Daily News Mug

August 15, 2014
by The Mug
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Woodward, Inc.: Offering the World Energy Control Solutions

Energy control solutions are the expertise of Woodward, Inc. – the world’s largest and oldest provider of mechanical, hydraulic and electronic control systems. The business was created in 1870 by Amos Woodward.

The business kicked off as The Woodward Governor Company and has championed in providing the world the control solutions needed. The business designs, manufactures and provides service to industrial engines, power generation, aircraft engines and mobile industrial equipment. It has several offices around the world, including in China, Japan, Europe, the United States and several others. In 2007, the company has become a billion dollar venture. They are best known for their Woodward AES controls which is used by 75% of the world’s propeller-driven aircraft. Several aircraft models also rely on their synchronizers, synchophasers and governors to function smoothly.

It was in 2011 that the business has changed its name to reflect its current branding. Today, they control engine systems that are manufactured by Vans, Rotax, Raytheon, Pratty & Whitney Canada, Honeywell and General Electric.

August 12, 2014
by The Mug
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YRC Worldwide: A Global Provider of Transportation Services

James E. Hoffman serves as the Chairman of the Board of YRC Worldwide, a provider of transportation services around the world. The business is considered as one of the largest in the industry and serves as the holding business for brand names like USF Reddaway, USF Holland, YRC, YRC Reimer and New Penn.

The transportation services the business offers are availed by retail goods, commercial and industrial companies. Their networks are categorized as local, regional and national capabilities. YRC now stands as an expert in flexible supply-chain solutions and heavyweight shipments. Their name alone is already an assurance to their business partners of transporting goods efficiently.

It was Grover Cleveland “Cleve” Harrell, who started the venture. While the company took shape in 1929, his efforts to put up his own venture started in 1906. He started with a horse-drawn hack in Oklahoma City and later on purchasing the novelty T Ford that everyone was more than willing to pay more just to ride in an automobile. What he started, later on became the Yellow Cab Company. From horse drawn carriages to state of the art automobiles, the company has evolved and has changed its name numerous times and has served various industries. It was in December 2003 that the business eventually became a billion dollar venture after acquiring Roadway Corp.

The name YRC stands for the Yellow Roadway Corporation, which the company used after it acquired Roadway Corp. The color yellow has always been the trademark of the business and has been an integral part of the success of the venture. As the company expanded and as it continued to acquire more businesses and expand its global presence, it adopted its new corporate name.

Globally, there are about 32,000 associates that YRC employs. These workers help in generating the organization’s annual revenue of more than $4.869 billion. Headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, the business is publicly traded on the NASDAQ.

August 8, 2014
by The Mug
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Universal Insurance Company: Pakistan’s Largest Insurance Company

Considered part of the top ten insurance companies in Pakistan, Universal Insurance Company has been around since its inception in 1959. The business is known for its capacity to underwrite risks of heavy magnitude.

As an insurance business, they are considered as the largest company in Pakistan and offers marine, fire, motor, travel and miscellaneous insurance. The protection of the business is coming from its world renowned re-insurers like the Somitomo Marine and Fire Insurance Company of Japan, Korea’s Korean Reinsurance Company, West Germany’s Hanover Reinsurance Company and the J.B. Boda & Company of Singapore. The business was given the A- rating by the JCR-VIS Rating Company Limited. There are more than 3,000 employees that the company salaried.

Just like other insurance ventures, the company conforms to the organizational structures of the majority of insurance businesses. They are governed by the board of directors who divided into 5 committees, namely, investment committee, audit, underwriting, re-insurance and co-insurance and the claim settlement committee.

August 5, 2014
by The Mug
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Vera Bradley: Every Woman’s Favorite Shop

While diamonds are considered to be a woman’s best friend, you cannot just discount the influence that bags and shoes have over the feminine sex. While men continue to be baffled by the appeal of these material things over women, businesses have greatly generated millions in revenue by marketing these items.

