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MKS Instruments, Inc. Message Board

  • cmmdrsolo cmmdrsolo May 8, 2012 2:38 PM Flag

    Memo to Mora

    Ms. Mora, welcome to the BOD. I encourage you to educate the rest of the BOD, as well as the CEO and CFO, how inefficient it is to be sitting on $10 per share in net cash. Please explain to them how the tax rate on dividends is set to rise dramatically on 1/1/2013 and that a special dividend of $10 a share would make amazing sense. When they say that the money is good to have in case of a rainy day, advise them that we just went through a monsoon and MKSI didn't need to dig into its cash one red cent. Please show them how KDN and GNRC are leading the way with these special large dividends. Convince them that less is mora in this regard. Thank you.

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    • Ms. Mora, since you became a board member around May 8, MKSI has underperformed the market by 15% and is down 10% in absolute terms. In the investment world we call something like this a clue. It is time for this board to get a spine and recapitalize this company. The shareholders own this company, not the management. Sitting on $11 a share in net cash for a "rainy day" is insane -- we just went through a monsoon and zero cash was needed to survive it. This is the kind of idiotic decision making you get when a company has a weak board. This is the shareholders' money, not management's, and as a board member, as a fiduciary, it is your responsibility that it not just sit around and collect dust. Thanks.

    • Why don't they use the cash to help fund an LBO. With rates so low this might make some sense.

    • You're probably not surprised that Mora didn't respond to your email. I think you are dead right, for what it's worth. I listened to a conference presentation by MKSI's CEO and CFO the other day. The CFO, trying to justify the cash hoard, said that the money is needed to take advantage of M&A opportunities. Care to know how much MKSI has spent on such opportunities in the past? I'll tell you: $173 million since 1996 -- over 16 years. Know how much cash MKSI is currently sitting on? They are sitting on $556 million! Give me a break. Actually, no, give me the cash!

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