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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Mar. 18, 202105:10 AM EST

Fortegra seeks better results with new IPO

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The Jacksonville-based specialty insurance company saw its stock falter after first going public in 2010.
by: Mark Basch Contributing Writer

The Fortegra Group Inc. is looking for better results this time than after its first initial public offering in 2010.

The Jacksonville-based specialty insurance company filed a registration statement March 15 for its second IPO.

After the first one, investment company Tiptree Inc. bought out Fortegra in 2014 for $218 million.

Fortegra went public at $11 a share in 2010 but the stock traded below that level for most of its first life as a public company.

The stock was trading near $7 before Tiptree agreed to buy the company for $10 a share.

Publicly traded Tiptree said in a news release it is hoping this IPO will unlock unrecognized value for its shareholders.

When the New York company bought Fortegra, it described itself as “an active acquirer of new businesses.”

Tiptree now describes itself as “a holding company that combines specialty insurance operations with investment management” and says Fortegra is its “principal operating business.”

Tiptree reported total revenue of $810.3 million in 2020, while Fortegra produced $691 million.

Fortegra’s IPO filing said Tiptree will maintain voting control of the company after the stock sale, but it does not give details of how much stock will be sold.

Fortegra intends to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “FRF,” the same symbol it had during its first go-around as a public company.

Before the public IPO filing this week, Fortegra filed a confidential registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission in January. So, the company has had time to gauge interest in the second IPO and can hope for a better greeting on Wall Street this time.

Lowthers named FIS president

Fidelity National Information Services Inc., or FIS, last week said Bruce Lowthers was promoted to president of the Jacksonville-based banking technology company.

Gary Norcross remains chairman and CEO but gives up the additional title of president, FIS said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

The filing did not say why the changes were made.

Lowthers, 56, had been serving as president of the company’s banking and merchant solutions business.

He has served in several executive roles with FIS, starting as general manager of the global payment software business in 2007.

Before joining FIS, he was a senior vice president at eFunds.

FIS is a Fortune 500 company and the largest Jacksonville-based company with $12.55 billion in revenue in 2020.

The company is building a riverfront headquarters structure near its offices on Riverside Avenue.

Analyst downgrades Landstar to ‘sell’

Jacksonville investors have been able to count on Landstar System Inc.’s stock rising steadily over the past two decades, and it reached a record high of $168 this month.

However, Goldman Sachs analyst Jordan Alliger is looking for the stock to drop. He downgraded the company last week from “neutral” to “sell” as part of an overall downgrade of trucking stocks.

Alliger said in his report he is expecting a drop in truck rates later this year.

“With this possible inflection looming, we do not see a clear path for further meaningful truckload share price re-acceleration at this time (especially with truckload shares under our coverage up around 18% YTD on average),” he said.

“Landstar is a high quality, asset-light business with below-peer-average cyclicality, but given where we currently sit in the spot trucking cycle and in conjunction with our asset-based truckload downgrades, we believe the risk/reward is less favorable in the near term relative to other names in our coverage universe,” he said.

Alliger has a $140 price target on Landstar’s stock.

Acquired Sales Corp. changing name

Acquired Sales Corp. announced last week it is changing its name to LFTD Inc., reflecting the name of a company it acquired last year.

Acquired Sales, which is focused on making hemp-derived, cannabinoid-infused products, acquired a business in February 2020 called Lifted Made.

“We have decided to replace a somewhat confusing and uninspiring company name with LFTD Inc., which better reflects what we are doing,” Acquired Sales President William Jacobs said in a news release.

Acquired Sales in January moved its executive office from Lake Forest, Illinois, to Jacksonville. Lifted Made is headquartered in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The company trades on the OTCQB Venture Market under the ticker symbol “AQSP” but said it will request a new symbol to reflect its new corporate name.

Dream Finders revenue increases

Dream Finders Homes Inc. reported March 16 that fourth-quarter revenue rose 82% to $461.1 million, helped by acquisitions.

The Jacksonville-based home building company reported net income more than doubled to $40.2 million.

This was Dream Finders’ first quarterly report since it completed its initial public offering in January.

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