TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO ) has spent a lot of time in American courtrooms, but this legal tourist is getting ready to shred its passport.
The firm just settled its differences with mega-telecom Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) . TiVo gets about $100 million to gloss over the damages of Verizon's FiOS service infringing on TiVo's DVR patents, plus another $150 or more in license and service fees over the next six years. The payout gets even larger if Verizon hits certain subscriber count targets along the way.
Furthermore, TiVo is working on ways to inject its digital media know-how into the online media service Verizon is about to launch in cahoots with Coinstar (Nasdaq: CSTR ) division Redbox. This explains why Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX ) shares fell 2.5% on Monday -- TiVo is just about the only sheriff in the digital Wild West that Netflix might fear. At this stage in the online video game, it's all about building a high-quality service that consumers can't resist. TiVo and Netflix have poured unmatched resources into solving that puzzle over the last decade or so.
TiVo has crushed the opposition in every patent suit so far, and there's only one big case left on the docket. The company is still fighting Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC ) by proxy, suing the cable firm's two major set-top-box makers. These cases are scheduled for trial over the next two years. For the record, Verizon would have gone to trial on Oct. 1 if not for this timely settlement.
I recently valued TiVo at $15 per share, based on these legal shenanigans and a high-margin business model being built around technology licenses and software. The stock still has a ways to go before hitting that target, but the roadblocks are falling away one by one. My bullish CAPScall and real-world position both look poised for big gains in the next two years.
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