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Ubiquiti Network’s stock price and the Griz deal

Near as I can tell, a lot of the tongue wagging over Robert Pera’s bid for the Grizzlies – and some recent speculation that it might not actually come to fruition – starts with a look at the stock price of Pera’s company, Ubiquiti Networks.

It’s down about 30 percent since the beginning of the year. Pera’s net worth appears to come in large part from the nearly 60 million shares of Ubiquiti he owns (as of Oct. 2011), so I guess the assumption is that the money he’s lost on paper since the beginning of the year means that because Robert is worth less these days, maybe he won’t be able to consummate his $350 million deal for the team.

Thing is, the preceding paragraph includes a lot of faulty assumptions. But I’ve seen them made not just in the New York Daily News piece that attracted a lot of attention last weekend, but in other news accounts – and in private conversations.

I’m not going to go into all the reasons here why those assumptions are flawed. That analysis will be part of our continuing coverage in The Daily News. But here are a few thoughts –

Based on talking to people who know what they’re talking about (read into that what you like, but it means what it says), I have heard Pera’s actual net worth described as such that he could do the deal for the Grizzlies “a few times over” – by himself.

His stake in Ubiquiti, as of the moment I’m writing this, is worth a little less than $800 million. The way it was laid out to me, there’d be more of a genuine cause for concern over someone who’s rich on paper if that wealth is tied largely to an unprofitable company.

Ubiquiti, though, is profitable. Revenue was up 79 percent to $91.7 million in its most recent quarter, with adjusted earnings per share of $0.30. Analysts are expecting something similar for the next quarter – earnings per share of around $0.28.

The company grew headcount from 102 at June 30, 2011, to 131 at March 31 primarily because of increased R&D investment.

There’s a reason we’re seeing lots of worry these days over whether mom and pop investors are going to stay away from the stock market for a while, particularly in light of Facebook’s disastrous IPO:

Quite frequently, stock prices are influenced heavily by factors that don’t have a single thing to do with the fundamentals of a particular company. I’m not saying let’s ignore Ubiquiti’s recent performance – but let’s not let the company’s stock price be the primary driver of a conversation about whether Pera’s Griz bid will happen.

Mesquite Chop House to Open in Germantown

Mesquite Chop House will be opening its third location in mid-August at 3165 Forrest Hill Irene Road in Germantown.

The space previously housed Equestria Restaurant. Dennis Scott, Equestria’s former owner, will be a partner in the new Mesquite Chop House location.

Mesquite Chop House currently operates in at 5960 Getwell Road in Southaven and at 88 Union Ave. in Downtown Memphis. All properties are managed by River City Management Co.

Robert Pera, the Grizzlies and “a perfect organism”

Robert Pera, the tech industry wunderkind in talks to buy the Memphis Grizzlies, recently watched Ridley Scott’s new film “Prometheus.”

After that, Pera recounts on his blog, he went back and watched Scott’s original “Alien” movie. At one point in the film, the ship’s crew wants an explanation for the Alien, and the character Ash tells them, “You still don’t understand what you’re dealing with, do you? A perfect organism.”

Meanwhile, his bid to buy the Memphis Grizzlies from Chicago billionaire Michael Heisley is currently being studied to determine whether it is a similar “perfect organism.”

The New York Daily News over the weekend, in a story by Mitch Lawrence, citied sources close to Pera as saying his net worth has fallen a bit in the recent past. And the stock price of Ubiquiti Networks, the company Pera started in 2005 after leaving Apple Inc., is down about 40 percent since the beginning of the year.

That recent press left the impression Pera’s net worth has fallen precipitously – a fact his team disputes as being demonstrably false.

A member of Pera’s team who asked not to be identified told The Daily News, “The facts speak for themselves. The value of Mr. Pera’s interest in Ubiquiti Networks is nearly $800 million. Mr. Lawrence’s story is completely false.”

Lawrence reported over the weekend that Pera’s deal is in trouble and that his net worth recently plummeted to $200 million. However, information from Yahoo Finance shows that Pera owned almost 58 million shares in Ubiquiti Networks as of Oct. 12, and at the time of this post Ubiquiti shares were currently priced at around $13 a share. (58 million shares times $13 = $754 million).

It also should be noted that in updating their story from this weekend, the New York Daily News described the $800 million figure as Pera’s net worth. However, the member of Pera’s team who contacted The Daily News said it’s the value of Pera’s stake in Ubiquiti that’s worth $800 million.

Shelby Farms Leverages Donations for Twice the Good Until June 30

A generous donor has agreed to match any gift given to Shelby Farms Park + Greenline by June 30 up to $150,000.

At 4,500 acres, Shelby Farms Park is the largest urban park in the United States. Each day, it takes $7,123 to operate Shelby Farms Park + Greenline, and the park relies on members and supporters to contribute more than 75 percent of the Park + Greenline operating budget.

“Together, we can protect and preserve the lakes, trees and trails that make Shelby Farms Park special and ensure it is available for all of us to enjoy,” said Laura Adams, executive director of Shelby Farms Park Conservancy. “Every dollar counts.”

Make your donation here.

Memphis Social Media Usage Up, Survey Says

And the survey says – 38 percent of Shelby County adults use social media.

That’s the findings of Obsidian Public Relations and Research Dynamics Inc. in its second annual telephone survey of Memphian social media habits. The margin of error for results based on the total sample of 202 respondents is +/- 7 points.

Of the 532 adults countywide who were willing to participate in the survey, 38 percent qualified to participate by saying they had used a social media site like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn or YouTube in the past two weeks. It was a five-point increase from the 33 percent level of the 2011 survey.

Here’s an infographic with some more findings:

Dansette

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