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185 posts categorized "Financial advisors news"

November 06, 2013

Mayo Clinic-linked Cardio3 Biosciences stock surges

On the record, everybody always says that competition is good. I actually suspect many of the businesses that say that don't really believe that. However, here's a concrete example of competition directly bringing in money for a company.
Cardio3 BioSciences, the Belgium biotech firm based on Mayo Clinic research, saw its stock on the NYSE Euronext stock exchanges in Brussels and Paris spike this week after a competitor, Mesoblast, got the greenlight from the FDA to start clinical trials of its C3bs_logosimiliar regenerative treatment.
Cardio3's therapy uses stem cells from a patient's  bone marrow. Through a proprietary process called Cardiopoiesis, Cardio3 re-programs those cells to become heart cells. The cells are then injected back into the patient's heart to repair damaged tissue.
As a shareholder, Mayo Clinic controls 10.44 percent of Cardio3's stock, according to Cardio3.
Here's some from a Tuesday piece by Simeon Bennett of Reuters about this week's bump.

Cardio3 advanced 50 cents to 24.50 euros at the 5:35 p.m. close of trading on Euronext Brussels, giving the Mont-Saint-Guibert-based company a market value of 155.2 million euros ($209.1 million). More than 544,000 shares were traded, 38 times the three-month daily average. The stock has surged 78 percent in the past eight trading days.

Mesoblast Ltd., an Australian company that’s using similar technology, rose to an eight-month high on Nov. 1 after saying it gained Food and Drug Administration approval to start a late-stage study with its partner, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, of its stem cell in patients with heart failure.

That development “makes us quite confident in seeing the technology as an emerging one, and more than that, an approvable one,” Arnaud Guerin, an analyst with Portzamparc Societe de Bourse in Nantes, France, said by phone today.

February 22, 2013

Highlights of Mayo Clinic's 2012 financials

Here are a few random, fun facts from Mayo Clinic's 2012 financials:

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800px-Gonda_building,_closer_up• Spent on charity care: $83.4 million, up from $61.8 million in 2011.

• Spent to support Medicaid: $321.7 million, up from $260.4 million in 2011.

• Revenue from retail pharmacy sales: $149 million, up from $134 million in 2011.

• Revenue from technology commercialization, health information and medical products: $34.1 million, down from $40.4 million in 2011.

• Revenue from cafeteria sales: $28.8 million, down from $30.3 million in 2011.

• Cash and cash equivalents: $59.6 million, down from $141.3 million in 2011

• Earned incentive from federal government for introducing electronic medical records: $44.7 million

February 21, 2013

S&P lowers Mayo Clinic outlook on "weaker" performance

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has lowered its outlook on debt issued by and for Mayo Clinic, citing Mayo's "weaker operating performance" in 2012 and unexpected debts.

800px-Gonda_building,_closer_up"We revised the outlook to negative to reflect our opinion of Mayo Clinic's weaker operating performance, especially in the second half of 2012, and additional debt with this issue, which we did not expect and did not include in our last rating analysis," said S&P credit analyst Martin Arrick in a statement issued today. "In addition, Mayo Clinic had to absorb multiple impacts from a sharply lower pension discount rate for the second straight year that, in turn, drove large pension contributions limiting growth in unrestricted cash and investment and lowering unrestricted net assets while raising pro forma leverage to levels we consider high for the rating."

Download S&P rating of Mayo

S&P reaffirmed Mayo's AA long-term rating on Mayo's $300 million series 2013 taxable bonds and reaffirmed ratings on other debt issued for, or guaranteed by, Mayo, according to the statement. The reaffirmed ratings were based on the clinic's "solid revenue growth," debt service coverage and growth in unrestricted reserves.

But the statement says Mayo's "overall leverage and unrestricted net assets were hurt by the very large pension charge for the second year in a row due to a lower discount rate. Nevertheless, net patient service revenues and revenues overall improved significantly, as did unrestricted reserves despite a large cash contribution to the pension plan."

Mayo officials have scheduled a press conference to discuss its 2012 financial results for Wednesday in Rochester.

December 06, 2012

Big Blue retirement plan changes has workers seeing red

Big Blue's change to their 401(k) retirement plans has some IBM employees seeing red.

IBM sent staff a notice this week that in 2013 it will cease paying into their 401(k) plans semi-monthly with every paycheck. Instead, the matching discretionary contributions will be made just once at the end of the year.

IBM buildinglogoWhile that on its own has a pro-union group organizing a petition of protest, IBM added the rule that workers must be employed on Dec. 15 to get the annual 401(k)matching payment.

That means, a employee laid off in November 2013 would not get their annual 401k payment from IBM.

"The problem is, that as everyone knows, IBM has job cuts all year long," says Lee Conrad, spokesman for the Alliance@IBM. "We're asking IBM to reverse this decision, because it financially compromises all IBM employees, even the ones who are not laid off."

For its part, IBM is saying that its 401(k) plans are still better than most companies and this change is necessary keep up with the increasingly stiff competition in the technology industry.

IBM lot"IBM’s 401k plans remain among the best in the industry – and the country," stated the company in a response release by spokesman Doug Shelton. "This change reflects our continuing commitment to invest in our employee 401(k) plans while maintaining business competitiveness in a challenging economic environment."

The plan, which is considered generous by most companies, gives employees hired prior to 2005 get a dollar-for-dollar match up to six percent of eligible pay. People hired since then get up to a 5 percent match.

If the employee is eligible, IBM will make automatic contributions to their plan, even if the employee doesn't participate. The amount of automatic contribution earned depends on the pension plan that an employee qualified as of December 2007.

No matter how generous the plan, this is not not positive change for employees who have counted on those semi-monthly payments throughout the year, says Conrad.

"This is IBM is just hanging onto the money as long as they can," he says.

The Alliance@IBM, which is pro-union group, expects to soon have a petition ready for employees and their families to sign. It is hard to say how much interest that will attract given IBM eIbm-logomployees' well known reluctance to publicly defy the company for fear of losing their jobs.

It is hard to say how this change could impact IBM's Rochester campus and its unknown number of employees. For many years, IBM has declined to say how many people it employs here or elsewhere. The last official IBM tally of its workers in Rochester was 4,200 way back at the end of 2008. There have been many layoffs euphemistically called "resource actions" by the technology giant.

While IBM is commonly believed to be Rochester's second-largest employer behind Mayo Clinic, there is no evidence to prove that is still true.

August 20, 2012

Mayo Clinic's $300 million bonds get 'AA' rating

Here's some from a piece in today's on Mayo Clinic's latest bond issue to raise $300 million.

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A $300 million series of bonds being issued by Mayo Clinic garnered an AA rating from the Standard & Poor's Ratings Services.

The ratings firm ruled this week that Mayo Clinic's outlook for the future remains strong, and thus gave the $300 million series 2012B taxable revenue bonds the positive rating. The bond series is scheduled to mature Nov. 15, 2046.

800px-Gonda_building,_closer_up"It will be used by the major capital projects that we have approved by the board and we have planned into the future," says Mayo Clinic Chief Financial Officer Jeff Bolton.

The rating is the second highest rating, behind only AAA, in Standard & Poor's system. A rating of AA means "very strong capacity to meet financial commitments," S&P says.

Mayo Clinic had planned to issue this round of bonds early next year, but the current interest rates convinced that it would better to go ahead and pull the trigger now.

Standard & Poor's believes Mayo Clinic's outlook remains strong.

"Since we raised the long-term ratings on Mayo Clinic to 'AA' from 'AA-' in April 2011, the health care system has performed extremely well operationally, and posted excellent performance in 2011 from all its major revenue areas, including clinical services and research, as well as very strong fundraising," stated Standard & Poor's credit analyst Martin Arrick in the rating announcement.

"The stable outlook reflects our expectation that Mayo Clinic's operating performance, while not as strong as in 2011, will continue to be adequate to support the rating as the clinic's growing footprint and management's continued operational vigilance should allow for sufficient cash flow to maintain balance sheet strength and support capital plans."

This follows Standard & Poor's AA rating of a $200 million tax exempt bond issue that Mayo Clinic did earlier this year through the City of Rochester.

Bolton says this latest bond series will bring Mayo Clinic's total outstanding debt to $2.4 billion.

"We have really been able to position our debt portfolio, given the current environment, very advantageously. We have been working very hard at that," says Bolton.

November 09, 2011

Home Federal sells Iowa branch

A Rochester-based bank is selling a branch in Toledo, Iowa.

Home Federal Savings Bank's parent company, HMN Financial, announced this week that it has signed a purchase agreement with Pinnacle Bank of Marshalltown, Iowa, for the Toledo branch.

