Friday, February 13, 2009

Wall Street might be watching. . .

Over at a Motley Fool one of the larger retail investor sites, an analyst liked Oce but didn't know how it made it's money. Following is part of the post, and following that is my response at the Motley Fool site.

Confusion Reigns! Does Anybody Use This Company?:
"It seemed like a good idea at the time. I chose a few little underpicked stocks just for fun; no money on them, no harm done. Oceny is now outperforming beautifully, and there is no financial data to tell me why. So I am turning to CAPS. The company makes printers, copiers, scanners, etc as mentioned below (taken from their website). I am hoping that somebody reading this uses or has used the products of this company and can give me some feedback on the products and by inference the company. I can ignore a company that just sits and does nothing. One that moves agressively up or down makes me curious. One that moves up or down with no information as to why makes me nervous.

Any help out there? - And please leave a rec even if you don't know about this company. I would like for this post to stay around long enough to be found by someone who actually does use the blasted products or can fill in the reasons for the good fortune of the company."
So I said,

I spent 40 years on the ground in the printing industry running my own company, with a 7 year stint teaching graphic designers print production at Parsons School of Design in NY.

Oce is part of an as yet to be defined sector which I think of as Print Output Infrastructure . It is evolving from a mash up of office machines and commercial printing, With the addition of the internet, the sector is taking on a life of it's own.

The big players are HP, Ricoh, Xerox, Oce, Kodak, IBM.and Canon with lots of smaller players and suppliers to the big guys. The driver is outputting digital information to paper.On the ground the product is delivered on the desktop or through the web for consumers, for clients it is in a commerical "print for pay" organization or within an enterprise in an "in house print shop."

The infrastructure companies earn their revenue in post equipment sales recurring revenue. Toner, paper and services.

The success of companies like and are built on the infrastructure put in place by the big players. The disruption of newspapers, publishing and textbooks are all opportunities to expand the infrastructure to grow in those spaces.

It's a global infrastructure that , in my opinion, will expand as literacy, rules based enterprises and competitive markets expand in the developing world, especially in the BRIC countries and Eastern Europe.

Given the increasing market share of MFP (multi funtion printer) which scan as well as print and MPS (Managed Print Services) that rationalize print output at the enterprise level, in my opinion all the pieces are in place for significant sector growth.

I blog about that sector at my Tough Love for Xerox blog.

My recent column at Mediashift/ Print is the Next Big Thing

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