Andrew Shapiro is Founder, President and Portfolio Manager of Lawndale Capital Management, an investment advisor that has managed activist hedge funds focused on small- and micro-cap companies for over 23 years, one of the longest periods of experience deploying an activist/relational investment strategy today. Mr. Shapiro’s proactive ownership approach has been effective in directly creating and unlocking shareholder value in Lawndale’s portfolio companies and has contributed to Lawndale’s activist funds often being ranked among the top event-driven and small-cap value funds in peer databases for long-term performance. In addition to leading Lawndale, Mr. Shapiro has also served as a Director or Observer on portfolio company boards and debt and equity bankruptcy committees. Mr. Shapiro is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and, via Lawndale, has been a long-time Sustaining Member of the Council of Institutional Investors (CII).Mr. Shapiro has more than two decades of portfolio management and analytically varied experience from a number of "buy-side" positions, employing a rare combination of credit, legal and equity analytic and workout skills. Prior to founding the Lawndale organization in 1992, Mr. Shapiro managed the workout and restructuring of large portfolios of high-yield bonds, distressed equities and risk arbitrage securities for the Belzberg family's entity, First City Capital. Before joining First City, Mr. Shapiro was involved in numerous highly leveraged corporate acquisition and recapitalization transactions for both Manufacturers Hanover Trust and the Spectrum Group, a private equity firm. Mr. Shapiro received his JD degree from the UCLA School of Law where he was an Olin Fellow, an MBA from UCLA's Anderson Graduate School of Management where he was a Venture Capital Fellow and a BS in Business Administration from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, where he has taught finance courses and frequently guest lectures.Mr. Shapiro was recently selected to the 2012 NACD Directorship 100, a list of the most influential leaders in the boardroom and corporate governance community. He is often quoted on matters of corporate governance, fiduciary duty and activist investing and has been the subject of several articles, including a Business Week article in 2000 calling him “The Gary Cooper of Governance”. Mr. Shapiro frequent speaks and panels on corporate governance and activist investing issues at a broad range of prestigious forums that include the Council of Institutional Investors, National Association of Corporate Directors, American Society of Corporate Secretaries, SEC Advisory Committee on Small Public Companies, and the Director’s education programs of Stanford Law School, UCLA Anderson Grad. School of Mgmt., the Wisconsin Business School and Yale’s Millstein Center for Corporate Governance, among others. Mr. Shapiro is a Contributing Author at Seeking Alpha.Mr. Shapiro started Lawndale’s funds in 1993 with only $188,000 under management and through performance and added capital has grown the firm’s managed assets substantially. Lawndale applies a private equity approach through active and relational ownership of public company securities. In most investments, Lawndale plays a constructive relational role by actively working with boards and management teams to help them achieve their strategic and operating goals. In other instances, Lawndale is a direct value-unlocking catalyst, utilizing a range of tools that include aggressively promoting improvements in a company's governance and operational structures, proxy actions, asserting shareowner’s legal rights and taking active roles in restructuring and buyout proposal negotiations..
I am a value conscious investor looking for bargains.
1) Price is what you pay, value is what you get
2) Success in investing is limiting losses when you're wrong, and maximizing gains when you're right
3) Start with business model. Margins reflect value add a company's products bring to the market place. Does the Gross Margin and the Product match? High GMs accompany differentiated products with limited competition that do not compete on price. Low GMs accompany undifferentiated products that compete on price, CAPEX spend, cyclicality.
4) How is the business financed? Be wary of companies with a lot of debt. Great businesses do not require huge debt to generate high returns on equity. There is no achievement in generating high ROEs by levering up like banks, leasing businesses (car rental, equipment rental, aircraft rental). ROA should be telling here.
4) A company's value changes because the NPV of future profits changes. NPV of future profits is a function of changes in revenues, gross margins, OPEX, leverage, taxation. A company's value appreciates when the NPV of profits goes up due to revenue growth, GM expansion, OPEX reduction, leverage (refinancing) / tax (change of domicile) reduction.
5) Markets look forward. Bottoms coincide with maximum pessimism while tops coincide with maximum euphoria.
6) A stock is not undervalued because it is cheap and it is not overvalued because it is expensive (based on traditional valuation metrics). Similarly, a stock is not undervalued because it has gone down a lot or overvalued because it has gone up a lot.
7) Look at market cap when valuing companies. Don't be overly influenced by management projections, analyst reports, share buybacks, cash on B/S, price movements, other people in the stock.
8) Companies with significant debt can go bankrupt. Cash burn typically determines if they go bankrupt before the cycle (for their industry or the economy) turns.
9) Undervalued stocks can get cheaper, overvalued stocks can get more expensive.
10) Keep emotion out of investing. You will be wrong. Unpredictable things will happen. Stay vigilant to anger, anxiety, exuberance. Stay vigilant to thesis creep.
11) Leverage will kill you sooner or later. Companies have large operating and financial leverage.
12) Have a thesis. If the thesis plays out, stay with it. If it doesn't exit. Always have a thesis.
13) Understand the business you are invested in. It's valuation and what can go wrong. Know the business inside out.
13) Don't trade.
14) Diversify. There are many good ideas in the market. Don't put your eggs in one basket.
15) Failing businesses rarely turnaround.
"One of the best ways to do well in this business is to go to areas that have been unexploited by research capability and work them for all you can." -Julian Robertson Managing partner of the Schildpad & De Haas partnerships. Seeking Alpha PRO contributor since the library's inception in 2013. A special selection of investment ideas is available through the Exclusive Research service.
I am a 'deep value' investor/analyst mainly focused on the US small-cap universe. I started out with a long-only bias (stocks trading close to NCAV etc.), but I have now started to focus on the short side as well. I am especially interested in instances of aggressive accounting and earnings manipulation. I am always looking to connect with fellow investors/analysts so do not hesitate to contact me! I am also passively looking for a job on the buy-side.
JGR Capital Partners is an international equity research and investment advisory firm focusing on public companies under $2 billion in market capitalization. We are headquartered in New York City, with affiliate offices in Los Angeles, Shanghai, and São Paulo. Our team of experienced analysts form investment theses based on company and sector expertise, with a strict focus on fundamentals and valuation.
I read annual reports and related materials daily, and have found that Buffett was very right about how knowledge works like compound interest. What I've found in assessing companies is that the truly great ones downplay their position, while the pie in the sky market opportunities usually represent stagnant capital and/or intense competition (weak margins). The longer the horizon, the less competition you will face in regards to price paid versus value, but too much dependency on growth also leaves you vulnerable to permanent loss when growth fails to materialize. Lastly, never discount the value of a great capital allocator at the helm. A CEO of a company earning 20% ROE that keeps 75% of the company's earnings each year will have made capital allocation decisions representing half of the equity of the company within 5 years.
Hi, I am new to investing and I have just learned the basics of financing. I am a follower of Warren buffet who is one of the best in the financial world(in my Opinion). I am 26 years old and I started my journey after reading articles on Warren buffet. I am here to help you find value and improved investments from all around the world. Hope you guys will enjoy reading my blog.