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To: Sector Investor who wrote (1506)10/22/2002 4:28:08 PM
From: Robert G. Harrell
   of 6947
 
That article reminds me of the Motley Fool's Foolish 8 criteria for finding great small cap stocks. One of my best investments was in THQI which I found on the Foolish 8 message board in 1996. A young accountant, who was as diligent as you are in researching stocks, posted all the pertinent information. The company had just fired the founder, done a 10 for 1 reverse split and hired the CFO Brian Farrell as the new CEO. They weren't even listed on the regular NASDAQ yet. I bought my first shares for $5 pre many splits and saw my money double each year for at least 3 years before I stupidly sold it in the 20's before it went over 40 in '01 (to buy more MRVC, ugh!!!).

What I really like about these small companies is that a handful of diligent investors can gather and post information and build a base of information equal to or better than the wall street pro's if they even cover the stock. In the early years of THQI's growth there was very little or no coverage. There was a large cult following on the AOL Motley Fool THQI board. They would go out and do channel checks of the video game sales in stores all over the country and got very good estimates on sales. Even after the company got analyst coverage in the pre reg. FD era, the group's profit estimates were always much better than the analyst. KVH has the same feel to me as THQ did a few years ago. If KVH experiences the kind of growth that THQ did, it won't matter if you bought recently at $3 or $5 or $10. The difference will seem minuscule after a few splits.

Here are the Foolish 8 criteria as they exist now. They've refined them some over the years.

One method for locating solid small-cap companies is through "The
Foolish 8." The Foolish 8 refers to eight qualities that we look for in
growth stocks, as laid out by David and Tom Gardner in the The Motley
Fool Investment Guide.

Our list of Foolish 8 principles.

1.Relative strength of 90 or more
2.Minimum price of $7 per share
3.Daily dollar volume between $1 million and $25 million
4.Sales and earnings growth of 25% or greater
5.$500 million or less in sales
6.Net profit margin above 7%
7.Insider holdings of 10% or more
8.Positive cash flow from operations

The Foolish 8 isolates small, profitable, growing companies. The list itself
does not comprise our final selections, but we often pick our purchases
from the list. Every month, we publish a Foolish 8 spreadsheet that
identifies companies with these desirable qualities so that you can spend
your time on researching these various investment opportunities in
hopes of finding small-cap winners. Also, a Foolish 8 company is
highlighted in each edition of The Motley Fool Select.

excerpted from fool.com

They sell a list of the Foolish 8 companies updated monthly for only $50/year.
foolmart.com

Bob

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To: Robert G. Harrell who wrote (1507)10/23/2002 7:21:00 AM
From: robert b furman
   of 6947
 
HI Bob,

It really wasn't that long ago that the only fund invested in KVHI was the University of Wisconsin.

Due to their original support they were one of the funds allowed to provide additional funding for an equity private offering.

I like the long term positive relationships that management seems to be able to build.

In Texas we call it dancin with the one that brung ya.

It's a good thing.gg

Bob

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To: robert b furman who wrote (1508)10/23/2002 2:22:42 PM
From: Sector Investor
   of 6947
 
Wednesday, October 23, 2002 Posted: 11:15 AM EDT (1515 GMT)


WASHINGTON (AP) -- With strokes of his pen Wednesday, President Bush signed into law a bill giving him the tools he wants to wage an expensive, no-end-in-sight global fight against terror and possibly Saddam Hussein.

"Our nation faces grave new dangers, and our nation must fully support the men and women of our military who confront these dangers on our behalf," Bush said before signing legislation providing a hefty increase in defense spending and financing for military construction projects in 2003.

"The bill says America is determined and resolute to not only defend our freedom but to defend freedom around the world, that we're determined and resolute to answer the call to history and that we will defeat terror," Bush told a Rose Garden audience of mostly uniformed military personnel, along with a handful of lawmakers.

The spending measures were the first of their kind to become law -- three weeks after the start of the 2003 budget year.

Lawmakers who were deadlocked over spending decisions and anxious about midterm elections left Capitol Hill last week to campaign. They plan to finish the other 11 required spending bills in a lame-duck session after the November 5 voting.

The $355.4 billion defense bill, approved with overwhelming support to provide most of what Bush requested, increases spending by more than $34 billion over the previous fiscal year. Bush sought $367 billion, but ran into bipartisan resistance to his proposal for a $10 billion fund he could tap without congressional input for combating terrorists overseas.

"It's the largest increase in defense spending since President Reagan was the president," Bush said Tuesday as he stumped for candidates in Bangor, Maine.

"Any time the United States of America sends our youngsters into harm's way they deserve the best pay, the best training and the best possible equipment. ... It doesn't matter how long it takes to defend freedom, we'll do it. ... We have a duty to future generations of Americans to make this land secure."

With a day of work in Washington sandwiched between campaign swings and other travel, Bush was urging the Senate later Wednesday to follow the House's lead and approve legislation to bypass a Supreme Court decision that struck down a ban of computer simulations of child pornography. Bush was hosting a private forum on the sexual solicitation and exploitation of children over the Internet, followed by the public address.

The events are a follow-up to the October 2 White House Conference on Missing, Exploited and Runaway Children. Bush focused most of his attention and remarks at the time on kidnapped children but noted that during a single year one in five children between the ages of 10 and 17 are sexually propositioned online.

On Wednesday, he was also encouraging parents to teach their children about online safety.

"The threats to our children are found not just on our streets, but they're found in the technology which we use in our homes," Bush told the conference. "With expanding use of the Internet and the heightened activity of predators searching for underage victims, more children are being lured into harmful and even tragic situations."

In April, the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional and too broad part of a 1996 law intended primarily to stop pornography produced through computer wizardry that was not available when the court placed child pornography outside First Amendment protection in 1982.

Free-speech advocates and pornographers challenged the ban on material that appears to be a child in a sexually explicit situation or that is advertised to convey the impression that someone under age 18 is involved.

The bill Bush was promoting would prohibit the production, distribution and possession of any visual depiction, real or electronic, of prepubescent children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

With the military moving toward a war footing with Iraq, the defense measure increases spending in almost every area, from weapons procurement to payroll. It includes a 4.1 percent pay raise for military personnel and almost all the $7.4 billion Bush requested to keep developing a national missile defense system.

The defense bill also provides:

•$3.3 billion for 15 C-17 transport aircraft

•$2.3 billion for two Aegis destroyers

•$3.2 billion for 46 Navy F/A-18 E/F fighters

•$3.5 billion to continue developing the Joint Strike Fighter

•$249 million is allotted for Navy Tomahawk cruise missiles, a prime weapon in the Persian Gulf War.

Nonmilitary federal programs are operating on last year's budgets, under a fourth temporary funding bill that is good through November 22.

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To: Sector Investor who wrote (1509)10/23/2002 2:39:23 PM
From: robert b furman
   of 6947
 
Somewhere iN 355.3 Billion lies opportunity for our little screamer.<VBG.

Bob

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To: robert b furman who wrote (1510)10/23/2002 3:10:34 PM
From: Sector Investor
   of 6947
 
Yes indeed Bob,

Here is the post House-Senate conference version from earlier this month. This is what the President signed today. Go in about 160 pages to see the detail items. Lots of KVH programs are in there, plus many others they might have bids for gyros in on.

house.gov

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To: david james who started this subject10/29/2002 7:53:34 AM
From: Roy F
   of 6947
 
KVH Industries Sweeps NMEA Satellite Product Awards for Fifth Consecutive Year

Tuesday October 29, 7:31 am ET

TracVision 4 and Tracphone 252 Named "Best Satellite Products" by Dealers and Marine Professionals at 2002 NMEA Conference

MIDDLETOWN, R.I., Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- For the fifth year in a row, KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI - News) has won the "best product" awards from the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) in the satellite television and satellite telephone categories. The KVH TracVision® 4 was voted Best Satellite Television System for the third year, while the KVH Tracphone® 252 was named Best Satellite Communications Product for the first time as it replaced KVH's four-time winner Tracphone 25.

"We are extremely proud that marine dealers nationwide chose to honor KVH's satellite communications systems as the 'Best Products' of 2002," said Ian Palmer, vice president of satellite sales, who accepted the awards at the NMEA annual convention ceremony held October 26 in Ft. Myers, Florida. "These awards reaffirm the confidence and preference of KVH products among marine professionals and consumers nationwide. TracVision 4 and Tracphone 252 are part of KVH's comprehensive suite of satellite communication products and services. We are the only company to offer dealers and consumers a one-stop shopping experience and outstanding service and support through our portfolio of marine satellite TV, satellite communications, and high-speed Internet products, as well as the necessary satellite services."

The NMEA Product Awards are presented annually to recognize excellence in design, performance and reliability in marine electronics products. The winners are selected by a vote of the members of the NMEA. Founded in 1957, the NMEA is an internationally recognized trade association of manufacturers, distributors, dealers, sales representatives and other professionals in the marine electronics field. Among its achievements, the NMEA has led the way in establishing technical standards for data exchange in marine electronics, with the widely accepted NMEA 0183 data protocol.

TracVision 4, a fully self-contained 18-inch antenna system, uses KVH's integrated Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) technology to provide automatic satellite acquisition as well as receive Internet downloads at speeds reaching 400 Kbps. Widely recognized as offering the best satellite tracking performance in its class, TracVision 4 has been selected as a standard option by leading boat builders, such as Sea Ray and Silverton. With TracVision 4, mariners can access 300 channels of direct broadcast satellite television as far as 100 miles off the North American or European coasts. TracVision 4 is also fully compatible with the high-powered DirecPC® Internet service and TracNet(TM) 2.0 Mobile High-speed Internet System, each available exclusively from KVH Industries.

Tracphone 252, a completely self-contained system, provides secure voice, fax, and data services to boats as small as 35 feet (10 m) via the Inmarsat mini-M service. Capable of simultaneously supporting multiple phones through a PABX system, as well as a fax machine and computer, Tracphone 252 brings a complete communications center to sea. The Tracphone 252's fully stabilized antenna design ensures mariners can keep in touch regardless of the sea conditions. Near-global coverage is provided through the low-cost Inmarsat mini-M service, the world's most widely used satellite communications service, which is available through KVH's Inmarsat Airtime Program.

An established, widespread network of dealers supports the KVH marine communications and navigation product lines. KVH has made supporting its dealers a high priority, and is continually striving for new ways to enhance company-dealer communications, collaborate in marketing efforts, extend training and provide rapid, high-quality customer service.

Complete information regarding KVH's TracVision and Tracphone systems can be found on the company's web site, www.kvh.com. In addition, several high- resolution, press-ready images are available to download from the News section of the KVH web site.

KVH Industries, Inc., designs and manufactures products that enable mobile communication, navigation, and precision pointing through the use of its proprietary mobile satellite antenna and fiber optic technologies. The company is developing next-generation systems with greater precision, durability, and versatility for communications, navigation, and industrial applications. An ISO 9001-registered company, KVH has headquarters in Middletown, Rhode Island, with a fiber optic manufacturing facility in Tinley Park, Illinois, and a European sales, marketing, and support office in Hoersholm, Denmark.

KVH Industries Contact:
Chris Watson, Communications Coordinator
401-847-3327
cwatson@kvh.com

Investor Relations Contact:
Phil Davidson or Jolinda Taylor
FD Morgen-Walke
617-747-3600

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To: Roy F who wrote (1512)10/29/2002 8:36:10 AM
From: Sector Investor
   of 6947
 
I added a couple of posts about this over on Yahoo! Nice!

messages.yahoo.com

messages.yahoo.com

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To: Sector Investor who wrote (1513)10/29/2002 10:58:52 AM
From: Sector Investor
   of 6947
 
I found this article about Ground Prophet that mentions KVH TACNAV. Ground Prophet is another program that Congress accelerated in the FY2003 Defense budget, increasing the requested funding by 75%.

There is a lot of good information here, and we can see that this program is a large effort that goes on for years - you might say it is "blocked out". <g>

Abstract
Army leaders are rolling out their newest signals-intelligence system, called Prophet, which disrupts enemy command and control, detects and classifies moving targets, and offers situational awareness on the battlefield, Army officials say. Prophet detects, demodulates, determines lines of bearing, and exploits enemy signals of interest.

Prophet Block 1, from Titan Systems Corp. in San Diego, is the first new signals-intelligence system in nearly 20 years, says Col.


Full Text WASHINGTON -- U.S. Army leaders are rolling out their newest signals-intelligence system, called Prophet, which disrupts enemy command and control, detects and classifies moving targets, and offers situational awareness on the battlefield, Army officials say. Prophet detects, demodulates, determines lines of bearing, and exploits enemy signals of interest.

Prophet Block 1, from Titan Systems Corp. in San Diego, is the first new signals-intelligence system in nearly 20 years, says Col. Kevin Peterson, Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) system manager for the Prophet at Fort Huachuca, Ariz. It is for echelons of division and below.

Prophet already is part of U.S. operations in Afghanistan, said Lt. Gen. Robert Noonan Jr., Deputy Chief of Staff, G-2, during the Prophet rollout last month in Washington, which coincided with the Army's 227th anniversary. Army leaders would not elaborate on Prophet' role in Afghanistan for security reasons.

Prophet, a project of the Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors (IEWS) at Fort Monmouth, N.J., intercepts and locates radio signals while operating on the move; it measures seismic and acoustic changes in the infrared energy, electro-optic, and magnetic fields.

Prophet Block I has an AN/PRD-13(V)2 signal intercept system mounted on a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle or HMMWV, yet is not a significant target on the battlefield because it has no unique signature, Army officials say; anti-jam capability will be part of the next Block, Peterson says.

Prophet information will flow into the joint net over division communications using a digital link, as well as near continuous voice communications with the maneuver brigade's operations and intelligence elements. Prophet replaces the TRAILBLAZER, TEAMMATE, TRAFFICJAM, and MANPACK legacy systems, Army officials say.

Titan engineers reduced the number of moving parts and improved ease of maintenance, says It. Col William Stevenson, product manager for Prophet at IEWS at Fort Monmouth. Inside the Prophet vehicle the operator uses a Toughbook 28 from Panasonic Personal Computer Co. of Secaucus, N.J., to monitor the incoming intelligence.

Prophet electronics is about 30 to 40 percent commercial-off-the-shelf, or COTS, with most of that lying in the computer hardware, says Ronald Gorda, president of Titan Systems Corp.'s Information Product Group. The simple Prophet design and Windows-based software eases personnel training, Stevenson says.

Titan was to deliver the first six Block 1 systems in June; overall, Army officials say they will field 83 Prophet Block I systems by the end of 2004.

Prophet's receiver/processor -- the core electronics of Block I -- has three receivers, one direction finder and two monitors, which can operate in search (channel scan) and monitor (fix-tuned) modes. In addition, the DF receiver provides general search (band sweep), DF operations and panning operations (manually tuning a signal).

