The Mission Report

The MissionIR Report - Mid-May 2012

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Company Updates


Chip-Maker Shares Rally After Nvidia Reports Gain

Intel, the world's biggest chip company, saw its stock rise 1.4% to close at $27.63 a day after the company reaffirmed its quarterly and full-year guidance. Nvidia also saw its stock jump 6.4% to close at $13.21, after posting better-than-expected results and outlook.

Other chip stocks posted gains on Friday. Shares of Broadcom Corp. added 1.3% to close at $33.79, while Micron Technology gained 1.1% to close at $6.36 and SandDisk Corp moved up by a fraction to close at $35.70.

The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index rallied nearly 1%. The index has lost about 6% over the last three months due to worries of weakening demand.

A brighter view emerged from the Intel analyst day last Thursday. JMP Securities analyst Alex Gauna called the gathering at the company's Santa Clara, Calif. headquarters "boring, but in a good way."

That's partly because of the company's "assertion that the quarter is playing out as expected and that it is not seeing the sort of enterprise weakness that Cisco reported," Gauna wrote.

Cisco Systems on Wednesday warned of cautious spending in information technology, a comment that sent its stock and those of other major tech companies falling.

Analysts noted Intel's positive comments on Ultrabooks, the new category of ultrathin, low-power notebooks based on the chip giant's technology, which it hopes to shake up the personal computer market. Intel also touted its new products focused on the mobile and data center markets.

"Intel has lots of levers and contingency plans in place for downside protection," RBC Capital Markets analyst Doug Freedman said in a note.

Early on Friday, May 11, Nvidia also gave the sector a boost with an upbeat quarterly report that beat Wall Street's expectations.

Nvidia reported an adjusted profit of 16 cents a share, on revenue of $924.9 million, beating consensus estimates of a profit of 10 cents a share, on revenue of $916 million.

"Their revenues came in better than many had feared," Evercore Partners analyst Patrick Wang said in emailed comments. "Management also seems confident in their full-year Tegra target. Their stock performance over the next few quarters will be modulated by how much success they see in handsets and tablets."

Nvidia is looking to expand its presence in the fast-growing mobile computing market with its Tegra platform.

Facebook's Zuckerberg Says Mobile First Priority

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whose limited role in promoting the No. 1 social network's market debut has drawn criticism, laid out its growth strategy to investors on Friday, May 11, saying that transforming its mobile and advertising experience are top priorities in 2012. Integrating online apps more strongly into Facebook is also a major goal, he told hundreds of investors at an event that capped the first week of Facebook's cross-country "roadshow" to pitch its highly anticipated initial public offering.

Facebook aims to raise about $10.6 billion, dwarfing the coming-out parties of tech companies like Google and valuing it at up to $96 billion — rivaling's. Zuckerberg, 27, who started Facebook in his Harvard dorm room 8 years ago, said Facebook's key priorities in 2012 were to improve its mobile application, to build stronger ties incorporating its social network with other online apps and to create a "transformative" advertising experience.

The company is "just getting started" with its mobile app, said Zuckerberg, who appeared on stage in a grey T-shirt and dark trousers at Palo Alto's Crowne Plaza, flanked by Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and finance chief David Ebersman.

With 900 million users, Facebook is the world's dominant social network. Zuckerberg was Time Magazine's Person of the Year in 2010 and was depicted in the fictionalized 2010 movie "The Social Network". "Over the next 10 years or so, every consumer category should be transformed to be built around people," Zuckerberg told fund managers and Silicon Valley glitterati such as Netscape co-founder and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen. "People will listen to music and watch TV with other people" through Facebook.

"We only recently reached this tipping point," Zuckerberg said as the audience consumed a lunch of curried chicken salad and chocolate-chip cookies.

Wall Street had been concerned about the company's ability to wring revenue from mobile users, considered crucial for long-term growth, as well as slowing growth in Facebook's main advertising business. But that may not dampen demand for shares of the high-flying Web company, which is as much a cultural phenomenon as it is a business success story. On Thursday, a source close to the process told Reuters its IPO was already oversubscribed, a week before final pricing.

Facebook has indicated an IPO price range of $28 to $35 a share on Thursday, which would value the company at $77 billion to $96 billion.

Zuckerberg — sans his trademark "hoodie" sweatshirt — made brief introductory comments at the event, which took place 8 miles from Facebook's new Menlo Park headquarters at One Hacker Way, before opening the session up to questions. The company had provoked some grumbles from investors last week, when it took limited questions from the audience at an event in New York. And Zuckerberg skipped other stops on the roadshow this week, such Boston.

Investors managed to get in more than 10 questions at Friday's event, ranging from capital spending to regulation, even as Facebook maintained tight control over the proceedings, forbidding follow-up questions. Zuckerberg and Sandberg said Facebook's overall advertising business was gaining steam, with increased spending by most of its marketers. The two executives highlighted social ads as an important tool for Facebook to tackle its mobile challenge.

The ads, which incorporate information about Facebook users' friends who "like" certain products, are better suited to the smaller screens of smartphones, from which more than half of Facebook's users access the service, executives said. As Facebook collects more user data, such as location, it will be able to offer more relevant mobile ads, executives said.

