* Act I: Easy to swallow The player: 01 Communique Laboratory Inc. (TSX:ONE) Recent Price: $0.75 Action: Up 178 per cent, or $0.48, in less than a year 52-week high: $0.84 (March 26, 2007) 52-week low: $0.27 (June 6, 2006) In spite of a mouthful of a name, 01 Communique Lab must be tasting pretty sweet to its shareholders.
In less than a year, the stock has climbed more than 175 per cent, hitting new highs this month.
And for our electronics-addicted society, what's not to love about a company that develops software allowing users to access their PCs remotely using any Internet-connected computer or wireless device?
Sure, Communique reported a bigger loss this quarter than the same quarter a year ago (a $419,000 loss for the three months ended Jan. 31, 2007, compared to a $174,000 loss for the same period ending in 2006) but who's counting?
The company just completed a $4-million public offering to strengthen its balance sheet, has a U.S. patent application for remote wake-up-a-PC technology, has forged a partnership with Hitachi for marketing in Japan and received a favourable claim construction ruling on its patent infringement lawsuit against Citrix Systems.
So, pop in an umbrella and a cherry on a plastic sword and enjoy your Communique with a Citrix twist.
* Act II: M-O-N-E-Y The player: Novatel Wireless Inc. (Nasdaq:NVTL) Recent Price: US$17.04 Action: Up 110 per cent, or $8.93, from its low less than five months ago 52-week high: US$18.15 (March 26, 2007) 52-week low: US$8.11 (Nov. 2, 2006) An acronym dictionary would be very useful for fully understanding Novatel's news releases. But even without knowing the ins and outs of CDMA, GSM, 3G, HSDPA or UMTS, peek at the stock price and you'll get the gist.
The San Diego-based wireless broadband company with an office in Calgary recently updated its guidance for the first quarter ending March 31, 2007. It is projecting revenue of more than US$100 million, an increase of 150 per cent year over year, and a net income that is the "highest in company history," according to acting Novatel CEO and COO Brad Weinert. (Actual financials are due to be released May 1.)
The company also announced earlier this month that Verizon Wireless has made one of Novatel's products (the V740 ExpressCard) commercially available, and that another Novatel product (the Merlin XU870 HSDPA 7.2 ExpressCard) has been named a finalist in the "most innovative wireless device" category for the 2007 Andrew Seybold Choice Awards.
So CDMA, UMTS or LMNOP - for these shareholders, all acronyms stand for M-O-N-E-Y.
* Act III: Bragging rights The player: Rogers Wireless Communications Inc. (TSX:RCI.A) Recent Price: $42.40 Action: Up 30 per cent, or $9.90, in six months (from $32.50 Sept. 25, 2006) 52-week high: $45 (Feb. 19, 2007) 52-week low: $22.01 (May 18, 2006) It's a thumbs-up from the Canadian government for Rogers Communication.
Based on pricing and technical criteria, the feds have chosen to sign up for $35 million worth of new wireless contracts with the communications company.
Telus Mobility also gets a $41-million piece of the government deal, but Bell Mobility was snubbed, awarded less than $340,000 in contracts. In the new arrangement, Rogers will provide the government with services for international cellphones, PDAs and aircards, wireless priority services if emergencies jam networks and secure GSM (global system for mobile) wireless services.
Both the class A voting and B non-voting Rogers shares have been on a steady climb since last summer, and split two-for-one in December.
* Act IV: Say it isn't so The player: Nortel Networks Corp. (TSX:NT) Recent Price: $28.61 Action: Down 23 per cent, or $8.74, since its high in February 52-week high: $37.35 (Feb. 19, 2007) 52-week low: $21.40 (Aug. 14, 2006) Looking through the charts in the telecom sector, it's hard to find one that is dropping - but leave it to Nortel.
Shareholders might have hoped their stock was headed for a small recovery mid-February when the price was in the $37 range, but then the company was hit with more scandal and bad news.
Joel Hackney, the first Nortel executive recruited by CEO Mike Zafirovski, admitted to assault after an angry parking lot incident involving a female university student.
Then the company announced a restatement.
And if that wasn't bad enough, then - oops - yet another restatement because there were errors in the original restatement.
Good grief. With announcements like this, we're bound to find more than one shareholder curled up in their living room, rocking back and forth with their hands over their ears chanting "la la la" to block it all out.
* Disclosure: The author does not personally own any of the above securities, but is related to a non-management employee of Novatel Wireless.
(The above is not intended as investment advice to buy or sell any mentioned securities. Investors should do due diligence before investing. Quotes are based on results through March 27, 2007.)
(Nicole Strandlund can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)