Ones to Watch

USA Synthetic Fuel Corp. (USFC) ‏is “One to Watch”

Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA Synthetic Fuel Corp. is an environmentally focused alternative energy company. They are pursuing clean energy solutions based on gasification and other proven BTU conversion technologies. The Company’s goal is to develop and construct ultra-clean BTU Conversion and Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG) production facilities in the United States. ‏

USA Synthetic Fuel Corp. intends to develop, finance, construct, own and operate gasification, synthetic natural gas, and Fisher Tropsch liquid production facilities to convert lower value, solid hydrocarbons such as coal, petroleum coke (petcoke) and biomass into higher value, environmentally cleaner energy sources. Petroleum liquids, petroleum byproducts, asphaltenes, natural gas and other similar gases may also be used as feedstock to produce synthetic gas.

The Company has major near-term projects (Lima Energy Project and Cleantech Energy Project) representing 38.6 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) (229 billion cubic feet) annually of synthetic natural gas and 516 megawatts net of electric power in development or construction. In addition, they may produce and sell hydrogen gas in the future, if this market develops further.

USA Synthetic Fuel Corp. believes gasification technology offers a superior CO2 management solution. Their management’s belief is that carbon dioxide can be captured efficiently at low cost within the gasification and other BTU conversion processes. The captured CO2, in liquid form, can then be injected into oil fields for enhanced oil recovery or sequestered in certain geological formations for permanent storage.

The Company’s management and technical team have optimized gasification technology operations to produce synthetic natural gas at prices competitive with major hydrocarbons – coal, oil and natural gas – produced by normal techniques. Furthermore, other solid hydrocarbons such as renewables and petcoke can be used in certain Company planned facilities.

The USA Synthetic Fuel Corp. management and technical team include veterans of the environmental technology and advanced clean energy systems. The Company’s management and technical teams developed their expertise while working with Global Energy Inc. and other organizations in the development of key gasification technologies and gasification technology facilities.

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Thursday, May 19th, 2011 Ones to Watch, Uncategorized Comments Off on USA Synthetic Fuel Corp. (USFC) ‏is “One to Watch”

Diversified Restaurant Holdings Inc. (DFRH) is “One to Watch”

Diversified Restaurant Holdings is focused on taking the extremely successful Buffalo Wild Wings® (BWW) restaurant/bar concept, which bundles together a warm tavern-like/neighborhood atmosphere, a full made-to-order menu that includes delicious New York-style chicken wings in 14 unique flavors, and a sophisticated multimedia environment, to the next level with their now rapidly emerging Bagger Dave’s Legendary Burger Tavern®.

In addition to managing and expanding the Bagger Dave’s concept, the Company acts as a holding group for a robust network of established BWW franchise locations (currently seven in Florida and twelve in Michigan). The Company is on track for completing its projected target of 38 BWW restaurants by 2017 as outlined in the Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc. Area Development Agreement.

Earlier this year, DFRH expanded its Michigan footprint even farther, tacking on another Bagger Dave’s location in Brighton and a BWW in Traverse City, both excellent markets for the concept. In addition DFRH added a BWW to its sizeable network in Florida, this time in the bustling town of Lakeland, which was similarly identified as a prime community, already attuned to the venue’s style.

DFRH is slated to open two more Bagger Dave’s in Michigan and one more BWW in University Park, Florida before year’s end, positioning adroitly for expansion on stable ground with the retention of industry veteran Bill McClintock as the Company’s Senior VP of Franchise Development. McClintock spent over a decade spearheading Sales and Development operations for Buffalo Wild Wings and, more recently McAlister’s Deli, giving DFRH a clear growth advantage.

With the recent announcement of outstanding FY10 financials by DFRH, showing broad uptake even for locations opened late in the fiscal year, it makes sense to take a closer look at the innovative style and concepts behind the Company’s success, but first, take a look at some of the FY10 results:

• Revenue was up 8.4% to $45.2M, the fourth consecutive year in a row DFRH has shown a healthy revenue increase.

