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Ben Axler

 
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  • Short Sellers And Seeking Alpha [View article]
    Thanks Dale. Continue following me on Seeking Alpha and also follow me on twitter @sprucepointcap and sign up for my distributions on my website.
    Aug 12 07:22 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Short Sellers And Seeking Alpha [View article]
    Extremely pleased and humbled to announce that I was recognized as one of the top short-selling activist hedge fund managers on Wall St. according to a new independent research study. Thank you to Seeking Alpha for making it possible.

    http://bzfd.it/1sqwpji
    Aug 10 07:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Short Sellers And Seeking Alpha [View article]
    Thank you to seekingalpha for providing me a platform for all of my short ideas, some of which have been delisted from the US exchanges. Continue to follow me on seekingalpha and twitter @sprucepointcap
    Aug 2 03:10 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • TechTarget: New Big Data Analytics Product And Operating Leverage Should Drive Double Digit Sales And Earnings Growth [View article]
    make sure to follow me on Twitter @sprucepointcap
    Jun 26 03:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • TechTarget: New Big Data Analytics Product And Operating Leverage Should Drive Double Digit Sales And Earnings Growth [View article]
    So far so good, almost $9 and growing
    Jun 26 03:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • TechTarget: New Big Data Analytics Product And Operating Leverage Should Drive Double Digit Sales And Earnings Growth [View article]
    Big guidance raise. IT Deal Alert set to quadruple this year. Stock traded over $8 the other month, now on sale at $6.40, but shouldn't be here for too long

    http://yhoo.it/1g6eLXK
    May 6 04:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • SMTP Inc.: A High Growth Email Marketing Company With An Attractive Dividend And Takeover Potential [View article]
    Uplisted today to the Nasdaq. Stock has doubled since my initial recommendation

    http://bit.ly/1nvdsaL
    Jan 31 08:31 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Firsthand Technology Value Fund (SVVC): Discount To NAV May Narrow Significantly As Twitter And Facebook Values Surge [View article]
    Shawn: Thank you very much. Make sure to follow me here on Seeking Alpha. Also, please sign up for my short-focused research at http://bit.ly/1kpuhF7
    Jan 12 03:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axcelis Technologies: At An Inflection Point, With Catalysts For Accelerated Earnings [View article]
    As suspected, Needham initiated coverage today on ACLS - $3.50 price target

    Initiating Coverage with a Buy; Ready to Regain Share on a New Product Cycle
    Initiating Coverage
    INVESTMENT HIGHLIGHTS: We are initiating coverage on Axcelis Technologies, Inc. with a Buy rating and a PT of $3.50. After years of struggling against the sector leader AMAT [Hold] (formerly Varian), we believe Axcelis is now well positioned to substantially outperform the industry in 2014. With the new line of Purion ion implanters demonstrating initial success, a renewed focus on regaining share, streamlined operations positioning the company to be profitable, and its high exposure to memory, we believe Axcelis will prove to be a product-cycle growth story in 2014 and potentially beyond. The stock is trading at a discounted valuation but we see improved financials driving the stock higher.


    · Axcelis looks well positioned to outgrow the industry in 2014. We believe the ion implant segment is poised to rebound in 2014/15 after two years of double digit % decline. With higher exposure to growing memory spending than its peers and the potential of a new product cycle, we believe Axcelis will outperform.
    · We believe the new Purion ion implanters offer enough differentiation to drive share gains. The successful evaluation of the first medium-current Purion M product and the launch of the high current Purion H system lead us to believe that Axcelis will be able to gradually gain share with this new tool. We estimate Axcelis’ market share rebounded from 5.6% in 2012 to 8.2% in 2013, and will further expand to 12.6% in 2014 and 13.9% in 2015. Even without any new customer penetration, our analysis suggests that Axcelis has room to expand its market share to almost 20% within the next 3 years.
    · Management has taken a number of actions that should deliver much improved business and financial performance. Management has streamlined its operations, bringing OPEX in 2013 to its lowest level in many years. We agree with its decision to exit the strip business to be more focused on ion implant, and believe the collaboration with LRCX [Buy] should yield incremental opportunities. Finally, organization changes suggest Axcelis is more focused on winning share.
    · We recommend investors focus on projected outperforming top-line growth and improved profitability in 2014/15. While our estimates are below the aggressive consensus numbers, we are modeling ion implant system sales to grow 87%/17% and total sales to grow 33%/9% in 2014/15. We believe if Axcelis delivers these impressive performances, the stock will move higher even with the projections offered by consensus, which we consider to be unrealistic.
    · Valuation looks reasonably low. ACLS is trading at a 62% discount on 2014E EV/S and is trading at just 6.8X our peak EPS.
    Jan 9 08:26 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • TechTarget: New Big Data Analytics Product And Operating Leverage Should Drive Double Digit Sales And Earnings Growth [View article]
    Thank you all for the feedback. Make sure to follow me on SeekingAlpha for future articles and sign up for my short ideas at http://bit.ly/1kpuhF7
    Jan 7 10:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Firsthand Technology Value Fund (SVVC): Discount To NAV May Narrow Significantly As Twitter And Facebook Values Surge [View article]
    On that line of thinking, wouldn't every closed end fund and mutual fund in America trade at a 15-20% discount to NAV? There has to be more to it than this.
    Jan 5 11:35 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Build-A-Bear Workshop: Turning a Corner [View article]
    3 years later, and....

    up 70% to be precise
    Nov 14 05:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axcelis Technologies: At An Inflection Point, With Catalysts For Accelerated Earnings [View article]
    I suggest readers listen to the recent investor presentation from yesterday. The company is guiding the gross margin to the 40% range which is at the upper end of what I expected. I have increased my long position

    http://bit.ly/15TcQj6
    Sep 10 11:22 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Another Looming Dividend Cut Poses Above Average Risk To Just Energy Investors [View article]
    Barrons reports this weekend that JE's dividend is at risk. As the most respected financial media publication, perhaps readers will believe them

    The Trader | SATURDAY, AUGUST 3, 2013
    By VITO J. RACANELLI |

    AT FRIDAY'S CLOSE OF $7.33, Just Energy Group (JE), a Canadian retailer of gas and electricity both at home and in some American states, boasts a sizable yield of 11%. Paid monthly, it's attractive to income-seeking individual investors. However, it's generally wise to be wary of a double-digit yield. While it could mean the stock is undervalued, more often it suggests the payout is unsustainable, a legitimate worry for shareholders of Just Energy, which has a market cap of C$1.04 billion (US$1 billion).

    The March-end 2013 fiscal-year financials show Just Energy's cash generation didn't cover the dividend, and it's increasingly constrained by a levered balance sheet. A further dividend reduction—it was cut in February—might be necessary unless the firm suddenly starts to generate cash much faster than it has for the last two years. Last February, management reduced the payout to 84 Canadian cents from C$1.24, breaking a promise made last year to maintain it until at least May 2013.

    Base Ebitda in fiscal 2013 fell to C$163.1 million, down from C$193.3 million in 2012 and C$223.7 million in fiscal 2011. The dividend payout ratio on the Ebitda, the portion that goes to pay the dividend, soared to 109% in fiscal 2013 from 91% fiscal '12 and 76% in the previous fiscal year. Cash flow from continuing operations fell to C$100 million from C$147 million, and balance-sheet cash was C$38.5 million versus C$53.2 million at fiscal 2012 year end.

    Yet Just Energy needs C$121 million to fund the annual dividend on its 144 million shares, and also has about C$162 million in financing coming due over the next 12 months, according to analyst Kevin Chu of Accountability Research, an independent Canadian equity-research outfit with a Sell rating on the stock. Together that's C$283 million.

    Things look tight given coming demands on its liquidity, the $38.5 million cash plus about C$260 million available from its $370 million bank-credit facility—which expires in December and must be renegotiated. Chu estimates the fiscal 2014 estimate payout ratio would be 139% of free cash flow. Dipping into bank credit to pay dividends might not sit well with investors.

    Bullish investors are swayed by net income of C$529.7 million, or $3.68 per share in fiscal 2013, a swing from a loss of C$126.6 million, or 93 cents in 2012. Sales rose 9% from 2012 to C$2.88 billion, but were flat on fiscal 2011. Looks good, but that came courtesy of a big noncash mark-up in the fair value of derivative instruments to the tune of C$719.6 million. In the previous fiscal year, that was a negative C$96.2 million. A loss in fiscal 2013 would have been likely without that gain.

    The company says in its financials that these swings in paper value make results volatile and "don't impact the long-term financial performance." It doesn't reflect on Just Energy's day-to-day business. The Toronto-based firm is mainly a middle man in a highly competitive industry with many rivals, and some have an advantage with their own generating capacity, which Just Energy doesn't.

    While there was a 10% growth in customers to 4.6 million in fiscal 2013, the company's fiscal 2014 base Ebitda guidance of C$220 million, a 35% jump, seems aggressive in light of its customer growth and low natural-gas prices. Just Energy is leveraged, too, with C$966 million in long-term debt, and a ratio of debt to Ebidta just below six times—high compared with peers.

    Just Energy challenged our dividend concerns. CFO Beth Summers says the fiscal 2014 guidance of C$220 million base Ebitda means that the payout ratio would be under 100%. The company is entering only one new market, down from 10 last year, she adds, so the 35% Ebitda rise will come from less spending on customers, whose payments come in years after the marketing expenditure to obtain them; from less infrastructure spending; and from the fact that the last fiscal year was hurt by weather issues. "We are in all the markets we want to be in and it's a matter of continuing to grow in those markets." The company is "comfortable" with the dividend, she says.

    Just Energy reports fiscal-first-quarter results Aug. 8, and investors should be looking for revenue growth, not just lower expenses. The dividend clock is ticking. At the moment, Just Energy shares seem just-plain expensive.
    Aug 5 09:28 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cray: Even More Upside? [View article]
    It is quite possible we are closer to the beginning than the end of a supercycle in the need for big data analytics and supercomputing power.

    http://on.wsj.com/179HRmT
    Apr 1 05:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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