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Jax Daily Record Monday, Aug. 22, 201612:00 PM EST

ParkerVision seeking more legal settlements

by: Mark Basch Contributing Writer

Chairman and CEO Jeff Parker missed ParkerVision Inc.’s annual meeting because of his “very hectic travel schedule,” said Chief Technical Officer David Sorrells, who presided over the brief meeting Aug. 12.

But when ParkerVision held its quarterly conference call with investors last Monday, Parker explained what he’s been up to.

The company last month announced an agreement with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. that allows Samsung to use ParkerVision’s patented technology, which the company says improves the performance of wireless devices.

“We believe the agreement with Samsung came to fruition ultimately as a result of the company’s proceedings at the International Trade Commission,” Parker said.

ParkerVision filed a complaint with the ITC in December alleging several companies are illegally importing products into the U.S. using ParkerVision’s patented technology.

Besides Samsung, which was dropped from the complaint after the two sides reached an agreement, Qualcomm Inc., Apple Inc. and LG Electronics Inc. also were named as defendants.

“As we’ve discussed in prior updates, the ITC requires three settlement conferences between the parties. Our second round of conferences occurred this past June and our final required conferences are currently in process,” Parker said.

“We remain optimistic that others in this proceeding will, like Samsung, determine that a business arrangement that provides authorized use of our patented innovation is a much better way for all parties to spend resources than in court,” he said.

Of course, ParkerVision has already gone through and lost a U.S. federal court case with Qualcomm over patent infringement allegations. Qualcomm has not previously shown an inclination to settle with ParkerVision.

The ITC case was scheduled to go to trial this week, but Parker said the judge postponed it for undisclosed medical reasons.

No new date has been set, but Parker is hoping it will be “soon.”

Meanwhile, ParkerVision reported revenue of just $4,675 for the second quarter, which came from engineering services for product testing.

That’s even lower than ParkerVision’s first-quarter revenue of $59,420, but ParkerVision often reports no quarterly revenue at all.

The company’s second-quarter loss was $8.4 million, or 72 cents a share.

ParkerVision is hoping to ramp up revenue in coming quarters, including money from its agreement with Samsung and possibly other manufacturers.

The company has not disclosed financial terms of its agreement with Samsung.

Parker also said in May the company was testing its own product that would offer consumers enhanced Wi-Fi capabilities in their homes.

During last week’s call, Parker said he is hoping the company will have “pre-production units” of that product available by the end of this year.

Stein Mart earnings drop

Stein Mart Inc. on Friday reported earnings of 6 cents a share for the second quarter ended July 30, 3 cents lower than last year’s second quarter and a penny below the average forecast of analysts, according to Thomson Financial.

Total sales rose 2.6 percent to $319.8 million but comparable-store sales (sales at stores open for more than one year) fell 1.4 percent.

“We managed our spring markdowns and seasonal inventories well and continued our focus on controlling expenses in a challenging apparel sales environment,” CEO Dawn Robertson said in a news release.

Dewan entrenched in Jacksonville

GEE Group Inc. has maintained its corporate headquarters in the Chicago suburb of Naperville, Ill., even after appointing Jacksonville executive Derek Dewan as CEO in April 2015.

But Dewan is apparently entrenched in Jacksonville.

The staffing company, formerly known as General Employment Enterprises, included a new five-year contract with Dewan along with its quarterly report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week.

The contract includes a clause allowing Dewan to terminate the contract under several conditions, including “the Employer’s requiring the Executive to be based at any office or location other than Jacksonville, Florida.”

There has been no indication GEE wants to move Dewan to Chicago or the company would move its headquarters to Jacksonville.

GEE reported earnings of $528,000, or 5 cents a share, for the third quarter ended June 30 with revenue nearly doubling to $22 million, due mainly to acquisitions.

In a news release, Dewan said the company anticipates “completing meaningful strategic acquisitions in the near term” that will continue its growth.

