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Extreme Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXTR) Enters Asset Purchase Agreement for Avaya Networking, Subject To Bankruptcy Court Approval

Extreme Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXTR) has entered into an asset purchase agreement for Avaya Networking, Inc. totaling $100 million, subject to adjustments. In January 2017, Avaya and certain of its subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York. Extreme Networks’ offer is subject to court approval. The company defined its offer in an 8K SEC filing on March 7, 2017 (http://dtn.fm/t3joR).

Extreme Networks, Inc. is a networking company based in San Francisco. It designs, builds and installs ethernet computer network products. It is a software-driven company that enables IT departments of clients to build stronger relationships with customers, employees, and partners. The company maintains more than 20,000 customers in some 80 countries. A key asset for Avaya is its award-winning fabric switching technology. Switching fabric typically includes data buffers.

Extreme Networks’ asset purchase agreement comes as a result of potential synergies with Avaya Networking, Inc., as identified by the EXTR management team. Extreme Networks believes it offers complementary products between the two businesses across the company’s vertical markets. For Extreme Networks’ clients, the deal, if court approved, would offer technology for edge switching environments in addition to secure access to Avaya’s data center. For Avaya, selling its networking business is seen by its management as a positive move, enabling it to focus on its unified communications core.

Extreme Networks believes that, if the offer is consummated, it could result in $200 million of added revenues annually. The acquisition is expected to be accretive to its own earnings and cash flow beginning in fiscal 2018. Extreme Networks intends to update its quarterly guidance and revenue if the acquisition is approved.

The tentative agreement remains subject to better offers, as Avaya plans to make a motion to the court to initiate a bidding and public auction process. On execution of the purchase agreement, Extreme Networks placed $10 million in escrow. Pending approval, these funds will be applied to the purchase of Avaya’s assets, but not to any of the firm’s liabilities. If the deal is not approved, Extreme Networks may be entitled to court-approved termination fees.

For more information, visit www.ExtremeNetworks.com

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eXp World Holdings, Inc. (EXPI) Rewards Its Real Revenue Drivers

To make more money from the same amount of work would seem to be only a dream. However, realtors at eXp Realty get paid a higher percentage rate than typical realtor splits and actually earn an equity piece of the company while building their businesses.

eXp World Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB: EXPI) is the publicly-traded holding company of eXp Realty, the agent owned cloud-based residential brokerage. The company’s increased payouts and perks helped eXp Realty nearly triple its agent count last year, with over 1,500 new real estate professionals joining in 2016. The company’s Q3 to Q3 trailing revenues were up 112 percent, coming in at $42.6 million.

The dramatic increase in agents and revenues reflects the environment built by the company’s unique business model. eXp Realty believes that the greatest asset of any real estate brokerage is the team of agents and brokers who create the revenues of the company.

Traditional agent-brokerage splits can range from 40 to 70 percent, depending on location and experience. Because of much lower operating costs, eXp Realty agents get paid 80 percent. Agents also get to own a part of the brokerage. They receive 100 shares with their first transaction and 500 shares once they generate about $80,000 in gross commission income. After exceeding that number and paying the brokerage its share, agents then go to a transaction-fee model for the remainder of the year, where they are paid 100 percent of their commission for each transaction minus $250 for the brokerage. To encourage recruitment, agents are further incentivized with 500 shares for each new agent recruited to the firm.

Real estate brokers and agents are sales driven people, and they’re the ones that drive revenues for the brokerage. Agents, like most everyone else, respond to incentives that benefit them and their families. Because it is cloud-based and more cost effective, eXp Realty can offer a commission structure that more greatly benefits its agents and ultimately drives more revenues for the company. Using shares as bonuses and incentives creates coherence between the agents and the company while at the same time enhancing agent retention. The bottom line is that eXp Realty knows how to incentivize and reward its agents, the real revenue drivers in any brokerage.

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.eXpWorldHoldings.com

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Monaker Group, Inc. (MKGI) Adds Artificial Intelligence to its Arsenal Targeting $817 Billion Digital Travel Market

Monaker Group, Inc. (OTCQB: MKGI) is bringing artificial intelligence (AI) to the travel industry, giving users the opportunity to book through its all-in-one search engine for conventional air, land travel, and rental cars, while also evaluating alternative lodging rentals (ALR). The platform is designed to speed up the researching and booking time for consumers from hours to minutes, the company said. Monaker Group is a travel company that is technology-driven, focused on the ALR sector, and offers both mainstream and alternative travel in one place to travelers.

