As the video streaming wars continue to heat up, companies such as Amazon.com and Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX ) are increasingly trying to find ways to differentiate themselves from their competition.
And for the industry leaders in video streaming over the past two years, those efforts have increasingly involved building a world-class repertoire of original series.
For Netflix, anyway, this move seemed to be paying off in a big way up until last week, after its programs received no less than 14 Emmy nods, including nine for House of Cards, two for Hemlock Grove, and even one for Arrested Development, which the company recently revived for an exclusive fourth season.
Then again, that didn’t exactly help Netflix stock Tuesday, which is when it fell more than 6% after the company disappointed investors with weaker-than-expected second quarter subscriber growth.
What’s more, as fellow Fool Blake Bos pointed out in March, original content can often prove undeniably expensive, so there’s much to be said for the merits of signing deals for lower-cost existing programming — of which Netflix incidentally also boasts plenty.
Top Computer Hardware Companies To Own In Right Now: Imagination Technologies Group PLC (IGNMF.PK)
Imagination Technologies Group plc is engaged in multimedia and communication technologies. The Company operates in two segments: Technology business and the Pure business. The Company’s Technology business segment is engaged in the development of embedded graphics, video, display and multi-threaded processor and multi-standard broadcast receiver and connectivity technologies for licensing to semiconductor companies for incorporation into silicon devices. The Company’s Pure business segment is engaged in the development and marketing of consumer products to showcase the technologies of the Technology business and to develop markets for such technologies. In March 2012, Toumaz Ltd completed the exchange of Imagination Technologies Group plc’s interest in Toumaz Ltd’s Toumaz Microsystems subsidiary. In February 2013, it acquired the operating business and certain patent properties of MIPS Technologies, Inc. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Ashraf Eassa]
However, I expect that Intel is at risk of having a significant marketing problem trying to sell a dual core product into a world of quad core phones, even if the dual core part delivers better performance/watt. I further expect that from what is currently known about Bay Trail’s GPU (4 EU Gen7 GPU), it is unlikely that — unless Intel is either using Imagination’s (IGNMF.PK) next generation PowerVR 6 or a beefed up Gen7 design for the "Merrifield" SoC — it will be as competitive with the Snapdragon 800 on the GPU side of things, which could pose as an additional headwind to adoption. I also believe that the Q1 2014 launch curtails any hope that there will be a 14nm smartphone product launched in 2014 (although Mr. Krzanich’s comments about "acceleration" could be a source of optimism here), which means that the company’s process lead could ultimately prove to be ephemeral in this particular end market. Fortunately, product cycles in this space are sho rt, so it may be okay to have Merrifield be reasonably short lived.
Top Computer Hardware Companies To Own In Right Now: Mitek Systems Inc (MITK)
Mitek Systems, Inc. (Mitek), incorporated in 1986, is engaged in the development, sale and service of software solutions related to mobile imaging applications and intelligent recognition software. Mitek is applying its technology and in image correction, optical character recognition and intelligent data extraction to mobile devices. Using Mitek Mobile Apps, camera-equipped smartphone users can deposit checks, pay bills, save receipts and fax documents. Users simply take a picture of the document and its products corrects image distortion, extracting relevant data, routing images to their desired location, and processing transactions through users’ financial institutions. It has developed and deployed Mobile Deposit, a software application that allows users to deposit a check using their smartphone camera. It has developed and deployed Mobile Receipt, a receipt archival and expense report application, and Mobile Phax, a mobile document faxing application. Its Mobile Pho to Bill Pay, a mobile bill paying application that allows users to pay their bills using their smartphone camera. During fiscal year ended September 30, 2010 (fiscal 2010), it had one operating segment based on its product and service offerings.
IMagePROVE Technology Products
Using IMagePROVE, the Company has a suite of business productivity applications for camera-equipped smartphones, including the iPhone and selected BlackBerry, Android and Windows Mobile handsets. It has four products that use its IMagePROVE technology Mobile Deposit, Mobile Receipt, Mobile Phax and Mobile Photo Bill Pay. Its products are used in the financial services industry. It has secured sales partnerships with system integrators for the financial services industry, including Fiserv, FIS, NCR, Jack Henry, Wausau, BankServ, RDM, J&B Software and Bluepoint Solutions.
The Company’s Mobile Deposit is the smartphone application allows banks to accept check deposi ts through photos of checks taken with camera-equipped smart! phones. Mobile Deposit allows users to make deposits by photographing the front and back of a check and submitting the item electronically to their bank from their smartphone. Its Mobile Receipt is designed to convert the photo of a receipt taken with a smartphone into an image and with a single touch, converts the data into a professional looking expense report. Mobile Phax allows user to take a photo of any letter sized document or page and send it as a portable document format (PDF) file to any e-mail address or fax machine.
The Company’s Mobile Photo Bill Pay allows users to take pictures of their bills with their smartphone cameras and its Mobile Photo Bill Pay product correct image distortion, reading relevant data and processing the transactions through the users’ banks. The payment is made electronically by debiting the users checking account and using existing online bill pay systems. With Mobile Photo Bill Pay, users can submit electronic payments from their smartphones without having to write checks, lick stamps, visit a payment location or even use their personal computers.
ImageNet Intelligent Character Recognition Toolkits
The Company’s ImageNet products are designed to provide remittance processing, proof of deposit and lock box processing applications. Its products are used to reduce manual labor by automatically extracting amounts and routing information from checks and distinguishing between common document types, such as personal and business checks, substitute checks, pre-authorized drafts and other document types specified by customers. It sells ImageNet suite of products to its channel partners, who resell them as integrated components of their solutions and services. Its ImageNet suite of products includes ImageNet Prep & ID, ImageNet Payments, ImageNet Data Capture and ImageNet Signatures.
ImageNet Prep & ID is a software toolkit that is designed to provide automa tic form information document (ID), form registration and fo! rm/templa! te removal. Image Net Prep & ID reduces the image size by removing information, such as pre-printed text, lines, and boxes; leaving only the filled-in data. ImageNet Payments allows for the automatic reading of machine and hand print information found on scanned documents and forms from any structured form, as well as bank documents, such as checks, deposit slips, and remittance coupons. ImageNet Payments integrates technology components from the CheckReader product that it licenses from a vendor that is designed to read rates of the currency and legal amounts of checks drawn on the United States and Canadian financial institutions.
ImageNet Data Capture is a software toolkit that captures data from types of unstructured business documents. ImageNet Data Capture is used in data capture applications where data must be found and extracted from documents that have no pre-determined format or layout, but share common data elements. ImageNet Data Capture is designed to locate this data on documents using contextual, positional, format and keyword specific information. It has supplied ImageNet Data Capture as a stand alone application programming interface (API) to several original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the document processing field. ImageNet Signatures is a software toolkit that locates, extracts and verifies signatures in any document. It encodes each signature and compares it with encoded reference examples rather than comparing actual images. Its image analytics encode 60 characteristics of each signature, which allows for accurate signature fraud detection.
The Company’s FraudProtect System is an automated software application designed to allow banks to detect check fraud from forged signatures and counterfeit checks, as well as the detection of pre-authorized drafts and payee name alterations. Its FraudProtect suite of products includes FraudProtect SDK, PADsafe and Payee Find. Its FraudProtect SDK is a toolkit designed to detect c! heck frau! d and forgery using image analytics to uncover inconsistencies and alterations in checks as they are processed by banks. These products are sold to OEMs and system integrators and can detect forged or illegally modified checks. Its PADsafe product detects fraudulent preauthorized drafts (PADs). PADsafe automatically identifies PADs from checks, and then notifies the user of fraudulent transactions, reducing and preventing the unauthorized withdrawal of funds. Its PayeeFind product is designed to prevent payee-altered checks from clearing.
ImageScore is the Company’s Check 21 readiness solution for any financial institution that truncates or uses check images in an accounts receivables conversion environment. Integrated solution providers for financial institutions can also buy ImageScore to enhance their products. ImageScore is designed to analyze check images to provide the usability and information needed to help financial institution s act in accordance with regulatory and industry mandates.
- [By James E. Brumley]
Anybody who was lucky enough to get into a Recon Technology, Ltd. (NASDAQ:RCON) position before October 7th, then congratulations – you’re up big-time. Now get out. Instead, a better use of that capital is Mitek Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MITK). While RCON is overbought and ripe for a pullback, MITK is itching to stage a breakout.
