OYO Geospace Corporation in Singular Research Annual "Best of the Uncovereds" Conference Transcript

| About: Geospace Technologies (GEOS)

OYO Geospace Corporation (OYOG) Singular Research Annual “Best of the Uncovereds” Conference Transcript September 10, 2009 8:00 AM ET


Joe Lambert – Director of Marketing, Singular Research

Gary Owens -- Chairman, President and CEO

Joe Lambert

Well, good morning again. My name is Joe Lambert with Singular Research. Again, we'd like to thank the people that are joining us live here at the conference. And also, we'd like to thank the people that are joining us on our webcast as well.

One thing that I wanted to mention is also thank our sponsor, Frank Angelilli of Vandham Securities for the cocktail hour that will be happening at 5:30. Great opportunity to have live one-on-one with some of the management teams that are presenting today.

Our first presentation this morning is OYO Geospace Corporation. And I wanted to read just a very brief comment of one of our analysts. Our analyst is Greg Garner, who is the senior analyst -- one of the senior analysts with Singular Research. And Greg Garner in his latest report, he says, “Earnings per share met our forecast on weak revenues and stronger than expected margins. Reservoir characterization, product revenues were strong -- stable. Oil prices likely to cause upturn from current cycle bottom, lowering estimates, but maintained by rating.”

Greg Garner put the price target of $25 on OYO Geospace. And it is our pleasure this morning to have the Chief Executive Officer, Gary Owens, to present OYO Geospace. Gary?

Gary Owens

Thanks, Joe. Appreciate the invitation to be here, and we’ll just jump right -- right in. Okay. OYO Geospace is a manufacturing company. We have a large R&D group that funds equipment into the manufacturing group. Our market participation is primarily in the seismic space, both in the exploration and reservoir monitoring portion of the seismic industry. But we are also a designer and manufacturer of thermal imaging equipment. This is printers and film that goes into the printers. And we have an incubator that produces products that utilize our existing engineering and manufacturing capabilities. We'll get into those subjects in more detail as we go.

We have several facilities. We have a global footprint. We're headquartered in Houston. We have an almost 400,000 square foot facility located in the northwest part of Houston. We just completed a major expansion of that a little over a year ago. We also have a 120,000 square foot facility in Ufa, Bashkortostan. That's right smack dab in the middle of Russian Republic. We've been manufacturing there over 10 years. We're manufacturing sensors there. We’ll get into more of that later.

We also have a facility in Calgary. We do light manufacturing. Our rental equipment is -- operations is centered out at the Calgary office. We have about 45,000 square foot there. We own that building also.

We have a building just north of London. It’s about 8,000 square feet. This is part of our thermal graphics group. And they serve Africa, Middle East, and European market there for that part of our business. And we lease a small office, have four people in it, in China, in Beijing.

We have about 800 employees worldwide at the peak. Before the global financial crash, we had about 1,100 people. So we've laid off a couple of hundred people in the -- during this last year or so.

Our balance sheet though, is in good shape. Our current ratio at the last quarter is a low over ten and our debt to capitalization is 7%. We’ll go through our liquidity issue here in a few minutes. Our fiscal year ends September 30th, so we're on a September ending year. Our nine months revenue from last quarter is $70 million. And our net income over that period of time is $3.6 million. We have six million shares outstanding. Let me talk a little bit about share ownership briefly.

We have our former parent companies, OYO Corporation of Japan in Tokyo. They do seismic, but not oil and gas seismic. So were in the earthquake, tsunami, manufacturing for them as well as some other people. They still own 20% of the company, and they have a seat on the Board. Management owns about 10% of the company. I own almost 5% myself. We bought that at the IPO 12 years ago. We have a large investment in our own stock, and we depend [ph] the number of shares outstanding. We had not diluted the shares since then.

Several years ago, our parent company reduced their holdings from 50% to 20% and we forced them to do the green shoe on that just to protect the diluted -- the number of shares outstanding. So that is likely to continue the strategy.

Management staff is small. There’s three of us. We've been there since the IPO 12 years ago. I'm going to talk about a gentleman who is not here in this conference, but his name Mike Sheen. He's our Chief Technical Officer. He's the guy on the left in the picture that you can see. He and I have worked together for about 40 years and I'm an engineer by degree. And he and I worked at Texaco research labs for seven years. Then we left there, went to input-output, stayed there 20 years. We took that company public in '91 and we left there in '97 to come to OYO and to take them public and get going. So we've had a long relationship with each other and we'll talk about some of the other staff that’s not the management, later.

Tom McEntire is here with me at the conference. He's our Chief Financial Officer. He's been with as for the same length of time. He's -- came to us from APS Holding Corporation. He was the financial controller. And he spent eight years with Coopers and Lybrand.

This is a chart of our revenues. You can tell most of our business comes out of the seismic exploration part of our business. And over the last nine months, in fact, a little over 60% of our business. Another part of our seismic business is the seismic reservoir. That’s a very lumpy part of our business. We'll talk about that too, but you can see almost 80% of the business involves the seismic space.

Our incubation part of our business, where we are taking our existing expertise and putting them into other markets is about 22%, with the largest part of that being the thermal graphics part. And we'll talk a little bit more about that as we go.

This is our historical revenues. You can see that we've been hit pretty hard by the global meltdown. Last year in fiscal year '08 in September we also got hit by Hurricane Ike. We were shut down for a couple of weeks.

There, a lot of us lost our or had severe damage to our homes and we lost some employees as far as relocation is concerned. So that had an impact in '08 also. But we'll talk about what drives our revenues and what drives this chart, which is our net income too.

You're going to find that we have a background of business that’s relatively constant, I mean in normal times. And then you're going to find we have a lot of lumps and we'll talk about the modeling of the company in a little bit later. But you'll find out we’re difficult for analysts to model.

Our company's compensation is based on return of shareholders equity. We have a goal every year of trying to return 20% to our shareholders. And this is a package that is company wide from the janitor up to the officer group and we maximize our bonus program based on how we return on equity. Part of this is a profit sharing for the bulk of the people and there's a middle management bonus program, and then there's an officer management that comes in after everyone else has maximized their bonus program. So this is a program we’ve had in place for several years and you can tell we are going to be a little bit short this year on the bonus program.

Okay. Our long term debt profile, we had a little bit less than $10 million borrowed. All of that is on long term mortgages. Our facility in Houston that you saw a picture of earlier, we have an $8.3 million left on that. This is 150 basis points over LIBOR base. We are paying about 1.8% right now. So we don't have any near term plans to pay that off at that kind of rate.

We have another building that we are not using and we didn't talk about on the facility slide. But it's -- it is a facility we used to use, about 75,000 thousand square feet and it's on lease to a school. We actually make money leasing that building to them. And we have a mortgage on it. The last payment is January 1st of 2014. It's on a 6% -- 7% with penalty for pre-payment. It's only $1.4 million.

We also have a line of credit. The $25 million line of credit is -- expires in April of 2011. We do not have anything borrowed on it at the moment and at January 1st, we owed $16.2 million on that line. So we've been able to generate cash and pay off the credit facility and we are in cash position at the moment, which, all of these said, makes our capitalization rate about 7%. And we're still in the process of building cash to the remainder of this fiscal year.

As you recall, we finished our expansion a little over a year ago. And in this kind of marketplace, our CapEx requirements going in to 2010 is going to be very small. It’s just maintenance type CapEx requirement. So we've been generating cash primarily by reducing inventory levels and taking money out of our receivables.

Okay. Now, market. We service globally, fire up office footprint and our manufacturing footprint is worldwide. You can tell from this slide, if you know our industry that you can see Chinese, and Russians, and Norwegian companies represented here. Schlumberger’s on the left. We serve all major continents in which oil activity transpires. About 85% of what we make is exported out of the US.

The product lines that we sold into this are broken down into our historic product lines and some new products. On this slide show what our historic product base has been. It’s censors, both geophones and hydrophones, and some packages that include both of them, called multi-component packages.

Our cable products, all types of -- in our business there’s called leader wires, and system cables, and marine cables, including ocean bottom type cables. And we specialize in watertight connectors that we make cables for geophone acquisition system and various cables type products. And we have a marine products division. We have some patents in this area on our streamer retriever devices. These are air bag deployable devices that recover streamers after they get separated from a vessel if some accident happens.

And we make wet and dry main connectors. These are connectors that you connect above water and drop them into 10,000 feet water and they don't leak. That's called a dry mate connector. And we also make connectors that ROVs can connect at 10,000 foot water depth and don't leak.

Our newest exploration products that we released is the new wireless data acquisition system. This is our initial entry into the land data acquisition system business. This is a different type of approach in doing exploration that we think when the market returns we will be positioned well to help to be a major pillar of our growth. This is an autonomous note system. So each channel had some battery, and censor, and computer and it is locked into the GPS satellite network and therefore maintains synchronization with all the other boxes by being synchronized to the GPS satellite.

And on an autonomous node basis, the channel count that the system can have is virtually unlimited, if one channel work a million works. This will be a major growth opportunity for -- talk about some opportunity that we've already experienced in the last year on this. But it serves both the exploration market, the reservoirs market and a non-seismic market called vibration monitoring market. We’ve had five sales on today's 7,700 channels and totaling, they are sitting in North and South America, Europe and Africa at the moment. We also have a rental fleet of these to help us introduce this concept into the marketplace with about 1,600 channels and the rest --

One of the lumpy of our business is seismic reservoir characterization products. These are both permanent and retrievable systems that either sit on ocean bottom floor or go into a well bore. These are systems that are armored cable that we have a manufacture capability to armor on a cable and bore hole system. We have several lines entering the (inaudible) monitoring, which is the big shale plays in the US base and also 3DDSP vertical seismic profiling, which are tools that are used to image around the well bores forward.

On the characterization products on the ocean bottom, we’ve done four of those. The first one we did was in 2003 with a $22 million project for us. It hit our earnings by $1.30 in the quarter. So when I use the word lumpy, I mean it can be really lumpy. The SEC requires that we do not recognize revenues and profits until after we finish the contract. And that is on a single day, so we can spend six to nine months working on it and installing it, and then one day we recognize the profitability of it.

We also put up a $1 million system which is the test system on the Shell Mars field right before Katrina wiped out the platform. It was offline for over a year and it’s now back online. That is an opportunity we hope comes back to flesh that out. Third system we put in was an $8 million system on a portion of BP’s Claire Field in the North Sea, that was in 2006. And in 2007, we installed a $16 million system in the Caspian Sea for BP. And we’ve added another $1.4 million to that bill earlier this fiscal year.

Our non-seismic markets are almost $16 million, a lot of which, for the first nine months of this year, a lot that has been our thermographic tool. I’ll talk about that a little bit more. But the theory here is -- the strategy is to use our existing engineering and manufacturing capabilities to broaden our markets, especially our products in those markets. So this focuses on cabling, mobiling -- molding, and machining capabilities.

And at Thermal Collusions Group, we make imagers that help guys that make t-shirts, billboards, and point of sales signs in the industry. And we introduced a new product about a year and a half ago called Direct-to-Screen. We are broadening that product line.

But this requires us to make thermal print heads that are up to 54 inches wide, and up to 1,200 dots per inch. You can’t buy those print heads, so we bought a small Japanese company about five years ago and imported them and their people to use them. And now make print heads that are very unique in Houston.

So we don’t outsource. We in-source, most opposite of what most people think about. Our industrial sensor and cable, it’s a part of our company that has actually grown this year, about 170%. We make equipment that goes into vibration and earthquake monitoring, homeland security, nuclear blast detection. We make industrial cables for GPS and water meter, and security protection.

This year the water meter cables from the stimulus packages that the US have been putting into play has really helped this part of our business grow. We also do offshore cables. If you already have to make long armored cables that get buried in the ocean floor, then taking that same equipment and engineering staff and making offshore cables for the people who make large ROV umbilical and deep-water umbilical is a natural.

Our strategy for growth is primarily organic. We very seldom buy companies, so it has to be a very good deal. So our growth inside is finding products within our existing markets that we’re experts in and develop those products and widen those products lines as we develop the company.

So to do this, we actually operate under a lot of names, but not OYO GSA. That’s kind of a holding company type name. And our seismic space and the exploration part of that seismic space we call Geospace Technology.

