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International Stem Cell Corp. (ISCO): A Double Threat with Cutting-Edge, Ethically Derived Stem Cell Therapies & Commercial-Scale Biobanking

On the cusp of milestone TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) authorization in Australia to start clinical trials in its breakthrough Parkinson’s disease (PD) treatment using human parthenogenetic neural stem cells (hpNSCs), International Stem Cell Corp. (OTCQB: ISCO) was proud to show markets recently that the company has achieved a point of maturity where it is also driving home steadily increasing revenues. The release of the company’s Q2 2015 data also showed record net income for the quarter, with outlays decreasing due to having successfully wrapped on a number of important preclinical studies, even as revenues increased 14 percent year over year, and profit margins held steady at around 72 percent.

The company’s increasingly lucrative biomedical business and consistently profitable regenerative skin care offerings, administrated respectively via ISCO’s wholly-owned Lifeline Cell Technology and Lifeline Skin Care subsidiaries, continue to materially backstop the ongoing development of an exciting therapeutic pipeline based on proprietary human parthenogenetic stem cell (hpSC) technology which is efficient, perfect for commercial scale volumes, and also completely ethical. ISCO’s parthenogenesis technology employs a unique chemical stimulation technique for triggering unfertilized donor human eggs to create pluripotent cells that can then be differentiated through proprietary activation into numerous types of cells. From the aforementioned hpNSCs, which are increasingly seen via the company’s trial work as a paradigm shift approach when it comes to treating neurological system conditions like PD and even ischemic stroke. To liver and eye cells that can be used to effectively treat degenerative diseases affecting those tissue systems, such as metabolic liver disease and macular degeneration.

Just looking at the company’s application of hpNSCs in PD, we see a fundamentally new approach to therapy using transplanted stem cells, which could actually solve the underlying problems that give rise to such conditions, rather than just attempting to ameliorate the condition as with many other therapies, including the current standards of care. In PD, where injected hpNSCs actively differentiate into both dopaminergic neurons, as well as express brain-protecting neurotrophic factors, and thus directly address the two primary causes of debilitation, this approach shows its monumental superiority to other approaches by simultaneously replacing dead neurons and protecting any survivors. This kind of therapeutic solution constitutes an end-run on PD, and potentially many other diseases/disorders via a completely ethical, high-volume stem cell production technology, and it could make ISCO into one of the now $27 billion plus global stem cell market’s heaviest hitters.

Recent projections by Transparency Market Research indicate that the global stem cell market is just getting warmed up too. With around 24 percent CAGR seen occurring through 2018 and valuations the following year of as much as $119 billion or more, this highly fragmented market is primed for explosive growth. Something which is especially true for real innovators like ISCO, given that pluripotent stem cells are also seen as rapidly eclipsing the core adult stem cell type that currently has around 80 percent of the market share.

Perhaps even more importantly, the company’s UniStemCell bank, which is effectively the life science industry’s first commercial-scale aggregation of histocompatible, non-embryonic human stem cells, is ideally positioned to benefit from the continued upswing in the sector. Providing a growing logistical footprint of high-quality material for research purposes, as well as commercial applications. Moreover, ISCO has established a solid presence already here in the U.S., which is the epicenter of global activity for the stem cell industry due to federal government support for the sector. As the biobanking market expands further into Europe and other global markets, the company will benefit from first-mover advantages.

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ENGlobal Corp. (ENG) Expands Management Team

ENGlobal, a leading provider of automation and engineering services, announced this morning that it has added two key professionals to its management team in newly created positions. The decision to expand its leadership team was made to support the company’s strategic commitment to further strengthen its midstream project execution and automation engineering businesses.

John Offutt will be serving as General Manager — Midstream Projects, with responsibility of the company’s Tulsa and Houston midstream operations.  Offutt brings his knowledge and experience in managing all phases of large transportation-related projects, with the majority of his 30-year career having been with a major midstream operating company.

In his most recent assignment, Offutt managed a $700 million capital budget including 280 miles of pipeline and associated facilities. Offutt has directed teams of project managers, engineers, construction managers and support functions, being responsible for the successful execution of a lengthy list of both large and small diameter pipeline projects.

Robert Sammons will be serving as general manager — Automation Engineering. In his role, Sammons will be expanding ENGlobal’s automation capabilities, in addition to supervising several of the company’s existing projects and technologies.

Sammons has gained extensive automation experience during his 25 year career, with senior level responsibilities focused on both business development and operations. Most recently he has been active in his own business providing Process Hazard Analysis and Burner Management Safety systems to midstream processing, refining and petrochemical clients.

