Daily News Mug

April 18, 2014
by The Mug

EZCorp: A Market Leader in Consumer Finance

Dedicated in addressing the short-term cash needs of consumers who are both cash and credit constrained, EZCorp was established out of 16 pawn shops in 1989. By market capitalization, the company has become one of the largest pawn shop operators in the world today.

Publicly traded on the NASDAQ, the company is involved in payday lending, signature loans, pawn lending and retail. Their pawn loans involved collaterals that may range from consumer electronics to jewelry, from musical instruments to sporting goods and from various tools to personal properties. In addition to the 890 pawn stores the company operates, they also have 29% interest in Albemarle & Bond Holdings, which is considered as the largest pawnbroker in the UK. They also have a 30 % stake in Cash Converters which has 550 locations in 21 countries and in Australia.

EZCorp thrives in the market with their vision of becoming the trusted name and the go to provider for immediate cash and financial services to the communities they serve.

April 15, 2014
by The Mug

Fiesta Restaurant Group: The Parent Company of Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana

They say there is always business in food. This is of course true wherever you go as eating has always been part of every culture, other than saying food is part of our daily needs. Everyone likes to eat and the Fiesta Restaurant Group has made a business out of this guilty pleasure.

Operating and franchising Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana, the company specializes in operating ethnic and fast-casual restaurants. Their brand names offer distinct flavors that appeals to a broader consumer and comes with a compelling value. There is currently a total of 315 restaurants that business runs. These establishments are located in North India, South America, Central America, the Southern part of the United States and in the Caribbean. Their business is rooted in hospitality, good quality food and giving back to the community. These stores have fresh salsa bars, free WiFi, table services, made-from-scratch cooking and even has a drive thru services and catering offers. All of these are served in a casual, clean and contemporary atmosphere with reasonable prices.

Taco Cabana offers Mexican food from sizzling Fajitas to hot tortillas, simmering pots of Mexican rice and salsa made from chopped and diced freshly picked produce. Pollo Tropical on the hand, offers platters of Caribbean dish, sandwiches and wraps and other tropical favorites. These restaurant chains are also being franchised in the countries of Trinidad & Tobago, Venezuela, Panama, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and in Costa Rica.

Fiesta Restaurant Corporation is also proud of their experienced management team that has strong commitment in providing a unique and special culture to their team members. It is through this business practice that they are able to ensure the excellent experience of their customers. With their unparalleled operating economics and industry-leading average unit volumes, the company is eager to see what lies ahead of their business.

April 11, 2014
by The Mug

Dice.com: A Career Website for IT and Engineering Professionals

Dice Holdings, Inc. owns and operates Dice.com, a career website that serves mostly engineering and information technology professionals. The business is based in Urbandale, Iowa and claims to have more than three million of registered technology professionals.

It was in 1990 that Diane Rickert and Lloyd Linn created the business as an acronym for Data-processing Independent Consultant’s Exchange. Initially the business was set-up like a bulletin board where recruiters will be posting their job opening until it has evolved to opening the website to direct hiring companies. Of the 3 million users the company has, 75% have bachelor’s degree or higher while 65% of the population has more than 10 years experience in their field of expertise listed. In addition, the website claims that they have over 2 million unique visitors every month.

The company has acquired other similar businesses and websites through the years. In 2007, they have made their initial public offering and common stocks, until now are traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

April 8, 2014
by The Mug

Ducommun, Inc.: A Manufacturing Business

The global aerospace and defense industry are the two target markets of Ducommun, Inc., a manufacturing business that offers support services, products and engineering services. The business is known as the oldest company in California having been founded in 1849. The business has evolved several times until it has become a global leader in the aerospace industry.

The business was created by Charles Louis Ducommun, a Swiss immigrant who moved to the United States in the 1840s. He was a watchmaker by training and started the business as a general store that provides credit and supplies to gold prospectors in the areas of Los Angeles. During that time, the state of California was still a territory of the United States and was still in the process of being inducted as a state. Its entry to the aerospace industry commenced when the company started supplying aircraft aluminum to companies like Lockheed.

Through their excellence in delivering high quality service, best in class processes and a continuous improvement culture, the business emerged as a leader in providing engineering and manufacturing services to various industries other than the defense and aerospace market. Currently, the business services the oil and gas, medical, mining, industrial and other diverse markets through their high reliability solutions for aircraft structure and electronic needs.

