The Mission Report

The MissionIR Report - Mid-November 2013

In-depth analysis, timely updates, latest market news


Market News

Company Updates


U.S. DoJ, JPMorgan Chase Closer to $13B Dollar Settlement

The U.S. Justice Department and JPMorgan Chase are nearing completion of a $13 billion settlement related to the bank's past mortgage practices, and a final deal is expected as soon as Tuesday, a person briefed on the negotiations told CNN.

Elements of the proposed pact are now being signed by states that are parties to the agreement, the person said. Only a few details remain to be completed.

The outlines of the deal were first tentatively agreed to in October in negotiations led by Attorney General Eric Holder and JPMorgan (JPM, Fortune 500) Chief Executive Jamie Dimon.

A spokesman for the bank declined to comment on Monday evening. In recent days, the parties finalized one of the last major pieces of the deal calling for $4 billion in money to help consumers.

Of that amount, at least $1.5 billion will go to reduce loan payments for homeowners mortgages are underwater, meaning the money owed on the loan exceeds the value of the home. Another $300 million to $500 million will pay for partial loan forgiveness and other aid for homeowners, with the goal of keeping them in their homes.

The remaining $2 billion could be used in a variety of ways, including funding new loans for low-income home buyers that the bank would be required to keep on its books instead of selling to investors. The bank could also use some of the money to pay for knocking down foreclosed homes in areas hard hit by the mortgage crisis.

An independent monitor will keep an eye on the bank to ensure compliance.

At issue in the deal are mortgage-backed securities and related derivatives that were blamed as a key cause of the financial crisis.

The $13 billion settlement includes an already-completed $4 billion deal with the Federal Housing Finance Agency to compensate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for allegedly misleading practices in loans sold to those agencies.

A federal criminal investigation based in Sacramento, California, would continue against the bank and several employees, and JPMorgan Chase has agreed to cooperate with that probe.

Key Fed Official Says U.S. Economy on Upswing

The U.S. economy could be doing better, and anemic growth could give way to stronger growth over the next two years, a top Federal Reserve official said Monday, as reported by MarketWatch’s Greg Robb.

William Dudley, the president of the New York Federal Reserve, said in a speech at Queens College that “I have to admit that I am getting more hopeful.”

Dudley said he saw signs that the drag from steep cuts in government spending and higher taxes was lessening at the same time that “fundamental underpinnings” of the economy are strengthening.

Dudley is a key ally of Janet Yellen, who is poised to take over the Fed after a smooth nomination hearing last week.

Although the New York Fed president included cautionary language that stronger growth is still a forecast and not a reality, there is no mistaking the upbeat nature of his remarks.

Fed officials have been frustrated that growth has averaged just above 2% since the financial crisis in 2008 despite their best efforts including three rounds of quantitative easing, and a roughly $4 trillion balance sheet.

The central banks has tried without success to get the economy into a virtuous cycle of employment growth followed by spending followed by more job growth. Economists generally say it would take 3% GDP growth for this “self-fulfilling recovery” to gain a foothold.

Dudley’s remarks suggest the economy could be poised to reach that higher plateau.

The Fed has been buying $85 billion per month in Treasurys- and mortgage -elated securities. Fed watchers are unsure when central-bank officials will feel the economy is strong enough for them to reduce the pace of purchases. Dudley did not address the taper timing question in his prepared speech, but his remarks will add to the sense that Fed officials will actively discuss the issue at their next policy meeting on Dec. 17-18. The New York Fed president is always a voting member of that committee.

Adding to the sense that a taper is approaching, another Fed official said later Monday that it was time to bring QE3 to an end.

Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser said the Fed should stop playing “this bond-buying game by ear” because it risks the central bank’s credibility. He said the Fed should tell the markets how many more assets it plans to purchase and stop when that amount is reached.

At the moment, the Fed’s asset purchase program is open-ended. Some Fed officials have said the central bank could reduce the pace of purchases and then reverse course and increase them if the economy stumbles, much like the central bank historically moved its short-term interest rate target.

But Plosser completely rejected that approach.

“We cannot continue to play this bond-buying game by ear and risk the Fed’s credibility while creating lingering uncertainty about the course of monetary policy,” he said in a speech to the Risk Management Association in Philadelphia.

