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Roundup: MarineMax and Covid-19, Molekule donates devices to USF, UT’s bonds

Margie Manning

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A Boston Whaler, as show in MarineMax' 4Q 2018 investor presentation

Today’s roundup includes news about MarineMax, Moleuke, University of South Florida and University of Tampa.

MarineMax, a Clearwater-based boat and yacht retailer, is among the first local companies to start to quantify the impact of Covid-19 on its financial performance.

W. Brett McGill is CEO and president of MarineMax.

Net income at MarineMax (NYSE: HZO) for the three months ended March 31 was $5.1 million, or 23 cents a share, compared to net income of $5.3 million, or 23 cents a share, for the same quarter a year earlier. Revenue for the just-ended quarter, the second quarter of MarineMax’s fiscal year, was $308.5 million, up 2 percent from the year-earlier period.

Despite the growing impact of Covid-19 during March, MarineMax generated positive same-store sales in the quarter as it used its digital platform and promotional activity to improve traffic and sales, the company said in a quarterly earnings report.

“With most waterways open, we are committed to offering essential services to our boating communities and providing resources to get our customers and their families out on the water together, safely,” said W. Brett McGill, president and CEO. “Our strategy of investing in high margin businesses, best in class technology and focusing our team’s efforts on premium products and brands has served us well. Our business is further benefiting from our fully integrated CRM system and data analytics, creating a seamless experience for our customers.”

A Molekule device in use at USF

Yogi Goswami, the University of South Florida professor who developed the technology behind fast-growing startup Molekule, has donated 25 of the company’s air purification devices to USF. The devices are being used throughout Tampa Bay clinics to help combat Covid-19, especially in areas with tight quarters, such as in nurse stations, radiology reading rooms, waiting rooms and spaces dedicated to physical therapy, USF said. The donation is valued at over $20,000.

Molekule has just won FDA 510(k) clearance to its Air Pro RX device for medical use. Air Pro RX is a commercial-sized version of the air purification system and intended for medical purposes. It used USF-patented technology to destroy airborne viruses and bacteria and is approved for use in operating rooms, emergency department waiting rooms, and isolation units.

Molekule is headquartered in San Francisco and has a manufacturing facility in Polk County.

Two credit agencies have weighed in on University of Tampa’s plans to issue bonds to build a new fine arts building and a new technology center.

Ferman Center for the Arts (rendering from University of Tampa)

The reports from Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings both take into account the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the school, and come to slightly different conclusions.

Fitch expects University of Tampa to show resilience through the pandemic and gave the bonds a stable outlook. S&P revised its outlook to negative from stable, a revision that “reflects our view that over the two-year outlook period, the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated macroeconomic impacts could pressure UT’s currently healthy demand trend and operating performance,” S&P said.

Both ratings agencies assigned investment-grade ratings to the bonds. UT plans two bond series which total $130 million and will be used to refund earlier borrowings and to pay for about $70 million in capital expenditures.

Key projects include the Ferman Center for Fine Arts, a new technology building to support the adjacent graduate health and science building, the second phase of expansion and renovation of the fitness and recreation center, and a new parking deck.

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