The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for June 2, 2000

Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
Company Earnings Releases
>  Biopure Corporation announced its financial results for the second fiscal quarter ended April 29, 2000.  For the quarter, the company reported a net loss of $9.9 million, compared with a net loss of $8.4 million for the corresponding period in 1999.  Total revenues were $710,000 for the second quarter of fiscal 2000, compared with $812,000 for the corresponding period in 1999. 

>  International Absorbents Inc. reported a 24% increase in revenues and a 52% increase in profits for the quarter ended April 30, 2000.  Revenues for the quarter rose to $2.2 million versus $1.8 million for the same period last year.  Profits grew to $382,000, compared to $252,000, for last year’s first quarter.  Gross margins for the first quarter increased to $982,000, or 45%. (PRNewswire)

Company News Releases

>  IGI, Inc. announced it has signed a letter of intent to sell its Vineland Laboratories Division to Lohmann&Co., AG, of Cuxhaven, Germany.  An increasing number of IGI’s new products are based on the patented Novasome® micro encapsulation technology. 

> announced it sold out Phase I and has a waiting list for Phase II investors in its private placement offering.  The seed money was raised exclusively from a national contingent of licensed veterinarian investors.  The $1,000,000 raised in Phase I will be used to implement the company’s business plan and to build out the Web site. 

>   PetQuarters, Inc. announced it has acquired, Inc., a privately held company based in Los Angeles, California. The merger will combine the online and offline capabilities of the two companies; integrating the content and community aspects of the web site with PetQuarters’ fulfillment, customer service, product sourcing and distribution capabilities. (PRNewswire)

> announced it has added solution-based selling to its Web site with the launch of two new online centers — the Petopia Behavior Solutions Center and the Petopia Travel Center.  The Petopia Behavior Solutions Center was designed to help pet owners understand, address and cope with common behavior issues for cats and dogs. Petopia’s Travel Center addresses the unique challenges pet owners face by providing the essential information and products for safe and enjoyable pet travel. (Business Wire)

>  One2One Care announced the launch of its consumer Internet portal at  This portal allows consumers to log onto the site at any time of the day to visit their own veterinarians online, request appointments, track their pet’s health, and access veterinarian supported information and resources.  (Company Press Release)

>, an e-commerce activity of BioNet Technologies Inc. announced improvements in their web site with the addition of new stores and a new shopping cart ordering system.  The online shopping mall is located at and features a variety of products for people with animals, pets and critters.  Over 20 stores recently joined, making a total of over 60 resources to browse through. (Business Wire)

>  Harvest Ventures announced the newest addition to their Premium Cat Care litter line, the Reduced Tracking Litter Pearls®.  The Reduced Tracking Litter Pearls® utilizes the same technology as Litter Pearls®, in a new non-circular shape that will completely reduce tracking. (Business Wire)

Animal Health News

> announced the launch of their online retail site, is a discounted livestock pharmaceuticals, supplies and equipment distributor.  (PRNewswire)

> announced that their new Animal Health Marketplace is now open.  Within the Marketplace, beef, hog and poultry producers have the ability to name their price on a variety of leading brand name Animal Health products including vaccines, pharmaceuticals and herd health supplements.  (Company Press Release)

> added Fort Dodge Animal Health as their new e-commerce partner.  Livestock producers can now purchase Fort Dodge Livestock pharmaceuticals and vaccines through  (Company Press Release)

>,  owned by the Discovery Channel, has cut part of its staff and declined to say how many employees were let go.  “Because of the current environment there has been a reduction in force,” Petstore spokesman Binay Cahn said.  “Our message is very short and very clear. is still fully operational.” (CNET

>  Continental Airlines is the only major US airline with a summer pet flight program.  Continental’s “Quickpak” Live Animal Program also prohibits summer cargo travel for animals flying with their humans, but it does allow the animal to be shipped directly as cargo.  Other airlines are requiring this be done only through breeders or similarly licensed animal shippers during the summer months.  (Best Fares Discount Travel Magazine)

Agribusiness News

>  The Agriculture Division of Bayer Corporation engaged Planalytics Agriculture to employ Weathernomics(SM) technology to better understand and plan for seasonal product demand a full year in advance.  Weathernomics provides manufacturers and retailers with the specific impact of future weather on consumer demand by product, location, and time. Using artificial intelligence modeling of historical business results and weather data, Weathernomics determines how weather influences product demand. (PRNewswire)

>  Strategic Diagnostics Inc. announced an agreement with Novartis Seeds to develop, license and distribute a new series of diagnostic tests. Once the new tests are developed and validated, SDI will distribute them for quality control of foundation seeds as well as crop breeding. These diagnostic tests will enable plant breeders, seed producers and grain handlers to ensure the presence of the favorable traits in seed and grain. (Business Wire)

