Although we don’t believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes — just in case they’re material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of LED equipment maker Veeco Instruments (NASDAQ: VECO ) soared 17% today after its first-quarter bookings and business update impressed Wall Street.
So what: The stock has been pummeled over the past two years on a supply glut in the industry, but better-than-expected bookings in the first quarter — $70 million — suggests that things are beginning to pick up. While business conditions remain challenging, the slight improvement seems to be reigniting optimism over the industry’s long-term growth prospects.
Now what: Despite limited visibility, management expects bookings to be significantly higher in the second quarter. “Looking ahead, end market signals in MOCVD are mixed but appear to be trending in a positive direction,” Chairman and CEO John Peeler said. “Some key LED customers are operating at close to full utilization rates, and we are now booking some rush purchase orders — the first we have seen in two years.” With the stock flirting with its 52-week highs and trading at a 30-plus forward P/E, however, I’d wait for some of the excitement to fade before betting too much on that turnaround talk.
Best Communications Equipment Companies To Buy Right Now: Audience Inc (ADNC)
Audience, Inc., incorporated on May 24, 2011, is a provider of voice and audio solutions that improve voice quality and the user experience in mobile devices. The Company’s solutions include hardware-accelerated digital signal processors (DSPs), and audio codecs and associated algorithms for noise suppression in mobile devices. Its computational auditory scene analysis (CASA) maps the sound separation functions in human hearing, into a computational framework. The Company’s platform consists of its DSPs and audio codec, analog and mixed signal circuits and algorithms for voice isolation and noise suppression.
The Company also provides its AuViD graphical design tools to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The Company had sold over 250 million processors to its OEM customers as of December 31, 2012. In addition to the mobile device market, the Company’s voice and audio technology is also applicable to a range of other market segments, including automobile infotainment systems, digital cameras, digital televisions, headsets and set top boxes.
The Company’s product portfolio supports both analog and digital interfaces. As of December 31, 2012, the Company offered eS515, eS325, eS305, eS310, eS110, A1028 and A1026 custom voice and audio processors for device platforms, including smartphones, feature phones and media tablets. eS515 is a third generation voice and audio processor with an integrated audio codec, featuring support of three-microphones; eS325is a third generation voice and audio processor that features simultaneous three microphone processing; eS305 is a second generation voice and audio processor utilizing new hardware acceleration architecture and algorithms for far-field, wideband communications and capable of advanced speech recognition assist, and uses an all digital interface; eS310, provides similar capabilities to the eS305; eS110 is a first generation narrowband voice processor designed for re al-time communications and far-field as well as near-field u! se with features such as acoustic echo cancelation, voice equalization and automatic gain control; A1026, is a first generation narrowband voice processor designed for real-time communications and typical near-field use, and A1028, which is a first generation narrowband voice processor designed for real-time communications and far-field, as well as near-field use.
The Company derives its revenue primarily from the sale of voice and audio processors to OEMs, which incorporate them into mobile devices. As of December 31, 2012, OEMs, CMs and distributors worldwide had purchased more than 250 million of its processors and incorporated them in over 140 mobile device models.
The Company competes with Maxim, ON Semiconductor, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments Incorporated, Wolfson Microelectronics plc, DSP Group, Inc. and Yamaha Corporation.
- [By Seth Jayson]
Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on Audience (Nasdaq: ADNC ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
Best Communications Equipment Companies To Buy Right Now: TomTom NV (OEM)
TomTom NV is a Netherlands-based supplier of location and navigation products and services. The Company’s structure consists of four customer facing business units, namely Consumer, Automotive, Business Solutions and Licensing. The first three business units provide targeted solutions for the Company’s customers, including private consumers, car manufacturers and fleet owners. Licensing sells its content and services to multiple customer groups including portable navigation devices (PNDs) and wireless companies, governments and enterprises. The Company’s business units embed 11 product units, such as digital maps, traffic intelligence, navigation software, PNDs, automotive systems, fleet management services (FMS), smart phone applications, sports watches, points of interest, location based services (LBS) and speedcam intelligence. As of December 31, 2011, the Company was active in 35 countries. In July 2013, it acquired Coordina (Gestion Electronica Logistica, S.L.). Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By victorselva]
In a macro view, revenues in the electronic equipment and instrument sub-industry will remain strong due to the rise in equipment and instrument manufacturers. Distributors, electronic manufacturing service (EMS) companies and original equipment manufacturers (OEM) are going to increase orders as the economy improves in the future. With this promising outlook, let’s take a look at Gabelli´s last trade and try to explain to investors the reasons of this appealing investment opportunity.
Best Communications Equipment Companies To Buy Right Now: Houston Wire & Cable Co (HWCC)
Houston Wire & Cable Company, incorporated in 1997, provides wire and cable and related services to the United States market. The Company offers its customers with a single-source solution for wire and cable, hardware and related services. The Company offers products in categories of wire and cable, including continuous and interlocked armor cable, control and power cable, electronic wire and cable, flexible and portable cords, instrumentation and thermocouple cable, lead and high temperature cable, medium voltage cable, premise and category wire and cable, wire rope and wire rope slings, as well as nylon slings, chain, shackles and other related hardware. It also offers private branded products, including its brand LifeGuard, a low-smoke, zero-halogen cable. On January 1, 2011, the acquired companies were merged into HWC Wire & Cable Company.
The Company’s products are used in repair and replacement, also known as maintenance, repair and operations (MRO), a nd related projects, larger-scale projects in the utility, industrial and infrastructure markets and a diverse range of industrial applications, including communications, energy, engineering and construction, general manufacturing, mining, construction, oilfield services, infrastructure, petrochemical, transportation, utility, wastewater treatment, marine construction and marine transportation. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company served approximately 6,000 customers.
- [By Seth Jayson]
Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on Houston Wire & Cable (Nasdaq: HWCC ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
Best Communications Equipment Companies To Buy Right Now: Belden Inc (BDC)
Belden Inc. (Belden), incorporated on May 18, 1988, designs, manufactures and markets cable, connectivity, and networking products in markets including industrial, enterprise, and broadcast. The Company operates in three segments: the Americas segment, the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) segment and the Asia Pacific segment. The Company’s offers cable, connectivity and networking products, including power generation and distribution, data centers, oil and gas, broadcast, transportation, healthcare and industrial automation. In December 2012, Carlisle Companies Inc acquired Thermax-Raydex business from the Company. In December 2012, the Company sold Consumer Electronics Assets in China to Shenzhen Woer Heat-Shrinkable Material Co Ltd. During the year ended December 31, 2012, the Company acquired Miranda Technologies Inc. (Miranda).
The categories of cable products are copper cables, including shielded and unshielded twisted pair cables, coaxial cables , and stranded cables, fiber optic cables, which transmit light signals through glass or plastic fibers and composite cables, which are combinations of multiconductor, coaxial, and fiber optic cables jacketed together or otherwise joined together to serve complex applications and provide ease of installation. Connectivity products include fiber and copper connectors for the enterprise, broadcast, broadband, and industrial markets. Networking products include Industrial Ethernet switches and related equipment and security features, fiber optic interfaces and media converters used to bridge fieldbus networks over long distances, networking infrastructure for the television broadcast, cable, satellite and IPTV industry, and load-moment indicators for mobile cranes and other load-bearing equipment.
For industrial end markets, the Company supplies cable, connectivity, and networking products for applications ranging from advanced industrial networking and robotics t o traditional instrumentation and control systems. The Compa! ny’s cable products are used in discrete manufacturing and process operations involving the connection of computers, programmable controllers, robots, operator interfaces, motor drives, sensors, printers and other devices. The Company sells its industrial products primarily through value-added resellers, industrial distributors, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). It designs, manufactures and markets Industrial Ethernet switches and related equipment, both rail-mounted and rack-mounted, for factory automation, power generation and distribution, process automation, and infrastructure projects, such as bridges, wind farms and airport runways. It also designs, manufactures and markets fiber optic interfaces and media converters. In addition, it designs, manufactures, and markets a range of industrial connectors for sensors and actuators, cord-sets, distribution boxes, and fieldbus communications. These products are used both as components of manufacturing equipment a nd in the installation and networking of such equipment. The Company also designs, manufactures and markets load-moment indicators. Its switches, communications equipment, connectors, and load-moment indicators are sold directly to industrial equipment OEMs and through a network of distributors and system integrators.
