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.
Richard Zeits is an Oil & Gas industry analyst and consultant. His background includes fourteen years as Energy industry-focused investment banker, portfolio manager and senior investment analyst with bulge bracket firms in New York. Zeits Energy Analytics use elaborate proprietary analytics and data bases to provide in-depth industry research, market intelligence, and forecasting.
Hoya Capital Real Estate is a Connecticut-based Registered Investment Advisor that focuses on research of the commercial real estate industry, and advisory of well-balanced public real estate equity portfolios.
All of our research is for educational purpose only, always provided free of charge exclusively on Seeking Alpha. Recommendations and commentary are purely theoretical and not intended as investment advice. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date, but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. For investment advice, consult your financial advisor.
Financial markets have fascinated me since childhood. I strive to combine my education in biology, math and history with common sense to find winning trades.
To identify good investments and the right time to enter/exit them, I draw on all financial disciplines that could be helpful. The following is a non-exhaustive list that inform my decisions: Finances of a company, market condition, who owns it, what insiders are doing, analysis of trading behavior, option positions, short interest, public perception, social media, retail involvement, deep valuation of assets and patents, debts and obligations etc.
Btw, my screen name refers to the popular MODIS satellite package in polar orbit around earth. It's mission is to daily photograph the entire planet in several optical bands. This data that is then made available to researchers like biologists, which is how I know about it. It is my inspiration to try see things as they really are.
MODIS also reminds me of my favorite quote from Mr. Buffett: "It's easier to make up a lost opportunity, than to recover from a loss." The instrument moves on, seeing new things; it doesn't get stuck. Capital is a precious resource, so every trade deserves to be as perfect as you can make it.
Follow me on Twitter: @NewConstructs
David is CEO of New Constructs (www.newconstructs.com), an independent research firm that leverages proprietary technology to find key insights from the Financial Footnotes of 10Ks and 10Qs. Having analyzed over 70,000 annual reports and their Financial Footnotes, New Constructs helps protect clients from the red flags/unknowns in SEC filings.
David is a distinguished investment strategist and corporate finance expert. He is a member of FASB's Investors Advisory Committee, and he is author of the Chapter “Modern Tools for Valuation” in The Valuation Handbook (Wiley Finance 2010).
David's insights into the markets and his stock picks have been popular with a wide variety of media outlets.
I manage a $1B+ portfolio for a family office. Our investments include bonds, equities, hedge funds, and private investments with a wide geographical and asset class dispersion. I have a J.D. degree from Yale Law School and practiced for 30 years as a trial lawyer in commercial cases.
That fellow in my icon is, of course, Galileo Galilei. Eppur si muove.
You can email me at Montana.Skeptic@gmail.com & follow me on Twitter where I am @MontanaSkeptic1
I trade my own account after a twenty year career in finance. I worked as an investment banker, senior lender and corporate planner.
I publish some of my investment ideas on Seeking Alpha because I believe the feedback and discussion can be a valuable part of the decision process.
I hold a bachelor of arts in Economics and an MBA, both from top tier east coast schools.
Andrew Walker, CFA, is a portfolio manager at Rangeley Capital LLC with a focus on small cap special situations investments. Mr. Walker also contributes to Sifting the World, a value investing forum.
RH Analytics specializes in deep-dive fundamental research on companies and sectors. We focus on topics where we believe there is a disconnect between current perceptions of the investment opportunity and the underlying reality. Our work dispels the myth and illuminates the reality.
I am an undergraduate finance student and value investor influenced by the likes of Buffett, Graham, Marks, Klarman, Greenblatt, etc. I am currently interning for a value oriented fund based in Texas, and I’m also searching for an internship for summer 2017. I can be contacted by phone at 1-508-505-8910 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a little more background…
I started reading Graham and Buffett when I was around 14 or 15 years old and quickly began to develop a passion for value investing. People often say that something just “clicks” and that’s certainly what happened for me. I began investing my own money shortly after and then began to write for Seeking Alpha in my junior year of high school. I have come quite a long way as an investor since then, as you can see by looking at the comparative simplicity of some of my earliest articles.