One of the well-loved brand names in bags is Vera Bradley. This luggage design company holds its headquarters in Fort Wayne, Indiana and is generating millions yearly for its revenue. They are best known for their patterned designs and has captured the hearts of millions since its inception in 1982. The business offers a variety of bag products including handbags, quilted cotton luggages and accessories. They also carry totes, wallets, tableware, backpacks, laptop backpacks, cosmetic cases and even expanded their offerings to include stationery, rugs, diaper bags, napkins, place mats, umbrellas and several baby products that were added in 2013.

With just $500 as their starting capital, the business kicked off in 1982. It was inspired by the travels of Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and Patricia Miller, who realized that there are not that many feminine looking luggages while travelling through the Atlanta airport. With this realization, the two set out for their venture to produce bags with feminine patterns and eventually started adding other products. The name was taken from the mother of Baekgaard, who used to work as a model for Elizabeth Arden. With just $500, the ladies’ perseverance and constant flow of artistic juices, they were able to make their business work. In less than three years, their $500 capital has given them millions as return of investment.

The majority of their items is sold within the United States, although they have already started penetrating the international market by selling their products online. As of, there are about 3,500 retailers of their products and as well as stand alone stores.

August 1, 2014
by The Mug
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TrustCo Bank: More than 110 Years of Financial Services

One of the most trusted commercial banks in the United States is TrustCo Bank. The company has been around for more than 110 years now. Carrying the slogan, “Your Hometown Bank” TrustCo Bank has 134 branches in the state of Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and in Vermont.

The company’s main office is located in Glenville, New York. The business provides banking services to the government, corporations, organizations and individual depositors. They have residential mortgage, home equity lines of credit, installment loans, commercial and construction loan services. TrustCo also operates more than 100 automated teller machines in New York alone. The company is listed as an Equal Housing Lender and is known as a portfolio lender, which basically means that it solely keeps ownership of any loans made.

TrustCo Bank is an insured member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and was once ranked as the 4th best bank in the country by the U.S. Banker Magazine.

July 29, 2014
by The Mug
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Trulia: Helping You Find Your Next Home

As technology evolved, so did businesses. In the industry of real estate, one of the well known sites to help buyers and property owners dispose and purchase their real estate is Trulia. It was in 2005 that the company launched its beta product and has now grown into a multi-million venture.

Based in San Francisco, California, the inception of the business sprouted from the frustration of its founders in looking for an apartment in the San Francisco Bay area. While scouting for a place, they realized three things: that the information they have to look for an apartment is insufficient or that it’s out of date or worse, both. Pete Flint and Sami Inkinen were the creators of the website who met at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and used the power of technology to simplify the process of finding a new place.

From a simple venture, the company now offers home buyers, real estate professionals, renters and sellers the tools needed to simply the process of acquiring a new home. Their website lists the properties that are on sale and are for rent in a specific area. They have also grown the company from a single location to a business with two other offices in New York City and in Denver, Colorado. Other than the property listing they provide, they also give renters and buyers the much needed price trend information. To further enhance the experience of looking for a new place, they have also partnered with sites like SpotCrime.com, EveryBlock.com and CrimeReports.com. With connections to these web sites, consumers are able to get an overview of the safety of their possible neighborhood.

Trulia is listed as part of the top websites frequently visited. In 2013, the company’s website was listed by Alexa Ranking on the 604th spot. They have reported that they have over 44 million unique visitors every month.

July 25, 2014
by The Mug
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Sunesis Pharma: Battling the Big C

In the quest for a cure for cancer, several companies have launched their businesses with strong focus on the discovery, development and commercialization of products that would combat the big C. Sunesis Pharma is one of these companies.

As a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, they specialize in small molecular therapeutics that are tapped for the unmet needs in medicine, especially in the field of oncology. It was in 1998 that the business started out with Jim Wells as its founder. Its leading product candidate is vosaroxin that intends to cure and improve the lives of those who are afflicted with the illness. This drug is specifically geared towards treatment of AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia) and cervical cancer. Through their partnership with bigger research groups, they are able to expand their internal research and push the development of their product.

Sunesis made its debut on the NASDAQ as SNSS. It was in 2005 that it completed its initial public offering.