Targeted for a rollout in the first quarter of 2017, the AI enhanced ‘planner’ feature on the company’s booking site is designed to reduce booking time and research. On its website, NextTrip.com, a subsidiary company of Monaker Group, Inc., the user can view suggested travel itineraries, read articles on destinations, view a library of videos, and book trips — all on a single site. The company utilizes a profile of the user to offer travel.

In its February 2017 presentation (http://dtn.fm/7cO0F) for investors, available on its website, the company details the growth of digital travel and the role of AI in delivering diverse travel, from its branded Maupintour customized tours to conventional hotels, to the consumer. eMarketer (http://dtn.fm/Ke7ul) research finds that digital travel reached $564.87 billion in 2016, and it is projected to reach $817.54 billion by 2020.

Monaker’s proprietary booking engine is also designed for access by online travel agents (OTA), so they can simply “plug and play” when delivering the ALR market for their clients. Monaker’s worldwide inventory includes more than 500,000 resort residences, one million accept/request properties, and even those offering a ‘make an offer’ bidding solution option. The inventory offered ranges from luxury timeshares and conventional hotels to tours and concierge services. Its inventory totals 1.2 million vacation rentals, with an additional 1.8 million more in process, the company said in its presentation.

The result is a comprehensive site, offering travelers real-time AI to help plan a business or leisure trip or a combination of the two, all on one site. Consumers can either book directly with Monaker via NextTrip.com, or use an online travel agent who earns commissions by booking with Monaker. The traveler gets suggested ideas, watches videos, and then plans a vacation using major branded air, land, and tour partners. Monaker Group can do the same for business trips, as well as for a combination of business and leisure.

The debut of AI cuts the time for researching and booking travel, using a profile of the traveler to aid in the research process. The result is quick booked travel after the user has viewed videos and made decisions.

For more information, visit www.MonakerGroup.com

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eXp World Holdings, Inc. (EXPI) Capitalizing on the Benefits of Cloud-Based Learning Management Systems

Cloud-based Learning Management Systems (LMS) are “predicted to revolutionize both the way we learn as students and the way we learn on the job” according to Capterra (http://dtn.fm/Gz7Yi). The article continues to explain that more and more organizations are likely to adopt cloud-based LMS in the coming years.

Cloud-based Learning Management Systems are web-hosted platforms used by organizations to deliver, manage, and track online training programs for their employees. One of the industries highlighted as a user of LMS software is the real estate industry, and eXp World Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB: EXPI), holding company for a cloud-based, agent-owned real estate brokerage, is one company in the sector that’s taking advantage of the many benefits offers by cloud-based LMS.

In fact, the company’s eXp Realty subsidiary is a full-service real estate brokerage that offers 24/7 access to collaborative tools and socialization features to its agents and brokers through its 3-D, cloud office environment. In addition to collaborative tools and socialization, EXPI offers its agents a full network of online training resources.

As well as introducing lower setup costs, this method of training is easy to maintain and, according to eLearning Industry (http://dtn.fm/bUL0M), increases productivity and job satisfaction. The article explains that virtual training saves time and money, and it is far more appealing to employees, or, in this case, agents and brokers, as they can access courses from anywhere at any time.

The eXp World Holdings training platform is accessible to agents and brokers all day, every day, for free. The system EXPI uses provides flexible training options to agents whereby they can improve and advance their eXp Realty operations. The platform offers a range of courses to choose from with the opportunity to attend meetings and company presentations as well.

This user-friendly way of learning is completely secure, and it allows for more effective training, as users can learn in their chosen environments, from any device. Courses can be uploaded easily and improved upon with time. Aside from the high-quality training, EXPI agents and brokers are able to increase their listings and sales while reducing their overhead and capital requirements.

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.eXpWorldHoldings.com

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PowerBuoy® from Ocean Power Technologies (NASDAQ: OPTT) Provides the Power for Marine Installations

John F. Kennedy got it right when he said that we go to the seaside to gaze at the place we came from. The oceans may no longer be our home, but we still depend indispensably on them. Oceans cover about 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, and their vast masses of phytoplankton provide around half the oxygen we breathe. Ocean Power Technologies (NASDAQ: OPTT) is a company focused on preserving and developing our heritage to the seas. It provides marine-based solutions to the oceanographic, oil and gas, and security and defense industries. Its PowerBuoy® technology uses the motion of the waves to generate power, providing reliable, cost effective, clean power to marine installations.

