Louisville’s Sypris Solutions: A drag on the entire electronics sector?

Local tech firm Sypris Solutions isn’t a big firm: Its market capitalization is just $54.7 million, but apparently it’s big enough to drag down the entire electronics sector. Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 10.46.50 AM

Or so says TheStreet.com in its Nov. 11 article “3 Stocks Pushing The Electronics Industry Lower.” One of those stocks was Sypris. It fell 3.2 percent on Nov. 11, enough to be cited as a real laggard.

But the roll-down didn’t begin or end then. Over the past five days, as of Nov. 14, it’s down 11.6 percent. Which is, it’s fair to say, a lot.

Sypris performs a range of manufacturing, engineering, design and other technical services, typically under multi-year, sole-source contracts with corporations and government agencies.

Though stock shares fall and rise–it was up 2.7 percent as of last Friday morning–Sypris has been on a long, slow ride straight to the gutter for its longtime shareholders. It traded at $2.67 per share, as of 10:37 a.m. Friday, Nov. 14. This is literally a fraction of what it used to be. Back in June 1994 it peaked at $42 per share. Ow!

TheStreet says Sypris’s profit margins are extremely low, at 14.5 percent, versus peers. It also has a sky-high price-to-earnings ratio of 60.7. Peer firms come in at 9.5 and 17.2.

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A portion of the proposed Butchertown apartments site

NuLu Biz Association supports Butchertown apartments; Preservation Louisville, not so much

The Bristol Development Group’s plans for a seven-story Butchertown apartment “community” were given the thumbs-up from the NuLu Business Association last week in the wake of a contentious neighborhood meeting about the project.

On Nov. 12, on behalf of the NBA, President Gill Holland issued a letter to the Butchertown Architectural Review Committee expressing the association’s “strong support for the development Bristol Development group is proposing for a portion of the block at East Main St. and Clay St.” The letter says the development will “establish critically needed density” and “re-establish residential dwellings” and a “retail foothold” in the area. It commends Bristol for taking “into account the historic nature of Butchertown with its design and facade preservation.”

Insider shared this letter with Marianne Zickuhr, executive director of Preservation Louisville. And while she agrees that “density, retail, and residential are needed” in that neighborhood, “these are not the issues before the Architectural Review Committee,” she said in an email.

Zickuhr echoed many people’s concerns about the proposed building not respecting the “context” of its location. She wrote: “That is why we have a landmarks ordinance and preservation districts. These districts offer protection to property owners and it has been proven that their property values benefit from careful consideration of new development and redevelopment and ensures they will include and not destroy or detract from any of the existing and contributing structures in our preservation districts.”

She said, “These buildings are not blighted, they are not abandoned and when we have plenty of vacant lots and areas ripe for new development, even near the proposed area we are speaking of, I don’t understand why they can’t take that project else where if they can’t find a way to follow our preservation ordinance. There are certainly creative solutions to provide the things that Butchertown wants as a neighborhood while still staying within the law. Butchertown has always been a mixture of commercial and residential as a preservation district and I believe that allows for even more creativity in the design.”

The Butchertown Architectural Review Committee is expected to consider the proposal in December.

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