Lots of money has changed hands in the two full trading sessions since Thanksgiving, but it seems like there's one number in particular that is on investors' lips: eight. Shares of 8x8
Let's think about this for a moment. Shares of companies that always seem to top the volume charts -- companies such as Dell
Certainly the financial picture at 8x8 isn't pretty at the moment. It's losing money and leaking cash -- though it recently raised more than $7 million, not an immaterial amount to 8x8, according to November press releases. Sales are falling. The company's sector, meanwhile, seems to have caught somebody's fancy.
Many telecoms have offered IP-based telephony to corporate customers for some time, and with some difficulty. Such systems offer benefits over traditional systems using regular phone lines but can be more expensive and often require long and involved sales cycles in order to convince clients of the long-term financial benefits of "convergence." 8x8 is a "pure-play" in a business that, given proper funding and time, could grow significantly. It will be interesting to watch the discussions taking place in the halls of the Federal Communications Commission. How such businesses are eventually regulated could have huge impacts on their ability to prosper.
Investors have taken fliers on speculative stocks -- and I'd call any money-losing company with a clear need for outside funding "speculative." There's nothing wrong with trying to get in early. Some people appear to believe 8x8 has one of the leading technologies available. The key for investors here is to manage the risk alongside the expected reward. No doubt many of the investors who own shares of 8x8 are doing just that.
But those who are flying in and out of the shares -- and for a company as small as 8x8 to generate the volume numbers it has, you can be certain people are -- in the hopes of snagging a few points are engaging in little more than guesswork. It's hard to imagine a situation in which a day trader really knows what he or she is doing beyond "hoping for the best." Fools, luckily, aren't attracted to such situations.
See what other Fools are saying on the Telecommunications discussion board -- only on Fool.com.
Dave Marino-Nachison can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.