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BIOLASE, Inc. Message Board

  • sunbuyers sunbuyers Oct 14, 2004 5:53 PM Flag

    The 2004 sales shortfall.

    Just some thoughts on the current situation. This summer for the first time in my memory, maybe first time ever, management came out with quarterly sales $ guidance for Q's 3 & 4. Before the dust even settled they were back with a warning on higher than usual expenses for the remainder of the year. Then for the first time they missed their own numbers, announced the same (preliminaries) well in advance of the normal earnings release and guided lower for the rest of the year. In the face of all the class action suit activity this would appear to be total madness. So what happened? The hurricane scenario could be more realistic than many want to admit. I spend most of my time in Florida and I can tell you that this Summer, Fall & Winter will NOT be typical. The entire SE region from Key West to Virginia and over to Louisiana was turned topsy by these storms. I'll wager that very few dentists (of which there are many) in the area gave two thoughts to major new equipment acquisitions in the past 2-3 months. In addition, the mood of those that DID attend the ADA conference had to be effected. With attendance cut in half and the New Orleans event cancelled entirely in addition to the regional upheaval it's probably cost (at least temporarily) Biolase 150 or so sales so far. Can some of these be made up? Hopefully in the next 120 days or so some can be recaptured. Will BLTI be able to exceed the reduced guidance for Q4? Let's hope so. My main concern right now is for the morale of the sales and marketing group as well as all employees. Is BLTI able to retain all of their key personnel or are some of the top producers losing their enthusiasm? Can anyone out there shed any light on these areas? Let's have a little non-acrimonious discussion of the matter. Anything would be better than what's become the norm here lately.

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    • The ADA doesn't do well in Orlando because Orlando is in Florida, where most of the old farts who live there don't have any teeth. Hell, they don't even know how to vote down there. Bunch of moronic democraps!!!

    • Orlando in the Summer is not my idea of paradise. Very poor choice of season and location. Just another factor to keep in mind when evaluating company guidance when first announced.

    • Mr.E. observes, "Technicals on this stock would point to a wash out bottom somewhere. A big selloff followed by further price weakness is not my idea of a climax bottom.'

      The problem with the pre-announcement is that there is absolutely no reason to buy here without knowing how bad the 3Q04 numbers really are.

      Until they are out (or just before), I doubt we see a bottom. IMHO, we have another week to endure, before TA can tell us anything.

    • i am not sure the company saw the ADA as a disappointment. i think they were encouraged by the relative strenght of orders taken at the meeting when compared to the dramatic decrease in attendees.

      the thing that hurt them, mostly, in the final month of hte quarter was the hurricanes, the ramp-up of the election season (traditionally, a slow period for capital eqipmnt), and some changes in europe tax laws (doctors are still smarting from a big decrease in allowances, or something).

    • Sunbuyers writes, "Pkewl, see my post #106013 for what I believe are valid reasons for the new 4thQ guidance."

      I think you are right. I think teh gross salkes nuber will come into between the new guidance and the old. I also think the company did the right thing admitting to the ADA conference problems NOW instead of waiting.

    • i was at the orlando ADA meeting as an investor, etc. almost all of the high-tech vendors i talked to (dentrix, kodak, eaglesoft, dexis, etc.) expressed the same "slowdown" in sales at the meeting -- which seems to indicate that the hurricanes affected the meeting.

      to biolase's credit, their booth (a new two-story structure) was very busy during the meeting, which many of the other tech vendors could not claim.

      also, historically, the ADA show has never done well at the orlando site. (next year is in philadelphia...)

    • Pkewl, see my post #106013 for what I believe are valid reasons for the new 4thQ guidance. I believe that the terrible dislocation caused by the hurricane related weather in SE region did in fact damage 2004 sales seriously along with the new salesman/new product initiation. I believe sales would have been very close to original guidance had these events not taken place. Now it will be at least March or April before all the dust settles and we see what the company is capable of doing without disruptions, bogus comparisons, etc. and how well the new product is viewed by the marketplace.

    • pkewl
      I think there are big picture technical reasons to expect $4. These have to do with the Naz being 1900 with interest rates rising and oil through the roof and the possibility of a Kerry or hung election.

      I expect a loss this quarter of 5-8�. I do not think the market as a whole has integrated the return to money losing status.

      The $4 buying opportunity may not present itself after earnings release but a few weeks after.

    • Hi Mr ex.

      they did not reach early adopter market. Go back and peruse the textbooks on buyer types. They sold to much of the visionaries. They reached that market so easy (lasercat only heard of the waterlase when he bought it) and it didn't cost much, so they increased the FUN marketing - big parties- big giveaway gifts and the sales came rolling in.

      now they have yet to begin penetration of the early adopters 2.5% to 16%. OR they were getting BOTH types and know that because of the demo's of the buyers, and just didn't see the switcharoo happening so early or fast.
      They need to market to the early adopters, research, research, research, and then fact fact fact.
      The hype and big party marketing is dying down, and the consumer awareness won't be effective until they get to 10% or so.

      my opinions

      also agree with the bottoming process still being in process. Therefore I am fully hedged with puts.

    • phoghorn
      They got all dressed up for continued revenue growth (new building, new reps, new service people) and went nowhere. Is $10m enough to make a dent in the public's awareness? Probably not. Would losing 40� a share over the next year do more damage to the price (and put the company at financial risk) maybe.

      Management misread the market. They (it seems) HAD reached early adopter saturation without convincing the mainstream that they were a professional necessity.

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