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Tuesday, 23 December 2003
December 23, 2003 Ventana Medical Systems (VMSI)
Hello Friends! Thanks again for stopping by. I have noticed that some of you are starting to leave comments here and I am flattered and encouraged. Hopefully, we can develop some nice discussions right here and all of us learn something about investments that is new! (Sounds so Pollyannish don't you think....maybe we can all say what we are "glad" about?) As always, please, and I repeat, PLEASE remember to consult with your investment advisor prior to making any decisions about stocks discussed here. I am an amateur and am learning myself and many of these investments may or may not be profitable or suitable for you!

Looking through the lists of stocks with big moves I certainly DID come across RIMM, with a big move today, however, looking closer at that stock I found it still to be cash flow negative...so not quite a pick for this site. What did hit me as provocative however, was Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. (VMSI). This stock, which I do not own any shares of, does meet our criteria. As I write, VMSI is trading at $39.80, up $2.80 or 7.57% on the day.

According to money.cnn.com, Ventana "...develops, manufactures and markets instruments and reagents that automate diagnostic procedures used for the molecular analysis of cells."

Looking for the latest quarter on Yahoo.com, I found that on October 24, 2003, VSMI reported their third quarter results for the period ended September 30, 2003. Sales were $32.0 million, an 18% increase over the same period in 2002. Net income for the quarter was $3.3 million compared to $0.5 million in 2002. Earnings per share were $.19 vs. $.03 in 2002.

Looking at Morningstar.com, we find steady revenue growth from $47.7 milion in 1998, $69.4 million in 1999, $71.1 million in 2000, $87.8 million in 2001, $105.4 million in 2002 and $120.2 million in the trailing twelve months.

Earnings have been frankly all over the place but were $.11 in 1998 to $.53 in the trailing twelve months. Free cash flow has also been generally improving from ($13) million in 2000 to $16 million in the trailing twelve months.

The balance sheet per Morningstar.com is $27.8 million in cash and $38.7 million in other current assets vs $22.1 million in current liabilities and $2.3 million in long term debt.

According to Yahoo.com "key statistics", the market cap is $665.94 million, the trailing p/e is a bit rich at 57.91, PEG is rich at 2.43 with 4.97 for price/sales. There are 16.79 million shares outstanding with 14.00 million that float. There are 924,000 shares out short as of 11/10/03 per Yahoo, representing a big short ratio of 8.25 trading days. No dividend is paid, and no stock splits are reported on Yahoo.

Overall, this is a great company with a steady history of revenue, earnings, and free cash flow growth. However, on a valuation basis, the p/e isn't cheap and the PEG is over 2.0. So no bargain. Something to think about anyhow!

Thanks again for stopping by! Please email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com or leave your comments right on the website!

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 9:52 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink

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