For enterprise end markets, the Company supplies structured cabling solutions, connectors, and networking products for the electronic and optical transmission of data, sound, and video over local- and wide- area networks. Products for this market include copper cables including 10-gigabit Ethernet technologies, fiber optic cables, connectors, wiring racks, panels, interconnecting hardware, intelligent patching devices, and cable management solutions for complete end-to-end network structured wiring systems. End-use customers include hospitals, financial institutions, governments, service providers, and data centers. Its systems are installed throug h a network of trained system integrators and are supplied t! hrough au! thorized distributors.
For broadcast end markets, the Company is a provider of hardware and software solutions for the television broadcast, cable, satellite and IPTV industry. Its solutions also span the full breadth of television operations, including production, playout and delivery. The Company also manufactures a variety of multiconductor and coaxial cable and connector products, which distributes audio and video signals for use in broadcast television including digital television and high definition television, broadcast radio, pre- and post-production facilities, recording studios, and public facilities such as casinos, arenas, and stadiums. Its audio/video cables are also used in connection with microphones, musical instruments, audio mixing consoles, effects equipment, speakers, paging systems, and consumer audio products.
The Company manufactures networking infrastructure products for the television broadcast, cable, satellite and IPTV ind ustry. Its primary market channels for this broadcast, music, and entertainment products are broadcast specialty distributors and audio systems installers. It also sells directly to music OEMs and the television networks including ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC. The Company also provides specialized cables for security applications such as video surveillance systems, airport baggage screening, building access control, motion detection, public address systems, and advanced fire alarm systems. It manufactures flexible, copper-clad coaxial cable and associated connector products for the high-speed transmission of data, sound, and video (broadband) that are used for the drop section of cable television (CATV) systems and satellite direct broadcast systems.
For the broadband end market, Belden manufactures and develops connectivity solutions in several product categories: coax connector products that allow for connections from the provider network to the subscribers’ devic es, hardline connectors that allow service providers to dist! ribute th! eir services within a city, a town or a neighborhood and entry devices that serves to manage and remove network signal noise that could impair performance for the subscriber, and traps and filtering devices that allow service providers to control the signals that are transmitted to the subscriber.
During 2012, the Americas segment contributed approximately 64% of its consolidated revenues. This segment sells the full array of its products for the industrial, enterprise,and broadcast markets. The EMEA segment contributed approximately 19% of its consolidated revenues. This segment sells the full array of its products for the industrial, enterprise,and broadcast markets. The Asia Pacific segment contributed approximately 17% its consolidated revenues. This segment sells the full array of its products for the industrial, enterprise,and broadcast markets.
- [By Damian Illia]
Finally, I always like to see one of the most important financial ratios applying to stockholders, the best measure of performance for a firm’s management: the return on equity. The ratio has decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. Currently, a ROE of 45.9% is higher than all the 1,805 companies in the Diversified Industrials industry. Competitors such General Cable Corp. (BGC) has a very low ROE of 0.3% which is clearly not attractive. An alternative could be Belden Inc (BDC) with a positive ROE of 24%.
- [By Seth Jayson]
Belden (NYSE: BDC ) reported earnings on May 2. Here are the numbers you need to know.
The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), Belden met expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.
Best Communications Equipment Companies To Buy Right Now: Location Based Technologies Inc (LBAS)
Location Based Technologies, Inc. (LBT), incorporated on April 20, 2006, designs, develops, and sells personal, pet, and vehicle locator devices and services including PocketFinder People, PocketFinder Pets and PocketFinder Vehicles. The Company markets and sells consumer and commercial location devices and services. Its devices utilize Assisted Global Positioning System (A-GPS) and General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) technologies in conjunction with its technologies designed to enhance the families to interact and stay connected around the world. The Company is a developer of the PocketFinder family of products and the PocketFinder Network. The PocketFinder family of products includes the PocketFinder People, PocketFinder Vehicle, PocketFinder Pets, PocketFinder Luggage, PocketFinder Mobile and PocketFinder Fleet. The PocketFinder is a small location device that enables a user to locate a device, person, or pet, at anytime from almost anywhere. PocketFinder personal locat or devices are wireless.
