Last week, TiVo
As nice as the partial victory is for us TiVo shareholders, it's by no means a slam-dunk rout -- and the saga is still being told. I bought my shares with the intention of selling as soon as the final TiVo victory that I expect is set in stone, and this wasn't the watershed event that I'm looking for.
The appeals court decision left room for both sides to claim a partial victory, and even DISH is "pleased" with it. It's off to another round of appeals as TiVo tries to enforce an order to disable DISH's DVR boxes and DISH still wants the whole case thrown out. The Supreme Court looks like the final destination for this epic case.
After bouncing around the court system for seven years, I guess it's only fair to demand a final ruling by the nation's highest court. And the stakes are high: Bernstein Research analyst Craig Moffett estimates that DISH could end up paying as much as $3 billion to make this headache go away, much of it in damage payments directly to TiVo.
To put that figure into perspective, TiVo saw $220 million of revenue last year and has only $205 million of cash equivalents on hand. DISH pulled in $12.6 billion in sales and is leaning on a $2.9 billion cash hoard -- albeit under the umbrella of $5.2 billion in long-term debt to pay for those expensive satellite launches. The outcome here is orders of magnitude more life-changing for TiVo than it is for DISH.
Moreover, the window of opportunity is closing on TiVo. Some of its basic DVR patents start to expire in the next five years, and TiVo would very much like to exploit those patents before they're gone. Comcast
And then the world moves on from the interim DVR technology to digital streaming, and TiVo's short-lived sun sets. That's why I'm selling when the courts have done their part: The long-term value of TiVo is questionable. Assuming that my crystal ball speaks the truth, I don't want to sell my TiVo shares for less than about $16.
The best way to stay on top of these legal eagles is to add TiVo, DISH Network, and EchoStar to your Foolish watchlist. Just click on their names and you'll be on your way, or add all three in a single click.