Cheap Stocks, 12/16/2011 Update

We had a down week again, .8%, but that was way better then the market.

Some of our stocks are just stupid cheap—compared to their cash on hand. Check this list:

Cash as % of Stock Price

RIMG 64%
EXTR 52%
PTIX 66%
GRVY 160%
BVSN 126%
CCUR 102%
MTSL 43%
SIGM 85%
ASTX 83%
CTIG 105%
MRVC 50%

Plus EXTR, RIMG, VTRO and MRVC.PK are all in “play” with activist shareholders either trying to get them to pay out special dividends or take them over.

We are now down 2.4% for the year. All of the damage comes from LTUS. Hopefully this will turn around in 2012.

Angeion and Ari earnings out last week, our valuations rose on both companies.

The DOW was down 2.6% last week, NASDAQ was down 3.5% and the S+P 500 was down 2.8%. The Russell 3000 was down 2.9%.

RWWI, BVSN, EXTR, MTSL and MITL are our favorites.

For the year, the DOW is up 2.5%, NASDAQ is down 3.7%, S+P 500 is down 3%, the Russell 3000 is down 3.8%

Last week we went 9 stocks up, 12 down and 2 unchanged. Since inception we are now 51 stocks up and 20 down for a 72% winning percentage (80% is our target win %).

Since our beginning, we have closed out the following positions:

2006-NTCT +44%
2006-ONXS +11% (Buyout offer)
2006-DTLK +41%
2006-CAW +21% (Buyout offer)
2007-IYXI.ob +44% (Buyout offer)
2007-MOBI +47% (Buyout offer)
2007-INFT +11% (Buyout offer)
2007-RITT +62%
2007-MIVA +55%
2007-DTLK +25% (2 weeks)
2007-PDLI + 3%
2007-QADI +25%
2007-CIMT +50%
2007-BDR +19%
2007-LINN.ob -57% (mortgage business bust didn’t help here)
2007-TISA -39% (take some tax loss for 2007 due to disappointing results.
2008-ANGN +26%
2008-OPTO.ob +40% (Buy-out offer)
2008-PDLI +9% (company split, and special dividend)
2008-BDAY -39% (long overdue takeover offer-or “take-under”)
2008-DTLK +40% (third trip on this one)
2008-ILOG +26% (Buy-out offer from IBM)
2008-PARL +56%
2009-MBRK +67%
2009-SNWL +14%
2009-CYNO +25%
2009-DTLK +33%
2009-NED +46%
2009-CUTR +13%
2009-HSTM +67% (continued good earnings)
2009-RNWK +36%
2009-OPK +116%
2009-CLZR -32% (a loser even on a buy-out)
2009-DTLK +28% (our 5th profitable trip on this one)
2010-HPOL +110%
2010-DIVX +25%
2010-CHRD +37% Buyout (2 weeks after we recommended it)
2010-HPOL +30%
2010-MGIC +82%
2010-GSL +78%
2010-CCEL +49%
2010-HPOL +27%
2010-CAW EVEN (excluding 2.5 years of dividends)
2011-DWCH +116%
2011-IPAS +15%
2011-PRM +56% Buyout (1 week after we recommended it)
2011-RST +12%
2011-NINE -10%

The model portfolio assumes $10,000 invested in each stock (unless we double-up–then it is $20,000), less $10 commission each way (TD Ameritrade rate).

For the 48 stocks that we closed out since 2006 (43 were winners) the average net gain was 37%.

Top Image Systems. (NASDAQ-TISA)-Recommended 12/7/2011)
Buy Price-$2.03
Valuation $4.89
Closed up $.01 at $2.12
Up 4%, BUY

