Archive | June, 2014

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DC Brands International Inc – HRDN


Company History

  • Started in 2004 as an Energy Drink Company
  • Dickens Energy Cider
  • Turn Left Energy Drink
  • In 2007 entered the Nutritional Beverage Space – Hard Nutrition
  • Functional Water System: Nine Functions
  • Weight Loss
  • 5 Hours Mental Acuity
  • Full Body Cleanse
  • Hangover Relief
  • Pre & Post Workout
  • 10 Hours All Natural Energy
  • Daily Vitamins
  • In 88 King Sooper’s (Kroger Brand) Grocery Stores along Front Range of Colorado
  • Lost Funding Jan 2013 began restructuring
  • Purchased 15% of Village Tea Company – New York Based Premium loose leaf tea.
  • April 2014 – Announced entry into Colorado Marijuana Industry
  • June 2014 – Signed contract with 1st Client

Colorado Marijuana Industry

  • 2000 Medical Marijuana approved
  • JAN 2014 Recreational Marijuana Sales Began
  • Approximately 500 licenses issued originally
  • In 2014 approximately 225 licenses canceled due to regulatory issues
  • Company’s opinion is regulators are trying to move out the small operators/stoners and get the larger operators/business people involved

Dc Brands Green Investments, Llc Value Proposition

  • Green will offer a bundle of services to Colorado Marijuana Growers and Sellers
  • Accounting
  • Payroll
  • Cash Flow Management
  • Tax Payments
  • Security
  • Laboratory Testing
  • AND Capital for Expansion or Acquisitions
  • In Exchange GREEN will receive a variable rate contract loosely based upon an agreed upon % of sales
  • $1 million invested properly should return approx. $500k in yr 1; $1 million yr 2, $2 million yr 3

Dc Capital Structure

  • 3.8 Billion Shares currently outstanding
  • 5 Billion Common shares authorized
  • 14-C Definitive filed June 6, 2014 increasing authorized to 30 Billion effective June 29, 2014
  • Series A Preferred Stock provides 51.25% voting control – owned by Bob Armstrong CEO
  • Series B –G Preferred Stock convertible into approx. 30% of the company
  • $1 million Senior Secured Debt secured by all assets of DC held by Richard Pearce – former CEO
  • $5 million of unsecured debt (approx.) held by 40 lenders

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Finish Line profit, sales jump to top estimates


Finish Line Inc. said its fiscal first-quarter profit more than doubled as sales and margins expanded, the latest example of sporting-apparel chains outperforming other retailers.

Shares rose 4.8% to $30.54 in premarket trading as the results easily surpassed analysts’ expectations.

Same-store sales rose 5% in the period, compared with the 7.6% jump that larger rival Foot Locker Inc. posted last month. Sporting-apparel retailers have enjoyed better results even as other retailers have blamed rough winter weather for sputtering sales during the early part of the year.

Finish Line Chairman and Chief Executive Glenn Lyon also credited the company’s expanding presence in Macy’s Inc. stores for its growing customer base and market share. Macy’s itself is one of the few traditional retailers that have endured declining sales and traffic amid a tepid economic recovery for consumers.

For the period ended May 31, the company posted earnings of $12.4 million, or 25 cents a share, up from $5.1 million, or 10 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Excluding impairment charges, per-share earnings were 28 cents.

Sales rose 16% to $406.5 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected per-share earnings of 21 cents and revenue of $394 million.

Gross margin expanded to 31.7% from 30.5% as input costs rose 14% to $277.7 million.

Finish Line reaffirmed its guidance for the year.

Write to Michael Calia at michael.calia@wsj.com

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SOURCE: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/finish-line-profit-sales-jump-to-top-estimates-2014-06-27

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BOE’s Carney hints at 2.5% interest rate by 2017


LONDON—The Bank of England’s benchmark interest rate won’t rise to levels previously considered “normal” over the foreseeable future, Gov. Mark Carney said in an interview broadcast Friday.

In an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation, Mr. Carney said that a number of factors will continue to act as a drag on the economy over the coming years, including still high levels of household debt.

Mr. Carney also said he expects demand for Britain’s exports is likely to remain weak as a result of the euro zone’s economic difficulties, while the pound is likely to remain strong. He added that Britain’s lenders will face higher costs in meeting new regulatory requirements, which means they will have to charge a higher margin above the bank’s benchmark rate than previously when they make loans to households and businesses.

“The old normal is not the new normal,” Mr. Carney said.

Over the course of the BOE’s 320-year history, its interest rate has averaged 5%. Between 1997, when the current framework for setting rates was established, and 2007, the benchmark rate ranged between a low of 3.5% and a high of 7.5%.

