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Wave Systems Breaking Out or Down?

However, Welsh argues that after the big move in shares recently, history and valuation could mean a sell-the-news reaction when the company reports. Welsh does not hold a position in the company.

"History has shown Wave Systems news items usually do not pan out and are sell points," Welsh wrote in an email. "A typical Wave Systems move consists of nice news releases like it's encrypted hard drive for Dell or H-P computers, and the old 'cult followers' of Wave Systems hopped back on board for a usual beating. Even though the company is generating cash at low levels, one could think they may take advantage of a big run in stock to get some extra cash in the bank. Either way, the valuation of WAVX does not look compelling."

While Sprague acknowledges that one could always sit back and design the perfect balance sheet, he says that Wave Systems is perfectly comfortable as things are now.

"We've clearly stated we have no intention to be out in the capital markets," Sprague says. "The challenge was that we were consistently in a mode of raising additional capital. As we've been able to show, we don't need to raise additional capital and we can fund the company out of our own operations. We're at cash flow break-even and we're very comfortable."

Wave Systems also gained momentum recently thanks to a $5.7 million license and maintenance order it received from a U.S.-based automotive company. The deal brought in $1.9 million in revenue at the very end of 2009 and should bring in another $2.25 million through the end of this year.

"That's the first really big corporate use of this hardware technology. There have been quite a few enterprise customers who have turned it on, but nothing on this scale," Sprague says. "With the nature of emerging markets, there's nothing better than having a really big customer when you're trying to sell another big customer. It makes it easier to close with the next guy."

Looking ahead, with the advent of Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows 7, there is the general expectation that the PC industry should see good volume growth in 2010, which should benefit Wave Systems directly.

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