Cheap Stock Investor 9/5/2014 Update

We were up 6.3% last week on the back of the XRS takeover offer making it our best week of 2014. We are now up 12.9% for the year. The DOW was up .2% and NASDAQ was up .1%. For the year, the DOW is now up 3.4% and NASDAQ is up 9.7% .

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

UNTD 41%
CCUR 36%
SIGM 49%
MRVC 17%
SYNC 49%

PRSS, MRVC, DAEG, SYNC, SIGM, CCUR and UNTD can still be bought.

Last week we went 5 stocks up, 8 down and 1 unchanged. Since inception we are now 68 stocks up and 19 down for a 78.2% winning percentage (80% is our target win %).  Of our closed-out positions 60 have been winners and 13 have been losers for an 82% win percentage and a 35% average net gain per position.

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).

Alphatec Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ-ATEC)-Recommended 9/2/2014)

Buy Price $1.56

Valuation $3.00 (Was, $11.27)

Closed up $.01 at $1.57

UP 1%

CafePress, Inc.  Inc. (NASDAQ-PRSS)-Recommended 5/19/2014)

Buy Price $5.40

Valuation $12.51 (Was, $11.27)

Closed down $.20 at $3.63

Earnings announced on August 12th. Nothing to write home about and no update on their “strategic alternatives”. They did announce the “retirement” of the current CEO and the return of the two founders as CEO and Chief Marketing Officer.  They also made their interim CFO, permanent. Revenues were down less than $1 million to $51.4 million and Non-GAAP loss was $1.8 million ($.11 per share) up from a $.7 million loss or $.04 per share last year. Our valuation actually rose from last quarter to $12.51 mostly on reduced losses.

Waiting on the outcome of their review of “strategic alternatives” which now seems like it will take a few more quarters as the founders right the ship, which will probably entail a restructuring and some investment in the business.

Down 33% BUY

Extreme Networks, Inc.  Inc. (NASDAQ-UNTD)-Recommended 3/12/2014)

Buy Price $3.95

Valuation $9.68, (Was $8.52)

Closed down $.11 at $5.22

Q4 earnings (June 30) announced August 13th.

Non-GAAP revenues came in at $156.9 million compared to revised guidance of $153-$155 million and Non-GAAP earnings came in at $.09 per share compared to revised guidance of $.06-$.08. Our valuation jumped 14% to $9.68 per share.

Guidance for Q1, 2015 was tepid at $149-$153 million and Non-GAAP net income of $.06-$.08 per share. Hopefully they will beat this as they did this last quarter.

The company is still going through the merger integration and is targeting 10% Non-GAAP operating income margin for FY 2015 compared to 7% for the just completed FY 2014. That would be a big deal.

UP 32% HOLD

United Online Inc. (NASDAQ-UNTD)-Recommended 3/12/2014)

Buy Price $10.28

Valuation $35.84 (Was $32.35, $27.86)

Closed down $.63 at $12.17

UNTD announced Q2 2014 earnings after the close on August 11, 2014. Revenues were $55.4 million down 3% from $57.2 million last year. GAAP net loss was $.75 a share, compared to income of $.03 per share last year. OIBDA (operating income before depreciation and amortization-the term United uses, which is essentially EBITDA) was $10.1 million compared to $10.1 million last year. Overall an OK quarter. Our valuation rose to $35.84 from $32.35 last quarter. UNTD is trading at about 35% of our valuation and cash is 39% of the market cap ($4.78 a share versus $4.29 a share last quarter.

Up 18% BUY

Synacor Inc. (NASDAQ-SYNC)-Recommended 12/17/2013)

Buy Price $2.56

Valuation $5.21 (Was $5.44, $6.67, $6.39)’

Closed down $.09 at $1.93

JEC continues their assault in an open letter to the SYNC Board. Pretty embarrassing letter for the Board. JEC is calling for a special shareholder meeting to dump the Chairman of the Board and another Director based on their terrible performance on behalf of shareholders. We agree.