With the U.K. economy growing strongly, the BOE’s Monetary Policy Committee is preparing to raise its benchmark interest rate from an all-time low of 0.5%, and market participants expect the first move to take place either toward the end of this year, or early in 2015.

Mr. Carney said that while the timing of the first move is uncertain, the benchmark interest rate is unlikely to rise much above 2.5% over the course of the central bank’s forecast period, which ends in early 2017.

“The old normal was a much higher level than we will get to to bring the economy back to full employment, with inflation on target,” he said.

Write to Paul Hannon at paul.hannon@wsj.com

SOURCE: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/boes-carney-hints-at-25-interest-rate-by-2017-2014-06-27

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Monsanto ups view; profit drop less than expected


Monsanto Co. said its fiscal third-quarter earnings fell 6% on higher costs, as the seed-and herbicide company also unveiled a new two-year $10 billion share purchase program.

The company raised the lower end of its per-share earnings estimate for the year by a dime and now expects a profit of $5.10 to $5.20. Meanwhile, the company is targeting $6 billion in stock buybacks starting in the near term and spanning six to 12 months.

Shares rose 7.3% to $129.78 in recent premarket trading.

The world’s largest seed company by sales has rolled out more high-tech soybean seeds that boast built-in protection against insects and weed-killing sprays. In major agricultural countries like the U.S. and Brazil, farmers have heavily planted the oilseed, which is crushed and processed to make oils and food ingredients. Farmers recently have favored soybeans as a more-profitable alternative to corn.

For the latest period, Monsanto reported a profit of $858 million, or $1.62 a share, down from $909 million, or $1.68 a share, a year earlier. Revenue increased by $2 million to $4.25 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a per-share profit of $1.56 and revenue of $4.4 billion.

Gross margin rose to 54.8% from 53.2%.

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SOURCE: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/monsanto-ups-view-profit-drop-less-than-expected-2014-06-25

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Barnes & Noble to split Nook, retail businesses


Barnes & Noble Inc. said it would pursue a split of its retail and Nook e-reader businesses into two separate public companies.

The bookseller said it plans to complete the separation by the end of the first quarter of the next calendar year.

Shares jumped about 7% in recent premarket trading.

The company has struggled as its Nook device–the company’s bid to compete with Amazon.com’s edge in the e-book market–has failed to catch on.

For the latest quarter, the Nook segment posted a 22% revenue decline to $87 million, the company said on Wednesday. Digital content sales fell 19% to $62 million.

Barnes & Noble’s retail segment, meanwhile, posted a 0.8% increase in revenue to $955.6 million as the latest quarter included an extra week. However, same-store sales, excluding Nook items, fell 1.9%. The company pointed to “unusually severe February weather,” as one reason for the decline. Including Nook items, same-store sales fell 4.1%.

“We believe we are now in a better position to begin in earnest those steps necessary to accomplish a separation of NOOK Media and Barnes & Noble Retail,” said Chief Executive Michael P. Huseby. “We have determined that these businesses will have the best chance of optimizing shareholder value if they are capitalized and operated separately.”

The company in August abandoned any plans to split up the company after considering the idea for 18 months. Also, Leonard Riggio, the book retailer’s chairman and largest shareholder, decided against making a personal offer to buy the company’s consumer bookstores.

Those moves followed the company’s decision to scale back the company’s efforts in the hardware space. Subsequently, William Lynch, who was a prime player in the Nook push, resigned as CEO. The company named Mr. Huseby as CEO in January.

Earlier this year, Mr. Huseby said Barnes & Noble will likely make its next color tablet in collaboration with a third-party manufacturer, an idea disclosed last June but put on hold when Mr. Lynch left the following month.

Overall, for the fiscal fourth quarter ended May 3, the company posted a loss of $36.7 million, or 72 cents a share, compared with a loss of $114.8 million, or $2.04 a share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 3.5% to $1.32 billion, though the year-earlier quarter included one less week.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had projected a per-share loss of 59 cents a share and $1.19 billion in revenue.

Gross margin widened to 32.1% from 18.1% as input costs fell 14%.

Write to Anna Prior at anna.prior@wsj.com

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SOURCE: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/barnes-noble-to-split-nook-retail-businesses-2014-06-25

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EXEO Entertainment Inc – EXEO


Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada Exeo Entertainment, Inc. is public company listed on the OTCBB and traded under the symbol “EXEO.” They develop, acquire, manufacture, license and distribute unique products in the video gaming, music, and smart TV sectors.

