Traffic at uTube.com recently jumped more than 440%! The website is operated by Universal Tube & Rollform Equipment Corporation, a company that "specializes in buying and selling used tube mills, used pipe mills and used rollforming machines."
On its homepage, the company proudly proclaims:
"Our machines are stored in our 125,000 Sq. Ft, Perrysburg Ohio Warehouse. We have the ability to rebuild, retrofit or recondition each piece of equipment in our inventory. We are committed to being the number one supplier of used Tube & Pipe equipment in the world!"
Unfortunately, the company recently encountered a major setback in its noble effort to become the world's number one supplier of used tube and pipe equipment. Last week, the company's website was paralyzed by the actions of a large (allegedly "not evil") American corporation.
On Saturday, October 14th, Universal Tube put out this press release:
"We apologize to those who have tried to view our webpage during the last few weeks and were unable. The uTube.com website is now up and running strong after being paralyzed this week by the announcement of Google purchasing the popular YouTube.com video website for $1.65 billion. Millions of people inadvertently typed the URL uTube.com coming to our site instead of the YouTube.com they were actually trying to reach. The heavy traffic flow shut down our website again and again. We have moved our website 4 times during the last week to servers with additional bandwith capable of handling our own customers and reps along with the influx of video searchers."
Others in the financial media have already reported on this story. However, I had to address the topic myself, as they've clearly missed the point. They tended to focus on the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) angle, writing about the fact that millions of people typed in an incorrect web address after seeing television and newspaper accounts of Google's acquisition of YouTube.com.
After visiting uTube.com, I am now convinced the real story is Universal Tube. Any company that puts an exclamation mark after a statement like "We are committed to being the number one supplier of used tube and pipe equipment in the world!" and puts out press releases on Saturdays is clearly worthy of an investor's attention.
Sadly, Universal Tube appears to be a privately held concern.
On a related note, I suspect Universal Tube & Rollform Equipment Corporation's accountants will be pleased to know their job will be a lot easier this year. I'm guessing their periodic review of the uTube.com domain name will find that the asset's fair value is at least equal to its carrying value.
However, the company's lawyers may find they have more work rather than less. May I be the first to suggest they press Google to change the newly acquired web property's slogan to: You Tube, Broadcast Yourself – not affiliated with Universal Tube and Rollform Equipment Company.
It rolls right off the tongue.