SYNC announced Q2 2014 earnings on August 12th. Revenues were $24.2 million down from $26.7 million last year. Net loss was $.07 per share compared to a loss of $.02 last year. Adjusted EBITDA was a loss of $1.2 million compared to positive adjusted EBITDA of $1.0 million last year. Another lackluster quarter. Our valuation slipped again to $5.21 a share.

They are projecting $25-$26 million in sales next quarter and breakeven +- $500,000.

Our valuation fell to $5.21 from $5.94 last quarter. Cash was $.94 per share, about 45% of their market cap.

Another 13D/A filed on July 17, 2014 calling foul on the SYNC Rights plan they implemented and for the sale of the company.

Another 13D/A filed on July 14th, demanding the sale of the company and Director changes.

JEC continued their assault on SYNC filing another Form 13D/A on July 8, 2014, demanding all kinds of shareholder information and management compensation.  JEC and Ratio, who together own 9.8% of SYNC sent letters to the SYNC Board in June demanding that they halt the CEO search and immediately put the company up for sale. Our thought’s exactly.

Down 25%. BUY

Dex Media Inc. (NASDAQ-DXM)-Recommended 5/10/2013)

Buy Price $15.14

Valuation $34.00 ( Was $37.98, $34.36, $31.50, $24.25)

Closed up $.58 at $11.99

DXM announced Q1 2014 earnings on August 11th. Revenues were $474 million down from $558 million last year (adjusting for the SuperMedia acquisition). GAAP net loss was $4.93 a share, compared to a loss of $4.58 per share last year. Adjusted EBITDA was $174 million compared to $214 million last year. Again, not a bad quarter as YOY declines have been anticipated, but again a bit below our expectations. DXM generated $105 million of free cash flow in the quarter and paid down its debt by $128 million in the quarter. Net debt stands at $2.370 billion.  Our valuation fell a tad to $34.00, from $37.98 last quarter. DXM is trading at about 35% of our valuation, but due to the high debt level and small number of shares outstanding, relatively small changes in DXM’s results can cause large swings in our valuation.

Down 21% HOLD

XRS Inc. (NASDAQ-XRSC)-Recommended 2/26/2013)

Buy Price $1.50

Valuation $5.35 (Was $5.60,  $5.57, $6.71, $6.16, $6.79, $6.50)

SOLD at $5.55 for a 270% gain.

Daegis Inc. (NASDAQ-DAEG)-Recommended 11/30/2012)

Buy Price $1.09 (Was $1.20 before we doubled up)

NEW Valuation $2.85 (Was $3.39, $3.25, $3.42, $4.64, $4.86, $4.00)

Closed down $.06 at $.98

First quarter (7/31/2014)r earnings announced on August 26th.

Revenues were $6.7 million down from $8 million last year and $7.2 million last quarter. They lost $.02 per share on a GAAP basis.  On a Non-GAAP basis they made $.01 a share versus $.03 last year. Our valuation fell to $2.85 up from $3.39 last quarter. Net debt came down to $7.6 million from $11 million a year ago and the credit agreement was extended out to June 2017. This is a drop-off from last quarter, but they are still making money and paying off debt. It will be a longer wait to see some action here.

Norm Pessin filed a 13D on November 27, 2013 disclosing a 6.2% stake and upped it to 12.2% in December 2013. Good news that someone else sees the value here.

Down 10%, BUY

Bridgeline Digital Inc. (NASDAQ-BLIN)-Recommended 8/24/2012)

Buy Price $1.17 ($1.24 before 2/14/2014 $10,000 adder)

Valuation $1.75 (Was $1.76, $1.83, $1.61, $2.19, $2.35, $2.56, $2.24)

Closed unchanged at $.75

Earnings for Q3 announced August 14th.  Slow improvement. Revenues were $6.2 million up 11% from $5.6 million last year and $5.3 million last quarter. They lost $1.3 million versus $1.6 million last year. They are projecting they will finish the year at $24 million in revenue which would mean another $6 million quarter for Q4. Their backlog rose to almost $26 million (up $6 million from last quarter) and recurring revenues grew 50% to $1.8 million. We continue to think that their recurring revenue stream of $7.2 million a year (based on this quarter) is worth more than the current market cap on BLIN.