“ENGlobal is privileged to include both John and Robert as senior professionals and members of the ENGlobal Team,” William A. Coskey, P.E., ENGlobal’s chairman and chief executive officer, stated in the news release.  “Our intent in the current market is to remain dynamic and proactive as a company, building upon our many project execution skills and thereby demonstrating our continuous commitment to better serve our valued clients.”

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ENGlobal Corporation (ENG) Leaning on Experience of Leadership Team to Promote Profitability Despite Slumping Energy Prices

In recent weeks, ENGlobal Corporation (NASDAQ: ENG) has provided prospective shareholders with a glimpse into its considerable growth potential. Despite slumping energy prices, the company demonstrated its versatility in the second quarter of 2015 by recording its sixth straight quarter of profitability. This accomplishment is validation of ENGlobal’s recent efforts to streamline its operations while continuing to promote market growth. In particular, the company has maintained strict levels of control over overhead costs in its two operating segments – engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) and automation – while continuing to closely monitor the spending of its clients.

“ENGlobal’s profit margins remain respectable given the current environment, and our available capital has improved over the last year,” Mark Hess, chief financial officer of ENGlobal, stated in a news release earlier this month. “The Company continues to maintain a healthy cash balance and working capital of $25.4 million, and we have no borrowings under our current credit facility.”

In the company’s quarterly report, it highlighted the high level of proposal activity it’s seen in recent months, which could provide an indication as to its market potential moving forward. By minimizing costs, ENGlobal has ensured that its services have remained very competitive while it continues to focus on marketing centered on its differentiated products and services. Additionally, the company has been vocal about the possibility of capitalizing on current energy market conditions by purchasing proprietary or differentiated technologies or processes in order to increase the marketability of its unique portfolio in the future.

“ENGlobal’s response to the current energy marketplace has been to increase our efforts in developing new business,” William Coskey, P.E., chairman and chief executive officer of ENGlobal, stated. “While we are excited about several new opportunities and client relationships that this internal process has produced, it also appears to be a great time to consider strategic acquisitions.”

With a strong balance sheet in place, ENGlobal will lean on the immense industry experience of its management team as it looks to adapt to current market conditions. In total, the company’s leadership team brings well over a century of combined experience to the table. William Coskey, the company’s president and CEO, has served in his current position since 2012, and he has been with ENGlobal in some capacity since its founding in 1985. This management stability should provide the company with an advantage as it looks to navigate the current energy market.

The company’s ability to remain profitable despite slumping oil and gas prices is a positive indication of its potential in the months to come. Look for ENGlobal to continue limiting unnecessary costs while leveraging the flexibility provided by its strong cash balance in order to explore strategic acquisition opportunities in the months to come.

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Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. (CWCO) Expanding Presence in Water Reclamation Industry

Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: CWCO) develops and operates seawater reverse osmosis desalination plants and water distribution systems in areas of the world where naturally occurring supplies of potable water are scarce or nonexistent – including the Cayman Islands, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas and Bali, Indonesia. Since first introducing its water production and distribution business model in 1990, the company has primarily utilized an acquisition-based growth strategy to vastly expand its market share. As a result, CWCO currently supplies water to a variety of customers ranging from residences and hotels to government-owned utility providers through the operation of 14 desalination plants of various capacities.

In recent months, CWCO has made considerable progress toward promoting sustainable financial growth. In the second quarter of 2015, the company recorded total revenues of approximately $14.5 million on its way to realizing a gross profit of just under $6 million. CWCO also successfully extended its 1.6 million gallon per day (MGD) operating contract with the Water Authority – Cayman for two additional years, effectively lengthening its exclusive water utility franchise, and secured a rehabilitation and upgrade project for the 14 year-old plant on Grand Cayman Island. This progress, combined with the company’s strong balance sheet, should provide an opportunity for CWCO to continue building on its recent performance moving forward.

Among other expansion opportunities, CWCO is currently awaiting a decision on its recent proposal to build and operate a 100 MGD seawater desalination facility in Rosarito, Mexico. The company met with the official committee established by the State of Baja, California, during the second quarter of this year to further evaluate its submitted proposal and answer related questions. While awaiting the committee’s decision, CWCO has worked toward refining its technical and financial models and obtaining required municipal and state-level permits for the project.

For prospective shareholders, CWCO’s recent financial performance makes it an intriguing investment opportunity moving forward. Look for the company to continue promoting financial growth through its current portfolio of desalination plants and water distribution systems while making progress toward capitalizing on viable expansion opportunities.