“Based on this outlook and the improvement in labor market conditions, I believe it would be appropriate for the Fed to communicate the amount of assets it intends to purchase in the current program and bring it to an end,” he said.

Plosser is an inflation hawk on the central bank and has never been a supporter of the third round of asset purchases.

He said the Fed has indeed achieved the goal of a “self-sustaining recovery” albeit at a moderate pace, and said he sees 3% growth in 2014 and the unemployment rate dropping to 6.2% by the end of that year.

He will be a voting member of the Fed’s policy committee next year.

A gauge of home-builder confidence paused this month, missing forecasts, as sales expectations for single-family homes slightly declined, according to a report released Monday.

Home-builder Confidence Slows Pace

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing-market index was 54 in November, matching a downwardly revised reading for October, which was the lowest in four months.

Results above 50 signal that builders, generally, are optimistic about sales trends. November’s pause comes after the index declined for two months, though the confidence gauge is still up 20% from a year ago.

“The fact that builder confidence remains above 50 is an encouraging sign, considering the unresolved debt and federal budget issues cause builders and consumers to remain on the sideline,” David Crowe, NAHB’s chief economist told MarketWatch’s Ruth Mantell.

Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a November level of 55, matching NAHB’s prior estimate for October.

In addition to partisan discord, builders face a market with volatile mortgage rates, which can hit demand. The Federal Reserve recently decided to maintain its massive-purchase plan, noting, among other factors, that the housing sector’s recovery has “somewhat slowed” in recent months.

Still, D.R. Horton DHI +0.26%, the country’s largest builder, recently reported that sales trends continue to show gains.

Pent-up demand has supported builder confidence over the past year. However, the confidence gauge has grown so quickly that it is far higher than levels typically associated with recent construction readings.

Looking at the components of builder confidence, a gauge of their views on sales of single-family homes over the next six months ticked down to 60 in November from 61 in October, and a gauge that looks at prospective-buyer traffic declined to 42 from 43. A barometer of their views on present sales remained at 58.

“The report still implies net improvement in sales relative to before mortgage rates started to rise in May, but activity has stalled in the last few months. Builders appear to be blaming Washington,” said Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.

By region, the builder-confidence index in November rose 14 points to 44 in the Northeast, and by one point to 55 in the South. There were drops of one point to 58 in the West, and eight points to 54 in the Midwest.

Rising Bitcoin Popularity, Value Trigger Senate Action

Just as the price of a Bitcoin reaches record highs, a U.S. Senate committee is taking a closer look at the world's favorite decentralized digital currency, reports CNN Money’s Jose Pagliery.

Are tight regulations to come? Do politicians see a currency they can't track or control as a threat -- or an asset?

It's anyone's guess. But it's clear bitcoins are growing in popularity. The price of the currency soared to a new all-time high of $675 Monday, up from only $12 a year ago. Without meddling banks in between transactions, bitcoins trade seamlessly and offer nearly as much privacy as cash.

That's why the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs is hearing from various sides Monday. According to prepared statements from the Justice Department, an official at the DOJ said it needs more help catching criminals who use the secretive currency. Meanwhile, Bitcoin users want the government to back off and let the system blossom.

Law enforcement doesn't like the anonymity: There are legitimate uses for bitcoins. But it's also being used to anonymously buy drugs, hire assassins, trade child porn and dodge taxes.

The nation's acting assistant attorney general, Mythili Raman, described the more notorious ways bitcoins are being used. She mentioned the recent FBI shutdown of Silk Road, an online black market. Illicit drugs and services -- like hacking -- were sold there using the (mostly) untraceable currency. The agency arrested its alleged founder and seized 170,000 BTC, valued at $101 million as of Monday afternoon.

The way bitcoins are transacted -- using coded wallets and special keys that don't need real names -- enables substantial privacy. Raman said that makes it more difficult to follow the money and catch criminals. It would be easier to fight crime with "appropriate anti-money laundering and know-your-customer controls," she said.

Along those lines, there are concerns that those making money from sex trafficking and pornography involving children have started to adopt Bitcoin.

The International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children noted how anonymity offered by Bitcoin has made it the currency of choice for predators. The nonprofit group's president, Ernie Allen, says he's not against the digital economy. But he wants it less private.