And in that group, we -- all of the guys that sell and the guys that are in our Technology Group have a long history of working in that business. And I’ve been in that business for 40 years, so most of these people I’ve known a very long time.

In our Thermal Imaging Group, we’re known as OYO Instruments. And that group is characterized by people who deal with t-shirt and billboard guys a lot. We have separate trade shows and things, places we go to market our stuff.

And the offshore business where the umbilicals are made, we’re called Geospace Offshore. Those people are former deep-water personnel that help define products, and our engineering guides respond to that very well. Our industrial sensor and cable, also known as Geospace Technology, we have two sales guys in that area. And we find a lot of opportunities, we are broadening that line very quickly this year into familiar areas.

But, most of the key personnel in our company are engineers. We have about 40 product design engineers. A lot of these guys have been with Machina [ph] for about 25 years and they know what they’re doing, they know how to build solid systems that hold together, and they have a long experience in sensors cables and data acquisitioning systems that are fundamental to making large channel expensive systems work.

And our strategy in manufacturing is to in-source. We manufacture everything ourselves, primarily in the Houston office. But as I mentioned before, sometimes in the Russian office. We have electronics assembly sensor shop, a cable shop, machine shop, a molding shop, a print head cleaning room.

We just completed an expansion to our 90,000 a little over a year ago. We used the 120,000 square foot in Bashkortostan primarily to do our sensor and small cables manufacturing there. And we leverage our technology development to the products we manufacture. So the way we grow is to design a system and then build it internally. And that’s how we translate our intangible knowledge into cash, through manufacturing.

We have a good mix of land and marine seismic products. We’ll be announcing additional products over the next couple of months. We are already in the marketplace talking to customers about these new products.

I want to make one thing clear, we’ve made it in the last couple of press releases, that the near term outlook into the quarter ending here in September is weak. I don’t know if you saw our press release on Monday, but we announced a large number of contracts we signed in the last couple of weeks, very unusual that we could book that much. So our longer term intermediate outlook looks a lot better than -- it just came too late in the quarter to have a lot on this one.

So we’re expanding baseline businesses in all of our emerging products groups. We have active engineering projects in both our thermal imaging and offshore cables and umbilicals, as well as in our sensor and cable business in the industrial sector. So it gives us another utilization when the seismic part of our market closed down.

Okay, a little bit on financial modeling of the company. Good luck with this, but I’ll give you the -- I’ll give you the building blocks and you can see what it looks like when we give you a press release later.

We have seismic borehole systems. We sell these -- three or four of these a year. So they’re very infrequent. They are $1 million to $4 million systems. Customers are Schlumberger and Halliburton, and people you’ve never heard of, people who are -- hit the niche market, very good profit margin for a small customer base. But Schlumberger bought their first system from us about six months ago and we have several quotes to them.

We just got an order from Halliburton on another system that’s in the press release on Monday. Our seismic seabed systems are even more lumpy. It’s been a couple of years since we put one of these things in, we’re still in discussions about some other possible fields.

When we do sign a contract, we do announce those instantly. We try to estimate which quarter that lump will fall into, very good profit margins, and we’ll see how all of that is going.

But our wireless land data acquisition systems can be almost anything. We’ve had quotes from $1 million to $20 million for an outstanding. We introduced that during the market decline. We’ve sold -- out of those five systems that we sold, three of them went to oil companies, including two sales into BP in Libya that been very helpful for us in getting the product established during a weak marketplace.

But this has a potential. It’s seismic market turned from cable acquisition systems into wireless technology, which is probably going to happen. There’s a lot of new techniques. That’s why BP is buying the system in Libya in which they are using multi-sources simultaneously.

Wireless nodal systems are much better suited for those kinds of technology. So we are banking a large part of our growth on the acceptance of this product. So when normal activity resumes -- we were hoping that resumed here shortly, we think we’re going to be in a very good place of having a brand new technology that’s been accepted by oil companies worldwide.

We have new data acquisition systems coming. I’ve mentioned it a little bit earlier, we’re already talking to people. These are systems that are in both in shallow water and in other environments that we’ll talk about some other talk. But these systems are also expensive with very good margins. So I shouldn’t tell the new system, the new facility we built a little over a year ago was to enable a new R&D center, and a new electronic assembly area to enable us to enter the land and shallow water data acquisition system marketplace.

