C-COR: An Opportunity Missed . Maybe

Too many good stocks, not enough ready cash to buy them all.

That's my story for missing the first part of C-COR's (Nasdaq: CCBL  ) recovery, and I'm sticking to it. After all, I've been bird-dogging this one for a while in the hopes of spotting that "eureka moment" when it would be safe to get in, and I managed to outsmart myself and miss a nice little initial rebound.

While results for this cable/IP equipment whatchamacallit are not back in full health yet, I do think the company has come a long way from where it was last year -- when management kept lowering the hurdles, then tripping over them anyway. Sales were up about 25%, and although there was an operating loss once again, it was meaningfully smaller than the loss a year ago.

Truth be told, this quarter could have (and maybe should have) been a little better. Sales in the access/transport business were hurt by the timing of some orders, and by production constraints caused by moving operations to Mexico. I know, I know -- you've heard this kind of stuff from this company before, but I think it's legit this time, and I expect those orders will be recognized in the current quarter.

The story here is really the same as it has been for a while now. Companies ranging from Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) and CBS (NYSE: CBS  ) to Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) want to satisfy the paying public's desire for new avenues of media delivery, and they need new gear to do so. And it just so happens that C-COR has some of that gear.

The plentiful competition in this market certainly isn't going anywhere, and I don't think Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO  ) bought Scientific Atlanta just because it could. And let's be honest -- this company still has some work to do to rebuild its credibility and regain its growth-stock cred.

I don't know about you, but I've never made a great deal of money from situations where everyone was in agreement about how wonderful it would be. More often than not, by the time everybody agrees, the story is long over. With that in mind, I think there could still be a brighter tomorrow for these shares.

For more Foolish thoughts on the new-media world:

Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).


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