"If the perception of anonymity diminishes, we believe the criminal use will diminish with it," he said in prepared remarks.

Edward Lowery III, who leads the Secret Service's criminal investigative division, added that the technologically complex Bitcoin system makes it hard for everyday agents to stay on targets' tails. They need more tech-savvy investigators than the agency can currently afford.

Also chiming in was the potential regulator that could one-day ruin the unregulated Bitcoin party: The Treasury Department.

Treasury already issued guidance in March saying that groups exchanging bitcoins must register with the government and keep records. Everyday bitcoin users remain unregulated. Jennifer Shasky Calvery is head of the department's financial crimes unit and warned about leaving the bitcoin community untouched.

"One of our biggest challenges is striking the right balance between the costs and benefits of regulation," she said.

The Bitcoin community doesn't want too much regulation: Fans of Bitcoin say the currency is going mainstream, and it's not just for internet weirdos. That's why they want the government to give it a chance to grow and thrive without tacking on burdensome rules.

The Bitcoin Foundation, a group that seeks to strengthen the digital system, is trying to convince politicians the currency works as is.

"The American people have been reminded this year of reasons to be concerned for their privacy," says the group's attorney, Patrick Murck, referencing the recent disclosures about unwarranted government spying on innocent citizens.

The group also notes that meetings with financial regulators have gone well so far, but the Treasury Department should have met with Bitcoin supporters before taking a stance earlier this year.

Academic researchers say that coming down too hard on the digital currency could push its innovative potential abroad.

Jerry Brito, a senior research fellow at George Mason University's Mercatus Center, feels that entrepreneurs have a lot to gain from bitcoins. Without banks, they're also more accessible to the world's poorest. Plus, they're not controlled by a central bank that can run rampant printing money and bring on hyperinflation.

But regulators can't get their heads around it. They might want to treat it as a foreign currency, a commodity or a payments network -- but it's not any of those. However, stopping it would be a dumb move.

"Restricting the use of Bitcoin will only ensure that criminals alone will use the technology," Brito and research assistant Andrea Castillo wrote in a report to Congress.

MF Global Customers on Winning End of $1.2B Court-Ordered Repayment

More than two years after the failure of MF Global, customers are finally on the verge of getting all of their money back, reports CNN Money’s James O’Toole .

The defunct brokerage, which had been run by former New Jersey governor and senator Jon Corzine, was ordered by a federal court to pay back more than $1.2 billion.

MF Global's 2011 bankruptcy left a $1.6 billion shortfall for roughly 38,000 customers.

Monday's court order, combined with efforts by a liquidation trustee who tracked down the missing funds at other firms, ensures customers will receive 100% of their money back.

The firm went bankrupt two years ago, after its disclosure of billions of dollars’ worth of bets on risky European debt sparked a panic among investors.

In the days preceding the firm's failure, customers began withdrawing money from their accounts en masse, and trading partners called for increased margin payments, leaving MF Global scrambling to make good on its obligations. The firm tapped customer funds for its own use during the crisis and failed to replace them, in violation of industry rules. MF Global's customers included individual investors, as well as farmers who used commodity futures contracts to lock in crop sales at particular prices. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission secured Monday's court order.

"Division staff have worked tirelessly to ensure that 100 percent restitution be awarded to satisfy customer losses," CFTC enforcement director Gretchen Lowe said in a statement.

MF Global has also been ordered to pay a $100 million penalty after first satisfying its obligations to customers and certain creditors.

In addition to misusing customer funds, the CFTC also accused MF Global of making false statements in reports it filed with the agency that masked the shortfall. The CFTC has litigation still pending against Corzine and former MF Global assistant treasurer Edith O'Brien.

In Congressional hearings last year, Corzine denied wrongdoing and said he didn't learn about the shortfall in customer accounts until it was too late. O'Brien declined to answer questions from lawmakers, invoking the Fifth Amendment.

Although the firm's customers are now set to be repaid, that doesn't erase the hardship they've faced since the bankruptcy.

"Customers were deprived of their money for two years, and some people lost their businesses," said James Koutoulas, CEO of Typhon Capital Management and a vocal advocate for the customers.

"Farmers had all sorts of problems as well -- you had people who were shut out of trading."

