Archive | September, 2014

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Cintas profit rises on investment gains, margins


Cintas Corp. CTAS, -0.48% said its fiscal first-quarter earnings rose 41% as the workplace uniform maker posted an investment gain, as well as additional gains related to its document-shredding partnership with Shred-it International Inc. and stronger operating margins.

Cintas and Shred-it in April combined their document-shredding businesses into a new partnership 42% owned by Cintas. The company also has been exploring options for its document storage and imaging business, which it reclassified as a discontinued operation for the latest period.

For the recently started fiscal year, the Cincinnati-based Cintas adjusted its outlook to reflect the reclassification of its document storage and imaging business and its view of the U.S. economy.

The company now expects per-share earnings of $3.20 to $3.29 and revenue of $4.4 billion to $4.475 billion, compared with its previous estimate for a per-share profit of $3.06 to $3.15 and revenue of $4.43 billion to $4.53 billion.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Scott Farmer said the company continues to see “inconsistent employment figures resulting in no real change to our customers’ hiring patterns, and we see heightened global uncertainty that may affect U.S. businesses.”

For the period ended Aug. 31, Cintas reported a profit of $110.1 million, or 93 cents a share, upfrom $77.8 million, or 63 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding investment-sale gains, asset-sale gains and other items, adjusted earnings from continuing operations rose to 78 cents from 62 cents.

Revenue edged up 0.2% to $1.1 billion. Excluding acquisitions and impacts of the Shred-It venture, organic revenue grew 7.2%.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected per-share profit of 75 cents and revenue of $1.1 billion.

Operating margin rose to 14.8% from 12.7%.

The uniform rentals and ancilliary products segment posted revenue growth of 8.1% to $856.9 million.

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SOURCE: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/cintas-profit-rises-on-investment-gains-margins-2014-09-29

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GM CEO Barra readies new profit, quality goals


DETROIT– General Motors Co. Chief Executive Mary Barra spent much of her first nine months in charge of the auto maker mired in a scandal over decade-old failures in the company’s handling of deadly ignition-switch defects.

Now, Ms. Barra hopes to change the subject. She intends on Wednesday to unveil a multiyear financial strategy to deliver the superior profits and market-leading vehicles that have always seemed to be in GM’s future, never its present.

Ms. Barra, 53 years old, said in an interview ahead of the investor meeting that she now hopes to move past the storm surrounding defective vehicles and decades of weak accountability that culminated in the company’s failure to act on safety defects.

“I hate the word culture,” she says. “Culture is really just how we all behave.” Now, Ms. Barra says, all GM employees need to behave differently, starting with herself.

“In the past…I was too nice,” she says. At a meeting with GM’s top 300 executives earlier this month in a converted warehouse in Detroit, Ms. Barra told managers they could no longer confuse steady progress with winning. GM, she said, must do what it takes to be “the world’s most valued automotive company,” a measure that includes customer satisfaction, quality and financial results.

“If you’re not in line with this vision,” Ms. Barra says she told the group, “you don’t need to be here.” Her remarks on Wednesday will revolve around the mission of growing GM’s value.

Ms. Barra has been telling investors that its North American operations would achieve 10% pretax profit margins some time in “mid-decade,” and promising to achieve break even performance in Europe in the same vague time frame. Its North American pretax margin last year was 7.8%. Rival Ford Motor Co. upstaged GM with a 9.9% home market operating margin last year. On Monday, Ford jolted investors, warning operating profit this year would fall as much as $2 billion short of earlier forecasts on recall costs and emerging market weakness.

Ms. Barra now is promising to give investors a more specific deadline for her financial targets. A key to the North American margin target will be new lines of compact and midsize vehicles–including re-engineered Chevrolet Cruze and Malibu sedans–that Ms. Barra insists will benefit from a new approach to purchasing. Those vehicles start launching in late 2015.

The question of how GM will deploy the roughly $39 billion in cash and cash equivalents in its coffers will be covered in “great detail,” Ms. Barra says. Some analysts have said some of that cash should be spent on a share buyback or a higher dividend.

