We’re back from our meeting we had with Konatel Inc (OOTC:KTEL) over the weekend, where we were able to introduce a panel 5 of the company’s top decision makers who were able to go into great detail about their roles. After having held this event, we’re more confident than ever that we made a great decision to follow through with what we feel is a very unique way to connect shareholders with management. It gave the execs a chance to address tough questions in a more intimate and casual setting, over a round of golf.
There’s going to be certain times when you need to think twice before believing bullish commentary from management teams. You need to understand that that bullish commentary can change on a dime. I learned this lesson when considering investing in some technology stocks right before and during the dotcom bust. At that time, as risk was escalating, many technology company management teams I interviewed commented that they saw no problem with their industry. They assured me that they’d be able to navigate an economic slowdown. Well, that couldn’t have been further from the truth as many of these companies pivoted on their bullish stance just weeks after these interviews.
There was a good amount of optimism within the company’s 2021 10-K and 2021 Q1 communications about the prospects of a post-pandemic normalization, which led to our favorable take on the valuation on what we thought was a reasonably valued stock with some upside if certain things played out: “VIDE is trading at 0.7x TTM price to sales multiple which we believe is not that unreasonable if the company can reach consistent profitability, considering the positive growth outlook management has communicated for the remainder of its 2021 fiscal year. We also like management’s shift to focus on cyber security which could also be a reason to assume that shares could eventually trade at a price to sales multiple well in excess of 4x.” Long term price appreciation never materialized, but to be fair, as seen below, the company’s fiscal 2021 results did actually come in at an aggregate year over year increase, sending the stock to a brief high of $3.10. You could say, if just for a short moment, that the results supported the company’s outlook. However, investor conviction in the stock waned almost immediately, with the price settling back to its pre-financials levels.
We’d like to visit another story that could just as well have been part of our last weekly segment to prove that some management teams just get it right. We wanted to offer it up as another example of an almost perfect implementation of the use of capital, be it raised funds or cash on hand, to grow a company in an accretive manner through acquisitions. It’s basically a testimony on the fiduciary responsibility of public companies to handle the funds the way a public company should, as expected by shareholders.. The company in focus today is UFP Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:UFPT). The Company is a designer and custom manufacturer of components, subassemblies, products and packaging utilizing highly specialized foams, films, and plastics primarily for the medical market.
On most occasions, our microcap company standard of 50 million or less shares outstanding is and will always be unwavering. Now, you’re probably saying, ”it’s not the number of outstanding shares that matters, it’s the value per share of certain statistics like earnings per share and valuation ratios like price to earnings and price of sales multiples that matters when determining if a stock is undervalued.” While this may be technically true, think about it this way - A company that has a lot of outstanding shares may be giving you a clue that multiple offerings came about because the company was unable to use the money it’s been raising to grow cash flow, potentially raising red flags on the effectiveness of management.
My analyst team at MSM thinks it may have found what will be a classic successful ‘Big Cap Microcap’ (BigCapMicro) case study in a company that provides healthcare communication solutions internationally, delivering clinical information to care teams to enhance patient outcomes (clinical communication technology to hospitals). The company has two divisions, wireless (traditional paging) and related software services to manage the flow, delivery and analysis of communication. Some of its services include subscriptions to one-way or two-way messaging, voicemail services, call center services, equipment loss or maintenance protection, and selling devices to resellers who lease or resell them to their subscribers.
CNBC, in true brand-name mainstream media format, makes it perfectly clear that it will take the negative over the positive…it just makes for better provocative investor banter and retweet fodder. It’s not the only outlet that does this, but we’re going to use them as the example of their complicit omission of any positive comments that might come out of a source that screams fire on a regular basis…say those of, for example, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon. Like him or not, Dimon is a provocateur in his own right. And CNBC likes that. We’d venture to say that the cabal of mainstream outlets breathlessly run with replays and snippets of his interviews and conference call commentary because it will invariably fit the expected narrative
Knowing that some of the inflation indicators that investors fixate on are lagging indicators, we want to beat the market to the punch. Accordingly, we have to be prepared by continuing to look for Tier One Quality microcap companies or maybe even ugly companies that might turn into quality selections, and in particular dissect Q3 press releases, earnings conference call transcripts and SEC filings that might unveil clues of softening inflation that could lead to the Federal easing interest rate hike goals. Who knows, moves by the Fed might happen sooner than later, surprising the market. We’ll be monitoring supply chain commentary as well as commodity price action, mainly in the food area and other hot pockets in the inflation number cited above.