Friday, September 19, 2014

Dot Hill Inflection Point Coming?

My newest Seeking Alpha article:

Dot Hill Nears Inflection Point


I have been invested in Dot Hill since 2004; the company has had some major ups and downs in that time. My first buy was at $7.18, and yesterday HILL closed at $3.84 and is down so far today. So you might think it has been one of my worst investments (if you don't follow me, I am known for being an early advocate for the Gilead, Celgene, Biogen triad that has been so successful since 2008).

In fact HILL has been one of my best investments. While my basic strategy is long term, buy and hold, I do sell stocks, or portions of my positions in them, when I think the market has become over-enthusiastic. And I  try to accumulate when the market is overly pessimistic. And I pay close attention: you can view a decade of my Dot Hill notes if you want.

Dot Hill is now, as a % of my investment, the third largest stock in my portfolio (after GILD and CELG). This is not just a bet on the future, it is a result of investing in HILL in the past, typically at $2 to $3 per share, but for instance I bought shares on 6/11/2012 at $1.13 per share. Others must have done better, because I recall HILL dipping under $1 briefly once or twice.

Of course I could be wrong, Dot Hill might not hit an inflection point, it might run into another rough spot. Competition is fierce in the data storage industry.

But what is interesting about opportunities like this is that so few people monitor these stocks. Not many professional analysts, not many individual investors. Of course there are thousands of micro cap and small cap stocks out there; who has the time to look at them all? I encountered HILL when I was researching another data storage stock for an investor, using it as a comparison to the company he ended buying into.

Data storage is pretty unglamorous, and since Dot Hill does not make consumer products, and most of its sales are through OEMs that rebrand the products, it has almost no name recognition.

And because Seeking Alpha pays contributors on a per-view basis, I seldom write about it. An article on a better-known stock takes about the same time to write, but can pay 2 to 10 times as much as an article on Dot Hill, or other micro caps I have in my portfolio or follow.