Grizzlies Owner’s Company Riding High

By Andy Meek

Memphis Grizzlies owner Robert Pera has enjoyed a run of good news lately surrounding the technology company he founded, Ubiquiti Networks Inc.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company, which sells wireless networking products, reported better-than-expected earnings Aug. 8, and its shares jumped to a high not seen in more than a year. Revenue alone for the quarter was up 7 percent to $101.2 million, while analysts had forecast a little more than $93 million.

PERA

Several investment firms, including Wedbush Securities, raised their price target on Ubiquiti shares after the earnings release.

The company also is doing new things. In recent days, Ubiquiti launched its own Web store, where customers can not only buy the company’s networking products but also things such as Ubiquiti-branded hoodies and T-shirts.

The growth and upswing mark a big turnaround from 2012, when Pera and Ubiquiti were fighting a number of challenges – everything from product counterfeiters to negative speculation in the business press about the volatility of the company’s stock.

Reflecting his feeling about what the company has accomplished, Pera tweeted a Jay Z lyric the same day Ubiquiti released its latest earnings: “And as for the critics, tell me I don’t get it. Everybody can tell you how to do it, they never did it.”

In related news, he and Ubiquiti are starting to get noticed more. A few months ago, Pera attended the Forbes Philanthropy Summit in New York, a star-studded event also attended by celebrities such as U2 singer Bono and famed investor Warren Buffett.

Pera afterwards distributed a photo via his Facebook and Twitter accounts, in which he’s posing with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. Pera was told by an event planner that Gates had put in a request to sit next to him at the gathering.