Continuing with our notes from the Sidoti Micro Cap Conference, today we highlighte Hooker Furniture (HOFT) and Answers Corporation (ANSW). In addition, we provide a small summary of the topics covered by the keynote speaker Larry Kudlow.
Again, for a list of presenters along with corresponding financial snapshots, see the conference company list HERE.
Hooker Furniture Corp. (HOFT)
Presenter: Paul B. Toms Jr. (Chairman & CEO)
- Hooker Furniture Corporation designs and imports residential wood, metal, and upholstered furniture products in North America. Its wood furniture products include home entertainment, home office, accent, dining, bedroom, and bath furniture. The company also offers motion and stationary leather furniture, and occasional chairs. In addition, it specializes in leather reclining and motion chairs, sofas, club chairs, and executive desk chairs.
- Recession hit company hard, but has still turned a profit. In fact, in all 86 years company has been in business it has lost money only in one year: 1930.
- The company competes in the mid to high end case goods and upholstered furniture market.
- Upholstered furniture has a faster replacement rate than case goods (wood) because they wear out faster and have lower price points. Manufacturing these goods requires high fixed costs and the process is highly automated.
- Hooker sells its furniture in the US through independent sales representatives to independent furniture retailers, catalog merchandisers, and national and regional chain stores.
- Company has now turned its attention to the 24-45 age groups. This is because studies have shown that furniture acquisitions are largely correlated to important life events, such as marriage, buying a new home, having a child, etc.
- To target 24-49 age groups, HOFT launched another brand: Envision. This new brand is more affordable than its signature furniture.
- Fast paced business: one third of the company’s furniture line is replaced every year.
Answers Corporation (ANSW)
Presenter: Steven Steinberg (CFO)
- Company simply operates as an online answer engine.
- Products include Answers.com, which combines and presents targeted information on various categories and WikiAnswers.com, a user-generated content, and community-based question and answer site where users ask questions and the community answers them.
- Main competitors are Yahoo Answers, About.com, and Wikipedia.
- Advantage of WikiAnswers’ approach is that allows the community to transform each question and answer into its own “wiki” page, a collaborative page that can be improved upon by others in the community. Unlike other pages, it is not operated in a message board format.
- Its pages receive unique 56 million visitors a month in the U.S., and 83 million worldwide. This makes it the 13th most visited site in the U.S., and 25th in the world.
- The exact presentation can be found HERE.
Keynote Speaker: Larry Kudlow
Mr. Kudlow’s keynote speech was almost exactly the same as his weekly economic/political commentary on CNBC. His commentary is posted HERE.