July 22, 2014
by The Mug
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Supermicro: Manufacturer, Developer and Designer of Servers

The x89 architecture is a family of backward compatible instruction set architectures. Several servers were manufactured from this model and the products of Super Micro Computer, Inc. are designed, developed and manufactured around this architecture.

Also referred to as Supermicro, the company is based in San Jose, California and started its operations in 1993. The business is led by their CEO, Engineer Charles Liang, who also founded the business. Under the Server Building Block Solutions product line, the company offers chassis, server components, high-end workstations, blade server systems, tower, storage server systems, motherboards and rack mount. Their operations are located in Asia, Europe and the United States while their products are marketed in over 89 countries. They have over 1,470 employees and a total of 31 consultants.

In just 3 years from its inception, the company was able to expand its operations internationally. Its first expansion happened in 1996 in Taipei, Taiwan. It was also during that year that the company expanded its manufacturing facility in San Jose from 15,000 to 45,000 square feet. In less than 15 years, Supermicro was able to generate more than $2 billion in sales. The biggest chunk of their revenue came from their 2012 fiscal year, which amounted to $1.014 billion. Their products and services are marketed by original equipment manufacturers, system integrators, value-added resellers and direct sales force.

Amidst the competing companies in the computer hardware and computer peripherals industry, Supermicro was able to make a name through its double-sided  storage chassis. This product was the first in the world, was roughly the size of an ordinary desktop and was released in 2009. Among the key technologies the company has offered to the market is its key flagship barebones under the Server Building Block Solutions. Other offerings include Twin Family, Universal I/O, SuperBlade Solutions and GPU Supercomputing Servers.

July 18, 2014
by The Mug
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South Jersey Industries: An Energy Holding Company

One of the publicly held energy services company in New Jersey is South Jersey Industries. Founded in 1910, the business is a holding company that operates several businesses that offer natural gas utility and other regulated services.

The company operates 6 businesses that are engaged in the energy sector. These businesses are the South Jersey Gas, South Jersey Energy Solutions, South Jersey Energy, Marina Energy, South Jersey Resources Group and South Jersey Energy Service Plus. The South Jersey Energy Solutions is the parent company of the business that covers all the non-regulated ventures of the conglomerate. It offers energy to both commercial and industrial customers. In total, the business has assets amounting to more than $2.076 billion and generates an annualized revenue of more than $925.067 million.

Headquartered in Folsom, New Jersey, the business is listed as part of the Russell 2000 Index and is a member of the KLD Global Climate 100 Index.

July 15, 2014
by The Mug
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Stamps.com: Providing the Country Internet-based Mailing and Shipping Services

Trading publicly on the NASDAQ, Stamps.com is a provider of internet-based mailing and shipping services. The company has been around since 1998 and has its headquarters located in El Segundo, California.

Through their website Stamps.com, customers are able to purchase and print USPS-approved postage from the user’s computer. Users are able to purchase both domestic and international mail pieces which they can directly print on plain paper, shipping labels and on envelopes. PhotoStamps is also one of the features that Stamps.com offers. Through this feature, users are able to upload their own pictures or graphic material which they can use to create personalized stamps. The only restriction this feature has is the prohibition of using world leaders and any materials that are vintage in appearance.

The use of their website comes in three subscription packages: per month, term service plan and a prepaid plan. Users are able to login to the website with a 4-week-no-risk trial. Succeeding accesses are then billed on a non-usage subscription fee for usage of the software and the account. Stamps competes with Endicia Internet Postage and Pitney Bowes.

Just like any other businesses, the company also had its fair share of customer complaints. Although the company has a rating of A+ from the Better Business Bureau, they have received over 1,100 complaints about their subscription scheme. Some of these complaints were even lodged to as far back as 2006. Complaints include cancellation of subscription being done over the phone. They also allegedly billed customers without their knowledge until it will show up on their bills. The hold time that every customer has to endure were also deemed beyond reasonable.  Account cancellation is only completed over the phone with the help of their Phone Support team.

This internet postage and custom postage stamps business is manned by their 226 employees and headed by their Chairman and CEO, Ken McBride.