Treasurys Gain Ground on Fed Policy Expectations

Treasury prices climbed on Monday, extending gains from last week as the bond market refined its expectations of an accommodative monetary policy under President Obama’s nominee to take over the Federal Reserve, reports MarketWatch.

Janet Yellen, currently the vice chairwoman of the Fed, appeared before the Senate Banking Committee last week as she sought confirmation to lead the central bank. After she defended the Fed’s $85 billion in monthly bond buying, the market began to expect a later time-frame for scaling back the pace of purchases.

Charles Plosser, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, speaks Monday.

The benchmark 10-year note yield, which moves inversely to price, fell 3.5 basis points to 2.668%, following a drop of roughly 3.5 basis points last week.

The 30-year bond yield fell 4 basis points to 3.757%, while the 5-year note yield fell 4 basis points to 1.312%.

“This is a continuation of what Yellen was saying last week,” said Matt Duch, portfolio manager at Calvert Investments. “She came out and sounded a lot like Chairman [Ben] Bernanke, saying the data is not good enough yet.”

Alongside the testimony from Yellen, the market has been bolstered by suggestions that the Fed could lower the unemployment rate threshold that could trigger a hike to the central bank’s policy rate. Dropping the threshold as part of its so-called forward guidance would imply that short-term interest rates would stay lower for longer.

The market is becoming more comfortable with separating the Fed’s policy tools and recognizing that the so-called tapering of bond purchases does not equate to hiking short-term interest rates, according to Gene Tannuzzo, senior portfolio manager at Columbia Management.

“Interest rates are near fair value here for the time being,” he said, adding that the long end of the yield curve has built in a healthy amount of term premium while still maintaining expectations that the Fed’s policy rate will stay low.

The Fed has said that changes to monetary policy depend on economic indicators, and data skewed to the negative side on Monday. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing-market index, a gauge of home-builder confidence, had an unchanged reading at 54 in October. Though a reading above 50 indicates general optimism, Wall Street economists had forecast a reading of 55.

New process aims to sideline vested interests, allow deeper reforms in special economic zones, says government adviser.

A number of Fed officials spoke Monday. New York Fed President William Dudley said in a speech at Queens College that he is becoming more optimistic about the pace of the U.S. economic recovery. “I believe a good case can be made that the pace of growth will pick up some in 2014 and then somewhat more in 2015,” Dudley said.

Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser said it’s time to end the Fed’s asset-purchase program.

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren spoke about how international banks that have large broker-dealer businesses pose a risk to financial stability if they don’t hold capital as a buffer against risk, according to news reports.

The Treasury Department released international capital data on Monday, which showed that net foreign purchases of long-term U.S. securities totaled $25.5 billion in September, a rebound from the previous month.

Data on tap later this week include retail sales, consumer prices, and existing home sales, all due out Wednesday. The Federal Open Market Committee will also release the minutes from its October meeting on Wednesday.

The Treasurys Department will sell $13 billion of 10-year Treasury inflation-protected securities on Thursday at a time when many investors continue to shun the asset class.

Boston Therapeutics, Inc. (BTHE)

Boston Therapeutics announced it will be presenting at the Elsevier Therapeutic Area Partnerships 2013 Conference, where it was selected as one of 10 “Top Projects to Watch” within the category of cardiovascular/metabolic diseases. Mr. Kenneth A. Tassey, Jr., President of Boston Therapeutics, will be presenting information about the diabetes drug PAZ320 at the conference.

Mr. Tassey will discuss how PAZ320 was recently found to exhibit Type 2 diabetes management efficacy in 45% of patients in an FDA Phase 2a clinical trial. PAZ320 is a non-systemic chewable tablet that lets patients manage their post-meal blood sugar levels, by targeting enzymes that digest sugar during digestion.

About Boston Therapeutics, Inc.

Boston Therapeutics, Inc. is a pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel compounds based on complex carbohydrate chemistry to address unmet medical needs. An IP portfolio solidifies the company's position in the pharmaceutical industry. Boston Therapeutics' current product pipeline, PAZ320 and IPOXYNT, is comprised of therapies developed to treat patient populations with Type 2 diabetes.

