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johnfenn@att.net

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  • Uni-Pixel: This Steamroller Is About To Squash Investors [View article]
    Whoever wrote the article understands the industry and where it is headed! Touch integrated into display has been around for a while. It was only a matter of time before they got the production yields up to where it became readily accepted. Lets see, thinner, lighter and eliminates a full laminating step out of the cost of manufacturing. Is there anything wrong with that? And, do not think that the ITO based crowd will give up without a bloody fight. O Film, the champion of the micro metal mesh industry appears to be backing tracking out of the technology. Touch is practically a commodity business now. If a company does not have manufacturing in Asia, it will be a very tough road.
    Apr 10, 2015. 07:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • UniPixel +7.9% ahead of analyst day [View news story]
    Somebody had to be out there swallowing what was being spouted. One of the problems is that very few people understood the technology of the industry, the competition and the dynamics of the touch markets. All they read was that if the company can only get 10% of a $20 billion/yr market they will all become rich. Reality, common sense and understanding that very few products jump from a lab prototype of a full production item in a year finally set in. Who is born every second?
    Nov 26, 2014. 04:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Uni-Pixel beats by $0.02 [View news story]
    It always amazes me how investors jump when a weak stock twitches a bit! I have followed the touch panel for over 10 years. The overall touch market is extremely competitive now, with non conductive film approaches beginning to win an appreciable market share. To date yield has been a issue for these approaches, called in-cell and on-cell, but this is being solved. After all, Apple is using these designs in their newer touch driven products. These designs will be much cheaper, weight less and result in a thinner profile. Theoretically, they also remove one supplier from the supply chain.

    The market for tablets and notebooks, the one that Unipixel is supposedly targeting, is the toughest one to enter. Demand is slipping across the board for current tablet and notebook products. Being a non Asian supplier doesn't help much either. Finally, O Film, being called the 500 lb. Chinese gorilla in touch, has ramped up their promising mesh film design production along J Touch and Fuji. But the big break through for mesh that many market research companies have been predicting has just not occurred yet.

    So, let's review the status of Unipixel.. They have a USA based touch panel mesh based product for an unpredictable and volatile market that and are not yet in full production. They are entering a market in which well respected companies like Wintek and TPK have struggled over the last year.

    So why is there so much excitement about its recent twitch? I see a company with an annual burn rate of ~ $4 million with no sales who is still trying to transfer a lab design into a pre production product. Their current status doesn't support much in the way of solid earnings potential for 2015! I just don't see the attraction.

    By the way, I have no position in Unipixel stock and no axe to grind. I just study the market using a bit of common sense.
    Nov 7, 2014. 02:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • UniPixel -9.6% AH; Q2 results, InTouch update fails to impress [View news story]
    I guess Unipixel is no longer in play by either the bulls or bears! A story like this used to stir up a lot of very interesting and funny comments.

    Anyway, with Unipixel I think it is too little, way too late. The metal mesh based TP is already a large play in the industry with Asian companies talking about monthly volumes in the 100s of K/month. Also, price is the MAIN driver in this industry now. Mainland China has taken the lead in this price war. Alternate technologies that do not need patterned conductors on films, such as "in cell", are starting to get a bigger market share as their initial yield issues get solved.

    Finally, the one issue that the Unipixel/Kodak partnership will not solve is their locations! The vast majority of TPs are built in Asia because this is where the market is. Asian companies want to deal with local sources, not companies 1000s of miles away in awkward time zones! All those plating and printing lines going into Kodak's Rochester, NY facility are being put in on the wrong continent! This market it is all about location, location and location and management should realize this.
    Aug 8, 2014. 08:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Uni-Pixel misses by $0.09, misses on revenues [View news story]
    But, some of you have to admit that the announcements came from somebody who actually seems to know a little bit about the real world and truth in reporting!
    May 8, 2014. 06:51 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • UniPixel hires LCD equipment vet to be its CEO [View news story]
    Richard,

    I do not know a "name" of a product that is using micro mesh, but do know from several very reliable sources in Asia that Samsung has a line of monitors that do use meshes for touch. When I do find a "name" of a product on the shelves, I will gladly send it to you.

    John Fenn
    May 5, 2014. 12:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • UniPixel hires LCD equipment vet to be its CEO [View news story]
    Actually, the other mesh companies, especially O Film from China, are getting a lot of tracking in Asia. This is especially true for the TPs that have diagonals larger than 13". As these mesh manufactures get more manufacturing experience, they are reporting high yields and better through put from their lines. It appears as if they are using this market as a spring board to go after the smaller smart phone and tablet apps. This is why Nitto Denko, right now the dominant ITO/film player in Asia, has been reported to have recently lowered their premium film prices as much as 25-30% to the $20-$30 range. In response to NDs price cuts, companies like Fujifilm have announced lower prices for their mesh films.

    It has also been reported that the OGS approach has proven to be more costly then first projected, so the current favored design for TPs is the Glass/film/film construction.

    I have not heard much more about Ag NWs even after 3M announced their partnership with Cambrios to use their AG NW based inks. But 3M also announced that they would be making their own meshes based on Ag halide technology and continue on with their ITO film products. So the Cambrios deal might have been just a hedge bet.

    All of the above points to a very competitive market place, where high profit margins will become a thing of the past. It is not a market that I would want to start up a company, even if I had a disruptive technology. The barriers to entry are now very high, with some big companies defending their walls.
    Apr 23, 2014. 05:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • UniPixel hires LCD equipment vet to be its CEO [View news story]
    I think it is a bit of a reach to connect Hawthorne to EK just because he went to school at Rochester. It might be true, because EK and Rochester are close. But his employment history would appear to take him farther away from EK.


    Whether or not he had (has) a connection probably isn't important. What UniPixel needs is a hands on manufacturing based executive who can understand R2R production. Hopefully Hawthorne will be able to do this. However, Petcavich's recent comment that they are just now starting to determine what the best match is for the substrate and ink does not provide much confidence regarding how close they are to production. Finding this match is what should have been done in the development lab a long time ago. To say that they are close to "real production" when they don't know what substrate and/or ink chemistry to use is close to being misleading!
    Apr 14, 2014. 01:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • UniPixel settles patent suit with CIT [View news story]
    The red flag for me during the Webinar about their 4th qtr. 2013 was the CTO saying that they are trying to come up with an appropriate substrate-ink match. What have they been doing for the last two years? Substrate-ink matching is the KEY to their process and product. It should not have become an after thought once the production equipment has been installed and orders (small as they are to date) were accepted!
    Apr 4, 2014. 11:18 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Uni-Pixel's CEO Discusses Q4 2013 Results - Earnings Call Transcript [View article]
    What happened to all the bulls and bears? It is hard to imagine that there have been no comments about the telephone conference and the follow up transcript. Personally, I would like to see more details on the SG&A. All they keep saying the rapid increase in costs is due to increased hires and stock options. How much did the departure of the CEO and CFO end up costing them? What do the salaries and bonuses look like?
    Feb 28, 2014. 01:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Destrier Capital takes 6.1% stake in Uni-Pixel [View news story]
    Maybe somebody has decided to take a run at that pile of cash that Unipixel has sitting there? The rest would be gravy, even it was a bit thin and watery!
    Jan 17, 2014. 05:19 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Zacks' Bear Of The Day: Uni-Pixel [View article]
    After reading what the analyst thought Unipixel's technology was and then reading the phrase about gesture detection I knew that this person knew nothing! The real issue with EK's problems of bringing the technology to a production ready state is that this was never done at Unipixel. Unipixel designed a production process from a laboratory process! They never went through a proper prototype development stage. Skipping this step always leads to fire fighting in production, and Unipixel/EK have been fighting a 5 alarm blaze ever since! What is surprising about EK is that they didn't see the problems before they started to install the same production process. They used to have some of the best roll to roll coating people in the industry, until most of them were laid off or fired. Remember that EK left roll converting to go into device production and lost their business!

    I do agree that having testing equipment is not going to fix the production issues. You need to make something to test. Through many years in the industry I have built, and seem built, very simple testing stations built for just a few $1000's of dollars and in a week's time to test if the company was manufacturing quality or junk. However, usually these testing fixtures came from lab designs and were used in the prototyping stage and then transferred to production while a real high volume testing station, usually mounted on the roll to roll production equipment, was designed, built and installed to let me know if the production line was making junk. It is very expensive to test the roll after it has been made to just to see that you have made an entire roll of junk. Cutting corners and waving hands will not lead to reliable and manufacturing "sturdy" in-line equipment, whether it is for making or testing product.
    Jan 10, 2014. 06:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Uni-Pixel's Declining Production Capability And Inconsequential Purchase Orders [View article]
    RXR.

    I do not think MNT is the world leader in mesh. Do you have sales figures to show this?

    Also, EK does not make touch sensors. They are selling coated transparent conductive coated film products and have just started offering patterned film products through Kingsbury. They are making solid progress and will have a presence in this market. I do not define this as a complete failure as my criteria is not the same as yours. Due to its lower limit in sheet resistivity, PEDOT will most likely be limited to niche markets. For example, AGFA is selling similar films to KDI for use in their Boogie Board tablet. This is certainly not a "failure" in your definition. However, its sheet resistivity does fall in the range that a lot of ITO's volume falls in, and it will be significantly cheaper than ITO. It is flexible and its slight absorption acts as a contrast enhancement layer. This makes many displays look better, as it reduces the reflection. It is contract and not total brightness that the eye is most sensitive too. Finally, patterned traces are invisible in the film, removing the need for index matching layers. However, I am probably using too much technology to argue against your black and white world. Sorry about that.
    Jan 10, 2014. 12:13 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Uni-Pixel's Declining Production Capability And Inconsequential Purchase Orders [View article]
    For about the 10th time I will state that I have no position on Unipixel, short or long. I also have no axe to grind against anybody.

    I do have an interest in the touch panel industry with numerous connections in the industry. My basis for my comments is common sense. It did not make sense that a company like Unipixel was going to grow as aggressively in the touch panel market like many investors believe. Mesh products have promise, but they are still issues with them. Unipixel is only one of over 20 companies doing mesh, with many of these already selling product over the last year. Unipixel is not in Asia, not did they have an aggressive sales force established. Presentations by CEOs and CTOs are good for raising stock prices, but do very little in generating sales of products. It takes 12-18 months to get a technology to market in this business. That is for a well established technology that has some history of quality, reliability and service.
    Jan 10, 2014. 11:59 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Uni-Pixel's Declining Production Capability And Inconsequential Purchase Orders [View article]
    Richard,

    Why do you think that J Touch's metal mesh program is a failure. Do you have an data or reports to back this up? If so, I would like to see them. You can send them to johnfenn@att.net any time.

    I spoke with Xymox yesterday. They are at CES this week. Their West Coast Product manager said that all of their PEDOT:PSS business is custom, and they are very pleased that this is the case, as this is their business strategy. But he reiterated that this product line is doing well and meeting expectations. I have know Xymox for years and do not believe that their conductive polymer based products are a complete failure.

    You seem to do a good job in your financial analysis. So why "state" facts about market activity for which you appear not to have solid backup. I have been in this market for over 30 years with numerous connections "in the back" that tell me what is actually going on. EK's PEDOT program is not a complete failure. They just don't over state it like Unipixel did. There is nothing wrong with personal opinions as long as they read as opinion and not fact.
    Jan 10, 2014. 11:47 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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