MRV Communications (Pink
Valuation $2.45 (after $.0475 special dividend)-(Was $2.92, $3.09)
Buy Price October 7, 2011- $.80 ($1.27 before special dividend)
Closed down $.03 at $.85
MRV announced in December that it was selling it’s CES subsidiary to a private equity group for net cash proceeds of about $20 million (net of $4.1 million of escrow hold backs). This will add another $.13 to the remaining hoard. CES’s sales, margins are not disclosed in any of their SEC filing so it is not possible to adjust our valuation for this transaction yet. The transaction is expected to close by the end of January.
CEO has now resigned and the CFO was named interim CEO. We will be surprised if MRV is not sold in 2012.
Earnings announced in November. Revenue was $62.5 million down from $66.1 million last year. Net income was $2.1 million or $.01 per share comparer to $3.6 million last year ($.02 per share). Cash before the $75 dividend dropped slightly to $150 million or $.90 per share. Our valuation dropped to $2.92 per share which is still more than double the current price.
Raging Bull continues to buy shares. Another 950,000 acquired on 11/4 at about $1.36.
Up 4% BUY

Sigma Designs Inc. (NASDAQ-SIGM)-Recommended 7/11/2011)
Buy Price-$8.49
Valuation $12.10 (Was $13.40, $16.02)
Closed down $.24 at $5.94
Earnings announced in November. Not great. Revenues down 50% from last year to $40 million and they lost $2.8 million on a non-GAAP basis (they reported a $122 million loss which had $111 million goodwill write down in it). Cash fell a bit to $5.03 per share and our valuation fell again to $12.10 a share. Cash was $159 million.
Mak Capital One LLC filed a 13G in November disclosing a 6.6% (2,110,000 shares) stake in SIGM.
So we are trading at a market cap of about $65 million (excluding cash) for a $150- $200 million a year chip company with 50% margins. Still pretty stupid we think. However, our valuation keeps falling, so we need to keep our eye on this one.
Down 30%, HOLD

Mitel Networks (NASDAQ-MITL)-Recommended 7/6/2011)
Buy Price- $3.04( Was $3.36 before $10,000 added, $3.95 before $10,000 added)
Valuation $15.28 (Was $14.04, $10.39)
Closed up $.03 at $2.78.
Earnings announced in November. Pretty good. Revenues were up to $169 million from $161 million last year and they made $13.3 million on a Non-GAAP basis ($.24 per share) compared to $9.1 million ($.16 per share. Our valuation rose to $15.28.
Down 9%, BUY

Rimage (NASDAQ-RIMG)-Recommended 5/24/2011)
Buy Price-$14.20
Valuation $25.67 (Was $25.63, $26.45)
Closed down $.13 at $11.11
Pays $.68 a share annual dividend.
Earnings announced in November. Revenues down from $23.4 million to $20.3 million. They made $1.5 million ($.16 per share vs. $.24 last year). Cash was $115 million or $12.14 per share (before the Qumu $39 million payment after the quarter end). Our valuation just on their Q3 performance actually increased a bit to $25.67. Looking at their guidance we estimate that our valuation will fall to about $22 next year. This is still a big enough value gap to hang onto the stock, collect the 6% dividend and see what this Qumu acquisition does.
They are projecting the combined company will generate more than 15% sales growth in 2012 and that cash flows will be about the same as 2011. Accordingly they upped the quarterly dividend to $.17 per share.
After the Qumu payment they will have about $75 million in cash, or over $7 a share. Not too shabby.
Arcadia sent a letter to Rimage on September 12th, again asking for the $9 dividend and making vague threats of doing something. Not clear what exactly. Oust the CEO, make a tender offer are among the possibilities we guess. We are not sure what they will do now that the company bought Qumu.
Down 22%, BUY

Lexmark International (NYSE-LXK)-Recommended 5/24/2011)
Buy Price-$28.80
Valuation $63.84 (Was $79.12, $63.99)
Closed down $.57 at $32.75
Pays $1.00 per share annual dividend.
LXK announced in October that they will start paying a $1 annual dividend.
Earnings announced in October. Pretty good. Revenue was up 1% to $1.035 billion and EPS was $.86 per share versus $.90 last year. Q4 projection is for EPS of $1.02 to $1.12 so they expect to comfortably earn over $4 a share this year on a GAAP basis and about $4.60 per share on a Non-GAAP basis. Net cash fell by $125 million as they bought this much back in LXK stock during the quarter and expect to buy back a similar amount in Q4. Net cash is $7.34 per share. Our valuation fell back to $63.84 on the decline in cash, a drop in margins and net income. Still trading at about 50% of our valuation and spewing cash.
This would normally be a “buy” with such a huge discount to our valuation, but the vagaries on the stock analysts make us cautious.
Up 14%, HOLD

