Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Weighing SafeNet's Dangers

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A wary analyst community awaits SafeNet's second-quarter financial results, set for release Wednesday evening. The last four earnings announcements from the Belcamp, Md., information security concern have fallen short of Wall Street expectations, and at a recent $15, the stock has lost three-fifths of its value since a high set in October.

Adding to the gloom: the overhang of an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into SafeNet's stock option grants. The company got a related subpoena last May.

With the slide in its stock price, SafeNet's $364 million market value is now well below its book value, while its price-to-sales multiple is 1.4. The North American technology sector as a whole goes for 1.6 times revenues. Contrarian investors, particularly those interested in government contracting plays, may want to take a gamble on this beaten-up stock.

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