good info as usual.
it's interesting because I previously questioned the prior study as I've seen branches popping up on many available corner pads in our area. Wells Fargo has been making a big push locally (NJ) and B of A is beefing up their existing branches adding drive thru ATMs at all of them that can physically support it.
I think virtual banking lends itself well to the middle/upper class as (I believe) it is easier for them to adapt to online banking easily and don't require the physical presence of the full-service bank. The ATM can provide 90% of what most folks need, a large population has always had direct deposit of paychecks, and many cannot hope for a cashless society as quickly as we can get there safely/securely.
I think that branches are important at least initially for when you move into a neighborhood, if you operate a small/local business, the elderly, and for many of those in lower-income categories. For whatever reasons, the elderly and many of the lower income folks want/need to perform their transactions with a teller. My mother (mid-70s) prefers to deal with a teller at her local Wells Fargo for whatever reason by her old-folks community in FL.
What I also believe, is that many are opening physical locations as it is a mechanism for differentiation, promoting the brand, and inviting the neighborhood in. In NJ, we have lots of small community banks and the competition is heating up to grab deposits. How else can they do this without having a physical presence?
look - I'm not going to try and sell you on the investment and I'm really not up for debating it. I've given you the high level of why your initial view of the company was incorrect, what has been taking place over the past two years, and where things are today. if through your own analysis you don't like it and believe the shares are overvalued, then either don't buy or short it all the way to $2.00. you need to make your own decision, and again, I'm not going to be a salesman or begin debating over it.
good luck with whatever decision you make.
"ULBI makes primary batteries (the kind that you only use once) and assembles secondary batteries (rechargeable) with a focus on communications"
As mentioned, this is historically where the company operated, and understandably why you have the view you do. The transition to commercial is the big difference - it isn't single use any longer. The hospital/medical carts is a good example - if you go through the halls of a hospital, you'll see lots of diagnostic equipment on carts. On the spine of the cart, you'll see a portable battery pack so the device can work when there is no electricity - I also believe it's to create a smooth electricity flow as well so the device isn't affected by possible spikes from an outlet. Anyhow, this is a good example of where the company's expertise in high quality mission critical batteries can be put to good use outside the government business and have a much larger market to sell into.
Today, the focus is not on communications - it is becoming a smaller and smaller part of the business. Q4 indicated that commercial is about to go to more than 50% of the business, and will likely continue to grow becoming an even higher portion.
The objective today is looking to expand the product portfolio along with the customer base. That is what will lead to longer-term growth. The numbers show that they are making very good strides.
It's not going to happen overnight. Patience is still required. However, they are showing they can do it, and the cash hoard and strong financial position is a good thing because it gives them flexibility if/when the right acquisition comes along. There's no sense going out and looking for an acquisition just for the sake of spending your money. They don't have to buy growth - they can generate it themselves...the tremendous growth and rate of growth on the commercial side shows it. As I mentioned previously, things are getting to the point where the government business will just be icing on the cake.
if you believe the valuation is unreasonable, then you should short. in the near-term you may be right as the company will not provide instant gratification for those looking for a 14 PE this quarter or next. However, by the same token, due to the small float, the thin trading, and periodic rallies, the shares could go up 50% very quickly. further, at the current valuation, with the cash, and with the business now properly aligned, there is potential to be acquired. that's not my reason for investing.
anyhow, again, look forward and not back.
First you need to understand that it is a turnaround situation - they are coming off of years of losses, so initially doing a PE analysis comparison will obviously show a skewed number at the point of transitioning from loss to profitability - which is where things are today.
Second, and most importantly is the transition/transformation in the business itself. Historically the company has been focused and singly dependent on mission critical applications for the government. In a changing world with defunding of the defense budgets and sequestration, it became apparent that the future would be bleak sticking to this model. Management took the necessary steps to transform the business developing new products, focusing on commercial clients and applications (medical devices/carts is a great one) and the turn in the business is no taking hold. This is the epitome of "the inflection point". When you review the transcripts, focus on the split of the business between government/defense vs. commercial and you'll see what I'm talking about. Commercial is a much bigger segment, has sustainable/recurring revenues, and will provide less "lumpiness" in results.
Through this period, maintaining a strong financial position was key. They have invested in R&D to work with customers in developing the new products for these applications which the company had not been involved with in the past.
