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This Education Stock Could Be a Bargain

Revenue also fell 21% for the quarter, and the company lost $15.2 million. Interestingly, though, CECO ended the quarter with $288 million in cash and short-term investments (excluding restricted cash) and no debt, putting the company's current EV at -$85.2 million. Theoretically, at its current price of about $3, investors are purchasing $4.29 in cash, and getting all of the company's other assets for free.

"Theoretical" is the key word, however. CECO has burned through about $102 million in cash over the past year, and consensus estimates have the company losing money at least through 2014.


If, somehow, the company was able to stem the bleeding, and exceed the rather negative expectations, this would be an interesting situation. CECO currently trades at just 0.5 times tangible book value per share, and expectations appear to be very low. It's also the only negative EV nonbiotech company (at this writing) with a market cap in excess of $100 million.

CECO Chart CECO data by YCharts

At the time of publication, Heller had no positions in stocks mentioned.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Jonathan Heller, CFA, is president of KEJ Financial Advisors, his fee-only financial planning company. Jon spent 17 years at Bloomberg Financial Markets in various roles, from 1989 until 2005. He ran Bloomberg's Equity Fundamental Research Department from 1994 until 1998, when he assumed responsibility for Bloomberg's Equity Data Research Department. In 2001, he joined Bloomberg's Publishing group as senior markets editor and writer for Bloomberg Personal Finance Magazine, and an associate editor and contributor for Bloomberg Markets Magazine. In 2005, he joined SEI Investments as director of investment communications within SEI's Investment Management Unit.

Jon is also the founder of the Cheap Stocks Web site, a site dedicated to deep-value investing. He has an undergraduate degree from Grove City College and an MBA from Rider University, where he has also served on the adjunct faculty; he is also a CFA charter holder.

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