The system demodulates and collects AM, FM, continuous wave, and single sideband radio signals in the HF, VHF, and UHF spectra.

The Prophet intercept receiver can also be configured to operate as a 32-pound manpack system for airborne or air assault operations, Army officials say. An onboard Precision Lightweight Global Positioning System Receiver and KVH Tactical Navigation system interfaces with Prophet to provide accurate worldwide self-positioning locational data to within 10 meters and a north-sensing device to indicate vehicle heading. Manpack Prophet is self-sustaining for 72 hours.

The AN! VRC-92A Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINC-GARS) provides Prophet with secure voice communications, Army officials say. Future versions will integrate the Joint Tactical Radio System, Peterson says.

Prophet Block II/III will expand the frequency range and signal types to low-probability-of-intercept and modern signals, as well as include an integrated electronic attack capability. It also will include system netting, signal remoting and beyond-line-of-sight communications.

Prophet Block IV will add mobile-attended platform-based sensors along with unattended ground sensors (UGS) deployed as a distributed and networked multiple-sensor array. Prophet Block V is the last block and will integrate micro-sensors and robotic platforms.

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To: Sector Investor who wrote (1514)10/29/2002 11:38:52 AM
From: Sector Investor
   of 6947
 
Here is another version. It looks like a rework of the previous article, and doesn't mention KVH, but it DOES give some roll out dates for the various Blocks. This program will go on for years, providing nice sales for KVH TACNAV for a long time.

us.net

October 2002

©SIGNAL Magazine 2002

Signal Intelligence System Uncovers Enemy Sites

Prophet finds what's present, supports future tactics.

By Maryann Lawlor

The U.S. Army has a new tool in its arsenal that allows mobile troops to gather intelligence about the location and activities of adversaries by pinpointing the source of signal transmissions and intercepting communications. The system will replace legacy electronic warfare systems that were developed more than 30 years ago, and it has already been deployed in Afghanistan in support of operation Enduring Freedom.

Part of the military's intelligence gathering mission is to collect information about enemy intentions and to determine the locations of specific targets. One way to obtain this insight is by finding the electronic signature of their communications. Signals intelligence (SIGINT) contributes to situational awareness by adding detail to the profile of the battlespace. Once the source of the signal is determined, military commanders can map the area's landscape and may, if they choose, employ electronic warfare or other tactics to interrupt communications.

The Prophet system, created and produced by Titan Systems Corporation, San Diego, provides this capability not only from a fixed command post but also on the move. Mounted on a high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle (HMMWV), the system allows troops in the field to intercept radio frequency signals, perform signal direction finding and develop actionable intelligence from the voice and communications data. Adversaries are not aware that they are being monitored. The Army's Program Executive Office Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors manages the project.

An onboard precision lightweight global positioning system receiver and tactical navigation system interfaces with Prophet to provide accurate worldwide self-positioning location data to within 10 meters, and a north sensing device indicates the heading of the vehicle, which supports on-the-move operations.

A manportable unit that can be removed from the HMMWV allows soldiers to continue gathering SIGINT even when away from the vehicle. The manpack system also can support forced-entry airborne or air assault operations.

The system's primary mission is to provide continuous force protection to the maneuver brigade. It will be the echelons-division-and-below tactical commander's sole organic SIGINT, electronic warfare, measurement and signature intelligence, and ground surveillance capability.

In concert with the division tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (TUAV) SIGINT payload, a capability that is currently under development, a division commander will have a comprehensive, near-real-time picture of the enemy's electronic emitters and the ability to detect, identify, locate and track selected emitters.

Engineering, manufacturing and development models of Prophet-equipped vehicles were part of the military's initial entry units in Afghanistan in November 2001. Lt. Col. William W. Stevenson, USA, product manager, Prophet, Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, explains that an Army unit, which cannot be identified for security reasons, was using the system in an exercise before operation Enduring Freedom began. Prophet had already successfully completed the test and evaluation stage, so the unit was granted permission to take two systems on its deployment to the Afghan theater of operations.

"The system provides exactly what we have been touting," Col. Stevenson says. "It offers force protection notification to that unit. It tells the troops where enemy emitters are located and, as a result, the commander can use that information in advance of moving to an area and determine what the unit is going to do in the area. It directly influences the commanders' plans."

Prophet has supported multiple operations in Afghanistan, the colonel states, and its reliability has prompted other units to request the system. In fact, plans are currently in the works to determine how the Army National Guard can obtain the equipment for use in Bosnia.

Prophet equipment is about one-third both the weight and the size of legacy systems and offers other distinct benefits. In addition to the on-the-move operation capability, it features digital triangulation to determine the origin of the signal. Legacy systems obtain bearing data that must then be plotted on a map using a grease pencil. And while it can take up to four hours to set up the antenna mast for older systems, the Prophet's 20-foot mast can be erected in two minutes. Finally, because it uses the HMMWV's batteries rather than a separate generator as a power source, thermal and acoustics signatures are reduced.

