Nonetheless, until just the other day, we honestly weren't sure what to write. Why? Well, we feel like we've pretty much covered the bases on this company over the past year, ranging from:
- our arguably-too-long-for-a-blog-post original investment thesis
- to comparable M&A transactions implying a fair value in the mid to high $20s
- to tangible evidence of the Mediasite franchise
- to more than 101 uses for Mediasite
- to why the reverse split wasn't such a bad thing
- to the Mediasite User Group and global adoption
- to why more organizations need Mediasite
- to scenario analysis based on potential earnings power
- to a slightly imperfect parallel to Philip Carret and water meters
- and to deja vu as pot of gold remains around corner
- (note: all per share figures in posts prior to 11/03/09 are pre-1:10 reverse split)
- We support any company we believe in, especially when we're an owner and see a meaningful discount to our estimate of intrinsic value with mitigated risk factors.
- Mediasite addresses a clearly defined market need and makes life easier (better) for a large, growing addressable market with favorable long-term trends (e.g. video everywhere).
- Customers love the product and many keep buying more.
- Market leadership position with scale and awareness.
- Positive internal morale - our impression is that employees are united around Sonic Foundry's vision: "We live by two main tenets: first, don’t change the way presenters present and second, get this recorded knowledge to the audience as quickly and as easily as possible."
- Per prior posts, numerous data points imply that the Mediasite franchise is real and expanding.
- Campus Technology 2010
- 3rd Annual Emerging Technologies for Online Learning Symposium
- University of Florida: "Academic perspective on Oil in the Gulf"
Or, as relayed in our Who on Earth Needs Mediasite? post (January), we could again point out that countless Webcasting companies and even Nasdaq's (NDAQ) Shareholder.com unit need Mediasite, OR that simply more companies need Mediasite to broadcast/capture corporate events. Today's Microsoft (MSFT) Analyst Meeting was Webcast live by Shareholder.com -- video only, no synchronized slides (slides available via separate download):
The Shareholder.com approach here is to shift the active video box (other "boxes" are only still images) between the presenter and slide/other content -- below, note the image that replaced the speaker in the upper left quadrant box (another note: we manually shifted around the speaker bios in the lower right quadrant - these are static no matter who is presenting):
Why do Shareholder.com and other Webcast platforms NOT include automatically synchronized slide/other content like Mediasite? Because the task is not as easy as Mediaste makes it look, which is why Sonic Foundry holds two issued patents with another four pending. Recall that the core Mediasite patent covers the following:
The news this week of Clifford Chance's selection of Mediasite to connect 29 offices in 20 countries also hits on key reasons for adoption. Clifford Chance, a law firm with 3,200 "legal advisors," commented in the press release:
- mediasite Congrats! RT @mattalexandernz: Wahoo! Just topped 50,000 views of our Mediasite content. 20,000 so far for 2010.
Who is Matt Alexander? He works Information Technology at Massey University in New Zealand. What is Massey University? From Wikipedia, we have:
- Massey University (Māori: Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa) is one of New Zealand's largest universities with approximately 36,000 students. The University has campuses in Palmerston North (sites at Turitea and Hokowhitu), Wellington (in the suburb of Mount Cook) and Auckland (at Albany). In addition, Massey offers most of its degrees extramurally within New Zealand and internationally. It has the nation's largest business college. Research is undertaken on all three campuses.
Let's search for Mediasite + Massey - we find a page dedicated to the solution at the school with a summary schematic of how Mediasite works:
Ah, we then further see this information:
- Massey University has won the Excellence in Education Award for outstanding achievement in enhancing learning and outreach through rich media at the Mediasite user conference in the United States. Click here to view the winning award submission or the Massey News item.
- "Mediasite technology has been used by Massey for high profile initiatives across the University and collaborative projects with other universities, such as Manu Ao, the Massey-led inter-university Maori academy for academic and professional advancement, and for a range of other valuable projects, such as forming links with other organisations in agriculture, education and across industry sectors."
The best insights always come from customers. In this case, readily available information from multiple sources implies that Massey is not alone in lauding Mediasite and making the solution a central part of everyday life for students, professors, researchers, and numerous others. Importantly, this trend is global and not limited to any one country or region.
Thus, we continue to believe the value of the Mediasite franchise remains significantly under-appreciated by the Market. Per our prior posts, estimated replacement cost and private market value suggest fair values at least several multiples of Sonic Foundry's current valuation. Ongoing M&A activity in adjacent spaces -- including BlackBoard's recent acquisition of collaboration companies Elluminate and Wimba at approximately four times 2011E revenue -- provide current reference points for a mid $20s private market valuation of Sonic Foundry.
That said, the value for any company in the eye of the beholder (e.g. fundamental analyst) is often quite different from that awarded by the Market. Right now, with an enterprise value of approximately $33 million (assuming fully diluted shares of 4.5 million and net cash of $1.7 million), the Market places little value on the company.
How might this change? Accelerating revenue growth and positive earnings that lends visibility into a third, critical valuation method: earnings power. Even with school budget risks, we're optimistic that Sonic Foundry's June quarter report next Tuesday will prove a positive catalyst, moving us past the deja vu of last quarter. We shall soon see if seemingly favorable end-market trends prevail and support our franchise thesis.
Addendum - more from Twitter, in this case, the University of Florida and North Carolina State University:
- mediasite RT @brianjsmith: @robgrau You beat us to it! We're at 168,000 #Mediasite views right now, also surpassing our '09 numbers by a large margin.
Disclosure: long SOFO.
© 2010 Jeffrey Walkenhorst
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