Over time, my investment philosophy has developed into a strictly value oriented approach, but this does not mean we need to make value and growth a dichotomy. Some companies might be a buy at 25x earnings while others might be a sell at 10x earnings. Through a thorough analysis of competitive and other qualitative factors, along with a valuation through DCF and/or comparable company multiples, I will ultimately arrive at my decision whether to buy, sell, or do nothing. Most of the time I don’t do anything. I aim to only purchase stocks when, simply put (and it’s much more complicated in practice), not everything has to go right in order for the investment to work out. Although I think the strong form EMH is quite ridiculous and has been disproven by various track records, I’m willing to admit that it’s quite difficult to find a security that has an adequate margin of safety worked in. It requires that I constantly try to turn over more rocks.
Although I originally started writing for Seeking Alpha as a way to increase my knowledge and earn a little bit of spending money, its primary use has now developed into serving as my investment journal. I will give each idea I write up a thorough qualitative and quantitative overview, and make my decision based on the findings. I will continually revisit past works to see how the idea has been developing and where I may have gone wrong so that I can avoid similar mistakes in the future. I welcome any and all feedback on my articles, and please feel free to reach out if you wish to contact me for whatever reason (information above).
Ross Taylor has been an institutional or hedge fund portfolio manager for over 28 years. He was head of Institutional Equity and Balanced investing for a NYC based Trust Bank and then went to a a major New York City based hedge fund where he was a partner from 2001 to 2009. He has been at Somerset Capital Advisors since 2009.
Chris DeMuth Jr. is the founder of Rangeley Capital LLC. Rangeley is an investment firm that focuses on event driven, value-oriented investment opportunities. Rangeley Capital and his value investing forum, Sifting the World (StW), search the world for misplaced bets. Rangeley exploits them for its investors and then Mr. DeMuth writes about them on StW.
I am an "extreme value" investor, focusing mostly on micro and nanocap companies selling for a steep discount to price/book, price/sales, EV/EBITDA and other traditional measures of value. (Price-to-book is my favorite.) My emphasis is on low priced stocks, since the marketplace is very inefficient in valuing them. I am a dyed-in-the-wool contrarian, and like to invest in the most unloved and out of favor sectors of the market, and numerically screen for the best relative values in those out of favor sectors. I like to buy companies where the insiders are buying in the open market, to "confirm" the underlying value proposition. I like to buy stocks trading near a multiyear low, and average down aggressively if the stock moves against me (assuming the circumstances for my purchase haven't changed.) I also like special situations, including selective leveraged turnaround situations, that I can catch at their "inflection" point. I have achieved outsized annualized returns, over the last 25 years, with these strategies. I also take 5%+ positions in companies, and engage in selective shareholder activism, to hold accountable the insular and/or corrupt boards that are sadly all too common, especially in smaller, "family run" public companies.
I am a high yield/distressed credit and deep value/reorg equity analyst. I have fundamental research and buy-side direct investing experience of 22 years in four continents, last 13 years of which were in US and 9 years in three emerging nations - India, Australia and Oman. My last job was with Dalton Investments LLC in Los Angeles, where I spent 13 years as Managing Director analyzing special situations, high yield/distressed credits, bank loans and reorg equities. As a generalist, I looked at more than 400 companies and gained knowledge in insolvency proceedings. By participating in creditor committees, I also gained expertise in corporate reorganization and rescue financing. Prior to Dalton, I worked at Al Ahlia Securities in Muscat, Oman, for more than two years as Head of Research for a $100 mn equity fund. Middle East and North African equities were key investing targets. Prior to Al Ahlia, I worked as Head of Research at ANZ Investment Bank for two years in Syndey, Australia and Mumbai, India. While setting up an Indian asset management company for Australian bank ANZ, I gained research experience in Australian mining, minerals, telecom and tourism sectors. Prior to ANZ, I worked at Unit Trust of India, Indias largest mutual fund at that time, between March 1992 and December 1996. I personally visited more than 300 companies in various parts of India and analyzed/invested in their debt/equity. I hold an MBA from Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California. I also hold an MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad IIM-A. I hold a B.Tech in Aerospace Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur IIT-KGP. I am Chartered Financial Analyst CFA and a member of CFA Institute/CFA society of Los Angeles.
Lead Wealth Advisor, Chief Investment Strategist, and individual investor with two masters degrees and a CFA designation who has been in the business for over 20 years. Along with our team we author the Seeking Alpha premium subscription service "YIELD HUNTING: Alternative Income Investing" dedicated to income investors who are searching for yield without the high risk of the equity market.
