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|soleneve - Mittwoch, 11. Oktober 2000 - 17:13|
| Nachtrag zu Calpine: |
Gestern zu 100 USD verkauft.
|mib - Mittwoch, 11. Oktober 2000 - 17:37|
| wer sich fuer flash memory interessiert, sollte diesn Artikel unbedingt lesen! kann leider nicht kopieren sondern nur link geben: |
|mib - Mittwoch, 11. Oktober 2000 - 19:42|
| hier nun doch im kompletten Text, da (meiners Erachtens) sehr interessant: |
$7 Trades, 115 offices
delayed 20 mins - disclaimer
Wednesday October 11, 1:00 pm Eastern Time
Industry Analysis: Semiconductor: All About the Flash Memory Market
Research Analyst: Christopher Conry (10/11/00)
Most investors who have committed funds to almost any reach of the broad semiconductor spectrum for the last couple of years have likely made a tidy profit.
Although the last month has been excruciating for semiconductor investors, they certainly have come a long way - even after Tuesday's carnage.
Consider the performance of the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (PHLX: $SOX), which includes leaders in both the capital equipment and chip-producing segments. From 182.59 back on October 8, 1998, the index rose an astronomical 650% to 1462.10 on March 14th, 2000. Even including Tuesday's steep 10% drop, the index has advanced 287% in just over two years.
The most recent data supplied by the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) confirm that sector growth is still going strong. In August, worldwide semiconductor sales reached $18.2 billion, a 52.7% increase from the same period last year. And unit sales notched still-impressive 27.7% growth from July.
At the heart of this growth has been the flash memory sector. The term describes memory components that are ``non-volatile'' - able to retain data indefinitely even when the power source is inactive - and do not consist of any moving parts.
It has revolutionized the market for numerous devices, including digital audio and video devices, personal data assistants (PDAs) and most importantly, cellular phones, in terms of size, cost, and functionality.
Flash memory continues to lead the pack, as sales increased 130.8%, year-over-year, in August. That dwarfs the large but mature sales market for personal computer (PC)-type microprocessors, which grew a mere 12% in the same period.
But lately, flash memory stocks have been beaten down along with the rest of the semiconductor group, as fears of slowing demand and chip oversupply may signal the beginning of the end for the current chip-cycle boom.
Is investor concern in this area warranted? And if so, should the fate of the flash memory stocks be lumped in with the rest of this diverse group?
For one thing, about half of all semiconductor demand is still generated from computer sales, most of which are of the PC variety. Although about 10% of all flash memory is absorbed by PCs, it remains an important component in the systems' microprocessor chipsets and CD/DVD-ROM drives.
Sales of personal computers have long been a leading indicator of general consumer spending appetites. Recently, the signs have not been good. Chip industry giant Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC - news), along with leading boxmakers Dell Computer (NASDAQ: DELL - news) and Apple Computer (NASDAQ: AAPL - news) all recently preannounced that third-quarter sales targets would fall short of Wall Street expectations, citing a sluggish European market as the primary culprit.
And in a July 14 report, we suggested cashing out of Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD - news) to avoid what appeared to be trouble ahead for PC sales.
Flash memory makes up about 30% and 7.5% of total sales for AMD and Intel, respectively. But lower forward growth estimates for cellular handsets, that account for one-third of flash memory sales, are largely due to slower U.S. sales and a reduction of subsidies in Korea.
Nokia (NYSE: NOK - news) and Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN - news) recently brought down unit shipment estimates to about 400 million for this year, from 435 million. Texas Instruments CEO Tom Engibous even added that it's ``going to get out of the handset forecasting business'' due to the disdain of the practice by some of its major customers.
Korean manufacturer Samsung had already guided its forecast down to 350 million, from 425 million to 435 million. However, market research group Dataquest believes the market can reach its previous forecast of 420 million units.
But even the lower estimates would represent a solid advance over 1999's tally of just fewer than 300 million units shipped.
The new outlook has created a problem, however. Handset suppliers had been gearing up for the buildout of more than 500 million units this year, which appears to have created a glut of cellular flash chips, at least in the near term.
Although there's time for this additional supply to be absorbed by the market, a number of flash capacity plans are in the works for production beginning in mid-2001. Combined with calls for cellular handset growth rates to slowly moderate out to 2003, the situation may soon be exacerbated.
