The Mission Report

The MissionIR Report - June 2012

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Market News

Company Updates


Apple's Cook Says Focus Remains on Products

In recent, wide-ranging interview, Apple CEO Tim Cook discussed matters like the company's massive overseas manufacturing network, as well as the company's views on the TV business — though he stopped short of sharing any details of new products Apple may be planning.

Cook took over as CEO of Apple last August, as co-founder Steve Jobs stepped down just two months before dying of cancer.

"I've never viewed my role as to replace him," Cook said. "Steve was an original, and I don't think there's another one of those being made. It's not my goal in life. I am who I am. I'm focused on that."

He maintained, however, that Jobs told him specifically to never ask "What would Steve do?" He also shared that Jobs himself was a master at letting go of the past, as the famously hot-tempered CEO could change his mind suddenly about a product decision and move ahead.

"He would flip on something so fast, that you would forget that he was the person taking a 180-degree position on that issue the day before," Cook said. "I saw it daily. He wouldn't even remember it."

During the interview, Cook was quizzed about a wide range of other issues. He said Apple would likely "double down" on its legendary nature of secrecy around product development, but would become more transparent on other matters, including its global supply-chain and its efforts to improve conditions for workers in the factories that make the company's products — most of which are in China.

Cook noted the company's efforts to audit its network of suppliers, and to publish the results of those audits on a monthly basis. He said Apple has been most focused during this year on "putting overtime down," in terms of capping the hours that workers spend on the job floor.

"We are measuring the work habits of 700,000 people. No one else is doing that," he said, adding that he wants more of Apple's peers "to copy us" in that area.

He also said he would consider moving more manufacturing jobs for Apple products to the U.S., noting that many vital components such as chipsets and glass for smartphone screens are already produced here. But he added that the U.S. lacks much of the needed infrastructure for a large manufacturing base anymore.

"The truth is, if we called a meeting of tool and die makers based in the U.S., we wouldn't fill this room. In China, you can fill several cities with tool and die makers," he said.

Cook gave no details about new products that may be under development. Apple will kick off its Worldwide Developers Conference on June 11 in San Francisco, at which it is expected to show off the latest versions of its Mac and iPhone operating systems. Analysts expect a new iPhone as well as an Apple-branded TV to come out later in the year.

Asked several times about Apple's plans for the TV space, Cook demurred on product details, but added that the AppleTV set-top box has already sold about 2.7 million units in the first half of its current fiscal year — roughly on par with the total number sold for the entire year prior.

"We ask if we can we control the key technology. Can we make a significant contribution far beyond what others have done in this area. Can we make a product we ourselves would want, as we see ourselves as good proxies for others," Cook said of the company's thought process in looking at the TV space.

But he was dismissive of the idea of the company ever getting into the content business, in terms of producing shows or movies. He also reiterated past statements about how Apple does not typically buy "new revenue stream" with its M&A deals, preferring instead to focus on adding new talent or technology.

As far as Steve Jobs' legacy is concerned, Cook said Apple would remain focused on building "great products," rather than making a goal of a certain revenue or profit level.

Gold Turns Higher in Recovery After Dip to $1,532

Gold experienced a "technical bounce" from support at $1,530 an ounce, but it likely also saw "safe-haven buying on concerns that contagion is spreading from Greece to Spain and Italy," said Mark O'Byrne, executive director at GoldCore. In emailed comments, he cited "sharply higher 10-year [bond] yields in both countries again today."

Gold for August delivery, which is the most-active contract, rose $14, or 0.9%, to trade at $1,565 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Earlier on May 30, 2012, prices, which had fallen more than $20 on Tuesday, May 29, 2012, touched an intraday low of $1,532.10.

Gold "buyers get interested around the $1,530-ish area, but sellers continue to hit the enter button around $1,555 — the battleground for prices that we expected," said Richard Hastings, macro strategist at Global Hunter Securities.

Despite all that, "there is enormous deflationary pressure building up globally from the flight to bonds overlayed by the relentless issuance of more and more debt," he said. And "the deflationary wind is classic in its power to hurt commodities and precious metals."

July silver also turned higher, up 12 cents, or 0.5%, to $27.92 an ounce.

The metals market had earlier seen broad losses, along with most other commodities, as the dollar climbed and the euro, pressured by growing concerns over Spain's finances and the contagion worries in the region, fell to its lowest level against the dollar since mid-2010.

Egan-Jones Ratings Co. downgraded Spain's debt to B from BB- with a negative outlook.

"The ongoing collapse in yields in countries with the ability to print ... is now becoming rather ominous," said Peter Grant, chief market analyst at USAGold. "It now seems like something evil this way cometh, and I just don't think that sovereign debt — even that of a country with the perception of relative 'safety' — is where you want to be taking shelter entirely."

Wednesday's bounce for gold is "perhaps reflective of a growing desire for safe-haven diversification," he said.

In currencies trading, the euro fell to $1.2406, down from $1.2493 in North American trading late Tuesday, while the ICE dollar index, which measures the dollar against a basket of major rivals, rose to 82.850, up from 82.468 late Tuesday.

Strength in the greenback tends to pressure demand for dollar-denominated commodities such as gold. The precious metal, meanwhile, saw an "initial bid" in the wake of weak data on pending home sales for April, "which took a little shine off the dollar," said Grant. "While the greenback recovered, gold was able to maintain that bid," he said.

