By Ian WyattNEW YORK (
During the just-completed fourth quarter, NCR expanded its portfolio by announcing the acquisition of Mobiqa, a provider of tickets, boarding passes, downloadable applications and coupons for the travel, entertainment and retail industries. The last two recession years have not been overly kind to NCR -- cash flow decreased by $241 million in 2008 and $260 million in 2009. But indications are that when the company reports 2010 results on Feb. 3, cash flow will show marked improvement. The company carries little debt, and has roughly $360 million in cash on the books. The company is also in the midst of a $210 million share repurchase, which could give the stock a boost. In a Jan. 24 interview with Bloomberg, CEO Bill Nuti said NCR turned in record sales of retail self-service checkout stations in 2010, and is looking for at least 10% growth in 2011. Retailers like Home Depot ( HD)are cutting employee costs by installing the company's self-serve devices. It also has partnered with Wal-Mart ( WMT) on checkout terminals. The company also just announced that it would be working to replace hundreds of ATMs for JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) that can scan cash and checks without a deposit envelope. Additionally, it is making moves into more emerging markets, especially China where it already has a substantial presence. Mr. Nuti also noted in the story that NCR controls 80% of the U.S. airport kiosk market, serving up tickets for Delta Air Lines ( DAL)and Hertz Global Holdings ( HTZ), among others. NCR is expected to report full year 2010 results on Feb. 3. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters are looking for quarterly earnings per diluted share of $0.51, and full-year EPS of $1.48, up from $0.37 and a loss of $0.21, respectively, the year before. I consider NCR a nice value play, especially since the stock carries a forward P/E of just 10.8 and a PEG ratio of only .53.