Our valuation was $1.75, flat with last quarters $1.76. BLIN is trading at about 43% of our valuation.

Down 40%, HOLD

Telecommunications Systems Inc. (NASDAQ-TSYS)-Recommended 6/14/2012)

Buy Price- $1.37

Valuation $6.12 (Was $5.99, $5.32, $6.81, $6.28, $4.89, $6.02, $6.72, $5.49)

Closed down $.02 at $2.96

TSYS announced second quarter earnings on July 31st.  Revenues were even with last year at $86 million, gross margins rose to 44% from 39% and adjusted EPS was $.05 per share versus a loss of $.01 last year. They beat earnings estimates of $.02 a share. Our valuation rose to $6.12 per share. All in all a good quarter. Net debt improved $20 million from last year and now stands at a reasonable $72 million.

We will continue to hold TSYS despite our over 100% gain. Maybe this will turn into another MITL and be trading at $10+ in the next year.

TSYS is trading at about 48% of our valuation. .

UP 116%, HOLD

MRV Communications (Pink Sheets-MRVC.pk)-Recommended 10//10/2011

NEW Valuation $24.58 (Was $23.19, $25.50, $28.98, $24.01 $23.06, $27.15, $31.80, $34.60, $28.60, $41.20, $43.20 (after $9.50, $6.00 and $1.40 special dividends), $52.40, $55.80)

Buy Price October 7, 2011- $8.50 ($25.40 before special dividends)

Closed at $12.90 down $.18

MRVC filed their 10Q on August 19th.

Revenues continued their consistent climb upward to $43.1 million from $38.2 million. Gross margin recovered a bit to 34% from 31% last quarter. GAAP net loss per share was $.31 versus $.13 last year and our valuation rose to $24.58.

Karen Singer filed a 13G in May 2014 disclosing a 5.3% stake. Singer was a 13D filer before and helped instigate all the special dividends. Good to see them with a healthy stake again.

Lloyd Miller disclosed a 6.9% stake in February 2012.

UP 50% BUY

Sigma Designs Inc. (NASDAQ-SIGM)-Recommended 7/11/2011)

Buy Price-$8.49

Valuation $8.24 (Was $9.16, $12.30, $11.86, $8.24, $13.05, $10.67, $8.41 $12.10, $13.40, $16.02)

Closed up $.05 at $4.89

Next earnings due out Wednesday, September 10th after the market close.

SIGM announced Q1 2014 earnings (quarter ended May 3, 2014) on June 11th. Revenues were $36.9 million down from $38.5 million last year. GAAP net loss was $.29 a share, compared to a loss of $.13 per share last year. Non-GAAP loss was $.14 per share compared to a $.01 profit last year.  Our valuation fell to $8.24 down from $9.16 last quarter. Net cash per share was $2.38.

Only forecast in the press release was that this should be the lowest revenue quarter for the foreseeable future.

Ariel Investments filed a 13G on January 10, 2014 disclosing a 10.1% stake in Sigma.

The CEO bought 343,000 shares back from Potomac Capital in December 2013 leaving Potomac with only 465,000 shares of SIGM. The interesting part was that the CEO paid $5.50 a share or about $1 over its trading price. Either a great expression of confidence in SIGM or a small price to pay to get rid of an activist investor.

Down 42%, BUY

Concurrent Computer (NASDAQ-CCUR)-Recommended 2/4/2011)

Buy Price-$4.58 (Was $5.08 before $.50 special dividend)

Valuation $17.72 (was $15.01, $15.10,  $14.55, $14.77, $16.26, $16.20, $15.37, $13.53, $15.85, $14.13, $11.38, $14.04, $18.54, $15.99)

Closed up $.32 at $8.66 (including dividends)

Pays $.48 annual dividend..

