It is obvious to anyone who has followed
Heska. This company doesn't know what
its doing? Heska is on continual restart.
With the progressive decline in revenues
in both OVP and core companion. It was
necessary for Heska to go "Hail Mary" in
attempt to save the company. So desperate
to get a new product line, that mgmt practically
gave the company to Kevin Wilson.
He may have the title COO, but Wilson
might as well be CEO.
With this change of course. Its time to
change the horse. Its time for Grieve to
resign to the board of directors, and turn it
over to Mr Wilson.
Rapid Diagnostek no longer seems to have a
working website. Supposedly, a new one is under
construction? This little rabbit has teased investors
for 12yrs with a technology that never seems to come
to fruition. Maybe Heska can advance Rapid Diagnostek
some more money so they can get their website back
up and running?
Heska discontinued efforts of doing internal research
and development of new products in Grieve's restructuring
of the company in 2002.
Since then, the company has concentrated on reselling
products manufactured by others. There is a good deal of
risk involved with third party sales. Heska learned this
when Abbott pulled the most successful handheld diagnostic
device IStat , and gave the distribution rights to Abaxis.
Two years ago Heska announced with fanfare, two new
collaborations which would result in breakthrough products.
One of these collaborations was with Rapid Diagnostek.
The other with Entegrion. Heska invested monies in these
two private companies, and told shareholders to expect
exciting product offerings. Two years later. Heska Ceo Grieve
doesn't want to talk about these so called collaborations,
and hopes we all forget about it.
More money down the rat hole.
Lapper, Thanks for the honest comments. Shuganni also
sounded like a former employee.
My question to you? Whether Joe Aperfine was a good guy
or a unfair, para military style manager. What difference does
it make? Like Snodgrass ,( who Aperfine replaced) both are gone
and Heska has sunk deeper into its own morass.
The problem resides at the top with Grieve, Wisnewski,& Napolitano.
It is not the shrinking salesforce that is the problem at Heska.
Its the leadership.
Heska attended the Bank of America/ Merrill Lynch
investors conferences yresterday. Abaxis was also
in attendance. Lets hope the two companies had a
buffer between them. How would you like to be a
salesperson showing Heska's " Solostep" the heartworm
detection test . Heska's has been selling Solostep
2 for 1, in a half price discount to retain marketshare.
Competitor Abaxis has a point of care quick results
reagent which not only tests for heartworm, but also
Parvovirus, Giardia, and Lyme disease in one sample.
And we wonder why Grieve keeps blaming the salesman?
Doc, I did notice " the street" reference to the dividend.
If their analyst doesn't know the dividend was dropped
in December? How much credence should we place in
The only thing I might note of Kevin Wilson. He seems to
have got the better of the deal in parlaying the veterinary side
of Quattro into Heska in exchange for the largest share interest
in the aggregated companies. Wilson is now largest insider
shareholder. With this much skin in the game.
I suspect we will see him take more control. It is refreshing,
in and of itself, to have a salesperson with a proven track record
managing a sales organization.
A few weeks ago Cramer's "the street" analysts
were saying Heska was a buy on valuation.
Every year you can count on this front running
rag to retract its recommendation of Heska.
Why should this year be different?
Heska is now being downgraded by the street?
If you have followed the noise of Jim Cramer.
When he says "Buy" you do the opposite.
Conversely. I expect Heska to beat comps in
the 2nd, and 3rd quarter of 2013. This companies
weakest sales has always been the soft middle
of year. Quattro will offset and change the momentum
in the next few earnings reports. COO Wilson's
stamp will be on future results.
Chris, It is nice to see you in print again.
Its been lonely in the saddle since my horse died.
I think Grieve sounded a little testy answering questions.
Its become obvious to all. Heska's core business
has been eroding for years. This is no longer a case of
Heska turning it around internally. I think, and hope the
Quattro deal is Grieve's golden parachute.
For the weary and disappointed faithful.
The comps get easier in the forward quarters.
In 2012 HSKA did $18.3MM in the 2nd quarter, and $16.9MM
in the 3rd quarter. If Quattro continues its growth on pace?
The new Heska imaging should show $3MM additional revenue
each quarter forward.
Em, Goldstein summarized about as good as can be.
Message boards are no short cut to doing your own dd.
I suspect your original comment was perceived as an
satirical observation, rather than a legitimate question?
IMO anyone who takes the opportunity to buy Startek on
this pullback is getting a very undevalued company at a
40% discount to the price it traded a few weeks ago.
Heska didn't give guidance for 2013.
But a miss is a miss. $19 MM in the 1st
quarter is 1% off last years revenue.
Quattro contributition to sales was $1.9MM.