PAZ320 is a non-systemic, non-toxic, chewable drug candidate for prevention of diabetes and its complications. PAZ320 inhibits the enzymes that release glucose from complex carbohydrate in foods during digestion. Boston Therapeutics believes PAZ320 is a safe and effective drug compound for people with pre-diabetes and diabetes in their daily management of blood glucose levels, fulfilling an unmet medical need. PAZ320 has completed a Phase ll clinical trial at Dartmouth Medical Center. 45% of the patients responded with a 40% reduction in the elevation of post meal blood sugar compared to baseline with no serious adverse events.

IPOXYN, a universal oxygen carrier, is an injectable Rx for prevention of necrosis and treatment of ischemic conditions which may lead to necrosis. This compound is not a biologic, but a second generation New Chemical Entity HBOC (hemoglobin based oxygen carrier). The potential for this product goes well beyond Lower Limb Ischemia into a range of areas from anemia and blood loss (injury), to cardiovascular disease and surgical blood supplementation.

The Boston Therapeutics management and advisory team has extensive expertise in complex carbohydrate chemistry, regulatory affairs, and clinical development, with multiple submissions and approvals to U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Backed by a team with more than five decades of expertise in public and private business management, the company is well positioned to advance its status as a premier developer of complex carbohydrate-based new chemical entities.

Calpian, Inc. (CLPI)

Calpian recently reported that, as of the end of October, the Money-on-Mobile service offered by its Indian subsidiary is now being supported by 167,145 retail locations, an increase of 4,069 stores from 163,076 stores just one month earlier. Also notable, Money-on-Mobile was accessed by more than 75 million unique phone number customers from inception through October 31, 2013. The monthly unique user count increased by 3.6 million between September 30 and October 31 of this year.

According to Calpian CEO, Harold Montgomery, “Money-on-Mobile showed a strong gain in revenue per user, which suggests that our core user base is conducting larger transactions such as utility payments. Monthly average revenue per user increased from Rs 110 in September to Rs 157 in October, a gain of 42.5%.”

About Calpian, Inc.

Calpian, Inc. has forged a powerful combination of steady cash flow here in the U.S. on the one hand, and explosive growth potential abroad in India on the other. Both business units are growing fast and creating huge value that has so far gone largely overlooked due to the company’s rapid rise.

Calpian is a leader in the U.S. business for providing access to credit and debit card payment processors for merchants and also for making investments in the resulting cash flow streams. Calpian's management team, with over 60 years of combined experience in payments, has also tapped into a super-hot growth opportunity in India where it is the leader in consumer payments using the cell phone - the most powerful financial trend in the developing world today. The company's revenues in India grew 300% year to year and are headed for triple digit growth again in 2013. Examples of this service in other countries like Kenya show that consumers need this simple payment tool and adopt it quickly. In Kenya, over 90% of the adult population has adopted a mobile phone money transfer system known as M-PESA, which produces over $100 million pretax profit after only 7 years in business. Calpian is providing this same service in India via Money on Mobile (MoM). India is a market at least 30 times larger than Kenya with vast potential. Calpian is the undisputed market leader in the space and looks poised to dominate the largest market for this service in the world with almost 1 billion cell phones.

In the U.S., the company has carved out a solid niche in the growing $1B plus annual residuals space for credit card usage by providing a silver bullet solution including their own gateway that merchants use to connect with large payment processors. Calpian is providing its merchant services through its wholly owned subsidiary, Calpian Commerce continues to sign merchants to card processing contracts, while Calpian itself continues acquiring additional recurring monthly cash flows from the over 10,000 smaller Independent Sales Organizations (dealers) throughout the U.S. The management team has been together for decades refining this business model through over 200 acquisitions in their careers before making it public in 2010. The team is experienced and well known throughout the industry as the go-to guys for making a deal.

In India, with Calpian acquiring an interest in March 2012 in Digital Payments Processing Limited (DPPL), which delivers the payment processing service for the Money on Mobile solution, it has taken off with incredible force, signing an incredible 53 million consumers though its vast network of 143,000 retailers (and growing at least 3,000 per month) so far. This astonishing growth is thanks in large part to how elegantly the company's mobile payment application, which is already seen as the “PayPal” of India, satisfies all the needs of the average Indian consumer, distributor, and retailer alike. The vast swathes of under-banked and unbanked consumers in India represent the tip of a much larger global iceberg for this solution as well, a solution whose backbone is simple SMS text protocol, and which bundles all the right incentives together for emerging markets. MoM is the runaway leader at this time in India pacing at 20 times larger than its nearest competitor.