So, just to kind of conclude all of that and tie this stuff together, we have a company that’s about 12 years old in the public space, another ten years on top of that before they went public. The management team’s has been in the business for a very long time, we think we know what we’re doing.

Our footprint’s global, international is 85% of our business that we’re tied more to what’s happening worldwide than what’s happening here in the US. Although, the US is an important part. Our liquidity’s real good. Our balance sheet’s really strong, we’re 7% debt to capitalization.

I have a strong engineering team, it’s the heart of the company. If there’s going to be a manufacture in seismic, you’ve got to have an engineering team that can take a complicated product to development cycles that can be two to five years. And in that product, with the engineering project, with the product that you can go sell. So our system designs are very innovative, the wireless nodal system being an example on that, deep water cable systems that you bury being another one.

So we have, in the last -- since we’ve been public, have met our project engineering deadlines. That’s very important if you’re trying to get new technology in the field is that you come up with the idea that you are able to execute and get the products out in time. So we’ve had the wireless technology system at the very end of 2007. Direct-to-screen products in 2007, shallow water systems late last year, and another product that we’ll announce in late October.

We manufacture everything in-house. If you’re in seismic, our customers need products the day before yesterday. So you -- to have all the flexibility you need to meet what their demand is, a large portion is service, and that’s being able to respond. If you work outside, and you work in the mountains, you get hit with lightning and static and all types of bad things happening.

So when a crew shows up to work the next morning and find out that you’re spread’s gone, for whatever reason, they’ll shut down until you can do something. So we get frequent calls to be able to do things that we didn’t plan on doing the day before. So being able to manufacture in-house gives you the control of your quality and the control over your schedule.

Our earnings growth strategy baseline of business had lumped. And lumped being the borehole, shallow water, the deep-water equipment, the wireless technologies that come on. So if you are a portfolio manager and next quarter really is important to you, we -- you should not own these stocks. If you’re a company who has a longer horizon, then I think we would be a good choice for you.

Okay, we’ll throw it open to question-and-answer. So you got a question, call us. George?

Question-and-Answer Session

Unidentified Participant

You seem to have a very good relationship with BP. Can you talk a little bit about that and could you elaborate on your other links with them?

Joe Lambert

Could you repeat the question?

Gary Owens

Yes. The question on the floor was, they perceived we have a good relationship with BP and want a little expansion of that. That was not a -- that was not a seedy question, absolutely.

We have a long relationship. If you’re a seismic manufacturer, there are two oil companies that drive technology, and that’s Shell and BP. There are some other labs that are very good and they contribute a lot. But for our company, Shell and BP Labs has really been supportive.

The permanent bottom cables that you saw, there’s three of those with BP. We’re still linking, talking to BP about some other builds and some expansion opportunities, date lines unknown on that. We signed a three year exclusive wire line contract with BP last year. This enabled BP worldwide to buy equipment off of a call-off sheet in the contract, so they don’t have to go through contract departments to negotiate things. We mentioned in our last press release that we sold another thousand channels to BP. And that channel went to Libya, which is where the first thousand channels went to.

BP has their own technique of how to use multi-sources [ph] on a crew. Schlumberger is operating that system, along with a cable to the system. So they’ve been able to expand channel counts by zipping wires -- wireless systems into the cable system.

We’ve also been in testing in other places in the world, especially Asia, with BP, that looks promising. We don’t have anything -- firm in hand, but the BP organization, worldwide, has been very good to us. And so we pay a lot of attention to what those lab guys have shown, and BP thinks that the next generation of technology ought to be included.

Unidentified Participant


Gary Owens

There’s a -- the question was, “Is there a core group of BP guys that we deal with or do we have to deal with individual BP operatives worldwide?”

Yes. That is to say that every geographical part has their own personnel. But the personnel guys are primarily geophysical and operational-based guys. And they leave the technology to the lab. So the lab advises these guys on what technology they should be focused on.

