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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Mar. 10, 202205:00 AM EST

First Horizon sign to change again

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TD Bank agrees to acquire First Horizon after the Downtown sign was installed.
by: Mark Basch Contributing Writer

A week after the First Horizon sign went up on a Downtown Jacksonville building, the bank announced a merger that will require another new sign.

TD Bank Group announced an agreement Feb. 28 to buy First Horizon Corp. for $13.4 billion in cash.

This follows a 2020 merger of Memphis-based First Horizon with IberiaBank Corp. 

Those two banks just completed the integration of their systems over Presidents Day weekend, and the First Horizon name replaced IberiaBank on the building at 135 W. Bay St. on Feb. 20.

First Horizon has one other Jacksonville area branch in Ponte Vedra Beach.

TD Bank has three branches in Jacksonville and one in St. Augustine but no Downtown office, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data.

However, TD Bank has received a permit to open a branch on the Downtown Southbank and is planning at least two more new Jacksonville area branches.

The company also said in July 2021 it will open a call center on Jacksonville’s Southside and add 250 jobs in the area to the 440 employees it already had.

TD Bank’s main office is in Toronto, with the headquarters of its U.S. bank in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

The bank entered the Jacksonville market in 2010 when it acquired The South Financial Group.

TD Bank said the addition of First Horizon’s 412 branches will give it 1,560 offices in 22 states and make it the sixth largest U.S. bank with $614 billion in assets.

In a conference call to discuss the merger, TD Bank officials said there is minimal overlap of its branches with First Horizon so they don’t expect a lot of branch closings after the merger.

“The bulk of the overlap is in the state of Florida and the state of Florida is a priority market for us,” said Leo Salom, group head of U.S. retail, according to a transcript of the call posted by the company.

“From a front-facing branch perspective, we will certainly retain the branch network,” he said.

“In terms of retaining both the retail and commercial bankers across the group, we think that’s the heart and soul of the First Horizon franchise. And so we will continue, not only to retain the existing teams, but as part of our organic growth strategies, we would be looking to add selectively to some of those key high-growth footprints across the Southeast.”

The banks hope to complete the merger in early 2023.

Treace Medical eyes more growth

Treace Medical Concepts Inc. reported revenue grew 65% to $94.4 million in 2021 as the Ponte Vedra-based company completed its initial public offering.

However, the company has captured only a fraction of a potential $5 billion market for its surgical procedure to treat bunions, CEO John Treace said in the company’s March 3 conference call to discuss year-end earnings.

“Through 2021, we believe our market share stands at only around 3.8% of the estimated 450,000 annual surgical bunion procedures, up from 2.5% in 2020 and just a 1.6% share of the 1.1 million annual surgical candidates,” he said.

“For 2022, our business fundamentals remained firm, and we see a long runway ahead of us. We believe we remained well-positioned for steady growth and continued market share gains ahead.”

Treace Medical reported a net loss of $20.7 million, or 43 cents a share, for 2021.

The company did not offer an earnings forecast for 2022 but projected revenue to reach $125 million to $130 million.

That’s better than Wall Street expectations of $124 million, J.P. Morgan analyst Robbie Marcus said in a research note.

“We expect to see shares up as the company continues to demonstrate its resilience to pandemic trends while driving continued adoption of Lapiplasty in a highly underpenetrated market,” Marcus said.

Lapiplasty is the name of Treace Medical’s bunion procedure.

The stock closed at $20.41 on March 3 but Marcus, who rates it “overweight,” has a target price of $37 by the end of this year.

Although he is projecting revenue growth, Marcus projects Treace Medical to continue losing money for the next three years.

Morgan Stanley analyst Drew Ranieri, who also rates the stock at “overweight,” projects Treace Medical to become profitable in 2024.

Landstar sees impact of the Ukraine invasion

Landstar System Inc. transports freight by truck mostly throughout North America.

However, the Jacksonville-based company said in a Feb. 28 Securities and Exchange Commission filing that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could hurt its business.