- [By Eric Volkman]
Mitek Systems (NASDAQ: MITK ) is hoping to widen its capital base. The company announced it is floating nearly 2.86 million shares of its common stock in an underwritten public flotation, at a price of $5.25 per share. Additionally, the company’s underwriters have been granted a 30-day option to purchase up to 428,571 shares to cover overallotments, if any.
- [By U.S. News]
In at least one Texas bank and one Ohio credit union, 3D video banking is currently undergoing testing, according to TheFinancialBrand.com, a website for bank and credit union marketing executives. Three-dimensional video banking is similar to a consumer video conference with a bank representative –- only in this case, the executive looks like a living, breathing person sitting across from you. Thanks to theater surround sound, the representative also sounds as if they’re in the same room. And since the consumer is interacting with a real person and not an automated hologram, the experience apparently isn’t much different than the real thing. Banking and managing money isn’t what it used to be. The 1970s and 1980s brought us the rise of the ATM. Consumers became acquainted with online banking during the 1990s and the first decade of the 2000s. The 2010s are shaping up as the era of mobile banking. That was underscored Sept. 10-11 in New York City when Mitek Systems Inc. (MITK), a San Diego-based technology company, debuted its Mobile Photo Account Opening product at Finovate, a trade show where banking tech products are often unveiled. The product allows consumers to open a bank account within 60 seconds. If you have your bank’s app, you can use your smartphone’s camera to take a photo of the front and back of your driver’s license, and presto, your new checking, savings or credit card account is open. Here’s a look at other financial products and services personal financial experts think we’ll be using in the future. Within 10 years. “The economic payments system will begin to ‘know us,’ either through biometrics, optical sensor or facial recognition,” says Joshua Siegel, managing principal of StoneCastle Partners, a New York-based asset management firm that invests in banks. That’s already happening to some extent with smartphones –- the new Apple (AAPL) iPhone 5S, for example, uses fingerprint scanning to unlock the phone. Meanwhile, some fi
Top Computer Hardware Companies To Own In Right Now: Diebold Inc (DBD)
Diebold, Incorporated, incorporated in August 1876, is engaged in providing integrated self-service delivery and security systems and services to the financial, commercial, government and retail markets. Sales of systems and equipment are made directly to customers by the Company’s sales personnel, manufacturers’ representatives and distributors globally. The sales and support organizations work closely with customers and their consultants to analyze and fulfill the customers’ needs. The Company has two lines of business: Self-Service Solutions and Security Solutions. The Company’s segments are consisted of two sales channels: Diebold North America (DNA) and Diebold International (DI). In September 2012, it acquired GAS Tecnologia (GAS).
The DNA segment sells and services financial and retail systems in the United States and Canada. The DI segment sells and services financial and retail systems over the remainder of the globe through wholly owned subsi diaries, joint ventures and independent distributors in countries throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and in the Asia Pacific region, excluding Japan and Korea.
The Company offers an integrated line of self-service technologies and services, including comprehensive automated teller machine (ATM) outsourcing, ATM security, deposit and payment terminals and software. The Company is a global supplier of ATMs and related services. The Company offers a range of self-service solutions. Self-service products include a range of ATMs and teller automation, including deposit automation technology, such as check-cashing machines, bulk cash recyclers and bulk check deposit. The Company offers software solutions consisting of multiple applications, which process events and transactions. These solutions are delivered on the appropriate platform. From analysis and consulting to monitoring and repair, the Company provide s value and support to its customers every step of the way. ! Services include installation and ongoing maintenance of its products, OpteView remote services, branch transformation and distribution channel consulting. Outsourced and managed services include remote monitoring, troubleshooting for self-service customers, transaction processing, currency management, maintenance services and full support through person to person or online communication.
The Company provides its customers with the technological advances to protect their assets. The Company provides physical and electronic security systems, as well as facility transaction products, which integrate security, software and assisted-service transactions, providing total security systems solutions to financial, retail, commercial and government markets. The Company provides security solutions and facility products, including in-store bank branches, pneumatic tube systems for drive-up lanes, vaults, safes, depositories, bullet-resistive items and undercounter equipment. The Company provides a range of electronic security products, including digital surveillance, access control systems, biometric technologies, alarms and remote monitoring and diagnostics. The Company provides security monitoring solutions, including fire, managed access control, energy management, remote video management and storage, as well as logical security.
The Company provides end-to-end outsourcing solutions with a single point of contact for customer’s self-service channel. Its solution includes hardware, software, services or a combination of all three components. The Company provides value to its customers by offering a range of integrated services and support. The Company’s service organization provides analysis and planning of new systems, systems integration, architectural engineering, consulting and project management, which encompass all facets of a financial self-service imp lementation. The Company also provides design, products, ser! vice, ins! tallation, project management and monitoring of electronic security products to financial, government, retail and commercial customers.
The Company is a provider of voting equipment and related products and services in Brazil. The Company provides elections equipment, networking, tabulation and diagnostic software development, training, support and maintenance.
The Company competes with NCR Corporation, Wincor-Nixdorf, Grg Equipment Co., Nautilus Hyosung, Itautec and Perto.
- [By Mark Morelli]
How will the potential disruption impact business and affect investors? Should the executives at ATM manufacturers such as Diebold (NYSE: DBD ) be worried? Credit and debit card processors like MasterCard (NYSE: MA ) and Visa (NYSE: V ) are already benefiting from the trend to a cashless society. Could things get even better?
- [By Asit Sharma]
Diebold (NYSE: DBD ) , the transaction and security firm that most of us know for its ATM technology, owns a magnificent, shareholder-friendly streak, having increased its dividend annually for the last 60 years. That’s a current record among U.S. equities. The company’s dividend also yields an attractive 3.9%.
- [By Brian Pacampara]
What: Shares of Diebold (NYSE: DBD ) slipped 2% today after Compass Point downgraded the self-service delivery and security systems specialist from neutral to sell.
- [By Insider Monkey]
Security and services company Diebold (DBD) is simply a dividend beast. It has raised dividends in 60 consecutive years and currently offers a yield of 3.8%. Over the past three months, two insiders, CEO Andreas Mattes and VP John Kristoff, have bought Diebold stock. Mattes currently owns about $824K worth of the stock while Kristoff’s position is a bit smaller, and in the entire year of 2013, Board members Rajesh Soin and Henry Wallace have also initiated purchases here.
Top Computer Hardware Companies To Own In Right Now: Timios National Corp (HOMS)
Timios National Corporation, formerly Homeland Security Capital Corporation, incorporated on August 12, 1997, provides radiological, nuclear, environmental, disaster relief and electronic security solutions to government and commercial customers. The Company is engaged in the strategic acquisition, operation, development and consolidation of companies operating in the chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive, (CBRNE), incident response and security marketplaces within the homeland security industry. It is building consolidated enterprises (platform companies) through the acquisition and integration of businesses in the homeland security industry, particularly businesses focused on CBRNE incident response. In August 2011, the Company sold its Nexus Technologies Group. In October 2011, the Company sold its Safety and Ecology Holding Corporation subsidiary to Perma-Fix Environmental Services, Inc. In May 2012, the Company announced the acquisition by its subs idiary Timios, Inc. of Glenn County Title Company. In June 2013, Timios National Corp announced that it has completed the purchase of Glenn County Title Company (GCTC). In September 2013, Timios National Corp announced that it had executed a purchase agreement for the assets of Adobe Title, LLC.
The Company offers a range of management and operational services to each of its subsidiaries through a team of dedicated professionals. Its subsidiaries compensate its holding company for such services. Its core services include environmental remediation and restoration, regulatory compliance, facilities management, facility deactivation, decommissioning and demolition, emergency response, design and construction services and security integration to the United States government agencies, such as the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of Defense (DoD), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the United states Arm y Corps of Engineers and the National Aeronautics and Space ! Administration (NASA). It conducts its operations through Safety & Ecology Holdings Corporation (Safety), its wholly owned subsidiary; Nexus Technologies Group, Inc. (Nexus), its 93% owned subsidiary, and Polimatrix, Inc. (PMX), its joint venture. Safety is an international provider of environmental, nuclear and radiological infrastructure remediation, disaster relief solutions and advanced construction services. Nexus designs, develops and installs integrated security systems for government and commercial clients. PMX markets, sells and distributes radiological detection equipment.
Safety & Ecology Holdings Corporation
Safety is a provider of global environmental, hazardous and radiological infrastructure remediation, upgrades and nuclear services in the United States and the United Kingdom. Safety’s main business areas and service offerings include decommissioning and remediation environmental and remedial consultancy services; environmental an d consultancy services; nuclear energy design, build, refurbishment and operational support services, and instrumentation and measurement technologies. Safety offers a range of services that include characterization, decontamination, decommissioning of facilities, soil and groundwater remediation, infrastructure reduction and demolition, site preparation, excavation, and remedial system construction; underground and overhead utility installation; electrical and mechanical installation; security fencing and device installation and upgrades; building renovation; piping; roadways, parking lots, and drainage system construction/repair, and landfill remediation and capping.
Safety engages in facility deactivation, demolition and closure solutions, including project investigation; radiological pre-engineering; demolition planning; removing above ground structures and structural components; storing, testing, certifying, processing and shipping nuclear waste, and abate ment of hazardous materials. Safety focuses its service offe! ring on t! he application and integration of health physics, industrial hygiene, hazardous material consultancy and safety and health. In addition, Safety couples its technology with its instrumentation offering, on-site radiological laboratory capabilities and mobile radiological materials license to provide radiological services and consultation. Safety provides integrated services to the nuclear energy industry. Safety provides specialized services to a customer base, including government agencies, commercial customers and major engineering and construction companies around the world that are focused in the nuclear new plant deployment initiative, facility operation, decommissioning and refurbishment. The elements of Safety’s technology offering are instrumentation services and instrumentation technology, both of which are targeted to field investigations, characterizations of contaminants and clean-up and material management and disposal solutions.
The Company compe tes with Stoller, Cabrera, Portage, LATA Northwind, Demco, Eagle, Pro2Serv, PMTech, Navarro, Energy Solutions, the Washington Group, Tetra Tech, Shaw Environmental and C2HM Hill.
Nexus Technologies Group, Inc.
Nexus is a mid-Atlantic security integrator for the corporate and governmental security markets that specializes in the engineering and installation of custom designed integrated electronic security solutions, including access control, alarm, closed circuit television (CCTV), video, communication, perimeter protection and bomb and metal detection security systems. Nexus provides solutions to protect people, property and assets. As a systems integrator, Nexus designs, customizes, installs, integrates and maintains closed CCTV, access control, video and communication systems for its customers. Nexus has undertaken projects in a range of markets, including financial services, corporate and commercial, healthcare, government, nuclear utility serv ices, public transportation, airports, industrial complexes,! museums,! prisons, higher education and data centers. As a provider of custom engineered integrated security solutions, including access control, alarm/intrusion, CCTV, communication, perimeter protection and bomb and metal detection security systems, Nexus is aligned with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Nexus has focused on five sectors in which it intends to expand, both vertically and horizontally. These sectors are Financial Institutions, Infrastructure Security, Government Facilities, Education Facilities and Corporate Markets.
Financial Institutions include banks, brokerage facilities, trading facilities and foreign currency exchange centers. Infrastructure Security include nuclear power generating facilities, water processing facilities, electricity generating facilities, power transfer stations and transportation centers, which include highway, bridge, tunnel, airport, rail and port security. Government Facilities include federal, state and local governm ent buildings and offices, domestic and foreign embassies, military installations and police and fire department operations centers. Education Facilities include grammar, high school and college buildings, dorms and campuses, satellite learning centers and daycare centers. Corporate Markets include office buildings and grounds, parking lots, garages, retail locations, warehouses and apartment and condominium complexes.
The Company competes with Henry Brothers Electronics, Inc., Diebold, Inc. and ADT.
PMX is a total solutions provider delivering radiation and nuclear protection and detection services through several engineered portable and stationary devices. PMX’s business plan is the development and marketing of radiological detection products and services. PMX has developed a range of domestic and international marketing initiative in Washington, DC, Virginia and Illinois. These states have used the PMX detection d evices for a range of detection, prevention and first respon! der activ! ities. PMX’s product line of portable detection devices are designed to detect potential threats and can be positioned along transportation routes or carried by nuclear power generating facility security personnel. It operates PMX with the assistance of Safety’s personal.
The Company competes with Thermo Scientific and Canberra.
- [By Peter Graham]
However, there have been no further updates since then. A quick look on both Google Finance and Yahoo! Finance reveals the latest financials date from the end of September 2012 – meaning its investor beware.
Timios National Corp (OTCMKTS: HOMS) Has No News Beyond Filings
Small cap Timios National Corp is involved in the strategic acquisition, development and consolidation of real estate service businesses. Former Maryland Congressman C. Thomas McMillen, who served three consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from the 4th Congressional District of Maryland, heads the company. On Friday, Timios National Corp sank 32.28% to $1.28 for a market cap of $3.01 million plus HOMS is up 54.2% over the past year and up 1,013% over the past five years according to Google Finance.