Another concern in the handset market is the view that a flash technology shift will take place in the coming next-generation ``3G'' wireless phone market.
Today's phones are primarily powered by NOR code-storage flash, the type also predominantly used in PCs. But industry experts predict that most 3G phones will require the power and speed of the more advanced mass-data-storage NAND flash.
If this shift comes to fruition, it could significantly alter the playing field in flash memory. In fact, it would currently move from the U.S., where AMD and Intel lead the NOR pack, to Japan, and leading NAND producers Toshiba (NASDAQ: TOSBF - news), Hitachi (NYSE: HIT - news) and NEC (NASDAQ: NIPNY - news).
Web-Feet Research forecasts that supply will exceed demand for NOR type flash in about 18 months, while it expects a shortage of NAND type flash to last until 2005, which seems to support the above analysis.
What does this all mean for the pure-play flash memory stocks? There are really only three that loosely fit this description, and each situation appears markedly different.
SanDisk (NASDAQ: SNDK - news) produces removable NAND flash for use in digital cameras (a strong market) and for other personal electronic devices. The company has done well to stay on top of the technology curve, announcing it will produce an industry-leading 512-megabit chip in mid-2001 through a joint venture with Toshiba.
Overall, SanDisk appears well positioned to benefit from the need for ultra-high-density flash in many next-generation personal electronic devices. It also has invested $75 million in Israeli chip-equipment maker Tower Semiconductor (NASDAQ: TSEM - news), which allows it to guarantee some future production capacity, currently in tight supply, and a 10% equity stake in the company.
However, SanDisk remains sensitive to the health of the worldwide economy, particularly in the U.S., and the continuation of brisk spending on cutting-edge consumer electronics.
Silicon Storage Technology
Silicon Storage Technology (NASDAQ: SSTI - news), a component of our Magic 25 portfolio, is the clear leader in low-density NOR-type flash offerings. The company has blown away recent analyst expectations, as earnings have exploded from a market that could not generate a profit for most of its peers who have since abandoned the low-end space.
Moreover, in SST's defense, the stock has been dragged down even though its exposure to the cellular handset industry is less than 2% of its total business. Its renowned SuperFlash code storage chips are even used in combination with NAND storage devices like SanDisk's CompactFlash card.
The question here is how commoditized the low-density NOR business may become going forward, and how quickly its new, higher-end products can gain traction to offset the expected decline. Also, as the low-density standard rises, SST will likely encounter a trail of supply from AMD and ST Microelectronics (NYSE: STM - news), while NAND flash should gain a stronger footing in the marketplace.
The most interesting investment scenario may be that of M-Systems (NYSE: FLSH - news). Although it's considered a flash memory play, it doesn't actually produce flash chips. M-Systems produces two types of ``flash disks,'' a combination of NAND flash and a controller on single chip, along with a patented software driver that emulates the function of a traditional hard disk drive.
The technology seems ideal for supporting next-generation Internet access devices, a market that IDC research projects will reach $17.8 billion, on 89 million units, in 2004, from just $2.4 billion and 11 million units in 1999. And although it has yet to penetrate the lucrative Palm (NASDAQ: PALM - news) PDA market, its already garnered a number of diverse, high profile clients, including Sony (NYSE: SNE - news), Matsushita (NYSE: MC - news) , Acer, and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT - news), through its WebTV product.
In addition, its network infrastructure devices are being tested by industry giants Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO - news) and Nortel Networks (NASDAQ: NT - news) , either of which could provide substantial contract and design wins.
Expect stocks with flash memory exposure to be volatile for some time to come amid the cross-currents and confusion over the supply and demand, cyclicality, and technological direction of this fragmented market. It's difficult to gauge which companies will win out in the long term, but M-Systems' products appear to have the most diverse application potential and the fewest commoditization concerns.
