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  • Teletouch Communications (TLLE) Shows Potential With Another Key Deal

    Since deciding to focus on its core distribution business earlier this year, Teletouch Communications (TLLE) has announced a flurry of new deals that have potentially positioned the company to realize significant growth over the coming quarters. Just last month alone Teletouch's wholly-owned subsidiary, Progressive Concepts, Inc. dba PCI Wholesale, has landed multiple distribution agreements with key players in the industry, including Wilson Electronics, Parrot, Inc., Aerovoice, Inc., and PureGear, among others.

    The trend of landing new contracts continued this week when Teletouch announced a multi-year national supply and distribution agreement with TCT Mobile Multinational, Limited, a subsidiary of the publicly traded consumer electronics manufacturer, TCL Communication. The deal allows Teletouch to sell and distribute TCT's ALCATEL ONE TOUCH branded mobile phones.

    According to a Thursday press release, "Teletouch has been named as a distributor in the United States for all Tier-1 wireless carriers' indirect distribution channels, including agents, dealers, independent retailers, MVNEs, resellers, distributors and/or similar wireless businesses (but not including any tier-1 carrier-owned retail outlets or affiliated distributors), and any Tier-2 or Tier-3 wireless carrier or operators (i.e., all other wireless carriers in the United States), as well as for certain exclusive customer accounts, including a number of national retailers."

    T. A. "Kip" Hyde, Jr., President and COO of Teletouch, also highlighted in the press release that "The completion of this initial agreement with a leading global cellular handset manufacturer is a key milestone in Teletouch's stated effort to transform our core business from primarily providing AT&T (T)-based cellular billing services on a limited regional basis to becoming a prominent national wholesale wireless equipment distribution company."

    Trading volume for TLLE shares have been picking up along with the notable boost in news flow and Thursday's news was accompanied by volume of well more than double the daily norm. Shares also closed at forty nine cents after trading at around forty for most of the week.

    As Teletouch continues to expand its core distribution business, it's worth keeping an eye on TLLE as a potential growth play. Although shares were trading significantly higher, in terms of percentages, just a few months ago, enough volume has been flowing in at around the forty cent level to indicate that a foundation may be forming for an eventual move higher.

    Disclosure: No position.

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    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

    Tags: TLLE, T, Long Ideas
    Jun 08 2:40 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Chanticleer Holdings: A Little Known Company Taking One of America's Most Recognizable Restaurant Names International
    By targeting the potential high growth markets of South Africa, Australia and others, Chanticleer looks to turn the already-lucrative Hooters name into dollar signs.

    Earlier this year, Chanticleer Holdings (OTCBB: CCLR.OB) completed a deal that netted the company and its cadre of investors ownership of one of the most internationally-recognized American brand-named chain restaurants, Hooters.

    Chanticleer, otherwise known at the time for its successful management of a value-based micro-cap fund, pulled off a coup by landing Hooters when the Brooks family estate decided to put it up for sale after nearly three decades of family ownership. Robert Brooks, who purchased Hooters as a small chain in 1986 and grew it into an international enterprise, passed away in 2006, but had a close friendship with Chanticleer CEO Mike Pruitt, who through a business arrangement with Brooks and the now-defunct Hooters Air, was able to secure a 'first right of refusal' for 'Hooters of America (HOA)' - the franchiser and operator of over 450 Hooters restaurants in 44 states and 28 foreign countries - should it ever go up for sale.

    The rest is history.

    Hooters of America went up for sale after after the death of patriarch Robert when a squabbling second wife and other family members couldn't agree on who gets what. When the offers started rolling in, Mr. Pruitt - who had gathered some serious investor backing - exercised that ever-so-valuable first right of refusal and then successfully warded off a legal attack by Wellspring Capital Management LLC, who challenged the first refusal right.

    Pruitt now serves on the HOA Board of Directors, and through Chanticleer holdings, he looks to grow the Hooters brand internationally.

    The game plan starts with targeting highly-populated and developing areas, and strategically placing Hooters in those locations. One area that fits that description is South Africa, where three Hooters locations are already operating (in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town), with plans in place to open a fourth.

    According to an announcement last month, the Emperors Palace Casino Resort in Johannesburg has been targeted as the fourth location, which will be the first that is solely owned and operated by Chanticleer.
    Limited partners came on board for the first three stores in South African, which were part of a joint venture with SG Shaw Foods. Shaw was bought-out earlier this year, however, and a majority stake is retained by CCLR and its partners.

    Also a result of the Shaw buyout, Chanticleer created its own management company to run and maintain its interests in South African Hooters.

    Australia is another Hooters-friendly area being targeted for expansion. A September press release announced that a second location will be opening in Sydney, in addition to the site that opened up in Penrith earlier this year. Future sites in Australia are probable, and, according to the above-linked release, the company is feeling out other potential high-growth areas around the globe into which a Hooters presence can further expand.

    Although CCLR is now chest deep in the restaurant business, it should also be duly noted that those on the Chanticleer team are investors at heart, as the company was formed in 2005 on the basis of business development and then converted into an operating holding company a few years later. So, while the Hooters venture well articulates Chanticleer's strategy of targeting sound fundamentals and inherent growth potential for its investment dollars, there is a lot more to look at in the story than just Hooters.

    Chanticleer also manages, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Chanticleer Advisors, a portfolio of assets that has been hugely successful since its inception; realizing returns significantly above the standards set by the S&P 500 and Russel 2000 indexes.

    These gains are confirmed and outlined by documents linked to the Chanticleer Holdings website.