- [By Peter Graham]
Small cap stocks Timios National Corp (OTCMKTS: HOMS) and Lattice Inc (OTCMKTS: LTTC) surged 54.29% and 20.83%, respectively, while Unique Pizza & Subs Corp (OTCMKTS: UPZS) sank 27.27% last Friday. But today is a new trading week with the last two trading days for the year. So what will these three small caps do today, tomorrow and after New Years’? Here is a closer look:
Top Computer Hardware Companies To Own In Right Now: Altec Holdings SA (AXY)
Altec Holdings SA the parent company of Altec Group, is a Greece-based company engaged in the information technology and telecommunications fields. The Company’s range of activities includes the manufacture, import, export, trade, distribution, leasing and support of computers and telecommunication materials, as well as the design, production, development, import, export, leasing and trading of software for computers and electronic cash registers. Its hardware products include a range of personal computers, servers and related equipment. Its software products include systems for enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, accounting, human resource management, payroll and data warehousing, insurance brokerage software and equipment for call centers. It operates a retail network under the brand Microland. The Company has established subsidiaries in Romania, Bulgaria and Cyprus. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By John Udovich]
Yesterday, small cap geothermal stock U.S. Geothermal Inc (NYSEMKT: HTM) produced a geyser of a return when it surged 26.79%, meaning its worth taking a closer look at the stock verses the performance of other geothermal stocks like small cap Ormat Technologies, Inc (NYSE: ORA) and mid cap Calpine Corporation (NYSE: CPN). First of all, I should mention there are some other geothermal stocks out there like Alterra Power Corp (CVE: AXY) and Ram Power Corp (TSE: RPG) who have their primary listing on Canadian exchanges with secondary ones on the OTC – meaning they may not be a good deal for American investors or easy to invest in. Second, U.S. Geothermal Inc itself is a good geothermal proxy as its focused on developing, owning, and operating clean, sustainable electric power from geothermal energy resources and its operating geothermal power projects at Neal Hot Springs, Oregon; San Emidio, Nevada; and Raft River, Idaho plus El Ceibillo, an advanced stage, geothermal p rospect located within a 24,710 acre energy rights concession area near Guatemala City, the largest city in Central America.
Top Computer Hardware Companies To Own In Right Now: IceWEB Inc (IWEB)
IceWEB, Inc. (IceWEB), incorporated in 1994, manufacture and market unified data storage, purpose built appliances, network and cloud attached storage solutions and deliver on-line cloud computing application services. The Company’s customer base includes the United States government agencies, enterprise companies, and small to medium sized businesses (SMB). The Company has three product offerings: Iceweb Unified Data Network Storage line of products, Purpose Built Network/Data Appliances and Cloud Computing Products/Services. In October 2013, IceWEB Inc completed its acquisition of Computers and Tele-Comm, Inc. and KC-NAP, LLC of Kansas City (collectively CTC).
IceWEB Unified Data Storage line of products
IceWEB is a provider of Unified Data Storage solutions. Its storage systems make it possible to operate and manage files and applications from a single device and consolidate file-based and block-based access in a single storage platform, whi ch supports Fibre Channel SAN, IP-based SAN (iSCSI), and NAS (network attached storage). A unified storage system simultaneously enables storage of file data and handles the block-based I/O (input/output) of enterprise applications. One advantage of unified storage is reduced hardware requirements. The IceWEB Storage System is an all-inclusive storage management system, which includes de-duplication; unlimited snapshots; thin provisioning; local or remote, real-time or scheduled replication; capacity and utilization reporting, and integration with virtual server environments.
Purpose Built Network and Data Appliances
Purpose Built Network and Data Appliances are devices, which provide computing resources (processors and memory), data storage, and specific software for a specific application. The primary appliance products that IceWEB has built have been centered on a single large business partner, ESRI Corporation. IceWEB and ESRI have collaborated to create ultra-high performance IceWEB/ESRI GIS systems tha! t allow customers to access data with speed. ESRI Corporation takes responsibility for marketing to their customers and business partners, via their worldwide sales and consultancy organization.