Ms. Barra faces a stiff challenge to achieve her goals, not least because rivals have a head start in many areas.

GM’s board of directors hasn’t set a firm deadline for Ms. Barra to achieve these financial, customer satisfaction and quality goals and strongly supports her efforts, people familiar with the company said. But directors remain concerned about the number of inherited problems that constantly need attention, one of those people said.

Wall Street, however, has already delivered a preliminary verdict on Ms. Barra: she isn’t moving fast enough.

GM shares on Monday lost nearly 3% to $32.22, below the price set for the company’s post bankruptcy initial public offering. The stock has fallen about 17% since Ms. Barra took over from Dan Akerson, the former telecommunications executive who led the auto maker through its postbankruptcy recovery and initial public offering.

Even before Monday’s selloff, some analysts had cut their GM stock target price to below the $33 a share at which the post-bailout company’s shares returned to the markets in 2010.

This was supposed to be the year that GM, newly freed from government ownership, put strong numbers on the board as factories ramped up production of redesigned and highly profitable Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles such as the Chevy Suburban and Cadillac Escalade.

Instead, the most notable numbers at GM were the size of its recalls. Since February, GM recalled 29 million vehicles for various safety problems, Ms. Barra has appeared four times before congressional committees and the company has booked $2.5 billion in recall-related costs.

The U.S. Department of Justice and other agencies are still investigating whether company officials should face further civil or criminal proceedings. Some analysts predict the company could face as much as $2 billion in additional fines.

Ms. Barra’s drive to more rapidly boost profitability will depend on whether she and her top lieutenants change behavior deep in the company’s bureaucracy.

GM product development chief Mark Reuss, for example, says GM pays more than its rivals for the materials and technology it buys for its vehicles because of its own bad habits–including basing parts orders on unrealistically high sales forecasts that can saddle suppliers with costs when demand falls short.

Company officials wouldn’t disclose their target for purchasing savings, but some analysts estimate GM could save close to $1 billion a year with smarter purchasing.

“We are going to…stop paying the piece cost penalty of broken promises with General Motors,” Mr. Reuss says.

In a meeting with executives from some 700 suppliers last week, Mr. Reuss said the company is ready to share more financial risks with its parts makers, covering some of their costs if sales projections prove too high.

GM has begun forging agreements that span two model cycles instead of the traditional one. GM’s data systems had to be reprogrammed to allow for the longer contracts, says Vice President of Global Purchasing and Supply Chain Grace Lieblein says.

While GM executives wouldn’t disclose their targets for potential purchasing savings ahead of Wednesday’s meeting, Ms. Barra says, “it’s not incremental.”

But realizing those savings could take years, as could efforts to rebuild the auto maker’s brands.

The recent troubles at GM’s Cadillac luxury division offer a glimpse of what Ms. Barra’s up against, and what she’s prepared to do.

In 2012, GM launched the Cadillac ATS, a compact sedan designed to compete head on with the core of the German luxury brand lineups in the U.S., including the BMW 3-series. About a year later, a larger, more expensive version of the Cadillac CTS sedan made its debut, aimed directly at the Mercedes E-Class and similar German sedans whose prices start at about $45,000.

Sales of both fell short of GM’s expectations. By January 2013, Cadillac and its dealers had 147 days’ supply of new ATS sedans in stock. By January 2014, supplies of the old and new CTS had ballooned to 183 days’ worth, according to data from WardsAuto Infobank, while ATS stocks had swollen to 204 days’ worth.

Such high inventories undermined Cadillac’s efforts to defend its effort to charge higher prices and boost resale values, which are critical to offering competitively priced leases.

Who was responsible for letting Cadillac inventories get out of hand?

“I would say it’s unclear,” says Dan Ammann, GM’s president. Until last month, responsibility for deciding how many Cadillacs to build was dispersed among executives at the brand and in North American operations, he says.

Now, he says, the lines of authority are “crystal clear.” Johan de Nysschen, wooed away from Nissan Motor Co.’s Infiniti luxury brand, will make the calls.

The changes at Cadillac are just a start, Ms. Barra says.

