Wednesday, February 3, 2010

200th posting; UT in position, add shares!

The significant events of the last month (sale of the building, outsourcing, new CFO, SEC/DOJ resolutions, new board members, new investors, new CEO) are major changes no matter how you look at it. However, the stock is still stuck in the low $2 range. I think this will dramatically improve as the operations coming from these changes improve and institutional investors cross off negatives that prevent them from coming in.

It is not shocking to see posters on the message boards are still quite negative at this stage. However, one of the few positive posters, "Shadow" (who was accused of being "arrogant") stated:

"Don't mean to be arrogant. Just tired of guys posting how they want instant results from corporate management now. This company is clearly in the midst of a complete reorganization with outsourcing of products and reduction in head count from 8000 to 2000 or less. Products eliminated, sections sold off, legal issues resolved. What a mess it has been. So, we are, I hope, near the end of a multi-year debacle. What difference does another 3 months make in waiting to see the results? If you believe in the company's products and broadly outlined business plan, then 3 more months doesn't really matter. If you don't, why would you want to continue to own the stock?

Looking back on all the things that have happened, I am just happy the company is still in business and has IMHO a good chance of doing very well in the next few years. I never expected the company to have the problems it has had. Apparently, neither did management but every time they turned around there was another problem...accounting, bribery, insider trading, unexpected more rapid decline in PAS with premature terminaition, etc. etc. etc. You may think in that environment, CEO should still have been able to increase sales. What if the chips you need for your need PON products are delayed by 2 years? What if your largest customers become biased against you because you are a "foreigner"? Tigre points to Baidu as a foreign company successful in China. True, but where is the Huawei and ZTE in their industry that they had to compete against? I never pump the stock.....if people want to buy, fine, sell, fine, none of business. I just try to find things that apply to company. Some of them were really bad, like when MII decided only 3 companies would be allowed to provide DSL in China, and UTSI was one of the odd men out. Told to take back all of its already delivered DSL even. That is one of the reasons I think UTSI could never be considered indigenous to China, no matter what. ZTE, Huawei and Alcalu (ASB) are already considered indigenous and there is just not room for a fourth, at least in the telecom industry. Hope it is different for cable industry, but no guarantee. Risk remains high, but reward if UTSI is successful, will also be high. That is the nature of speculative investments. Have a nice evening. Shadow"

My response is the following:


Most shareholders actually share your sentiment despite a few negative posters on the MB. Most institutional shareholders have stayed put or added during the last 2-3 years. UT markets are intact but have not ramped up even in the last 2 years where management expected/hoped it would. The difference over the last year is that management has been aggressive in cutting costs, putting in flexibility/liquidity in the company to withstand the tough credit environment/competition. I think they are where we wanted them to be 2-3 years ago, which is to be in position to take advantage of any ramp in various sectors in their markets. Here is an article on China Telecom expanding iptv trials.

Five years since their win in iptv and iptv is still at this "early" stage. That is just one of many product lines/customers that have not yet come in. PTN is another that has been delayed or just started. About a year ago, I was just hoping for a small window of outperformance to make UT more salable but the recent events show they are positioning themselves for a more stable future (which doesn't have to involve a sale). That said, on a personal note, all of my buys above $1 for the last year have been traded but now bought yesterday at $2.12 for the longer term. I think there are a lot of issues still at UT with regards to institutional investors getting introduced to the stock. There is still the remaining internal controls/ongoing concern stamp on their company that should be resolved soon. There is the lack of profitability that prevents institutions from buying. Thre is the low/non-marginable share price, etc. etc. However, I have more confidence that it will be resolved in the longs favor over the following quarters and the big reward will come just as people feel the most frustrated (maybe now). I agree with you on the big potential rewards and think UT can reach $6-8 (maybe more) in the next 8 quarters as the issues get resolved, better quarterly performance come in and institutions see the potential in their markets. I'll get more aggessive in trading in the $3 range when the volume should be in the 2-3 million shares. Right now, its all noise with little volume and its accumulation (a few thousand shares) based strictly when certain longs get frustrated and decide to give away shares after so long.

Have a good rest of the week.

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