For more information, visit

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ATRM Holdings, Inc. (ATRM) Records Strong Growth in Single Family Home Sales

ATRM Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATRM), through wholly-owned subsidiaries KBS Builders, Inc. and Maine Modular Haulers, Inc., manufactures, sells and distributes modular housing units for commercial and residential applications. The company’s offerings include single family homes; multi-family housing units, such as apartment buildings, condominiums, townhouses and dormitories; and commercial structures, including hospitals, office buildings and other constructions. ATRM utilizes a combination of direct sales staff and independent dealers and contractors in order to market and sell its products.

Since acquiring KBS Builders in April 2014, ATRM has turned much of its focus toward strengthening its balance sheet and implementing organizational, process and contractual improvements designed to boost commercial project performance. In June, the company took a significant step toward achieving this goal when it announced a settlement agreement that greatly decreased outstanding debt related to the KBS acquisition. In addition to reducing the principal debt from $5.5 million to $2.5 million, ATRM successfully restructured the payments in order to facilitate financial growth in the months to come.

“This settlement agreement is a very favorable outcome for the company,” Dan Koch, president and chief executive officer of ATRM, stated in a news release. “Reducing our debt and restructuring the payments over 25 months will allow us to better utilize cash flow for additional operating improvements, gaining efficiencies and ultimately growing our business.”

In the second quarter of 2015, the company also made considerable progress in single family home sales, recording a 26 percent year-over-year increase for the period. Despite a sharp decline in commercial sales, ATRM also made significant headway toward profitability by decreasing its net loss from the previous year by $4.5 million. This was achieved as a result of substantially decreased costs and expenses for the quarter, as well as the implementation of a strategic shift away from site-related expenses, which have historically resulted in losses for the company.

“The problems with several commercial projects that were under contract at the time of the acquisition have adversely impacted our gross margins, including our margins in Q2 2015, but have essentially been eradicated,” continued Koch. “We expect that our commercial projects will be significantly more profitable in the future due to the changes we have made. We believe we are positioned to achieve sales in the second half of 2015 of at least $16 million with continued improvement in gross margins and operating results.”

For prospective shareholders, ATRM’s progress toward streamlining its operations following the acquisition of KBS Builders is a promising indication of the company’s potential moving forward. Look for ATRM to bolster its current cash position through a planned offering of its common stock in the coming weeks, effectively setting the stage for a strengthened balance sheet and sustainable returns in the growing modular construction market.

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Foundation HealthCare, Inc. (FDNH) Leading the Way in Value-Based Healthcare Market with Unrelenting Focus on Patient Care

Foundation HealthCare, Inc. (OTCQB: FDNH) owns and operates surgical hospitals that provide both general and specialty surgeries – including orthopedics, neurosurgery, pain management, podiatry, gynecology, optometry and gastroenterology – as well as a collection of ancillary hospital-based services that helps set the Foundation HealthCare specialty hospital environment apart from the competition. Additionally, Foundation HealthCare is an industry-leading ambulatory surgery center (ASC) management and development company offering turnkey management and development solutions for its physician partners. Through these operations, the company is focused on creating an outstanding patient experience while maximizing partner and shareholder value.

“Patient care is our number one priority at Foundation HealthCare and a key differentiator in our business model,” Stanton Nelson, chief executive officer of Foundation, stated in a news release. “Our physician partners and our clinical teams continue to perform at a high level which is why we believe our patient satisfaction scores are some of the highest in the country.”

In the second quarter of 2015, the company successfully translated its high patient satisfaction scores into strong financial results. Foundation achieved a 44 percent year-over-year increase in net revenues for the period, recording $31.9 million, while its adjusted EBITDA rose by a massive 246 percent to $3.6 million. The company also took significant steps toward ensuring future growth through the sale of its minority interest in an underperforming hospital in Sherman, Texas, for a gain of $6.3 million and the negotiation of a $20 million line of credit to aid in the pursuit of viable acquisition targets.

“The core of Foundation’s growth strategy is to expand services at our majority-owned hospitals and acquire more of these hospitals,” continued Nelson. “Our $20 million acquisition line of credit… combined with our continued growth positions us well to aggressively pursue opportunities in new geographic markets.”

The company’s current portfolio of facilities and affiliates includes two majority-owned surgical hospitals located in San Antonio and El Paso, Texas, as well as minority interests in one hospital in Edmond, Oklahoma, and eight ASCs located across five states. Foundation also maintains an interest in one hospital outpatient department through its investment in the Edmond hospital, and the company has a management contract with one ASC in Louisiana in which it has no ownership interest.

