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Dan Willis

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  • MagicJack Vocaltec - A Turnaround Story [View article]
    Thanks for the comment beerman.

    I did not include in my note that they are looking at offering some products to the SOHO market (Small office/Home office), which I think could provide upside. They would likely need to spend a greater portion of their FCF in support for that product line, so it will be interesting to see what comments management has when they report Q4.

    I understand that this stock really has not found a bottom (although I am inclined to believe it is getting close), so watching it to see where it settles is a good strategy. I have legged into a small chunk, with some dry powder to add if/when they start executing.
    Dec 10, 2014. 12:47 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Freshpet Inc.: A Fresh JOBS Act Short [View article]
    Thanks for the clarification... both AR and Michael, much appreciated. I broke into the S-1 today and ready an initiation report from a top-tier ib. Expectations are through the roof, and I do not see how the street gets there.

    Great call, AR, Q3 looks a little light.
    Dec 9, 2014. 09:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Peak Resorts Is Skiing Just Ahead Of An Avalanche [View article]
    I've read the comment thread 3 times now. Wonderful work and hysterical reading.
    Dec 9, 2014. 05:07 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Freshpet Inc.: A Fresh JOBS Act Short [View article]
    AR - great write-up, very compelling thesis.

    You mentioned independent distributors are handling distribution for FPRT. How exactly does that work? Are distribution/re-stocking reps going into all of their retail locations twice-a-week/weekly/etc. and making the call on what fridges need to be stocked when?

    Also, on the inventory turns - you mentioned 8x (which it has to be high given the shelf-life). Is that monthly (meaning the fridges are re-stocked 2x a week)? Has the sell-side or anyone brought up anything regarding product loss? If the tube of "hot dog meat" only lasts for a week, they have to be losing some money on unsold inventory.

    I apologize for the rambling questions. I have yet to look at the name, going to hop on the call tomorrow and look into it.

    I find it very interesting (and suspect) that none of the large, well-established brands have used this model - leads me to believe that it is, indeed, not profitable. Thanks again for the great article.
    Dec 9, 2014. 03:07 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • MagicJack Vocaltec - A Turnaround Story [View article]
    yes, I noticed that too when I was working on the write-up - they are actively reaching out to customers that had both a good and bad experience. They are taking customer care seriously, and that's a big improvement over a year ago.
    Dec 8, 2014. 10:44 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • MagicJack Vocaltec - A Turnaround Story [View article]
    Thanks for the fair warning, Hector. Best of luck to you.
    Dec 8, 2014. 10:37 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • MagicJack Vocaltec - A Turnaround Story [View article]
    Are you doing channel checks? How did you come to find out that they're out of stock on the Go in these retailers? I am just curious - I think that ties in well with my thesis that end-user demand is strong and FY14 was light due to winding down the plus and introducing the Go. I think it goes a long way in providing support behind the idea that management's re-positioning is starting to get traction with customers also.

    I appreciate your comments.

    To address your questions, as best I can:

    1) I am not sure of management's goal to partner with an MVNO, and they really have not spoken to the idea of becoming an MVNO as of yet. I think a lot of their focus has been on re-introducing a better product and stopping the sub churn. Being that they are already a CLEC, it seems like it would bolster their position in the marketplace by becoming/partnering with an MVNO. But like I said, management has not given any indication on that (perhaps I'll shoot IR an e-mail, they're pretty open with investors).

    2) In terms of bundling, adding "presence" to their offering is in the works. I am not sure what it looks like to from a financial standpoint to put together a full-fledged bundle offering, i.e. capex and investment. I imagine it's no small task.

    3) No word yet on Android TV - again, they need to address sub retention with their core market before they start experimenting with Android TV/AppleTV/etc.

    4) They're playing with the App right now, to make it more of a supplementary tie-in with the Go device. Basically, they're not really worried about losing app subs that were low quality and didn't present any revenue opportunities. Example, I am deployed to South Korea right now, and several marines in my unit use the MJapp to call back home over wifi, but they are not likely to ever become device customers. They recently (mid-3Q I believe) made users of their app register with the company, giving them up-sell candidates; this led to a drop-off in downloads, but now they subs they have are more qualified to be paying customers.

