“The New Face of Touchscreens… under-the-radar American company”

Solving the Inaugural Teaser from MicroCap Tech Trader

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, July 13, 2011

Louis Basenese and the folks at White Cap Research are launching a new advisory service that looks for “game changers” in tiny stocks that they think will have hugely disruptive success — the newsletter is called MicroCap Tech Trader and will run you about a thousand bucks a year … but if that sounds a bit steep, how about if we start off by trying to identify their first “game changer” for you?

Ok, we’ll even do it for free. Sound worthwhile? Well, you will have to sit through a few moments of blather from your friendly neighborhood Stock Gumshoe, but that seems a small price to pay.

Identifying early stage tech companies is obviously not a new idea — there are scores of newsletters that try to do this, from Patrick Cox and his love affair with biotech to David Gardner and his Rule Breakers, you can find all sorts of folks that aim to identify the next big growth stock winner that will change the game (or change the rules), with some folks looking for “breakout” stocks and some for the really tiny micro cap innovators that provide even more excitement (and risk).

So Basenese and his copywriters had to make it sound a bit sexier to stand out, of course — here’s part of the pitch, which comes in under a shadowy picture of the men who could “zero out YOUR bank account in seconds”:

“You could call them incubators, test labs, or start-ups.

“I call them sleeper cells.

“They’re hidden in plain sight all across America, gaining traction every day…

“…hatching new ideas, new plans and new missions to change the world, even if they’re at your expense.

“If you think I’m being overly dramatic, I understand.

“The world is filled with financial analysts trying to scare you to death with threats about rioting in the streets and the fall of the government.

“What I’m writing to tell you about today isn’t likely to do any of that. But it could damage you and your family’s financial future beyond repair.

“You see, these men aren’t criminals or warlords. They’re not terrorists or even computer hackers.

“No, they’re visionaries. Innovators. Geniuses.

“They’re a lot like the names you read about these days in the pages of Time, Newsweek, or even Rolling Stone…

“They’re part of a new breed of what I call ‘Game Changers.’”

So I guess the folks at InvestorPlace don’t own that “game changers” term … much to their chagrin, I’m sure (that’s the current name of one of Hilary Kramer’s letters)– so which “game changer” is Basenese teasing us with this time as his first “call to action?”

Well, first he runs through a pretty standard littany of past stocks that he might have picked years ago, had he been running such a service and/or had a time machine — disruptive picks like Netflix and Redbox beating Blockbuster, Amazon beating Borders, Apple beating everybody, and implies that he’s going to be able to sniff out that next Reed Hastings, Jeff Bezos or Steve Jobs while they’re still unknown … AND help you to avoid being on the wrong side of the trade by owning the losers who will fall to those next-stage “game changers.”

How will he do this? Well, there’s a picture of his “control center” (desk, to you and me) in the ad so we at least know he has three monitors — which is making your friendly neighborhood Gumshoe feel a bit inadequate. And he says he travels to a lot of trade shows and talks to CEOs. He says he looks for “mega trends,” patents, and “perfect timing” — which he says means buying into a tiny company two or three quarters before they become profitable.

So yes, like most newsletter ads he’s throwing out a pretty bold premise (not least because pretty much every unprofitable company on earth tells us that it’s a few quarters from reaching profitability), and he’s launching a service so it has no track record to brag about (or hide from). In his favor, at least, he wisely doesn’t promise that his first pick will go up by 10,000% (after getting us all hot and bothered with charts of Apple and Netflix, he doesn’t have to).

Here’s how he gets us excited about his inaugural pick for this new service:

“Touchscreens.

“What was once confined to ATM and credit card machines is now becoming the norm for almost any cutting-edge piece of technology.

“Touchscreen technology makes for a sleek, easy-to-use product that doesn’t require a bulky keyboard.

“And almost all touchscreens use a rare earth metal known as indium tin oxide (ITO) as their conductor.

“And as the name implies… rare earth metals, like ITO, are very hard to find. And thus – very expensive….

“Add to that the fact that China has a monopoly on most of the world’s ITO supplies and you can safely guess that prices aren’t going to be leveling off any time soon.

“Another issue with ITO is its inflexible nature, which puts a limit on the size a touchscreen can be.

