Research, Charts & Company Announcements
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The Slide Rule
12 Jan 17
What is The Slide Rule? The Slide Rule has been designed to dramatically simplify the identification of the best companies in the UK small/mid-cap sector by making a quantitative assessment of the relative potential of each company. At its core, The Slide Rule aims to identify those companies that create genuine shareholder value through strong returns on capital and solid growth, but also present a value opportunity with the potential tailwind of earnings momentum. Companies are assessed within a Quality, Value, Growth and Momentum (QVGM) framework.
FY 2016 results confirm further strong delivery
21 Mar 17
Gamma’s FY 2016 revenues, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EPS numbers were a touch ahead of our estimates. We make small upward adjustments to forecasts for all three years of our forecast horizon reflecting that performance. Gamma is capitalising on its position as a nimble player in an attractive marketplace. It made strong progress in 2016 as Voice over IP technology drove uptake of SIP Trunking and Hosted PBX services - both areas where Gamma has strong platforms. In addition, data services reflected Gamma’s investment in its network, channel partner numbers increased again and the indirect business accordingly showed strong revenue growth. The Direct Business also produced good growth and won some significant new contracts. The outlook statement is ’enthusiastic’ about the current year and comments that the Board ‘remains open to suitable M&A opportunities and areas for strategic capital investment’. Overall, an optimistic picture, in our view.
15 Aug 16
Australian fintech company ThinkSmart Ltd intends to switch its quotation from ASX to AIM. This is the culmination of a strategic review started nearly a year ago. Henderson is subscribing for £5m-worth of shares at 25p (A$0.44) each in a pre-flotation placing at a premium to the ASX market price, which will give the fund manager 17% of the enlarged share capital. ThinkSmart requires regulatory approvals and a ruling from the Australian Taxation Office in order to go ahead with the transfer of quotation. Shareholders will also have to agree to the move. The introduction to AIM is expected to happen in early November, following a tender offer for up to 10 million shares. The cash raised from Henderson will be used to develop the business but it will also help to finance the tender offer, which will be at an indicative share price range of A$0.38 to A$0.55. ThinkSmart provides digital, paperless and retail point of sale finance services via its SmartCheck technology. Dixons Carphone Group subsidiary Dixons Retail is a major customer and the relationship goes back 13 years. Together they have developed a leasefinance package called Upgrade Anytime, which enables customers to upgrade to the latest computer and consumer electronics equipment. A contract has recently been won with the Carphone Warehouse subsidiary. Although ThinkSmart is based in Western Australia it also has an office in Manchester.
20 Mar 17
Despite the University of Michigan releasing its preliminary reading of March consumer sentiment on Friday, which suggested US personal finance confidence rising again, this time to a 17-year high as the Nation effectively achieves full employment, US equities remained narrowly rangebound. Industrial production data also released held steady in February which, although slightly below market consensus, still provided underlying confidence in continued growth amid a pickup in manufacturing and mining activity. But this was not enough given receipt of a slightly less hawkish tenor from the Fed. The problem appears to be that investors have heard Trump ‘talk-the-talk’ but, as was seen with the latest judges’ ruling against his travel ban, they are not yet convinced he can ‘walk-the-walk’. Thursday’s White House budget proposals, which focussed on cutting funding for projects deemed to have regional benefits, in order to increase funding to those with national scope, compounded this with some commentators suggesting the new programs will be less effective than existing ones. The President’s joint address to Congress, calling for legislation to procure US$1tr to rebuild the country’s tired infrastructure, for example, makes for great soundbites but Congressional scrutiny, particularly from fiscal conservatives who are reluctant to back massive federal spending, looks set be arduous to say the least. So while the wall of money being liberated globally from bond market rout provides plenty of back pressure, investors appear to be waiting for a new injection of confidence before being prepared to push already heady equity valuations one further step further. Traders also appeared unimpressed by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin rebuffing a concerted push by world finance chiefs to disavow protectionism, fanning fears that the Trump administration's pursuit of an ‘America First’ policy could ignite global trade conflicts. With many officials suggesting they departed the G-20 meeting confused about where the new administration will ultimately land on trade policy, US equities ended mixed with only the NASDAQ able to put on a minute gain helped by Adobe, while the other two principal US indices were knocked by continued selling of health-care stocks, in particular Amgen which had released disappointing results from a cholesterol drug study. The cautionary mood spread to Asia, where only the Hang Seng put on a modest gain while the region’s other indices stayed in the red with the Nikkei being closed for a holiday. Important macro data from London today is limited to the Rightmove House Price Index for February which was released at midnight at +2.3% y-o-y, in line with expectations, while the EU produces Q4 Labour Costs; the US provides its Chicago Fed National Activity Index and later the Fed’s Charles Evans is due to make a speech. UK corporates due to report today include Volution Group (FAN.L), Satellite Solutions Worldwide (SAT.L), Frenkel Topping Group (FEN.L), Phoenix Group (PHNX.L) and Finsbury Food Group (FIF.L). Equities in London as seen similarly lacklustre this morning, with the FTSE-100 see moving 5 to 10 down in early trading.
Making Mobiles Better
17 Jan 17
Mobile phones are increasingly the key connection for the modern world. This means that the performance of mobile phones, and their networks, is going to become more critical for all the apps and businesses that rely on them. New technologies such as VR, AR, and AV will need better, more reliable connections to really move into the mainstream. In this thematic piece we attempt to identify some of the most important issues facing mobile phone networks and their users, and start to identify solutions and enablers that will solve these problems and create value by doing so.