>  Dean Foods Company and Land O’Lakes, Inc. announced Dean Foods would purchase Land O’Lakes’ Upper Midwest fluid milk operations.  The two organizations also announced their agreement to form a joint venture to market and license certain value-added fluid and cultured dairy products to further expand and leverage the Land O’ Lakes brand name nationwide.  (PRNewswire)

> AgraQuest completed a private placement of preferred stock, raising $7.2 million for the company. Swiss Re (Zurich, Switzerland), a new investor to AgraQuest, led the round. The other new investor was Stephens Group, Inc. (Little Rock, AR).  AgraQuest is using this financing for working capital associated with the launch of Serenade™ biofungicide and to further commercialize AgraQuest’s product pipeline of biofungicides, bioinsecticides, and bionematicides. (PRNewswire)

>  AgraQuest and FMC signed an accord to launch Serenade™ biofungicide against vegetable and fruit diseases in Mexico.   AgraQuest discovered the crop disease control Serenade™, while screening for microbial natural products for pest management.  The new natural product shows excellent control against destructive diseases such as gray mold, powdery mildews, early blight, bacteria and other fungus diseases.  (PRNewswire)

>  Horizon Organic Holding Corp., the U.K.’s leading producer of organic dairy products, announced the acquisition of Devon, England-based Meadow Farms Ltd., the leading processor and supplier of organic fluid milk in the U.K. The purchase includes a processing and packaging plant.  Meadow Farms produces private label organic milk for leading supermarket chains in the
U.K. Meadow Farms sales account for more than 60 percent of total organic fluid milk sales in the U.K. (Animal Net)

>™ announced the merger of Limelight Technologies and is a business-to-business e-commerce initiative of Rabobank, a bank for the food and agriculture industry. The merger will align companies specializing in food and agriculture with over 130 specialists in Internet technologies and business development strategy, who work in offices around the world. (Business Wire)   

>  eMerge Interactive, Inc. announced it has acquired Ed Edens Farms, Okolona, Mississippi, a major cattle order-buying facility in the southeastern U.S.  This acquisition is another move towards strengthening eMerge’s leadership position as the nation’s largest virtual cattle marketplace.  The transaction consisted of a combination of stock and cash totaling $3.3 million. (PRNewswire)

>  VantagePoint Network(R) announced the expansion of its Web-based crop management system to include third party verification and tracking for identity preserved (IP) grains. This new feature was developed in partnership with™, a Wichita, Kan., online crop verification company.  (PRNewswire)

>  The U.S. Agriculture Department is eliminating certain food safety regulations in meat and poultry processing plants, allowing companies greater flexibility and innovation in their products.
Among the many changes, the USDA is removing requirements for quality control programs overseeing certain ingredients used in products such as frankfurters, bologna and sausages for calcium, fat and protein content.  Additional changes affect meat and poultry canning regulations.
The rule is effective starting August 28.  (Reuters)

>  The EPA is expected to announce on June 8th the pesticide chlorpyifos, sold under the trade names Dursban and Lorsban, will be removed from all over-the-counter products.  Farmers will still be allowed to spray the products on crops, but its agricultural use will be reduced to a degree not yet decided. Chlorpyrifos is one of the most widely used pesticides according to the EPA. (AP)

>   The certification of more than half of Brazil’s cattle as free of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) has positioned them to become the top exporter of beef in four years.  The OIE has decided to add six Brazilian states to the area declared free of FMD.  Annual sales of beef, pork and chicken could climb to $5 billion with an estimated 160 million head of cattle available for exportation to industrialized countries.  (E-markets)

Brakke Consulting, Inc. Technology Review

Manufacturer / gross margin audit.  How can you improve your company’s bottom line?  We’re talking profit improvement – not cost reduction.  Brakke Consulting can audit your company’s manufacturing processes and its related services.  Our experience has shown us that most companies can add 2-5% to their gross margin in 18-24 months by adopting some simple profit improvement projects.  Call John Short at 828-236-0585 or our Dallas office for more details.

Brakke Consulting Viewpoint

It was another week for the dotcom companies in our newsletter.  The rush for funding and obtaining market share in the animal health business is in full swing.  Who will be there first with a business plan and model that makes sense to the segment each company proposes to serve?  Which dotcom will be the first to put together a full year of sales and earnings?  We look forward to hearing your thoughts on the questions posed above.  Send us an email and we’ll keep all your comments confidential.
[Ron Brakke]
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