The Prophet's equipment package includes the single channel ground and airborne radio system (SINCGARS), which provides secure voice communications. Using two receiver-transmitters and two radio amplifiers, Prophet operators can communicate over two networks simultaneously.

HMMWVs equipped with the Prophet system can carry four people as well as enough mission-essential equipment, personal gear and fuel to complete a 72-hour mission.

The technology is being developed using a spiral approach. Prophet Block I contains the electronic support component, which is the receiver/processor. This core system detects and demodulates intercepted enemy signals of interest and determines their lines-of-bearing data. It comprises three receivers: one designated as the direction-finding receiver and two as monitor receivers.

Prophet operates in the high frequency, very high frequency and ultrahigh frequency spectrums. Types of searches include channel scan, fix-tuned, band sweep and manually tuned. Amplitude modulation, frequency modulation, single side-band and continuous wave signals can be demodulated and collected. It covers 10 times the radio frequencies of older electronic warfare systems.

Among the legacy systems Prophet will replace are Trailblazer, Teammate, Trafficjam and the lightweight man-transportable radio direction finding system.

Although the Prophet system is designed primarily to locate signal origination points, Col. Stevenson relates that information collection is equally important. "We are now operating in direct support of a brigade commander. The information is provided to the commander as soon as it is actionable information. This is a polar shift in the way operations are conducted and in the way the information is shared," he states.

Prophet allows data to be collected and sent back to safe areas where linguists can work on it while the commander plans what to do about the transmitter in the area of operations. "This is a shift in operations because it brings the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information warfare aspect to the immediate forefront of the commander," the colonel says. Because this information can be combined with intelligence gathered by other means, capabilities dynamically increase, he adds.

Col. Kevin Peterson, USA, training and doctrine system manager, Prophet, Fort Huachuca, Arizona, points out that the system informs commanders of what is in front of and around them. It gives the commander the option to either destroy or not destroy an enemy communications post or to maneuver out of contact.

The Training and Doctrine Command's (TRADOC's) role has been critical to the development of Prophet, Col. Peterson explains. By working with users, TRADOC identified requirements for the system. It also has determined how doctrine must change as a result of the new capability. As the new system is introduced, TRADOC will conduct training and will adjust current courses to reflect the changes the capability brings to operations.

"We are working hand-in-hand with Objective Force personnel to roll this into Objective Force initiative plans because the equipment in 2008 will have Prophet embedded in it, and those forces will need to be very familiar with it," Col. Peterson explains.

Originally, Prophet's Block II and Block III rollouts involved two distinct sets of improvements to the initial equipment. However, the Army has since combined the two, now calling the upgrades Block II/III, and companies are competing for the project. The improvements at this phase are scheduled to include an electronic warfare jamming capability and to increase the types of signals Block I equipment detects to include low-probability-of-intercept, modern and frequency-hopping signals.

Current plans call for the Block II/III contract to be awarded in December 2002, with operational test and evaluation of the system scheduled for summer 2004. During the first quarter of fiscal year 2005, a production decision will be made, and the upgrades should be made in late 2005 and 2006, Col. Stevenson says.

Ronald Gorda, senior vice president, Titan Systems Corporation, explains that Titan already has been working on the next generation of equipment. The open architecture design of the system will facilitate the incorporation of future improvements and allow for maximum reuse of the equipment when upgrades are developed, Gorda says.

Currently, 37 vehicles are in full production, and Titan is scheduled to deliver a total of 83 Prophet-equipped HMMWVs to the Army by 2004. The fielding plan calls for each division to get six models. Each armored cavalry regiment is scheduled to receive four systems, while Stryker brigades will each receive three and separate infantry brigades will each receive two. Five Prophet systems will be delivered to TRADOC to meet institutional training requirements.

Improvements to the system will continue in the Block IV and Block V stages. Scheduled upgrades in the Block IV would add a measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT) capability to the Prophet system on a separate vehicle. The MASINT component may feature mobile, unattended platform-based sensors and unattended ground sensors that would be deployed as a distributed and networked sensor array. In addition, when combined with the upgraded Block II/III electronic support platform, the warfighter will have a multispectral sensor system capability. SIGINT and MASINT capabilities may be fused in future combat vehicles. Col. Peterson explains that Block IV capabilities are set to coincide with the Objective Force in 2008.

Col. Peterson predicts that Block V enhancements will be online around 2015 and will incorporate microsensors and robotic platforms. As envisioned, electronic warfare, SIGINT, MASINT and direction finding capabilities would allow commanders to tailor the collection of information to changing mission requirements.

While improved ground-based SIGINT capabilities are being introduced in the field, the Army also is in the process of developing similar intelligence gathering capabilities from the air. The division TUAV signals intelligence program (DTSP) currently is in the component advanced development stage with three companies proposing designs.

The DTSP will allow commanders to electronically map radio frequency emitters on the battlefield and conduct electronic attacks against targeted emitters. It is envisioned to feature two components. The SIGINT and electronic warfare payloads would be installed on the TUAV, while the workstation software would control the mission payload remotely and display and analyze the data.

