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Harris & Harris Group, Inc. Message Board

  • nemofou nemofou Aug 24, 2013 11:12 AM Flag

    Is it time to dissolve this company, sell assets and distribute cash to shareholders

    Ten years ago TINY was worth about $10/share. Today we're at $3/share. The company is spending $8 to $9 million each year to support it's existence, including 11 employees. The officers of TINY are seriously overpaid and from what I can see provide limited expertise in investment decision making. I have owned this company for a very long time and am at the point where I feel TINY management is just that - TINY. I believe they are a "tag along" management in terms of investment choices. This allows them to pull down excessive compensation with minimum real work required. Also, in looking at their share ownership after so many years at the top not even amounting to one year's salary, I feel they are telling me where they truly stand. Bottom line is share value has been seriously destroyed over the past 10 years. A REAL management would have already considered and acted on alternatives.

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    • Hi Nemoffou
      I did send your Comments to the Media Relation of TINY
      Thank you for your interest in Harris & Harris Group. We realize that many of our long-time shareholders have not seen the stock performance they expected.

      Regarding your question on Nanosys, we only disclose ownership percentages in aggregate groups of less than 5%, between 5% and 25% and greater than 25%. In most cases this is to protect confidential information on behalf of the firm that we are invested in. We own less than 5% of Nanosys. In addition to Nanosys, I would encourage you to look at some of the additional firms in our portfolio such as D-Wave, Metabolon, Ensemble Therapeutics, SiOnyx and HzO, which have each recently announced new partnerships, corporate investors and/or product launches. These are a subset of our current portfolio of investments that are all listed on our website with links to the websites of the individual companies. If you are not following us on Facebook, I post the latest updates from the portfolio a few times per week. We'd also be happy to answer any questions on these or other companies in our portfolio.

      Regarding the comment on the Yahoo board, I think the information the person has is incorrect. Throughout our history, we have been the first investors or part of the initial syndicate of investors in approximately 70% of our initial investments. In Xradia, which was recently sold to Carl Zeiss, we were the only institutional investor and generated a greater than 3 times return on our invested capital.

      On compensation, we regularly benchmark through independent parties and our board compensation committee makes the decisions on executive compensation.

      As we look at the future of the company, we believe the overall portfolio, including Nanosys, has the potential to deliver growth in net asset value per share (NAV). The secondary issue is translating that NAV growth into stock price appreciation and to transition from trading at a dis

      • 2 Replies to jowo613
      • Hello jowo613. Thanks for your response. To be honest I find it tepid at best. For instance, going from a specific instance to form a general conclusion is, as I'm sure you know, a violation of fundamental logic. It's used all the time by politicians and hucksters and the unwary fall for it all the time - to their peril. I am not questioning your sincerity, only suggesting how it looks to me. As regards compensation methodology, perhaps the board should think for themselves and recognize that salary levels as well as the number of corporate officers needs to be trimmed. After ten years of capital erosion, I find it irresponsible not to have moved in this direction. I also believe this is a principal reason TINY has not attracted more institutional buying. Simply put, management does not appear to be in lockstep with shareholders. Salaries too high and share ownership too low. The compensation committee does not have to look for a needle in a haystack to remedy this disconnect.

      • As we look at the future of the company, we believe the overall portfolio, including Nanosys, has the potential to deliver growth in net asset value per share (NAV). The secondary issue is translating that NAV growth into stock price appreciation and to transition from trading at a discount to NAV to a premium to NAV. We've spoken with other companies, consultants and potential investors in identifying steps we can take to attempt to close this gap. It's a challenge of many firms and one that we think is an overall challenge for Wall Street, but it is something we are very actively working on.

        As always, we appreciate your feedback and concerns and are happy to talk to you at any point. You are welcome to call me directly.

        Thanks again for your interest in Harris & Harris Group.


    • If only!

      Of course as you well know, what with totally worthless mgt controlling the BOD, share votes, much less always making sure to use TINY as its personal ATM, selling off all assets isn't gonna happen.

      And even if it did, just like occurred in late 2005 per closing a quite (and wholly rare!) profitable position, TINy mgt again would find a way to soak up all the cash and give to the 'remaining other shaeholders' a variant of an UNdistributed dividend, this time something akin to an UNdistributed payout!'

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