Landstar said two U.S. commission sales agencies, which arrange freight transportation for Landstar customers, do business in the Ukraine and have been impacted by the invasion.

The two agencies generated about $860 million, or 13%, of Landstar’s 2021 revenue.

The company did not provide details about how disruptions in Ukraine would affect the agencies’ business with Landstar. However, the filing said the disruptions could reduce Landstar’s revenue by $20 million to $25 million per week.

That could reduce Landstar’s first-quarter earnings by up to 18 cents per share, it said.

Landstar said, however, business has been stronger than expected in the first two months of this year. So even if it loses as much business as projected from the Ukraine situation, it still expects earnings to exceed the company’s forecast of $2.70 to $2.80 a share.

Landstar also said March 1 it added two directors, expanding its board to nine members.

The new directors are James Liang, founder of investment firm Hope Street Advisers, and Teresa White, president of Aflac U.S.

FRP Holdings reports loss

FRP Holdings Inc. reported March 2 that fourth-quarter revenue rose 43% to $8.4 million.

However, the Jacksonville-based real estate developer said because of several special items, it had a net loss of $592,000, or 6 cents a share, in the quarter.

Revenue growth came largely from completion of The Maren, FRP’s second mixed-use residential and retail development along the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C., near the Washington Nationals’ baseball park.

The company expressed optimism about its business in a news release but said “there are things that will continue to keep us up at night,” including the continuing impact of the coronavirus pandemic and inflation on its business.

“And yet upon closer inspection, we have experienced real progress over the last twelve months and have much to look forward to,” it said.

Publix Super Markets stock up

Publix Super Markets Inc. said its stock price rose from $66.40 on Nov. 1 to $68.80 on March 1.

The stock is not publicly traded and is made available for sale only to Publix employees, with the price determined by appraisals five times a year.

The price rose steadily throughout 2021 from its appraised value of $60.20 on March 1, 2021.

The Lakeland-based supermarket chain said sales for the fourth quarter rose 12.4% to $12.6 billion and sales at stores open for more than one year rose 10.5%.

For all of 2021, sales rose 7% to $44.9 billion and comparable store sales rose 5.4%.

Publix has 1,297 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.

Fourth-quarter earnings rose 3% to $1.1 billion, or $1.53 a share.

DoubleTree Riverfront lags pre-pandemic

The DoubleTree by Hilton Jacksonville Riverfront had improved results in 2021.

However, the Southbank hotel still lagged behind its pre-pandemic levels, according to a year-end financial report by owner Sotherly Hotels Inc.

The hotel at 1201 Riverplace Blvd. had occupancy of 65.7% in 2021, up from 38.3% during the coronavirus shutdown year of 2020. But occupancy did not catch up to its 2019 level of 78.5%.

Daily revenue per available room was $88.96 last year, up from $51.77 in 2020 but down from $109.53 in 2019.

Williamsburg, Virginia-based Sotherly owns 11 hotels. It said total occupancy of its portfolio was 51.9% last year, compared with 31.7% in 2020 and 71.3% in 2019.

Sotherly’s total revenue of $127.6 million was down from $185.8 million in 2019.

The company is hoping for a return to normal this year.

“Most markets where we operate have seen the elimination of most COVID restrictions, which bodes well for travel in 2022, as pent-up leisure demand and returning group and business travel is evident in forward bookings,” CEO Dave Folsom said in a news release.

Nivel expands again with acquisition

Nivel Parts & Manufacturing Co. LLC announced March 2 it acquired System 3 Off-Road, a utility terrain vehicle (UTV) tire and wheel supplier.

Jacksonville-based Nivel, founded in 1968, makes aftermarket parts and accessories for niche vehicles and heavy-duty equipment. 

This is the third acquisition announced by Nivel since it was acquired in May 2021 by funds managed by Morgan Stanley Capital Partners.

The company said the addition of System 3 is part of a plan to have a well-rounded product portfolio in the UTV market.

Terms of the deal were not announced.

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