According to Col. Stevenson, the technologies will be demonstrated at Fort Huachuca during the middle of 2003, and a contract will be awarded in fiscal year 2004 or fiscal year 2005.

To ensure that these SIGINT capabilities can be used in joint and coalition environments, the Army has been working with intelligence agencies, the special operations community and all the services as well as other nations. The equipment is interoperable with other systems to ensure that the data that is collected can be shared, Col. Stevenson says.

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To: Sector Investor who wrote (1515)10/29/2002 1:18:36 PM
From: Sector Investor
   of 6947
 
KVH Q3 CC Transcript part 1:

KVH Industries

Q3 2002 Earnings Conference Call, 10/17/2002


Pat Spratt, CFO

Good morning and thank you for joining us. I’m Pat Spratt, CFO for KVH Industries, and with us today is Martin Kits van Heyningen, our President and CEO. This call will address the 3rd quarter 2002 earnings release which we issued early this morning.

Standard risks and uncertainties and forward-looking statements disclaimer.

[Martin:] Thanks, Pat

We have a lot to talk about today, including some recent products and contract announcements. We begin with a recap of our quarterly and YTD operations and our key business areas, and then Pat will elaborate on the financial results of the quarter, and after that, of course we will take your questions.

All right, let’s get started.

Q3 was a breakthrough quarter, in what we believe is a breakthrough year for KVH. We entered 2002 with the goals of returning to profitability in the second half, doubling our defense revenues for the year, and achieving annual growth of 30%-40%, and we’ve made excellent progress on all three. Thanks to the successful execution of our long-term plan, we returned to profitability with earnings of one cent per share, up from a 14-cent loss in the same quarter last year. Overall, revenues for the 3rd quarter were $12.4 million, and was up 57% from the same period last year, and that’s a record for 3rd quarter sales. Revenues for the first 9 months of the year were $34.7 million and that’s up 45% over last year. In fact we’ve already surpassed our total revenues for all of 2001 by $2 million.

These quarterly gains were driven by the continued strength of our satellite communications business, as well as several new contracts for military navigation systems. During the 3rd quarter, operating expenses also decreased by $600,000, versus the 2nd quarter of this year. So looking ahead, we are well positioned for continued profitability and solid revenue growth in Q4.

I’d now like to go through each of our business segments, beginning with our Satellite Communications area and our Mobile Broadband group. Sales of our satellite communications products were $6.3 million for the quarter, and that’s a 55% increase from the same quarter a year ago. The continued resurgence in the North American market drove our sales up 78% over the prior year, expanding our market share, and more than offsetting a small decline in our European market sales. In our last conference call I mentioned that we had signed OEM agreements with three major RV and Coach manufacturers. I’m pleased to report that we have signed three more during the 3rd quarter. We’ve already announced our new contract with Marathon Coach, but we’ve also signed up Bluebird and Monaco as major customers.

All three of these OEM customers selected our TracVision antennas as standard or optional equipment for their vehicles. This represents the potential sale of several thousand additional units during the next 12 months. KVH’s TracVision is now offered as standard or optional equipment by 8 of the top 10 RV manufacturers. Now winning 6 OEM contracts in the last two quarters is a clear indication that our products continue to gain market share, but perhaps more importantly, it’s an indication that satellite television has crossed the threshold from being a nice to have gadget, to becoming a must have product for mobile consumers.

In addition to our OEM sales, our strong aftermarket campaign continued to expand. Aftermarket sales of TracVision antennas through the first 9 months of the year were more than double those of the same period last year, illustrating our ongoing success in addressing the existing RV customer base. We expect that strong sales in both the OEM and after market channels will continue in both the 4th quarter and into 2003.

We are also now seeing the initial benefits of our airtime services program, as we completed the first full quarter of airtime sales. This program was launched with the addition of minimal internal resources, thanks to extensive usage of web based billing and tracking systems. While it’s still early in the airtime services program, and revenues to date are very small, we’re building a solid base of customers that represent an ongoing, service driven revenue stream. I’m confident that airtime subscriptions will become an increasingly valuable component of our sat-com revenues.

In the North American Marine market 3rd quarter sales saw a 48% increase over last year, despite the continuing uncertainty in the Marine industry caused by the stock market decline. The Marine market is more susceptible to changes in overall consumer wealth, since boats are a luxury item that is often funded by capital gains from other investments, but we were able to grow despite the declining sales of new boats, through the addition of several new Inmarsat products, as well as our TracNet mobile Internet system. These new products are selling to the aftermarket in increasing numbers, making up for lower sales to new boats.

Since new products are driving our growth in a flat Marine market, we’re going to continue to introduce new ones at a fairly aggressive pace. In fact, we’ll be introducing an updated mobile broadband system at the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat show in two weeks. This new version, called TracNet 2.0, offers greater geographic range, faster upload and download speeds, and significantly lower airtime rates than our first generation product. TracNet 2.0 should help maintain the momentum we’ve created with the successful launch of the system earlier this year.

Our primary R&D efforts remain focused on our low profile satellite TV antenna system for the automotive market. We continue to make good progress on this breakthrough technology, and we expect to be able to announce a product introduction in the coming months.