“The acquisitions completed to date have significantly enhanced profitability and as we continue to successfully integrate many functions of the acquired companies we expect to realize additional synergies that will positively impact the bottom line,” he said.

NAC following GEE’s path

Coincidentally, NAC Global Technologies Inc. completed a major acquisition last week and is following a similar path to GEE, in terms of its CEO.

NAC has been producing harmonic gearing technology used in the automation, robotics and defense industries, generating minimal revenue.

But it completed the acquisition of a Switzerland-based company called Swiss Heights Engineering S.A., which has interests in services for the energy, chemical and petrochemical markets.

NAC, which reported total revenue of $238,356 in the first half of this year, said the acquisition increases its annual revenue to more than $30 million.

As part of the deal, NAC is moving its headquarters from Jacksonville to Houston, where Swiss Heights already had a facility. However, NAC Chief Executive Vincent Genovese is remaining in Jacksonville.

According to his new employment agreement included in the company’s SEC filings, Genovese’s principal place of employment “shall be at his home in Florida or an office in Jacksonville, Florida at the Executive’s cost.”

NAC’s Jacksonville headquarters office had only been a small part of its operation. Most of its harmonic gearing work is done at a facility in Port Jervis, N.Y.

NAC reported an operating loss of $196,436 in the first half of this year but because of gains in the value of derivative financial instruments, it ended the six-month period with a net profit of $1.3 million, or 2 cents a share.

ARC Group still growing

ARC Group Inc., franchisor of the Dick’s Wings restaurant chain, reported second-quarter earnings of $149,532, or 2 cents a share, with revenue rising 22 percent to $299,201.

The company said revenue grew from royalties from three new franchised restaurants.

Dick’s Wings has 17 restaurants in Florida and six in Georgia, with plans to open another location in Atlantic Beach next month.

Most of its restaurants are in Northeast Florida but ARC Group said it is seeking additional franchisees in the Orlando, Tampa, Gainesville and Mobile/Pensacola markets.

ARC Group also owns a 50 percent interest in a chain called Wing Nutz, which has 13 restaurants in the Western U.S.

McCague joins Ameris board

Ameris Bancorp last week added longtime banker Beth McCague to its board of directors.

McCague had recently served as interim director of the Jacksonville Police and Fire Pension Fund.

She is president of McCague & Company, a mediation services provider for resolution of financial disputes.

Ameris is officially headquartered in Moultrie, Ga., but its executive offices are in Jacksonville.

Duos Technologies reports flat revenue

Duos Technologies Group Inc. reported a second-quarter net loss of $663,103, or 1 cent per share, according to its quarterly report filed with the SEC.

Revenue of $1.6 million was about even with the second quarter of 2015.

The Jacksonville-based company, which provides intelligent analytical technology solutions, has recently made several announcements about contracts that will increase revenue.

However, its second-quarter report said revenue was impacted by the delay of two projects that were expected to begin during the quarter.

MAA merging with Post Properties

Mid-America Apartment Communities Inc. and Post Properties Inc. last week announced an agreement to merge and create the country’s largest apartment real estate investment trust, based on number of units.

Atlanta-based Post doesn’t operate in Jacksonville but Memphis-based MAA has 10 apartment communities in the Jacksonville market, including the 220 Riverside complex completed last year.

According to its annual report, MAA’s largest community in Northeast Florida is the 501-unit Lighthouse at Fleming Island.

The company had 3,496 apartments in the Jacksonville market that were 97.3 percent occupied at midyear, according to MAA’s second-quarter report.

The merged company, which will retain the MAA name, is focused on the Southeast but Jacksonville is not one of its primary markets.

Jacksonville will be the company’s largest “secondary market,” producing 3.1 percent of net operating income, according to a presentation on the merger.

MAA will own 317 properties with about 105,000 apartment units after the merger.

Post shareholders will receive MAA stock with a total value of more than $3.8 billion. The companies hope to complete the deal in the fourth quarter.

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