    5) They are already placing end-caps and product displays in the middle of mobile sections at a number of retailers, and I think they expect to revisit results at year-end and see if it is something they would like to expand on.

    6) The magicjack Go (and the plus, phased out) both allow you to plug the device directly into the router, so there is no need for a pc at all.

    I hope I was able to address some of your questions freedom, and thanks again for your comments.
    Dec 8, 2014. 10:33 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • MagicJack Vocaltec - A Turnaround Story [View article]
    jgflg, right. They generate a ton of cash, and have very strong gross margins. And I think it is often overlooked that they are a CLEC which provides them some competitive advantages.

    But I think you are correct in terms of timing - either they stem their sub losses and have success launching in Mexico (and put that cash to work) or they could be dead money.
    Dec 8, 2014. 06:32 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • MagicJack Vocaltec - A Turnaround Story [View article]
    rrurban, thanks for the comment. I think it obsolescence is a stretch, as there is clearly demand for the MJGo in their retail channel. And in all reality, obsolescent technology does not necessarily keep them from offering a compelling value proposition to the cost-conscience customer - especially if you consider international markets.

    In regards to management, Dan Borislow was, in my opinion, was the rotten egg. The addition of Tim McDonald and the almost immediate re-statement of 2012 financials in early '13 tells me that they're trying to do the right things by investors.

    Definitely a "show me" story.
    Dec 8, 2014. 06:28 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Turnaround Happening At magicJack [View article]
    He was still asking questions on the 3Q call, and he typically is a longer-term holder. I believe he is still involved
    Dec 5, 2014. 11:17 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Beauty Of Shorting [View article]

    I've started going through TREE's '08 10-k, and they do not have data for their match fee business pre-2006. From 06-07, their fee match revenue declined 4%, and from 07-08 it declined 29%. Nothing too surprising here as 2006 was likely the peak of the real estate market.

    Interestingly enough, most of LendingTree's "salad days" were generated through loan origination - match fees only accounted for 18% of total revenue in 2006. Whereas loan origination accounted for ~46% of revenue in the same year.

    I am not sure how helpful this is; we may never know how much match fee business TREE did in 05, 04, etc. But intuitively, it makes sense to me that lenders would be less reliant on leads when credit is abundant and standards are lax.
    Nov 19, 2014. 10:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Beauty Of Shorting [View article]
    Interesting write up, I will have to take a deeper look.
    Nov 19, 2014. 08:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Italian Assets Junk? [View article]
    Thanks for the write-up. How much have Italian spreads already widened over German bunds/USTs in response to the negative outlook decision?
    Nov 17, 2014. 11:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gold: Has The Bull Started To Run Again? [View article]
    Good article, thanks for the read. Any thoughts on Chinese demand? I understand the India demand picture, but the Chinese are on track (if they have not already) to displace India as the world's largest buyer... What is driving this?
    Feb 13, 2014. 06:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Confluence Of Events In The Continuing Herbalife Saga Are Signaling A Buy [View article]
    Hot topic, this HLF business. I have been attempting to put aside the Icahn/Ackman fight - that seems to be about more than just their respective HLF positions. I am not in the stock, but I've been looking at it... the most alarming thing to me is the consumer reports and reviews. The majority of them are negative with numerous reports of people spending several hundred dollars attempting to take part in this business only to opt out and never see that money again. I cannot say this is anything more than people having bad dealings with their local distributors. And it is hard to make the argument that a bad distributor is representative of the company as a whole.

    Anecdotally, great companies have pretty glowing reviews (typically vendors, sales forces and customers thoroughly enjoy doing business with a great company) and those seem to be lacking in the HLF realm. Incredibly polarizing name though, maybe I'll buy some vol... Keep up the entertainment.
    Feb 5, 2014. 01:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment