When I was at Financial World Magazine, we would do a list of the ten worst managed companies in America. The cycle was about once a year. To make the list, a company had to do a lot wrong compared to the rest of the stock market and its peer group. The financial results would have to be very poor, and companies in industries that were down across the board were usually not included. For this tech list, a number of financial sources were consulted along with research from Wall Street and sources like ValueLine, Morningstar, Investor's Business Daily and Yahoo!Finance.
For those of us just off the farm, Microvision (NASD:MVIS) is a mighty hard company to understand. The company makes scanned-beam displays that produce very high resolution images. The company also makes scanned-beam imagers. Microvision says that its products in this area "offer greater range and depth of field, reduced motion blur, enhanced resolution, extended spectral response, reduced cost, reduced size, lower power consumption, and improved shock and vibration tolerance". Microvision makes the case that their technologies will replace older, less effective ones.
Maybe someone forgot to tell the customers. Microvision's revenue was $14.7 million in 2003 and $14.7 million in 2005. Not much progress. The company's operating loss for the three years from 2003 through 2005 was $94.8 million.
Microvision traded near $10 in mid-2004, and has a 52-week high of $6.77. It is below $3 now and is still probably no bargain.
To add insult to injury, the company's auditor has given the company a "going concern" opinion.
As they say, "if wishes were horses, all the beggars would ride".
MVIS 1-yr Chart
Douglas A. McIntyre is the former Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Financial World Magazine. He was also president of Switchboard.com when it was the 10th most visited website in the world, according to MediaMetrix. He has been chief executive of FutureSource, LLC and On2 Technologies, Inc. and has served on the boards of TheStreet.com and Edgar Online. He does not own securities in companies he writes about. McIntyre can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.