Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Phonetime Graduates to Toronto Stock Exchange

Well, here's a good news item I'm pleased to share, especially as North America teeters on the brink of recession.

One of our local companies - Phonetime - has graduated from our venture exchange to our big board, the TSX. The news was announced today, and I say that they've graduated for a good reason - their trading symbol is PHD. Hah - can't get any smarter than that!

This is a really positive sign for a company that doesn't get much attention and operates a pretty simple, Voice 1.0 business. They've been on the venture exchange since 2000, and I've been friendly with them for a few years, so I can say first hand this is a good story.

Phonetime is basically a one-stop-shop for long distance telecom services across Canada. They operate their own national network, and have a healthy mix of both wholesale termination/origination business as well as retail offerings, primarily through calling cards. Sure, it's a low margin/high volume business, but if you establish your network and maintain a reasonably loyal mix of customers and distributors, it can be a decent business.

Not very sexy, but with Toronto's unparalleled mix of cultures and immigrants, this is a great market for these types of products, especially the calling cards. VoIP may not mean much to this audience yet, but calling cards make a lot of sense, especially for people who do not even have the luxury of their own landline.

For sake of transparency, I'm not a shareholder, but it's been on my to-do list for a while. I think I'll follow their progress on the TSX for little bit first and then see about becoming one.

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