Smart Displays Boost Planar

09/26/2013 8:00 am EST

Focus: STOCKS

The electronic display industry is driven by the proliferation of both the increase in functionality of "smart" devices and the increasingly lower cost of LCD flat panels, says low-priced stock specialist Konrad Kuhn in his Kon-Lin Letter.

Founded in 1983, Planar Systems (PLNR) is a global leader in display and digital signage technology; retailers, educational institutions, government agencies, utilities, energy firms, and home theater enthusiasts all depend on Planar when image experience is the highest importance.

Planar's video walls, large-format LCD displays, and interactive touch screen monitors are used in applications ranging from signs to simulation, and from interactive kiosks to large-scale data visualization.

Planar recently added multi-touch, multi-user capabilities to its breakthrough UltraRes Series 4K LCD display product line, with stunning 4K image clarity.

Touch integration has been the number one customer request since the company first introduced its 84-inch, ultra HD displays.

In commercial, academic, and government settings, there is a large and growing volume of ultra-high definition computer and video visual information. The firm's 84-inch display is used in the energy, geospatial, engineering, and ensign, architecture, aerospace, medical imaging, and collaborative conference rooms.

Sales for fiscal 2012 declined 8% to $171 million, with a loss of $0.81 a share. The decrease in sales was primarily related to the sale of assets and liabilities.

Planar is financially sound, with a current ratio of 2.1 to 1, and working capital is $34 million, of which $13 million is in cash.

The company has been transitioning its focus and strategic resources to target the larger and faster-growing market for digital signage.

The firm offers the most comprehensive line of professional touch displays using its exclusive protective glass surface and proven multi-touch technology—ranging from 15-inch desktop point-of-sale and kiosk displays, all the way up to 300-inch video wall displays.

We would buy in the $1.75 to $1.85 area for a first target of $4.50 to $5 per share, as the company leads the way in the expected wide adoption of 4K resolution displays.

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