GM should be a company where employees go home enthused about a “really cool project,” Ms. Barra says, instead of complaining, “I had to go climb Mt. Stupid today to try and get the right thing done.”

Joann S. Lublin contributed to this article.

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SOURCE: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gm-ceo-barra-readies-new-profit-quality-goals-2014-09-30

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Garb Oil and Power Corp – GARB


Garb Oil & Power Corporation (OTC Pink: GARB)

Garb Oil & Power Corporation has a long history in the shredding and recycling industry. Garb’s founder, John C. Brewer, invented, patented and produced the first shredder in the world designed specifically for tire shredding as well as the first OTR (Off The Road) tire shredder. The company has a diverse strategy to vertically integrate into the waste refinement, recycling and energy industries.

Waste is a major environmental concern around the world. It may disappear when we discard and replace, but it doesn’t disappear from the planet. Garb Oil & Power Corporation is dedicated to creating products that increases energy efficiency and reduces the carbon footprint while helping to preserve the environment. By providing superior products and services we will do our part in making the world a greener place while passing cost saving on to our customers.

Products and Services

Garb Oil & Power Corporation (OTC Pink: GARB) has a long company history in the fast growing industry of waste recycling and specifically related to waste-to-energy. Garb is organized to utilize both next-generation machines and new technologies, including those contributed to the Company by the Burda Families, to vertically integrate into the waste refinement, recycling and energy industries. In addition to selling new tires, shredders and related recycling equipment, the Company’s emphasis is for its own plants to produce profitable new and “green” solutions for waste-to-energy including the potential use of hemp, alternate energy sources, fuel enhancements, recycle fuel operations that utilize the fuel enhancement products, new equipment technologies that improve energy usage efficiency and utilizing recycled material in producing both useful and desirable products including wood pellets and medical marijuana paraphernalia.

Medical Marijuana & Hemp Industry

Within the Cannabis Industry, the Company has interest in the potential use of hemp as one of the raw materials utilized in the production of alternate fuels and energy that will be located on an additional production site. To further these endeavors prior to the State of Florida voters in November deciding if the use of Medical Marijuana will be legal in the state, the Company has begun endeavors to create the Company’s first operation in a state other than Florida that has legalized hemp and Medical Marijuana paraphernalia production.

Biomass & Alternate Fuels

The United States is moving towards greater energy independence and the increase of clean renewable fuels. Biofuel is simple to use, biodegradable, nontoxic, and essentially free of sulfur and aromatics. Alternate energy sources can produce more net energy for less money than current technologies. The Company is currently pursuing multiple avenues in this growing arena.

Tires & Shredders

In 2013 U.S. replacement tire sales was a $37.3 billion industry. According to Modern Tire there are multiple signposts indicating pent-up demand for tires may be released in 2014. Garb will be participating in this growth and the complete life cycle of tires after they are produced. The selling of industrial manufacturing shredders continues Garb’s long history as a participant in this portion of the recycling industry.

Recycling

The U.S. produces more than 200 million tons of garbage a year. Over 75% of that waste is recyclable and yet, only about 30% is actually recycled. Opportunities abound in the recycling industry and Garb is growing in this area.

Strategy

Garb’s strategy is to vertically integrate into the recycle industry, to be more than a seller of shredders and related recycling equipment. The recycle industry includes the reuse of materials in creating useful products that are sold and using recycled materials as an alternate energy source in industrial manufacturing. The following details the recycling plants Garb is creating within the recycle industry. Item numbers 1, 4 and 6 will be implemented in Garb’s first Florida industrial manufacturing site.

1. The use of recycled wood as a raw material to manufacture wood pellets that are sold as an alternate power fuel and for farm and agricultural applications.

2. The use of hemp as an alternate crop utilized in biomass to energy production, thus creating a source of waste-to-energy.

3. The use of various recycled materials that can be utilized as a raw material in the production of medical marijuana paraphernalia for sale.

4. The use of used tires and other waste materials as an alternate fuel source in industrial manufacturing. A source of used tires includes those received from Garb’s new tire customers, thereby Garb participating in the complete life cycle of tires after they are produced.