Moving on to the Defense area, entering 2002, we set a goal to double our military revenues, and I’m very happy to say that we are still on track to do so. Third quarter military revenues were $4.3 million, up 81% from the same quarter last year. YTD our Defense related sales totaled $9.8 million, an increase of 118% over the first nine months of 2001.

Recently there has been lots of public speculation about the vulnerability of the GPS based navigation system. It’s even been reported that Iraq has been testing GPS jammers. And one of the key benefits of KVH’s TACNAV technology is that it includes both Inertial and magnetic field sensors and cannot be jammed. Our TACNAV navigation systems are currently in use in combat in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East. And our systems continue to prove themselves in the field, though the growing recognition by the military that uninterrupted precision navigation is critical to successful military operations.

The most compelling example of this is our recently announced contract to provide TACNAV for all US. Military Special Forces vehicles. We began planning for this contract shortly after September 11th last year, and built the initial inventory of systems, so that we would be prepared to ship them immediately if required. In the intervening months, the U.S. Special Operations command decided that the benefits offered by TACNAV should be made available to the entire Special Forces fleet. As a result, the scope of the contract expanded, and now has a potential value in excess of $10 million over the life of the program. We shipped the first few hundred systems at the end of the 3rd quarter, within 24 hours of receiving the order. We’re very proud that KVH equipment will be aiding our elite Special Forces. They’ve been on the front line in the war against terrorism, and they would be the first to be called upon for any conflicts in the Middle East.

Now the uneven nature of military procurement cycles will always result in some difficulty in projecting revenue patterns on a quarterly basis, but the overall trend of increasing Defense sales is clear. We continue to pursue a number of opportunities for TACNAV sales, both domestically and internationally. In addition to Special Forces, we also received a significant follow-on order for the TACNAV FOG system, used in the GroundProphet vehicle, which is used to pinpoint the source of enemy radio or cell phone transmissions. These orders should be shipped in the 4th quarter, which is why I am confident that we will double our Defense related revenues for the year, as we had anticipated.

[10:10]
Our Fiber Optics business also continued to grow, with quarterly revenues of $1.2 million, a 60% increase from the 3rd quarter of 2001. We are pleased with the results thus far, but continue our efforts to establish our fiber optic products as a more significant source of revenue. To date, military applications remain the number one market for our Fiber Optic Gyros. Our FOGs are the heart of our TACNAV FOG system and our TACNAV II navigation systems, and our recently patented Digital Gyro technology also continues to draw interest for use in a wider array of applications, such as the Inertial Measurement Unit for precision guided munitions that we are developing in cooperation with L-3 Communications.

In late July, we announced that an agreement was in place for KVH to partner with the ABB group to develop a new, high voltage optical Current Sensor, using the same digital DSP gyro technology. Working together with ABB, we’re making good progress towards bringing the Current Sensor to market. We’re very confident that ABB’s position as one of the leaders in the International Power industry will enable us to successfully address this exciting new market.

Now as you may recall from our last conference call, in response to the continuing collapse of the optical telecom market, we began to reduce the R&D funding directed toward our ActiveFiber technology during the 2nd quarter. And this process continued throughout the 3rd quarter, through the lack of a near term or even medium term opportunity to generate revenues from a 40GIG optical modulator. Instead, we are placing a greater emphasis on near term applications for our in-fiber technology, such as in our military gyros, Current Sensors, and potentially in Phased-Array antennas. This will allow us to benefit from our research, as well as increase the opportunities to drive revenues from the ActiveFiber in the near term. At the same time, we will continue to refine this technology to prepare for the eventual re-emergence of a viable optical telecommunications market, even though this may not be for a year or more.

So, looking ahead, KVH is in an extremely strong position as we enter the 4th quarter. The successful execution of our strategic plan generated record revenues over the first 9 months of the year, and returned us to profitability as planned, and despite the overall decline in the economy. Thanks to our strong Defense backlog, new OEM customers for the RV markets, and the addition of new products and services, I expect that we will remain profitable in the 4th quarter, and meet our goals for both quarterly and yearly revenue growth.


I’d now like to turn the call over to Pat, who will provide a more detailed financial picture. Pat.

[13:00] Pat Spratt, CFO

Thank you Martin. During the 3rd quarter we experienced significant growth in each of our key markets. The improvements in the operating model resulted in positive cash flow and a stronger balance sheet. While there is still work to be done, we believe that KVH has turned the corner. It has the structure in place to sustain the momentum we have been building over the past several quarters. I’d now like to review the numbers.

First, 3rd quarter sales increased 57% to $12.4 million. This has been a record number for the 3rd quarter, which traditionally has been a low point in the annual revenue cycle. Thanks to this revenue growth and continuing improvements in our business model, the result was a net profit of $150,000, or one cent per share.

Third quarter satellite communication sales grew to $6.3 million, a 55% increase. YTD satellite communication shipments rose to $20.1 million, a 45% increase.