MER Telemanagement (NASDAQ-MTSL)-Recommended 5/17/2011)
Buy Price-$1.42 (Was $1.50 before adding another $10,000 investment)
Valuation $6.28 (Was $5.61, $5.11)
Closed up $.21 at $1.58
Last earnings out in November. Sales were up from $2.7 million to $3 million and they made $226,000 ($.05 a share) versus $14,000 last year. Cash per share rose to $.68 from $.63 last quarter and our valuation rose to $6.28 per share. Overall a very good report, but no reaction in the stock price. For the 9 months ended September 30th, they have made $.13 per share compared to $.01 last year.
MER announced a contract extension in August of $2.5 million (minimum). This is almost 50% of MER’s entire market cap. .
Up 11% BUY

Harris Interactive (NASDAQ-HPOL)-Recommended 3/3/2010)
Buy Price-$.92
Valuation $2.90 (Was $3.11, $2.63, $2.97)
Closed at $.60, up $.01
A Director reported buying 10,000 shares last week at $.65 a share.
Earnings announced in November. Revenues actually increased to $38.3 million from $37 million. HPOL lost $6 million after a $6.8 million restructuring charge which had been warned of ahead of time. Net cash actually rose to almost $3 million and our valuation dropped back to $2.90 a share on the seasonal drop in revenues ($2.57 last year). Overall, not bad considering they are in the middle of a major restructuring effort.
Down 35%, HOLD

Concurrent Computer (NASDAQ-CCUR)-Recommended 2/4/2011)
Buy Price-$5.08
Valuation $11.38 (was $14.04, $18.54, $15.99)
Closed up $.01 at $3.42
Now trading under cash value.
Earnings announced in November. Nothing to write home about. Sales fell to $12.9 million from $15.5 million last year and they lost $2.6 million versus $1.2 million last year. Cash fell to $3.50 a share and our valuation fell to $11.38. Hopefully with all the new deals they have announced this year, this decline in value will turnaround soon. We are switching to a HOLD here from a BUY.
They presented at a Wells Fargo investor conference on November 9th. Would not think they would do this if things were not going in a positive direction, at least from a business perspective.
In April the company announced that it would not do the stock buy back that Skellig was suggesting. We don’t like buy backs anyway. Hopefully Skellig will keep pushing management to get the share price up. Their ownership is up to 5.86%.
Down 33%, HOLD

Astex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Was SuperGen Inc.) (NASDAQ-ASTX)-Recommended 10/4/2010)
Buy Price-$2.31 (was $2.09 before adding $10,000)
Valuation $3.42 (was $3.11, $5.21, $4.89, $4.37, $3.48)
Closed down $.03 at $1.66
Earnings announced in November. Sales rose to almost $17 million from $13.4 million last year and they lost $3.4 million before taxes. But this loss was after almost $8 million of acquisition expenses and stock based compensation. Cash ended up at $128 million or $1.28 a share. Our valuation rose to $3.42 a share.
As we said before, the merger with the revenue poor Astex hurt our valuation which does not take into account the massive drug pipeline of Astex. It is not easy to find a small drug company that has a pile of cash, is not losing a ton of money and is trading at even close to our valuation.
There are $2 BILLION of potential milestone payments down the road.
Down 28%, HOLD

Performance Technology (PTIX-Recommended 3/30/2010)
Buy Price-$2.70
Valuation $5.94-(was $4.87, $4.99, $3.79, $3.87, $5.03, $5.98, $7.13)
Closed down $.25 at $1.70
Earnings announced in November. Not bad at all. Revenues were $9 million, up from $6.3 million last year and they made $.07 on a non-GAAP basis. On a GAAP basis they lost $86,000. Cash per share was $1.12 and our valuation rose to $5.94 on increased sales, margins and reduced losses.
Down 37%, BUY

