Can a Super Bowl Ad Pump infoUSA (IUSA)?

infoUSA (IUSA) is a stock that has sort of been quiet and almost forgotten on Wall Street, from an investor view anyhow.  The stock is up 0.5% today at $12.13 after announcing they will advertise in the Super Bowl pre-game show, well above the 52-week lows of $7.81 and close to the high of $13.05.  It trades at a mere 22-times earnings and has a market cap of $675 million.  The year-end balance sheet isn’t yet available but the company on 9/30 listed total assets at $554 million and total liabilities of $328 million.  A point of criticism is that $320 million of the assets come from Goodwill and another $60 million comes from “intangibles and other,” so the balance sheet is misleading from a true asset or break-up value.  That does not mean the company is in trouble, because that’s not the case: it now does over $100 million in quarterly revenues and it posts net income every quarter; and as long as its top-line comes in with earnings it will have shown multi-year growth. 

It also is quite thinly followed on Wall Street with only Credit Suisse and Stephens Inc. as the two traditional brokerages that follow the stock.  It is very possible that some of the faster money crowd will start attempts to talk it up as largely undiscovered, and as a value play, and as a forgotten stock. 

The company is hoping that their announcement of its advertisement during the pre-game show of the Super Bowl for its unit will help boost traffic and customers, and this is their first time around the Super Bowl advertising.  You can watch a tease of the new ad at salesgenie. com/tv and visitors can get discounts if they sign up.  The company is scheduled to release earnings on Friday, February 2, so it throws some extra event risk into the mix.  The Super Bowl is on February 4, 2007.

Jon C. Ogg
January 24, 2007