So Heska's results without the imaging dept
would have been $17MM for 1st quarter.
Grieve sounded defensive in answering
questions. He has literally underwhelmed us
and is gun shy with egg on his face from
last years fiasco.
Nine of Heska's field reps were terminated in
addition to the loss of Joe Aperfine. These were
the same salespeople that Grieve claimed
were the best assembled sales team a year ago.
Grieve doesn't want to be judged on previous
results, and doesn't want to make future promises.
It appears Heska is still in limbo.
Rb, I have to agree completely. The knee jerk reaction
of selling StarTek now, is for those who don't know
the company strategy, and do not recognize the positive
changes SRT has made in the last 2 years.
Turnarounds are grueling, and test patience. But for
anyone who listened to the conference call? The comments
of Chad Carlson were positive. I have listened to many cc's
where the CEO hems and haws, and makes excuses.
This CEO has a defined plan, knows the importance of
execution, and has recruited special people to meets his goals.
The new IT platform will increase productivity, and IMO ,
the strategic acquisition of Ideal Dialogue, is part of the
"leapfrog" competitive advantage you mention.
Yes, The quarter results are disappointing.
However. Its the perspective that is important.
This quarters setback was due to an operational
bump in the road, and still shows a big improvement
over 2012 1st quarter comps.
Fundamentally the company is proving the turnaround
and should continue to do so. The new management
team has been doing a great job to reinvent the company.
I believed in this company two years ago when it was
hard to see how they were going to dig out of the hole.
SRT was dependent on 2 primary customers and a
cash burn that left many worrying whether the company
could continue. Today they have more diverse customer
base with the largest customer comprising 25% .
The company has no debt, cash of $7MM, along
with a substantial credit facility from WFC. New customers
are coming aboard, and overall margins are improving.
The Asian, and So American operations are startups
and require patience. They will provide the future
growth for Startek.
If you are sorry to have missed the boat. Startek is
giving new investors a great opportunity in the pullback
of the share price.
Heska avoided giving guidance but 1st quarter has
been Heska strongest quarter over the last few years.
If 2011 Heska did $19.5MM in the 1st quarter.
Last year Heska did $19.2 MM in the first quarter.
If Heska cannot beat $19MM with Quattro
revenues added to the mix. I will be interesting to
hear the explination.
Another stat to examine is operating margins.
Heska has less operating margin than your local
grocery store. Quattro's radiology equipment should
generate higher profits and help HSKA's aggregate
We will also be listening for news concerning
Pet Trust Plus? Is Perrigo placing orders for the
Joel, What are you doing? Hanging out with Wes?
Funny how we haven't heard from Wes , the daily
boaster. I suspect his sphincter is tightening.
One year ago Heska shares peaked at $13 on the
heel of a rosy 22% increase revenue forecast, and
the introduction of a .10 quarterly dividend.
It took HSKA less than 6 months to retract both
the forecast, and the dividend. Adding insult to
injury Grieve sold a large block of his shares into his
own hype, and then later announced a tender offer
to buyback shares at $8.50, saying he and the board
of directors didn't think shares were worth more than $8.50.
It appears Mr Grieve is going on the dog and pony show circuit
again to sunny California, for investor conferences hosted
by BOA and the Riley Group. One word of warning for
attendees. You have to watch what this guy does, not what he says.
I suspect many are hedging the huge gains in Startek
by taking profit before earnings. For those new to SRT
this is a great entry point to buy discounted shares.
Startek's history over the last year shows it has opened
over 10% higher following its earnings announcements.
Chasing the announcement meant buying at a premium.
This is not a trading stock because of low float and thin
volume. It can be a volatile stock however, as we have seen
in profit taking of the last few days. StarTek is still early
into a turnaround and has many positive catalysts that
are not factored into forward earnings. Shareholders
with conviction ignore the day to day noise and use the
dips to add shares.
Last Sept CEO Bob Grieve justified the tender offer
by saying he didn't think the companys shares were
worth anymore than $8.50.
As a result. The market has been taking his word for it.
Heska has been trading between $8-$9 for the last
9 months. The few insiders buying shares are
exercising options to average down cost basis.
Someone needs to ask Grieve why he thinks HSKA
is worth more than $8.50?
Steuce, Kirkland Lake is an actual producer.
They have invested in improvements to the lift
potential which should increase output of this
The problem is. Cost to mine for KGI is about
$1200/oz. I owned this outfit in 2003 as spot gold
was rising and their extraction costs were lower.
I sold too soon, and revisited Kirkland with the
spot price falling last month. I have a small position
because I believe KGI is very undervalued.
However, there are downside risks to these juniors
that are leveraged to the price of gold.
This is one to watch, however, because it has
big upside potential.