So when you’re doing a demonstration -- we were doing some demonstrations in Indonesia for BP, for example. The operations guys give you a call, and they are interested in doing it. Then, when the BP lab gets involved, and BP lab and our lab then come up with a plan on how to demonstrate a solution -- a potential solution for some guy’s problem in his -- and you go execute and show that. You usually have a meeting afterward, and everybody tells how great everybody was. And when the meeting’s over, you wonder what that means. And it takes you another month to find out that -- something’s good coming, but I can’t talk to you about that.

And so it’s like six months, eight months after you do something and then you get a surprise call and you fly to London or you fly to Jakarta or whatever, and consummate something. So yes, you have to deal with a lot of people and all of those. Yes?

Unidentified Participant


Gary Owens

Okay. The question was a request to expand on the discussion of the wireless technology.

So to understand the impact you kind of have to know what’s going on is normal seismic acquisitions. Okay, right now the Sauk seismic exploration’s done with cabled systems. So this means if you’re doing some exploration, you can have miles and miles and miles of cable that are interconnected over a large amount of square kilometers, square miles.

And it takes you ten days, two weeks, depending on your -- on the design criteria to lay this out before you can shoot your first shot. And you go home at night and come back the next morning and you find out some of that cable’s been eaten, moved, ran over, all types of things. So you spend every morning getting what you did the day before back up and running and keep adding to that.

So a cable system is characterized by a lot of maintenance, routine maintenance. If one cable doesn’t work, you can have your whole spread down. So if you’ve got a 10,000 or a 20,000 channel crew. There’s 40,000 channel crews running around in Saudi, right now. Exxon’s doing a big test with 96,000 channels. You can imagine what kind of nightmare you can have if you have everything connected in which one element can take you down.

So if you work in the Rocky Mountains in the spring, you can wake up the next morning and a lightning storm in the night before just -- just gave you about 30% of spread out. And now you spend days getting it up. So you’ll show up at 7 o’clock at some service station, go out with the crew, an hour later you arrive and maybe shoot your first shot 10 o’clock, 11 o’clock, depending on how many troubles you had the night before. And you shoot as long as you can. 6 o’clock, 7 o’clock go home. Repeat next day.

Okay. That’s the way you operate. And if the industry wants more and more channels, and if you’re doing multi-sources at the same time, you interject noise, because one is shooting and then another one starts shooting before you get through recording. So you overcome that statistically, overwhelming it with channel count.

Your noise goes down the square root of the number of channels you’ve got, for example. If you’re going to be in a situation in which you’re continuously increasing channel count, when we introduced at IO, the first land 3D system, we were selling 240 channels. That was a breakthrough. That was 1987.

By ’93, we were doing 2,000 and 3,000 channels. And we thought that was high. 10,000 channels is not very unusual today. And the channel count push is continuing to go, which is making land cable systems that are interdependent, a difficult thing to maintain.

So to get away from that, we were trying to get away from the main problem, which is cables. And so we built a wireless system. This is a system that has a complete data acquisition system in the box. It has a GPS antenna in it. It has mass memory, 4 gigs a channel. You can hold it in your hand with all the fixtures. You got hold in the yellow box. It has a lot of options, from batteries that get connected. We were working in the North Slope in minus 70-degree weather. So you need a much bigger battery than you need at West Texas where it’s not so cold. So we have lithium and lead-acid options of different sizes.

The other side is a sensor connector. There’s all types of arrays you have to build. You’re in Saudi using 144 sensors per station in some of those. And in other places in Canada, we’re using one. So you got to have a lot of flexibility on how you connect sensors up there to be able to work worldwide.

This system clocks on to the GPS clock and synchronizes every 200 nanoseconds to an exact moment in time. And if one box can do that, and you got a million boxes out there theoretically, all linked in to the same one, they can all stay synchronized. Synchronization is a huge issue if you’re trying to build an image from a seismic event.

So if you synchronize by GPS, you can remove the cable problem, you can remove your global footprint. We are now quoting to people in places that have never shot seismic just from an environmental footprint standpoint. So it opens up new areas to go shoot. It increases channel count. It improves reliability of the field. So I/O Scanners, Firefly Systems, or (inaudible) systems, they’re all out trying to do demonstrations and show that they are the technology of the future. So are we. We think we have a very good solution for all of that.

