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  • HealthEquity: Strong Q1 Results & Raised Guidance Demonstrate Health Of The Model [View article]
    The "advantage" relates not necessarily to HQY's ability to offer consumers a better offering, but rather the fact that as a technology company that focuses solely on the HSA market, all of its resources are directed towards improving its HSA offering, not just for customers but for its insurance and employer partners. For Webster, however, the HSA market is but one of its lines of business; as a bank holding company, Webster Financial's focus is on all areas of its business, not just its HSA unit, which is likely to dilute the company's focus, as well as limit its technological expertise (historically, banks have not been a source of innovation in the technology sector).

    As for a spinoff of Webster's HSA unit, that is a difficult question to answer. Webster does not break out the economics/profitability of its HSA business separately from the bank holding company, making it difficult to compare directly to HealthEquity, given that many of the methods used to evaluate bank profitability are not applicable to non-financial companies. A spinoff would likely depend on many factors, including the unit's contribution to overall profits, its marign profile, growth trajectory, as well as the kind of valuation that Webster could fetch for the unit in the public markets.
    Jun 19, 2015. 06:14 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • HealthEquity: Strong Q1 Results & Raised Guidance Demonstrate Health Of The Model [View article]
    Webster ended its own Q1 2015 with about $3.5 billion in HSA deposits (they are reported as a separate line-item on its balance sheet) and around $800 million in investment assets. And HSA Bank, their HSA division, notes that have about 1.6 million HSA accounts. Our point is that Webster is approaching the market as a financial services provider, whereas HealthEquity is approaching it as a technology company, which we believe leads to two different approaches to the market.
    Jun 18, 2015. 08:07 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Sierra Wireless: A Pure-Play On The Internet Of Things [View article]
    The first quarter is a seasonally weak one for Sierra in terms of cash flows, Q1 2014 also featured negative operating cash flow, with accounts receivable also being the driver. Sierra has posted positive operating cash flow in 2012, 2013, and 2014 on a full-year basis, as its cash flows are not generated in equal amounts during the year's 4 quarters.
    Jun 1, 2015. 03:28 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sierra Wireless: A Pure-Play On The Internet Of Things [View article]
    Our figures for Q1 were taken from Sierra's Q1 earnings release (linked to in the write-up), and are non-GAAP figures, which exclude items such as the amortization of intangible assets. The numbers reported by Morningstar (and other sites like it) are usually GAAP figures, and in some cases are not even the same as what is reported by the company. As such, we usually recommend that investors rely directly on each company's earnings releases and filings, not on third-party sources (aside from Bloomberg)
    May 31, 2015. 10:08 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sierra Wireless: A Pure-Play On The Internet Of Things [View article]
    What brought Sierra to our attention was its sel-loff since December 2014, which we don't think is connected to the company's actual fundamental performance. Obviously, it will take some time for shares to recover their 2015 losses, and we don't expect this to occur overnight. That being said, we think that the company's result demonstrate that business remains healthy overall.
    May 29, 2015. 02:15 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sierra Wireless: A Pure-Play On The Internet Of Things [View article]
    Our historical numbers are non-GAAP figures, as reported in Sierra's earnings releases, and discussed at least in part in some of its annual filings, hence the discrepancy between GAAP and non-GAAP results.
    May 29, 2015. 02:12 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Carnival: Reiterating Price Target After A Strong Start To 2015 [View article]
    Thank you, perhaps we could have made those clearer. Our thought process was that people who read this write-up had also read our initial one on the company as well, where we explain such metrics in more detail.
    Apr 2, 2015. 05:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Carnival: Declining Fuel Costs To Lift Profits In 2015 And Beyond [View article]
    If you were to look back to Carnival's valuations over the past decade or so, the company spent much of that time frame commanding multiples that were out of line with the company's actual growth. Like many other companies in the market, Carnival was valued on what was in hindsight a very unrealistic and unsustainable view of the economy. And while Carnival does have some structural advantages that it can (and is) taking advantage of, such as tame capacity growth, there is only so much that the company can do in the face of economic weakness. Carnival's multiples contracted sharply during the recession, and while they've recovered somewhat since then, they have yet to reclaim their historical levels.
    Feb 4, 2015. 05:04 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • RF Micro Devices: As The Transformation To Qorvo Nears Completion, Continued Exposure Is Warranted [View article]
    This is more an issue of semantics than anything else. Technically, the terms of the merger agreement call for RF Micro shares to first be exchanged 1:1 for shares of Qorvo, and once the exchange of RF Micro and TriQuint stock occurs, Qorvo will execute a 1-for-4 reverse split of the stock.
    Dec 27, 2014. 12:44 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QLogic: A Logical Buy For 2015 [View article]
    Prasad Rampalli spent most of his tech career at Intel & EMC, and over the years he was there, he gained a reputation as a long-term strategist (more on his background can be found here There is more work to be done in righting QLogic, but the initial results over the past 8 months have been promising. As to the "game changer" aspect, that is more difficult to quantify. As a company, we do not believe that QLogic currently needs a CEO that is a transformative innovator. What the company needs is a CEO that is able to balance the company's presence in both FC and Ethernet, and keep a lid on costs as QLogic works through its structural change in gross margins. When the transition is complete, perhaps that will be the time to focus more on longer-term innovation and strategy. Regarding revenue splits, QLogic does not explicitly quantify the breakdown of Ethernet vs. FC sales, but the company is moving more and more towards Ethernet, as evidenced by its gross margins.
    Oct 23, 2014. 08:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QLogic: A Logical Buy For 2015 [View article]
    Conceptually a deal between the two makes sense, QLogic would cement its control of the FC market and bulk up in Ethernet even more. But because the two companies together control pretty much the entire FC market, we doubt that any such deal would pass anti-trust scrutiny.
    Oct 22, 2014. 03:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Check Point Software Technologies: Calling Activists As Cash Balances Continue To Increase [View article]
    Net cash was calculated by taking the cash CHKP reported on its balance sheet at the end of Q2, and dividing it by their outstanding shares. As the company has no debt, net cash and cash are the same amount.
    Oct 22, 2014. 03:23 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • QLogic: A Logical Buy For 2015 [View article]
    Sentiment can often hinder stock performance over a longer timeframe than it should. The last few years have seen the FC market stagnate, and QLogic's leading position within it hasn't helped, even if overall performance has been better than the FC market would otherwise suggest. And for some, the fact that the company's gross margins are declining is an issue, even if expense discipline has mostly countered that as more and more sales come from the Ethernet market.
    Oct 22, 2014. 11:19 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Check Point Software Technologies: Calling Activists As Cash Balances Continue To Increase [View article]
    Check Point is not as acquisitive as some of its peers are, but the company has done deals in the past. Probably the most notable deal is one that the company did not complete, which was its 2006 offer to acquire Sourcefire for $225 million; the deal fell apart due to national security concerns raised by CFIUS. Other key acquisitions include ZoneAlarm in 2003, which gave the company its consumer unit, and Nokia's security appliance division in 2009.
    Oct 20, 2014. 07:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bed Bath & Beyond: Gains To Come Beyond 2014 [View article]
    Several good points raised here, so we will attempt to address them in the order listed above:

    1. Let us then examine BBBY on the basis of free cash flow. Based on the figures above, BBBY free cash flow accounted for 9.42% of TTM sales, a number that is still well above its peer group. TTM FCF at Pier 1 equals just 1% of sales, and at Williams-Sonoma the figure is 4.86%, and neither Restoration Hardware or The Container store posted positive free cash flow over the last 12 months.

    2. For investors, what matters is the deployment of free cash flow, which already takes into account the dollars that the company has spent on improving its operations, either through increased technology investments that show up in its income statement, or on capital expenditures that lower free cash flow. Free cash flow itself is just that, cash that the company is free to use on activities that go beyond operating or improving its business. For BBBY, its free cash flow can be used in one of several ways: buybacks, dividends, acquisitions, or debt reduction. Given that the market does not appear to be pressing for an acquisition or debt reduction, that leaves the company with dividends and buybacks as a means of deploying its free cash flow. We do not believe that BBBY is deliberately slowing down its pace of investments to prop of FCF; in the first half of the year, total capital expenditures rose almost 20% year-over-year to over $156 million.

    3. The goals of a share buyback program are to reduce the number of shares outstanding, which serves to both increase the company's share price as a buyer (the company) actively acquires shares, and boost EPS as the number of outstanding shares is reduced. A debt-funded buyback program would inherently lead to lower cash flows, but usually increases EPS, as is the case here. For BBBY, its buyback program has been augmented by debt to boost EPS, which is also an important metric for investors. And furthermore, there does not appear to be much concern in the markets with BBBY's balance sheet; net debt stands at ~$120 million, and the company's free cash flows could be diverted to debt reduction should the need to do so arise.

    4. Our price target for BBBY was calculated based on defining a target price-to-cash flow multiple for the company, as outlined in the peer comparison section.

    5. Our argument that BBBY has a solid track record was based on the company's 20-year returns, naturally there are periods of time in which shares have underperformed the S&P 500, just as there are times that shares have outperformed. We could point to the fact that over the past 3 months shares have materially outperformed the S&P 500 by almost 1,500 basis points, but that single metric reveals little about BBBY's long-term performance. The question is, what is an acceptable length of time to gauge a company's long-term track record? In our view, 20 years is an acceptable length of time, but different methodologies will yield different conclusions.
    Sep 29, 2014. 11:36 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment