This Week's Outstanding Performance Award Winners: Richard Zeits And Ryan Perlowin

Includes: PVAHQ, WLB
by: SA Editor Daniel Shvartsman


Today, we announce two more outstanding performance award winners.

The energy sector is in focus: great calls on PVA and WLB earn each author $2,500 awards.

All readers can view the winning ideas for 24 hours.

Dear readers,

I once again have the honor of announcing this week’s Outstanding Performance award winners. This week, we focused on great energy-sector ideas. Each winner receives a check for $2,500 for doing an outstanding job of helping Seeking Alpha readers find alpha.

This week’s Outstanding Performance award winners are:

  1. Richard Zeits for his long idea on Penn Virginia (PVA) published in April 2013. Return to date: +212%
  2. Ryan Perlowin for his long idea on Westmoreland Coal (NASDAQ:WLB) published in April 2013. Return to date: +277%

An update to each thesis is available in the comment streams of each original article, linked above. Both articles will become part of the SA PRO equity research archive available exclusively to SA PRO subscribers. In honor of their awards, the articles will be unlocked to all for the next 24 hours.

About the winners

Richard Zeits has published over 250 articles on Seeking Alpha, establishing himself as a thought leader in the energy space. He’s also established a formidable stock picking track record; you can view the performance of all of his long and short ideas on our new author performance page. Richard is an energy industry consultant and investment analyst, with decades of experience as an investment banker, portfolio manager and senior investment analyst. He provides custom industry research, market intelligence, investment analysis and transaction advisory services to investment professionals and industry practitioners.

Richard initiated coverage of PVA after the company announced a deal to buy Magnum Hunter’s Eagle Ford assets, concluding that, “The Magnum Hunter acquisition is indeed a transformational transaction for Penn Virginia, as the company now has a large, high quality asset platform to execute on.” He continued to cover the story as it unfurled, writing a total of ten articles on PVA over the past 16 months. His ongoing interest in the stock paid off nicely for Richard and his followers; PVA continued to outperform, drew analyst attention as a takeover target, and gained George Soros as a major investor. The stock price tripled.

Ryan Perlowin started writing for Seeking Alpha in early 2013 and quickly established a solid track record, as seen on his performance page. An EdTech entrepreneur & marketer, one of his initial writing focuses was coal, and he contributed several articles about the sector as a whole and some of the struggling companies therein.

In April 2013, Ryan turned his attention to Westmoreland. He highlighted WLB’s low-cost model and advantageous location, as well as its financial strength compared to peers. While coal as a sector continued to struggle (KOL is down about 12% since Ryan’s WB article), WLB doubled in 2013 and again in 2014 YTD. The stock may have flown under the radar for some, but those who acted on Ryan’s thesis mined a great gain.

Congratulations to this week’s winners! Look out for a new pair of Outstanding Performance award winners next Monday, and each Monday following.

And here’s a page with all previous winners.

More about Outstanding Performance awards

Seeking Alpha aims to help investors outperform the markets. In awarding authors of outstanding stock ideas that played out, we hope contributors will be motivated to share more outstanding long and short ideas with our readers - which benefits everyone.

Every week, we’ll be searching through our long and short ideas archives looking for outstanding stock ideas that played out, and awarding two $2,500 "Outstanding Performance" prizes.

Here's what we'll be looking for:

  1. Performance: Above all, we're looking for ideas that made SA readers money. Risk matters, so we’ll be looking at the stock’s market cap, Sharpe ratio, etc. as well.
  2. Confluence: Every idea has a thesis. Did the idea play out for the reasons proposed or not?
  3. Compelling: For an idea to be outstanding, it needs to be sufficiently convincing that a reader would have been compelled to take a deeper look at the stock and potentially take a stake. In assessing compellingness, we’ll be looking at a number of factors including article comments (how did readers react?), historical performance (does the author have a track record of well-thought-out stock ideas?), voice of expertise (does he/she come across as someone who has unusual insight into the stock?), and how thoroughly the article covered key issues (reasons for market mispricing, catalyst(s), competitive landscape, company management, key risks, etc.). In other words, we’ll be looking for the same things readers look for when assessing an idea.

To qualify for an award, the idea needs to have been submitted exclusively to Seeking Alpha. We will also be asking award winners to publish an update to their thesis, either as a comment to the article or as a standalone article.

Generally, we'll be looking for longer-term ideas that offered meaningful upside to readers. We'll be going back as far as two years or even further. We may also reward ideas that played out outstandingly over a shorter timeframe. But we will not be using Outstanding Performance awards to reinforce extreme short-term price volatility.

To get exclusive access to these articles after they are selected, as well as early and archival access to many of our top performing ideas, subscribe to SA PRO.

We’ll be announcing Outstanding Performance award winners in Wall Street Breakfast, in the Today in SA PRO newsletter, and in a standalone article like this one.

If you have great stock ideas, why not become a Seeking Alpha contributor yourself? Colin and his contributor success team will make it easy to share your ideas with tens of thousands of readers.