Duos Technologies poised to benefit from rail safety push

The Jacksonville-based company’s technology analyzes trains in motion.

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  • | 12:05 a.m. April 6, 2023
A Duos Technologies Inc. Railcar Inspection Portal used to automate mechanical inspections.
A Duos Technologies Inc. Railcar Inspection Portal used to automate mechanical inspections.
Duos Technologies
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Duos Technologies Group Inc. is projecting a modest increase in revenue for 2023.

However, the Jacksonville-based company stands to benefit from increased national attention on railroad safety.

Duos provides technology that allows companies to monitor fast-moving vehicles, with a focus on the railroad industry.

In its year-end conference call March 30, CEO Chuck Ferry said the February derailment of a Norfolk Southern Corp. train in Ohio has generated inquiries about Duos’ rail-car inspection technology.

“Very much of the first quarter and to a greater extent, since the derailment, Duos has been engaged in discussions regarding how our technology might be deployed on a greater scale in the United States to identify and reduce mechanical failures and derailments,” Ferry said, according to a company transcript of the call.

“More specifically, we have been requested to provide information on our railcar inspection portal capabilities to congressional leaders, regulators and unions, as well as current and potential customers as to the benefits of using technologies such as our railcar inspection portal, combined with artificial intelligence and human in-the-loop feedback processes that can augment currently mandated inspections,” he said.

Ferry said Duos has been in discussions with about a dozen congressional leaders from both parties on the issue. He also said three of the six largest North American railroads are customers of Duos and are working on increasing rail safety.

“We will continue to work with key stakeholders to support their efforts and remain as involved in these developments as possible, moving forward,” he said.

Duos reported 2022 revenue rose 82% to $15.01 million, and it is projecting revenue to reach $20 million to $21 million this year.

The company had a net loss of $6.9 million, or $1.11 a share, in 2022.

Despite the loss, Ferry said a turnaround plan implemented when he joined Duos in September 2020 is complete.

“At that time and in concert with our senior management and Board of Directors, we put a three-year plan in place to resolve numerous long-standing issues that Duos was facing, including sub-par operational execution, customer satisfaction with our support services, and non-standard practices regarding our software development AI programs,” he said.

“We entered 2023 in a good position to continue to scale and become profitable.”

Redwire revenue increases 16.7%

Jacksonville-based space technology company Redwire Corp. is growing revenue, although it is still lagging the projections it made before going public in 2021.

Redwire reported March 29 that 2022 revenue rose 16.7% to $160.5 million.

That included $11.7 million in revenue from Belgium-based QinetiQ Space NV, which Redwire acquired in October.

Helped by a full year of revenue from Space NV, Redwire is projecting 2023 revenue to reach $220 million to $250 million.

When Redwire announced an agreement two years ago to become publicly traded by merging with a blank check company, it projected 2022 revenue of $237 million and 2023 revenue of $424 million.

It projected revenue of $1.4 billion by 2025.

Redwire reported a net loss of $130.6 million for 2022, which included a $96.6 million noncash impairment expense.

Redwire CEO Peter Cannito expressed optimism in the company’s conference call that the company will benefit in the next few years from growth in the space industry.

“We are at the early stages of a multidecade new global space race with space agencies in the U.S., Europe and around the world increasingly focusing on space as a competitive domain,” he said.

“Additionally, the broader commercial market is demanding space in the present, not just some future promise, and we believe that Redwire is ideally positioned to capitalize on both of these dynamics.”

Fidelity paying $3.5M to settle N.Y. ‘no poach’ case

New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced March 29 that Jacksonville-based Fidelity National Financial Inc. agreed to pay $3.5 million to settle the state’s investigation of “no-poach” employment agreements.

An Office of Attorney General investigation found Fidelity entered into agreements with other title insurance companies to not solicit each other’s employees, the office said.

Those agreements “effectively reduced career opportunities and wages for workers,” the office said in a news release.

James had previously reached agreements on the issue in 2021 and 2022 with title insurers Old Republic National Title, AmTrust, First Nationwide and Stewart Title Guaranty Corp., it said.

“New Yorkers deserve fair pay for their hard work and experience in their fields, and their career growth should never be threatened by a company’s desire to save money on wages,” James said in the release.

Cadrenal cites progress in a drug development

As the company filed its first financial report since its January initial public offering, Ponte Vedra Beach-based Cadrenal Therapeutics Inc. said it is making progress on bringing its drug treatment to the market.

