Ness Retains Its Edge Despite Management Shifts

Jan.18.07 | About: Ness Technologies, (NSTC)

Ness Technologies (NASDAQ:NSTC) stock has lost 17% since Raviv Zoller announced his resignation, even though all the analysts and commentators (myself included) thought this had little significance for the company.

CFO Yitzhak Edelman is now leaving, seemingly because the company chose Apax partner and former Comverse Technology (NASDAQ:CMVT) executive Sachi Gerlitz and not him as Zoller’s successor. Since the announcement of Zoller’s resignation, the number of analysts covering Ness with a “Buy” rating has fallen from seven to five, despite the sharp fall in price.

Having met Zoller and been impressed by his abilities, I feel it would better to wait this crisis out despite the fall in stock price. This is because Ness has an edge over its competitors in what I call “marketing maneuvering skills.” Zoller managed to find a way into niches in which Ness usually had a technological edge over its competitors. The skill needed to achieve this is central to the management of a company like Ness, which competes against the big giants in the West such as EDS, and also numerous Indian companies that offer both quality and price.

As I mentioned last week, Zoller stepped down due to disagreements with the board over company strategy. True, Ness is not a one-man company, but when investors look at the bigger picture, the issue at stake is the same one that brought Teva’s stock to a halt. It is, perhaps, rather like expecting people to buy NICE Systems (NASDAQ:NICE) shares if Haim Shani were to announce that he was resigning his post as CEO.

NSTC 1-year chart:

Published originally by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2007. Republished on Seeking Alpha with full permission.