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Espial is a buy, says 4Front Capital Partners analyst Dushan Batrovic

4Front Capital Partners VP and Senior Technology Analyst Dushan Batrovic says Espial’s lack of public profile is a major reason its stock has languished. 4Front Capital Partners VP and Senior Technology Analyst Dushan Batrovic appeared on BNN’s “The Close” today with host Michael Hainsworth.

The range of Batrovic’s coverage universe was on display as he offered opinions on one of Canada’s very largest techs, CGI Group, which he think is overvalued following the acquisition of Logica, and tiny Espial (TSX:ESP), which he thinks is undervalued.

While most everyone knows CGI Group, says Batrovic, hardly anyone knows of Ottawa-based IPTV television software provider Espial. That, more than anything, offers the 4Front Capital analyst, is the reason the stock has languished.

But Batrovic says Espial occupies a potentially valuable space, helping carriers move away from a passive legacy brand of TV towards more modern, interactive offerings. He says the company is growing, has a good stable of customers, and has growth catalysts on the horizon. Batrovic currently has a $1 target on Espial.


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Shares of Espial have pulled back after a move late in August. The company spiked after it announced a deal with Panasonic to preintegrate the company’s TV browser on Panasonic Corp.’s semiconductor business group chipset technology. The deal with Panasonic was the second major announcement the company has made this summer. In June, it announced that the Espial TV browser has been selected to power new Sharp Aquos LED TVs in Japan, China and North America.

The Espial TV browser supports HTML5, Adobe Flash 11, and has a JavaScript engine. It’s also loaded with a web browser the company says has the look and feel of a desktop browser, with a customized virtual keyboard and multiple tabs.

Despite record annual revenue of $14.7-million for fiscal 2011, Espial has spent most of its existence in the red. The $2.5-million, or eighteen cents a share the company was down last year, however, will likely be trimmed considerably this year as 2012′s first half loss was just over $658,000.

Shares of Espial closed today even at $.51 cents.



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About The Author /

Cantech Letter founder and editor Nick Waddell has lived in five Canadian provinces and is proud of his country's often overlooked contributions to the world of science and technology. Waddell takes a regular shift on the Canadian media circuit, making appearances on CTV, CBC and BNN, and contributing to publications such as Canadian Business and Business Insider.
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