Some here are hoping for an acquisition of a new product.
According to my numbers for 2009 (admittedly we don't have the 09numbers yet), a $40 million share repurchase executed at $110 a share, would raise FD e.p.s. based on my existing assumptions from about $8.25 to about $10.10/share.
Such a deal would leave ATRI with about $10 million out on their line of credit at the end of 2009 and a minimal cash balance. The line of credit likely would be fully repaid before the end of 2010.
This assumes that business doesn't tank due to macro conditions.
This would be a share repurchase of about 17.5% of the shares. It would leave management (assuming they did not participate in my imagined Dutch Tender with a significantly increased ownership stake in the company.
Your premise about cash is logical. However, good management's often zig when others zag.
Your contention that they are looking more to R&D, however, I find unsupported by the evidence. The company has not increased its R&D spending ratio in recent years, using it instead as a source of margin growth as revenues have risen.