» 1999

Animal Health News & Notes for November 19, 1999 11/19/1999

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Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for November 19, 1999

Company earnings releases
 Synbiotics Corp. announced revenues of $6.0 million for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 1999; a decrease of 12% from the comparable prior year quarter.  Net loss for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 1999 was ($1,167,000), compared to a loss of ($743,000) for the prior year quarter. Revenue for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 1999 was $25.2 million, compared with $24.7 million in the prior year nine-month period.
 IGI, Inc. reported a third quarter net loss of $334,000 for the quarter ended September 30, 1999.  This compared to a net loss of $668,000 for the corresponding period in 1998. Revenues for the quarter ended September 30, 1999 were $8.8 million, an increase of 7% over the quarter ended September 30, 1998. Revenues for nine months ended September 30, 1999 were $26.4 million, which was 9% greater than the corresponding nine-month period of 1998.
 PetMedExpress.com, Inc. announced net sales of $4.2 million for the quarter ended September 30, 1999, up 44% over last year's second quarter net sales. The net loss for the period was $161,079, compared to last year's net income of $459,105.  Last year's net income reflects the utilization of a net operating loss carry forward which resulted in a zero tax provision.  For the six month period ended September 30, 1999, net sales were $8.3 million, up 55% over last year's net sales of $5.4 million for the comparable period.
 Doane Pet Care Company reported net income of $4.3 million for its third quarter ended October 2, 1999, on net sales of $181.4 million and net income of $16.5 million for the nine months ended October 2, 1999, on net sales of $565.5 million. The first nine months of 1999 included a non-recurring charge of $2.4 million ($1.5 million net of tax) primarily related to the withdrawal of the proposed initial public offering by Doane’s parent company.

Company News Releases
 IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has increased the Company's share repurchase authorization from 4,000,000 to 6,000,000 shares of the Company's Common Stock. Under the repurchase program, which commenced in August, the Company has repurchased approximately 3.7 million shares of its Common Stock.
 Ralston Purina has acquired Canbrands International Ltd., which manufactures Yesterday’s News paper-based cat litter.  The company’s sales are an estimated $5.8 million.  Canbrands will become part of Ralston’s Golden Products segment, which includes the Tidy Cat brand.
 On November 22nd, Ralston Purina will Purina MarketPlace, the first exclusive online pet merchandise auction site.  Purina MarketPlace, (auctions.purina.com), allows consumers to post bids and buy or sell pet collectibles via the Internet.  Auction categories include everything from gifts, toys, supplies, training tools and accessories for pets, to art, books, videos, clothing, jewelry and collectibles for pet owners.
 Heska Corporation announced that its new proprietary equine influenza vaccine has received USDA approval.  The product, Flu Avert I.N. vaccine, is expected to be made available to veterinarians in approximately two weeks.   Heska will be seeking regulatory approval in Europe and anticipates marketing the product there in approximately two years
 At the insistence of its major creditor, PetQuarters.com has reorganized its management and shifted most of its operations to a Pennsylvania company it acquired in August.
The Lonoke-based pet supply company borrowed about $4 million from Sun Valley Trust, a group of private investors based in Idaho, to finance the acquisition of Humboldt Industries of Hazleton, Pa., in August. PetQuarters.com paid the remainder of the $9.2 million acquisition price in stock. PetQuarters.com was formed in May 1997 and had a net loss of $800,000 in its first year.
 Pets.com announced that its popular Puppet spokesdog will debut as a brand new Pets.com Falloon (a combination of a Float and a Balloon) in the 73rd annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Representing one of the first Internet companies to enter in the parade, the 36 foot-tall Falloon will feature the energetic pooch, who is also the ambassador to Pets.commitment, Pets.com's program to provide a million hours of volunteer time and direct financial support to organizations in which "people help animals" and "animals help people."
 Pet Food Express, the nation's 8th largest pet retailer with 16 stores in Northern California, recently launched a well-received e-commerce Web site at www.petfoodexpress.com.  The site mirrors the firm's real world stores by offering an large selection of products coupled with expert pet information. Plus, Internet shoppers can ask questions and receive one-on-one help via the real-time Live Person service.

Animal Health News
 European Food Safety Commissioner David Byrne was cited as telling the European Parliament that he is studying banning one product and phasing out three others still in use on the basis of scientific advice he has received on the matter. Byrne did not name the drug in question, but EU officials were cited as saying that it is avilamycin, an antibiotic growth promoter made by the Elanco Animal Health unit of Ely Lilly and marketed under the brand name Maxus. EU officials were cited as saying that the ban on avilamycin, which is used in poultry and pig feed, could be made before the end of the year.
 A new company whose goal is to preserve genetic material of pets, livestock and endangered species has been formed at LSU’s business and technology center.  Lazaron Biotechnologies will freeze small skin biopsy samples in the hope that the tissue may eventually lead to cloning.
 CVM's Office of Research (OR) has developed an analytical method for quantifying and monitoring sarafloxacin residues in eggs. Currently, the OR is expanding the single-analyte method to include two other fluoroquinolones, namely ciprofloxacin and enrofloxacin. Once the development of the multi-residue method is completed, CVM plans to conduct a national survey for fluoroquinolones in table eggs.  While fluoroquinolones are approved for use in growing turkeys and broiler chickens, they are not approved for use in laying hens.
 The USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has developed a laboratory assay that detects the presence of abnormal prion proteins in the blood of animals and humans.  It is hoped that further development of the assay will lead to a diagnostic test for BSE and other spongiform encephalopathies.  The ARS has applied for a patent, and has signed an R&D agreement with Fort Dodge to develop a diagnostic test kit for TSEs in animals.

Agribusiness News
 Novartis Seeds today announced an agreement with Monsanto Company and its seed unit DEKALB Genetics Corporation to settle all pending lawsuits between them.  Appropriate legal documents are being filed today with all the courts where matters are pending between the parties.  These legal actions involve both contractual and intellectual property rights issues regarding Bt corn, specifically Novartis NK Brand YieldGard corn and Novartis NK Brand Knockout corn.

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New Brakke Consulting Study Available

Brakke Consulting has just completed the 1999 edition of their annual study Changes in the US Flea Control Market.  Each year, this report provides up-to-date sales figures and promotional budgets for the leading veterinary flea control products, as well as detailed product overviews.  In 1999, the report also reviews Pfizer’s new flea and heartworm control product Revolution, including projected sales for 1999 and 2000 promotional budget.  The report includes an overview of the OTC market and the heartworm preventatives market, and also includes a 1998 survey of 500 pet owners regarding flea product usage, and a 1999 survey of close to 200 veterinarians. 

If you are interested in learning more about the 1999 Changes in the US Flea Control Market, you may use return email or call the Dallas office at (972) 243-4033.  The 34-page study is available for immediate shipping.

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