Cloud Computing Products and Services
Cloud computing products and services consist of cloud computing services and cloud storage appliances. IceWEB provides IceMAIL, a packaged software service that provides network hosted groupware, e-mail, calendaring and collaboration functionality. Online services were expanded to include IcePORTAL, which provides customers with a complete Intranet portal and IceSECURE a hosted e-mail encryption service. Originally such hosted services were referred to as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Such services, hosted across the Internet are commonly referred to as Cloud Computing. A cloud storage appliance is a purpose built storage device configured for either branch office or central site deployment, which allows the housing and delivery of customer data across not only their internal networking infrastructure, but also to make that data available to employees or business partners securely via the Internet (often called the cloud).
The Company competes with EMC, Network Appliance, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, Hitachi Data Systems, IBM, Compellent Technologies and Isilon.
- [By Peter Graham]
What’s the Catch with Dephasium Corp? According to various disclosures, transactions of $2k, $2.5k, $3k, $4k, $7.5k, $12.5k and $15k have or will occur to mention Dephasium Corp in various investment newsletters. Dephasium Corp has been getting plenty of off and on attention for a couple of months now, but what’s been pretty strange is the company issuing a press release to announce that an unidentified third party, without the DPHS’s approval, has listed its shares on the Boerse Berlin Stock Exchange. The press release warned that this could be the first salvo in a “significant naked shorting attack directed at the Company” given that the Berlin exchange is one of few stock exchanges in the world that allows listing and trading of a company’s stock without the consent or authorization of the company being listed in order to facilitate short-selling. A quick look at Dephasium Corp’s financials reveals no revenues; net losses of $10k (most recent repor ted quarter), $17k and $11k plus net income of $388k; and $51k to cover $9k in current liabilities at the end of March. In other words, Dephasium Corp isn’t making money but someone else is trying to make some from it.
IceWEB, Inc. (OTCBB: IWEB) Seems to Be Making Progress
Small cap IceWEB is a provider of Unified Data Storage appliances for cloud and virtual environments, as well as the highly secure, scalable IceBOXTM BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Private Digital Cloud Solution. On Friday, IceWEB fell 8.57% to $0.0320 for a market cap of $9.01 million plus IWEB is down 54.3% over the past year and down 81.7% over the past five years according to Google Finance.
- [By Bryan Murphy]
So far the brewing recovery effort from IceWEB, Inc. (OTCBB:IWEB) has remained off most traders’ radars. That may be about to change, however. That’s why you may want to go ahead and take a speculative plunge on IWEB now, on faith that the clues we’re seeing now will indeed end up as they’re suggesting.
Top Computer Hardware Companies To Own In Right Now: George Risk Industries Inc (RSKIA)
George Risk Industries, Inc. (GRI), incorporated on February 21, 1961, is engaged in the design, manufacture and sale of computer keyboards, push button switches, burglar alarm components and systems, pool alarms, thermostats, EZ Duct wire covers and water sensors. GRI is a diversified manufacturer of electronic components, consisting of the security industries variety of door and window contact switches, environmental products, proximity switches and custom keyboards. The Company operates in two segments: security alarm products and security alarm products GRI’s security burglar alarm products comprise approximately 84% of net revenues and are sold through distributors and alarm dealers/installers. These products are used for residential, commercial, industrial and government installations. Its products include security products/ magnetic reed switches, data entry peripherals, pushbutton switches, custom engraved keycaps and proximity sensors.
The security segment has approximately 3,000 customers. One of the distributors, ADI accounts for approximately 40% of the Company’s sales of these products. The keyboard segment has approximately 800 customers. Keyboard products are sold to original equipment manufacturers to their specifications and to distributors of off-the-shelf keyboards of proprietary design. GRI owns and operates its main manufacturing plant and offices in Kimball, Nebraska with a satellite plant 40 miles away in Gering, Nebraska.
- [By Geoff Gannon] n. When it traded around $4.50 (it’s now more like $7.50 a share) it was a net-net with a good business and a moat. There were risks – customer concentration for one – and it was no blue chip. There was no diversification of product lines, customers, geography, industry, etc. It was closely tied to U.S. construction activity.
All this means it was no blue chip. Not that it didn’t have a moat. I felt it did. And certainly not that it wasn’t a high quality business. It demonstrably was (unleveraged returns on tangible equity were around 30%). And it was a net-net. In fact, it was a net cash stock at one time.
