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Brooks Automation, Inc. Message Board

  • artaxerxes5 artaxerxes5 Mar 17, 2008 5:07 PM Flag

    BRKS Stinks: Sure, But How to Quantify?

    No one needs to tell us shareholders BRKS has been an awful
    investment. But how best to quantify just how stinking awful
    it is? There are numberous metrics, but my favorite is sales
    to market cap, as it shows current Wall St. sentiment. By this
    standard, BRKS's shortcomings are readily apparent. Compared to
    the 9 companies BRKS uses as a peer group for compensation
    purposes, the numbers are reflective:

    AEIS: 1.58X
    Asyst: 2.8X
    ACLS: 1.4X
    BRKS: 0.9X
    ENTG: 1.3X
    Lam: 2.1X
    MKSI: 1.3X
    NVLS: 1.4X
    UCTT: 0.5X
    VARI: 1.7X

    Before we breathe a sigh of relief that BRKS has beaten at least
    one of these nine (UCTT) bear in mind that UCTT's shareholder
    return the last 5 years is 10X that of BRKS! In short, as an investment
    BRKS stinks. Now that Lepofsky has canned the senior management
    and taken the helm himself, maybe things will get turned around.
    I suspect he rues the day he agreed (with others) to sell Helix to
    BRKS, just in time for the backdating scandal to hit, thereby
    exposing what corrupt venal sleazoids the former management and
    Board were. So where does that leave us today? Is Brooks a "buy"
    at $9.50? History says yes, although it's hard to drum up much
    enthusiasm for it. For me, the indignation has subsided yet.

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    • It is hard to say if better days are ahead (long-term). Legacy Helix has been hemorrhaging talent ever since the Brooks’ acquisition. A clash in corporate cultures it would seem.

      It takes new ideas and great products to be successful long-term. With all that has transpired since the acquisition, I find myself questioning if a critical mass in competency can be reestablished.

      There is keen competition that has been kept at bay for years, but the door is now wide open and AMAT et al. would like nothing better than some relevant competition.

      RJL needs to hurry.

      • 1 Reply to nick.acadia
      • Welcome aboard, it's nice to have a fellow
        poster with something constructive to add.
        A rare commodity these days.
        I too hope Lepofsky can get this company
        turned around. But then he has a long way to
        go to redeem himself in my eyes. As a former
        shareholder in Helix, I don't recall we share-
        holders being asked if selling out to BRKS is
        something we approved. It was instead presented
        as a fait accompli. Nor do I remember any
        explanation as to why the Board felt Helix's
        future was so dismal as a stand-alone that
        being absorbed by BRKS was so necessary.
        The final indignity was that we Helix owners
        didn't get a price premium, instead swapping
        shares at the current market value. It now
        seems to me that as an independent company,
        Helix's future was in its own hands, as it
        was free to leverage its expertise to expand
        in other markets, but now inside BRKS its
        fate is tied to the semi-equipment
        market, with the perpetual boom and bust
        cycles. And to think I could have dumped those
        Helix shares at $80! What a moron I was.

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