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serndipity

serndipity
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  • Something has to give with pay-TV and sports [View news story]
    I cut the plug on cable TV altogether, years ago.

    Now get free HD TV via an indoor antenna. Receive more than 40 digital TV channels which includes all the networks, plus several 24x7 movie channels, 24x7 kids programming, old time retro programming etc.. Also did A/B test and the antenna solution actually produced a superior picture. Cable uses to much compression, required to fit those 100 - 200 channels on a wire.

    For lots of free movies, special interest programming etc., use a $35 Google Chromecast dongle.

    Yesterday, streamed the USA-Belgium match live, for free, via Ustream.
    Jul 2 01:44 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Handicapping the Aereo vs. Broadcasters SCOTUS case [View news story]
    So sad that the Supreme Court stepped beyond what the law said (e.g. the valid loophole Aereo found), to protect a monopolistic and anti-consumer industry against technological disruption.

    Actually, when the cable and satellite companies started, they were able to carry the OTA broadcast programming without paying a fee. Congress quickly changed the copyright law, which then required cable/satellite providers to pay a fee for carrying, otherwise free network broadcast programming (e.g. paid for by advertising).

    It's insane that US citizens should have to pay an additional fee, just because the signal gets routed through a wire instead of OTA.

    The amended copyright law that Congress enacted, should not exist. It's like paying (the broadcasters) twice for no value added the second time.

    Dollars to dougnuts, if the ruling had gone the other way, Congress would've just amended the copyright act again.........probably by the 6PM local news.
    Jun 25 06:39 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Handicapping the Aereo vs. Broadcasters SCOTUS case [View news story]
    I cut the cable cord years ago, replacing it with an indoor antenna to directly receive over the air broadcasts. With digital TV, the HD reception is superior to cable (e.g. much less compression) and I have a choice of more than 50 channels (e.g. including the sub channels). In addition to CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, ION programing, this includes several 24x7 movie channels, 9 PBS channels, several kids channels, 5 retro TV program channels, etc.).

    The US Government set aside almost 200 MHz of prime VHF/UHF spectrum to the broadcasters for nada licensing cost (e.g. as a public service so that the broadcasters could inform the public in the event of emergencies etc.). They should be careful what they do (e.g. use it or loose it).

    Additionally, with more and more households cutting the cord on their ever growing expensive cable service and replacing their entertainment consumption with less expensive streaming or free over the air service, it seems to me that the broadcasters are being penny wise and dollar foolish (e.g. increased viewership means higher advertising revenues).
    Jun 21 04:37 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fusion-io: Undervalued At The Current Buyout Offering [View article]
    Did SNDK offer to much for FIO?

    As a veteran marketer/engineer in storage space, maybe, but I they could probably live with the valuation offered..

    Let history be your guide.

    Over the last couple of years, there has been numerous M&A SSD acquaintanceships (e.g actually dozens) in the SSD market space (e.g. for IP, controllers, advanced software etc.), with an average buyout price of around $350M.

    Today, it's a very crowded space, and the best technologies have already already been chosen (e.g. and the winners will be those who increased vertical integration).

    Today, there are not many opportunities, if any, left to be discovered, to become fruitful.

    As a veteran in this marketplace.........being specially tuned to the higher margin Enterprise sector

    Gave up my shares on the private takeover offer.....HOME RUN.

    Smart Storage Systems, formally know as SMART Modular Technology (SMOD), was taken private by Silver Lake Partners back in August 2011, for $645M (e.g. $9.25 / share which was a 23% premium over the 52 week average trading price).

    In the end, this was not one of Silver Lake's better investments/moments (e.g. lost more half of their investment, bought it for $645M by SNDK for $307M).....OUCH!.

    Then there was WDC buying STEC, net of cash for $207M or $4.42/share, which was a premium of 23% (over the prior Friday's close). Yes,STEC shares once sold for $40/share. Go figure.

    BTW, WDC buying STEC will put them at having a 11.9% share of the high margin Enterprise SSD market, which is just behind #1 INTC with 18.1%.

