Saturday, October 24, 2009

Barron's touts Novatel

Barron's touts Novatel with their new Mi-Fi. I think it is a good tout. Here's consensus estimates--but some analysts think Mi-Fi could be a big hit:

John Bright of Avondale Partners thinks the consensus is wrong--he says his peers are greatly underestimating Mi-Fi:

"Result: Bright sees Novatel's earnings rocketing 150% in 2010, to at least 90 cents a share from an estimated 35 cents this year. The stock, trading at about 23 times the consensus for 2010 earnings, could rise from less than 12 now to as high as 20, Bright reckons -- a gain of some 67%. The company has a clean balance sheet, too -- with no debt and nearly $3 a share in cash."

Here's Barron's product review on the Mi-Fi:

WHEN YOU TRAVEL WITH YOUR very own Wi-Fi hot spot, you can draw a crowd quickly. I learned that when I fired up my laptop and Novatel's new Mi-Fi during a 60-minute train trip from Princeton, N.J., to New York. Soon, three or four businessmen gathered around to watch as I surfed the 'Net via a Wi-Fi connection, something usually not available on the train. By the standards of New Jersey commuterdom, at least, the Mi-Fi was a minor miracle.

The pocket-sized device, from a company called Novatel Wireless, connects to the Internet via high-speed cellular networks and then converts those signals into Wi-Fi, for the benefit of any enabled devices within a roughly 30-foot bubble.

When I tested a Verizon unit from my car while parked in a field with no normal hot spots available, my laptop downloaded a slew of documents rapidly. It was practically as fast as my cable modem back home. I then drove around the neighborhood, with my wife at my side searching the Web. Mi-Fi pulled in data for almost all of the five-mile ride, stopping only once when it briefly lost the cell signal.

In addition to working well and looking sleek, the Mi-Fi is one of those rare gadgets that couldn't be easier to set up and use. Push the On button, let your phone or laptop find the Wi-Fi network, enter the pre-stored password printed on the back of the device -- and you are browsing.
NVTL closed at 11.09. The Jan 10 calls are $1.85-2.00 and the Jan 12.5 calls are .85.

The stock and the calls should prove a good spec.