“Over the past year, we have taken significant steps to advance the development of tecarfarin, a novel therapy designed for the prevention of blood clots of cardiac origin in patients with end-stage renal disease and atrial fibrillation,” CEO Quang Pham said in a March 30 news release.

Pham said the company received Fast Track designation for tecarfarin from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is planning a Phase 3 clinical trial of the treatment.

“We look forward to working closely with the FDA to evaluate this therapy as a potential new treatment option for the severely underserved patient population that has end-stage renal disease and atrial fibrillation,” he said.

Cadrenal was formed in January 2022 and acquired the rights to develop tecarfarin in April 2022.

It went public in January with an offering of 1.4 million shares of stock at $5 each.

With no product on the market, Cadrenal reported a net loss of $6.7 million for 2022.

ParkerVision predicts 2023 profit

ParkerVision Inc., another company with no products on the market, continued a three-decade trend with a net loss of $9.8 million last year.

However, CEO Jeff Parker predicted a profit for 2023.

He didn’t give more details but the company did recently receive a big settlement from a patent infringement lawsuit.

Jacksonville-based ParkerVision, which has been developing wireless technology, reported 2022 revenue of $925,000 from patent licensing and settlement agreements.

The company has been focused on several patent infringement lawsuits against major telecommunications companies, alleging they are illegally using ParkerVision’s wireless technology.

In February, ParkerVision announced a confidential settlement agreement with an unnamed party and the company said in its annual report it received a payment of $25 million in March from that agreement.

Although it hasn’t officially named the other party, the annual report said ParkerVision dismissed two patent enforcement actions against Intel Corp. in February.

“The incoming revenues from our overall patent enforcement program, after payment of contingent legal fees and expenses, will be used to reduce a significant portion of the Company’s contingent debt,” Parker said in a March 28 news release.

“We expect 2023 to be a profitable year for ParkerVision,” he said.

Cenntro Electric Group Ltd. CEO Peter Wang.

Cenntro begins producing vehicles in Jacksonville

Cenntro Electric Group Ltd. has finally begun producing electric vehicles at its Jacksonville plant.

The New Jersey-based company said March 30 it started production of its LS400, Teemak and Metro electric commercial trucks.

Cenntro announced plans for the Jacksonville plant in December 2021 and promised to create 34 jobs by the end of 2023.

The company’s annual report a year ago said the 100,000-square-foot facility at Lane Industrial Park on Jacksonville’s Westside would open by the end of the 2022 second quarter but the company kept extending the deadlines.

“After more than 15 months of facility renovation, assembly line preparation, and local regulatory compliances, the Jacksonville facility has begun assembly,” CEO Peter Wang said in a news release.

Wang said supply shortages contributed to delays in getting the plant open.

“It is not an easy task to set up this local assembly capability,” he said.

Cenntro said the market for vehicles assembled in Jacksonville will mainly be the Southeastern U.S. and Central America.

“The vehicles assembled in Jacksonville will meet the strong market demand for our electric commercial vehicles in the region,” Wang said.

“With the capability to accommodate the LS400, Teemak and Metro electric commercial trucks, we are well positioned to capture U.S. market share in the years ahead.”

Safe & Green revenue falls

Safe & Green Holdings Corp., which recently moved its headquarters from Jacksonville to Miami, reported a drop in 2022 revenue.

The company, which converts cargo shipping containers into buildings, had a big increase in business during the coronavirus pandemic by constructing medical facilities. But its business is now returning to normal.

“In response to the Covid pandemic, we successfully pivoted our business model to supply modular labs. This was the right decision at the time, contributing significant revenue and validating our business model,” CEO Paul Galvin said in a March 29 news release.

“With the pandemic now waning, we have returned to our roots and have successfully evolved into a vertically integrated developer and manufacturer of modular structures,” he said.

Safe & Green said fourth-quarter revenue dropped 52% to $4.1 million and revenue for all of 2022 fell 36% to $24.4 million, because of the decrease in medical testing building activity.

The company had a net loss of $7.9 million, or 59 cents a share, in 2022.

The company, then known as SG Blocks, moved its headquarters office from Brooklyn, New York, to Jacksonville in January 2022.

However, Safe & Green announced Jan. 31 it was moving the headquarters again, to Miami.

The company is also spinning off its real estate development subsidiary into a separate public company called Safe and Green Development Corp.