Third quarter Defense revenues grew to $4.3 million, an 81% increase, while YTD Defense shipments were $9.8 million, a 118% increase. The award of the long anticipated Special Forces contract was an important contributor to our 3rd quarter results. Defense backlog rose to roughly $6.3 million at the end of the 3rd quarter, approximately 2/3 of which is scheduled to ship in the 4th quarter. We are very pleased with the strength of this business area. It helps to establish a very solid foundation for growth and profit improvement. However, the uneven nature of the military procurement process also makes it more difficult to project future revenue patterns.

Fiber Optic sales increased to $1.2 million, up 60% for the 3rd quarter. On a YTD basis, we are now on a par with last year.

During the 3rd quarter, legacy products, which include OEM sensors and Marine navigation sales, declined approximately 17%. Quarterly revenue for this product family was just under $600,000. YTD revenues are $2.2 million, but this reflects a 25% decline from the same period last year.

[15:10] Now to the cost side of our results. We made excellent progress in our product cost initiatives.

Third quarter Gross Profit dollars doubled Y-Y to $5.6 million. As a percentage of net sales, Gross Margin increased to 45%, up 10 points from last year’s 35%. Our YTD Gross Profit was 44% of sales, up from 37% in 2001. The quarterly and YTD Gross Profit improvements resulted from increased efficiencies in our manufacturing operations, and a beneficial shift in our product mix toward higher margin military systems. To date in 2002, our manufacturing team has reduced direct unit costs for communications products by more than 5%, and manufacturing overhead costs have been reduced in absolute terms, while revenue has grown 45%.

We are also working hard to tighten up operating expenses. While overall operating expenses for the quarter were up 21% Y-Y to $5.4 million, this reflects a 13 point reduction as a percentage of sales, to 43%. We’ve managed to reduce operating expenses by $600,000 when compared to the second quarter of this year.

Third quarter R&D expense increased to $2.2 million, a 30% increase over last year. However, on a sequential basis, R&D expenses actually declined 8%, or $200,000. This was due in part to a higher level of customer-funded research, but it also reflects a refocus. As Martin noted during his comments, we are scaling back on the total investment in PhotonicFiber research.

From the start of the PhotonicFiber project, a significant amount of the research was conducted by external consulting resources, providing us with an immediate reservoir of experience, as well as the flexibility to adjust our level of investment. We are now capitalizing on this flexible model to help manage the level of R&D going forward. We anticipate that R&D spending will, on a sequential basis, be somewhat lower in the 4th quarter.

Third quarter Sales and Marketing expense increased to $2.3 million, a 15% increase from last year. We were able to grow revenues in the quarter at a rate 3 times that of the growth rate of S&M expenses. On a sequential basis S&M actually declined 17%, a good portion of this due to a lower level of commissions associated with the mix of sales.

Third quarter G&A expense increased to $850,000, a 20% Y-Y increase, while YTD spending came in at $2.4 million, which also reflects a 20% increase. Much of the increase in G&A is related to additions to the management staff, and for professional service expense associated with the launch of new products and services.

Consistent with accounting standards, we did not recognize any income tax expense for the 3rd quarter, because we were able to use the tax effects of previous losses.

As I mentioned at the start, our Balance Sheet profile also improved. The Cash balance as of September 30th was $7.6 million. This reflects a $1 million increase over the balance at the end of June.

In addition to the improvement in earnings, another key factor that contributed was Inventory, at $4.3 million, was $800,000 lower than it was as of June 2002. This level of inventory is only slightly higher than the average inventory for all of 2001, but it is supporting much higher revenues. As a result, Inventory turns are now up to 5.8 times.

Offsetting these somewhat was the $900,000 increase in Accounts Receivable, to $8.6 million. Days Sales Outstanding, or DSO increased to 62 days from 55 days at the end of June. This increase is primarily the result of the unusual skew of revenue that we experienced late in the quarter. Because of the large TACNAV order for the U.S. Army shipped late in September, well over 50% of 3rd quarter shipments occurred in that month. We expect that DSO will return to a lower level during the 4th quarter.

Cash flow from operations was positive, $1.3 million for the 3rd quarter. Capital Expenditures were approximately $400,000. Net cash flow for the quarter was $1 million. We anticipate that cash flow from operations in the 4th quarter will be approximately neutral. When adjusted for expected Capital Expenditures and other non operating items, The year ending cash balance will likely reflect a modest decline from the September level.

Based upon our current operating forecast, our cash balances and bank line of credit are sufficient to fully fund planned operating and Capital requirements going forward. We continue to confident that we will be able to sustain strong year over year growth. Full year growth for 2002 is on track to exceed 40%.

Thanks to the ongoing improvements in our business operating model and asset utilization, and with established and strong sales momentum, we expect to sustain very solid revenue growth and improved profitability in the 4th quarter. KVH is in a solid position financially, operationally and competitively in each of our key markets. We intend to build on this success as we move forward.

Now we’d like to take your questions. I’d like to ask that each person restrict their initial questions to a few. If any individuals have additional questions, they are welcome to get back into the queue for a second turn. This will help insure that everyone has a chance to participate.

Operator, please open the call.

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