Today I picked up some shares in Destiny Media Technologies, Inc. DSNY.OB at $.40 per share on margin. I plan to pay off the margin loan next month, when I sell the wreckage of some of the stocks I bought from the Magic Formula Investing list last August. Destiny Media is a pick of "issambres839" on the Value Investors Club. Thanks to Daniel Wahl, I've learned that issambress839 is the professional value investor Aaron Edelheit, of Sabre Value Management in Santa Barbara, CA. Edelheit may be one of the best investors I had never heard of up until last month.
In contrast with many value investors who use trailing metrics such as P/S and P/E to screen for stocks (recall rules-based investor Marc Gerstein's frustration with this approach in "What's Wrong with Today's Value Investing?"), Edelheit often researches small stocks without current earnings that are nevertheless trading at a low multiple to his estimates of their future earnings. When he recommended DSNY.OB on the Value Investors Club in January (when it was trading at $.68 cents per share), Edelheit wrote that it was trading at 7x his estimate for fiscal '09 earnings (at the current quote, it's trading at about 4x his estimate; insiders have been buying on the way down). Destiny Media is the second stock I bought based mainly on Edelheit's write up (and subsequent news that confirmed his thesis); the first was the precision agriculture company Hemisphere GPS (HEM.TO), which I bought around $4.34 per share (Edelheit originally recommended it last summer when it was trading at $2.74 per share). Like Hemisphere, Destiny Media is a Canadian company. Edelheit is willing to consider obscure Canadian companies (including those such as DSNY that trade on the OTC Bulletin Board) in search of undiscovered values.
I recommend signing up for guest access to the Value Investors Club so you can read issambress839/Edelheit's write-up for Destiny Media in detail, but here's my summary in a nutshell. Destiny offers a service (its Play MPE network) that enables record labels to digitally (and securely) transfer songs to radio stations. The service includes security features such as a (recently patented) digital watermarking technology to prevent unauthorized redistribution of the songs. The value proposition here is that Destiny Media can save the record labels a lot of money: Destiny's service costs about 90% less than the old method of sending songs in CD format via courier. Destiny had been offering its service to some labels at no charge last year, but has been signing contracts with them to pay to continue the service this year. As Edelheit pointed out in his write-up, since Destiny's stock is obscure, foreign, and has no analyst coverage, few are aware of the paying customers it is lining up for its Play MPE network.
According to Edelheit, Destiny also offers a product called Clipstream, which is similar to Adobe Flash but uses 90% less bandwith. This product could a source of additional future earnings, but his multiple estimate above was based solely on Destiny's Play MPE service.
One note about risk: Destiny has a collection of conventional wisdom red flags for risk -- it's a microcap, it's foreign, and it trades on the OTC Bulletin Board. So it's not exactly a widows & orphans stock. Then again, in the last year we've seen stocks that some would have considered suitable for widows and orphans -- e.g., Citigroup, Fannie Mae, etc. -- suffer stomach-churning drops. This subject is a subject worthy of its own post, but the conventional wisdom about potential risk versus reward with respect to stocks may be worth revisiting.