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Monday, 25 August 2003
August 25, 2003 Electronic Clearing House (ECHO)
Now we are starting to come across some TINY companies with a great track record. I do not own any shares of this stock...but sure am tempted! Electronic Clearing House, Inc. (ECHO) "...is a financial services provider with specialties in Internet transaction delivery, credit card processing, electronic check processing and the design and implementation of integrated systems."

ECHO is performing well in the market in a relatively soft market environment: currently trading at $6.36, up $.74 or 13.17% on the day.

On August 4, 2003, ECHO announced the results for the three months ending June 30, 2003: revenue for the third quarter was a record $10.5 million an increase of 25.7% when compared to $8.4 million in the same quarter in 2002. Operating income rose to $564,000 compared to a loss of $143,000 in the 2002 quarter. On a per share basis, net income was $.05/share compared to $(.03)/share in the same quarter last year.

Looking at Morningstar.com, we find an increase in revenue from $21.1 million in 1998, $23.8 million in 1999, $28.3 million in 2000, $29.9 million in 2001, $33.3 million in 2002 and $34.7 million in the trailing twelve months.

Free cash flow has been less than fabulous with $0 reported in 2000, $1 million in 2001, ($2) million in 2002 and ($1) million in trailing twelve months.

Assets and liabilities shows $2.8 million in cash and $3.3 million in other current assets balanced by $3.0 million in current liabilities and $2.0 million in long-term liabilities. Although not flush with cash, they are also not burdened by excessive debt.

Another tiny company, relatively speaking, this company carries a market cap of $32.6 million per Yahoo.com with 5.80 million shares outstanding and 5.60 million of them that float. No dividend is paid. The p/e is reported at 56.20 which while sounding steep also represents the recent return to profitability which if continued should drop this p/e quickly. Price/sales is an inexpensive 0.88.

There are 3,000 shares out short as of 7/8/03...representing 0.2 days of trading volume.

This is an interesting stock and if you would like a fast-growing small company, this might be it. Again, like all small issues, it may suffer from liquidity issues...but within a portfolio, this may be a great pick!

Thanks again for stopping by. I hope all this commentary is helpful to you. I sure would appreciate some comments here on the website...or some more emails to let me know your comments, questions, or encouraging words!

email me at Bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com

Bob


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