Three of our systems have been sold to oil companies. So far, none of the other have sold any oil companies. Those -- when you sold into BP and some of the -- other than the other one that we just shipped in the quarter, went to a company -- an oil company that Canadian, that’s in Turkey. A very strange place for oil explorations, you may think. But they have a big concession area there to work.

So that’s the advantage. The advantage is get rid of cable, improved synchronization, improved channel count capacity, and reliability.

Unidentified Participant

What’s the difference in price?

Gary Owens

The question is, “What’s the difference in price?”

Right now, the price is about the same where you do a cable system or not. The maintenance cost on cables is high. You don’t have cables so going forward after your initial investment should be less money to -- to have to maintain the system. So if you’re somebody like us who makes cables, and now electronics, you’d much rather have the margin of electronics than making cables. So it’s a good switch out for us.

Unidentified Participant


Gary Owens

These cable companies?

Unidentified Participant


Gary Owens

For seismic exploration?

Unidentified Participant


Gary Owens

Probably, yes. But I/O outsources cable stuff and (inaudible) manufactures -- Thorsveld for their own stuff might be very close to what we do. But most of the contractors that buy cable from outside by from a -- Ed?

Unidentified Participant


Gary Owens

Okay. The question was, “Ed read recently in the last two days that BP had talked about 30% of their budget being spent on systems requiring a cable solution.”

Yes. That really was a comment about marine, ocean bottom cable. And yes, BP has garnered about everybody in our industry to -- to the UK, about six weeks ago, I guess. And gave a presentation to that. And if the follow through with that -- this was not cast in concrete. They made that real clear. But if they are, this feeds into our strength. And we would have a very good chance doing it.

We’re not going to know what they’re really going to do. Their budget gets set later in the year. So we’ll know something at the end of October, sometime in November if that happens.

And then the second question was about where we -- what we look like in five years opposed to now?

Unidentified Participant


Gary Owens

Okay. The question was, “What we look like in five years from now and our various product segments, and where we think we would stand in market share of the --.”

Well, you know I’m running out of time so I’m going to just go from the top to the bottom. I think the largest potential for us stands in the wireless area. And if the wireless solution is the one adopted by the industry, which is where we think it’s going -- going to be, then we think our solution is very novel and will be accepted.

In seismic there’s not very many winners. Meaning this marketplace usually has a winner and some other guys that play in that particular segment. So if our solution is the solution, the choice, it would mean that most of the world’s contractors will be dancing to wireless technology over the next decade. And that would be very well for us.

And if our solution is the best one, like at our position, then we would enjoy a dominant market share in this area. So yes. This has a very good potential for us.

It’s conditional in the market turning around. It’s conditional on wireless technology being the solution that we all think it’s going to be. So we’ll have to see about that.

Unidentified Participant


Gary Owens

Well, the dominant player in cable systems is (inaudible) their segment reported out of the CGG release. So if you go look at their financials in the last 12 months, they did $1.2 billion in revenue last year. So the winner often is a pretty large player in whatever technology.

I used to have a picture over my desk and it had two ships crossing a finish line. And one was just barely winning, the other one -- and the caption under the -- under the photograph was, “But oh, your majesty, there is no second place.” And the reason for the picture was in seismic, when things are changing -- when you’re going from 2-D to 3-D or you’re going to go from cable to wireless, if that indeed happens, then there will be a winner and there’s no second place.

So it’s really hard to put numbers on that because the cables number is really based on what kind of channel count a cable solution is and a wireless solution. We don’t know where that’s going to go yet. So I’ll never be recorded as forecasting what I think we’re going to do, but I think it’s going to be good.

Joe Lambert

With that, I would like to thank Gary Owens for his presentation. I want to mention that I -- that Gary will be in our breakout room over in Madison 1, which is just the other side of the hallway, down at the end over there. He will be able to continue the discussion.

Any other one-on-one -- if you would like time with him. He is scheduled at this time to have that time in Madison 1 down there. There are our one-page -- Singular Research has our one-page report, which is the first page of a multi-page report. It’s right up here in the front and also on the table where you registered.

And we will resume in approximately four minutes with Acacia Research. We’ll have their presentation in about four minutes. Thank you very much, Gary.

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