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Barry Randall  

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  • After 3-D Printing's Boom And Bust, What Lies Beyond? [View article]
    And to think of the abuse I took when I printed this 2 1/2 years ago:
    Apr 30, 2015. 08:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • They Do Ring A Bell At The Top: Alibaba Proves Wall Street Is Off Its Rocker [View article]
    Of course the money printing isn't sustainable....perhaps you've heard of this thing called the "taper." Look into it. meanwhile, all bubbles pop eventually and this one will too. Only it'll take place in China where the very command economy that Stockman bemoans will be there to pick up the pieces. That and 1.4 billion consumers who aren't going to suddenly stop consuming because the Western press is shouting that some bubble has popped.
    Dave Stockman has called 22 of the last four recessions. Meanwhile, people who didn't "fight the fed" made a lot of money in the last 5 1/2 years. In short, they sought alpha and didn't let intellectuals like Stockman prevent them from finding it.
    Sep 24, 2014. 12:12 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • They Do Ring A Bell At The Top: Alibaba Proves Wall Street Is Off Its Rocker [View article]
    "[T]here is no known capitalist market in which a mass merchandizer with no inventories, no stores, no warehouses, no patents, no state monopoly and virtually no fixed assets whatsoever is worth $230 billion."

    Sure there is. It's called the NASDAQ and the mass merchandizer lacking all those things is called eBay. Only because eBay is based in America, with 1/4 the population of China, it conveniently has 1/4 the market cap, $65 billion to be precise.

    There are other contradictions/nonsens... statements in this piece but I'll let others highlight them. Dave Stockton has somehow made a career out of shouting that the sky is falling. He needs to head on over to Zero Hedge and join the other crybabies who've been dead wrong for the last six years.
    Sep 23, 2014. 11:28 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: Apple Xiaomi Problems Grow [View article]
    11.6% of the WW smart phone market in 2014 Q2, according to IDC. That's down from about 20% three years ago.

    Thanks for the article, Mark. I hope you'll keep us updated on this situation.
    Sep 18, 2014. 12:09 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Trina Solar: The Miss That Wasn't [View article]
    You wrote:
    "Being the largest producer confers considerable competitive advantage over those smaller players, and will help Trina Solar remain among the lowest cost major players out there."

    I agree with the facts embedded in this statement, but remaining competitive in a commodity business requires taking advantage of manufacturing scale and keeping prices low. Until the last competitor is vanquished, or a rational oligopoly is formed, margin compression will prevent cash earnings from rising.

    Since a company like Trina isn't judged on price:book value or other balance sheet-based measures, but rather on revenue and earnings growth, the stock is dead until the 'smaller players' are culled out or brought into line.

    I wish it weren't so, because I'd like to take advantage of the steepening adoption curve of solar, but, alas, it is so.
    Aug 28, 2014. 01:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • InContact Has A Major Competitive Disadvantage [View article]
    Thanks for your article. I am long SAAS.

    It is frustrating that despite many positive signs from the company, they aren't (yet) turning an accounting profit.

    However, note that in each of 2012 and 2013, the company had positive Free Cash Flow for the full year. And while they are FCF negative in the first half of this year, the second half of the year tends to be stronger in FCF generation.

    And as for the second quarter just reported, note that while they only produced a profit because of the one time tax benefit, they had positive operating cash flow of $2.4 million in the quarter and $2.8 million for the first six months. So I think the company is a bit healthier than you portray.

    Overall I think you have captured the positives and negatives. And I share some of your frustrations. But it's not realistic or financially sound for them to back-fill with an on-premise solution when the market is moving rapidly toward the cloud-based solutions they already have and which are selling well. Could they win a little more business if they had an on-premise solution? Of course they could. But that horse has left the barn - why offer a retrograde solution when it goes counter to their whole cloud-oriented market positioning?

    Anyway, thanks again for writing the piece.
    Aug 15, 2014. 11:17 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • LinkedIn - Rampant Stock Based Compensation Makes It An Enticing Short [View article]
    "Where did I get that idea?"
    Answer: from following tech stocks for more than 20 years. For example, in 2004, Microsoft made a big splash when they announced their first dividend and simultaneously announced a big stock buyback. Only the latter wasn't anything new: they'd been routinely buying back billions of shares all along to counter the effect of billions of issued stock options.

    Your assertion is factually correct but the effect is the same. No, the shares being issued as part of a RSU or Option exercise are not the same pieces of paper as the shares brought in through a corporate share re-purchase but the effect is exactly the same.

    And I noted the dilution in my comment:
    "Options reflect an obligation to spend cash to fulfill the option/stock issuance and the dilution created by the option issuance (reflected in the "fully-diluted" EPS calculation).