Cardium Therapeutics, Inc. (AMEX:CXM)

Cardium Therapeutics yesterday announced the sale of its To Go Brands® business to Cell-nique Corp. for approximately $2.5 million. Cell-nique Corporation owns a variety of businesses that are part of the Healthy Brands Collective®, a portfolio that, including the To Go Brands acquisition, is comprised of nine independent brand product platforms.

Cardium's preferred stock position in Cell-nique is convertible into common stock currently representing approximately 4 percent of the fully diluted common stock; it accrues an 8 percent annual dividend. Per the agreement, Cardium will retain the trademarks and technology relating to the MedPodium nutra-apps and nutraceutical product line, and will retain its investment interest in SourceOne, a nutraceutical and health sciences ingredient supplier.

About Cardium Therapeutics, Inc.

Cardium Therapeutics, Inc. is an asset-based, health sciences and regenerative medicine company focused on the acquisition and strategic development of new and innovative products and businesses with the potential 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 newly-acquired To Go Brands nutraceutical supplement business.

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.

Cardium recently acquired To Go Brands® healthy nutraceutical supplement business with over 25 products being developed and sold by food, drug and mass channel retailers.

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.

Chanticleer Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:HOTR)

Last week, Chanticleer announced its financial results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013. Restaurant revenue for the nine months ended September 30, 2013 increased 1.5% to $4.9 million, compared with $4.8 million in the third quarter 2012. This increase occurred from having five Hooters locations operating for the full nine months of 2013.

Mike Pruitt, Chairman and CEO of Chanticleer, stated, “Revenue growth, gross margin improvement and growth in restaurant EBITDA give us good momentum as we enter the fourth quarter. In November we closed our purchase of the existing Hooters restaurant in Nottingham, England, which has been profitable for some time. The purchase price was $3,150,000 and the current management team will remain to operate the restaurant. Going forward, we will continue to evaluate restaurant and other opportunities at home and abroad, as well as continue to focus on performance improvement in our existing operations.”

About Chanticleer Holdings, Inc.

Chanticleer Holdings, Inc. owns and operates Hooters® branded restaurants in emerging international markets. As one of the most well-known restaurant brands in the world, Hooters has a menu that consists of moderately-priced American bar food and the world-famous Hooters girls. The company has ownership interests in the parent company of the Hooters brand, Hooters of America (HOA), four Hooters restaurants in South Africa, one restaurant in Hungary, one Hooters restaurant in Australia, and the exclusive franchise rights to develop and operate Hooters restaurants in three of the most populous states of Brazil: Rio De Janeiro, Minas Gerais, and Espirito Santo.

The first Hooters® restaurant opened October 4, 1983, in Clearwater, Florida. Today there are more than 412 Hooters restaurants in 28 countries. During its history, Hooters has continued to rank high amongst the industry's growth leaders. The Hooters concept has stayed true to its roots with its beach-themed concept, logo, uniform, menu and ambiance being similar to what existed in its original store, and has proven successful in small-town America, major metropolitan areas, and internationally.

In 2011, Chanticleer (NASDAQ: HOTR; HOTRW), together with a group of major private equity investors, acquired Hooters of America (HOA) and its largest franchisee Texas Wings, Inc. Today HOA is the Atlanta-based operator and the franchisor of over 430 restaurants in 28 countries. Chanticleer has rights to develop and operate restaurants in South Africa, Hungary, and parts of Brazil, and has joint ventured with the current franchisee in Australia, while evaluating several additional opportunities.

Chanticleer's core growth strategy involves expanding the Hooters® brand in emerging markets and other rapidly developing global economies. The rising number of middle class consumers in emerging markets is driving the demand for recognized international brands. Targeting underpenetrated international markets with proven market success, the company aims to achieve consistent, above-average growth rates and favorable financial returns for its shareholders.