|chinaman - Montag, 8. Januar 2001 - 05:31|
| Der Individualinvestor hat nach Technologieaktien mit hohem Cashbestand gesucht. Diese Aktien würden zumindest langfristig überlebensfähig sein und hätten daher Chancen zum Rebound. Was mib wohl von den ausgewählten Aktien FDRY, VERT, MKTW, DCLK und STMP hält. Weiter würde mich seine Meinung zu CMGI und Red Hat interessieren. |
Saturday Group: Tech Stocks With Big Positive Net Cash Positions
Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Editor-in-Chief: Jonathan Steinberg (1/6/01)
The best thing I can say about the year 2000 is that I'm glad it's over. I'm sure many investors share that sentiment given the dismal performance of the major market averages and the implosion of hundreds of Internet and technology stocks. Despite the bravado of certain sell-side analysts covering the Internet (who shall remain nameless), the "New Economy," while promising and exciting, hasn't quite arrived. Nor can "endless" growth be funded by the capital markets rather than by internally generated cash flow. The realization of these facts, together with rising interest rates, decelerating consumer spending, and a pull-back in corporate IT investments combined to drive Internet and technology stocks of all shapes and sizes sharply lower. As for Internet stocks specifically, it seems there was a "speculative bubble" after all. It's behind us now. And this year will demand some hard calls: which dogs to drop from your portfolio, how much exposure to technology you can withstand, and whether value stocks can sustain their recent, albeit erratic, momentum. In addition, investors need to roll up their sleeves and rigorously examine the financial, operational, and competitive positions of the companies in which they have invested. It's called "due diligence," and it's an exercise that hardly mattered in 1999 and the early part of 2000, but that must underlie all stock picks in 2001. I know there are many investors who are in pain, and possibly still in shock, because of the rapid and almost indiscriminate declines in Internet stocks. At Individual Investor we watched the stocks of many high-quality companies that we believed were developing a promising new technology or implementing cutting-edge ideas crumble before our eyes. The greatest frustration was that every time the outlook brightened, even if only a little, Internet stocks failed to rally and instead retreated still lower. The other day we ran a screen looking for stocks that had declined more than 90% in 2000. Our screen was limited to stocks that had a market capitalization of $50 million or greater at the start of 2000. Any guess as to how many there are? Almost 400, if you include those that have since gone bankrupt. No surprise: Nearly all of them are Internet and technology stocks. One of the most unifying characteristics of these companies is that they burned through a great deal of cash last year (and before that if they were already public), leaving many of them with negative net cash.
To determine each company's net cash position, we summed up its cash holdings, cash equivalents, short-term investments, and long-term investments, and then subtracted total liabilities (that is, current liabilities plus long-term debt and other obligations). If anything, we are being generous on the asset side of this equation since the short- and long-term investments of many Internet stocks are not necessarily high-grade corporate bonds or 30-year Treasury bonds, but investments in other struggling Internet companies. But, for the sake of this exercise, we did not want to appear too harsh. One of the conclusions that can be drawn from this list is that unless the capital markets suddenly renew their enthusiasm for the Web, there are still many companies that face enormous challenges going forward. There will have to be restructurings and asset sales, lay-offs and cost reductions. Some will go out of business or be acquired by competitors at fire-sale prices. Among the companies with the greatest negative net cash positions are several go-get-'em Internet infrastructure stocks, including PSINet Inc. (NASDAQ: PSIX - Quotes, News, Boards) at negative $3.48 billion and Global Telesystems Inc. (NYSE: GTS - Quotes, News, Boards) at negative $3.24 billion. Both companies once held so much promise (we had written favorably about both stocks) and now suddenly they are struggling to execute plans that were written in what now seems to have been another place and time. Numerous telecommunications companies are also in the red, net cash-wise, including Arch Wireless (NASDAQ: ARCH - Quotes, News, Boards), $1.40 billion; Primus Telecomm Group (NASDAQ: PRTL - Quotes, News, Boards) at $1.18 billion; eSpire Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: ESPI - Quotes, News, Boards) at $1.07 billion; Teligent Inc. (NASDAQ: TGNT - Quotes, News, Boards) at $1.06 billion; and Covad Communications (NASDAQ: COVD - Quotes, News, Boards) at $576 million. Business-to-consumer (B2C) and content stocks with negative net cash include Bluefly Inc. (NASDAQ: BFLY - Quotes, News, Boards), Quokka Sports (NASDAQ: QKKA - Quotes, News, Boards), Barnesandnoble.com Inc. (NASDAQ: BNBN - Quotes, News, Boards), and kind of sadly, eToys Inc. (NASDAQ: ETYS - Quotes, News, Boards), which really gave it one heck of a try.
