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Big Tree Group, Inc. (BIGG) Punches Above Own Weight in an Inexorably Growing Chinese Toy Market

(July 16, 2014)

Big Tree Group, Inc. (BIGG) Punches Above Own Weight in an Inexorably Growing Chinese Toy Market

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July 16, 2014 (www.investorideas.com newswire) Big Tree Group, which is headquartered in what is regarded by many in the industry as the toy manufacturing capital of China, had a pretty solid year last year on the strength of robust export customer base growth from their subsidiary in Brunei, up 30.5% YoY, even as the companys wholly-owned Shantou Big Tree Toys Co., Ltd. saw a $5.8M jump in sales, leading to a 17% rise in total revenues for FY13 compared to 2012. The success of the companys one-stop-shop model for distributing, manufacturing and sourcing toys has produced considerable growth that runs straight on into this year, with a big push into Latin American markets in recent months underscored by robust performance in the companys core Asian markets like China and Hong Kong, as well as continued performance strength in the U.S and Europe.

Emphasis by BIGG on value pricing has allowed the company to tap markets like Latin America with noteworthy alacrity and this initial $400k deal with one of the premier retailers in Costa Rica should pan out nicely for Big Tree, which sources its massive array of over 300k toy products from more than 8k different manufacturers in China. Of course, the burgeoning toy market in China itself is a healthy backdrop for BIGG's international growth (70% or more of all toys on earth are manufactured in China), with business intelligence firm Euromonitor International indicating the domestic toy market grew at some 21% per year on average from 2007 to 2011, topping out around $8.3B just three years ago.


According to a 2013 report from top producer of broad-spectrum, multi-industry analytics, IBISWorld, China's toy manufacturing sector was on track to generate $29.21B in 2013, up 8.5% for the year, as growing Chinese household incomes continue to result in more and more consumer spending on children (domestic demand up 16.8% annually over the last five years). China's fourth baby boom, expected to last till around 2015, even accentuates extant one-child policy metrics that have been bullish for the toy industry due to the lavishing of many gifts upon an only child by parents. The benefits to BIGG of the fourth baby boom are also reinforced by strong demand in the domestic market for local toy brands. It is worth pointing out that the slowing growth in China and elsewhere has actually accelerated BIGG's model, as more consumers have begun purchasing value-priced toys.

Extending their already successful one-stop-shop model with a sleek new domestic e-commerce store, Afangta.com, Big Tree Group is doubling down on their domestic customer base/supply chain with improved online ordering, as well as product distribution support. The new site does it all, from enabling bulk purchasing and review of extensive toy catalogues, to services like online trading, custom/personalized product manufacturing, quality testing/assurance and reputation assessment. Big Tree Group even added a third-party payment guarantee service to Afangta.com via a deal with the only domestic bank card organization in the PRC, China Union Pay.

Asia has edged out Europe to become the second largest toy market globally (just behind the U.S.) and Big Tree Group is well positioned to access international markets from their base in Shantou. Solid domestic consumption and future growth rates, optimum market focus that plays well into the prevailing global economic picture, and an extremely tight-knit relationship with a vast network of supply chain partners and customers puts BIGG right up there at the forefront of the sector for its size.

For more information on Big Tree Group, visit: www.bigtreegroup.net

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Millions in Grant Funding Provide Foundation of Opportunity for VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc. (VSTA)

The National Institute of Health aims to supports biomedical science and behavioral research through the pursuit of knowledge of the biology and behavior of living systems and to then apply that knowledge to "extend healthy life and reduce the burdens of illness and disability." NIH's own role in this mission includes the provision of funding grants and/or cooperative agreements. To ensure that funds are allocated to organizations aligned with this goal, NIH first determines whether or not the applying company's project will yield a "sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved."

Obtaining a grant is much more than a simple petition and business plan. In order for a company to receive a grant from NIH, an applying company's project must undergo peer review and demonstrate, in addition to other considerations, the following five criteria:

  • Significance - address an important problem or critical barrier to progress in the field; Investigators - doctors, collaborators and other researchers must be well-suited, experienced and trained for the project;
  • Innovation - the application must challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice by utilizing novel concepts, approaches, instrumentation or intervention;
  • Approach - appropriately strategized to accomplish the specific aim of the project; and
  • Environment - will scientific environment in which the work will be conducted contribute to the probability of success?

The rewards of meeting these criteria are often invaluable. Case in point: VistaGen, Inc., a San Francisco-based stem cell company focused on drug rescue and regenerative medicine backed by a team of stem cell research and development teams and collaborators that for 15 years have focused on controlling the differentiation of pluripotent stem cells to produce multiple types of mature, functional, adult human cells for drug rescue applications.

Since its inception in 1998, the company has received a total of $8.8 million in grant funding from the NIH for phase 1 clinical development of its AV-101 lead small molecule drug candidate.

This funding enabled the company to complete phase 1 development of AV-101, an orally available small molecule prodrug candidate designed to address needs in the multi-billion dollar neurological disease disorders market, such as neuropathic pain, epilepsy and depression. VistaGen has submitted an AV-101 IND application with the U.S. FDA to cover clinical development for neuropathic pain, though the company believes that completed phase 1 AV-101 safety studies will also support development of AV-101 for multiple indications, including epilepsy and depression.

VistaGen's plan, contingent upon completion of this offering, is to pursue potential opportunities for further development and commercialization of AV-101 on a stand-alone or corporate partnership basis. If successful, the company says it intends to use the net proceeds from such an arrangement to expand its drug rescue and regenerative medicine programs, which are based on its stem cell technology platform, Human Clinical Trials in a Test Tube.

Receiving NIH funding marked a pivotal moment in VistaGen's history, providing the company with a monetary avenue to pursue its broader mission to commercialize therapeutically and commercially promising regenerative medicine programs.

For more information, visit www.vistagen.com

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Armco Metals Holdings, Inc. (AMCO) Capitalizing on Scrap Steel Processing Opportunities for Growth

Armco Metals Holdings was pleased to see its subsidiary, Armco (Lianyungang) Renewable Metals, Inc., on a list of 131 companies published by China's Ministry of Industry & IT as a company that is eligible to enter China's scrap steel processing industry. Following the company's recent announcement of this news, one may be interested in taking a look into how its involvement here is driving growth.

Armco Metals Holdings, Inc. is dedicated to providing efficient options for steel production. They know that the companies that choose to use recycled scrap in their steel production realize several benefits as a result. Most notable is that a company winds up using up to 60% less energy and reducing air and water pollution by 86% and 76%, respectively. This reduction in energy results in significant savings for steel producers annually. To address customer demand for responsible material choices and staying in sync with Chinese Government Green initiatives, Armco has created its own recycling facility, capable of producing environmentally friendly, cost-effective solutions for the country's steel production needs.

Since early 2007, Armco (Lianyungang) Renewable Metals, Inc. has become Armco Metals' primary asset by being focused on recycling and processing scrap steel or use in China's steel production industry. Operating on 32 acres in the Banqiao Industrial Park in Jiangsu province, this facility has one of the most advanced recycling systems in the world. The advanced system automatically shreds, sorts, and separates the recycled scrap steel processing the highest-quality material for its customer base.

Armco Renewable Metals can process up to one million metric tons of scrap metal each year. In addition, the company is in an early research and development phase for Armet (Lianyungang) Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of Armco Metals focusing on automotive scrap steel recycling. Taking full advantage of the opportunity, Armco Metals sees the automotive industry as being one of the largest sources of scrap steel and further recognizes the potential this market has for meeting China's steel production needs.

For more information on the company, visit www.armcometals.com

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Puradyn Filter Technologies, Inc. (PFTI) is "One to Watch"

Over the course of 25 years, Puradyn Filter Technologies has transitioned from a small local business into a company with global distribution of its patented and proprietary puraDYN oil filtration system for internal combustion engines, transmissions and hydraulic applications. The technology is designed to save money and conserve oil by continuously cleaning and lubricating oil while maintaining oil viscosity, thereby significantly extending oil change intervals and engine life. Sure, there are numerous bypass filtration methods on the market today. Where these competing products fall short is in failing to incorporate three key factors that Puradyn has identified and blended for impressive results:

  • Filtering solid contaminants to below one micron, including enhanced soot retention through the use of a patented and proprietary process for chemical grafting;
  • Effectively removing harmful gaseous and liquid contaminants through a heated evaporation chamber; and
  • Replenishing the base additives so as to maintain proper oil total base number (TBN) and viscosity

Puradyn's equipment was selected as the manufacturer used by the U.S. Department of Energy to evaluate the performance, benefits and cost analysis of bypass oil filtration technology. In correlation, Puradyn in April was selected by a large military contractor and producer of military generators to provide puraDYN for use on generator sets. The contract calls for Puradyn to provide roughly 750 units beginning in late 2014; if the military carries out the contract in full, the company estimates the project will generate $300,000 in revenues over three years, the duration of the contract. This deal is one of several points in Puradyn's history, beginning with the year 2006, where the company's technology has been used for military application.

The company has approximately 100 active distributors worldwide, and has established a strategic agreement with Nabors Drilling International Ltd., which evaluated the benefits of bypass oil filtration in 2009 on CAT 3512 generators used to power oil rigs. Nabors Drilling's oil analysis results showed that drain intervals on equipment were "safely" extended from 500 hours to 2,500 hours regardless of sulfur fuel content and "decided to outfit all rig generators throughout the field." The following year, Nabors Drilling USA installed more than 700 of the bypass systems, extending oil drain intervals from 1,000 hours to more than 3,000-plus hours, as reported by Drilling Contractor.

In the first quarter of 2014, Puradyn reported a year-over-year sales increase of 56% to approximately $894,300, which the company attributes to increased activity from several of its accounts beginning in the third quarter. Puradyn also managed to trim its net loss to $218,086, or (0.00) per share, compared to a net loss of $416,685, or ($0.01) per share, for the same period in 2013. Based on the company's strengthening financials, plans to expand its distribution network, and aggressive sales and marketing strategies, Puradyn appears to be in a solid position to achieve its goal to "target industries open to innovative methods to reduce oil maintenance operating costs and overhaul cycles."

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