    Then there is OCZ, auctioned off at $35M......the thing OCZ , FIO and STEC had in common was poor management......well, maybe STEC management was better, as they had a solid cash position and no debt, better IP / products, positive 35%+ gross margins, tier 1 enterprise customers and partners (e.g. IBM, HPQ, EMC, Net Appliance, CSCO, Hitachi etc.).
    Jun 19 08:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft launches 12" Surface Pro 3 with Intel Core CPUs [View news story]
    Stat on the launch presentation screen: 96% of iPad owners still have a laptop.
    May 20 02:51 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • College push on the plate at Barnes & Noble [View news story]
    And for the same reason bank robber, Willie Sutton did rather well at his profession....that's where the money is (e.g. the markups (e.g. margins) are sky high and they get it).
    May 9 02:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • OCZ Technology - Dead And Done But With A Silver Lining [View article]
    Wasn't surprised that there were no additional bids.

    On 12/3/13, the CEO sold his entire position at 20 cents / share. Not a good smoke signal, as he simply could have just sat on them.

    BTW, management could have made some really easy money and received a $1.275M bonus, had they been able to secure an overbid of only $5M higher than the Toshiba $35M stalking horse offer.

    Additionally, Toshiba provided up to $25M of debtor-in-possession financing (DIP) need to keep the doors open and lights on until now.

    This reduces the net cash received from the asset sale, to only about $10M, so the secured creditors will get pennies on the dollar.

    Sadly the bag holders (e.g. shareholders, unsecured creditors , vendors etc.) will get nothing.
    Jan 15 04:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Over 1M affected as extended unemployment benefits expire [View news story]
    I know of several people who were 99ers.

    The benefit in our state is $675/week ($35,100/year) plus paying their COBRA preinums or a free PPO health insurance. That benefit was for a single person with no dependents. All they had to do each week was to state that they contacted (e.g. phone, email etc.) at least 3 potential employers to seek employment (none of those people were ever asked for verification).

    The Federal Government only lends the Sates the money needed to extend their unemployment benefits beyond the typical 26 weeks. In order to eventually pay the money back, my State increased the taxes on employers.

    IMHO, the dome and gloom of 2008/2009 is history and anyone who wants a job, can find one.
    Dec 29 11:58 AM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • OCZ Technology - Dead And Done But With A Silver Lining [View article]
    Actually your comment "Fact of the matter is, a company could probably form from scratch with less money than that and sell commodity SandForce parts to datacenters (pretty much what OCZ was doing)" is spot on.

    To this day, 95%+ of the OCZ SSDs are put together like tinker toys, using commonly available off the shelf parts, using controllers from LSI/Sanforce and Marvell.

    For example, even their latest and greatest, ZD-XL SQL Accelerator- Z-Drive R4 - PCIe SSDPCIe SSD uses 4 or 8 Sanforce controllers and the Intrepid 3000 Series, launched this week, uses a Marvell controller.

    It's been nearly 3 years since OCZ acquired Indilinx and the only SSDs using the BF3 are a couple of Vector drives. The the performance of the just launched Vector 150 SSD is middle of the among competitors.

    See AnandTech review at http://bit.ly/18J2zfc

    In a well research/documented Copperfield Research article, titled OCZ - The Master of SSD (Shady, Suspect, Deceitful), it was pointed out that Indilink was near bankruptcy when the company purchased it for $32M. This was during a time-frame when other SSD controller companies were being sold for $250M to $400M. OCZ then carried the Indilink acquisition, on it's balance sheet, as $36M asset classified as Goodwill and Intangible Assets (until the recent 10Q/10K restatements, when that asset pretty much vanished).

    Go figure.

    BTW, last month LSI/Sanforce launched their 3rd generation SF3700 (SATA and PCIe on 1 Silicon) controller.
    Dec 13 12:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • OCZ Technology - Dead And Done But With A Silver Lining [View article]
    I don't feel that management should get any additional bonus for doing their job well (and for what they were already incented and paid well to do).

    That said, the bonus structure is askew.

    It promotes/rewards low achievement with easy money (e.g. $1.275M bonus w/ only a $5M overbid), while working to attain a much more significant overbid, pays little more (e.g. $1.7M for a $15M overbid and $2.36M for a $35M overbid).

    Pretty much tells me that management does not foresee a much higher bid, if any. Additionally, on 12/3, the CEO sold his entire position at 20 cents / share. Not a good smoke signal, as he simply could have just sat on them.
    Dec 12 04:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • OCZ Technology - Dead And Done But With A Silver Lining [View article]
    Thank you for the clarification of where you read this filing.

    While it's clear that management has shopping the company for some time now, without any success, given Toshiba served as the only stalking horse, speaks volumes.

    As sneaky as the KEIP - Key Employee Incentive Plan was slipped in as part of a bankruptcy document, it seems to me that given the carrot on the end of the stick, there is not much, if any, expectation for a higher bid (e.g. 1.275 million with a 5 mm overbid, 1.7 million with a 15 mm overbid and 2.36 mm with a 35 mm overbid).
    Dec 12 02:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • OCZ Technology - Dead And Done But With A Silver Lining [View article]
    What recently filed KEIP - Key Employee Incentive Plan?

    You state that " If you read the language carefully, OCZ states that while several parties have conducted due diligence over the past 6 months, only Toshiba was willing to serve as stalking horse."

    Can you please supply a reference source and link to this filing?

    Are your referring to the S-8, recently filed on 10/15/13?

    That is just finally registering the option shares of the 2012 Equity Compensation Plan, which was adopted by the BoD 6/24/12 and approved by shareholders 8/13/12 and has nothing to do with Toshiba's purchase of assets. See Exhibit 10.1 in that filing for details of the 2012 plan.

    Specifically, in the event of 'change of control', the plan shall becomes fully vested. Given that this is a purchase of assets vs. a stock but-out/merger, the expected benefits, on a plan written more than 1 1/2 years ago, is null.
    Dec 12 02:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • OCZ Technology - Dead And Done But With A Silver Lining [View article]
    >>Umm, the risk of loss with both common stock and options has a limit - 100% in both cases

    Sure, in terms of percentage, an option or equity could only lose 100%.

    However, in terms of out of pocket money, an options position mitigates loss, while the underlying equity does not.

    For example, everyone who bought 100 shares for $1/share, has lost 95% of their investment and only has $1 left.

    At the same time, anyone who bought a Put option for the same 100 shares, made a sinful amount of money, with only pennies at risk.

    There is a huge difference between buying a call option and an equity.

    Options provide control of underlying stock with 100:1 leverage, mitigate risk and have guaranteed contract performance.
    Dec 12 12:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • OCZ Technology - Dead And Done But With A Silver Lining [View article]
    There is a huge difference between buying a call option and an equity.

    Options provide control of underlying stock with 100:1 leverage, mitigate risk and have guaranteed contract performance.

    For the last 2 years, the only OCZ investors that made money, where those who shorted the equity (100% ROI) and those who bought puts, scored a 100X that ROI.

    As example, over the last several months, while OCZ traded for plus/minis $1, one could buy out of the money Puts for a nickel.

    Unlike buying the equity, where the risks of loss has no limit, an option buyer could not lose more than cheap option premiums, yet score huge.

    Buying OCZ stock today, even at a dime a share, is only for the die hard gamblers, who know nothing about risk management and usually walk away from the table busted.

    The dime you have today, could just as easily turn to a nickel (a 50% loss), a penny (a 90% loss) or zero (a 100% loss).
    Dec 12 11:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • OCZ Technology - Dead And Done But With A Silver Lining [View article]
    Do you truly think management hasn't already knocked on all the doors searching for a better deal, but coming up with none?

    That was pretty much confirmed, earlier this week, when the CEO sold his entire position, for 20 cents a share.

    There will be nothing for the bag holders either.

    OCZ entered into a Material Definitive Agreement to sell substantially all it's assets to Toshiba for $35M, less a $23.5M lifeline financing, provided by Toshiba for OCZ to operate it's businesses for the 60 days or so expected to finalize the bankruptcy proceeding. Additionally, any additional liabilities, in excess of $500,000, over the liabilities reflected on the balance sheet as of October 31, 2013, will be deducted from the sales price of $35M.

    The most OCZ will net from the asset sale will be $11.5M and perhaps less.

    The company also said that as of the date it filed for bankruptcy, the secured debt owed several PIPE lenders and vendors, was in excess of $60M (e.g. more than 5X the proceeds received after selling it's assets).

    Additionally, the Agreement also provides for a $1,050,000 break-up fee payable to Toshiba, as well the reimbursement of Toshiba’s expenses of up to $750,000.

    Like most options, the stock will be worthless, marked down to zero and cease to exist.
    Dec 11 05:58 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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