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Basch Report
Jax Daily Record Thursday, Aug. 19, 202105:00 AM EST

September date set for Redwire merger

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The Jacksonville-based space technology company is going public in the deal with Genesis Park Acquisition Corp.
by: Mark Basch Contributing Writer

Genesis Park Acquisition Corp. set Sept. 1 as the date for its shareholders meeting to vote on its merger with Jacksonville-based space technology firm Redwire.

Houston-based Genesis Park is a special purpose acquisition company that agreed in March to merge with Redwire.

The merger, which should be completed soon after the shareholders meeting, will make Redwire Corp. a public company.

After reporting first-quarter revenue of $36 million, Genesis Park said in a news release last week it is confident Redwire will meet its projection of $163 million in revenue for all of 2021.

It said Redwire has $280 million in order backlog and $220 million in bids submitted that are awaiting a decision.

Duos Technologies impacted by COVID-19 delays

While moving forward with plans for a new Jacksonville headquarters, Duos Technologies Group Inc.’s business has been impacted by COVID-19 pandemic-related delays.

Duos, which produces technology largely for railroads, has seen business slow not only because of contract delays with customers but also the global computer chip shortage, which affects its systems.

“We are experiencing delays in receiving necessary components for our rail car inspection portals, including advanced cameras and high-speed servers, which are critical to our inspection portals,” CEO Chuck Ferry said in Duos’ quarterly conference call last week, according to a company transcript.

“In response, we are taking certain steps to mitigate some of these issues such as obtaining long lead times in advance of formal notice to proceed in order to reduce the overall deployment time for technology systems,” he said.

Duos said second-quarter revenue fell 67% to $649,000 and the company doesn’t expect to reach its revenue target of $18 million for the year. It now expects $8 million to $9 million in revenue this year.

The company is optimistic about 2022.

“To be clear, these challenges have impacted our financial results during the period, but are not expected to affect our long-term growth plans,” Ferry said.

GEE Group revenue surges 43.1%

Jacksonville-based staffing company GEE Group Inc. reported a big increase in revenue last week for its third quarter ended June 30, compared with last year when the pandemic shut down operations of many of its clients.

The company also said revenue rose from the second quarter this year.

Revenue of $38.1 million was 43.1% higher than the previous year and 9.6% higher than the second quarter.

GEE Group said adjusted earnings in the quarter were $1.6 million, or 2 cents a share.

“There is no question that demand is returning to all our businesses since the lows of last year and we have now seen steady quarterly revenue growth and overall improving bottom line results since last year’s June quarter,” CEO Derek Dewan said in a news release.

Dewan said GEE Group is looking for growth.

“With a strong balance sheet, positive earnings momentum and enhanced cash flow, we also are preparing for future acquisitions and will remain true to our disciplined M&A strategy,” he said.

Cannabinoid firm LFTD Partners sees sales jump

Cannabinoid products company LFTD Partners Inc. reported a big increase in second-quarter sales as it grows it business.

Revenue jumped from $1.3 million a year ago to $6.7 million, and revenue doubled from the first quarter this year.

LFTD reported earnings of 14 cents a share, 6 cents higher than the first quarter and reversing a loss from a year ago.

LFTD moved its headquarters in January from Lake Forest, Illinois, to a home office space in Jacksonville provided by CEO Gerard Jacobs.

It also changed its name during the second quarter from Acquired Sales Corp. to LFTD to reflect the name of its main subsidiary, Lifted Made.

Lifted Made produces hemp-derived products from its facility in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

“Having moved into our new facility in Kenosha in March, we have automated production and increased capacity to meet growing demand while expanding vendor relations to reduce costs, a great challenge in this business climate,” LFTD Vice Chairman Nicholas Warrender said in a news release.

LFTD announced a $44 million deal in June to buy Irvine, California-based Savage Enterprises.

While the deal is not completed, LFTD said Savage is growing rapidly with sales rising from $5.3 million in the first quarter to more than $10 million in the second. It added $5 million in sales in July, the company said.

COVID not hurting Tegna advertising

The recent spike in COVID-19 cases in states such as Florida is not affecting advertising demand at Tegna Inc.’s television stations, its CEO said last week.

“It’s a booming advertising economy for Tegna right now,” CEO David Lougee said in response to an analyst’s question during the company’s quarterly conference call.

“The irony is where the variant is having the most hospitalizations are the same places that the local governments have kept things the most open,” Lougee said.

“Let’s pick a state, Texas, Florida, Georgia,” he said. 

“Those economies are doing very well despite the trends of the variant in those states.”

Tegna owns WTLV TV-12 and WJXX TV-25 in Jacksonville. It has one other Florida station in the Tampa-St. Petersburg market.

The company owns 64 stations in 51 U.S. markets.

Tegna reported second-quarter revenue rose 27% to $733 million and adjusted earnings rose to 50 cents a share, from 12 cents a year ago.

VTrips gets equity investment

Ponte Vedra-based VTrips, a vacation rental manager, said Aug. 16 it received a significant minority investment from private equity firm Hudson Hill Capital.

VTrips did not announce the size of the investment but said it now has more than $250 million available to pursue acquisitions.

VTrips, founded in 2002, said it manages about 3,000 vacation rental properties mainly in the Southeast.

“This significant investment represents another key milestone for our company as the vacation rental resort market in North America continues to boom, especially in drive-to markets, and there is far more demand than supply,” CEO Steve Milo said in a news release.

ParkerVision reports loss

ParkerVision Inc. reported a second-quarter net loss of $4.4 million, or 6 cents a share, as the Jacksonville-based company continues with several patent infringement lawsuits against major electronics manufacturers.

ParkerVision said it reached a settlement agreement with a Japanese company called Buffalo Inc., but it has not yet recognized any revenue from that settlement.

The company has no current business operations and no revenue. It is focused on pursuing legal action alleging companies are illegally using its patented wireless technology.

Kaman building new aircraft in Jacksonville

Kaman Corp. said last week it will build a new aircraft at its Jacksonville facility for Transcend Air Corp.

The Vy 400 High Speed Vertical Takeoff and Landing aircraft will be used by regional air travel company Transcend to provide fast travel between cities.

For example, it said the aircraft will be capable of traveling from Manhattan to Boston in 36 minutes.

Kaman did not announce the size or length of the contract.

Newfold acquires SEO company

Newfold Digital said last week it acquired Yoast, a search engine optimization plug-in provider for WordPress.

Jacksonville-based Newfold was created in February by a merger involving Web.com.

The company said the acquisition is part of its strategy to connect its customers with additional web presence tools.

Terms of the deal were not announced.

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