Seeking Alpha

David Trainer

View as an RSS Feed
View David Trainer's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • AutoZone's Buyback Plan Is A Winner [View article]
    Just ran across this doing research for my own longer article on AZO. Thanks for the shout-out. I love the fact that this company emphasizes ROIC in evaluating its performance.
    Feb 10 12:09 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • No Progress From Amazon In 2013 [View article]
    Jeffry Chmielewski:

    That's a good point about the off-balance sheet liabilities. They currently have about $4.2 billion in off-balance sheet debt due to operating leases.
    Feb 10 09:25 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Investment Style Rankings For ETFs And Mutual Funds [View article]

    Thanks as always for the positive feedback.
    Feb 6 12:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Discussing FASB's Lease Proposal [View article]
    Great points.
    The tax liabilities are in the notes.
    Indirectly, for many companies, the present value of future earnings is captured in the tax valuation allowance - also in the footnotes and very much an indirect assessment.

    First hand, I can tell you that accounting is not about value it is more about disclosure. Valuation is far too subjective an activity for accountants to engage in. Their focus, as it should be, is on making sure that those who know how to value companies have direct access to all relevant information so they can make fully informed decisions.

    And they do a good job of that. True, much of the necessary information is in the footnotes, but that is necessary as so much of that info cannot easily fit into an income statement or balance sheet.

    Takeaway - securities analysis is hard work. You have to analyze footnotes if you want to be diligent and prudent. Not reading all the "fine print" when valuing a stock is like driving a car at night without headlights.
    Feb 6 09:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Best And Worst ETFs, Mutual Funds, And Key Holdings: Telecom Services Sector [View article]

    My rating for VOX is based on my analysis of its holdings overall. While both VZ and T rate fairly well, 22 out of the other 30 holdings earn my Dangerous-or-worse rating. Overall, its holdings have a price to economic book value (zero growth value) ratio of 7.0, so there is significant growth already priced in.
    Feb 4 11:14 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • So, Ya Wanna Buy Thisus Or Ya Wanna Buy Thatun? [View instapost]
    Good stuff. Balance is important and there's been a lack of it on Wall Street and in the markets for many years.
    Feb 3 08:19 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Our Outlook For Stocks In 2014 [View article]

    That's correct. I entered the wrong number when making that graph. That should have been 214 Attractive stocks, not 114.
    Jan 31 11:47 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Don't Trust The Dead Cat Bounce In Angie's List [View article]
    Sanjay John gandhi:

    You say that ANGI could reach profitability if it stops marketing, but I think that hits on the key problem with ANGI at this valuation. To justify its current price, ANGI needs growth and profits, not one or the other. If you eliminate marketing from the budget, ANGI would be profitable, but it would lose its growth. If ANGI keeps growing with no profits, however, it's not creating any value for investors.
    Jan 31 11:44 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Danger Zone: Ashland [View article]

    Free cash flow was helped by $200 million in deferred income taxes:

    An overall decrease in invested capital also helped FCF. Even with this decrease in IC, however, ASH's return on invested capital decreased from 5.4% to 4.8%. That, to me, is a more accurate representation of the operational struggles faced by ASH.

    More importantly, the valuation implies massive growth even from current cash flows, so the fact that this was ASH's best year for FCF in several years might not be a great sign. Not only does ASH need significant growth, it needs to grow from what was already an unusually high cash flow.
    Jan 31 11:42 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Don't Trust The Dead Cat Bounce In Angie's List [View article]
    Sanjay John gandhi:

    My concern over ANGI's business model is not a moral one. If ANGI is going to charge members for reviews when other sites offer the same service for free, their reviews have to be significantly more reliable. The fact that ANGI gives preferential treatment to advertisers means their reviews can be unreliable, and consumers are discovering this fact.

    Of course ANGI is a business. I'm not criticizing them for trying to make money. However, charging customers for reviews they can get for free elsewhere is not a sustainable long-term business model.
    Jan 30 12:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Don't Trust The Dead Cat Bounce In Angie's List [View article]
    Sanjay John gandhi:
    Thanks for your comment.
    True, ANGI is a "business", but it is a business not making any money.
    Comps with GOOG, WMT and SBUX are not really fair given that those companies make HUGE amounts of money.

    The key point here is that it is unlikely that ANGI's value proposition is good enough to get them to the point they will make money and HIGHLY unlikely it can enable them to make as much money as the stock price implies.
    Jan 30 12:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Don't Trust The Dead Cat Bounce In Angie's List [View article]
    Andre LaPlume:

    Exactly. Why are consumers going to pay for reviews they can't trust? People will say the Yelp and others have these same problems, but at least those sites are free. ANGI has to provide reviews that are significantly more accurate to be worth the extra fee, and that's not happening.
    Jan 30 09:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Shorts Forum [View instapost]
    I think we may be getting back into an environment where shorting can work. I think there needs to be a story, well-publicized, to make the sort strategy work. Maybe not at the level of Bill Ackerman and HerbaLife, but there needs to be enough awareness of the issues with the stock to pop the balloon on disbelief in the reality created, most often, by momentum trading.
    Jan 30 09:27 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Danger Zone: Ashland [View article]
    I may take a short position in ASH in the next 24-72 hours.
    Jan 29 03:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Danger Zone: Ashland [View article]
    Well put
    Jan 29 01:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment