rosen - what do you think will happen if income from operations maintains in 2013? Netting $50M cash a year will definitely open up avenues never before seen at FTK. Pay off the remaining $25M, share buy back program, dividends (not likely), acquisitions (not a good track record), and expanding production facilities would be the majority of the list. Also, will become a nice looking take over target if cash sits in the company.
Mr. Chisholm didn't indicate a clear direction for the cash. Although something was said such as "responsibly using funds this time" in regards to acquisition opportunities. At least he acknowledged the drama of what happened, in those few words.
Yet, if they spend the money this way I would not be happy and will likely sell my stock. Although their past acquisitions finally proved correct the timing was awful and the terms horrible. So as you say, record is poor. Dividends make no sense. Buying back shares is much better and send the message to shortseller that they will get hurt. Expanding, they already did. The best is your idea of playing the Apple game and letting cash build up while keeping innovation high. They could fetch a nice premium and be part of a much larger operation.
I would also dislike too much money spent on trying to make a dent on international markets. That route seems a hard nut to crack. I think they should continue to do what they have been doing for the last 2 years and nothing else.