5. The production of fuel enhancements that are used in recycling fuel production that yield fuel products for sale.

6. The use of new equipment technologies that improve energy usage efficiency in the industrial manufacturing processes. Besides lower operating costs, improved energy usage efficiency will yield excess electricity that will be sold back to the power company, thus creating another source of waste-to-energy.

Garb Oil & Power Corporation’s future-Several technologies and products that are under review include the following:

* Waste-to-energy and other of its potential green technology uses.

* Fuel enhancements to increase efficiency and decrease pollution.

* Recycle fuel operations that utilize the fuel enhancement products.

* New equipment technologies that improve energy usage efficiency.

* Useful and desirable products that utilize recycled materials.

* Alternate energy sources.

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Tesco error triggers new profit warning


LONDON– Tesco PLC has issued its fourth profit warning in three years and said it is investigating why it overstated its most recent profit forecast by GBP250 million ($408.8 million).

“We have uncovered a serious issue and have responded accordingly,” Dave Lewis, the supermarket’s newly-appointed chief executive, said on Monday. Mr. Lewis took on the role at the start of September, a month earlier than planned.

Last month. the U.K.’s largest retailer cut its profit guidance for the year to between GBP2.4 billion and GBP2.5 billion. The company said it would investigate the source of the error.

“The chairman and I have acted quickly to establish a comprehensive independent investigation. The board, my colleagues, our customers and I expect Tesco to operate with integrity and transparency and we will take decisive action as the results of the investigation become clear.”

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SOURCE: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tesco-error-triggers-new-profit-warning-2014-09-22-24854321

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AutoZone profit up but sales shy of estimates


AutoZone Inc. said its fiscal fourth-quarter profit inched up while margins expanded, although sales declined because of fewer sales days during the period.

Earnings exceeded analysts’ expectations, while the top line fell shy.

The auto-parts retailer has enjoyed strong results of late, although indications are that sales may flag as the economy gradually improves and consumers buy new cars, which don’t require the same kind of replacement parts and maintenance as older cars.

Yet, while overall revenue declined in the quarter, domestic same-store sales rose 2.1% versus the year-before period’s 1% increase.

For the period ended Aug. 30, the company posted earnings of $373.7 million, or $11.28 a share, up from $371.2 million, or $10.42 a share, in the prior-year period.

Revenue fell 1.5% to $3.05 billion. The most-recent period included 16 weeks of sales, while the year-prior quarter had 17.

Analysts had projected $11.26 in per-share earnings and $3.07 billion in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters.

Gross margin rose to 52.3 % from 51.8%, with lower acquisition and shrink costs partially offset by higher supply-chain costs.

Auto-part sales fell 1.5% to $2.94 billion. Domestic commercial sales, meanwhile, improved 5.3% to $533.8 million.

Inventory per store rose to $582,000 a store, while overall inventory increased 9.8% because of increased product placement and new stores.

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SOURCE: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/autozone-profit-up-but-sales-shy-of-estimates-2014-09-22

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NAC Global Technologies, Inc.


NAC Global Technologies, Inc., is an emerging growth, development and manufacturing company operating in the robotics, automation and defense industries.  NAC is making significant announcements in clean energy technology as well as in market validation and acceptance of its products.

Key Highlights:

·       Operational with Fortune 500 customers

·       Platform technology is harmonic gearing for precise motion control

·       Successful sales in Industrial, Communications, Medical, Robotics, and Defense Industries

·       Estimated addressable market is 500M with little competition

·       Emerging multi-billion dollar market applications in clean energy and medical

·       Expanding to meet existing demand

·       Strong management team

The company has its corporate headquarters in Jacksonville, FL and manufacturing, warehousing, and offices in Port Jervis, NY.

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Grizzly Discoveries Inc – GZDIF


Grizzly trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol GZD, on the OTCQX exchange under the symbol GZDIF, and the Frankfurt Exchange under the symbol G6H, with 48,475,268 common shares issued and outstanding.