CCUR announced Q4 2014 earnings on August 27, 2014. Revenues were $17.8 million, up 20% from last year. Pre-tax income was up 66% to $2 million from $1.2 million last year. EPS including a huge tax expense reversal was $1.71 a share compared to $.12 last year. Net cash was $3.08 per share and gross margin rose to 60%. Our valuation jumped to $17.72 from $15.01 last quarter. CCUR is trading at about 44% of our valuation and cash is about 39% of the market cap. We have collected $.60 in dividends so far (excluding the $.50 special dividend which reduced our basis).

UP 89%, BUY

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),

Valuation $5.67 (was $5.57, $5.70, $6.71, $6.41, $6.14, $5.97, $6.21, $6.13, $5.82, $5.81, $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 $3.07, down $.14.

ARI announced Q3 2014 earnings (quarter ended April 30, 2014) on June 12th. Revenues were $8.2 million about even with last year. They actually made a profit of $.01 per share versus a $.05 loss last year.  Our valuation rose to $5.67 up from $5.57 last quarter. Recurring revenue was $7.6 million or 93% of total revenue.

It was nice to see them stop losing money, but growing revenue at their 80% margins boosts value more than earning $.01. Too bad their poor capital structure makes them have to balance the two. It will just take longer for them to grow.

From their press release:

“As we noted on our prior quarter earnings call, we expected year-over-year organic revenue growth in the back half of fiscal 2014 to be challenging, however, we anticipated significant improvement in our earnings and cash flow. The results for Q3 are in line with these expectations. The investments we are making in sales and marketing are having a positive impact on new sales and upsells. To date in fiscal 2014, we have invested 29.4% of revenue in sales and marketing versus 25.2% for the first nine months of last year. This has contributed to new dealer sales and upsell bookings, measured in annual contract value (ACV), being up 38.8% year-to-date. We believe this should translate into single-digit organic growth in Q1 FY15, growing toward low double-digit growth as we progress through fiscal 2015.”

UP 91%, HOLD, Still a large valuation gap here.

CTI Holdings (CTIG.ob-Recommended 2/25/2006)

Buy price $.27 ask,

Valuation $1.22 (Was $.99, $1.02, $1.05,  $1.07, $1.14, $1.17, $1.34, $1.34, $1.37, $1.36, $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 $.36 closed at $.355

Q2 earnings disclosed on their Form 10Q on 8/14 and a press release!. Another good quarter. Revenues were $4.1 million versus $3.9 million last year and they reported a $.01 loss, the same as last year. Cash soared to $.17 per share from zero last quarter. Deferred revenues more than doubled from December 31, 2013 to $5.8 million.

Our valuation jumped 23% to $1.22 a share, the highest in over a year.

CTI announced in June that the special committee of the Board of Directors rejected managements $.40 buy-out offer. Then the special committee was promptly disbanded. This company should not be a public company, but we can understand the decision in rejecting a lowball offer. They need to get an investment banker and sell the company. Probably get t least $.75 a share for it from someone.

UP 41%. HOLD

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Sigma Designs Earnings Update 6/12/14

SIGM announced Q1 2014 earnings (quarter ended Mary 3, 2014) on June 11th. Revenues were $36.9 million down from $38.5 million last year. GAAP net loss was $.29 a share, compared to a loss of $.13 per share last year. Non-GAAP loss was $.14 per share compared to a $.01 profit last year. Our valuation fell to $8.24 down from $9.16 last quarter. Net cash per share was $2.38.

Only forecast in the press release was that this should be the lowest revenue quarter for the foreseeable future. The market seems to like the results as the stock is up about 25% over the last few days.

CSI Update: BUY CaféPress Inc. (NASDAQ–PRSS)

Valuation-$11.27

Price May 19, 2014, 2014-$5.40

PRSS is a little different than our usual picks. Although it is an online business, it basically sells T-Shirts and things. Nevertheless, we have been watching it for a while and think this is a good entry point. I own PRSS.

