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  • Still Exasperated With Salesforce.com's Ascent [View article]
    What do you think the addressable market is for Salesforce.com's products and how penetrated do you think it is? CRM is ridiculously expensive, but the companies I've spoken to that use their product love it. CRM is the runaway leader in a space that continues to gain share of corporate IT budgets. To a growth investor, that is more important than valuation. I'll never go long a stock like this, but I've learned my lesson about trying to time a short on them, too.
    Oct 25 10:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Research In Motion Will Be A $50 Stock [View article]
    In my limited experience, android and apple operating systems provide a far superior experience in terms of performance. Blackberries always seemed to be terrible for everything outside of emailing, which it was very good at. This seems to be corroborated by BB's significant share losses in the US market. The main point is that on one end, you have a group of consumers that throw a party every time Apple issues a new press release and on the other, you have 5 or 6 handset manufacturers murdering themselves to provide a superior phone, only to get replaced a competitor's offering 30 days later. RIMM is just one company, and they have to compete against the most popular company on the planet and 6 companies that all use the same software (so all their incremental R&D goes towards improving other features of the phone). That is a terrible spot to be in.
    Sep 3 08:15 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Research In Motion Will Be A $50 Stock [View article]
    RIMM has shown fantastic growth in their international business, this is true. However, right now, tons of handset manufacturers are releasing new Android phones which continue to gain share. In the international markets, players like Huawei and ZTE are busy releasing very low-end smart phones that will provide more than enough functionality for developing markets. These low-end phones will be what ends up being RIMM's downfall, in my opinion. Toast may be an overstatement, but in the end, RIMM is competing against two first-rate competitors with a second-rate operating system.
    Sep 2 11:40 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Research In Motion Will Be A $50 Stock [View article]
    The value of their patents may drive the stock price for a while, but their operating business is facing off against a Company that has had a lockdown on "cool" for the past 8 years and a 6 headed hydra using a superior operating system. Operations-wise, they're toast. Handicapping what the market / industry participants would value their patents at is way above our pay grade, so we'll step aside until the patent mania subsides.
    Sep 2 09:09 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Value Investors Should Take A Look At For-Profit Education Companies [View article]
    Mike, good point. Assuming FCF gets cut in half going forward, their trough level EV/FCF is ~8. Still not bad.
    Sep 1 09:32 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Value Investors Should Take A Look At For-Profit Education Companies [View article]
    Yes, these are definitely "hold your nose types of investments." Some of the tactics they've used are downright terrible, but we are here to make our clients money not to invest. These companies will change their business models, quality will improve, and profits will decline. These are necessary to continue to survive and, at least we think, are more than reflected in current share prices. Eliminating the college entirely would screw graduates because their degree would then be worthless. We don't think the government would go that far.
    Aug 31 09:01 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Value Investors Should Take A Look At For-Profit Education Companies [View article]
    Nah P,
    Thanks for reading. You're correct - the 90/10 rule is another risk, but it seems like most of the companies have worked to improve their ratios, which is probably why enrollment growth was so poor across the board last quarter. In a few quarters, these companies will lap new standards and enrollment growth numbers should start to show improvement. In the future, a sneaky way these companies will try to get around this rule is to recruit military personnel, because, for some reason, this source of funding doesn't count as a federal source. So for every 1 military recruit, you can recruit 9 students that can be funded 100% by government aid.

    Also, we agree that individual state regulations are also a risk, but in the end, we're skeptical that any legislature will be able to significantly change the way things operate given the amount of lobbying going on behind the scenes.
    Aug 30 09:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fortune Brands: Value Is About To Be Unleashed [View article]
    Thanks for the article - I was just looking at this upcoming spin-off and I think the Home & Security part of the business could be really interesting. Its got some tough comparisons in H2 due to the expiration of tax credits, but the business seems pretty solid. Depending on what it gets valued at post spin-off, this could be an interesting way to play an eventual recovery in the housing market. Interested to hear your thoughts on what this piece of the business could be valued at by the markets.
    Aug 27 12:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tracking Shareholder Returns On Companies Buffett Invested In During The Last Financial Crisis [View article]
    That's a great point. Thanks for the comment; We'll look into doing something like that over the weekend.
    Aug 26 02:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tracking Shareholder Returns On Companies Buffett Invested In During The Last Financial Crisis [View article]
    Agree with you on that point. Thanks for reading.
    Aug 26 01:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tracking Shareholder Returns On Companies Buffett Invested In During The Last Financial Crisis [View article]
    The article is not about timing the market. This article is about analyzing shareholder return from the day Buffett made investments in GS, GE, and HOG. The table shows 1 year, 2 year, 3 year, peak, and current cumulative returns to shareholders for all three companies. Buying a basket of the three stocks would have made money in all of the above scenarios.
    Aug 26 01:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tracking Shareholder Returns On Companies Buffett Invested In During The Last Financial Crisis [View article]
    Hi Guys, thanks for the comments. The purpose of this article was to investigate whether regular investors would have made money if they bought common shares in GS, GE, & HOG the day after Buffett announced deals. For the purposes of this analysis, whether or not Buffett made a killing (he did) or whether or not these companies were desperate for a marquee investor to come in and backstop their companies (each of them were) is irrelevant.
    Aug 26 12:03 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Following Buffett Is Risky Business [View article]
    As I mentioned in my article (seekingalpha.com/artic...), GE was the only investment where shareholders would never have made money. Investors could have made a lot of money on Goldman and even more with HOG.
    Aug 26 11:14 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why To Consider Buying BofA Like Buffett [View article]
    Anyone actually do the math on shareholder return after Buffett deals were announced at GE, GS, HOG, and any other company he's rode to the rescue of that I'm forgetting off of the top of my head? I'd be curious to see the actual numbers.
    Aug 25 03:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why To Consider Buying BofA Like Buffett [View article]
    Banks are about confidence, and investors had lost confidence in the value of BAC's assets and adequacies of their capital ratios. If this cycle continued, at some point it could spark liquidity concerns and potentially even a bank run. In order to regain the market's confidence, BAC was faced with the choice of issuing stock in the public markets (and it probably would have been a larger capital raise at a lower share price) or bringing in a white knight, aka Buffett. We think it was a smart move, and once investors again focus on how cheap BAC is, rather than whether or not they are a viable entity, their shares will rally.
    Aug 25 12:35 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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