So they do happen. But they are rare. The usual distinction with net-nets is not between companies like that – companies which may have a moat, do earn good returns on capital, etc. – but between companies that are legitimate and illegitimate businesses.
A legitimate business is – in my mind – a historically profitable one. It is likely to have positive retained earnings (there are exceptions to this rule – but it’s a good first check). It should have more years of profits (6 or more) than losses in the last 10 years. And it should be self-financing.
Compare this to an illegitimate business. The least legitimate businesses are those that – while publicly traded – have never turned a profit and can’t self finance. They may be net-nets – but they are net-nets because they have issued stock in the past and then seen their share prices drop. Retained earnings are often negative.
There are other factors to consider. Is the business old or young? Is depreciation – and other accounting – especially conservative or aggressive? Are taxes especially conservative or aggressive? And is share issuance dilutive or not.
I think a legitimate business tends towards LIFO accounting, quicker depreciation, higher taxes paid as a percentage of reported income, and lower share issuance. There are exceptions. Many
- [By Geoff Gannon] >Ark Restaurants (ARKR). When I bought them – and even now – I think their return on buyback would be high and I’d be in favor of it. However, the stocks are illiquid and their free cash flow relative to the dollar value of freely traded shares is not high. As a result, I’m always in favor of RSKIA and ARKR buying back stock. But, I understand it’s very hard for them to do in practice unless there is a meaningful holder who signals he wants out of the stock.
My approach to buybacks is pretty simple. One, I prefer them. Two, I look at the share count history over the last 10 to 20 years as my guide to what the company might do in the future – I want a pattern of predictable behavior. Generally, that means a continuously shrinking share count that shrinks in bull markets and bear markets, panics and recessions and booms and busts and so on. Three, if I’m a buyer of the stock – then the company should be a buyer of its own stock. No questions asked on that one. If the stoc k is good enough for me to buy it’s clearly good enough for the company to buy. Finally, I look for the return on buyback. I tend to focus on the earning power the company is buying relative to the net cash it is spending. If a company has cash on its balance sheet, the amount of net cash consumed by a buyback will be less than it appears because I will end up with a greater percentage ownership of the resulting balance sheet as well as the income statement.
I want the return on buyback to always be at least 10%. As a rule, the average company will only get returns on its buybacks of 10% or higher if it pays less than 15 times normal earnings. In special cases – fast growing companies, companies where free cash flow vastly exceeds reported income, etc. – it is possible that buybacks above 15 times earnings will return more than 10%. It almost never makes sense for a company to buy back stock at over 25 times earnings. So, for most companies, under 15 times earnings is the green zone for bu
- [By Geoff Gannon] things I said was that I knew George Risk’s materials cost was higher than some competitors’ selling price. The fact that any company could survive under conditions like that immediately suggested that dollars paid for the product was not the key concern for this product.
Perceived costs had to involve other concerns like customization, shipping speed, reliability, etc. Because it was a low cost product going into a higher cost product going into very high cost projects it seemed likely there was the opportunity to raise prices if needed. And that’s what they ended up doing. The important clue for me in that investigation was the severe cost disadvantage George Risk had. You couldn’t compete at such a cost disadvantage unless price was less important than I initially thought.
I think you will find that most of these insights are not available in the financial statements. They come from reading the 10-Ks of all companies in the industry, reading articles about the companies, listening to all conference call transcripts, etc.
For example, there is not much in the financial statements of Carnival (CCL) that explains how the cruise business really works. But all of the companies in the industry (CCL, RCL and NCL) freely discuss the economics of their business in great detail. They break out costs before and after fuel. They give you per-passenger prices of how much newly built ships cost. They give you lots and lots of details. They explain how they price their product (the way airlines do) and so on. There is an extreme level of detailed explanation of the business in the various conference calls, 10-Ks, etc.
A great source for this information is going back to the time the company went public or at least finding the S-1 of a competitor. When a company goes public it often gives much more detail into product economics, etc., than it will later on when it reports annual results.
That is also a good place to learn ab out market share, com
- [By Geoff Gannon] or even just above book value. It’s a darn good business so I’m getting high quality assets and earnings power. That gets less clear when looking at lower quality businesses.
Solitron (SODI) sells at 74% of NCAV, has decent z- and f-scores, a FCF margin of 5.3% and an ROA of 12%.