“So it’s safe to say that anyone who could develop a cheaper, more flexible alternative to ITO for touchscreens could easily have a hot product on its hands.”

And yes, Louis thinks he has found this company with a cheaper, more flexible alternative …

“The New Face of Touchscreens…

“That’s where this under-the-radar American company that currently trades for under $9 comes in.

“It’s swimming in $11 million in cash and has ZERO debt on its books.

“Even better, it’s just steps away from releasing a game-changing product – one that could be used in almost every consumer electronic device in the world.

“You see, this small firm has developed a touchscreen system that uses copper instead of ITO as its conductor.

“And copper is far more plentiful and easy to buy than ITO.

“It’s also more transparent, thinner and 75% more energy efficient than ITO, which means it could extend the battery life for phones and computers, too.”

And the story is pretty early in development, per the tease:

“…this company is still at least six months away from releasing its new touchscreen system to the public.

“So unless you’re already familiar with the company, you’ve likely heard nothing about it. “

He also says he met with the CEO, and that he’s had lots of meetings with hardware manufacturers — and that the company is so small any announcement of even one deal for getting their technology into a new product would send the stock price on a “major move upward.”

So who is it?

Well, Basenese might be aiming a bit lower than most, at the stocks that are really pretty far under the radar if this first pitch of his is any idea — or maybe he’s just starting out by picking an unusually tiny stock in hopes that it will give him a boost, since any newsletter can drive up the price of a stock with a small market cap.

Because this stock is ridiculously tiny — which should, as usual, serve as a warning … even the fact that yours truly is writing about it here, regardless of what I say about it, is likely to move the stock price, so be careful. The company is, so sez the mighty Thinkolator, UniPixel (or sometimes Uni-Pixel), ticker UNXL.

And by tiny I do mean TINY — market cap just over $50 million, which is about as small as you can find in a stock with a real business and a “real” ticker (ie, not over the counter or pink sheets). And they do have $11 million in cash, in case you’re checking those teaser tidbits to verify the work of the Thinkolator — though that’s because they raised $13 million earlier this year, not because they’ve been making money just yet. The one analyst who covers the company does think they’ll be profitable in 2012, giving them a forward PE of 25 … but it’s one analyst and he (or she) must be basing that estimate largely on a product that doesn’t yet have any customers, so let’s call that more of a guess than a forecast. If they do get a substantial deal for their touchscreen technology later this year, as they’re certainly hoping to announce, then they may well be at a turning point financially — but for now, they carry a stock market valuation of $55 million but reported just $230,000 (that’s thousand) in sales over the last 12 months. That same analyst sees that revenue number climbing dramatically this year to $5.5 million, and dramatically again in 2012 to about $18 million.

Why? Well, they do have a few products — the one you’re most likely to see sometime soon is a fingerprint-resistant film for touchscreens, somewhat similar to the kind of commodity screen-saver products that saw Dan Amoss predicting that ZAGG would be a “headed for a body bag” back in March (he’s been wrong so far, but I haven’t been following the details on why). They’re trying to get deals done to get their product into “major retailers,” so if they have sales this year that will probably be why — and you can, for what it’s worth, buy their fingerprint-resistant screen covers from Amazon for your iPhone (or whatever).

But they do have this touchscreen substrate/copper conductivity technology too — they’re a company whose technology is built around high-tech films of various types that apparently share some commonality in the manufacturing process, so their process is for some reason superior. The technology that enables this copper touch screen conductivity film they’re developing is called UniBoss (it also has other potential uses), and they do say that it is more efficient and effective than ITO in touchscreen devices — you can see their basic description here, including the obligatory pictures if iPads even though their technology is not used in the iPad.

So … that’s about all I know about the company. I haven’t met with the CEO — though it’s a tiny firm, so you could probably get him on the phone if you wanted to. And I haven’t analyzed their competitive position or the strength of their patent portfolio … nor am I an expert on film or screen technologies at all, in case that isn’t clear. They are optimistic that they’ll have big news this year, as per this quote from their Chief Technology Officer in the first quarter “earnings” release:

“We have continued to work closely with major OEMs to develop pull-through demand for our UniBoss-produced touch screen product, as well as working directly with touch panel component manufacturers to produce specific types of touch panels. We expect to report some very good news on this front as the year progresses.”