As the healthcare industry continues to shift toward value-based care options, this diverse portfolio of properties should provide Foundation with a platform to realize sustained financial growth moving forward. Look for the company to leverage the added flexibility afforded by its recently negotiated line of credit in order to capitalize on this market shift while promoting strong returns for the foreseeable future.

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Harte Hanks, Inc. (HHS) Going beyond Brand Engagement with Innovative Approach to Marketing

Harte Hanks, Inc. (NYSE: HHS) offers a full spectrum of multichannel marketing services designed to turn browsers into buyers and customers into dedicated brand advocates. The company’s innovative marketing approach utilizes a three-step process that helps clients go beyond brand engagement to create campaigns that develop memorable experiences in the hearts and minds of customers. Through a unique combination of data management and creative development, Harte Hanks has delivered impactful results for some of the world’s best-known brands – including Sony (NYSE: SNE), Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS), Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE), Panasonic (OTC:PCRFY) and U.S. Airways of American Airlines Group (NASDAQ:AAL).

In the second quarter of 2015, the company leveraged the marketability of its platform to record promising financial results. Despite realizing a mild drop in year-over-year customer interaction revenue as a result of the recent sale of its business-to-business (B2B) research affiliates, Harte Hanks achieved strong growth in both its financial and healthcare verticals following the addition of new clients. Moving forward, the company will look to build upon its solid foundation in the marketing industry through the development of market leading products and tools that better connect clients with their customers and the continued integration of its recent acquisition, 3Q Digital.

“Our goal remains to deliver consistent revenue growth,” Doug Shepard, chief executive officer of Harte Hanks, stated in a news release. “During the first half of the year, we enhanced our capabilities by completing our first acquisition in five years and better focused our product offerings by selling our B2B research businesses, which were no longer relevant to our strategy.”

In an effort to remain on the forefront of the evolving data marketplace, Harte Hanks recently announced the evolution of its big data strategy, adopting Apache Hadoop with the MapR platform. This move is expected to enhance the performance, scalability and flexibility of the company’s current solutions, enabling clients to more easily and quickly migrate, analyze and store massive quantities of data. By providing the means for deeper analysis and flexibility of stored data and increasing database capacity and performance, Harte Hanks expects its collaboration with MapR to play a vital role in the company’s efforts to create smarter customer interactions through more personalized and relevant content delivery.

As Harte Hanks continues to make progress toward streamlining its multichannel marketing strategy, it is in a favorable position to improve its profitability in the future. For prospective shareholders, the flexibility offered by the company’s strong cash position following the sale of its B2B research affiliates earlier in the year could provide an opportunity for Harte Hanks to promote sustainable returns in the months to come.

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Condor Hospitality Trust, Inc. (CDOR) Utilizing Accelerated Strategy to Reinvest in Newer, Premium-Branded Hotels

Condor Hospitality Trust, Inc. (NASDAQ: CDOR), formerly Supertel Hospitality, Inc., is a real estate investment trust (REIT) specializing in the select-service segment of the lodging industry. The company currently owns 46 hotels across the country operated by some of the hotel industry’s most well-regarded brand families – including Hilton (NYSE:HLT), Choice Hotels International (NYSE:CHH) and Wyndham (NYSE:WYN). In recent months, Condor has utilized an accelerated strategy aimed at transitioning its asset portfolio away from economy properties in the direction of newer, premium-branded upper midscale and upscale extended-stay hotels located primarily in the nation’s top metropolitan areas.

“Condor has an active acquisition pipeline, and we anticipate continuing the accelerated pace of capital recycling which we project will further strengthen our balance sheet through debt reduction and increasing liquidity, thereby enhancing the strategy underway to significantly grow the company through acquiring a much higher quality portfolio with the objective of increasing shareholder value,” Bill Blackham, chief executive officer of Condor, stated in a news release.

In July, Condor gave prospective shareholders a preview of this updated strategy when it announced the sale of two hotels in Alexandria, Virginia. Through this $19 million transaction, the company was able to retire $8.3 million in debt while applying the net proceeds to future acquisition efforts. As of its latest update, Condor was marketing 15 hotels for sale, which were expected to generate approximately $12.4 million in net proceeds after associated debt repayments.

The company has also made considerable progress toward bolstering its portfolio in recent weeks. Last month, Condor announced the signing of an agreement to acquire three properties in San Antonio, Atlanta and Jacksonville that fall squarely into its updated business strategy. These hotels, which are currently branded under the Marriott (NYSE:MAR) and InterContinental Hotels (NYSE:IHG) brand families, provide a “window into the company’s portfolio of the future,” according to Blackham.

