Monday, December 29, 2014

Commentary- Can Advanced Photonix (API), reach sustained profitability in 2015?

For many of us who have invested in THz related companies, the "snail-like" rate of the market's acceptance of Terahertz has been very painful to watch and be a part of. It's no secret that most of those brave souls who invested in companies such as Advanced Photonix, (API), Advantest,(ATE), or terahetz related companies such as Verasante (VRS.V) (which was originally known as T-Ray Science, but later moved it's terahertz platform to multi-spectral scanning) wonder why they got involved with these companies in the first instance. I know I am. 

The clear leader of the move into the commercialization of Terahertz, in my opinion, is Advanced Photonix. In fact, as I have noted here several times they are the only company I can find which has made sustained sales of commercial terahertz applications for actual day to day use on factory floors, and across a wide spectrum of industries. Granted some companies are making limited sales into University laboratories, or research facilities, but nobody else seems to have established a foothold in making sustained commercial sales outside of applications in astronomy. (Note- If I am wrong about this assumption, then please let me know about other companies who are making such sales.)

API, has been on the cusp of profitability for a significant period of time, and in it's conference call last summer, management touted,"... guidance to grow our fiscal year 2015 revenues by more than 20 percent from last year given the ramp we are seeing in our three primary markets: test and measurement, telecommunications, and military-aerospace.”

In the meantime, the current Board of Directors greatly angered long-time shareholders by ignoring a majority vote to remove those Directors who did not receive a majority vote by the shareholders to retain them, and in my post of August 27th, I called upon them by name to step down..  "Mr. Pastor, Mr. Farese, and Mr. Soltwedel, please follow the clear majority wishes of the shareholders, and step down TODAY! "

I continue with that request today, and note that a portion of the recent sell-off by shareholders is directly attributable, in my opinion, to a Board who appears to put their personal interests ahead of the shareholders. This really is a no-brainer, in my humble opinion.

To make matters worse, the company did not meet it's projected goal of 20 percent, in it's November conference call, and projected flat growth for the remainder of 2015. Talk about a huge disappointment! In my opinion, this along with dissatisfaction for the Board of Directors, destroyed any momentum the company appeared to be gaining in the early summer months.

Going forward, there are a variety of positive trends. First the name of commercial adopters was disclosed by API, and also reported by me here, on September 29th. API then removed those names, (apparently at one of the customers request), and for a time I took my post down as well. However, I've decided that the investing public has a right to know those names so I have reposted that blog entry here: 

Sales of the T-Gauge continue to evolve in a variety of industries, new VARS, (value added resellers, are joining the team) and in addition many investors take comfort in knowing about the expanding sales of the F-35 to governments around the world, which will be inspected by the API proprietary paint and hull coating inspection device.

Of course, many investors myself included look forward to news regarding TSA approval of the In-Q-Tel, commissioned anomaly detection device, the Saf-T Chek. There hasn't been real news in years about this application, but given the money spent by the TSA to develop this device, one has to wonder if we won't hear about it in 2015.

All in all, it's turned from a positive year to a very negative one for Advanced Photonix, with share prices dropping  to an all time low of .28. 2015 will likely be a make or break year. I'm predicting a break out year for API, and for terahertz in general. Time will tell.

In the meantime, Happy New Year to readers here. I will be traveling but will try to post new THz related materials here from my Ipad, as time permits. 

Thanks for Reading in 2014! Randy

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