The business carries out their operations through three business units: Ducommun AeroStructures (DAS), Ducommun LaBarge Technologies and Ducommun Miltec. Their Aerostructure business arm supplies composite and metal bond structures to the aerospace industries. LaBarge Technologies is a provider of electronics manufacturing services while Miltec is involved in the design, development, integration and test of missile and aerospace systems.

Ducommun, Inc. is a publicly traded business with common stocks available on the New York Stock Exchange. The company is a million dollar venture with an annualized revenue of $747.70 million.

April 4, 2014
by The Mug

Corcept Therapeutics: An American Pharmaceutical Company

Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone may lead to severe metabolic disorders. Through the innovation and breakthroughs made by an American pharmaceutical company, Corcept Therapeutics Inc., they were able to come up with solutions and treatments to combat metabolic disorders and its related problems.

Founded in 1998, the company has led the discovery and development of various drugs that regulated the effects of cortisol. Through the discovery and development of glucocorticoid receptor antagonists, they were able to find solutions to life-threatening illnesses. Korlym is one of their FDA approved products that are taken orally for the treatment of hyperglycemia secondary to hypercortisolism in adult patients. Mifepristone is one of their initial researches that is in the clinical trial for possible treatment of psychotic depression, Cushing’s disease and breast cancer.

Corcept continues their clinical trials and discovery of experimental drugs that would address the uncharted areas of oncology, depression and various life-threatening diseases. The business is publicly traded on the NASDAQ under the symbol CORT.

April 1, 2014
by The Mug

Demandware: Setting Standards for Omni-Channel Commerce Solutions

It was in 2004 that Demandware introduced to the market its innovative and cloud commerce platform. The business is listed as a public eCommerce merchant that is now powering more than 200 retail brands in more than 800 sites around the world.

Known for their on-demand commerce platform for eCommerce merchants, Demandware’s products include merchandising and catalog management tools that come with instructor classes, hands on training, 24/7 knowledge support base and on site classes. These products would allow merchants to create their own site and make some configurations without having to require additional development exertion. Based in Burlington, Massachusetts, the company also has branch offices in France and in Germany.

The deployment of Demandware comes in two methods: through the use of their partners to facilitate the launch of the program or by creating and launching the website yourself. Several companies entrusted to the business their eCommerce platform. These business include big names like Nine West, Jewelry Television, BootBarn, Guthy-Renker, Life is Good, VineyardVines, House of Fraser, Dutch Gardens, Gardener’s Supply Company, Bare Escentuals, Zabar’s, and Sally Beauty Supply. Even Playboy’s shopthebunny.com and playboystore.com uses the platforms created by Demandware. The eCommerce site of Sanrio is also powered by the business.

Part of the business strategy that Demandware practices is their ownership when it comes to managing the software. Through their 24/7 knowledge base support, they are able to give clients the assurance that all they need to focus on is running and making their businesses grow. Because of this strategy, more and more businesses go to the company to market their products online. The solutions they provide are set to decrease the cost of running extensive global commerce operations, minimize complexities and at the same time give flexibility to business owners which would eventually lead to increased sales.

The company is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

March 28, 2014
by The Mug

Cepheid, Inc.: A Global Molecular Diagnostic System Manufacturer

In the industry of Scientific and Technical Instruments, Cepheid, Inc. stands as one of the trusted names. The company got founded in 1996 and holds its headquarters in Sunnyvale, California. It offers its services worldwide and focuses on integrated testing systems.

Its products and services are utilized in both clinical and the legacy non-clinical markets. One of it is biggest customers is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The GeneXpert and the SmartCycler are two of its flagship products which apply similar methods of DNA amplification and detection. The latter however is developed to address the needs of a wider range of end users. For its innovation and contribution to the scientific community, the business has received several awards, including the 2006 Industrial Design Excellence Awards and Trade-idear LLC’s nomination of the business as a lifetime high candidate for its stock performance.

As of March 2014, the company is valued to be around $2.91 billion and offers tests in six areas including sexual health and healthcare associated infections.

