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Wednesday, 17 September 2003
September 17, 2003 Gen-Probe Incorporated (GPRO)
The market couldn't really hold up the rally today. Seemed like Isabel was making the traders nervous and the costs associated with clean-up and the possible losses was riding on the market. Or am I just reading into things?

Meant to list GPRO today but was too busy to get to it. My purchase of ENDP ended up with a fractional loss but the numbers are indeed very nice. They are almost equally attractive with Gen-Probe....and I CERTAINLY do not have any cash left...with my margin levels up pretty high in a pretty vulnerable market....

Gen-Probe had a nice day today. GPRO closed at $62.90 up $5.88 on the day or 10.31%. According to money.cnn.com, Gen-Probe (GPRO) "...is engaged in the development, manufacture and marketing of rapid, accurate and cost-effective nucleic acid probe-based products used for the clinical diagnosis of human diseases and for screening donated human blood."

On July 17, 2003, GPRO reported financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2003. Per PRNewswire, as reported in the NYTimes on the Web, total revenues for the 2003 quarter were $50.7 million compared to $34.9 million for the second quarter of 2002, a 45% increase. Net income for the second quarter of 2003 was $8.1 million or $.34/diluted share compared to net income of $550,000 or $.02/diluted share in 2002.

Looking at Morningstar.com, we find that revenue growth has been steady: $96 million in 1998, $118 million in 1999, $120 million in 2000, $130 million in 2001, $156 million in 2002, and extrapolating the current 2003 quarter would get us about $200 million for 2003.

Free Cash Flow has been improving nicely as well: ($11) million in 2000, $8 million in 2001, $27 million in 2002.

Financially, this is a very HEALTHY company with the balance sheet, as reported in Morningstar.com, showing $108 million in cash, way more than enough to pay off both current liabilities of $30.8 million and long-term liabilities of $11.8 million and still have over $50 million left over. In addition, GPRO has $38.1 million of other current assets.

This is NOT a small company, nor is it cheaply priced: the market cap is $1.51 billion, the trailing p/e is 50.46, and the PEG (P/E to Growth) ratio is 1.95. The price to sales ratio is steep at 7.43. Yahoo.com reports 23.95 million shares outstanding with 23.80 million of them that float. There are 1.20 million shares out short representing 5.06% of the float but only 2.125 trading days. No dividend is reported but on 9/5/03, GPRO announced a 2:1 stock split.

I like this stock a lot. Unfortunately it is not a bargain but it is not junk either. We have a stock with superb revenue growth in an area of the economy where the sky really is the limit. Free cash flow is growing and the balance sheet is superb. I suppose if I hadn't bought some of the ENDP earlier today, I would be thinking about nibbling on this stock is well. There really are many great companies to invest in that are trading in the market.

Thanks for stopping by! Please be sure to feel free to comment right here on the website or drop me a line at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 9:23 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink

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