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Business Observer Friday, Sep. 22, 2006 15 years ago

Corporate Report

Gevity downgrades outlook through rest of yearTourist council adds Lakewood Ranch to area's tourism enterpriseOswald Tripp buys BMC Insurance in DenverSarasota 1450 news station becomes 'The Dove'Tampa's ICAT benefiting from State's P&C underwriting programTenby Pharma buys Sirion Therapeutics, adds capitalRemember this: Drink more coffee

Corporate Report

Gevity downgrades outlook through rest of year

Bradenton-based Gevity, a in-sourced employment management solution company, is revising downward its 2006 corporate and financial outlook. Gevity officials attribute these changes to slower than expected performance in its 'multi-layer' growth strategy. In particular, Gevity executives pointed to problems with the introduction of health carrier choice and the expansion of the mid-market portfolio.

"We believe that the delay in further growth acceleration is temporary and can primarily be attributed to two initial challenges," says Erik Vonk, Gevity's chairman and CEO. "The first is in reference to the pricing aspect of our new multi-carrier health benefit choice program; the second is a longer than anticipated sales cycle in the mid-market."

Based on the updated guidance, Gevity expects full year adjusted diluted earnings per share of at least $1.31 on 27 million shares outstanding, representing at least a 9% increase compared to adjusted diluted earnings per share of $1.20 on 28.5 million shares outstanding in 2005. Previous guidance for adjusted diluted earnings per share guidance was $1.43 to $1.47 on 27.2 million shares outstanding.

Financial Picture

3Q 2006 4Q 2006 Full Year Growth

Current Previous Current Previous Current Previous

Revenues (millions) $158-$162 $169-$179 $167-$177 $183-$193 8%-10% 12%-15%

Gross Profit (millions) $48.5-$50 $53-$57 $50.5-$54.5 $57-$61 1%-4% 7%-11%

Adjusted Operating

Expenses (millions) $37.5-$38.5 $38-$40 $38-$40 $40-$42 3%-5% 4%-7%

Adjusted Diluted EPS at least $0.27 $0.36-$0.38 at least $0.38 $0.41 - $0.43 at least 9% 19% - 23%

Net Client Employee

Growth(compared to

prior year period) 1%-1.5% 6%-11% 1%-2% 10%-15% 1%-2% 10%-15%

Effective Tax Rate 37% 37.5% 27% 37.5% N/A N/A

Source: Gevity

Tourist council adds Lakewood Ranch to area's tourism enterprise

The Manatee County Tourist Development Council, at the recommendation of Larry White, executive director of the Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, approved the addition of Lakewood Ranch to the area's tourism enterprise. The Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, referred to as Florida's Gulf Islands, will now incorporate Lakewood Ranch into all marketing materials from their logo and web site to all advertising, public relations, and promotional efforts.

"Lakewood Ranch elevates the level of amenities we offer to our guests," White says.

The Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau promotes tourism to Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key, Bradenton and now Lakewood Ranch.

Oswald Tripp buys BMC Insurance in Denver

Fort Myers-based independent insurance company Oswald Trippe and Co. Inc., has expanded its North Carolina operation with the acquisition of BMC Insurance in Denver, N.C..

Earlier this year, OTC announced the acquisition of its first North Carolina-based office in Cornelius. In addition to the two North Carolina offices, Oswald Trippe operates 10 Florida offices in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Coral Springs, Holmes Beach, Miami, Naples, Ocala, Sarasota, Tallahassee and Weston.

Sarasota 1450 news station becomes 'The Dove'

Clear Channel Radio of Sarasota-Bradenton has changed the format of WSRQ 1450 AM from talk/news radio to WSDV AM 1450 "The Dove", a simulcast of its sister station WDDV AM 1320 in Venice's adult standards music. Clear Channel started broadcasting the format in Venice in August. The format change is expected to expend the station's reach to all of Sarasota and Manatee counties.

"[The station's] target audience is 45 years old and up, which happens to be the largest demographic population segment in our area," says Buddy Lee, Vice President and General Manager for Clear Channel Radio of Sarasota-Bradenton, "It makes up over 60% of the Sarasota-Bradenton residents listening to radio."

Tampa's ICAT benefiting from State's P&C underwriting program

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation appointed Tampa-based ICAT Specialty Insurance Co. as the first servicing carrier for the newly activated Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association. Gov. Jeb Bush and the Florida Cabinet approved an Emergency Rule, which activated the PCJUA in order to provide commercial property insurance for small Florida businesses that are unable to find wind/hail coverage in the insurance markets.

Under the PCJUA Program, ICAT will qualify and provide quotes to Florida agents through ICAT's internet-based platform. In the event the voluntary market does not bind coverage through FMAP, ICAT will bind coverage, conduct physical inspections, and administer the policies and claims on behalf of the PCJUA. Coverage is available for structures with values up to $1 million.

ICAT, an affiliate of ICAT Managers LLC, a Boulder, Colo.-based agency, began processing agent appointments Sept. 1, and accepting insurance applications beginning Sept. 15. Agents may register to access the on-line system by going to Agents must register with FMAP's Commercial Program prior to registering with ICAT.

Tenby Pharma buys Sirion Therapeutics, adds capital

Tenby Pharma Inc. completed its acquisition of Tampa's Sirion Therapeutics Inc. as a wholly-owned subsidiary. Tenby Pharma was merely a shell company for the acquisition. Pursuant to the transaction, Sirion's former stockholders acquired control of Tenby Pharma and Tenby Pharma became the parent holding company for Sirion and its businesses. Additionally, in connection with the transaction, Tenby Pharma secured $25 million in financing from funds affiliated with North Sound Capital LLC to develop and commercialize the Sirion portfolio of products.

"Sirion's initial financial backers, NovaQuest (a division of Quintiles Transnational Corp.), and Avalon Ventures, have been great partners," says Barry Butler, president and CEO of Sirion Therapeutics and Tenby Pharma. "Their support has allowed us to grow very rapidly. We believe that adding North Sound Capital to our investment team gives us the kind of financial backing we need to continue to advance our strategic goals."

Prior to the transaction with Tenby, Sirion executed two separate acquisitions. In July 2006, Sirion acquired Sytera, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, and in August 2006, Sirion acquired Rx Development Resources, LLC, a clinical research organization focused primarily on treating eye diseases.

Remember this: Drink more coffee

Tampa-based Byrd Alzheimer's Institute researchers report in the online edition of the peer-reviewed journal Neuroscience, that caffeine intake equal to five cups of coffee a day for humans protects mice against memory impairments and reduces Alzheimer's pathology in brains.

The research follows an earlier study that hinted that caffeine might protect humans against Alzheimer's. That study, focusing on humans, found that Alzheimer's patients consumed markedly less coffee in the 20 years prior to the disease diagnosis than did age-matched individuals without Alzheimer's disease.

The researchers administered caffeine to aged Alzheimer's mice, already with high levels of beta-amyloid, and caffeine intake resulted in lower beta-amyloid levels. The finding suggests that individuals living with the disease could benefit from a moderate daily intake of caffeine.

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