These are speculative plays that I wouldn't recommend individual investors give any thought or time. Yes, most are trading for less than a dollar, but that doesn't mean you can't lose everything you invest. For bottom fishers, I would take a look at some of the stocks with large, positive net cash positions. In the table below you will find 20 stocks with substantial net cash, many of which deserve a second look. These companies are in a better position to continue their operations with some semblance of normalcy, though I recommend further research on all of them and suggest you devote considerable time to evaluating the business concept behind each company. Company (Ticker) Market Cap. Jan 2000 Market Cap. Jan 2001 Price Change 2000 Price Jan. 4, 2001 52-week high Cash & Invest (mill.) Liabilities (mill.) Net Cash (mill.)
DoubleClick (DCLK) 11,390 1,521 -91.3 12.31 135.25 953.4 477.8 475.6
Red Hat (RHAT) 14,533 1,146 -94.1 7.13 148.00 313.2 33.9 279.3
CMGI Inc. (CMGI) 34,048 1,666 -96.0 5.22 163.50 2,263.2 1,986.0 277.3
Stamps.com (STMP) 1,459 120 -93.3 2.44 51.50 290.1 60.9 229.2
Rare Medium (RRRR) 1,423 151 -94.4 2.38 94.75 229.3 28.1 201.2
InterTrust Technology (ITRU) 4,631 428 -94.3 4.94 99.75 207.0 21.9 185.1
NetZero (NZRO) 2,816 98 -96.8 0.78 36.38 212.9 43.3 169.5
Viant Corp. (VIAN) 2,225 206 -92.0 4.25 60.25 198.9 32.0 166.9
WebVan Group (WBVN) 5,310 268 -97.2 0.56 18.50 376.9 216.2 160.8
Softnet Systems (SOFN) 423 50 -92.8 1.75 50.25 196.8 40.0 156.8
Digital Island (ISLD) 3,317 333 -95.7 4.78 129.50 590.6 434.1 156.5
Internap Network Svcs (INAP) 11,382 1,084 -91.6 7.31 111.00 244.3 91.4 152.9
Foundry Networks (FDRY) 17,280 1,876 -90.1 15.94 212.00 229.6 79.3 150.3
Be Free (BFRE) 1,884 150 -93.9 2.28 60.88 159.7 14.1 145.6
Scient Corp. (SCNT) 6,073 244 -96.2 3.31 133.75 197.9 64.5 133.3
24/7 Media (TFSM) 1,255 37 -99.1 0.88 65.00 188.7 61.6 127.0
Liquid Audio (LQID) 561 53 -90.2 2.38 41.00 134.9 10.0 125.0
Wink Communications (WINK) 1,801 155 -90.0 5.00 75.00 130.5 6.2 124.3
MarketWatch (MKTW) 506 66 -91.8 4.00 45.94 49.7 10.9 38.8
VerticalNet Inc. (VERT) 5,774 531 -91.9 6.06 148.38 205.8 183.5 22.3
Five of these stocks jump out at me as holding at least some degree of promise, though I emphasize that even these issues are still speculative investments. Foundry Networks (NASDAQ: FDRY - Quotes, News, Boards) Foundry's stock, if you can believe it, traded above $200 for a brief period about one year ago; now it's at around $13. Foundry, a data networking equipment vendor, has net cash on hand of $150.3 million as well as plenty of fans, and the company is profitable, despite high R&D expenses and the amortization of deferred compensation (which many companies would have you ignore). Analysts credit Foundry's profitability to its aggressive sales force and diversified product line. Foundry makes a variety of Internet switches and routers and Ethernet layer 2/3 switches, while moving forward to the emerging layers 4-7 switches. Most of the company's largest accounts are still on board, despite tough competition from the likes of Juniper Networks (NASDAQ: JNPR - Quotes, News, Boards), Extreme Networks (NASDAQ: EXTR - Quotes, News, Boards), and in some respects, the 800-pound gorilla known as Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO - Quotes, News, Boards). If Foundry can stay competitive and keep its margins in their current zones (during the latest 12-month period the gross margin was 64.5%, the operating margin 36.1%, and the net margin 24.9%), this stock could stage a solid comeback. VerticalNet Inc. (NASDAQ: VERT - Quotes, News, Boards) Let's call it the "incredible shrinking B2B industry." Last year around this time it was the hottest area of the Internet and now, with a few exceptions, nearly every stock in the group has been forgotten. VerticalNet could make it however. The company operates a portfolio of highly focused vertical trade communities on the Internet. Although still unprofitable, there is a reasonable chance the bottom line will move into the black at some point this year. Its net cash position is $22.3 million. VerticalNet has the advantage of multiple revenue streams. And in October VerticalNet hired Joe Galli, former president of Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN - Quotes, News, Boards), as chief executive officer. In an effort to rationalize the business and ensure that goals could be met, Galli split the company into three business units: VerticalNet Markets, VerticalNet Exchanges, and VerticalNet Solutions, each with a different task and focus. Proving it's not dying on the vine, VerticalNet has picked up some new customers, including CoreMarkets, for which it will build and power a digital marketplace for raw materials used in the steel industry, and IbidLaw, a marketplace for legal services.
