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Author: brewer12345 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 216  
Subject: Serious Fire Sale going on Date: 3/11/2004 10:04 AM
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I couldn't say why, but the stock has been dropping like a rock. Nothing significant appears to have changed, so anybody who has been waiting for a chance has one now.
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Author: hamishrose One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 207 of 216
Subject: Re: Serious Fire Sale going on Date: 3/11/2004 10:52 AM
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Yeah, I've noticed that, and been very tempted.

I know the people who got CTAC shares from selling their companies to CTAC, have been selling some of their shares. I wonder if there was a lock in period during which they were forbidden to sell, that has now expired?

Hamish Rose

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Author: brewer12345 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 208 of 216
Subject: Re: Serious Fire Sale going on Date: 3/11/2004 10:59 AM
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Definately, the lock-ups have expired. I guess that's good for a short term drop in a thinly-traded stock, and probably manipulative shorts have added fuel to the fire. Have you seen anything that suggests a fundamental change in the business? Not me.

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Author: hamishrose One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 209 of 216
Subject: Re: Serious Fire Sale going on Date: 3/11/2004 11:42 AM
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Have you seen anything that suggests a fundamental change in the business? Not me.

No......but......

1) One of the reasons I had a lot of faith in the company when it was trading around $8 and everything seemed to be going wrong, was that the management team seemed to be responding to everything well. They were conserving cash, treating customer service as a priority, fighting J&J in a manner that didn't cost too much, buying CTAC stock both for themselves and to retire shares.

Neither of those people are involved in the day to day running of the company now.

2) The purchases of other online retailers last Jan seemed a great idea at the time, but seem to have had a detrimental effect on earnings.

3) IGEL/Clearlab continues to be a cash drain. Will it ever amount to anything?

4) The recent purchase of a UK based contact lens manufacturer. What was the point? Is CTAC losing its focus? I understood the primary purpose of the IGEL purchase was to put pressure on J&J. There can be no such reason for this latest purchase.

There is a lot of uncertainty here. I still believe that CTAC has a lot of potential, but I don't have the same faith in them that I used to.

Hamish Rose


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Author: brewer12345 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 210 of 216
Subject: Re: Serious Fire Sale going on Date: 3/11/2004 11:55 AM
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Personally, I still think that mgmt is making the right moves on a tactical level. They have gotten a level playing field established with the new regulations and are now putting all their beans into ramping up advertising to grab as much market share as possible. Experience indicates that once they get a customer, they tend to keep them for a good long while, so I think this makes sense. However, in the short term, increased ad spending will reduce earnings.

The purchase of the competitors may not have worked out quite as well as mgmt had in mind at the time, but it seems to me that they didn't pay all that much for the existing customer bases and inventory.

What I think is the real wild card is the purchases of IGEL and the latest UK thing. I have to assume that mgmt sees an opportunity that is not readily apparent to the rest of us, but I'm not real wild about the whole thing. However, it is small enough compared to the core business that it doesn't make that much of a difference.

Frankly, I half expect CTAC to get bought out in the next couple of years. They are about the right size and there is plenty of room for a bigger company to come in, buy them out and exploit the customer base.

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Author: hamishrose One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 211 of 216
Subject: Re: Serious Fire Sale going on Date: 5/6/2004 12:12 PM
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CTAC has dropped a lot since the latest figures came out.

Any idea why?

The suprise for me was the level of orders that haven't completed due to problems verifying prescriptions - about 20% I think.

Hamish

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