Exeo markets its products under the following brands: Psyko™ Audio, Krankz™ Audio, Zaaz™ keyboards, and the Extreme Gamer®. They seek to develop, license, and distribute products within the interactive entertainment sector that fill a clearly defined need and provide above average shareholder returns.

They began operations in May 2011 when they executed a license agreement with Digital Extreme Technologies, Inc. to complete product development and commercialization on the Extreme Gamer®, the Zaaz™ keyboard, and the portable gaming system. In 2013 they executed a license agreement with Psyko Audio Labs Canada to market the patented Psyko Krypton & Carbon 5.1 gaming headphones.

They are currently working on securing distribution and making the products available to consumers through big box retailers.

Highlights

  • EXEO is rated a strong long-term buy based on the quality of its product offerings in three distinct sectors: video gaming, audio, and Smart TVs.
  • EXEO’s current products include: Psyko 5.1 Gaming Headphones, Krankz Wireless Bluetooth On-Ear Headphones, and Zaaz Smart TV Keyboards.
  • EXEO needs to effectively communicate its story to consumers and implement a solid marketing campaign to pull sales through established retail channels.
  • If EXEO can execute its plan, there is the potential for $100 million in sales.

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Darden Restaurants results disappoint again


Darden Restaurants Inc. posted another period of declining sales at its Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains, while its quarterly earnings slid 35% thanks to higher costs and expenses.

The casual-dining restaurant operator’s profit fell far short of market expectations. Darden said write-downs and the cost savings plan it unveiled in December hurt results by about 19 cents a share.

Darden also issued an earnings outlook for the recently started fiscal year that falls below the current consensus view. It expects a profit of $2.22 to $2.30 a share, while analysts polled by Thomson Reuters are looking for $2.79.

The company’s Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains have struggled amid declining sales and traffic recently. In May, Darden said it would sell its Red Lobster chain for $2.1 billion to private-equity firm Golden Gate Capital. The company had previously disclosed its intent to separate the lagging chain, and its results were classified as discontinued operations in the most recent quarter.

Sales, excluding newly opened or closed locations, declined 3.5% at Olive Garden–the company’s biggest chain by revenue– and 5.6% at Red Lobster for the period ended May 25. LongHorn Steakhouse posted 2.4% higher sales. For the new year, Darden projected flat to 1% sales growth at Olive Garden, while LongHorn is expected to see sales grow 1% to 2%.

Now that Red Lobster is being sold, Darden is focusing on improving operations at Olive Garden. The company is in the early stages of a major brand overhaul for the casual Italian chain of more than 800 restaurants. The chain has been introducing lower-priced items and smaller plates to appeal to younger and budget-conscious customers.

Olive Garden also is trying to speed up lunch service for time-pressed customers. It is testing online ordering for take-out customers that it plans to roll that out nationally by August. It also plans to begin testing table-top tablets guests can use to pay their bills.

Darden also has focused on its specialty-restaurant group, which includes higher-end chains such as Capital Grille and Bahama Breeze, to help it expand. Sales at the segment edged up 2% in the latest period, and Darden expects an increase of about 2% in the current year.

Two activist investors–Starboard Value LP and Barington Capital Group LP–had been calling for Darden to undergo a much more significant breakup, suggesting that the company separate its smaller chains from Olive Garden, Red Lobster and LongHorn, and place its real estate holdings in a new company.

In response to the planned Red Lobster sale, Starboard has sought to replace the majority of Darden’s board members to put in place a turnaround plan for the company.

Overall, Darden reported a quarterly profit of $86.5 million, or 65 cents a share, down from $133.2 million, or $1.01 a share, a year earlier. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters recently expected per-share earnings of 94 cents. Revenue rose 3.6% to $1.65 billion.

Food and beverage costs rose 8.5%, while restaurant labor costs edged up 2.6%. Total costs and expenses increased 7.1% to $1.62 billion during the quarter.

Write to Erin McCarthy at erin.mccarthy@wsj.com

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SOURCE: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/darden-restaurants-results-disappoint-again-2014-06-20

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Porsche China boss sees double-digit sales growth


SHANGHAI– Porsche AG expects China sales growth in the low double digits this year, according to its China CEO, as pushes to increase dealerships there by close to 50% by the end of 2015.

The forecast from the German maker of luxury sports cars comes despite lower China sales in May, which the executive said was expected.

Until recently, most exotic car makers enjoyed sales-growth rates in the high double digits in China, which has emerged as a top market for many. But it is also becoming an increasingly challenging market a s Beijing pursues its crackdown on conspicuous consumption and the economy slows.

Other luxury makers have already offered more sober outlooks for China. Earlier this year, Volkswagen AG’s Lamborghini said it expected growth for so-called super sports cars in China to cool to close to 5% this year from about 15% last year. Ferrari SpA said in April it expects only a slight increase in China sales this year.