They also do, for what it’s worth, have some interesting institutional investors on board — two of their larger holders are Raptor and Tudor Investment, run by former colleagues and super rich guys James Pallotta and Paul Tudor Jones, respectively. The company is too small to have any real mutual fund interest, but there are some big hedge fund owners — what surprises me a bit is that there isn’t more insider buying if they’re supposedly 6-12 months from some transformational deals … that’s not to say the company won’t succeed, of course, and insiders aren’t necessarily great investors, but seeing insiders buy in heavily in anticipation of success would be more encouraging. From the summaries in Yahoo Finance it appears that there’s effectively no ownership in the C-suite, though that could be inaccurate and I haven’t dug deeper.

It’s certainly possible that if they report “very good news” then UNXL stock will jump — no surprise there. There are certainly also lots of other folks out there trying to develop the next generation of touchscreen technologies, including many varieties of carbon nanotube and graphene films that are keeping researchers busy (though that technology seems further away from commercialization than this UniBoss stuff so far), so it’s an early stage bet on a firm that hasn’t yet proven itself by getting their technology into a commercial product and which also, like many early stage tech “breakthroughs,” has to fight it out in the marketplace against competing ideas or technologies and could itself be superseded by the next next big thing… which is, of course, why they’re pretty cheap.

It’s encouraging that they were able to raise enough money to get through perhaps to a commercialization deal, but as to whether they’ll really be the next “game changer” and bring you untold riches by investing in them relatively early? Well, it’s your money … so you’ll have to make that call. Let us know what you think with a comment below.


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43 Comments on "“The New Face of Touchscreens… under-the-radar American company”"

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edski
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edski
July 13, 2011 10:20 am

I'm sorry. I forgot what I was going to write after I saw Amy Calistri's hat in her photo.

izziebon
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izziebon
July 13, 2011 10:30 am

I'm a bit sceptical about such small company being the originator of this screen technology; there's giants like Asahi (ASGLY) and Corning at it, also GiantPlus, Ocular, 3M, Danielson, Panjit and Elotouch all at it much bigger.

wew
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wew
July 13, 2011 10:42 am

I call it her picking hat. She is very good at picking.

den
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den
July 13, 2011 12:16 pm

IMMR is supposedly cutting edge in touch screen technology…..

ted
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ted
July 13, 2011 1:45 pm

I've never seen Amy without her hat

pablo
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pablo
July 13, 2011 7:25 pm

is the hat all you can talk about?

morningstara
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morningstara
July 13, 2011 7:55 pm

I would like to know just what the difference is between the BIG guys and this little guys ideas and products, as some of the comments stated too? With so many BIG guys in the race, how can the little guy win? A cheaper glass version…still unclear. Thanks. No hat needed!

Olden Atwoody
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Olden Atwoody
July 14, 2011 3:19 am

Just sayin….

3M has a big presence n thin-film. Takeover?

Pumpitup
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Pumpitup
July 14, 2011 11:56 am

Gee, TechMaster, you wouldn't happen to work for UniPixel, would you?

den
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den
July 14, 2011 12:46 pm

I can't find a symbol for Unipixel

George
Irregular
1
June 23, 2013 10:59 am

Symbol for Unipixel is UNXL.

Alfred
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Alfred
July 14, 2011 4:10 pm

Dear Mr. Gumshoe,
Thank you for inventing the Thinkolator, learning to operate it and being so unselfish as to share its predictions with your disciples (as opposed to keeping the profits therefrom all to yourself)
.I've profited handsomely from its output by sifting it through my olfactory sense.
I'd like to call you the Wizard of Wall Street; but; because you live in the Berkshires, I'll call you the Michaelangelo of the MountaIns.

Gravity Switch
Admin
11
July 14, 2011 4:33 pm

You're too kind, Alfred — thanks!

Lisa
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Lisa
July 14, 2011 6:08 pm

Hi Travis,

Thanks a lot for the research. I REALLY appreciate it.

Until next time.

Best regards,
Lisa

Looking-glass
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Looking-glass
July 15, 2011 12:07 am

Now… about that hat Amy's wearing…

Michael
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Michael
July 16, 2011 1:43 pm

What's this one??> from the Daily Reckoning .. Tiny US Wildcatter Discovers $1.2 Billion Alaskan “Oil Jackpot"

clifton22
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clifton22
July 19, 2011 3:37 pm

Uni-pixal is UNXL on scotttrade

jerry
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jerry
October 14, 2011 2:56 pm

anyone who thinks only large companies do the inventing should read about 20th century inventors many major breakthroughs came from small companies or individuals in a garage. This used to be America’s strength and the stock market helped to fund. To day much of that adventure has sadly gone. Why bother to succeed you become tax mans fodder.

Short my Longs
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October 15, 2011 9:06 pm

I love you Gumshoe. You have what inquiring minds want to know–for free. I’m disappointed in the hat, though. I wonder if I would be just as disappointed in the stock?

Pete
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Pete
May 28, 2012 7:42 am

Travis I must Tip my “HAT” to you for such excellent deciphering of the various stock teasers.
Thank You!
Pistol Pete

patt2374
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patt2374
February 5, 2013 8:05 pm

Funny- you read all this and Corning can not get out of it’s own way and Uni Pixel goes up 11.35% on one wise guys video. What a world we live in. And if you read a posting above July 15, 2011 and some fellow is touting Light Wave Logic (LWLG) which closed today at a buck and change ($1.12)

It is all gambling. Stick to dividends unless you are young and can afford to get wiped out on the word of someone with vested interest. Right Stock Gumshoe?

bullchin
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bullchin
March 25, 2013 7:23 am

Stock is trading at 29. However Citron research twitter negatively last week.

Pecos Bill
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Pecos Bill
December 17, 2013 11:25 am

Now, if we could only get Louis Basenese to wear a circus hat!

edski
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edski
July 13, 2011 10:26 am

No…really. I'm sorry Amy.

As a believer that the retail market is horrible, and the only things selling are electronics, I am perplexed. Cheaper is definately better, but I fear for the future sales of anything in the world this year. Yet if I were starting a newsletter, I would want to make a big splash with my first choice. A $9. stock doesn't give me much of an opportunity to give it a guess on the matter.

Gravity Switch
Admin
11
July 13, 2011 10:39 am
Yep, it's a busy field and the unsustainable nature of the current ITO standard conductive layer seems to be well known and a key driver of R&D — though the screens themselves are made of many ingredients and layers, along with the chips, so there can be many names in a single device's touchscreen. Didn't mention this in the article above, but UNXL seems also trying to sell a screen protector film that's more of a heavy-duty protection (ie, not the stuff you buy at Best Buy and peel on, but a protective layer applied at the factory) — sounds… Read more »
Bert
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Bert
July 13, 2011 5:36 pm

yes, I have made money with Immersion in the past and also recently.

alien
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alien
July 13, 2011 6:30 pm

it looks more like a flying saucer over her head.

C.F
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C.F
July 13, 2011 9:44 pm

like to see her without her cl………. oops I DIDNT MEAN THAT

TechMaster
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TechMaster
July 14, 2011 12:53 am
Management is EXTREMELY important in the success of any company….and their Board of Directors is loaded with some major names: Carl Yankowski – CEO Palm Inc. President & COO Sony Electronics CEO Reebok Brand GE/PepsiCo/Memorex/P&G. Ross Young – SVP Displays, LEDs and Lighting, IMS Research Director of Akhan Tech VP New Market Creation, Samsung LCD Business Founder and President of Display Search, Director of Westar Display Tech., VLSI Research Exec All-Star Team Owl Displays Brooks Automation Fusion Semiconductor, GCA Bruce Berkoff – CMO Applied Materials, CMO Ascent Solar, Chairman LCD TV Assoc. President & CEO Enuclia Semiconductor, Executive VP &… Read more »
TechMaster
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TechMaster
July 14, 2011 12:58 am
About Uni Pixel – Founded in 2001 and with our award winning patented technologies, UniPixel is recognized as one of the most innovative micro-cap companies in the world and as the leader in Performance Engineered Films™ (PEFs). PEFs are a platform technology that enables development of multiple products across multiple markets. Under our Clearly Superior™ Performance Engineered Films™ brand, UniPixel designs, develops and produces PEFs on a large industrial scale in the following categories and markets: Flexible Printed Electronics: For Touch Panels, Antenna (RFID) and EMI/RFI Shielding. Optical Films: For Fingerprint Resistant Films (FPR), LCD Backlights, 3D Films (without glasses)… Read more »
TechMaster
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TechMaster
July 14, 2011 1:02 am
Q1 2011 Operational Highlights — UniPixel developed a new product, Diamond Guard, a protective cover film that is super hard (7H qualified), scratch-resistant, and with a glass-equivalent gloss finish, yet very thin, light and flexible. The film can be produced via similar methods and on the same production equipment as the company's other performance films. The company believes there is no other similar product on the market that can match these characteristics, and it has broad applications, including protecting mobile devices like tablets. The qualification process has begun with shipments of samples to major OEMs and retail stores, and related… Read more »
Lil
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Lil
July 21, 2011 1:45 pm