The Company generate revenue by selling its products and charging customers an ongoing service fee, for which it offers monthly and annual subscription plans. The Company’s product, PocketFinder, is a small, waterproof and wireless location device that enables users to locate anyone or anything they care about, from a computer or Web-enabled device. Its products deliver critical information to users, such as: device location, longitude, latitude, heading speed and 60 days of location history. This information can be viewed passively through a user’s account or can be sent to a user via email or push notification if the user sets an alert. The target markets for the PocketFinder include: young children, seniors, people with special needs and people who need to track valuable assets such as luggage or sporting equipment. In addition to the PocketFinder, it also sell the PocketFinder Pet and the PocketFinder Vehicle products. The Pocke tFinder Pet is designed for pets weighing 15 pounds or more,! and it markets the PocketFinder Vehicle to families with new drivers, car enthusiasts, motorcycle owners, watercraft owners and business fleets. The PocketFinder Vehicle attaches directly to a battery or fuse box, so it has a constant supply of power. All PocketFinder products operate on the same user interface, which enables its customers receive the same features, functionality and user-experience, regardless of which product they own. To access their account or locate their devices, users can logon to the Company’s Website at www.pocketfinder.com or use its native iPhone, iPad or Android Apps.
The Company’s products are sold through various brick-and-mortar and online retailers and through its Website. It provides customer service and support in the United States through existing call centers owned by Affinitas. It provides wireless location based solutions for global positioning products along with its friendly user interface software system. PocketFin der and PocketFinder Vehicle devices are being sold in the United States and in Canada through the Apple Online Store and Apple Retail Stores. PocketFinder devices for Pets are available for purchase on its Website.
The Company competes with Geospatial Platform Providers, Application Developers, Garmin’s GTU-10, Qualcomm’s Tagg, Lo-Jack, SpotLight, Fleetmatics, NetworkFleet, and Qualcomm.
- [By CRWE]
Today, LBAS surged (+10.27%) up +0.015 at $.160 with 39,780 shares in play thus far (ref. google finance Delayed: 11:41AM EDT July 5, 2013).
Location Based Technologies, Inc. and EE, Ltd., the U.K.’s most advanced communications company, have previously entered into a purchase agreement which will allow LBT to embed EE SIM technology into LBT’s world’s best GPS products for immediate purchase throughout Europe and in additional areas around the world.
EE’s relationship with LBT continues to grow. The companies began their relationship earlier this year when EE launched PocketFinder Personal GPS Locators in their London flagship stores (https://explore.ee.co.uk/pocket-finder). With this latest agreement, LBT now has the capability to sell devices into Europe using a local SIM, thereby greatly reducing the monthly service fee charged to customers.
- [By CRWE]
Today, LBAS remains (0.00%) +0.000 at $.132 with 9,470 shares in movement thus far (ref. google finance Delayed: 9:47AM EDT June 20, 2013).
Location Based Technologies, Inc. previously received FCC and IC certification for its versatile LBT-886 device. These certifications are necessary before devices can be sold to consumers throughout the US and Canada.
The LBT-886 device is available for manufacture in a 2G or 3G variant. The 3G penta-band variant will enable the device to function in countries which only operate on the 3G spectrum, such as Australia, South Korea, Japan and some areas of Canada. This global tracking solution also delivers additional features such as various environmental sensors or comes with an attachment with special capability designed to meet lone-worker or personnel security requirements
- [By CRWE]
Today, LBAS has shed (-7.69%) -0.010 at $.120 with 95,100 shares in play thus far (ref. google finance Delayed: 12:21PM EDT August 15, 2013).
Location Based Technologies, Inc. previously reported it has signed a distribution agreement with Beijing Lava Technology Co. Ltd., an Apple approved distributor for its online, brick and mortar stores, and authorized distributors in Asia. The agreement is one of the final steps preceding the launch of LBT’s GPS products into the Asian markets. Beijing Lava Technology Co. Ltd. serves China, Singapore, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
LBT estimates that it will begin selling its PocketFinder devices in Singapore through Apple’s online store and authorized distributors in the near future with other Asian countries to follow thereafter.