The National Association of Realtors' index of pending home sales fell 5.5% to 95.5 for April, off from a downwardly revised 101.1 in March.

Other metals traded mixed on Wednesday, with platinum and copper in decline but with palladium edging higher.

July platinum shed $25.60, or 1.8%, to $1,402.50 an ounce as July copper lost 7 cents, or nearly 2.1%, to $3.39 a pound. September palladium tacked on 95 cents, or 0.2%, to $607 an ounce.

Tokyo Stock Exchange Plans to Woo Global Investors

The Tokyo Stock Exchange plans to tout the attractiveness of Japanese companies to overseas investors as part of efforts to increase its trading volumes, Managing Director Hironaga Miyama said in an interview.

Miyama said prices for Japan's stocks were formed when "we are sleeping," referring to the influence of U.S. and European taking place outside Tokyo trading hours, and that the TSE needs to find a way to translate the price formation into trading.

"One solution [to do that] is to expand the trading hours. The other way is to increase the attractiveness of Japanese companies. ... We are considering going around the world to address this," he said.

Referring to the TSE's impending merger with the Osaka Securities Exchange Co., Miyama suggested he was hopeful that the Japan Fair Trade Commission will approve the union, although the combination would give them a near monopoly in both cash equities and derivatives trading.

The TSE currently accounts for about 90% of stocks traded in the country, while the OSE has a near monopoly in derivatives trading, in addition to a small presence in cash equities. Miyama said that the merger was intended to help the TSE-OSE combine to compete more effectively globally, and that while some markets such as the U.S. and China had more than one stock exchange, most other nations had a single stock exchange.

"We compete with Hong Kong, Singapore and China. We find it hard to imagine that the merger won't be approved by the FTC," he said.

"Japan's share in Asia has been declining. Given that, we would like to gain a competitive edge as soon as possible. Just look at the number of initial public offerings in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Shenzhen. If we are slow to take some of those flows, it's not good," said Miyama.

Japan's share of trading as a percentage of regional volumes has been dropping for several years now. According to World Federation of Exchanges figures, the TSE accounted for about 20% of the total trading volumes for the Asia-Pacific in 2010, compared with about 46% in the year 2000.

From its peak at 3 trillion yen ($38 billion) in fiscal 2007, average daily stock trading on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange slumped to ¥1.45 trillion in the year ended March 31, 2011, according to data from the Japan Securities Dealers Association.

GlobalWise Investments, Inc.

GlobalWise Investments announced it has signed a new Channel Sales Partnership with MWA Intelligence, Inc. (MWAi). MWAi is one of the largest IT infrastructure providers for copier dealer Managed Print Service companies in the United States. With over 350 major clients throughout the U.S., such as Global Imaging Systems, a Xerox company, and others, MWAi provides cutting-edge M2M (machine-to-machine) and M2P (machine-to-people) solutions and tools that support the exchange of real-time information.

With the addition of the Intellivue™ to their list of IT solutions, MWAi will have a full suite of ECM template-based offerings. MWAi intends to expand their service offering beyond North America into Europe and the Asia-Pacific Rim over the next four quarters. As part of that offering, MWAi is actively working with Intellinetics to convert the Intellivue™ cloud-based ECM software into a double-byte character set (DBCS), a software language typical for Japanese, Korean and Chinese translations. By employing DBCS, the Intellinetics software suite will be ready for clients in the Asia-Pacific Rim, in addition to English speaking clients in European countries.

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 recently announced that it is pursuing a partnership with the University of Colorado's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. SEFE intends to work with both the Colorado Center for Power Electronics and the Center for Environmental Technology to perform research and development related to the physics and engineering of SEFE's Harmony III system. "We are pleased to have the privilege of working with some of the top atmospheric scientists in the world through the University of Colorado," stated Michael Hurowitz, SEFE's Director of Engineering. "The university will be a critical partner in perfecting SEFE's core technology and further developing the key aspects of the Harmony III platform."

The research partnership will seek to develop a more accurate understanding of the physics governing atmospheric corona discharge. The goal is to develop a mathematical model of the process and compare it to experimental data gathered in testing various elements of the Harmony III system. SEFE will also engage engineering teams from the university to assist in the design and testing of various subsystems related to Harmony III.

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 Therapeutics has secured a new United States patent covering the company's proprietary methods used to measure and type the toxic effects produced by drug compounds in liver stem cells. Test methods included in this new patent, (U.S. Patent 11/445,733), titled "Toxicity Typing Using Liver Stem Cells," cover all mammalian liver stem cells -- rat and mouse cells, for example, in addition to human cells. VistaGen's new patent also covers techniques used to develop a database of gene expression profiles of drugs that have the same type of liver toxicity.

Shawn K. Singh, VistaGen's Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Strong and enforceable intellectual property rights are critical components of our plan to optimize the commercial potential of our Human Clinical Trials in a Test Tube™ platform. This new liver toxicity typing patent further solidifies our growing IP portfolio, and supports the continuing development of LiverSafe 3D™, our human liver cell-based bioassay system, which complements our CardioSafe 3D human heart cell-based bioassay system for heart toxicity."

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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