Loss for the Stock Market

Just when I thought Open Solutions (NASDAQ/OPEN) couldn’t be doing any better on the stock market, the company decides to sell itself in a “going private” transaction. Clearly, this is a big loss for the stock market.

It’s not a loss in the trading sense, but a huge loss for the investing public who are looking for well-managed, growing companies in which to invest.

In my opinion, Open Solutions was another company offering outstanding speculative prospects. The company sells its software products to large financial institutions, which are always great customers to have because they are the ones with all the money. The company also has lots of recurring revenues, which is always attractive from an investor’s point of view.

Unfortunately, a group of private investors realized how attractive Open Solutions was as well and decided to bid for the entire company.

I first brought this company to your attention in August, then once again in September. Open Solutions sells the kind of software you might think a financial institution would need. There are all kinds of account transactions to keep track of and banks require sophisticated technology to accurately maintain all this data.

In its second quarter of 2006, Open Solutions’ revenues more than doubled to $107.1 million, up from revenues of $47.1 million in the comparable quarter in 2005. The company’s recurring revenues accounted for 77% of total revenues in the latest quarter.

Net income grew to $4.1 million, or $0.19 per share, up from net income of $3.8 million, or $0.18 per share generated in the same quarter last year.

Two private equity firms, the Carlyle Group and Providence Equity Partners Inc. are now offering $38 a share for Open Solutions. The day the announcement was made, the stock previously closed at approximately $30 per share.

So, the stock market has lost another great company. The good news is that those subscribers who took on a position in Open Solutions will be well rewarded for their speculation.

I wish the company the best of success for the future. Although investors in this company will do very well financially when the deal closes, it is too bad to lose such a great public company.