For the last couple of days, and especially today, I have enjoyed reading most of the commentary on this board. Several posters have presented well-reasoned and thoughtful comments which have contributed to a substantive discussion. (And I think they know who they are.) In an attempt to reinforce some of the positive comments and maybe address a couple of expressed concerns, I would like to share my impressions of a phone call I had today with Ivan Braiker.
First I want to say that I am quite impressed with Ivan. He strikes me as being very straightforward and honest. I am usually pretty accurate with my assessments of people (after all that is what I have done professionally for 40 years), and my impression of Ivan is that he is approachable, responsive, conservative, and sincere. He is willing to discuss issues of concern to shareholders. He even expressed to me that he would rather people make well-informed decisions than to be making decisions out of unawareness.
One issue I asked Ivan about was a concern that one poster raised recently regarding the possible selling of earn-out shares by the Hipcricket guys, or that maybe the guys were unhappy and selling shares as a prelude to leaving the company. Now I realize that comment was born out of frustration, as a falling stock price will always lead to negative speculation or venting. But Ivan affirmed that all of the earn-out shares were restricted and that none of the HC guys is selling any shares. The guys are quite happy where they are and are working hard to achieve success. They realize the potential of what they have and morale is high.
Ivan is also quite pleased with the growth of the business. I am totally confident that he is very comfortable with projections for this new quarter, and he is confident in the continued rapid growth of the business going forward. He affirmed that business is on fire; this is consistent with what Mobileguru has affirmed many times on this board. Existing clients are coming back for more, and apparently HC is reaching out more aggressively to new potential clients.
I also am impressed with Ivan's commitment to the company. He is very enthusiastic and optimistic. This company is his passion at this time in his life. He is committed to participating in the continuing evolution of this company as it continues to gain recognition and stature in the mobile industry.
On the several occasions when I have had the pleasure of speaking with "management", I have always had the impression that they are committed, capable, and optimistic. They appear to work well together as a team, and they definitely believe in the potential for this company. This is consistent with the reporting of the "three amigos" from the SHM. I am totally confident we have good people leading this company, and in spite of "bumps in the road", they will achieve success, if only given some time.
Now....let the "thumbs-down patrol" begin their work-------LOL
HFB, thanks , that is good info..Did you get any feel about the non-dilutive financing? that seems to be a hot topic here.Though i dont know why 5 mil is such a big deal. i am sure there are several white knights who could loan that money..
Sentiment: Strong Buy
XTJ, during our conversation, Ivan commented that we are in the bottom of the first inning in the evolution of mobile. He sees this evolution continuing for at least the next 20 years, with the hand held device basically replacing most every other device as the preferred vehicle of transmitting data and communication. Obviously there is really nothing new in those comments, but those comments were in the context of discussing the potential he sees for Augme/HC.
hfb, thank you for your consistent tone in your posts here which is rooted also in a consistent resolve in your investment. I recongnize that most of your contribution here is meant to put others here at ease at a time when many are understandably likely to be emotional and negative about their investment in AUGT.
This has been a very hard hold for me, having bought in the $4’s! I am not selling a share, even if you told me they will do dilutive financing next week. Simply put, I have more reasons to think this company is going somewhere now than I did when I bought in March of 2011 in the $4’s! I have facts and figures to think so. Does the decline in the pps bother me, sure it does. Do I wish I had not bought more all the way down from $2.50 to $1.40 earlier in the year; of course I do. I wish I could average down here, but I have no reason to think the story has changed, especially since the IP victory story was not my main reason to buy.
As I see it, I have bought into a speculative stock with an eye toward multiplied returns in a company that could be turning over a profit early next year. I know there are large players in it that can cause large waves in the pps. It takes just a few people wanting to sell a chunk of their shares for a variety of reasons to cause large downward pressure on the stock, with some weaker holders following suit, not to mention malicious hands being able to come in at those key times and with minimal effort to put more pressure on the pps. Because of those two facts, I can’t let the pps be my beacon; that is not how investing in a speculative stock like this works. If HC were a private company going public this month most of us would buy in at $3-4 a share, knowing what we all know about it. That is what we all need to keep in focus, rather than speculate with such apprehension who is selling and why. Reasonable financing now and 2-3 more quarters with similar growth to what was just reported and this will be an entirely different stock and investment.
Ivan's optimism, enthusiasm, commitment and capability are well appreciated, and not unexpected for an officer of this company. I think, however what we are looking for and what the market is looking for is some solid evidence that the needed financing is being handled favorably for the company. And that that corner, that the game changing event that has been alluded to on several occasions, is around is within sight, and not a mirage.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
Bigger, let me make a comment about your reply. You certainly have a valid point about the market waiting to see about the status of the financing. I think we all agree that that issue is hanging over the stock price right now. I spoke with another person in management this weekend as well. In my conversations with both people I was left with the impression that they were not worried about financing. Now that could be interpreted in more ways than one. Either they know something has been worked out and it is "shareholder friendly", or something has not yet been worked out but they are confident that it will be, and/or they believe that it really does not matter in the long run, or something has been worked out that is somewhat dilutive but in the long run it gets them to cash flow positive and they are not concerned about the near term impact on the stock price, or maybe even another interpretation or two is possible. All we can do is speculate. It is very possible that the rulings last week reversed what might have been a temporary negative impact of the Spero ruling on any ongoing discussions. Who knows. But I can say that the confidence exuded by both people I spoke with certainly does not indicate that they are concerned right now with raising money. Is it an issue for the market? Yes it is. But my impression is that management is focused on what will drive this company forward and is very confident in the direction they are heading. Even a couple of people on this board have intimated that whatever they have to do for financing, go ahead and get it over with so we can move forward. While financing may or may not temporarily impact the stock price, I believe they believe that good things are going to happen in the near to mid term that will get us past the issue.
Ivan the wise. Great post doc. When confusion reigns, sometimes it is best to get a little clarity. Go to the source and get information. Sometimes it fits exactly in the puzzle where there seems to be a hole.
Thank you for sharing. I am sure they are not caught up in the day to day fluctuation of their stock. This is a great space to be in. They clearly have a great product. Their efforts and our patients should be rewarded.