Here at The Motley Fool, I’ve long cautioned investors to keep a close eye on inventory levels. It’s a part of my standard diligence when searching for the market’s best stocks. I think a quarterly checkup can help you spot potential problems. For many companies, products that sit on the shelves too long can become big trouble. Stale inventory may be sold for lower prices, hurting profitability. In extreme cases, it may be written off completely and sent to the shredder.
In this series, I examine inventory using a simple rule of thumb: Inventory increases ought to roughly parallel revenue increases. If inventory bloats more quickly than sales grow, this might be a sign that expected sales haven’t materialized. Is the current inventory situation at Digi International (Nasdaq: DGII ) out of line? To figure that out, start by comparing the company’s inventory growth to sales growth. How is Digi International doing by this quick checkup? At first glance, not so great. Trailing-12-month revenue decreased 5.8%, and inventory increased 3.2%. Comparing the latest quarter to the prior-year quarter, the story looks decent. Revenue shrank 1.7%, and inventory grew 3.2%. Over the sequential quarterly period, the trend looks healthy. Revenue grew 2.6%, and inventory grew 1.7%.
Geospace Technologies Corporation, formerly OYO Geospace Corporation, incorporated on September 13, 1997, designs and manufactures instruments and equipment used in the acquisition and processing of seismic data, as well as in the characterization and monitoring of producing oil and gas reservoirs. The Company also manufactures and distributes thermal imaging equipment and dry thermal film products to a variety of markets including the screenprint, point of sale, signage and textile markets. As of September 30, 2011, OYO Corporation U.S.A. (OYO USA) owned approximately 20.3% of the Company’s common stock. The Company operates in two segments: Seismic and Thermal Solutions. The seismic segment of its business accounts for the majority of its sales. Its thermal solutions product technologies were developed for seismic data processing applications.
Geoscientists use seismic data primarily in connection with the exploration, develop ment and production of oil and gas reserves to map hydrocarbon bearing formations and the geologic structures that surround them. The Company provides many of the components of seismic data recording systems, including data acquisition systems, geophones, hydrophones, multi-component sensors, seismic leader wire, geophone strings, connectors, seismic telemetry cables and other seismic related products. Its marine seismic products help steer streamers while being towed and help recover streamers if they become disconnected from the vessel.
The Company has developed permanently installed high-definition reservoir characterization products for ocean-bottom applications in producing oil and gas fields. It also produces a retrievable version of this ocean-bottom system for use on fields where permanently installed systems are not appropriate or economical. Seismic surveys repeated over selected time intervals show dynamic changes within the reservoir and can be used to monitor the effects of production. In addition, it produc! es seismic borehole acquisition systems which employ a fiber optic augmented wireline capable of high data transmission rates. These systems are used for several reservoir characterization applications, including an application pioneered by it allowing operators and service companies to monitor and measure the results of fracturing operations.
The Company designs and manufactures power and communication transmission cable products for offshore applications and market these products to the offshore oil and gas and offshore construction industries. These products include a variety of specialized cables, primarily used in deepwater applications, such as remotely operated vehicle (ROV) tethers, umbilicals and electrical control cables. These products also include specially designed and manufactured cables, including armored cables, engineered to withstand harsh offshore operating environments. In addition, it designs and manufactures industrial sensors for the vibra tion monitoring, security and earthquake detection markets. The Company also design and manufacture other specialty cable and connector products, such as those used in connection with global positioning products and water meter applications.
Its seismic product lines consists of land and marine nodal seismic data acquisition systems, high-definition reservoir characterization products and services, geophones and hydrophones, including multi-component geophones and hydrophones, seismic leader wire, geophone string and acquisition system connectors, seismic telemetry cables, marine seismic cable retrieval and steering devices and specialized data acquisition systems targeted at conventional and niche markets.
The Company’s high-definition reservoir characterization products include the HDSeis product line and a suite of borehole and reservoir characterization products and services. Its HDSeis System is a high-definition seismic data acquisition syst em with architecture that allows it to be configured as a bo! rehole se! ismic system or as a subsurface system for both land and marine reservoir-monitoring projects. Its multi-component seismic product developments include an omni-directional geophone for use in reservoir monitoring, a compact marine three-component or four-component gimbaled sensor and special-purpose connectors, connector arrays and cases. Its products used in marine seismic data acquisition include its marine seismic streamer retrieval devices (SRDs). Its SRDs, which are attached to the streamer cables, contain air bags which are designed to inflate automatically at a given depth, bringing the severed streamer cables to the surface. It also produces seismic streamer steering devices, or birds, which are finlike devices that attach to the streamer cable. These birds help maintain the streamer cable at a certain desired depth as it is being towed through the water.
The Company competes with CGGVeritas, ION Geophysical, INOVA, Amphenol Corporation, Fairfield Indus tries, Petroleum Geo-Services ASA, Avalon, Mitcham Industries, Inc. and Seismic Equipment Solutions.
Thermal Solutions Products
The Company thermal printers include both thermal imagesetters for graphics applications and thermal plotters for seismic applications. In addition, its thermal solutions products include direct-to-screen systems, thermal printheads, dry thermal film, thermal transfer ribbons and other thermal media. Its thermal imaging solutions produce images ranging in size from 12 to 54 inches wide and in resolution from 400 to 1,200 dots per inch. It markets its thermal imaging solutions to a variety of industries, including the screen printing, point-of-sale, signage, flexographic and textile markets. It also distributes private label dry thermal media for use in its thermal printers and direct-to-screen systems. In addition, the Company is engaged in efforts to develop new lines of dry thermal film and ribbon in order to improve the image quality of its media for use with printheads.
The! Company thermal solutions products include thermal imagesetters for graphics applications and thermal plotters for seismic applications. In addition, its thermal solution products include thermal printheads and thermal media products. It markets these products to a variety of industries, including the screen print, point of sale, signage and textile markets. It also sells these products to seismic customers.
The Company competes with KIWO USA, Inc., Colour Scanned Technology and iSys Group.
- [By Seth Jayson]
Geospace Technologies (Nasdaq: GEOS ) reported earnings on May 2. Here are the numbers you need to know.
The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q2), Geospace Technologies whiffed on revenues and whiffed on earnings per share.
Hot Low Price Companies To Invest In Right Now: Multimedia Games Holding Company Inc.(MGAM)
Multimedia Games Holding Company, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the design, manufacture, distribution, and maintenance of gaming machines, video lottery terminals, and associated systems and equipment. The company provides a range of networked gaming systems that control and operate Class II gaming machines, video lottery terminals, and bingo terminals at Native American and commercial gaming facilities. It offers various classic 3-reel and 5-reel mechanical reel games, which provide players with a slot gaming experience; Side Action series of slot games; Maximum Lockdown, a hybrid mechanical reel game; Treasure Top series, a range of 3-reel mechanical games that includes LED lights and a video spinning wheel; TournEvent, a slot tournament system, which allow operators to switch from in-revenue gaming to out-of-revenue tournaments; and High Rise Games. The company also offers back-office accounting and slot management systems that are used to manage the floor operations; and server-based centrally-linked player terminals, which are placed and sold in Class II, video lottery terminal, and bingo settings, as well as standalone player terminals that are placed and sold in Class III settings. It provides its gaming systems to Native American and commercial casino operators in North America; domestic and selected international lottery operators; and charity and commercial bingo gaming facility operators. The company was formerly known as Multimedia Games, Inc and changed its name to Multimedia Games Holding Company, Inc. in April 2011. Multimedia Games Holding Company, Inc. was founded in 1991 and is based in Austin, Texas.
- [By Brian Pacampara]
What: Shares of gaming machine manufacturer Multimedia Games (NASDAQ: MGAM ) surged 19% today after its quarterly results and guidance easily topped Wall Street expectations.
- [By Seth Jayson]
Multimedia Games Holding (Nasdaq: MGAM ) reported earnings on April 30. Here are the numbers you need to know.
The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q2), Multimedia Games Holding beat expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.
- [By Rick Munarriz]
In the following video, longtime Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz takes a question from a Fool reader, who asks: “Multimedia Games [ (NASDAQ: MGAM ) ] is going up, up, and away. What’s making the stock take off?”