Again, if you understand how turnaround situations work, you can see that they've done the right things here...reduce revenues eliminating the low margin business, cut costs, then when you are at the optimum level of operations, then increase sales with your leaner organization where you have increased margins. All of this shows in this last earnings report.
If you study it more, I think you may have a different perspective than your initial thoughts.
As far as the 60X earnings - only Q4 was 5 cents/share - the key will be when they announce profitable Qs going forward.
I think I mentioned how I have a very bad taste in my mouth from the history of the company, AMIE, and the Ueberroths. Will have another lok, but last time I checked a month or two ago, business was still weak and continued to deteriorate.
On a different Lloyd note - PRSS has quickly become profitable for him.
"...with no realistic / clear growth strategies"
That is entirely an incorrect statement.
I believe you've only done a cursory high level analysis and need to better understand what has been taking place over the past two years. If you are able you should review the conference call transcripts over this period to gain a better understanding of the transformation that has been taking place, why it was necessary, and why your conclusion is incorrect.
This is a classic turnaround story/situation and management has really done an incredible job to this point.
I'm sorry not to hand you all the details, research, and analysis on a silver platter, but I am hoping share price to remain weak so I can accumulate more shares in the coming weeks/months and because they are so thinly traded anyone else buying could affect my ability to get more or inflate the price I pay.
The information is out there - again, start with the transcripts for the past two years and read the most recent one only after you've read the others.
He's been with the company over 10 years and CEO for 8 of them.
Abbas has done a lot of good/hard work and certainly with the CFO issue over the past year it was definitely added work/headaches and he led the company through it wonderfully. Maybe he's just tired and ready for a change himself?
There isn't really anything for the market to absorb - he decided it's time to move on, and whether it happened now, or further down the road, it would happen at some point. Due to the low trading volume which we all know about, there was certainly going to be some movement with whoever tossed their shares. I think that there are just as many that have seen this so many times that they know the bargain when they see it here and buy the dip knowing it will bounce back...and still be undervalued.
Being that Abbas is sticking around for transitioning, I have to believe it was his decision and he just felt with the company now on solid footing the time was right to move on.
the purpose of this SA article was not for the purpose of a pump job to generate volume to sell. I know you said "usually", but just to clarify a few points:
1. I know the author (he is not me), and the purpose was not a pump job
2. I'm sure you've read the article, but "usually" pump jobs do not provide the level of analysis which the author did in this case, and from multiple angles
3. Eberwein is in this at significantly higher prices - in my eyes, that is your safety net...he's got much more riding, and his track record over the past couple years speaks for itself as far as his successes go. At this time, DRAD is a shining star. In a year or two, we'll be saying the same for HSON. Eberwein has made me a significant amount of money in the past couple years and I have no doubt this will be as successful as most of his other investments have been.
4. I suspect that there will be insider purchases coming. They had been purchasing during the back half of 2013 when the shares were at this level all the way up to about $3.50. The company is in much better shape at this time. Now that the earnings have been announced, officers and directors will have an open window to purchase shares.
the initial drop was going to happen unless company announced a big profit, and that wasn't going to happen.
you have a bunch of people jammed in from the SA article, they pushed it over $3.00, and unless the shares went straight up, you have a portion that would sell as quickly as you did...though you have profits.
the earnings announcement was good, company continues moving in the right direction. things are much better than a year ago, yet shares are lower. the meaning is that some folks are simply getting impatient and don't want to wait any longer.
company is doing what they said they would, they are meeting their guidance, so what was announced today was by no means unexpected. again, you have a bunch of people who jumped in, simply skimmed the report, and were happy to sell just as quickly being most don't have a real interest.
next 6 to 9 months will be very good as the company has clearly turned the corner, losses are being reduced nicely, and they've told you the goal is to get to profitability as quickly as possible. once they end the restructuring expense with Alix it should happen very quickly.
a little patience is needed to get the full value here. some people have it (like the big buyer) and others don't (those racing for the exit today).
non-issue as company has millions left on the buyback and has no problem repurchasing shares at the $1.75 level.
since you're conversing with yourself, why don't you now provide the incorrect answer to yourself?
hello again cparker - a bit early for your obligatory visit, aren't you?
great new id - obvious jealousy.
This bank is extremely highly valued for one posting losses and undergoing a restructuring.
At $18 it is even above the $16 or $17 at most that it would fetch in a buyout today.
Much better banks that are much less expensive and undervalued at this time.