Extreme Networks (EXTR-Recommended 3/22/2010)
Buy Price-$3.18 (Was $3.04 before adding another $10,000)
Valuation-$6.72 (was $6.45, $5.67, $7.36, $7.23, $7.31, $6.82, $6.81)
Closed down $.15 at $2.86
Earnings announced in November. Sales fell from $84 million to $79 million and they made $1.6 million ($.02 a share) versus $2.7 million ($.03 a share) last year. On a non-GAAP basis they made $4.4 million versus $4.8 million last year. Margins rose from 46% last quarter to 55% this quarter and they had $141 million or $1.50 in cash per share. Our valuation rose to $6.72.
Starboard was cleared to buy up to 15% of EXTR as disclosed in an SEC filing in June.
Starboard Value Fund filed another 13D/A in June disclosing that they had upped their stake again to 9.6%.
Down 10%, BUY

Broadvision (BVSN-Recommended 3/16/2010)
Buy Price-$10.84 (Was $13.50 before double up)
Valuation $17.75-(was $18.01, $21.21, $22.95, $22.31, $21.77, $23.37, $27.15)
Closed up $1.80 at $10.00.
“Earnings” announced in October Sales fell YOY from $5.2 million to $4.2 million and they lost $1.6 million for the quarter. Although the CEO said they were pleased with the progress they are making, no on else is. Cash fell to $12.61 per share and our valuation slipped a bit to $17.75.
Marlin filed a 13D/A in late October saying that the company had REJECTED it’s offer to buy it and that they had reduced their ownership to about 3.3% through market sales of the stock (just under 100,000 shares sold. We have to assume the offer was for more that the cash value on the company’s books.
Without the fact that BVSN is trading at less than cash, we would likely sell BVSN but will hold on another quarter or two and see if they can produce some decent results.
Down 8%, BUY

Gravity Company Ltd. (GRVY-Recommended 1/18/2010)
Buy Price- $1.45 per ADS (Was $1.68 before double up)
Valuation $5.39-(Was $5.33, $5.61, $5.73, $4.38, $4.44, $5.15)
Closed down $.16 at $1.28
Earnings announced in November. Not bad at all. Revenues rose 8% to $13.4 million and they made $3.1 million or $.11 per ADS. For the nine months ended September 30th, they have made $.25 per ADS. Cash fell about $1.5 million to $2.05 per ADS.
Our valuation rose a bit to $5.39, and at less than cash value and way below our valuation this is one good lottery ticket if they ever commercially release Ragnarok 2.
Down 12%, BUY

AEterna Zentaris (AEZS-Recommended 6/20/2009)
Buy price $1.42 (was $1.78 before adding another $10,000, $1.82 before double up)
Valuation –Speculation.
Closed down $.19 at $1.55
AEZS announced another licensing deal for Perifosine in the Middle East and North Africa. Milestone payment potential is only $2 million but they would sell the drug at a cost plus basis and collect double digit royalties on the sales.
Earnings announced in November. Revenues rose to $9.5 million from $7.5 million and they lost $8.2 million versus $5.5 million from operations. They continue to sell stock under their “at the market” program and raised $15.8 million during and just after the quarter. They had $48 million of cash at September 30th and about $54 million after their latest stock sales. Shares outstanding are up over 100 million now.
This is pretty normal for a developing drug company.
Speculative for sure.
Up 9%, HOLD

Spectranetics (SPNC-Recommended 9/2/2006)
Buy price $5.68 (was $8.90, $9.40 before adding $10,000, and was $10.65 before double up),
Valuation –$12.00 (was $10)
Closed down $.36 at $7.23
CFO exercised 145,000 $2+ options on 11/3 and sold 86,000 shares at $7.5 to cover the option exercise price and taxes.
Earnings announced in October. Mediocre again. Revenues were up nicely to $32.1 million (up 9% YOY), but they again made no money (ok, $109,000 or $0 per share). Included in net income was the charge for the recently lost litigation of over $800,000.
Cash rose to $36.2 million. We upped our valuation to $12.
This company needs to be sold so that someone can take advantage of their 70%+ gross margins and enjoy some profits.
Paragon filed a 13D/A in May disclosing they had upped their stake to 7%.
Up 27%, HOLD