    If you want to know how this works in the real world, read this:
    Aug 11, 2014. 01:55 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • LinkedIn - Rampant Stock Based Compensation Makes It An Enticing Short [View article]
    Thanks for the story. I agree, companies like LNKD are playing fast and loose with the accounting presentation. But I don't think you went far enough.

    You wrote, "[S]tock or options awarded to employees for doing their jobs are an immediate benefit that employees receive, without which they wouldn't be working or equivalently would be demanding a pay increase to keep working."

    This is factually correct, but where the 'rubber meets the road' is that the actual cash expense implied in option or stock grants comes when the company (typically) buys back the stock in the future to then issue to the employee. That's cash straight off the balance sheet that won't be staying with the company to re-invest or to shareholders in the form of dividends.

    There's no free lunch. Options reflect an obligation to spend cash to fulfill the option/stock issuance and the dilution created by the option issuance (reflected in the "fully-diluted" EPS calculation).

    Since LinkedIn's earnings reporting is so opaque, perhaps it's simply better to look at the company's cash flow. Here it's pretty clear: over the trailing 12 months, LNKD's free cash flow margins are 2%. Facebook's and Twitter's are over 30%. 3M's is 18%. AMZN's is 4%.
    Aug 11, 2014. 11:37 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Yelp, Inc.: In A State Of Cognitive Dissonance [View article]
    Google went public in August, 2004 at $85. Its forward EPS estimate from the analysts who picked up coverage shortly after its IPO was roughly $3.00 - $3.50/share, giving it a forward multiple of about 25. At that point, it was still growing revenue and earnings in excess of 100% annually.

    So taken in that context, Google went public at a low valuation.
    Jun 8, 2014. 04:01 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • NTELOS - Don't Fall For The Yield, Sprint Contract A Risk With 50% Downside Potential In Share Price And Dividend Cut Likely [View article]
    Thanks for your thoughtful, additional analysis. Like you, I don't really disagree with the author's facts or thesis, but it's helpful to have an additional perspective.
    Apr 28, 2014. 12:24 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Facebook 1Q14 Preview: Engagement In Focus; MVNO The Next Catalyst? [View article]
    MVNO stands for Mobile Virtual Network Operator. Just FYI for you. Doesn't really alter your thesis.
    Apr 20, 2014. 11:04 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Now Is The Time To Sell Marvell Technology [View article]
    Never mind that cash balances on tech companies' balance sheets are themselves a danger: you never know when management will be tempted into a dumb acquisition or "merger of equals."
    Better to run lean, generate cash and either re-invest in the existing company or pay it out as dividends or re-purchase stock.
    Look at Apple: the moment that people started worrying about "what to do with all that cash?" was when the stock was at about $700/share. And all Apple's activity since then (dividends, buybacks) haven't really helped the stock at all.
    With tech, it's about being in front of the next wave and Marvell has got a great wave to ride as Nickysg noted: Chinese handset makers.
    Apr 9, 2014. 10:27 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • NTELOS Holdings Faces Competitive Pressures But Carries A Great Yield [View article]
    Ms. Rogers,

    Thanks for the well-researched report.

    As for the recent stock weakness, I think it is being caused because telecom-based ETFs (e.g., IYZ, XTL) have come under pressure after TMUS's strategic move to disrupt the industry pricing model. As money flees the sector, this causes wholesale selling of all the ETF constituents. The smaller-cap constituents are particularly hard hit, because of the barbell nature of the industry: four huge megacap stocks....and all the regionals/locals.

    Whether this proves to be an entry point...only time will tell.
    Feb 3, 2014. 09:24 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Hexagon Composites: Your Best Option To Play The U.S. Natural Gas Vehicle Boom [View article]
    The primary question I have relates to the various share classes. The HXGBF and HXGCF both seem to trade OTC here in the United States, but trading volumes are virtually zero on a day-to-day basis. For example, Fidelity would let me buy shares in HXGCF, but as I type this at 11 o'clock in the morning (Central Time) no shares have traded today, nor any since last Thursday.

    When you describe the return you've gotten from investing in Hexagon Composites, did you buy shares listed in the States or did you buy shares directly via the Oslo exchange?

    I did a lot of work on this company (though not as thoroughly as you) about a year ago, but I remember thinking that I could never build enough of a position to make an investment worthwhile. Any insight into the various share classes and liquidity would be welcome.

    Thank you.
    Nov 26, 2013. 11:45 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Hexagon Composites: Your Best Option To Play The U.S. Natural Gas Vehicle Boom [View article]
    Thanks for writing this research on Hexagon Composites. Much appreciated.
    Nov 21, 2013. 03:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment