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Andrew Shapiro  

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  • Willbros Group - Opportunity Strikes In This Beaten-Down $2 Oil Stock [View article]
    There was some 'window-dressing' selling pressure through end of June with funds not wanting to show ownership of WG in their quarter end portfolio holdings disclosures.

    Recently UBS analyst dropped his price target to $1.50 rather than upgrading due to the much reduced price offering such a high return to his former target that an upgrade was warranted. Typical sell-side following price moves of down-grading and upgrading after the fact.

    Recent S&P credit downgrade was follow of moody's downgrade a while ago.
    Jul 13, 2015. 09:32 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Coincidence Of Activism And Shareholder-Friendly Corporate Activities [View article]
    Interesting position to take as a free-riding follower who has greater exit liquidity at the expense taking on greater risk from inferior information of what the event driver activist or the company will be doing.

    However, what is not being acknowledged in this article is that the event-driven manager is following AFTER the catalyst [the event "driver" activist] becomes visible and certain re-valuation has already occurred by a fairly efficient market (less so in the micro-/small-cap universe). The event "driver" activist like ourselves have accumulated at least 4.99% of the target from manic-depressive sellers perceiving perpetual deterioration or perpetual stagnation at best.

    Furthermore, what the event-driven outside observer/follower may perceive as full value, may not be such for the activist shareholder whose grand plan for value creation may not have ended. Were us activists to continue to drive operating growth of the entity that we have gained substantial intellectual capital in and perhaps insider status (part of what makes our event-driver position less liquid than the event-driven follower) our investment compounds further and tax efficiently with less risk than flipping out to redeploy into a new venture that may bear relatively greater risk for the event-driver activist. Admittedly, the event driven follower is at similar risk in the current activist target vs a newly announced one as it is in an equally informationally inferior trader/follower position. I would hate to be a taxable investor in your event-driven follower strategy vs in an event-driving activist strategy.

    Ironically, your article is an interesting opposition brief to the red herring canard posed by entrenched managements and board alleging activist are short term opportunists. We both know who really fits that characterization. :>)

    As a side note, you should be in the issuer camp to deprive the activist from its current 10 calendar day filing window for 13Ds and amendments. Great illustration of the transfer of proprietary research value from the activist to the event driven free-riding follower.
    Jul 11, 2015. 07:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Real Industry: A Little Known Investment Firm Riding Aluminum's Coattails Higher [View article]
    It was just there for the company to monetize off of the russell index purchasing
    Jul 10, 2015. 09:59 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • FDA gives restaurant chains deadline on posting calorie counts [View news story]
    SA's headline for the linked article is a completely misleading and bad reporting.

    The article not only is entitled, "FDA delays ObamaCare's menu labeling rule" but its substance discusses how compiance with the rule has now been rolled BACK "until after the 2016 presidential election — at which time a Republican president could choose to scrap the rule altogether."

    Furthermore, "the rules have generated bipartisan blowback on Capitol Hill. The FDA’s delay comes amid fierce pressure from Congress to back down from the rules."
    Jul 9, 2015. 01:04 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Exhibitors on watch as shorter release window to be tested [View news story]
    It should be noted that the exhibitors are only agreeing to do this for a piece of the digital revenue stream they are allowing to be generated earlier after run in theaters is completed.
    Jul 9, 2015. 12:55 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Real Industry: A Little Known Investment Firm Riding Aluminum's Coattails Higher [View article]
    Nice article. I am also impressed by management's approach to investor relations
    Jul 7, 2015. 11:51 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AMC Entertainment: Undervalued On Overblown Concerns [View article]
    Sorry I don't agree with your assessment that AMC is undervalued.

    1) When I refer to under-valued and over-valued I don't mean on an absolute basis as all theater exhibitors have cheap multiples vs. many industries and stocks perceived to have higher growth profiles. However, within the publicly traded exhibitors AMC is not cheap. Reading Int'l (RDI) and Marcus (MCS) are cheap. Its no coincidence that they both have hard real estate asset ownership far greater than the AMC exhibitors who have enormous non-owned lease liabilities. (Disclosure : As theater exhibition industry's fortunes go with the quality of film product, I am short many of these names in the sector as a hedge to my very large long on RDI ( . All these exhibitors use the same "raw material", as Reading, but RDI, having no sell-side analysts whatsoever, owning substantial real estate that is being converted to highest alternative use as well as foreign diversification both going unvalued public investors, is far lower (adjusted for Real estate) EV/EBITDA multiple than any of these other companies, even including MCS.

    2) AMC's multiple may be smaller than its two other large "partners in crime" but that is a function of both those companies having stronger dividend support to their also industry over-valued shares.

    3) Sorry to burst your bubble but the clearance practices that you think AMC is wrongly accused of most definitely take place. See one of my earliest articles, entitled "Small Cinema's Antitrust Win: Big Implications For Large Exhibitor Chains" on a case that has wound through the courts for many many years and is still live.

    Regardless how this case turns out (it also utilizes some unique California law) The anti-trust issue is will this current regulatory enforcement regime choose to interpret the law to scale back the clearance practice. If they do it will be bad for all of AMC, RGC and CNK (and possibly 4th largest CKEC) and good for 11th largest RDI and maybe 5th largest MCS. The advantage will be to be a chain large enough for substantial economies of scale, but not so large as to be exerting market power to put the little guys out of business as the big 3 have been aggressive at doing.
    Jul 2, 2015. 10:11 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In A Year Of Major Events For Reading International, Wanda's Purchase Of Hoyts Turns Our Head [View article]
    Vending machines outside of supermarkets renting DVD’s at a discount price is dying business, especially with streaming and download sales. Present value of future cash flows to Hoyts. If I recall, Reading was a bidder for Val Morgan 5-8 years ago and it was a small business with not too much cash flow. So IMO both these businesses portion of $800MM transaction value is deminimus.

    Overall conclusion of my article outlining substantial and increased value from Cinema cash flow that is growing, enhanced NY real estate values and favorable landmark approval to expand developable sq ft at Union Square and a valid comp (and possible highly synergistic acquirer) for RDI's Aus/NZ cinema segment still holds enough water that $14/share price for RDI bargain.
    Jul 2, 2015. 01:14 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In A Year Of Major Events For Reading International, Wanda's Purchase Of Hoyts Turns Our Head [View article]
    While the CEO might want to increase the empire, if the kids are not interested in bulking up on non-cash flow producing raw land like Sr., we need not worry about that risk.

    On the other hand, an outsider as CEO would be optimal for all concerned. He/she is most likely to be compensated and incentivized in a manner more aligned with shareholder's interests than the family was/is. Similarly, he/she would pursue closing the valuation gap more than past history too. At least that is what I would want and do as CEO.

    Agree, no likely sale in the near term, though the prospect of that has greatly increased due to the estate fight. Whichever sibling is outside of the power sphere, is more aligned with us shareholders.
    Jun 29, 2015. 10:19 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • In A Year Of Major Events For Reading International, Wanda's Purchase Of Hoyts Turns Our Head [View article]
    True. But I note Wanda's history of paying big multiples for a large share platform and that Hoyt's size is the biggest they could get with antitrust authorities still allowing them to buy the next biggest market share player - Reading. There was a distinct possibility of these two platforms merging when Hoyt's was privately held by LBO firm PEP and was having troubles going public due to its "small" size.

    Until this time, for many valuing the parts of RDI was too onerous, especially i Aus/NZ with a US based company and stock. So much undeveloped non cash-flowing real estate, no comp for Aus/NZ cinema segment. Now, many of the real estate parcels down under have been or are being turned into cash. No better comp for cinema segment there. Also other big undeveloped real estate development here also being moved forward.

    Also I included links to two other "parts worth more than the whole" analysis done before Wanda purchase multiple.

    Take any haircut you want for Wanda's purchase. At present RDI prices, conclusion still stands.
    Jun 29, 2015. 09:07 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Willbros Group - Opportunity Strikes In This Beaten-Down $2 Oil Stock [View article]
    BTW this dumping by index funds is mandated and emotionless. It will take place no matter the stock price nor any fundamental positive or negative news. Russell Recon has always served as a great entry and exit window for fundamental research active investors like ourselves.
    Jun 25, 2015. 09:37 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Willbros Group - Opportunity Strikes In This Beaten-Down $2 Oil Stock [View article]
    I don't know why anyone gives credence to the self-serving red herring argument entrenched managements and boards constantly claim that activist investors are short-term and move in/out of their investments (even if we could).

    We just had an outstanding victory in a huge vote (despite 30% of WG shares held by related parties KKR and Tenaska) to recommend de-staggering WG's board.

    Perhaps its not common knowledge but WG is getting dropped from Russell 3000 and its sub segment russell 2000 index. Funds have to dump on or around this friday's index reconstitution date.
    Jun 24, 2015. 05:39 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Willbros Group - Opportunity Strikes In This Beaten-Down $2 Oil Stock [View article]
    No disclosure on the sale price of these two smaller units of the segment. The rest of the segment's sale is still TBD. Note there was some disclosure at the last conference call and earnings announcement of what remained of the professional services segment after the sale of some larger units a few months ago.
    Jun 15, 2015. 12:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Willbros Group - Opportunity Strikes In This Beaten-Down $2 Oil Stock [View article]
    What we eventually receive in value for this company is completely mutually exclusive of what we may have paid for it.
    May 22, 2015. 01:33 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Small Cinema's Antitrust Win: Big Implications For Large Exhibitor Chains [View article]
    So the case in my old article above was a Cal Appellate decision that sent disposition back to the trial court. I would have thought the matter would be done by now but I revisited in light of the new compelling suit against AMC in Texas. The wheels of justice are indeed slow. I am trying to pin someone down to discuss status and remaining issues.
    May 7, 2015. 03:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment