Green Brick Partners, Inc. Reports Strong Second Quarter 2017 Results

PLANO, TX—(Marketwired – August 07, 2017) – Green Brick Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: GRBK) (“we,” “Green Brick” or the “Company”), today reported results for its second quarter ended June 30, 2017.

Results for the Second Quarter Ended June 30, 2017:

  • Basic net income attributable to Green Brick per common share (“EPS”) for the three months ended June 30, 2017 was $0.16, an increase of 14.3%, compared to $0.14 for the three months ended June 30, 2016. Basic adjusted net income attributable to Green Brick per common share (“Adjusted EPS”) for the three months ended June 30, 2017 was $0.25, an increase of 13.6%, compared to $0.22 for the three months ended June 30, 2016. See “Reconciliation of Non–GAAP Financial Measures.”
  • For the three months ended June 30, 2017, the Company had: pre–tax income of $12.0 million, an increase of 9.9%, compared to $11.0 million for the three months ended June 30, 2016; gross profit of $22.9 million, an increase of 3.7%, compared to $22.1 million for the three months ended June 30, 2016; and revenue of $105.0 million, an increase of 6.1%, compared to $98.9 million for three months ended June 30, 2016.
  • Builder operations revenue for the three months ended June 30, 2017 was $100.3 million, an increase of 7.1%, compared to $93.7 million for the three months ended June 30, 2016. Land development revenue for the three months ended June 30, 2017 was $4.6 million, a decrease of 11.5%, compared to $5.2 million for the three months ended June 30, 2016.
  • The dollar value of backlog units as of June 30, 2017 was $165.2 million, an increase of 17.7% compared to June 30, 2016. The average sales price of homes in backlog increased $41,812, or 9.1%, to $498,955 for the three months ended June 30, 2017, compared to $457,143 for the three months ended June 30, 2016.
  • Homes under construction increased 8.2% to 714 as of June 30, 2017, compared to 660 as of June 30, 2016.

Results for the Six Months Ended June 30, 2017:

  • Basic EPS for the six months ended June 30, 2017 was $0.28, an increase of 40.0%, compared to $0.20 for the six months ended June 30, 2016. Basic Adjusted EPS for the six months ended June 30, 2017 was $0.45, an increase of 40.6%, compared to $0.32 for the six months ended June 30, 2016. See “Reconciliation of Non–GAAP Financial Measures.”
  • For the six months ended June 30, 2017, the Company had: pre–tax income of $22.1 million, an increase of 42.8%, compared to $15.5 million for the six months ended June 30, 2016; gross profit of $44.2 million, an increase of 21.0%, compared to $36.5 million for the six months ended June 30, 2016; and revenue of $204.3 million, an increase of 21.0%, compared to $168.9 million for six months ended June 30, 2016.
  • Builder operations revenue for the six months ended June 30, 2017 was $193.7 million, an increase of 20.8%, compared to $160.4 million for the six months ended June 30, 2016. Land development revenue for the six months ended June 30, 2017 was $10.5 million, an increase of 23.6%, compared to $8.5 million for the six months ended June 30, 2016.

“We had a great second quarter where backlog increased almost 18% from 2016 and more importantly net new home orders increased 13%,” said James R. Brickman, Green Brick's Chief Executive Officer. “We currently own or control just under 5,400 home sites, up over 900 lots, from 2016. Our adjusted homebuilding gross margin of 22.4% was among the highest in the industry.”

Earnings Conference Call:

We will host our earnings conference call to discuss our second quarter ended June 30, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, August 8, 2017. The call can be accessed by dialing 800–374–0137 for domestic participants or 904–685–8013 for international participants. Participants should reference conference ID code 58946666. A replay of the call will be available from approximately 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time on August 8, 2017 through 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on August 15, 2017. To access the replay, the domestic dial–in number is 855–859–2056, the international dial–in number is 404–537–3406 and the conference ID code is 58946666.

Change in Classification:

Certain indirect project costs previously classified as salary expense and selling, general and administrative expense have been classified as cost of residential units for the three and six months ended June 30, 2016 to properly present cost of residential units, salary expense, and selling, general and administrative expense.

Reconciliation of Non–GAAP Financial Measures:

In this press release, we utilize certain financial measures that are non–GAAP financial measures as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission. We present these measures because we believe they and similar measures are useful to management and investors in evaluating the Company's operating performance and financing structure. We also believe these measures facilitate the comparison of our operating performance and financing structure with other companies in our industry. Because these measures are not calculated in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”), they may not be comparable to other similarly titled measures of other companies and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for, or superior to, financial measures prepared in accordance with GAAP.

GREEN BRICK PARTNERS, INC.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME

(In thousands, except per share data)
(Unaudited)

           
  Three Months Ended June 30,     Six Months Ended June 30,  
  2017     2016     2017     2016  
Sale of residential units $ 100,345     $ 93,732     $ 193,742     $ 160,360  
Sale of land and lots   4,606       5,204       10,546       8,534  
  Total revenues   104,951       98,936       204,288       168,894  
Cost of residential units   78,553       73,447       152,314       126,651  
Cost of land and lots   3,472       3,373       7,762       5,713  
  Total cost of sales   82,025       76,820       160,076       132,364  
  Total gross profit   22,926       22,116       44,212       36,530  
Salary expense   (5,332 )     (5,537 )     (10,767 )     (10,631 )
Selling, general and administrative expense   (4,167 )     (4,251 )     (8,445 )     (8,144 )
  Operating profit   13,427       12,328       25,000       17,755  
Other income, net   386       1,320       928       1,836  
  Income before provision for income taxes   13,813       13,648       25,928       19,591  
Income tax provision   4,382       4,230       8,271       5,683  
Net income   9,431       9,418       17,657       13,908  
Less: net income attributable to noncontrolling interests   1,742       2,675       3,771       4,071  
Net income attributable to Green Brick Partners, Inc. $ 7,689     $ 6,743     $ 13,886     $ 9,837  
                               
Net income attributable to Green Brick Partners, Inc. per common share:                              
  Basic $ 0.16     $ 0.14     $ 0.28     $ 0.20  
  Diluted $ 0.16     $ 0.14     $ 0.28     $ 0.20  
Weighted average common shares used in the calculation of net income attributable to Green Brick Partners, Inc. per common share:                              
  Basic   49,047       48,894       49,003       48,852  
  Diluted   49,123       48,894       49,070       48,852  
                                 
                                 

GREEN BRICK PARTNERS, INC.
SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION
(Unaudited)

                     
    Three Months Ended
 June 30,
  Increase (Decrease)     Six Months Ended
 June 30,
  Increase (Decrease)  
New Homes Delivered and Home Sales Revenue   2017   2016   Change     %     2017   2016   Change     %  
New homes delivered     237     212     25     11.8 %     463     373     90     24.1 %
Home sales revenue ($ in thousands)   $ 100,345   $ 93,732   $ 6,613     7.1 %   $ 193,742   $ 160,360   $ 33,382     20.8 %
Average sales price of homes delivered   $ 423,397   $ 442,132   $ (18,735 )   (4.2 )%   $ 418,449   $ 429,920   $ (11,471 )   (2.7 )%
                                                     
    Three Months Ended
 June 30,
  Increase (Decrease)     Six Months Ended
 June 30,
  Increase (Decrease)  
Land and Lots Sales Revenue   2017   2016   Change     %     2017   2016   Change     %  
Land and lots sold     37     39     (2 )   (5.1 )%     84     67     17     25.4 %
Land and lots sales revenue ($ in thousands)   $ 4,606   $ 5,204   $ (598 )   (11.5 )%   $ 10,546   $ 8,534   $ 2,012     23.6 %
Average sales price of land and lots sold   $ 124,481   $ 133,419   $ (8,938 )   (6.7 )%   $ 125,547   $ 127,369   $ (1,822 )   (1.4 )%
                                                     
    Three Months Ended
 June 30,
  Increase (Decrease)     Six Months Ended
 June 30,
  Increase (Decrease)  
New Home Orders & Backlog   2017   2016   Change   %     2017   2016   Change   %  
Net new home orders     270     239     31   13.0 %   557   479   78   16.3 %
Average selling communities     52     46     6   13.0 %   53   46   7   15.2 %
Selling communities at end of period     54     48     6   12.5 %   54   48   6   12.5 %
Backlog ($ in thousands)   $ 165,154   $ 140,343   $ 24,811   17.7 %                  
Backlog (units)     331     307     24   7.8 %                  
Average sales price of backlog   $ 498,955   $ 457,143   $ 41,812   9.1 %                  
                                           

The following table calculates the non–GAAP measure of Adjusted EPS for the three and six months ended June 30, 2017 and June 30, 2016 and reconciles these amounts to net income attributable to Green Brick, as reported and prepared in accordance with GAAP. Adjusted EPS for the three and six months ended June 30, 2017 and June 30, 2016 means pre–tax income for the period presented divided by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding for the three and six months ended June 30, 2017 and June 30, 2016, respectively. Pre–tax income represents net income attributable to Green Brick for the period excluding provision for income taxes attributable to Green Brick. Due to our ability to use net operating loss carryforwards to offset future taxable income for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we believe pre–tax income is a useful measure of the Company's ability to service debt and obtain financing.

         
(In thousands, except per share amounts):   Three Months Ended
 June 30,
  Six Months Ended
 June 30,
2017   2016   2017   2016
Basic Adjusted EPS                        
  Net income attributable to Green Brick – basic   $ 7,689   $ 6,743   $ 13,886   $ 9,837
  Income tax provision attributable to Green Brick   $ 4,349   $ 4,213   $ 8,204   $ 5,636
  Pre–tax income   $ 12,038   $ 10,956   $ 22,090   $ 15,473
  Adjusted weighted–average number of shares outstanding – basic     49,047     48,894     49,003     48,852
    Basic Adjusted EPS   $ 0.25   $ 0.22   $ 0.45   $ 0.32
Diluted Adjusted EPS                        
  Net income attributable to Green Brick – diluted   $ 7,689   $ 6,743   $ 13,886   $ 9,837
  Income tax provision attributable to Green Brick   $ 4,349   $ 4,213   $ 8,204   $ 5,636
  Pre–tax income   $ 12,038   $ 10,956   $ 22,090   $ 15,473
  Adjusted weighted–average number of shares outstanding – diluted     49,123     48,894     49,070     48,852
    Diluted Adjusted EPS   $ 0.25   $ 0.22   $ 0.45   $ 0.32
                             

The following table calculates the non–GAAP measure of Adjusted Homebuilding Gross Margin for the three and six months ended June 30, 2017 and June 30, 2016 and reconciles these amounts to homebuilding gross margin, as reported and prepared in accordance with GAAP.

         
(In thousands):   Three Months Ended
 June 30,
  Six Months Ended
 June 30,
2017   2016   2017   2016
Homebuilding gross margin   $ 21,792   $ 20,285   $ 41,428   $ 33,709
Add back: capitalized interest charged to cost of sales     698     648   $ 1,303   $ 1,625
Adjusted Homebuilding Gross Margin   $ 22,490   $ 20,933   $ 42,731   $ 35,334
                         

About Green Brick Partners, Inc.:

Green Brick Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: GRBK) is a uniquely structured company that combines residential land development and homebuilding. The Company acquires and develops land, provides land and construction financing to its controlled builders and participates in the profits of its controlled builders. The Company owns a controlling interest in four homebuilding companies in Dallas, Texas (CB JENI Homes DFW LLC, Normandy Homes (a division of CB JENI), Southgate Homes DFW LLC, and Centre Living Homes, LLC), as well as a leading homebuilder in Atlanta, Georgia (The Providence Group of Georgia, L.L.C.). The Company is engaged in all aspects of the homebuilding process, including land acquisition and the development, entitlements, design, construction, marketing and sales and the creation of brand images at its residential neighborhoods and master planned communities. For more information about Green Brick Partners, Inc.'s homebuilding partners go to www.greenbrickpartners.com/building–partners.html.

Forward–Looking and Cautionary Statements

Any statements in this press release about Green Brick's expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, prospects, financial condition, assumptions or future events or performance that are not historical facts are forward–looking statements. These statements are often, but not always, made through the use of words or phrases such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “would,” “predicts,” “potential,” “continue,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “future,” “outlook,” “strategy,” “positioned,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “projects,” “estimates” and similar expressions, as well as statements in the future tense. These statements are based on assumptions that Green Brick has made in light of its experience in the industry as well as its perceptions of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other factors it believes are appropriate under the circumstances. Accordingly, all such forward–looking statements involve estimates and assumptions that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results expressed in the statements. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward–looking statements are the following: general economic conditions, seasonality, cyclicality and competition in the homebuilding industry; demand for real estate investments in the geographic markets in which we operate; significant inflation or deflation; labor and raw material shortages; the failure to recruit, retain and develop highly skilled and competent employees; an inability to acquire land suitable for residential homebuilding at reasonable prices; an inability to develop and sell communities successfully or within expected timeframes; risks related to regulatory approvals and government regulation; the interpretation of or changes to tax, labor and environmental laws and regulations; volatility of mortgage interest rates; the unavailability of mortgage financing; the occurrence of severe weather or natural disasters; risks related to future growth through strategic investments, joint ventures, partnerships and/or acquisitions; the inability to obtain suitable bonding for the development of housing projects; difficulty in obtaining sufficient capital; the occurrence of a major health and safety incident; poor relations with the residents of our communities; information technology failures and data security breaches; product liability claims, litigation and warranty claims; our debt and related service obligations; required accounting changes; an inability to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting; and other risks and uncertainties inherent in our business. Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ from those anticipated are discussed in the “Risk Factors” and “Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in the Company's annual and quarterly reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Because the factors referred to above could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward–looking statements made by Green Brick, you should not place undue reliance on any such forward–looking statements. Further, any forward–looking statement speaks only as of the date of this press release, and Green Brick undertakes no obligation to update any forward–looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after such date.

Attachment Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2017/8/7/11G143786/GRBK_Second_Quarter_2017_Investor_Call_Presentatio–c22e2d6142e09c2badeef314b7bf1de6.pdf

Finalists Revealed for Prestigious 18th Annual ITA CityLIGHTS Awards

CHICAGO, IL—(Marketwired – August 07, 2017) – Today the Illinois Technology Association (ITA) announced the 38 industry fast trackers being recognized as finalists at the 18th annual CityLIGHTS Awards. The ITA CityLIGHTS Awards, presented by Deloitte, is the premier annual event that elevates and honors achievements from the local tech community.

The winners for each category, with the exception of the CityLIGHTS Industry Champion, are determined by a compilation of the judges' scores and voting by the public. Voting is now open through Friday, August 18 at itacitylights.com/voting.

“This year's finalists exemplify the strength and depth of the Chicago tech community,” said ITA CEO Julia Kanouse. “Regardless of the sector they serve or the stage of their business, they all have one thing in common — they are raising the bar for their company and the local tech industry, at large.”

“Having been a part of the CityLIGHTS Awards for the past decade, this is one of the strongest classes of finalists I've seen,” said Fred Hoch, ITA Executive Chairman. “Over the years, CityLIGHTS has proven to be a consistent predictor of success and this year is no exception. I know we'll be seeing big things from these companies for many years to come.”

Congratulations to the 2017 finalists:

CityLIGHTS Industry Champion: Presented to the company or individual who actively and consistently supports the growth of the Illinois technology industry through leadership and/or collaboration.

CEO of the Year: Presented to a CEO who has successfully scaled their company through outstanding leadership, ability to attract and retain talented resources, financial accomplishments and the implementation of strategic growth opportunities.

Industry Disrupter: Presented to the company that has developed or introduced an ingenious, non–traditional, and innovative product or service that has significantly disrupted its industry.

Lighthouse: Presented to the growth–stage company, (more than $25 million in revenue) that, through innovation in products, services, or business approach, has grown to become a serious competitor in the marketplace.

Prominent Woman in Tech: Presented to a preeminent woman in the local industry who has championed a leading role for her female peers by supporting their growth and prominence in the industry.

Outstanding Business Innovation: Presented to the technology company or organization that has implemented within their organization an innovative business process, technology tool, talent initiative or marketing/branding campaign that has made a substantial impact on business metrics.

Rising Star: Presented to the company with the strongest potential to emerge as a leader in the technology industry ($5 to $25 million in annual revenue).

Technologist of the Year: Presented to the individual whose talent has championed true innovation, either through new applications of existing technology or the development of technology to achieve a truly unique product or service.

Find out who wins by attending the ITA CityLIGHTS Awards ceremony on Thursday, September 14 at Morgan Manufacturing in Chicago. Tickets and tables are available for purchase at itacitylights.com/registration or contact Jon Pfisterer at jon@illinoistech.org.

Thank you to the 2017 presenting sponsor: Deloitte; premier sponsors: Armanino, Gogo, Madison Dearborn Partners and Silicon Valley Bank; VIP reception sponsor: Lantern Partners; opening reception sponsor: kCura; wine sponsor: Capital One; and supporting sponsors: Hyde Park Angels and QTS.

About ITA
The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) scales Illinois tech companies. With innovative resources that allow members to collaborate with each other, build their talent networks and elevate their local and national presence, ITA is the region's strongest advocate for fostering innovation and growth. Founded in 2005 and supporting 500–plus growth–stage tech companies, ITA has a rich history of driving business forward. For more information, visit illinoistech.org, follow @ITAbuzz on Twitter or find us on LinkedIn.

Digital Map Products signs full floor lease at University Research Park

IRVINE, CA—(Marketwired – Aug 7, 2017) – Digital Map Products Inc. will move its headquarters to University Research Park next to UC Irvine in late fall, Irvine Company officials announced today.

The 22,000–square–foot lease offers the spatial technology provider a unique opportunity to lease a large block of space next to a world–renowned research university in one of the region's tightest and most tech–focused submarkets.

Digital Map Products, the leading provider of cloud–based location technology and data solutions in North America, will occupy an entire floor of one of the buildings that hosted the vaunted engineering teams at chipmaker Broadcom as it climbed the ranks of global high tech. Digital Map Products' new neighbor will be Toshiba America, Inc.'s electronics components, information systems and logistics divisions.

“Broadcom's plans to move from University Research Park next year has created excellent opportunities for the next generation of innovators,” said Steve Case, executive vice president, Irvine Company Office Properties. “We are proud to have had a unique vantage point from which to witness the history of software engineering in Orange County, and with companies like Digital Map Products, we continue to be enthused by the growing ecosystem of technology companies here.”

Digital Map Products continues to grow in part due to its commitment to bringing the power of location to more than 350,000 users in a variety of end markets, including real estate, government, technology, and utilities. Today, the company's geospatial mapping technology, applications and content are used by four out of the six top real estate websites, four out of the top five commercial brokerage firms, all 10 of the top home builder brands, more than 200 hundred cities and counties, and four of the largest gas and electric utility companies in the United States.

As a member of the Orange County business community, Digital Map Products is working with local universities including UC Irvine where it is providing free access to the company's technology, creating internships, supporting mentor programs, collaborating on recruiting, developing technology–based curriculum and exploring joint community engagement programs. Today, more than 15% of Digital Map Products employees are UCI graduates.

“Our company's success has resulted in a fast–growing and loyal user base, as well as access to a dedicated and competitive pool of talent here in Orange County. With this move, we are excited about the opportunity to deepen our relationship with UC Irvine, one of the top research universities in the nation, adding to our ability to recruit and retain top talent,” said Jim Skurzynski, founder and chief executive officer at Digital Map Products.

University Research Park's proximity to a highly educated workforce and UCI make it one of the most desirable workplace communities in Southern California. In fact, URP is currently 99% leased and has been consistently full for the past decade.

The address is about to become more desirable, as the Irvine Company reinvests in the 185–acre park, currently home to more than 75 companies and 8,000 employees. Together, the campus and the 5,000–acre Irvine Spectrum create one of the largest master–planned centers for research, technology and business in the world.

Among the amenities being added to the University Research Park is The Commons, Irvine Company's signature open–air spaces that feature Wi–Fi–enabled outdoor living–rooms, sun decks, al fresco dining, built–in barbeques, music, fire pits, ping pong, basketball and volleyball, and dynamic outdoor spaces for people to work, collaborate or simply reboot. The company is adding a fitness center, enhancing lobbies, and other common areas.

The campus also houses Irvine Company's tech incubator, The Vine, where startups have generated more than $24 million in funding, and UCI Applied Innovation.

The amenities onsite include Starbucks Coffee, Specialty's Café & Bakery with Peet's Coffee & Tea; the center also offers access to Beckman Center, a spacious meeting facility with conference center options, event space and catering and planning services. University Research Park offers round–trip, lunch hour courtesy shuttles to the nearby The Bluffs retail center and is a short distance to University Center, which features Tender Greens, Luna Grill and an array of shops and restaurants.

The campus was thoughtfully designed to foster collaboration between the university and private sector, something both the business community and top–tier universities nationwide covet.

'These collaborations are the reason Hewlett–Packard operates next to Stanford, DuPont chose to locate next to MIT, and Digital Map Products chose to join Toshiba America in establishing a new home next to UC Irvine, a top–10 public university,” Case said.

“University Research Park rivals Stanford Research Park, the Research Triangle in North Carolina and the nation's other top university–adjacent business parks.”

University Research Park is located off the 73 Freeway, minutes from John Wayne Airport, and a short drive from luxury apartment communities, Fashion Island, The Island Hotel and the renowned Resort at Pelican Hill.

About Irvine Company Office Properties
Irvine Company has evolved the traditional office to something much more: a vibrant workplace community. A place where collaboration is encouraged and creativity is enabled to elevate business success. The Company owns and manages 500 premier coastal California workplace communities in Orange County, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley and San Diego. Its timeless design and quality craftsmanship is consistent with its long–term view and pride of ownership.

About Digital Map Products
Digital Map Products, headquartered in Irvine, CA, is the leading provider of cloud–based location technology and content solutions that bring the power of spatial technology to over 350,000 mainstream business, government and consumer users. SpatialStream®, the company's spatial development platform, enables API access to mapping technology and location data sets. Its SmartParcels® nationwide parcel and property data sets provide unparalleled location context, accuracy and interactivity. The company's SaaS products include LandVision™ for real estate and GovClarity® for local government. For more information, visit www.digmap.com.

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A Sweet Solution for Busy School Days

MISSION, KS—(Marketwired – Aug 7, 2017) – (Family Features) The busy pace of back–to–school schedules can make it feel like nearly every aspect of life has you under a time crunch. Fortunately, when it comes to feeding the family, there are some simple foods you likely already have on hand that can provide easy solutions for snacks and mealtime alike.

A go–to fruit like California grapes is a fresh staple you can depend on because they are always ripe and ready to eat when you buy them. While grapes are indeed ideal for snacking because they hold, store and travel well, this healthy and delicious fruit is also a simple addition to meals throughout the day. Grapes require minimal preparation, so they're equally easy as a side dish or as a fun way to deliver the fresh produce factor in a wide range of family–friendly recipes, such as these Grape and Ricotta Pita Pizzas.

Tips like these show how you can easily incorporate grapes into every meal:

Breakfast: A cup of creamy yogurt and crunchy granola takes on a sweet note when topped with a handful of grapes. Slice or quarter grapes then mix well for a medley of textures and flavors in every bite.

Morning snack: Pair grapes with cheese and crackers for a sweet and savory snack to keep your energy strong and your hunger in check until lunchtime.

Lunch: A handful of grapes can balance out a sandwich and add some sweet indulgence to the midday meal.

After school: Grapes offer hydration and quick energy so they're the perfect way to fuel up for after school sports or to lend some extra brain power for study time.

Dinnertime rush: Use grapes for an easy side dish that goes with anything. A quick meal like grilled cheese and grapes brings out the kid in everyone.

Evening snack: Toward the end of the day, cravings can creep up but keeping a bowl of fresh grapes on hand for after dinner snacking helps avoid alternative salty, highly processed choices.

Find more great ideas for enjoying grapes throughout the day at grapesfromcalifornia.com.

Grape and Ricotta Pita Pizzas 
Servings: 4 
 
2   whole–wheat pita pocket breads (about 6 inches in diameter)
1   tablespoon olive oil
1/2   cup part–skim ricotta cheese, divided
1   cup seedless red or black California grapes, thinly sliced or halved
2   teaspoons honey
1   teaspoon lemon juice
6   large or 12 small fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
     

Heat oven to 450 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Slice pita pockets in half so each forms two rounds, creating four rounds total. Place pita rounds on baking sheets cut–side up and brush top of each with oil.

Spread 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese on each pita, leaving about 1/2–inch border around edges then arrange sliced grapes in single layer on top of cheese. Bake until edges are crisped and cheese is warmed, 5–7 minutes.

In small bowl, stir together honey and lemon juice until honey is dissolved.

When pizzas are done, drizzle each with about 1/2 teaspoon honey–lemon mixture. Sprinkle basil on top of pizzas. Serve immediately.

About Family Features Editorial Syndicate
Established in 1974, Family Features is a leading provider of free food and lifestyle content for print and online publications. Our articles, photos, videos and web content solutions save you time, money and help create advertising opportunities. Registration is fast and free — with absolutely no obligation. Visit editors.familyfeatures.com for more information.

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Spice Up School Days

MISSION, KS—(Marketwired – Aug 7, 2017) – (Family Features) Busy school days demand meals that can match the pace of life. A Mexican–themed meal is a sure way to keep things festive and lively around the family dinner table.

Not only does a meal centered on Mexican–style foods let you spice up your menu, it also allows for plenty of personalization so even the pickiest of palates can be satisfied. That means less time for preparation and more time spent together.

Put a fresh twist on your next school–night fiesta with these ideas:

  • An ethnically–inspired meal is a great opportunity to encourage kids to try out new flavors and experiment with foods they wouldn't normally eat. Sample variations of classic salsas, incorporate seasonal ingredients like jicama and diced sweet peppers to freshen up your dishes or put a spicy spin on a classic Italian favorite by creating Mexican–inspired stuffed shells.
  • Get creative with proteins. Chicken and beef are common options, but heart–healthy fish and shrimp are also great candidates for a Mexican–style meal. Pork is another good choice for many Mexican dishes, and beans provide an excellent source of added protein, along with some flavor variety.
  • Mex–up your taco night. Try an alternative to the traditional corn shell with an option like Ortega Good Grains Taco Shells, crafted with artisanal blends of real corn, unique grains and ingredients baked into each shell. They're made with whole kernel corn, giving them an authentic taste and a distinctive flavor, aroma and texture.
  • Keep things kid–friendly and fun by focusing on finger foods. A large taco can be difficult for little hands to handle, but a street taco portion, a chimichanga or even nachos are more hands–on.
  • Look for fun toppings that add an extra crunch. For example, new Ortega Crispy Taco Toppers, lightly breaded slices of real jalapeno or onion, provide a bold kick and are the perfect finishing touch for tacos, salads and even Mexican–style burgers.
  • Don't forget dessert. No meal is complete without a sweet treat, such as a churro, flan, empanada or sopapilla. Many of these favorites can be prepared ahead of time so you can simply cook and serve for a perfect ending to your family fiesta.

Find more mealtime inspiration like these recipes, perfect for the busy back–to–school season, at ortega.com, or find Ortega on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Slow Cooked “Pulled” Chicken Tacos
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
Servings: 5
 
1 1/2   pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1   bottle (8 ounces) Ortega Chipotle Taco Sauce
1/2   cup chicken stock
1/2   teaspoon salt
1/2   teaspoon pepper
1   package (10 shells) Ortega Good Grains White Corn with Chia Taco Shells, warmed
    taco toppings

In medium pan, combine chicken, taco sauce, chicken stock, salt and pepper, and cook on low, covered, approximately 2 hours, or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 F. Remove chicken from pan and shred using two forks.

Turn heat to medium–high and reduce cooking liquid into thick sauce, cooking 3–5 minutes and stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and combine sauce with shredded chicken.

Serve in taco shells with desired taco toppings.

Baja Chicken Pizza
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 5
 
4   boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 1 pound
1   bottle (8 ounces) Ortega Green Taco Sauce
1   can Ortega Vegetarian Refried Beans
3/4   cup Ortega Homestyle Salsa (any variety)
1   Mama Mary's prepared pizza crust
1   red bell pepper, diced
1   can (4 ounces) Ortega Diced Green Chiles
1   bag (8 ounces) Mexican–style shredded cheese
1   bottle (8 ounces) Ortega Original Taco Sauce (any variety)
1   bag Ortega Crispy Onion Taco Toppers
     

In large bowl or re–sealable plastic bag, combine chicken breasts with green taco sauce. Stir or shake to coat. Marinate at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

Heat oven to 350 F.

Bake chicken 15–20 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 F.

Let chicken cool 10 minutes then cut into small cubes.

In medium bowl, combine refried beans and salsa.

Transfer prepared pizza crust to baking sheet.

Spread bean mixture over dough, leaving 1/4 inch at edges for crust.

Top with peppers, green chiles, chicken and cheese. Bake 10–15 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.

Top with taco sauce and crispy onion toppers then serve.

Mexican Style “Totchos”
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 5
     
1   package (32 ounces) tater tots
1 1/2   pounds ground beef
1   packet Ortega Taco Seasoning
1   cup water
16   ounces shredded cheddar cheese
2   medium tomatoes, diced
1   container (16 ounces) sour cream
1   bag Ortega Crispy Jalapeno
    Taco Toppers
     

Prepare tater tots according to package directions.

Heat medium skillet over medium heat. Cook ground beef 4–5 minutes until browned, using wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Add taco seasoning and water. Cook until water evaporates and sauce is thickened.

Top hot tater tots with cooked ground beef and cheese, and broil in oven 5 minutes.

Top with tomatoes, sour cream and crispy jalapeno toppers, and serve immediately.

About Family Features Editorial Syndicate
Established in 1974, Family Features is a leading provider of free food and lifestyle content for print and online publications. Our articles, photos, videos and web content solutions save you time, money and help create advertising opportunities. Registration is fast and free — with absolutely no obligation. Visit editors.familyfeatures.com for more information.

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A Closer Look at Dry Eye

MISSION, KS—(Marketwired – Aug 7, 2017) – (Family Features) Dry eye is a common and progressive condition affecting millions of Americans that can prevent them from doing the things they love, whether that's reading, watching movies or doing leisure activities like hiking or bike riding. Fortunately, dry eye symptoms can be treated with remedies such as over–the–counter eye drops.

Causes
Dry eye can be caused by a variety of factors. The first is the production of tears, which plays an important role in eye health by spreading across the cornea, keeping eyes lubricated and helping push away potentially harmful debris. Dry eye can occur when you don't produce enough tears, or the tears you do produce either evaporate rapidly or are of poor quality.

Numerous demographic and environmental factors can also contribute to dry eye, as well as the use of digital devices, air conditioning, heat blowers and fans. Certain health conditions like diabetes, thyroid–associated diseases and immune system disorders can also play a role, along with extended contact lens use, refractive eye surgery and certain medications.

Symptoms
The symptoms of dry eye can run the gamut from being a minor inconvenience to having a major impact on your daily life and favorite activities. The five key symptoms of dry eye include: dryness, irritation, grittiness, burning and stinging. Other indications may include itchiness, tired eyes, blurred vision, excess tears and redness.

Treatment
One way to help restore moisture to the tear film and reduce the effects of dry eye is with a fast–acting, over–the–counter eye drop like Rohto Dry–Aid, formulated with Liquidshield™ technology, which works on all three layers of the tear film to mimic a stable, natural tear, while providing soothing relief for up to 12 hours.

“Dry eye sufferers can enjoy their daily lives with Rohto Dry–Aid, which delivers all–day relief from irritating and distracting dry eye symptoms in a refreshing, non–blurring eye drop,” said Erick Estrada, Senior Director of Marketing at The Mentholatum Company, which makes Rohto Dry–Aid.

If your dry eye symptoms persist and you find yourself using lubricant eye drops several times a day, consult your eye doctor as this may be an indication you have chronic dry eye.

Learn more about dry eye and potential treatment options at rohtoeyedrops.com.

About Family Features Editorial Syndicate
Established in 1974, Family Features is a leading provider of free food and lifestyle content for print and online publications. Our articles, photos, videos and web content solutions save you time, money and help create advertising opportunities. Registration is fast and free – with absolutely no obligation. Visit editors.familyfeatures.com for more information.

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Enjoy Your Outdoor Kitchen All Year Long

MISSION, KS—(Marketwired – Aug 7, 2017) – (Family Features) Building an outdoor kitchen is a significant investment that can be rewarding for years to come. It's important to take advantage of nice days and temperate seasons as much as possible, no matter in which part of the country you live. However, with proper planning and preparation, you can fully maximize the enjoyment of your outdoor kitchen all year long, even when temperatures drop.

There are ways to do it, and many homeowners are catching on. In fact, a majority of grill and smoker owners (61 percent) enjoy grilling year–round, according to the Hearth Patio and Barbecue Association.

These tips and ideas for design and entertaining from Russ Faulk, chief designer and head of product at Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, can help you make the most of your outdoor kitchen throughout the cooler fall and winter seasons.

Fall: Keep the grill fired up
Weekends are everything in the fall. Kids are back in school, football games are in full swing and everyone is trying to extend grilling season with one last barbecue.

Rather than hanging in a parking lot for the big game, throw a “home–gate” party in your outdoor kitchen. Many homeowners are outfitting their spaces with outdoor TVs and speaker systems that rival watching at popular neighborhood pubs. All you need to decide is what will be on the menu.

Autumn is all about smoky wood fires, so try capturing that atmosphere by grilling over a large wood–fired grill, such as an Argentine–style grill. You can impress your guests with all of the flavors you can only achieve with a wood fire.

Remember temperatures can fluctuate from cool to hot in the fall, so make sure you have portable shade for when you want to stay cool and stowed for when you need to warm up.

In terms of maintenance, sink covers offer much–needed protection against seeds, petals and falling leaves.

Winter: No need to hibernate
November officially kicks off the holiday season. Your holiday get–togethers can stand out from the pack by bringing outside flavors into the warm comfort of your home.

The intense flavor of slow–roasted meats is the perfect pairing with wintertime. Also known as indirect grilling, food is placed in an area without fire below it and cooking is done with the grill hood closed. Add the flavor of a wood fire for “smoke roasting.” This is a perfect way to prepare a beef or pork roast for the holidays. Purpose–built smokers, such as Kalamazoo's Smoker Cabinet that uses a gravity–fed charcoal fire for heat, are ideal for smoking the Thanksgiving turkey. This also frees up your indoor oven for other holiday dishes.

Be the hero of the holiday party by surprising your guests with delicious, slow–cooked brisket or roasted ham, but keep your outdoor grill or smoker conveniently located adjacent to your indoor kitchen and within close proximity to the back door for quick, easy access, reducing your time out in the cold.

With shorter days, you'll need to consider lighting. Make sure you have plenty of task lighting to not only see your food on the grill, but also transport it back inside when it's done cooking.

Infrared space heaters go a long way toward making winter grilling more comfortable. One of the last things you want is a delay for the big meal because you're simply not warm enough to cook effectively.

Instead of allowing your outdoor kitchen to go unused during the cooler months, take steps to make it useful year–round. Find more outdoor entertaining ideas and tips at KalamazooGourmet.com.

About Family Features Editorial Syndicate
Established in 1974, Family Features is a leading provider of free food and lifestyle content for print and online publications. Our articles, photos, videos and web content solutions save you time, money and help create advertising opportunities. Registration is fast and free — with absolutely no obligation. Visit editors.familyfeatures.com for more information.

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Medovex Corporation DenerveX System Completes First Human Case in Italy

ATLANTA, GA—(Marketwired – Aug 7, 2017) – Medovex Corp. (NASDAQ: MDVX) (“Medovex” or the “Company”), the developer of the DenerveX™ System, a new and novel device designed for enduring relief of Facet Joint Syndrome related to back pain, today reported it has successfully completed its first case in Italy.

Professor Dr. Pier Vittorio Nardi, a neurosurgeon at the University La Sapienza in Rome, Italy, Sapienza, one of the top Italian universities, ranking competitively amongst the best universities around the world according to the international rankings published in 2017, performed a 2 level Facet Joint syndrome case. The procedure targeted the L4/5 and resulted in Dr. Nardi commenting that he was very satisfied with the performance of the DenerveX Device and liked it.

Over his career, he has performed over 2,000 spinal and cranial surgeries and has spent the past decade at the specialization of some minimally invasive spinal techniques.

Currently, fourteen cases using the DenerveX System have been completed and there are an additional approximately 30 additional cases scheduled for coming weeks. Dr. Vik Kapoor completed two additional cases last week which marks the first return doctor to complete additional procedures.

As previously announced, on July 26, 2017, Dr. Martin Deeg performed two cases in Stuttgart. Dr. Deeg and Dr. Vik Kapoor are members of the Company's European Medical Advisory Board.

Case summary from Dr. Deeg's cases:

  • Case One: Female, 40 years old, L4, two joints treated. Patient had injection local only at the facet joint. At the end of the procedure the patient moved herself from the table and walked under her own power out of the procedure room and was discharged shortly after with no pain prescription provided other than over the counter pain relief medicines.
  • Case Two: Male, 42 year old, L5, two joints treated. Patient had an injected local only at the facet joint. At the end of the procedure the patient moved from the table and walked out of the procedure room on their own power and was discharged shortly after, again no pain relief prescriptions provided only over the counter medicines recommended. A picture of Dr. Deeg and patient may be found here on the Company's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/medovex/

Dr. Martin Deeg stated, “Both of the first two DenerveX™ System cases met with what I consider excellent initial success. Both patients experienced initial pain reduction of the Facet Joint during the actual running of the device. Additionally, both patients walked out of the procedure room on their own power and were discharged shortly following the procedure.”

Deeg concluded, “I am pleased to see the very positive initial results of the procedures, the DenerveX System has great potential in the treatment of Facet Joint Pain and could become the new standard of care.”

The Company previously announced it had completed first human use cases for the DenerveX System in Manchester, England with very encouraging initial procedural success. The Company intends to update patient longer term progress, including first hand patient testimonials at approximately 90 day post procedure.

The DenerveX System recently received CE Mark approval and clearance for commercialization in the European countries and offers a unique way to perform a Facet Joint Syndrome treatment.

Facet Joint Syndrome (FJS), also known as spinal osteoarthritis, spinal arthritis, or facet joint osteoarthritis, is a significant health and economic problem in the United States and other countries in the EU and Rest of World affecting millions each year. Current treatment options are generally temporary and there is no proven long–lasting option for FJS.

The DenerveX System is a highly differentiated technology. It denervates and removes capsular tissue from the Facet Joint in one single procedure. Treatment results from the combined effect of a deburring or polishing action and RF ablation treatment on the Facet Joint. Using this new technique, the slowly rotating burr removes the targeted facet joint synovial membrane and joint surface while the heat ablation destroys tissue and denudes any residual nervous and synovial membrane overlying the joint, removing the end point sensory tissue of the joint.

The DenerveX System consists of the DenerveX Kit which contains the DenerveX Device, a single use medical device and the DenerveX Pro–40 Power Generator. DenerveX system is not yet FDA cleared.

About Medovex

Medovex was formed to acquire and develop a diversified portfolio of potentially ground breaking medical technology products. Criteria for selection include those products with potential for significant improvement in the quality of patient care combined with cost effectiveness. The Company's first pipeline product, the DenerveX device, is intended to provide long lasting relief from pain associated with facet joint syndrome at significantly less cost than currently available options. To learn more about Medovex Corp., visit www.medovex.com

Safe Harbor Statement

Certain statements in this press release constitute “forward–looking statements” within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Words such as “may,” “might,” “will,” “should,” “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “continue,” “predict,” “forecast,” “project,” “plan,” “intend” or similar expressions, or statements regarding intent, belief, or current expectations, are forward–looking statements. While the Company believes these forward–looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on any such forward–looking statements, which are based on information available to us on the date of this release. These forward looking statements are based upon current estimates and assumptions and are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including without limitation those set forth in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), not limited to Risk Factors relating to its patent business contained therein. Thus, actual results could be materially different. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or alter statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.