Grizzly is an aggressive and diversified Canadian mineral exploration company exploring for: potash in Alberta; world class gold and base metal deposits in British Columbia; and diamonds in Alberta. Grizzly holds, or has an interest in, metallic and industrial mineral permits for potash totaling more than 900,000 acres along the Alberta-Saskatchewan border. Grizzly currently has four precious-base metal properties in British Columbia totaling over 235,000 acres. Grizzly also currently holds more than 600,000 acres in diamond properties, which host diamondiferous kimberlites in the Buffalo Head Hills and Birch Mountains of Alberta.

GRIZZLY DISCOVERIES

• Canadian company focused on precious metals in BC and Potash in Alberta

• Extensive claim holdings in BC and Alberta

• Exploration results returned Gold, Silver, Copper, Platinum, Palladium, Lead, Zinc, Graphite, Potash and Diamonds

• Over 25% owned by Management

• Experienced Management with proven track record of success

• 225,000 acres at Greenwood, BC

• Numerous historic mines in the area

• Over 6 M oz gold produced in area

• Discovered 7 different mineralized areas within Greenwood property

• Ket 28 area diamond drill assays:

- 2.77 g/t Au over 11.0 m

- 11.9 g/t Au over 2.0 m

• Ket 28 area 7 km north of Kinross Buckhorn mine and mill

• Near surface high grade gold open pit potential

• Gold, Silver, Copper, Platinum, Palladium, Lead, Zinc, Graphite

• GZD has spent >$6 M to date

• French and Peak claims in northern BC contain Gold, Silver, Copper, Zinc

• Three diamondiferous kimberlites and four others discovered on Alberta diamond properties

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Nucor projects earnings to rise above expectations


Nucor Corp. said Wednesday it expects per-share earnings to rise up to 63% above the prior-year period as the steel manufacturer continues to benefit from stronger energy, automotive and construction markets.

The Charlotte, N.C., company expects per-share earnings for its fiscal third-quarter of 70 cents to 75 cents. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had recently expected per-share earnings of 61 cents in the quarter on revenues of $5.3 billion.

The steel industry has benefited from the resurgence of U.S. car makers and increased oil and gas drilling, though lately performance in the sector had been under pressure from a global oversupply that has weighed on prices.

On Monday, Nucor said it would expand its presence in the energy market with a $770 million purchase of Midwestern steel mill Gallatin Steel Co.–a move that will make Nucor the country’s largest steelmaker by capacity.

For the quarter ending Oct. 4, Nucor expects to take a partial write-down of $12 million, or 2 cents a share, on assets in its steel mills segment. Nucor expects the segment to improve in the quarter as sheet, structural and bar steel become more profitable. Nucor has seen strong demand for steel mill products from the automotive and energy industries.

Nucor’s fabricated construction products business, which makes pre-engineered metal buildings and decking, is expected to improve in the quarter on gains in the nonresidential construction market.

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SOURCE: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nucor-projects-earnings-to-rise-above-expectations-2014-09-17

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Sony sees $2.15 bln yearly loss, scraps dividend


TOKYO– Sony Corp. acknowledged Wednesday what analysts have been saying for months: It won’t be a major player in smartphones, one of the company’s last hopes for turning around its troubled electronics arm.

In the latest of a series of downgrades to its earnings outlook, Sony said it expected to post a loss of Yen230 billion ($2.15 billion) — almost five times what it forecast four months ago–for the current fiscal year as it wrote down the book value of its mobile communications unit.

The Japanese electronics giant also said it wouldn’t pay a dividend in the current fiscal year for the first time since the company’s stock was listed in 1958, as a result of a Yen180 billion impairment charge it will book in the second quarter ending in September.

The company also plans to cut about a thousand jobs in its mobile business–about 15% of the unit’s total workforce.

Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai says he wants to rebuild the electronics arm, but he is running out of options. Earlier this year, the company sold off its unprofitable PC unit and spun out the troubled television business into a separate unit–a move that analysts said could be a precursor to a sale. Sony also said it is trimming the size of its smartphone business and aiming its phones at niche, high-end customers.

On the other hand, Sony’s Hollywood studio remains solid, its game division is recording strong sales of the PlayStation 4 console and the imaging unit is benefiting from strong demand for sensors used in other smartphones, including Apple Inc.’s iPhones.

