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Basch Report
Jax Daily Record Thursday, Aug. 20, 202005:10 AM EST

COVID cuts Black Knight’s medical costs

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The company says the pandemic reduced employee doctor visits.
by: Mark Basch Contributing Writer

It seems counterintuitive, but one major Jacksonville company says the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced its medical expenses.

As Black Knight Inc. reported second-quarter earnings last week, it said medical expenses were lower than the company expected.

“I think a good chunk of that is just favorable experience, which is terrific,” Chief Financial Officer Kirk Larsen said during Black Knight’s quarterly conference call with analysts.

“The second part is that our employees and their families were not going to doctors and hospitals for nonessential things because of COVID,” he said.

“There is the possibility we could have similar experience in the second half. But that’s not what we are planning for, because it really was just so far below trend.”

Black Knight’s revenue fell by 1% in the second quarter to $293.1 million. But because operating expenses fell by 2%, helped by the lower medical costs, adjusted earnings rose by 3 cents to 52 cents a share.

Duos Technologies increases revenue

Duos Technologies Group Inc. last week said second-quarter revenue rose 47% to $1.98 million, but the provider of intelligent security analytical technology had a net loss of $1.47 million, or 42 cents a share.

Jacksonville-based Duos previously projected revenue to reach $20 million this year but with the pandemic delaying some contracts, it is not making predictions now.

CEO Gianni Arcaini said last month he will retire Sept. 1, but will continue as chairman of the board.

“We have initiated a formal search process to identify a successor with the right mix of technical acumen, business development experience and strong leadership abilities,” Arcaini said in the company’s conference call, according to a transcript posted by the company.

“We have been encouraged by the results of that process to date and are looking forward to providing more substantive updates as the process hits its conclusion in the very near future,” he said.

Pandemic cuts GEE Group revenue

GEE Group Inc. on Aug. 17 said revenue for its third quarter ended June 30 dropped about 30% to $26.6 million.

The Jacksonville-based staffing company said client office and factory closures during the COVID-19 pandemic reduced business.

GEE Group had net income of $7.2 million in the quarter, which included a $12.3 million gain from the extinguishment of debt.

CEO Derek Dewan expressed optimism that conditions are improving.

“The Company has adapted to the ‘new normal.’ Business has stabilized nicely and is trending upward in an improving demand environment,” Dewan said in a news release.

ParkerVision court cases move ahead

ParkerVision Inc. last week reported a second-quarter net loss of $3.6 million, or 8 cents a share.

The Jacksonville-based developer of wireless technology has no products on the market and is engaged only in several court actions against major telecommunications manufacturers, alleging they are illegally using ParkerVision’s patented technology.

ParkerVision said a case in U.S. District Court in Orlando against Qualcomm Inc. and HTC Corp. is moving forward after a temporary pandemic-related stay was lifted.

“Although COVID-19 resulted in some delays in our patent infringement actions, we are pleased that the temporary stay in Orlando has been lifted so that we can continue to prepare our case for trial,” CEO Jeff Parker said in a news release.

The trial was rescheduled from December 2020 to May 2021.

Landstar’s stock reaches record high

Landstar System Inc.’s stock reached a record high of $133.70 last week, a 17% gain from its price at the beginning of 2020.

The new high came a week after Goldman Sachs analyst Jordan Alliger upgraded his rating on the Jacksonville-based trucking company from “sell” to “neutral.”

“Our upgrade is based on our belief of being past the bottom in the truck cycle and our confidence that our previously stated views around capacity constraints and cycle tightening are coming to fruition,” Alliger said in a research report.

BAE wins $83.5M contract for work in Jacksonville

BAE Systems last week announced an $83.5 million contract from the U.S. Navy to modernize two guided-missile destroyers.

The work on the USS Carney and the USS Winston S. Churchill will be done at BAE’s Jacksonville shipyard between September 2020 and July 2022.

The contracts include options that could bring its final value to $211.6 million.

CoreLogic sets date for special meeting

CoreLogic Inc. scheduled a special shareholders meeting for Nov. 17 to vote on a proposal by Cannae Holdings Inc. and Senator Investment Group LP to replace nine of the 12 directors on its board.

Cannae, the investment company spun off from Jacksonville-based Fidelity National Financial Inc., and Senator launched a proxy fight after CoreLogic’s board rejected an unsolicited $7 billion buyout offer for the housing market data firm.

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