• Opened four new restaurants in the year (three BWW, one Bagger Dave’s) and acquired nine affiliated BWW’s and showed a 16.5% increase in cash flow from operations, bringing in $4.6M, despite massive outlays for logistical expenses related to new infrastructure.

Bagger Dave’s has quickly established a reputation for itself; primarily due to the highly engineered concept driving the business model. Before the first location in Berkley, Michigan even opened in January of 2008, the visionaries behind Bagger Dave’s were refining everything that worked with BWW and merged it into a concept that fuses a modern take on the old-fashioned local pub motif with signature burgers and foods.

By creating a user-friendly and immersive multimedia environment that brings together a bar with a tavern-like restaurant, DFRH has hit the market sweet spot, offering customers a very friendly environment where adults and kids can co-exist in a mutually comfortable setting. It is this basic family-oriented but not exclusive platform that makes the menu really pop.

Bagger Dave’s biggest selling point is the phenomenal burgers that have captivated the hearts and minds (not to mention stomachs) of patrons in Michigan and Florida markets. In just a handful of years, Bagger Dave’s has literally built a cult following, using fresh ingredients and even offering a “create your own masterpiece” feature that allows customers to select from over 30 toppings.

Bagger Dave’s has become a sensation almost overnight and while the burgers are really the star attraction, the menu takes the same casual dining logic employed at BWW and fleshes it out completely, offering a full menu that includes various hot sandwiches, fresh salads, Bagger Dave’s special daily in-house cut and freshly made fries, as well as Sloppy Dave’s Fries®, Dave’s Sweet Potato Chips® and the Amazingly Delicious Turkey Black Bean Chili™.

The fundamental strength of the BWW chain, which has been gaining momentum since the first location opened near Ohio State University in 1982, provided DFRH with a solid return base from which to expand the Bagger Dave’s concept. The Company has made remarkable progress in short time despite an economic downturn in the consumer space with this formula and it is clear that the concept is widely embraced in target markets.

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Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 Ones to Watch, Uncategorized Comments Off on Diversified Restaurant Holdings Inc. (DFRH) is “One to Watch”

Gastar Exploration Ltd. (GST) is “One to Watch”

Gastar Exploration Ltd. is an exploration and production company that focuses its efforts on discovering and developing natural gas assets in North America. Pursuing a strategy that combines deep natural gas exploration and development with lower risk Coalbed methane (CBM) and shale resource development, the company owns and operates exploration and development acreage in the deep Bossier gas play of East Texas and Marcellus Shale play in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Gastar’s CBM activities are conducted within the Powder River Basin of Wyoming.

The deep Bossier Sands in East Texas is an unconventional play that is being developed by some of the largest and most active operators in the U.S. Bossier wells are characterized by high initial production, attractive estimated ultimate recoverables (EURs) and long-lived reserves from multiple pay zones. Gastar has approximately 33,400 gross (19,200 net) acres in the Hilltop area of Leon and Robertson counties, all of which are 100% operated by the company.

In the Appalachian Basin of the Northeastern United States, Gastar holds a total of approximately 79,700 net acres in northern West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania near acreage of some of the most active participants in the Marcellus Shale play. The Company’s leases are strategically located in areas where it believes the Marcellus Shale is over-pressured and where operational issues such as water sources, water disposal and gas transportation will be easier to manage than in other parts of the play.

Gastar’s stake in CBM production comes from a 40% average working interest in approximately 43,400 gross (19,600 net) acres in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming. Main areas of activity include the Squaw Creek, Ring of Fire and adjacent fields, which are located north of Gillette in an active drilling area. Gastar currently has over 500 gross coalbed methane wells in the Powder River Basin. The majority of the remaining working interest is owned by the operator, Pinnacle Gas Resources, Inc.

The company aims to increase shareholder value by delivering sustainable reserves growth and improved operating results from existing assets. The company implements its business strategy by continually engaging in exploration activities with a focus on areas that it believes are prospective for natural gas and oil with relatively high liquids content, actively managing its domestic drilling program and effectively utilizing its team’s  technological expertise.

