After an extended vacation, Jeff Vinik is back . . . and moving markets.
The stock of
(INVX: Nasdaq), a precision electrical components manufacturer, zipped up 2 1/2 or 8%, to 32 + on Tuesday, after the erstwhile manager of
and a group that includes his new hedge fund,
Vinik Asset Management LLC
, reported an 8.9% investment share. His investment firm bought 636,200 shares between November 6th and November 15th at prices ranging from $23.85 to $29.30, according to an SEC document filed Monday.
Vinik made his move just ahead of a strong earnings report. Last week, Innovex said net income increased to $3.9 million, or 53 cents per share for the fiscal fourth quarter ending September 30, from $3.3 million or 46 cents per share for the corresponding quarter in 1995. With over 90% of its revenue generated from the lead wires that connect the head of inductive and magneto disk drives to their electrical parts, Innovex benefited from strong demand for computer storage devices.
Going forward, the company says it expects earnings to grow 40% in 1997.
The $216 million company currently boasts a 70% penetration in the lead wire market (excluding IBM, which manufactures its lead wires internally) and a healthy 40% profit margin to go along with it, according to the company.
Abdul Saleh, an analyst with
H. J. Meyers & Co.
, says that Vinik and his investors should sleep comfortably with Innovex because of the company's "pristine" balance sheet and excellent management.
However, some worry Vinik will be in for some fitful nights. As technology changes there is a distinct possibility that disk drive manufacturers will switch to easier-to-manufacture integrated lead wires made by a competitor,
(HTCH: Nasdaq), says Clinton H. Morrison, an analyst with
John G. Kinnard & Co.
in Minneapolis. Hutchinson gained + to 52 + on Tuesday and has risen sharply since September 5 when it traded at 34.
In addition, Innovex's two non-disk drive related units--making components for medical instruments and an Internet search engine--have both lost money this year, according to Morrison.
Mark D. Hostetter, the CFO of Vinik Asset Management, declined to comment on the stock purchase.
By Avi Stieglitz