My investment club owns shares of X-Rite for almost 4 years. We have been watching this stock carefully but it has been struggling for several months to get above 6. We bought at almost 15. What's going on? The SSG plots a bright profile, I know they have a great product. Our club is debating on keeping it, we're just about split and intend to make a final decision at our April meeting. Does anyone have any insight on what's going on?
What did your stock club end up doing in April? I'm part of a committee due to report in November about some of our club's holdings: Should we buy more, hold or sell, and X-Rite may be a "Sell."Does anyone know which companies are direct competitors? How are these companies doing. Are X-rite's problems industry-wide or are they due to its being a small-cap stock? OR are the fundamentals, such as management, the problem, and if the latter, any estimate of cure time?Thanks in advance to any Fools who respond.
There are 3 major competitors in this market. They are X-rite, Gretag-Macbeth (GM), and Datacolor International (DCI). I'm not posotive about GM, but I believe they are Swiss. DCI is indeed held by a swiss company (a brewery). All three companies are global competitors with corporate offices in the US. Minolta and Hunter are smaller competitors in this arena.All three compete pretty much head-to-head in the same markets (color management hardware and software).Dci in years past and under different management was, as I understand the heavyweight. X-rite has since walked off with a large part of the market share. They seem to be very aggressive.Since they are off shore, it is difficult to get information for GM and Dci. GM is starting to reconcile a product overlap from the recent merger of Gretag and Macbeth. Their software is strong, however.The Dci name has carried this company for much of the last four years in the coating business. They have had a tremendous software stability issue. This may not go away anytime in the near future. Textiles, on the other hand, is more stable and they are set to move very quickly with retail stores specifying Dci products to suppliers. Dci's primary focus in all cases has been high end product.X-rite is very strong in the ink industry. They have been extremely successful in building their brand name among printers. They are also very succesful in penetrating the low end color control market with lower cost product. X-rite has embarked on the specifier approach with the coatings industry.When you stop to think about what these three companies do we can see better their potential. Everything that is manufactured has color. Imagine the importance of the red that is known throughout the world as Coca-Cola.It is indeed a niche, however, we are seeing a very rapid and concerted movement by these large companies (Coke, Revlon, Proctor & Gamble, Dayton Hudson, etc.)toward global color standardization and communication.IMO each of these companies are getting their houses in order. Presently, it would appear that X-rite is positioned to be the better investment choice.Sorry so long winded.
Re frogdollars' reply to my question of keeping x-rite:Actually, I found the reply full of insight and careful research. (Definitely not too long-winded!) Our stock club finally decided to sell xrite for two reasons. First, we did not see that they could begin earning 15 percent per year in the near future--saw some stuff that forecast just over five percent.Secondly, it was too difficult to get information either on them or their competitors. You're right about their major competitors--they are offshore. Also of the five analysts who used to follow xrite, one (Roney, if I recall the name correctly) was dropping out as I did my report. Even this board is very thin--note how far back the list goes. We decided a stock that gets so little attention either from professional analysts or from Fools will have a tough time increasing its price.Thanks again for your answer.
its not that hard to find information on GretagMacbeth if you know where to look. Try www.swissquotes.com and search on GREN. I'd rather have GM stock for the last three months than x-rite for the last two years.
Don't sell. I figure these guys will do just fine over the next ten years. Besides, the folks that accumulated at 6-7 just got nearly a double.
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