    One hidden gem discovered by the Chanticleer investment team might be North America Energy Resources, Inc. (OTCPK:NAEY). Chanticleer owned over 2.6 million shares of the company as of Q2 2011, according to a report released last month, and the recently agreement for NAEY to purchase a significant amount of oil and gas assets may corroborate the growth story as originally outlined by CCLR at the time of the initial investment.

    Aside from uncovering growth stories for its own portfolio, however, the lightly-traded Chanticleer could be positioned to land some significant growth of its own.

    Revenue is already rolling in from its share of earnings for the Durban and Hannesburg stores in South Africa, and a revenue stream from the Cape Town store is expected to commence shortly, according to the latest quarterly report.

    Although the world economy has been on the slide, there are still a number of countries and regions experiencing extremely high growth rates, and Chanticleer plans on targeting these locations for the expansion of its assets. That expansion into various international markets also looks to be gaining momentum, as evidenced by the grand openings of the past couple of years in South Africa and Australia.

    It's a given that people will always eat - and having a high-profile restaurant name with a plan for expansion is a recipe for success.

    Keep an eye on Chanticleer; still trading below the radar, this company has a very high profile asset in the Hooters name, which could lead to significant and expansive international growth.

    Disclosure: Long CCLR.
    Nov 16 12:47 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Novel Technology And Pfizer Partnership Put Lpath On The Path To Success
    Lpath, Ince. (OTC BB: LPTN), with milestone Phase II trials underway and the high-profile backing of Pfizer, Inc. (NYSEE: PFE), is starting to make some noise in the biotech sector with its novel disease-treating technology that includes the targeting of bioactive lipids to inhibit the spreading and growth of various modern day diseases.

    Through its proprietary drug-discovery platform, ImmuneY2, Lpath has developed a pipeline of two lead product candidates, iSONEP and ASONEP, with a third, Lpathomab, in earlier stages of development, and all being helped along financially by larger players in the pharmaceutical and government-sponsored research markets.

    Lpath's ImmuneY2 platform contains the ability to generate therapeutic antibodies that bind to and inhibit bioactive lipids that contribute to the spreading and growth of various diseases and inflammatory/auto-immune disorders. The market potential for this technology in treating a plethora of modern day illnesses and diseases, should it advance past the clinical stages, is huge, and Lpath is first applying its technology to the treatment of Wet AMD and cancer, both multi-billion dollar markets; but that could just be the the beginning.

    It could the sheer market potential of Lpath's pipeline technology that attracted Pfizer, or the fact that Lpath has become the recognized leader in the field of lipid-based therapeutics as the only company to take successfully take it this far, but whatever the reason, Pfizer's relationship with Lpath adds a significant amount of validation to the ImmuneY2 pipeline. It also offers Lpath a layer of strategic and financial security that is generally only afforded to later-staged companies.

    Pfizer jumped on board about a year ago when it became apparent that Lpath was, at least to date, the only company to have successfully developed monoclonal antibodies against bioactive lipids, although the targeting of bioactive signaling lipids has been the subject of increased medical research over recent years.

    Through the licensing agreement, Lpath has granted Pfizer a limited first right of refusal for ASONEP in the treatment of cancer, but it was the Phase II-ready iSONEP that Pfizer first eyeballed. The agreement came with a significant up-front payment and could be worth as much as nearly half a billion dollars, should certain milestones be met and should Pfizer decide to continue the relationship following the completion of the Phase II phase. If Pfizer stays on for iSONEP commercialization, Lpath would be due double digit royalties on sales. Given the aging and longer-living US population, the market potential for the Wet AMD indication is growing exponentially.

    Over the past couple of months, Lpath has announced the dosing of two proof-of-concept trials for iSONEP.

    The first, PEDigree, will measure iSONEP as a treatment for retinal pigment epithelium detachment ("RPE detachment" or "PED"), while the second, Nexus, targets Wet AMD.

    Phase I trials proved that iSONEP treatment was well tolerated in all subjects, while demonstrations of efficacy were also noted, creating an encouraging landscape moving into the next round of studies.

    The results of both trials are expected to be announced in 2012.

    It's a significant show of faith for a small player like Lpath to land a world wide pharmaceutical leader such as Pfizer at such early stages of development.

    Mikael Dolsten, president of Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development, noted in regards to the agreement that, "We have been impressed by Lpath's innovative approach in targeting bioactive lipids with iSONEP and the potential opportunity to significantly add to current standards of treatment in retinal disease."

    In addition to the ongoing iSONEP Phase II trials, Lpath is readying ASONEP for Phase II. Initiation of these trials is set for next year and follows encouraging Phase I testing that showed the treatment as well-tolerated, while also demonstrating efficacy. ASONEP utilizes Lpath's lipid-based therapeutics in targeting cancer.

    As per the terms of the partnership, Pfizer retains the right of first refusal for ASONEP licensing until December, 2013.

    Lpathomab is still in the preclinical stages of development with an IND scheduled for 2012 or 2013, according to the company website, but is being streamlined to potentially target the lucrative pain and fibrosis markets.

    Even though Lpathomab is still preclinical, the company managed to secure significant funding from the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) Type 1 Diabetes Preclinical Testing Program for the further study of Lpathomab's efficacy in animal models of disease, particularly diabetic neuropathy, according to a report issued this past summer.

    While still years away from bringing its pipeline to market, the unique technology offered by Lpath,and its success-to-date in administering it makes this company one to monitor as milestone events get underway and become potential short to mid term catalysts.

    With the novel platform developed by Lpath, it's also safe to consider this company and/or its pipeline as a potential acquisition target.

    Disclosure: No position.

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
    Nov 15 3:23 PM | Link | Comment!
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