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Versant Corp. Message Board

  • DBAnalysis DBAnalysis Aug 6, 1998 3:50 PM Flag

    short-term gain

    Well, it hit 3.5 today and then bounced up. I
    can't really see any reason anyone would buy higher
    than 3-1/2. As I see it the stock has four ways to
    go:
    1. Up
    2. Down
    3. Sideways
    4. Into Ch 11

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    • You seem to be very savvy in terms of explaining
      the technology VERSANT is involved with. Now so much
      said, could you please respond to the following
      concerns (and perhaps some other investor's concerns as
      well):
      1) Current stock price depreciation (the stock is in
      the distributing mode as you probably know)
      2) The
      SQL database server that MICROSOFT is implimenting
      and due to be released by next year (MSFT is well
      positioned to crush ORCL)could this technology affect VSNT
      adversely?
      3) The fact that VSNT doesn't OWN any patents for it
      technology (seem simply amazing)

    • ---
      Yes, I said that Object Design is not
      really direct competition, but that doesn't mean that
      the Object Design salesperson doesn't covet the
      commission on that sale and that at the telecom executive
      level there is a recognition of that
      difference.
      ---
      A moment's digression here, perhaps, to clarify a
      point. It is all well and good for Versant to try to
      salve their own failures by pointing out that a company
      that is doing reasonably well isn't _really_
      competition. The fact is that Object Design's mainstay and
      flagship product is a database engine. (I'll leave the
      usual set of meaningless superlatives to the marketing
      folk.) Yes, ODIS is spreading out into different levels
      of storage, no they're not abandoning by any means
      the technology that got them this far. ODIS runs in
      direct competition to VSNT because, like it or not,
      their technologies are similar enough that they are
      both quite viable solutions to the same sets of
      issues. ODIS happens to have tools to solve -other- sets
      of problems as well.
      A minor point, perhaps, but
      perhaps one worth considering when viewing two companies,
      one staying reasonably afloat and the other taking on
      water..

    • dwwberg: if Nick is so great, why didn't he bring
      in dedicated people to get the job done? so far, all
      he has accomplished is to broom x% of the company.
      when he took the knife to r&d, he cut muscle.
      everybody knows that r&d and customer support are
      the
      sacred cows in the valley job market. Nick could have
      broomed the expensive flotsam at the top and kept the key
      resources. this company went in the shitter because
      management went on a snooze cruise that was paid for by
      selling restricted shares into periods of strength...when
      they knew all along there was weakness in the
      pipeline. there would be no shareholder suits today, if
      they hadn't sold...but they keep their jobs. instead
      half of the r&d staff is blown away...go figure. so
      dwwberg, why can't a standout like your idol, Nick, do the
      right thing?

    • It's been 2 months since anything of note, other
      than bad earnings, has been announced. What's going
      on? If their lack of press releases mean anything,
      then nothing is going on--and that's obviously bad. In
      the earnings release they announced 20 new clients
      last quarter. WHO? We heard about one or two. Uggh.

      • 2 Replies to beenbetter
      • Two comments:

        1. Just because Versant
        lands a new customer doesn't mean they'll do a press
        release on it. Press releases from the ODBMS vendors tend
        to be around the launch of a product based on the
        DBMS, not on the purchase of the product, unless of
        course it is a very high profile project AND the vendor
        can get the approval of the purchaser for the press
        release. Often times they can't and so don't issue a press
        release because it would hurt the client
        relationship.

        2. The new VP of Marketing at VSNT is inexeperienced
        and was promoted from within. From what I understand
        he has very little experience in the VP of marketing
        role and may not understand the benefits of putting
        out press releases on a consistent periodic basis.
        I'd be curious to know more about his background and
        "pedigree" (yes, is he a dog or not :-) and what experience
        he really has in this sort of thing.

        My take
        on this move of VSNT is that it was a cost cutting
        measure... but I think it shows more incompetence in senior
        management. I don't know what to make of Ordon yet. The
        current mess is not exactly his fault. They lost a bunch
        of sales guys at year end and that is what has hurt
        them most. The real question is can Ordon turn it
        around. Promoting a guy from within may be less
        expensive, but may be cutting off thier nose to spite their
        face.

        Lastly, this new VP may not have any real news to
        report....

      • On the Versant conference call, Nick Ordon
        identified their top ten accounts for the quarter. Here they
        are and they read like a who's who list of blue chip
        international companies:

        Sprint, British Telecom,
        Samsung, France Telecom, Siemens,
        ATT, Citadel
        Investment Group, a Cabletron subsidiary,
        Dresdner
        Kleiner, GTE Data systems

        These are world-class
        companies. It is obvious that the VSNT focus in the telecom
        and financial sectors is bearing fruit. Getting this
        quality risk-adverse customer base to support Versant
        with their dollars after prior troubles is a major
        tribute to trust and faith in Nick and the VSNT product
        offerings. These customers will only build their
        enterprise-wide, strategic, mission-critical applications based
        upon products from companies that will be around for
        the long haul. Nick, we appreciate your efforts and
        keep up the good work.

        Nick communicated that
        revenues for this current quarter should approach $8m and
        VSNT is rapidly heading toward
        breakeven.

        Expect an announcement in the very near term about
        raising additional cash, probably through a private
        convertable preferred offering. This addresses short term
        cash needs. And we don't need to hear complaining
        about the dilutive effort of this transaction. Simple
        fact: VSNT must raise cash and management is attempting
        to get the best terms possible. Usually these
        transactions prevent any conversion for 6 months, hence if
        VSNT hits their $8m revenue target next quarter and
        contains to improve with $10m revenues in q4, then the
        stock will recover to $8-10/share and dilutive effect
        will be immaterial.

        Investors must focus on
        supporting Nick. He is the right man for this tough
        turn-around job. And let me tell you, once this thing turns,
        momentum is expected to be tremendous.

        The word is
        that the pipeline is very strong without having to
        rely on large deals. (Note that there were 0 large
        deals last quarter). Further, there are some large
        deals out there that can add potential upside.


        Patience. I am confident that the tide will have turned as
        we enter the fourth quarter

 

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