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Wednesday, March 30th, 2011 Ones to Watch, Uncategorized Comments Off on Gastar Exploration Ltd. (GST) is “One to Watch”

ECOtality, Inc. (ECTY) is “One to Watch”

ECOtality, Inc., headquartered in San Francisco, California, leads the industry in clean electric transportation and storage technologies. Through innovation, acquisitions, and strategic partnerships, the company focuses on accelerating the market applicability of advanced electric technologies to replace carbon-based fuels.

Fully committed to developing and commercially advanced clean energy solutions and environmentally friendly products, ECOtality’s products, technologies and services currently include:

Electric Vehicles: ECOtality North America is a recognized leader in the research, development and testing of advanced transportation and energy systems. The subsidiary specializes in the fields of alternative-fuel, hybrid (HEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and electric vehicles (EV) and infrastructures. With a history in electric transportation that dates back to 1989, ECOtality North America has worked on every EV initiative in North America since the 1990’s.

Fast Charging: Specifically developed for electrical vehicles, airport ground support equipment, material handling, neighborhood electric vehicle operations, and marine and transit applications, the exclusively patented ECOtality North America Minit-Charger line of battery fast-charging systems is based on advanced algorithms that allow faster charging with less heat generation and longer battery life than any other fast charge system available.

Blink: The Blink network offers residential and commercial charge stations for electric vehicles. The network allows businesses and individuals to safely and efficiently charge their electric vehicles at the lowest utility rates. The company has designed Blink too not only be iconic and modern, but also practical and safe.

EV Micro-Climates: ECOtality’s EV Micro-Climate program is designed to advance select areas for the adoption of electric transportation. Beginning with extensive feasibility and infrastructure planning studies, the program provides a blueprint for a comprehensive EV infrastructure system and provides detailed action plans for its successful execution and continued maintenance.

Energy Storage: Innergy Power Corporation, another subsidiary of ECOtality, manufactures and develops high-quality ThinLine energy cells and rechargeable batteries that are used in a wide variety of applications where form factor is an essential design element. Innergy Power produces the world’s thinnest SLA (ThinLine) batteries, which offer significant advantages in reliability, safety, and run time, while having no memory effect.

Solar: Innergy Power Corporation also manufactures a variety of solar photovoltaic (PV) products that address the burgeoning worldwide demand for renewable solar energy products. The subsidiary’s fiberglass reinforced panel (FRP) solar modules are designed to meet a broad range of applications for emergency preparedness and recreation, where quality, durability, rugged construction and light weight are important in the outdoor environment.

Fuel Cells: ECOtality also the parent company of Fuel Cell Store, the leading international retailer of fuel cell products. A website-based business, Fuel Cell Store features quality products from more vendors than any other site as well as an experienced and knowledgeable staff for technical and product support, conferences, workshops, laboratory development and consulting services.

On Wednesday, March 23, 2011, ECOtality announced that it has expanded the installation of its flagship Blink™ Level 2 Residential Charging Station to Tucson, Arizona residences. As project manager of The EV Project, the largest rollout of electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure and EVs in history, the company will install Blink home EV chargers in homes throughout project regions nationwide to support the launch of 8,300 EVs.

Colleen Crowninshield, manager of the Clean Cities Coalition at Pima Association of Governments (PAG), stated, “PAG Tucson Regional Clean Cities Coalition is proud to be a part of the largest deployment of electric vehicle infrastructure in the nation’s history. Working with our Clean Cities Coalition Members and ECOtality, PAG’s Clean Cities Program is excited to begin the residential installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, here in Tucson, to help secure America’s energy independence for our future.”

Monday, March 28th, 2011 Ones to Watch, Uncategorized Comments Off on ECOtality, Inc. (ECTY) is “One to Watch”

Service Corporation International (SCI) is “One to Watch”

Service Corporation International is North America’s largest single provider of funeral, cremation and cemetery services. Through more than 20,000 dedicated individuals, the company provides caring assistance to families in need, honor veterans and public servants, helping them celebrate the significance of lives that have been lived, and preserving memories that transcend generations.