Asked about Facebook's $1 billion purchase of mobile app maker Instagram, its largest acquisition, Zuckerberg said the deal was under consideration for one to two months before it occurred. Media reports had said it was forged over a weekend. The number of Instagram users has already grown from 30 million to 50 million since the deal was announced in early April, he noted.

Facebook's offering marks a watershed moment for the new generation of Web companies that are challenging established players such as Google and Yahoo for consumers' online time and for advertising dollars. The company's shares, which will be listed on Nasdaq under the symbol FB, could begin trading as soon as May 18. "They did a good job of addressing the tough questions. They have a clear vision," said one investor who attended the event but did not want to be named.

Gas Prices Continue to Fall

A month ago, it looked like retail gasoline prices would soar above $4 a gallon and stay there all year, sucking precious dollars out of American consumers' pockets, and hobbling the economic recovery. By early April, the average price of a gallon had risen to $3.94, jumping an incredible 50 cents in just two months' time, according to the Energy Information Agency.

The media was full of stories about the pain at the pump and about what the price of gas might mean for the economy. Prices had never been so high so early in the year, proclaimed the pundits. And with the peak driving season yet to come, there was even chatter that gas prices would hit $5 over the summer.

That was then. Pump prices have now fallen five weeks in a row, dropping by 15 cents to an average of $3.79. That's still pretty high, but it's lower than it was a year ago, when prices hit $3.97, and it's lower than the all-time peak of $4.11 in July 2008.

The Energy Department now projects that gas prices will average $3.79 a gallon this summer and will average $3.71 for all of 2012. Next year, gas will cost about $3.67. In other words, gas prices aren't expected to change very much for the next year and a half. Futures for crude oil and for wholesale gasoline indicate that retail gas prices will probably be about $3.65 on Election Day. Those projections are down significantly from April.

The price of gasoline mostly reflects the global market for crude oil, which in turn reflects current global supply and demand, as well as expected supply and demand. That market is now pricing in more supply and less demand than it was earlier in the year.

The price of Brent crude oil hit $126 a barrel on April 3 and has now fallen to $112, a drop of 11%. Gas prices have fallen only about 4%, so further declines in retail prices are likely in coming weeks, even if crude oil prices don't fall farther.

Tensions with Iran have eased and the latest production numbers reported by Platts show that any shortfall in Iranian production due to stepped-up sanctions is being more than matched by increased production by other OPEC members, particularly Saudi Arabia, Libya, Iraq and Nigeria.

Lower prices should help improve consumer psychology, says Chris Christopher, director of consumer economics at IHS Global Insight, the economics consulting firm. Christopher finds a direct relationship between pump prices and consumer sentiment surveys.

Higher gasoline prices in the first quarter were offset to some extent by lower heating bills, due to warmer weather and the collapse in natural gas prices. Consumer spending was quite robust in the first quarter, despite the pain at the pump.

All things being equal, a sustained $15 a barrel decline in oil prices would be expected to boost gross domestic product by about 0.3 percentage points after a year, and would save about $45 billion on consumers' annual gasoline bill, according to econometric models. It would be expected to lower the unemployment rate by 0.1 percentage point, and lower the consumer price index by about 0.5 percentage points.

Top EU Official Praises Spain's Plan to Bolster Banking Sector

The European Union's top economic official said on Sunday that Spain was taking decisive action to shore up its banking sector and that its overall reform efforts were essential to bolster confidence in the sector.

On May 11, Spain offered high-interest loans to banks suffering the fallout of a property crash and ordered an independent audit of lending across the entire banking sector. But the attempt to plug a hole in the country's banking system fell short of expectations.

Olli Rehn, Europe's commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, praised the plan in a statement. "These actions should dispel the lingering doubts about the stability of the Spanish banking sector," he said. "The combination of increased provisioning against potential future losses, segregation of troubled assets, independent validation of balance sheets, and the availability of necessary public funds to support the overall reform effort is essential in order to reinforce investor confidence in Spanish banks," he said.

Rehn said the European Commission, the EU executive, would continue to cooperate closely with Spanish authorities reform, and that measures implying state aid would have to be analyzed and approved by the Commission.

"A prompt and profound reform of the banking sector is a cornerstone of Spain's crisis response and its overall reform strategy," he said. "It is an indispensable supplement of the determined fiscal consolidation and front-loaded structural reforms that can bring sustainable growth and more and better jobs."

FluoroPharma Medical, Inc.

FluoroPharma Medical reported that BFPET, its imaging agent for measuring cardiovascular blood flow, has been granted patent rights in Australia as of March, 2012. Combined with patents in Japan and China, FPMI's Australian patent significantly bolsters the company's presence in the Pacific Rim. BFPET is a unique imaging agent that, when used in conjunction with stress-testing, identifies patients with suspected and proven coronary artery disease (CAD). Symptomatic CAD affects millions of patients worldwide and, according to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in the world.