Despite its aggressive transition efforts, Condor has continued to post strong financial results in recent months. In the second quarter of 2015, the company recorded $16.4 million in revenue from continuing operations, realizing a mild year-over-year increase. These results were driven by Condor’s increased revenue per available room, which rose by 4.3 percent from the previous year. This consistent performance should aid in the company’s continued efforts to transform its current property portfolio in the months to come.

For prospective shareholders, the company’s recent progress toward transitioning its property portfolio makes it an intriguing investment opportunity moving forward. Look for Condor to make significant strides toward achieving increased shareholder value as it works to strategically position itself in some of the country’s most lucrative hospitality markets.

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Net Element, Inc. (NETE) Enters Kazakhstan Market through Strategic Partnership Agreements

Net Element (NASDAQ:NETE), a provider of global mobile payment technology solutions and value-added transactional services, has completed partnership agreements with Kcell JSC, and Beeline, a wholly owned subsidiary of VimpelCom, Ltd (NASDAQ:VIP).

Per the agreements, Kcell and Beeline will use Net Element’s mobile payment platform, TOT Money, to facilitate mobile payments for its subscribers; the deals also position Net Element with strong anchors in a rapidly growing marketplace.

Both Kcell and Beeline have leading positions in Kazakhstan, the world’s ninth biggest country. As the largest mobile operator in the region, Kcell has 10.76 million customers, while Beeline, ranked second, has 9.8 million customers.

Launching TOT Money in Kazakhstan expands on the recent launch of PayOnline’s online and mobile in-app payment services in partnership with Kazkommertsbank (“KAZKOM”), the largest private bank in Kazakhstan and one of the largest banks in Central Asia.

“By signing Kcell and Beeline in Kazakhstan, Net Element has solidified partnerships to provide mobile payment services for the largest mobile operators in the region. This is an important part of Net Element’s strategy to capitalize on Kazakhstan’s booming mobile marketplace and to position TOT Money as a leading mobile payments provider,” Oleg Firer, CEO of Net Element, stated in the news release.

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Moxian, Inc. (MOXC) Promoting Industry Growth with Innovative Online to Merchant Marketing Platform

Moxian, Inc. (OTCQB: MOXC) is a provider of social marketing and promotion platforms to merchants who desire to promote their businesses through online social media. By facilitating the study of consumer behavior through an extensive database of user activities, the company allows its clients to run advertising campaigns and promotions aimed at their specific target customers in potentially lucrative markets around the globe. Moving forward, Moxian aims to become a world leader in the sphere of online to merchant (O2M) marketing by effectively driving mobile users to online and offline retail merchants and rapidly accelerating its clients’ business growth.

Developed in Shenzhen, China, the Moxian platform integrates social and media features, combining entertainment and business into a valuable marketing tool. With innovative tools such as the company’s proprietary Social Customer Relationship Management system – which tracks important data on visitors – Moxian allows consumers and businesses to connect and interact with one another online while promoting improved interaction across a full range of sales channels. The company originally launched its marketing platform in Malaysia and China in June 2013 and July 2014, respectively.

In recent weeks, Moxian has turned its attention toward promoting sustainable market growth. In July, the company announced a three-year sponsorship of the prestigious China New Media Integrated Development Conference, which is organized by Xinhua News Agency, the official news agency of the People’s Republic of China. This sponsorship is expected to showcase Moxian as one of the world’s industry leaders in digital media. Additionally, the company announced its entry into a subscription agreement with Beijing Xinhua Huifeng Equity Investment Center last month that is expected to raise just under $8.2 million in capital to fund continued expansion efforts.

“The investment by Beijing Xinhua Huifeng Equity will allow us to continue to invest in Moxian’s growth, and, we believe, is a vote of confidence in the path we have set for the company,” Tan Meng Dong James, interim chief executive officer of Moxian, stated in a news release.

In the second quarter of 2015, Moxian leveraged the marketability of its innovative platform to record strong financial growth. The company’s gross revenues for the period rose 15 percent from the previous year, and this growth is expected to continue moving forward as Moxian benefits from the added flexibility provided by its recent capital infusion. For prospective shareholders, the company’s rapidly increasing brand visibility in the expansive Chinese advertising market could provide a platform for sustainable returns. Look for Moxian to lean on its innovative marketing technology in order to secure its position atop the O2M marketing industry in the years to come.

For more information, visit

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