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  • Finally, Downside Protection At Artio [View article]
    Liron, just coming back to thank you for making rethink this investment. I did come to the conclusion that you were right and bought some. With hindsight I should have bought a lot more, but I'll take what I got. Anyway, I wanted to send props your way. Best of luck to you in the future.
    Feb 14, 2013. 10:12 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Finally, Downside Protection At Artio [View article]
    Thanks, Liron. You may well be right. I remain concerned that the recent cuts will still be likely far short of what will be required to be profitable as an organization of only $11bln AUM, and I also wonder how sticky the non-equity AUM will prove to be if investors wonder about the long term viability of this company. But again, I appreciate your article and helping me to revisit this again. Good luck!
    Dec 12, 2012. 11:26 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Finally, Downside Protection At Artio [View article]
    Liron,

    I appreciate the article as ART is something that has been on my radar for over a year.

    I have not pulled the trigger on buying it. Here is my thought process: I concede that the balance sheet is strong and that there is an attractive net cash position; I also acknowledge the relative stability of the non-equity AUM. Where I is struggle is that the $5 million of annualized pretax income you cite was based on higher AUM levels than ART currently enjoys. And, significantly, the outflow of funds has not abated. Until AUMs stabilize, and I have waited patiently to see when that might happen, and until we see what cuts management can make that don't destroy their ability to continue to offer a competitive service, I have not been a believer that this management can operate their business and still make money.

    Further, the secular longterm trends in money management, in my opinion, really have negated the attractiveness of mutual funds as a vehicle as investors have adopted en masse ETFs and their convenience and lower fees. I have not seen anything from this management team that suggests they are ahead of any trends--instead, the current cost cuts were advocated by analysts over a year ago and management was late to the party in recognizing the need.

    It has been my opinion that while this is admittedly a cheap stock, it is cheap for a reason, and likely to get much cheaper still. In the meantime, I wait each month for the published AUM and see if the flow is abating at a level where this can be a viable long term business. I haven't seen that yet, and hence, am still on the sideline.

    Help me see what I am missing here.

    Again, thanks for the article.
    Dec 11, 2012. 08:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Holding Steady: AUER's Growth Strategy Not For The Weak [View article]
    Kapitall,

    The purpose of this article was likely to point us in the direction of a few undiscovered gems. I appreciate that. At the same time, AUERX's methodology is going to tilt it heavily towards "falling angels" (and not "angels" or "fallen angels"). With their approach you are going to get either (1) fast growers who are now out of favor due to poor future prospects, or (2) undiscovered gems. The presence of a sufficient number of the former is likely the reason for this fund's appallingly bad record since inception (bottom 1% in performance for most every time period). So caveat emptor for anyone using their holdings as a shopping list. Not saying the highlighted stocks are bad or that they can't find some winners here, but I definitely think their results speak for themselves in how NOT to run a mutual fund.
    Oct 24, 2012. 06:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • General Motors: How To Bash GM - A Primer [View article]
    I didn't. Why do you ask?
    Sep 27, 2012. 02:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • General Motors: How To Bash GM - A Primer [View article]
    SBDrive, very sorry to hear of your experience!
    Sep 27, 2012. 12:50 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • General Motors: How To Bash GM - A Primer [View article]
    Sarcasm can be a subtle thing...
    Sep 27, 2012. 10:17 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • General Motors: How To Bash GM - A Primer [View article]
    You are right--that easily could have been on the list.
    Sep 27, 2012. 10:08 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • General Motors: How To Bash GM - A Primer [View article]
    I have to admit the Malibu is a real disappointment. No question there. What I hoped to get at in the article is that there is more to the GM story than the Malibu.
    Sep 27, 2012. 10:05 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Arkansas Best: Want A Trucking Company For Free? [View article]
    Thanks for the insights, gadberry.
    Sep 25, 2012. 12:51 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Arkansas Best: Want A Trucking Company For Free? [View article]
    Owen, if there is one potential problem with my analysis, this could be it. The basis for much of my optimism about ABFS and future cost improvements has been that the upcoming negotiations and my belief that they will succeed in getting some relief. I have felt this way because I do perceive that current ABFS management gets that this is THE issue for ABF and it has become a hill for them to die on (try to find any public presentation where they don't talk about the critical need to reduce costs--you can't. When they list how they will cut costs invariably this negotiation is mentioned as one of the ways to do this). I have equally assumed that the union's need for self-preservation would help facilitate reduced costs since it is in their best interest for ABFS to survive. Now could I be wrong on this? Absolutely! (and it wouldn't be the first time I have been wrong:)) And if you are right that they will hold on until the host animal is dead, well, I may be off on my assessment!

    But I actually don't think ABFS needs huge concessions. When I spoke with management, they actually felt salaries were basically in line. They wanted pension help and flexibility in order to better compete. And I still feel very genuinely that ABFS has succeeded in creating a niche that the union actually helps--excellent customer service and care. The stability the union provides helps ABFS in that way. So if IBT and the pensions can help ABFS in ways that I believe they are capable, then I see lots of upside. The recent price collapse to me suggests that the street has all but given up on ABFS. Meanwhile, this is a well run company with $120 million in cash (and growing) that isn't going out of business in the next 6 months--let alone the next year--and that has some very nice segments to go along with unionized ABF. I intend to look closely at the new contract, and then based on what I see will reassess. If management ultimately loses the game of chicken with the union and they succeed in essentially getting no concessions, then it may well be that my thesis has been proven false and I will have lost some money. We will see!

    Love this dialogue!
    Sep 25, 2012. 12:45 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Arkansas Best: Want A Trucking Company For Free? [View article]
    Hard to say--the latest 10Q lists $463 million in PP&E, and I would assume that at least half of that would not be recoverable in a liquidation.
    Sep 25, 2012. 12:23 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Arkansas Best Corporation: Short-Term Pain, Lots Of Long-Term Upside [View article]
    Thanks, Fathertrucker, for your comment. It will be interesting to see what comes out of the negotiations. Your first and last paragraphs are what have given me optimism that the teamsters will agree to some concessions with ABFS, whether before or after March 31. There IS a real problem with the underfunded status of the pensions, one that I believe is unsolvable without outside help. This is a fact. And your last comment about how teamsters have caused all but 2 union LTL carriers to go out of business is also accurate. It may be that I am too rational to understand this issue properly, but the rational part of me says that it is truly in all parties' best interest to work together (read, sufficient concessions to give unionized trucking companies a fighting chance) in order to stay alive. The pensions can't play too much hardball because the LAST thing they need is another company no longer contributing. And if the IBT doesn't play ball, then there may not be a ball game to play in--period.

    Again, should be interesting...
    Sep 25, 2012. 12:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Arkansas Best: Want A Trucking Company For Free? [View article]
    Trucker, if you get a chance read my first article. I believe there are some things there that will help you understand my take on the MEPP situation. Thanks for the comments.
    Sep 23, 2012. 11:04 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Arkansas Best: Want A Trucking Company For Free? [View article]
    Writers guild...that's funny!
    Sep 23, 2012. 09:20 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
COMMENTS STATS
30 Comments
23 Likes