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Monday, 23 February 2004
February 23, 2004 Escalon Medical Corp. (ESMC)
Hello Friends! It is another Monday, and another down day in the market. Looks like this market needs to correct. Futures start out positive, the market opens up and then slides as the day progresses. Not very encouraging. Now, if I can keep with my strategy, maybe we will do a bit better...that is...after I have sold on an 8% loss, to try to AVOID replacing that issue in the portfolio until I have SOLD on a GAIN...sort of letting our sales and purchases guide us minimally in timing the market...or at lease assessing the market! Currently am at 22 positions...and still in plenty of margin. CREE is close to a sale...but will give it the full 8%. I think I have sold a couple of these prematurely as well on perceived weakness rather than fundamentals...and will try to avoid that in the future...those sales include Davita and Eon Laboratories....which have actually held up well and also Fair Isaac. But I am still learning and I hope that you are learning with each trade as well!

Continuing to look at the stocks with nice gains, I came across Escalon Medical Corp. (ESMC) today. As I write, ESMC is trading at $10.60, up $.54 or 5.37% on the day. I do not own any shares. According to the money.cnn.com "snapshot", ESMC "...develops, markets and distributes ophthalmic medical devices and pharmaceuticals. The Co. is also in the process of developing ophthalmic lasers and drug delivery systems."

About a week ago, ESMC reported their second quarter 2004 earnings. Net revenue for the quarter was up 15% to $3.8 million from $3.3 million the prior year. Net income jumped 136.1% to $820,961 or $.196/diluted share vs. $347,672 or $.103/diluted share in the second quarter of 2003.

Looking at the "5-Yr Restated" financials on Morningstar.com, we find that revenue which dropped slightly between 1999 and 2000 from $7.6 million to $6.7 million has been steadily increasing since then to $13.4 million in the trailing twelve months.

Earnings per share also dipped to a loss in 2000 at $(.27)/share but have improved steadily since then to $.48/share in the trailing twelve months.

Free cash flow, while not large, has been positive lately improving from $1 million to $2 million in the trailing twelve months.

The balance sheet appears adequate if not impressive with $300,000 in cash reported with $4.5 million in other current assets, enough to cover the $3.9 million of current liabilities, but not enough to also cover all of the long-term liabilities of $4.1 million.

If we look at the "Key Statistics" from Yahoo, we find that this is certainly a MICRO-cap stock (see the prior posting), with a market cap of $36.59 million. The trailing p/e is only 16.43, and price/sales is at 2.41.

There are only 3.41 million shares outstanding with 3.40 million of them that float. Only 12,000 shares out short as of 1/8/04, representing 0.414 trading days and only .35% of the float. No cash dividend is paid, and the last stock split was a REVERSE 1:4 SPLIT paid on 11/97.

Taking a brief look at technical issues and charts (not my strength but something we all need to do!), we can see from the Point and Figure chart from Stockcharts.com, that this stock has been trading sideways until early 2002 when it broke through a resistance level at about $3.25/share and has traded strongly upwards for the past two years! Take a look and see what you think.

Overall, the stock is very interesting if not a bit speculative due to the small # of shares outstanding. The valuation is right, the recent earnings results and revenue growth are nice, and the balance sheet is adequate.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Please remember to do your own due diligence and check out every investment discuss carefully yourself before deciding to make a purchase or sale, and also consult with your investment advisor(s) frequently!

Regards to all of my friends! Please email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com if you have any questions, comments, or words of encouragement!

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 11:38 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Monday, 23 February 2004 11:19 AM CST

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