All this hat talk got me curious so I googled Amy Calistri. What a hoot.

TechMaster
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TechMaster
July 14, 2011 10:33 am
Creating thin film technology is like writing computer codes with thousands of Os and 1s. It appears that UniPixel has unlocked a "code" that allows them to develop some of the most advanced thin film technology in the world…and it covers a broad range of industries too. If there is a buyout offer from 3M, I think UniPixel would be foolish to take it. They know they're on the cusp of some major announcements with several major OEMs. I expect UniPixel's stock to be in double digits by the end of the year if not sooner. All comments are just… Read more »
TechMaster
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TechMaster
July 14, 2011 12:27 pm
Work for UniPixel? Nah. I wish the had the experience though. My background is research. And frankly, UniPixel is one of the best tech companies I've ever come across. Most of what I've posted comes directly from their website. Anyone can look it up at Unipixel.com. I did call their Investor Relations Department to confirm my research and was pretty impressed. Once I did my DD, I decided to invest some of my hard-earned money in this company.H hey did a 15 – 1 reverse split just before their move to the NASDAQ. At this point, they only have about… Read more »
TechMaster
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TechMaster
July 14, 2011 2:35 pm

UNXL

TechMaster
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TechMaster
July 14, 2011 10:08 pm

Who is Travis?

wes rude
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wes rude
July 15, 2011 2:58 am
Stockgumshoe, would you please also take a look at http://www.lightwavelogic.com They are virtually weeks from commercialization of a non linear optical poly material platform that will radically change industry applications in high speed computing, communications, medical diagnostics, military aerospace and solar energy. Corning tried and failed to achieve what LWLG has accomplished and now the Corning CTO just joined the B of D. Please read the recent Shareholders letter in the news section and you get a flavor that significant disclosure will be provided August 11th. All of the above industries are multi billion dollar industries and the current O/S… Read more »
Lisa
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Lisa
July 15, 2011 12:18 pm

Hi,
I'm referring to the Gumshoe publisher. I forwarded this White Cap promotion to him last Saturday.
Lisa

Lisa
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Lisa
July 15, 2011 12:25 pm

Sorry. It's Stockgumshoe.
Techmaster, in your own opinion, what company do you think has better touchscreen product , Corning, 3M, or Uni-Pixel?

TechMaster
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TechMaster
July 16, 2011 12:00 pm
Well, first let me send mega-kudos to Travis (aka: StockGumshoe) as well. You sir, provide a much-needed service through your website and are the true master of research. Regarding my opinion as to who has the better touchscreen product between Corning, 3M, or UniPixel? My research has convinced me that UniPixel is far more superior because it has virtually the same toughness as the other screens, yet is much less expensive and, more importantly, doesn't need the rare earth metal Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) to operate the touchscreen functions. The real question is: Can UniPixel convince the OEMs to replace… Read more »
Herbert
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Herbert
July 18, 2011 5:28 pm

Read the same from an other source. As a retired oil man, I am curious to; Travis, I hope you find this worthy of your time???

techMaster
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techMaster
August 1, 2011 9:18 pm

Spoke with Uni Pixel's Investor Relations Department today and they said Uni Pixel should be announcing their release date their 2nd quarter stats very soon. Based on the last quarterly report (see the snippets above), I expect to read some very good news and updates on where we stand with the big OEMs.

wpDiscuz