We feature a core-satellite model that allows investors to adjust for their own particular risk tolerance. We specialize in fixed income closed-end funds for generating income during retirement, micro and small-cap value investing, and macro analysis.
Arquitos Capital Management is the general partner of a value-oriented hedge fund, Arquitos Capital Partners. Launched in 2012, Arquitos Capital Partners focuses on company-specific situations such as reorganizations, recapitalizations, liquidations, spin-offs, break-ups, rights offerings and other unique circumstances. Steven Kiel is the president and chief investment officer of Arquitos Capital Management. He is the portfolio manager of Arquitos Capital Partners, a private investment partnership focused on value-oriented holdings. Steven is a judge advocate in the Army Reserves. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and currently holds the rank of major. Prior to launching Arquitos Capital Management, he was a lawyer in private practice. He has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, MarketWatch, Deal Journal, The Atlantic, USA Today, and other publications. Steven sits on the board of Sitestar (OTCBB:SYTE), a Virginia-based real estate investment company. Steven is a graduate of George Mason School of Law and Illinois State University, and is a member of the bar in Illinois (inactive) and Washington, D.C.
Marty Hu graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Computer Science and Phi Beta Kappa / Tau Beta Pi Honors. He is now pursuing a technology start-up full time but still enjoys value investing on the side.
I take a long term, value oriented approach to identifying sources of highly attractive returns. While I do not go short, my returns are significantly less correlated with market averages than those of a typical long-only investor.
Sententia is a value investing based capital management firm.
The firm manages a long centric, concentrated, market and capital agnostic equities fund with an opportunistic mindset to manage short-medium term volatility while capitalizing on long-term appreciation.
PLEASE SEE WEBSITE FOR FULL DISCLAIMER: WWW.PUMPSTOPPER.COM
I produce high quality, original research free of charge for the public good. Please see the website for more information, and subscribe to The Pump Stopper email list to receive free, high quality research reports before the rest.
I am always committed to publishing the accurate truth. If you are involved with a company that has been mentioned in a report and find any factual errors, please submit a dispute to Seeking Alpha and it will be reviewed.
If you have any tips on companies misleading investors, please submit them on The Pump Stopper website. I always welcome collaboration and have absolute respect for your anonymity. There are multiple ways to submit documents anonymously, as outlined on the website, and I strongly recommend you send information this way.
And remember to always invest wisely.
Rocco Pendola is an associate editor at Seeking Alpha focusing on technology and the sectors it overlaps with.
In addition to technology, I am interested in dividend growth and income investing.
I make references to music I'm obsessed with (e.g., Old 97s, Elliott Smith, Bruce Springsteen) in my writing. If you notice any of these references, it makes me happy.
Manage an investment fund that focuses on under-followed or misunderstood stocks, especially in the small cap area. The fund has a strong focus on businesses with "Ft. Knox" balance sheets, large & sustainable free cash flow yields, and management teams motivated to drive shareholder value. From 2008 through 2015, the investment fund has out-performed the S&P500 total return index by over 400 basis points per year, despite an average net cash position of close to 30% or more. We have also provided investment advice to some wealthy families and family offices. Email email@example.com, phone 310-426-2045.
John Grau is a 25 year career veteran in the fields of proxy solicitation, stock surveillance, corporate governance and mergers and acquisitions consulting. Prior to founding InvestorCom, Inc. he held a 10-year position as founding partner and principal of Beacon Hill Partners, Inc., a leading independent proxy solicitation and stock surveillance boutique of the 1990’s. John was primarily responsible for directing the company’s proxy solicitation and stock surveillance services including product development, supervision of client relationships and pioneering the firm’s corporate governance and investor relations efforts.
During the 1980’s, John served as Director of Institutional Research and later Proxy Solicitation Managing Director of The Carter Organization, a proxy solicitation, stock surveillance and Mergers and Acquisitions advisory firm of the 1980’s, servicing clients such as Drexel Burnham Lambert, T. Boone Pickens and Carl Icahn.
John holds a B.A. in Economics and Accounting from Fordham University as well as an M.B.A in Finance from Fordham University.
My name is Phil Mause. I am a Senior Advisor with the Pacific Economics Group, focusing on energy, regulatory and valuation issues. I retired from 40 years of law practice earlier this year. I am a yield oriented investor and in the last two years, I have done reasonably well in junk bonds, BDCs, mortgage REITS, and dividend paying blue chip stocks. As an avocation, I dabble in stand up comedy.