Mediware (MEDW-Recommended 6/4/2007)
Buy Price $6.33, (was $6.52, $6.67 ($10,000 added), $6.98 after double up)
Valuation $17.96 (was $18.34, $16.07, $15.04, $14.23, $15.02, $14.35, $12.13, $12.57, $12.29, $11.90, $11.30, $11.48, $11.47 $10.99, $10.28, $13.32, $12.89, $13.40)
Closed up $.12 at $12.91
Another good earnings report in November. Revenues up 24% to $15.5 million and they made $.18 per share compared to $.13 last year (up 38%). Cash rose to $4.20 a share. Our valuation fell a bit to $17.96 but up from $14.23 last year.
Constellation resumed selling in early September.
We give up on the sale of the company anytime soon.
Constellation Software owns 21.8%, but put itself up for sale this year. Should have bought Constellation stock, it has tripled since they got into MEDW!
All we read is that medical records will be a hot area, so MEDW looks like the place to be.
Up 104%, HOLD

Vertro (VTRO (was-MIVA)-Recommended 10/21/2007)
Buy Price $8.15 (Was $11.90 before adding another $20,000, $13.10 before another $10,000 and was $15.00 before double up),
Valuation $8.04 (was $10.91, $12.42, $14.23, $14.76, $12.40, $12.55, $10.85, $8.25, $9.45, $28.05, $32.10, $34.20, $37.90, $37.95)
Closed up $.04 at $1.33
“Earnings” announced in November. Not good. Revenue fell to $6.3 million from $9.8 million last year and they lost about $1.6 million from operations compared to a profit of $368,000 last year. Cash fell to $.53 per share (about $4 million in total) and our valuation plunged to $8.04.
Inuvo (AMEX–INUV) announced in October they had agreed to buy VTRO in an all stock deal. The price is 1.546 shares of INUV for each share of VTRO. INUV was $1.75 when the deal was announced indicating a value of $2.71, but INUV shares have fallen to $1.08 making the value about $1.67. INUV has about $50 million in sales, 40% gross margins and is slightly EBITDA positive. Maybe 1 and 1 can make 3 here. Our valuation of INUV is $4.32. VTRO’s largest shareholder filed a 13D/a indicating he is not happy with this deal and included calculations indicating that VTRO could return $3.38-$4.39 a share to shareholders on a liquidation of the company.
Should have sold this when it traded over $6.
Down 84% HOLD

Angeion Corporation (ANGN-Recommended 8/28/2008)
Buy Price-$3.82 (was $5.15 before $10,000 added)
NEW Valuation $15.90 (was $13.13, $13.19, $13.60, $15.00, $13.06, $12.15, $11.29, $11.73, $11.47, $11.16, $9.53, $13.30, $13.03)
Closed up $.09 at $4.71
Earnings out last week. Sales were flat at about $8.4 million as was net income at about $400,000 or $.10 a share. Cash per share rose to $2.40 and our valuation rose to $15.90 in this seasonally good quarter, still up from $15.00 last year this time.
CEO bought 10,000 shares in September at $4.25. Good sign.
If this company could just show a bit of growth I think we would see $10 in short order—if.
Blueline Partners still owns 7.6% of ANGN and ought to be pushing on the company to do something about the stock price.
Up 23%, BUY

OB-abies (Bulletin Board Listed Stocks)

As proven by OPTIO, patience is necessary with these stocks.