The PowerBuoy PB3 is a power and communications platform for remote offshore applications. It combines a number of patented technologies in hydrodynamics, electronics, power conversion, energy storage, and computer control systems to maximize the extraction and conversion of energy from ocean waves. The result is a leading edge, ocean-tested, proprietary power conversion and management system that turns wave power into reliable, clean, and environmentally beneficial electricity for offshore applications.

The PB3 is a floating system that extends 10 feet above the waterline and 30 feet down into the water. It is anchored to the sea floor and can be employed in depths of up to 3,000 feet. The electricity it generates can be stored on-board or used for nearby applications.

Our economic wellbeing is inextricably linked to the oceans. One out of every six U.S. jobs is marine-related, and about one-third of U.S. GDP originates in coastal areas. But access to cost-effective power is a constant challenge to offshore installations that need autonomous power and real-time communications.

Consequently, OPTT’s proprietary PowerBuoy® technology has a huge addressable market. Oceanographic applications that study the biology and chemistry of the seas present a potential market of $2 billion; the oil and gas industry is another market worth $2.5 billion; the defense and security industries offer a $3.5 billion market opportunity and communications are worth $0.5 billion, bringing the total addressable market to $8.5 billion.

The PowerBuoy® technology is a more reliable solution than either wind or solar installations, which are subject to the vagaries of the weather. But as some wit opined, you can’t stop the waves; you can only learn to surf. The PowerBuoy® technology, which can include a modular high-capacity storage system, offers a clean and reliable source of renewable and cost-effective energy.

In July 2016, OPTT announced the deployment of its commercial design of the PB3 PowerBuoy® approximately four miles off the coast of New Jersey, and, in September 2016, the company disclosed that it had signed a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense to conduct the design of a new mass-spring oscillating PowerBuoy for mission critical sensors. The company recently also successfully completed the review by Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding (MES) of Japan. This opens the way for MES’ planned lease of a APB350 PowerBuoy for a project off the coast of Kozu Island in Japan. Ocean Power Technologies is definitely riding the waves.

The company is a leader in the development and commercialization of wave-energy technology that converts ocean wave energy into electricity. Based in New Jersey, OPTT is staffed by about 30 people, of which about 20 are engineers with graduate degrees. Its intellectual property portfolio is robust, including over 65 patents awarded or pending. OPTT’s current market cap is about $16 million.

For more information, visit www.OceanPowerTechnologies.com

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National Waste Management Holdings, Inc. (NWMH) – Mixing It Up in the Waste Management Industry

National Waste Management Holdings (OTC: NWMH) is turning trash into treasure in its run-up to becoming a leading waste management company in the United States. Specializing in a multitude of solid waste management services, the company recognizes the promise in this highly-regulated industry and is pursuing a growth strategy that merges supplementary acquisitions with organic initiatives.

Over 20 years ago, National Waste established a presence in Hernando, Florida – the base of its operations – before extending its reach to the state of New York. Fast forward to today, and the company is focused on hastening its growth and leveraging the resources at its disposal, including:

  • The backing of its tested leadership team;
  • Industry trends, including national recycling mandates;
  • Prospective increases in residential construction and infrastructure spending; and
  • Strategic company acquisitions.

Operationally, National Waste specializes in services surrounding the removal and hauling off of debris, garbage and waste. The company offers construction and demolition landfill services; commercial and residential dumpster services and roll-off boxes for construction and clean-up projects. It also provides trash collection services and a full service transfer station, as well as wood grinding, demolition, mulch and gravel services for industrial and residential markets.

These days, National Waste continues to press forward with an aggressive business model that calls for one acquisition per quarter by seeking out acquisitive opportunities in Upstate New York and Florida. To name a few, the company acquired both Sivart Services, a roll-off and compactor company in Worchester, NY, and Northeast Data Destruction and Recycling in 2016. More recently, in February 2017, National Waste targeted and closed on another acquisition in the area. This time, it acquired Burts Refuse, a waste disposal and recycling business in West Davenport, NY.

National Waste’s recent acquisitions add to its existing operations while making way for future growth. These deals expand its territory for commercial and residential garbage collection in Upstate New York, increase its roll-off customer base and business relationships and strengthen its equipment line with additional trucks, equipment and containers. They also create overhead cost savings for the company and introduce new income streams to its books.

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.nationalwastemgmt.com

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Vertex Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: VTNR) Taking Strides toward Conserving US Environmental and Energy Resources

Vertex Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: VTNR), an environmental services company that focuses on aggregating, processing, and recycling industrial waste systems and off-specification commercial chemical products, is taking strides toward conserving the environmental and energy resources of the United States by operating in three key divisions: Black Oil, Refining & Marketing, and Recovery.

