Archive for July, 2011

Altair Nanotechnologies Inc. (ALTI) spikes on Canon pact

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Altair Nanotechnologies Inc. (NASDAQ: ALTI) shares jumped 29.6% Monday morning to $1.40, after the company today announced it had closed on a Share Subscription Agreement with Canon Investment Holdings Limited (Canon), through its affiliate, Energy Storage Technology (China) Group Limited (EST). Volume for Altair stock was 2.7 million shares, compared to a daily average of just over 225,000.

A news release put out on July 25 spelled out that, under the terms of the agreement, Altairnano issued 37,036,807 common shares to EST at $1.5528 per share, providing $57.5 million in proceeds to Altairnano. Following the closing of this transaction, there are 69,452,487 Altairnano common shares outstanding.

On September 20, 2010, Altairnano announced that it had entered into the Share Subscription Agreement, as amended, under which Canon had agreed to purchase newly issued common shares of Altairnano, which resulted in EST owning 53.3% of Altairnano’s common shares, 49.8% on a fully diluted basis, immediately following the closing.

“While this transaction took considerably longer to close than expected, the Canon investment allows us to now focus on growing the business and creating shareholder wealth,” said Terry Copeland, Altairnano president and Chief Executive Officer.

Headquartered in Reno, Nev. with manufacturing in Anderson, Ind., Altairnano is a leading provider of energy storage systems for clean, efficient power and energy management. Altairnano’s nano lithium-ion titanate-based solutions are among the highest performing and most scalable, with applications that include complete energy storage systems for frequency regulation and renewables integration for the electric grid, and battery modules and cells for transportation and industrial applications.

Robert Half International Inc. (RHI) posts strong earnings, stock hikes

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Robert Half International Inc. (NYSE: RHI) shares surged 15.8% to $29.91 Thursday on strong quarterly earnings. Volume for the stock closed in on five million shares, or better than triple its daily average.

The staffing solutions company, based out of Menlo Park, Calif., put out a press release July 20 stating that, for the quarter ended June 30, 2011, net income was $36.4 million or $.25 per share, on revenues of $938.0 million. Net income for the prior year’s second quarter was $12.2 million or $.08 per share, on revenues of $769.1 million.

Robert Half CEO Harold Messmer Jr., was quoted in the release as saying, “This is the fifth consecutive quarter we have reported accelerating year-over-year growth rates for our consolidated revenues. Second-quarter revenues increased 22% from one year ago, and second-quarter income per share tripled from the year-ago period.

Messmer continued, “We saw broad-based, improving demand for our professional staffing services and Protiviti both in North America and abroad. Our permanent placement and technology staffing divisions were particularly strong. The pricing environment also continued to improve during the quarter, which contributed to higher gross margins.”

Founded in 1948, Robert Half International Inc., the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm, is a recognized leader in professional consulting and staffing services.

SFN Group Inc. (SFN) being taken over, stock zooms

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

SFN Group Inc. (NYSE: SFN) shares shot up 51% to $13.93. Late Wednesday, the staffing-services provider and Dutch company Randstad Holding NV said the latter would acquire the former for about $770 million. Volume on SFN was 12.4 million shares, contrasted with a daily average of less than 570,000.

As a result of the acquisition, announced in a news release Wednesday, Randstad will become the third-largest HR services provider in North America, doubling its presence in the U.S. and reinforcing its leading position in Canada. Randstad and SFN Group have a comparable service offering in North America and a complementary geographic coverage, which creates a unique strategic fit.

In North America, the combination will have revenues of $4.6 billion (pro forma, LTM March 31, 2011) of which 39% in Professionals, 52% in Staffing and 9% in HR Solutions (Payrolling, Managed Services and Recruitment Process Outsourcing).

This represents under 5% of the highly fragmented North American HR Services market. The combination will have over 5,000 employees and operate from over 1,000 outlets. As a result of the transaction, the Randstad Group will have combined revenues of approximately $22 billion/ euro 17 billion (pro forma, LTM March 31, 2011).

SFN CEO Roy Krause was quoted in the release as saying, “The executive management and I are confident that the combination of our two companies is a strong strategic fit that will not only deliver expanded service offerings for our clients in North America, but also creates opportunities to service them on a global basis.”

“Both companies have complementary cultures and values which will provide growth opportunities for our staff associates.” Krause concluded.

Quepassa Corp. (QPSA) leaps on myYearbook buyout

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Quepassa Corp. (AMEX: QPSA) shares gained 33.5% to $9.52, after the social-media company said it would acquire the owner of in a cash-and-stock deal worth $100 million. Volume for the stock topped five million shares, compared to a daily average of just over one million.

The company, based in West Palm Beach, Florida and owner of popular Latino social network and cross-platform social game development studio Quepasa Games, announced in a news release Wednesday that it has executed a definitive agreement to merge with Insider Guides, Inc., DBA myYearbook, the best place to meet new people on the web or mobile device, for $100 million, comprised of approximately $82 million in Quepasa common stock and approximately $18 million in cash.

Quepassa CEO John Abbott was quoted in the same release as saying, “With this merger, we intend to create nothing less than the public market leader in social discovery.Combination with myYearbook nearly doubles the size of Quepasa’s existing user base while positioning the new company for significantly higher growth in mobile and social games, advertising, and virtual currency. The myYearbook team is product-oriented and hungry to continue building innovative products at the convergence of social and mobile. We expect the scale of this combination to enable a new class of investor in Quepasa.

Abbott concluded, “We believe myYearbook’s proven track record in monetization and engagement will fuel significant future growth.”

myYearbook makes meeting new people fun and easy online and on your mobile phone. myYearbook combines innovative social games, virtual goods, social applications, and a robust virtual currency called “Lunch Money” to facilitate introductions and break the ice. myYearbook started in a single high school in 2005 and has grown to over 32.7 million members worldwide.

Takeover target Nalco Holding Co. (NLC) jumps in price

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Nalco Holding Co. (NYSE: NLC) shares jumped 24.2% to $35.86 after pest-control services provider Ecolab Inc. (NYSE: ECL) said it would acquire the water-treatment company for about $5.4 billion. Volume for Nalco amounted to 22.2 million shares, towering over a daily average of just better than one million.

The company out of Napierville, Illinois put out a news release saying that, under the terms of the agreement, which was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, Nalco’s shareholders may elect to receive either 0.7005 share of Ecolab common stock per share of Nalco common stock or $38.80 in cash, without interest, per share of Nalco common stock.

Nalco CEO J. Erik Fyrwald was quoted in the release as saying, “This is a strategically and financially compelling transaction that brings together two highly complementary businesses — combining Nalco’s leading positions in water and energy services with Ecolab’s strength in the food and beverage, health-care and institutional markets.

“Moreover, this transaction delivers substantial value to our shareholders through an immediate premium to Nalco’s share price as well as the opportunity to participate in the upside potential of the combined company. We are confident that our strong momentum, along with the combined enterprise’s significant financial resources, will enable us to deliver both accelerated growth and improved profitability.”

Nalco Company prides itself as being the world’s largest sustainability services company focused on industrial water, energy and air applications. The company says it helps customers reduce energy, water and other natural resource consumption, minimizing environmental releases while boosting the bottom line.