And at least one powerful player has taken notice: Sumitomo, the Japanese trading concern, recently invested $30 million in VerticalNet common stock. Sumitomo plans to work closely with the company on the roll-out of VerticalNet Japan.
MarketWatch.com Inc. (NASDAQ: MKTW - Quotes, News, Boards)
Sure, as an online distributor of financial commentary, analysis, tools, and news, MarketWatch is in some respects a competitor of ours, but I'll give them credit for $38.8 million of net cash, as well as the strong backing of CBS Corp., which has created a family of Web sites that it appears to be developing in a rational manner. In addition, Pearson PLC, the British publishing giant, owns about 34%, giving the company additional clout.
Traffic to the site remains healthy, with the site ranking number-one among financial news providers. Not only does it measure well with respect to the number of unique users, but also with respect to the frequency and duration of visits.
The quality of MarketWatch.com's work is strong, as would be expected under the leadership of Chairman and CEO Larry Kramer, who has more than 20 years experience, having worked with the San Francisco Examiner and the Washington Post. As with other content sites, however, MarketWatch needs a healthier online advertising market in order to achieve its ultimate goals.
DoubleClick Inc. (NASDAQ: DCLK - Quotes, News, Boards).
Don't look for a rebound in the stock of this battered online advertising technology and sales company anytime soon, as there are virtually no catalysts on the horizon that would be sufficient to spark the interest of institutional investors. The online advertising market is showing fewer signs of life by the day, banner ads have been dismissed as ineffective, and privacy concerns remain about DoubleClick's gathering and sharing of personal data.
However, DoubleClick's competitors are weak and getting weaker, and the company and a few of its officers were lucky enough to pull off a follow-on and secondary offering last February at $90.25 per share, reasonably close to the stock's all-time high of $135.25. As a result, the company has $953.4 million of cash and investments (as of September 30), but $477.8 million of liabilities (including $250 million of busted convertibles), leaving it with a still-respectable net cash position of $475.6 million.
The Abacus Direct acquisition has turned out to be a disaster, despite management's assertions to the contrary. DoubleClick might as well dump it, but for now they will save face. Many companies, and even individuals, are developing ad-blocking software, and some industry observers have raised doubt about DoubleClick's DART technology, which is intended to target ads at consumers most likely to respond.
I won't get too excited about this stock until the ad market rebounds, which could take quite some time, or until the online advertising paradigm evolves into something that involves something more than placing banner ads.
Stamps.com Inc. (NASDAQ: STMP - Quotes, News, Boards)
No, it's not about buying stamps on America Online (NYSE: AOL - Quotes, News, Boards). Stamps.com provides a wide array of Internet mailing and shipping services to brick-and-mortar and e-commerce businesses that reduce the time and effort associated with shipping and receiving goods. The company's technology was the first such Internet technology to be approved by the U.S. Postal Service, giving it the so-called "first mover" advantage, but proved unable to exploit this status.
Stamps.com has been in turmoil recently, turning over management and laying off 40% of its workforce in an effort to reduce its cash burn rate. Customer-acquisition costs are quite high and will need to be slashed for the business model to work. A new alliance with Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ: INTU - Quotes, News, Boards) should drive at least some users of Quicken and other Intuit products to Stamps.com.
The company is losing money, probably almost $3.00 a share in 2000 (not yet reported), but management says profitability will emerge in the first half of 2002. Net cash stood at $229.2 million as of September 30, but I would caution that the figure is vulnerable given the company's high burn rate. And then there's Pitney-Bowes (NYSE: PBI - Quotes, News, Boards) , which is claiming Stamps.com has infringed on its patents. This one is not a lay-up, but it is worth keeping an eye on.
Research assistance provided by Will Gabrielski.