The Black Oil Division collects, aggregates, processes, and then sells used motor oil (UMO) and finished products, while the Refining & Marketing Division aggregates and manages the refining of off-specification petroleum and chemical products. Lastly, the Recovery Division provides hydrocarbon stream recovery and management solutions, industrial dismantling and demolition, and decommissioning services.

Vertex Energy also uses a variety of refining technologies. These include base oil, VGO, and TCEP, with refineries located in Columbus, Ohio; Marrero, Louisiana; and four other terminals. These aggregate UMO collected from across eight to 10 major metropolitan areas.

The company is made up of third-party aggregation systems with approximately 50 collectors, 43 trucks operating as collectors, a nationwide processing capacity of over 115 million gallons, and in-depth market knowledge that enables its sales model to foster strong, localized relationships. VTNR now has 2 terminals for aggregation in Houston and Mobile, and it has developed and patented a unique UMO processing technology.

Although Vertex Energy still has a presence across the country, taking on 23 percent of total UMO refining capacity in North America, it now operates in strategic regional hubs, allowing it to optimize its transportation costs. The company has two refining facilities in Texas, two in Louisiana, and one in Ohio. All of these have a diversification of product mix, with one in Baytown strategically located to capitalize on the export market created by Gulf refiners, and one which is capable of low-capex conversion, allowing it to produce base oil.

Most recently, Vertex announced its fourth quarter and end-of-year financial results for 2016. For the three months ended December 31, 2016, the company reported revenues of over $31 million, a growth of nearly 50 percent compared to the same period of 2015. VTNR’s gross profits came in at over $5 million, more than 1,000 percent higher than the previous year, with a gross profit margin of 17 percent. Additionally, the company’s SG&A expenses decreased more than 30 percent compared to the same period of the previous year, and per-barrel margin improved more than 1,000 percent.

Overall, Vertex reported revenues of more than $98 million, with profits exceeding last year’s figure by over $5 million, and a gross profit margin 10 percent higher than in 2015. During 2016, the company reduced debts and stabilized itself. VTNR expects increased volume in 2017.

Recently, analysts have shown significant interest in Vertex Energy, with the majority of these offering the company a ‘Buy’ or ‘Strong Buy’ recommendation on the stock. Rives Journal states that some analysts project the stock to reach $2.13 in the near future (http://dtn.fm/0NnCI). Zacks Investment Research upgraded Vertex from a ‘Hold’ rating to a ‘Buy’ rating with a price objective of $1.50 per share, all according to Daily Quint (http://dtn.fm/zGd6B).

Institutional investors raised their positions in the company, giving them ownership of 21.51 percent of Vertex’s stock. On March 1, 2017, Vertex Energy traded up over 4 percent, reaching $1.41. As it stands today, the company has a market cap of just over $39 million.

For more information, visit www.VertexEnergy.com

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eMagin Corp. (NYSE: EMAN) Set to Capitalize On the Growing Head Mounted Display Market

According to a new market report published by Credence Research (http://dtn.fm/FV2Gi) entitled ‘Head Mounted Display (HMD) (Defense, Consumer, Industrial, Healthcare, Public Safety, and Other Verticals) Market – Growth, Share, Opportunities, Competitive Analysis, and Forecast 2015 – 2022′, the head mounted display market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of just below 50% between 2015 and 2022.

The report explains that this significant growth has been largely attributed to the declining prices of microdisplays, coupled with the high demand for lightweight wearable computing devices. Because of this decline in prices, manufacturers are now able to penetrate into the consumer market, offering more affordable products.

eMagin Corp. (NYSE MKT: EMAN), a company dedicated to developing and delivering head-worn systems for law enforcement, military, entertainment, and medical applications, among others, is set to capitalize on this growing industry thanks to its ability to develop and deliver high-quality, high-resolution, cutting-edge displays to its customers.

Earlier this week, the company was a big mover, with a rise in shares of more than 9% on March 7, 2017. According to the Nasdaq website (http://dtn.fm/YhZ6q), “The move came on solid volume with far more shares changing hands than in a normal session. This breaks the recent trend of the company, as the stock is now trading above the volatile price range of $2.10 to $2.30 in the past one-month time frame.” The company’s stock price escalated, climbing to $2.45 per share in Friday morning trading.

