Will that be one lump or two?
That's the question that investors in NTN Communications
While shareholders can take some comfort in knowing that their stock has tripled over the past two years, you may be scratching your head. You have never heard of NTN, have you? You think it's odd that a company with a streak now stretching over three years of perpetually petty losses has a buoyant share price, don't you?
The sad part is that NTN could have been a household word. In fact, it was in mine. More than a dozen years ago I used to play the company's QB1 football game on General Electric's
NTN had its finger on the pulse on the future. Folks could play online, and they would compete not only with fellow wired geeks but also against the interactive stations at bars and restaurants around the country. QB1 was a rudimentary game where folks would guess what the next play would be during a live football game. NTN was there, living off the fat of fantasy football before others such as SportsLine
That's where the story takes a turn for the sad. Somehow the finger slipped off the pulse. While the company's games can still be played around the country at places such as Hidden Gems newsletter recommendation Buffalo Wild Wings
These days the company is also doing well as a player in hospitality technology, helping with the point-of-sale software systems of chains such as Cheesecake Factory
That would have been a game worth winning.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz actually submitted a few questions that were used when David Wolpe was helping put together the NTN Foolish Trivia game. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter analytical team that will be looking to unearth the next NTN that keeps to its course towards greatness early in its growth cycle. He does own shares in Cheesecake Factory but not in any of the other companies mentioned in this story.