But the mobile unit has taken a turn for the worse.

In July, Sony said it expected to sell only 43 million smartphones this year after predicting sales of 50 million previously.

Executives said Sony was struggling to compete with emerging smartphone brands from China, which offer phones packed with many of the features available in phones from Sony, Samsung Electronics Co. or Apple, at a fraction of the price.

The company’s prediction of a Yen230 billion fiscal-year net loss compares with a previous forecast for a Yen50 billion loss given in May.

Sony’s chief financial officer Kenichiro Yoshida hinted at a press conference that the net loss forecast could be slashed further when costs related to the job cuts are taken into consideration.

Mr. Hirai said he had no plans to quit. “I am deeply sorry for shareholders and I, as a president, am taking this situation very seriously,” he said. “I’d like to take responsibility by finishing implementing structural reform efforts in this fiscal year and returning the company to profitability in the next fiscal year.”

“I am deeply sorry for shareholders and I, as a president, am taking this situation very seriously,” he said. “I’d like to take responsibility by finishing implementing structural reform efforts in this fiscal year and returning the company to profitability in the next fiscal year.”

While the downward revision seemed to be a pattern under Mr. Hirai, who took over as chief executive in 2012, some analysts were encouraged by the move, saying it showed that the company’s recently appointed CFO, Mr. Yoshida, was taking a more realistic view of the company’s prospects.

“The rationale for taking this impairment charge actually makes us bullish,” said Atul Goyal, an analyst at Jefferies, in a note to investors. “This has shown that a sensible CFO is able to control the expansionary aspirations of business heads, which, if unchecked, would lead to larger losses for Sony.”

Sony has been struggling to turn the mobile operation into a competitor to the likes of Apple and Samsung since it bought out a former joint venture partner, Ericsson of

While several of Sony’s Japanese rivals have exited the mobile-phone business, Mr. Hirai said Sony was still counting on the mobile unit to serve as a pillar of growth in electronics. Instead of trying to compete with low-cost brands, the company will focus on high-end niches in selected countries, he said.

“We believe mobile is still an important business for us, along with gaming and imaging,” Mr. Hirai said. “We still see plenty of room for the industry…to expand rapidly and we would like to build a basis so that we can aggressively jump in” markets beyond smartphones such as wearable devices.

This month, the company introduced a new premium model, the Xperia Z3, along with an upgraded smartwatch at a trade show in Berlin. So-called wearable technology has generated escalating buzz since Apple showed off its own wearable device last week.

“Sony won’t compete in price ranges where the customers no longer recognize the Sony brand, and where we can’t charge for a Sony brand premium,” Sony’s mobile devices chief, Kunimasa Suzuki, said in a recent interview.

A persistent problem for Sony’s smartphone unit has been its inability to break through in the U.S. market, where Apple and Samsung dominate. Sony’s latest flagship devices are sold by T-Mobile US Inc. and the company recent struck a deal to add the Xperia Z3 to the lineup of Sprint Corp. But the top two U.S. network operators, Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc., don’t offer Sony’s smartphones.

“It is obvious for us that we need to keep investing into the U.S. market,” Mr. Suzuki said. “Step by step, I think we will be able to grow our U.S. market share.”

Sven Grundberg in Stockholm contributed to this article.

Write to Takashi Mochizuki at takashi.mochizuki@wsj.com and Eric Pfanner at eric.pfanner@wsj.com

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SOURCE: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/sony-sees-215-bln-yearly-loss-scraps-dividend-2014-09-17?page=2

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Sunrise Mining Corp – SUIP


ECGI is a provider of ambulatory medical devices for physicians and medical institutions to help diagnose and treat patients with potentially life-threatening conditions including arrhythmia’s at the earliest possible opportunity.

ECGI is a telemedicine solution provider, specializing in equipment, software, and advanced monitoring services for high risk and chronically ill patients especially with heart diseases such as arrhythmia.

ECGI in 2015 will be launching its first of many patient remote monitoring medical devices commencing with arrhythmia heart monitoring.

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