Latest earnings were for the quarter ended 3/31/2014. Nothing to write home about. Revenues were down from $52.5 million to $48.2 million and they lost $5.2 million versus a $4 million loss last year. Like most “retailers” their business is somewhat seasonal. They are projecting around $250 million of sales for 2014 and breakeven to a loss of $.12 a share on a Non-GAAP basis. Our valuation based on the latest quarter is $11.27 a share. If they hit their guidance, it is over $16 a share.

Back in February, PRSS announced that they had hired Raymond James & Associates to help them pursue “strategic alternatives”. We think PRSS could be sold for a premium to the current stock price, if a buyer can be found.

Trading at only 48% of our valuation we think this is a BUY..

There are about 17 million shares outstanding and it trades about 45,000 shares a day.

About PRSS: Continue reading

CSI Update: HOLD Bridgeline Digital

BLIN announced Q2 2014 earnings (quarter ended March 31, 2014) on May 15th. Ug. Revenues were $5.3 million down from $6 million last year. GAAP net loss was $.13 a share, compared to a loss of $.05 per share last year. Non-GAAP loss was $.07 per share compared to breakeven last year. Our valuation fell to $1.74 up from $1.83 last quarter. BLIN is trading at about 45% of our valuation. BLIN management expressed how disappointed they were at these results. No kidding. We were too. Their backlog was a healthy $20 million ($12.2 million booked this past quarter) but the $7 million deal they recently signed won’t kick in until FY 2015 (2 more quarters. They also alluded to signing another multiyear, multi-million dollar deal this quarter (which is half over). Until then they are projecting about $6 million a quarter. We are still believers here but this is no longer a BUY. We will give them another couple of quarters but we are reducing this to a HOLD for now.

CSI Update: HOLD Synacor Inc.

SYNC announced Q1 2014 earnings after the close on May 13. Revenues were $25.2 million down from $29.1 million last year. Net loss was $.07 per share compared to break even last year. Adjusted EBITDA was a loss of $.7 million compared to positive adjusted EBITDA of $1.8 million last year. Not a great quarter.

Our valuation fell to $5.44 from $5.94 last quarter. Cash was $1.17 per share, more than 50% of the current market cap.

SYNC is trading at about 42% of our valuation. We will HOLD for now and see how the next couple of quarters look. Any signs of a turnaround and we think this stock will soar. A buy out is always a possibility.

It’s earnings season! I will be updating the blog more frequently during this time. If you don’t want to miss out, be sure to click the “follow” button on the left side of the page.

CSI Update: HOLD MRVC

MRVC announced Q1 results on May 8th. Revenues were $42.3 million up 9% from $38.9 million last year. GAAP net loss was $.58 a share, compared to a loss of $.59 per share last year. Non-GAAP loss was about $3.0 million compared to $4.4 million last year.  Our valuation fell to $23.19 from $25.49 last quarter but up slightly from $23.19 last year. MRVC is trading at about 50% of our valuation.  We will continue to HOLD as results showed continued losses, but sales continued to grow nicely,

CSI Update: HOLD XRSC

XRSC announced Q2 2014 earnings (quarter ended March 31, 2014) on May 8th. Revenues were $12.8 million down from $14.5 million last year. XRSC is a bit similar to BLIN as they are transitioning their legacy software business to a subscription based service and revenues take a hit as they don’t book a big software sale upfront, but rather record it monthly in smaller pieces. But subscription based revenues are generally worth more to a buyer than one-time sales. GAAP net loss was $.07 a share, compared to a gain of $.01 per share last year. Non-GAAP earnings were $1.2 million or $.04 per share compared to $2.2 million or $.08 a share last year. Our valuation rose to $5.60 up from $5.57 last quarter. XRSC is trading at about 50% of our valuation. We will continue to HOLD as results were not that exciting, but the valuation is still compelling.