HFLogoColorThe conclusion of the sale is anticipated early in the first quarter of 2012.

Home Federal anticipates that the sale will reduce the bank's overall assets by an estimated $43 million, as well as result in a one-time financial gain to be calculated in January.

The Toledo branch opened in 1997. Including Toledo, Home Federal has 11 branches and total assets of $818 million.

Home Federal posted a net loss of $2.1 million for the third quarter, an improvement compared with a $9.4 million loss in the third quarter of 2010.

Early this year, Home Federal signed a supervisory agreement with the Office of Thrift Supervision, the federal agency that regulates savings banks. The agreement, which was required because the bank had too high a percentage of nonperforming assets, placed the bank under closer scrutiny and subjected it to more requirements.

The stock of the bank's parent company HMN Financial Inc. is traded on NASDAQ.

September 07, 2011

Hormel CEO: Middling pork profits in 2011, 2012

HormelpenetrationHere's a snippet of a piece by Marshall Eckblad of Dow Jones about Hormel Foods appearance at Barclay Capital's Back to School Consumer Conference in Boston today.
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"Our expectation for remainder of this year and next year is middle-of-the-road for those margins," said Jeffrey Ettinger, Hormel's president and chief executive. He made the comments during an investor conference in Boston.


Investors have been watching the profit margins at pork processors for signs of weakness as supplies have grown sharply in recent weeks after pork prices hit records in July and August. Higher supplies of pork products along with enduringly high feed costs for hogs could squeeze pork processors much the way chicken processors are currently suffering under a supply glut.

August 05, 2011

Mayo Clinic-linked device firm raises $5M

Remember NeoChord, Inc.?

It's a medical device company that licenses Mayo Clinic technology to make a non-invasive method for fixing a leaky heart valve AKA mitral-valve regurgitation. Mayo Clinic is also Neochord deviceinvested in an equity position in the firm. 

I first started writing about this company back in the days before this blog. I wrote a full piece about this firm back in 2007. 

A week ago, the Minnetonka-based company filed with the SEC that it had just raised about $5 million in financing and its working on lining up another $6 million.

In January, it locked down $1 million in funding. At that time, CEO John Seaberg told the Twin City Business Journal that Neochord was in “deep discussions” to raise $10 million more in funding that coNeochordfilingexcerptuld happen within the next several months.

So this latest filing certainly looks like they pulled that off.

NeoChord's product is based on research by Mayo Clinic's Dr. Richard Daly and Dr. Giovanni Speziali that allows doctors to repair mitral-valve regurgitation without stopping a beating heart or cracking the chest open.

 

It began clinical trials on patients in Germany, Denmark, Czech Republic and Norway in October of 2009.

May 26, 2011

MetaFile didn't buy all of Bigelow Homes center

Here's a tidbit to clarify a detail about a software company's acquistition of a northwest Rochester commercial complex:

In Wednesday's column I wrote about MetaFile Information Systems, Inc. buying a two-story, commercial complex in northwest Rochester from Bigelow Homes.
Testi-metafile
One thing I did not make clear is that sale did not include the offices of Terry and Carla Nelson's Olmsted Financial Group.

In 2005, the Nelsons bought 1,600-square-feet of the building at 3428 Lakeridge Place N.W. for their financial planning business.

MetaFile's acquistition of the complex this month does not change anything for the Olmsted Group office, which remains under the Nelsons' ownership.

April 22, 2011

Postive numbers Home Fed Bank

This seems like a good way to start the year for Home Federal.

Here's some from a quick piece I put together about Rochester-based Home Federal Bank's first quarter earnings report.

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A battered Rochester bank is showing a move toward recovery with positive numbers in its latest earnings report.

Homefederal_building1 Home Federal Savings Bank reported a net income of  $250,000 for the first quarter of  2011 compared to a $1.8 million loss during the same quarter in 2010.

The bank, which lost $29 million last year, showed improvement across the board in this first report of 2011, is under the umbrella of the publicly-owned holding company.

“We will continue to focus our efforts on reducing non-performing assets, reducing loan concentrations, increasing our core deposit relationships and reducing expenses," stated Home Federal's president Brad Krehbiel in the report. "We believe that, over time, our focus on these areas will be effective in generating improved financial results.”

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This uptick toward healthy numbers follows Home Federal's signing a supervisory agreement with the Office of Thrift Supervision, the federal agency that regulates savings banks.