ARI Networks (ARIS.ob-Recommended 8/19/2006)
Buy price $1.61 (Was $1.78 before another $10,000 added, was $2.06 before double up),
NEW Valuation $5.81 (was $5.72, $5.65, $5.39, $4,86, $5.60, $5.73, $5.54, $5.74, $5.96, $4.72, $5.19, $5.66, $5.63, $5.61, $5.71, $5.49, $5.34, $5.03, $5.28, $5.28, $5.21)
Closed at $1.25 unchanged
Earnings last week. Revenues were up slightly to $5.410 million from $5.324 last year. Net income rose to $272,000 from $99,000 and EPS rose to $.03 from $.01 (fully taxed). Our valuation rose to $5.81 per share.
Looks like they may be serious about getting the stock price up and more visibility for the company.
Hmm, in addition to earnings and all the other recent announcements, the CEO got an amendment to his “change of control” agreement. Wonder why they are reviewing these kind of agreements right now?
ARIS announced in October that they had engaged a PR firm, saying their stock was undervalued and the business had great opportunities ahead.
ARIS filed an 8k in September with presentation materials for a “potential investor”. They talk about how they think their shares are undervalued. There may be some life here.
Management finally looks like it is waking up and trying to increase the share price. Got a long way to go yet though.
Now down 22%, BUY, Still a Huge valuation gap here.

Rand Worldwide (RWWI.ob (Was Avatech, AVSO.ob)-Bought November 28, 2005)
Buy price $.79 (Was $.93, $.99 and $1.19 before adding $10,000-each time),
Valuation $2.09 (was $2.12, $2.60, $2.40, $1.90, $2.26 $3.07, $3.03, $2.38, $2.57, $2.81, $2.78, $3.30, $3.76, $4.00 $3.41, $3.05, $2.53, $3.25, $3.29 $2.69, $3.36, $3.81)
Stock closed at $.76, down $.05
Earnings announced in November. Not bad. Revenues were $21.9 million up from $16.8 million last year and they made $363,000 ($.01 per share) versus a loss of $2.6 million ($.06 per share) last year. Cash was still net negative and our valuation fell $.03 to $2.09 per share.
Still more than 2X the current price.
Down 4%, BUY

CTI Holdings (CTIG.ob-Recommended 2/25/2006)
Buy price $.27 ask,
Valuation $1.37 (Was $1.23, $.91, $1.21, $.71, $.83, $.88 $.96, $.93, $.75, $.85, $1.57, $1.40, $1.29, $1.38, $1.31, $1.38, $1.29, $1.42, $1.28 $1.13, $1.05, $.82)
Ask price $.125, closed at $.10.
CEO reported another 44,000 of stock purchases recently at $.095 to $.10 per share.
Earnings announced in November. Revenues were up 30% to $4,379,000 and they made $200,000 excluding a $289,000 severance charge. Yikes. Not bad. VOIP revenues were $475,000 up from $170,000 in the prior year and up slightly from the June quarter ($461,000). VOIP still lost $481,000 but this is down from $667,000 last year and $545,000 last quarter. Cash per share fell to $.13 (still more than the current market price) and our valuation rose again to $1.37 per share.
One of their Directors, Michael Reinarts, filed a 13D in November disclosing a 9.5% ownership stake. There were no specific proposals in the filing. We’ll have to wait and see what happens here. We know the stock is ridiculously cheap, and filing a 13D usually precedes some type of activist position.
At a $2.5 million market cap, this is stupidly cheap. Their intellectual property is probably worth 10 times this price. They need to liquefy this value somehow.
They might have to sell or shut this VOIP business down in our opinion. Just losing too much money, and eroding shareholder value–or it could be a home run.
Still an “undercover” company and stock.
Down 54%. BUY

Lotus Pharmaceuticals (LTUS.ob-Recommended 12/3/2007)
Buy price $1.68 (Was $1.80 before $10,000 adder, $2.16 before double-up)
Valuation-$.85 (Was $1.05, $2.43, $4.11, $4.84, $4.98, $4.60, $3.82, $4.00, $3.68, $3.12, $3.98, $4.44, $3.22, $2.12, $4.56, $4.16)
Closed at $.34, up $.08.
Earnings announced in November. Revenues were up slightly over last year at $19 million versus $18.3 last year, but gross margins remained low and they made $2.1 million of $.04 per share compared to $.25 last year. Our valuation fell again to $.85.
We are now worried for the first time that with the decline in net income, that they may be having liquidity issues with all of their capital commitments. If this is going to work, it won’t be until 2012 that we see anything.
Down 80%, HOLD


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