May sales for Porsche, which is also VW-owned, were down 1.3% from a year earlier to 3,164 vehicles. The company didn’t give reason for the decline when it issued the report two weeks ago.

In an interview on Friday, Deesch Papke, president and chief executive of Porsche (China) Motors, noted that the May decline represented just 40 cars, and called it a “marginal drop” that was “preplanned.”

“It was in the budget,” he said.

For the first five months of the year, Porsche’s unit sales in China were up 9.5%, to 16,465 cars.

“We’re confident that the year is going to be double-digit in any case on last year,” said Mr. Papke, who was speaking on the sidelines of a company event in Shanghai. He then specified “low double digit.”

Last year Porsche’s China sales were up 20% to 37,425 cars.

Porsche, which currently has 68 dealers, and aims to have 85 by the end of this year and just over 100 by the end of next.

Mr. Papke said the recently launched Macan, a compact sport-utility vehicle, will be available at dealers in China beginning in July. He declined to say how many orders have been received.

“Every day the orders are coming in. We look forward to having the same success as Cayenne,” he said, referring to another of Porsche’s SUVs.

Porsche hopes to increase sales of its core sports cars, including the 911, Boxster and Cayman.

“Year on year we get stronger and stronger in sports cars” in China, Mr. Papke said.

Rose Yu contributed to this article.

SOURCE: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/porsche-china-boss-sees-double-digit-sales-growth-2014-06-20

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BlackRock, Pimco sue Deutsche Bank, U.S. Bancorp


Investors led by BlackRock Inc. and Pacific Investment Management Co. are zeroing in on a new target in their bid to recoup losses tied to the U.S. housing bust: the so-called trust banks that oversee payments and enforce terms on more than $2 trillion in residential mortgage securities.

A group led by the giant investment firms on Wednesday sued units of Deutsche Bank AG and U.S. Bancorp in New York Supreme Court for their roles as trustees overseeing the bonds on behalf of investors who bought the securities.

The group also filed lawsuits against trustee units of Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc., HSBC and Bank of New York Mellon over their roles overseeing more than 2,000 bonds issued between 2004 and 2008. The investors are seeking damages for losses on the bonds that have surpassed $250 billion, according to a person familiar with the litigation.

The lawsuits by BlackRock and Pimco funds claim the banks breached their duty to the bondholders by failing to force lenders and bond issuers to repurchase loans that fell short of the quality standards described to buyers when the securities were sold.

A focus on the trustees represents a new tack for the investors who have spent recent years demanding that firms that made the loans and sold bonds repurchase them. Large U.S. banks have paid out tens of billions of dollars in legal and regulatory settlements and repurchase claims since the financial crisis, addressing claims that poor underwriting was at the heart of the housing meltdown.

The New York State Appellate court in December ruled that a six-year statute of limitations on the right to sue over faulty loans began when the alleged violation occurred, chilling future “putback” claims, a bond lawyer said. Bondholders have argued that the limitation should begin when a repurchase demand is made.

An expanded version of this story is available online at WSJ.com

SOURCE: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/blackrock-pimco-sue-deutsche-bank-us-bancorp-2014-06-18

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Cadillac Vice President Bill Peffer resigns


General Motors Co.’s Cadillac brand has taken another leadership hit after its U.S. vice president for sales and service elected to leave his position.

Bill Peffer stepped down from his position effective Tuesday, Cadillac spokesman David Caldwell confirmed Wednesday. A reason for the departure wasn’t provided. Kurt McNeil, GM’s vice president of U.S. sales operations, will temporarily assume the position. He had previously served in the Cadillac post in 2011 and 2012.

Mr. Caldwell said Mr. Peffer’s resignation was “sudden” but offered no additional details.

Cadillac has been adrift since early March when GM Chief Executive Mary Barra moved Cadillac chief Bob Ferguson back to his Washington, D.C., lobbying spot in response to the auto maker’s botched ignition-switch recall. Mr. Ferguson has been splitting his time running both Cadillac and the Washington, D.C., response.

Sales of the Cadillac ATS and Cadillac XTS were both down more than 20% year-over-year through the end of May. The bright spots were Cadillac CTS, where sales have increased 8.8%, and Cadillac Escalade, which reported a 2.6% increase.

Both GM and Cadillac have declined to say who will be chosen to the lead the brand or when.

Automotive News reported the departure earlier Wednesday.

Write to Jeff Bennett at jeff.bennett@wsj.com

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SOURCE: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/cadillac-vice-president-bill-peffer-resigns-2014-06-18-164855331

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