"The Phase I clinical trial for BFPET indicates that the compound has an acceptable dosimetry and safety profile and provides high resolution images of the heart," stated Dr. David Elmaleh, FluoroPharma's Chairman of the Board of Directors and inventor of the technology. "Since BFPET has the potential to be a more sensitive marker than the currently available blood flow agents, we believe that BFPET will have strong advantages over currently marketed products in the detection of acute and chronic ischemia."

About FluoroPharma Medical, Inc. (FPMI)

FluoroPharma Medical, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing patented Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging products to improve patient management by evaluating cardiac disease at the cellular and molecular levels. The company is currently advancing two products in clinical trials to fulfill critical unmet medical needs. The agents will provide clinicians important tools for detecting and assessing pathology before critical manifestations of disease.

The company's proprietary molecules labeled with the radioactive isotope of fluorine combined with PET scanning provide non-invasive, highly specific and efficient assessment of heart metabolism and physiology. FluoroPharma's cardiovascular program addresses the largest segment of the nuclear medicine market.

Molecular imaging fulfills numerous unmet needs in diagnosis by enabling visualization, characterization and measurement of biological processes at the molecular and cellular level. Unlike traditional imaging modalities – MRI, CT, and Ultrasound – that reveal the anatomical abnormalities and cause for disease, PET provides insight into physiology and can detect disease before anatomical manifestation is identified. According to GAI, the market for molecular imaging agents currently exceeds $1.7 billion annually and promises rapid growth for the foreseeable future.

FluoroPharma's comprehensive technology platform was developed by scientists at the Massachusetts General Hospital. To date, the company has been issued four US patents and has seven applications pending in addition to strong international protection. With a solid and experienced management team in place and the necessary resources to advance clinical development, FluoroPharma is well positioned to capitalize on its superior imaging technology.

GlobalWise Investments, Inc.

GlobalWise Investments announced it had signed a channel sales partnership with the eVero Corporation ( eVero has been an information technology (IT) solutions provider exclusively to the Health and Human Services marketplace for over a decade. Their clients include government agencies, health care institutions, medical billing companies and large health service organizations that focus on developmentally disabled patients.

GlobalWise anticipates signing many more of these agreements with domestic as well as international partners during the course of 2012 as it continues to position itself as an industry leader. The Company anticipates significant and consistent annual revenue growth each year for the foreseeable future as its experienced management team takes advantage of the significant opportunities that currently exist in the marketplace. GlobalWise is exploring partnerships with largest and most successful companies in the industry.

About GlobalWise Investments, Inc. (GWIV)

GlobalWise Investments, 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.


SEFE announced that it has filed for international protection on its intellectual property covering Strain Reduction on a Balloon System in Extreme Weather Conditions, Atmospheric Energy Collection, and Collection of Atmospheric Ions. The Company has also announced that it has begun negotiating with a potential strategic partner on its alternative energy initiatives. Details are expected to be provided in the coming weeks, as the terms of the potential agreement become solidified.

Of the decision to move internationally with SEFE's patent portfolio, CEO Donald Johnston commented, "SEFE's technology has multiple potential applications, and part of the Company's long term strategy has been to create distribution relationships for our technologies overseas. Filing for international protection on our technology is a logical first step in protecting the value of it in the future as well as today."

About SEFE, Inc. (SEFE)

SEFE, Inc. is focused on developing and deploying a promising solution to our world's energy problems. It is now more obvious than ever before that fossil fuels are increasingly more difficult to find and harvest. It is also well known by now that alternative energy, such as solar, wind and nuclear, has its own list of unsolvable issues. SEFE's unique technology, in comparison, harvests unadulterated, carbon-free, always-on and problem-free energy from a never ending source.

The company calls it True Energy because it's not an alternative to anything and it certainly isn't petroleum based. SEFE's solution works by capturing and converting naturally occurring static electricity in the atmosphere into a constant, abundant and decidedly green source of renewable energy. The patented technology has been designed to be robust, easy to implement and user-configurable from the start so that these systems can be deployed anywhere and generate current usable by any localized source.

Because the cost of deploying and maintaining SEFE systems is relatively low, the company believes it can sell a kWh of electricity at $0.03 per unit. In comparison, nuclear energy costs approximately $0.14 per kWh and wind energy costs approximately $0.07 per kWh. SEFE is currently prosecuting four pending United States Patent Applications to protect their core intellectual property. Once issued, these patents will provide barriers to entry and fortify their foundational business construct.

The company has grown from a national company to an international concern with planned partnerships in China, India, Australia and the EU. SEFE is also well supported by a highly capable management team that has accumulated more than 30 years of experience in corporate management and governance. The company also employs a host of associates who are experts in fabrication and product development, FAA regulations, engineering and utility consultation, among others.

VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc.

VistaGen CEO Shawn Singh issued a shareholder letter that noted recent accomplishments and provided insight on its plans to secure additional capital and take advantage of large market drug rescue opportunities. VistaGen believes its pluripotent stem cell technology platform, along with several strategic relationships, positions the company to secure additional capital and large market drug rescue opportunities.

VistaGen is confident its goals are reachable. Backed by a portfolio of promising technology and intellectual property, and supported by strategic teams and a specialized focus, the company aims to bring clinically relevant human biology to the front end of the drug development process and create value for shareholders. To view the entire shareholder letter, visit

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.


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