On March 8, the Daily Quint reported that Bessemer Group, Inc. had acquired over 76,000 new shares of eMagin stock worth approximately $164,000 (http://dtn.fm/9QusN). Not only this, Fiscal Standard (http://dtn.fm/l8xRG) reported that H. C. Wainright and Craig Hallum began coverage on the company, with both issuing it a ‘Buy’ rating. Craig Hallum gave eMagin a target share price of $6.

eMagin is the first and leading manufacturer of active matrix OLED-on-silicon microdisplays. In addition to the company’s focus on the security, defense, medical, and industrial markets, eMagin has now entered into the consumer market with its Z800 3DVisor, which was described as the “the best 3D goggles we’ve ever tested” by Maximum PC (http://dtn.fm/zyV67).

For more information, visit www.eMagin.com

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SolarWindow Technologies, Inc. (WNDW) Named a 2017 BIG Innovations Award Winner by Business Intelligence Group

SolarWindow Technologies, Inc. (OTCQB: WNDW), on February 7, 2017, was named as a winner in the 2017 BIG Innovations Awards presented by the Business Intelligence Group (http://dtn.fm/Nb3Yd), an organization of business executives who utilize a proprietary formula to recognize superior performance. The company is a technology firm that develops transparent, electricity-generating coatings for windows on tall towers. Its product was one of only four named a ‘shining star’ of innovation and a Chairman’s Choice winner.

The coatings supplied by SolarWindow Technologies, Inc. have the potential to turn a skyscraper into a ‘clean power generator’, the company announced. Its veneers can generate electricity using either natural or artificial light, in shaded areas, and even reflected and diffused light. They can be applied to all sides of a tall building, and they’re capable of realizing electricity savings of up to 50% annually, the company said, noting that it could return a one-year financial payback. This potential return was validated by independent engineering studies, according to SolarWindow.

The coatings are designed to produce electricity through transparent and organic photovoltaic (PV) coatings applied to the glass and flexible plastic for applications to tall buildings. As a result, normally passive windows are transformed into electricity producers. The potential one-year payback has been seen on a 50-story building. The company’s technology can also provide more than 15 times the environmental benefits of a conventional solar rooftop PV system.

In a news release, Maria Jimenez, chief operating officer of the Business Intelligence Group, said, “We are thrilled to be honoring SolarWindow as they are leading by example and making real progress on improving the daily lives of so many.”

John A. Conklin, president and CEO of SolarWindow, added, “We are honored to be recognized by this distinguished panel of business leaders for our work in developing possibly the biggest single breakthrough in clean energy — converting the solar rays of the sun into electricity on skyscrapers the world over.”

For more information, visit www.SolarWindow.com

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Ring Energy, Inc. (REI) Rebounds from Lows and Increases Production

Oil and gas company stocks have taken a beating as oil prices have tumbled from a peak of over $100 in 2014 to around $50 a barrel today. This fall in prices crippled many exploration and production companies. Down from its peak of nearly $20 per share in 2014, Ring Energy, Inc. (NYSE MKT: REI) is still in a better position than most. Unlike other drillers, Ring Energy isn’t highly leveraged and has comparatively low production costs.

Ring Energy has stated that it could operate profitably under $60 per barrel, and the majority of the company’s crude production is based in the Permian Basin, which has fewer bottlenecks than the Bakken Formation. In its January 9, 2017, press release, the company reported “net production for the fourth quarter of 2016 was approximately 240,000 BOEs (Barrel of Oil Equivalent), as compared to net production of 218,500 BOEs for the same quarter in 2015, an approximate 10% increase, and net production of 209,000 for the third quarter of 2016, an approximate 15% increase… For the twelve months ended December 31, 2016, net production was approximately 865,500 BOE, as compared to 742,070 for the twelve months ended December 31, 2015, an approximate 16% increase.” The company’s low production costs and the increase in production has correlated into its share price more than doubling over the last year.

Ring Energy’s exploration and production interests focus primarily on Texas and Kansas. The company’s drilling operations target the Central Basin Platform in Andrews and Gaines Counties, Texas, and the Delaware Basin in Reeves and Culberson Counties, Texas. The company has proved reserves of approximately 24 million BOE.

Oil has certainly been on a ride the last few years, but it’s still an essential commodity that will continue to drive the world economy. Ring Energy has weathered the oil price collapse. Any further increase in oil prices, combined with the company’s cost cutting and increased production, should provide both topline and bottom line lift in the coming quarters.

For more information, visit www.RingEnergy.com

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