The company operates a network of more than 1,800 funeral homes and cemeteries in 43 states, eight Canadian provinces, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Leveraging its industry leading position to offer more value to more families than any other company, Service Corporation takes the lead in providing innovative funeral products and options that address evolving needs and preferences.

Last year Service Corporation’s consolidated revenues grew by $137 million, or 7%, and its normalized earnings per share grew 16% against an unusually high 2009. In addition to improving its near-term debt maturity and risk profile, the company also returned $156 million to shareholders through a combination of share repurchases & dividends while increasing the quarterly dividend rate by 25%.

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011 Ones to Watch, Uncategorized Comments Off on Service Corporation International (SCI) is “One to Watch”

CAMAC Energy Inc. (CAK) is “One to Watch”

CAMAC Energy Inc. is a dynamic, independent energy company that targets high return, early cash flow global energy projects. Maintaining a balanced portfolio which includes upstream operations and downstream opportunities in Asia and West Africa, the company is committed to building success through strategic vision, unparalleled experience, and responsible corporate governance.

The company’s principal assets include interests in the Oyo Oilfield, an offshore oil asset in deepwater Nigeria that started production in December 2009; a 100% interest in the Zijinshan CBM gas asset located in the Shanxi Province, China; and the Enhanced Oil Recovery and Production (EORP) business in Northern China. Headquartered in Hartsdale, New York, CAMAC Energy has additional offices in Houston, Texas; Beijing, China; and Lagos, Nigeria.

CAMAC Energy strives to maximize shareholder value by actively identifying and managing high-return global energy projects. The company reduces exposure and risks through diversification and a balanced portfolio of assets that offer both short-term cash flow and long-term growth potential. As part of their business strategy, CAMAC Energy actively manages its investments and on-going operations by forming strategic partnerships and alliances.

Earlier this week the company announced its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2010. In the news release, CAMAC Energy noted a “transformation in the cash flow story” as second quarter cash flow from operations increased to a positive $15.6 million from a negative $2.6 million for the same period in 2009. Also notable, the company reported no short-term or long-term debt, other than $6.8 million related to the Oyo Oilfield acquisition which has since then been paid in full.

In other recent news, CAMAC Energy signed a memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) with CAMAC Energy Holdings Limited, CAMAC International (Nigeria) Limited, and Allied Energy Resources Nigeria Limited to acquire full interest in Oil Mining Leases 120 and 121 located offshore Nigeria. The companies intend to finalize negotiations and related due diligence with a goal of entering into a definitive agreement on or before October 15, 2010.

Commenting on the MOU, CEO Mr. Bill Dozier, stated the following, “We are very excited about the growth opportunities this acquisition could bring to our Company. This builds upon the successful movement by the Company to a cash flow positive position which we announced yesterday in our second quarter results and which is further elaborated in my Letter to Shareholders which was posted on our Company website today (”

With a strong track record of rapid success and a hard working management team actively pursuing additional growth opportunities, CAMAC Energy is a company investors will want to keep an eye on.

Thursday, August 12th, 2010 Ones to Watch Comments Off on CAMAC Energy Inc. (CAK) is “One to Watch”

ACADIA Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ACAD)

ACADIA Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on using its innovative technology to fuel drug discovery and clinical development of novel treatments for central nervous system disorders. All the company’s product candidates currently in the pipeline have been derived from discoveries made using its proprietary drug discovery platform.

The company’s portfolio of most advanced product candidates include three product candidates in clinical development and two product candidates in IND-track development. ACADIA’s pipeline addresses diseases that are currently not well served by available therapies and represent large potential commercial opportunities. Part of ACADIA’s core strategy is to selectively pursue strategic collaborations to advance and maximize the commercial potential of its pipeline.

As of June 30, 2009, the company had $70 million in total assets, $66.2 million of which was comprised of cash and investment securities available for sale. Current liabilities total $20.9 million and shareholder’s equity stands at $26.4 million. ACADIA anticipates that its cash, cash equivalents and investment securities will be greater than $40 million at December 31, 2009, and that its existing cash resources and payments from its collaborations will be sufficient to fund its operations at least into the first half of 2011.

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Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 Ones to Watch Comments Off on ACADIA Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ACAD)