I used to own a piece of Vonage Holdings
And then Vonage released preliminary fourth-quarter results, and the stock took off like a rocket. I wish I had my shares back on a day like this.
I can't complain too much, because I bought in at $0.39 per share in the spring of 2009 and sold for six times that amount a little over a year later. Vonage's balance sheet has always looked scary, but the company had started wringing strongly positive cash flows out of low or negative earnings, and I was sure Vonage would turn things around. Buy when everyone else is selling, said Baron von Rothschild, so I did.
And Vonage's fourth quarter is validating my thesis. Churn is the lowest Vonage has seen in four years at 2.4%, the company is adding net subscribers after two years of constant bleeding, and the $40 million in estimated EBITDA is the highest in company history.
The Vonage World plan is the star player in Vonage's portfolio, giving consumers a very compelling price point for international calling. I'm calling my family in Sweden and my wife's in Guatemala using the competing Google
Vonage's solution is a better choice for many consumers, and both of these Internet-powered options beat the socks off any international calling plans offered by traditional landline and wireless powers Verizon
With early legal troubles far in the rearview mirror and broadband Internet pipes becoming the standard rather than the exception, Vonage seems poised for a few years of rapid growth in number of subscribers, sales, and profits -- starting right about now. I think it's time I look at buying back those shares I sold last summer.
For some reason, our CAPS community still gives Vonage a terrible one-star rating and fellow Fool Anand Chokkavelu hates it with a passion. I think the stock deserves better, and my "outperform" pick is actively supporting my All-Star CAPS status. Join my quest to restore Vonage's respect by adding your own thumbs-up rating right now.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares of Google but holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here, unfortunately. Google is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation and a Motley Fool Rule Breakers choice. The Fool owns shares of Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.