billion by 2013 with Gartner predicting a compound annual growth rate of 9.5%. IBM Market Insights predicts adoption of cloud computing to grow by 26% CAGR between 2010 through 2013. Leveraging management and key department heads, Intellinetics has a strong foundation from which to capture significant market share within the lucrative $149 billion Business Software & Services industry.

VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc.

VistaGen Therapeutics CEO Shawn K. Singh, J.D. recently acquired 100,000 shares of the company at $0.50. Mr. Singh now holds 252,174 shares of common stock. This $50,000 transaction underscores Mr. Singh’s strong confidence in VistaGen’s Human Clinical Trials in a Test Tube™ platform and sound business plan.

Mr. Singh has accumulated more than 20 years of experience serving in senior management roles with successful public and private biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, a biotechnology-focused venture capital firm, and a profitable contract research and development organization. Companies that have thrived under his leadership include Cato BioVentures, Cato Research, Echo Therapeutics (Nasdaq: ECTE), and SciClone Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SCLN).

About VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc. (VSTA)

VistaGen Therapeutics is a biotechnology company applying stem cell technology for drug rescue and cell therapy. Drug rescue combines human stem cell technology with modern medicinal chemistry to generate new chemical variants ("drug rescue variants") of once-promising drug candidates that have been discontinued during late-stage preclinical development due to heart or liver safety concerns. VistaGen also focuses on cell therapy, or regenerative medicine, which includes repairing, replacing or restoring damaged tissues or organs.

VistaGen's versatile stem cell technology platform, Human Clinical Trials in a Test Tube™, has been developed to provide clinically relevant predictions of potential heart and liver toxicity of promising new drug candidates long before they are ever tested on humans.

By more closely approximating human biology than conventional animal studies and other nonclinical techniques and technologies currently used in drug development, VistaGen's human stem cell-based bioassay systems can improve the predictability of the drug development cycle and lower the cost of new drug research and development by identifying product failures earlier in the cost curve. According to the Food and Drug Administration even only a ten percent improvement in predicting failure before clinical trials could save $100 million in development costs, which savings ultimately could be passed on to patients.

Using mature human heart cells produced from stem cells, VistaGen has developed and internally validated CardioSafe 3D™, a novel three-dimensional (3D) bioassay system for predicting the in vivo cardiac effects of new drug candidates before they are tested in humans. VistaGen is now focused on using CardioSafe 3D™ to generate up to two new, safer small molecule drug rescue variants every twelve to eighteen months. VistaGen anticipates that these drug rescue variants will be modified versions of once-promising new drug candidates that have been discontinued by pharmaceutical companies and academic research institutions because of heart toxicity concerns, despite substantial prior investment and positive efficacy data demonstrating their potential therapeutic and commercial benefits.


For more frequent updates, follow us on Twitter!

Home     About Us     IR Services     Investors     Partners     Market Research     Blog     Contact     Disclaimer

© 2012 Mission Investor Relations. All rights reserved.
3645 Marketplace Blvd.   Suite 130-280   Atlanta, GA 30344   404-941-8975