Hot Low Price Companies To Invest In Right Now: Arch Capital Group Ltd.(ACGL)
Arch Capital Group Ltd., together with its subsidiaries, provides insurance and reinsurance products worldwide. It operates in two segments, Insurance and Reinsurance. The Insurance segment offers casualty; construction; executive assurance; healthcare; collateral protection, debt cancellation, and service contract reimbursement products; national accounts casualty; professional liability; programs; property, energy, marine, and aviation; surety; and travel and accident insurance products. It also provides other insurance products, such as excess workers compensation and employers’ liability insurance coverages for qualified self-insured groups, associations, and trusts; captive insurance programs; and accident, disability, and medical plan insurance coverages for employer groups, medical plan members, students, and other participant groups. This segment markets its products through a network of licensed independent retail and wholesale brokers. The Reinsurance segment rei nsures third party liability and worker?s compensation exposures; individual property risks that include personal lines and commercial property exposures; other specialty lines, including surety, accident and health, workers’ compensation catastrophe, multi-peril crop, trade credit, and political risk; catastrophic perils, such as hurricane, earthquake, flood, tornado, hail, and fire; marine business, which includes coverage for hull, cargo, and transit and offshore oil and gas operations, as well as aviation business that comprises coverage for airline and general aviation risks; and non-traditional business to provide insurers with risk management solutions. This segment markets its reinsurance products through brokers, as well as directly with the ceding companies. The company was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda.
- [By Holly LaFon]
Arch Capital (ACGL)’s Dinos Iordanu recently described to our analysts how he met me in 2001. Before we invested in his business, we asked him all sorts of personal questions about how he came to America from Cyprus; whether or not his wife had a job; and how big was his house? He told our analysts that “Ron was trying to get a sense of me. He wanted to understand how I viewed risk. No one else asked us such questions. They were the right questions since you were investing in our business, which was assuming underwriting risk on your behalf. “We got it right with Dinos and have about quadrupled our money in the past twelve years, not exactly the most propitious time to invest in stocks! Of course, there can be no assurance that future investments will be as profitable…although you can be assured that we will continue to work hard to try to achieve similar results.
Hot Low Price Companies To Invest In Right Now: Westell Technologies Inc.(WSTL)
Westell Technologies, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the design, distribution, marketing, and servicing a range of broadband, digital transmission, remote monitoring, power distribution, and demarcation products used by telephone companies and other telecommunications service providers. It operates in three segments: Customer Networking Systems (CNS) equipment, Outside Plant Systems (OSP) equipment, and ConferencePlus services. The CNS equipment segment provides networking and high-speed transmissions products, such as modems, routers, versatile gateway devices, and wireless broadband home routers that allow service providers to deliver broadband services over existing copper, fiber, coax, or wireless infrastructures. The OSP segment offers next generation outdoor cabinets; enclosures; power distribution; fiber, Ethernet, and coax edge connectors; remote monitoring equipment; and DS1 and DS3 transmission plugs. This segment also markets and sells power distribu tion and remote monitoring solutions. The ConferencePlus services segment provides audio, Web, and video conferencing services to businesses and individuals. This segment sells its services directly to Fortune 1000 companies, and indirectly through its private reseller programs. The company offers its products through field sales organizations and selected distributors in the United States, as well as in Canada and Europe. Westell Technologies, Inc. was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Aurora, Illinois.
- [By Rich Smith]
On Friday, the diversified manufacturer named Brian S. Cooper to replace interim CFO Braden Waverley on May 28. Waverly will remain acting CFO until Cooper joins the company next month. Cooper comes to Federal Signal by way of smaller telecommunications equipment maker Westell Technologies (NASDAQ: WSTL ) , where he has served as CFO since 2009.
- [By Rich Smith]
Late last month, the networking equipment maker had to scramble when its acting chief financial officer, Tom Minichiello, announced plans to retire on July 12 to become the new CFO at Westell Technologies (NASDAQ: WSTL ) . On Friday, though, just as the deadline was happening, Tellabs announced that it has found a replacement.
- [By Geoff Gannon]
1. Steel Excel (SXCL)
2. FormFactor (FORM)
3. Imation (IMN)
4. Tuesday Morning (TUES)
5. Pacific Biosciences (PACB)
6. Maxygen (MAXY)
7. Westell (WSTL)
8. Volt Information Sciences (VISI)
9. Yasheng Group (YHGG)
Hot Low Price Companies To Invest In Right Now: Pampa Energia S.A.(PAM)
Pampa Energia S.A., through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity in Argentina. It has an installed hydro electricity generation capacity of approximately 2,217 megawatts. The company also joint-controls the operation and maintenance of the high-tension transmission network covering 10,613 kilometers (km) of own lines, as well as 6,110 km of high-tension lines belonging to Empresa de Transporte de Energ