I decided to move a dormant feature of an old subblog over here and look at a randomly chosen stock each day. Today's quick stir-fry in Dr. B's stochastic wok is Dataram, a small memory-chip maker that has seen better days, even as it has been a leader in memory R&D going back to the 1960s.
Their revenues have fallen each of the last four years, although their first quarter of FY 2010 ended in July showed a strong up-tick in revenue, even as the red ink continued.
Dataram's revenue have been falling steadily over the years, but the stock market still sees it work more alive than dead with a price-to-book of 1.44. It's heyday as a stock seems to be during the dot-com boom, as its price went well up, but it has been in steady decline since then.
Computer memory has become a commodity and I'm not sure if there is enough of an upside to keep Dataram going and get them back to profitbability as a free-standing entity.
If the price-to-book falls under one, it might be time for one of their major customers like Dell or Intel to do some verticle integration and buy Dataram; that might allow for some economies of size and eliminination of seperate sales and front-office departments to make a Dataram subsidary of a bigger computer company profitable.
Until then, things look shaky enough to be on the outside looking in based on a half-hour once-over.