ForceField Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:FNRG)

ForceField Energy announced in a news release it has received a sizable initial purchase order for LED lighting products from Motivating Graphics, Inc. of Fort Worth, Texas. The purchase order is valued at $175,000.00, and will encompass a LED retrofit project, which will cover all of Motivating Graphics’ administrative offices and 180,000 square feet of production facilities. The project is slated for completion by this year-end.

Richard St-Julien, Chairman of ForceField Energy stated, “We are proud that our products and abilities meet the high quality standards of such a well-established and leading organization such as Motivating Graphics. This agreement offers greater proof as to our ability to meet the needs of medium- to large-sized enterprises in both the United States and abroad.”

About ForceField Energy, Inc.

ForceField Energy, Inc. is an international manufacturer, distributor, and licensee of alternative energy products and solutions. ForceField has two primary segments through which it focuses on the largest and fastest-growing areas of the global renewable energy market: industrial waste heat recovery and conversion, and commercial LED lighting products.

TransPacific Energy (TPE), a subsidiary of ForceField Energy, has patented a technology that uses “waste heat” from various industry processes and other sources to provide clean electricity. The subsidiary’s process directly captures and converts heat from the heat source, without any heat transfer fluids, at temperatures from 80ºF up to 900ºF. This is a far broader range than any other competing systems on the market, unlocking a countless number of new applications.

TPE sells systems directly to customers for their installation and operation. The company owns, installs and operates ORC systems, sells electricity, licenses its technology for specific applications and markets and conducts research and development for new ORC applications and renewable energy.

Through its exclusive multinational distribution agreement with Lightsky, ForceField has a firm foothold in the commercial lighting products industry as well. The LED lighting market is growing at a 32% compound growth rate because of the absence of dangerous chemicals, government regulation phasing out old lighting technology, 50-70% lower energy costs, exceptionally long life, and beautiful illumination.

Jameson Stanford Resources Corp. (JMSN)

Jameson Stanford Resources recently closed $500,000 of Series B Convertible Redeemable Promissory Notes due October 31, 2015. The notes are secured by JMSN’s mining claims and mineral leases related to the Chopar Mining property, Star Mining District, located in Beaver County, Utah. JMSN intends to use the proceeds of this financing primarily to fund ongoing mineral exploration activities and for general working capital purposes.

“This Series B Notes closing augments the company’s capital funding for our minerals exploration activities at the Star Mountain project,” JMSN president and CEO Michael Stanford stated in the news release. “We remain confident in our belief that our ongoing exploration activities at the Wild Bill Mine site will allow us to begin operations in late 2013. We are continuing our exploration activities as we secure additional financing.”

About Jameson Stanford Resources Corp.

Jameson Stanford Resources Corp. is a metals and minerals exploration, development, and production company focused on the acquisition and consolidation of mining claims and mineral leases. Targeting projects located in historic mining districts, the company is currently engaged in exploration and development activities in connection with two high-grade copper, gold, silver, and base metals properties located in historic mining districts in Beaver County and Juab County, Utah.

The company’s Star Mountain project consists of 117 lode mining claims and four metalliferous mineral lease sections located in the Star Mountain range, Star Mining District. The project covers a total area of 4,998 acres with borders expanding as exploration warrants. Based on geological analysis, magnetometry studies, and reverse circulation drilling samples, the total inferred reserves at this site may ultimately involve more than 100 million metric tons of copper ore, plus precious and PGM base metals.

Jameson Stanford’s Spor Mountain project encompasses nine lode mining claims and three metalliferous mineral lease sections located in Juab County, Utah. The project covers a total area of 2,098 acres. Based on preliminary geological analysis and two prospect pit excavations, this site has been estimated to possibly involve more than 4 million ounces of silver, significant concentrations of beryllium, and other precious and base metals. The company’s Ogden Bay Minerals project nearby is another promising prospect with the potential to produce an estimated 100,000 metric tons of silica product per year, as well as other valuable minerals and metals.

Based on engineering and geophysical studies conducted by the company since inception in 2010, current mining claims and mineral properties have aggregate inferred reserves exceeding $10 billion of gross value at current market prices. In addition to initiating and expanding production operations through exploration discoveries and the development of existing mining claims and mineral properties, management’s growth strategy includes the identification and acquisition of additional under-developed mining claims and mineral leases in established mining districts.


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