March 25, 2014
by The Mug

CEVA, Inc.: The World’s #1 Licensor of DSP Technology

Mountain View, California-based CEVA, Inc. thrives in the industry of semiconductor intellectual property. The company’s research and development facility is located in Herzliya, Israel and one in Ireland. It also has sales offices located throughout the United States, in Asia and in Europe. The business is in the creation and development of advanced technologies to be installed in wireless communications and multimedia chips.

The company’s products and services are utilized in the digital, mobile and home and networking markets. Its customer base is dotted with some of the world’s leading and biggest semiconductor companies. These businesses also include some names from the electronics industry. They incorporate CEVA’s IP to their application-specific standard products and application-specific integrated circuits which in turn they market and sell to leading brand names of electronic goods.

With a share of 90% in the DSP IP market in 2012, the company was reported as the largest licensor of DSP Technology in the world as reported by the Linley Group. Its vast portfolio includes Serial ATA, Serial Attached SCSI (SAS), comprehensive technologies for communications and connectivity, computer vision, advanced audio and voice processing and computational photography. To date, there are more than five billion CEVA-powered chips that have been sent out from various facilities to reach diverse end markets.

There are more than 330 licensing agreements and 220 licensees to date and these licensees have shipped more than one billion products powered by CEVA in 2013 alone. Among the businesses it has partnered with are Broadcom, Beken, DSP Group, Novatek, Nufront, Renesas, STMicroelectronics, VIA Technologies, Yamaha, ZTE, VIA Telecom, LG Electronics, Intel, Fujitsu, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, Rockchip and Actions.

With an annualized revenue of more than $60.24 million, the business continues to be publicly traded on the NASDAQ under the symbol CEVA. The company is also known as a component of the Russell 2000 Index.

March 21, 2014
by The Mug

Brink’s: A Logistics and Security Company

The reputation of The Brink’s Company covers the entire globe. The business is known in the industry of logistics and security.  It has presence in more than 100 countries and is powered by more than 70,000 employees worldwide.

Founded in 1859 as The Pittston Company, the business changed its name to The Brink’s Company in 2003 and spun off its Brink’s Home Security operations in 2008. Its operations include more than 1,100 facilities and over 13,300 vehicles. Brink’s is made popular by its bullet-resistant armored trucks which are used in transport money and other valuable goods. It provides its service to various institutions like banks, jewelers, mints, retailers and government sectors. From its armored transportation service, the company has evolved to become one of the biggest secure transportation and logistics solutions providers in the world.

Brink’s service was once used to transport the Hope Diamond, a 45.52 carat deep-blue diamond, from the auction house to the buyer’s home. From its humble beginnings, the company has grown to become a billion dollar enterprise with annualized revenue of $3.88 billion.

March 18, 2014
by The Mug

Bristow Group: A Helicopter Company

When weather conditions are pretty harsh and no other services are available to transport people and materials, the oil and gas industry rely on the helicopters provided by the Bristow Group. To and from the oil rigs, these monsters are capable of transporting any goods or people regardless of inhospitable conditions.

Considered as the first civic helicopter company to work in the oil and gas industry, Bristow was started by Alan Bristow in the year 1953. The business was formed when he changed his company name from Air Whaling Limited. With 20 seats or more, Bristow’s aircrafts are capable of transporting cargo, mail and passengers with their United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority Type A Operating License. They were also the first suppliers of Search and Rescue services, offshore helicopter services in the UK and military helicopter pilot training support. They also offer courses in JAA-Approved TRI/TRE, JAA-Approved Type Rating, the As332 simulator and JAA-Approved Instrument Rating. In the United Kingdom alone, the company was able to help rescue more than 7,000 individuals.

It supported the North Sea Oil offshore installations by operating the Westland Wessex 60 ten-seat helicopters in 1965. Bristow has divided their operations into two major regions which are then divided into 6 business units. The Eastern Hemisphere is their first region which has the Bristow Africa Operations, Bristow European Operations, Bristow International Operations, and Bristow Southeast Asia Operations. The Western Hemisphere is their second region, which covers the Bristow Alaska (formerly Air Logistics of Alaska) and Bristow (formerly Air Logistics). In addition, they also have the Southern Caribbean and the International business arm.

Through the years, as business needs change, the company was overtaken by two larger businesses. It was first acquired by the British and Commonwealth Holdings PLC in 1985. In 1996, after an American offshore helicopter operator, Offshore Logistics, purchased Bristow Helicopters, it was restructured as a reverse takeover.