Monday, November 18, 2013

73 Quarters of Losses - And Still in Business

Amerityre Corporation makes polyurethane foam tires and not much else. Certainly not money. Last week, the company announced their latest quarterly results and were pleased that they had cut their loss to $174,566 from $277,889 a year ago. While companies can loose money a quarter or more and still be in business, to have this quarter be the company's 73rd consecutive quarterly loss and still remain in business is quite surprising, at least for an established company that is making something as mundane as tires. The last line of the press release is particularly jawdropping: "The fiscal 2014 first quarter loss brings the company's cumulative loss over 18 years to $63.3 million."

Startups will often report long strings of quarterly losses, but that is often expected, particularly for innovative companies that are developing new-to-the-world products or medical devices that have long approval times. Amerityre is none of these. They have been in business since 1995 and while it can be argued that their technology is innovative, their last claimed innovation, polyurethane elastomer tires, came back in 2003, all of 10 years ago.

The tire business is very cutthroat because of the many competitors fighting over the very small margins available. There was hope that run-flat tires would have changed that and allow for higher margins, but the tires never became as accepted as the businesses hoped [1], and so nothing has changed. And that is what Amerityre is competing against. There will be niches that they can do well in, but that's all. $63 millions dollars is not a niche business.

I'm amazed that someone keeps bankrolling the company, and that that someone is stockholders. "Amerityre is asking shareholders at its upcoming annual meeting on Dec. 4 to approve increasing the number of authorized common shares to 75 million from 55 million to help raise $2 million to $3 million to help 'meet…current obligations and grow revenues...' " The thinly traded stock is available for less than a dime if anyone out there is interested. [2] I wish them luck. They must have a very compelling story if they think they can raise another $2 - $3 million in the open market, but I just don't see it.

[1] Personally speaking, my wife had a set on one of her cars. Besides being noisier than other tires, the tires didn't last very long. When it was time to replace them, we either had to continue with run-flats or buy standard tires and new rims since the two tires were incompatible with each other. Never again.

[2] I probably should include one of those disclosures that states that I do not, never have and do not intend to own any stock in Amerityre. I'm the last guy in the world you want stock tips from.

1 comment:

Chemjobber said...

"I'm the last guy in the world you want stock tips from."

That makes two of us.