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  • Apple: Winning The Profit Battle, Losing The Smartphone War [View article]
    In the investment world PROFITS = VICTORY.
    Jan 28, 2015. 10:05 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Smartphones: Apple Knows What It's Doing, Google Doesn't [View article]
    Google does have a management problem and it's serious. The top guys are looking to do more interesting things than figure out how to deliver great products to consumers at scale. That involves all this mundane supply chain stuff - yuck!

    Tim Cook doesn't have the Steve Jobs vision but he's all about Apple execution. It doesn't matter how great your product is if nobody can get it. I have a Google Nexus 4 that I'm really pleased with. I've looked new models from time to time and they are always out of stock. Leaves you scratching your head. My guess is that Google makes this stuff mainly to experiment and for their own employees.
    Dec 21, 2014. 01:06 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Merry Tech Christmas Is in Doubt [View article]
    Seems like a bit of a leap to take some cautious statements from semiconductor companies and turn that into a view on what overall consumer spending will look like in a few months. There are many factors that will go into that and the current outlooks of the semiconductor firms are probably quite low on the list.

    To go even further you might note that other areas of consumer technology spending like iPhones and iPads can be added to the strong category of Android phones and devices. These are the things people talk about getting. Everyone I know already has one or more flatscreens and no longer talks about how "they are going to go out and get a new TV soon." But almost everyone seems to be talking about a Droid, an iPhone 4, iTouch or iPad. Intel totally missed the boat on all these areas and is now suffering for it.

    So I'd say that drawing conclusions on holiday spending levels from these factors is not very rigorous and not very useful in terms of predictive power.
    Sep 11, 2010. 08:11 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • GoPro: Apple Is Not The Threat [View article]
    What GoPro lacks now (and Apple has) is an ecosystem around it to solidify their position. People can get great laptops, phones and tablets now but they don't run MacOS, iOS or any of their applications - so they stick with Apple. That can change but for many it's not likely.

    If Sony came out with a better GoPro at a cheaper price I'd buy it. I know GoPro is working on software and being a "media" site but it's not much now. GoPro still seems like the best product in the market to me but with a very premium price that I don't think will stick when we have more competition in 2015. Because they use off the shelf components it won't be hard for the market to get more crowded - probably before they can really cement any real moat into the battlefield.
    Feb 6, 2015. 04:37 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Investors Should Take A (Big) Bite Of Shake Shack's IPO [View article]
    Of course this is a hot IPO. So taking $SHAK shares at the IPO price is a no-brainer if you can get them. Allocations will be tiny however and mostly not accessible to retail investors. So they have to think about this as an aftermarket purchase at a much higher price. Then valuation should absolutely be considered.

    Yes it's wonderful! Great food! Long lines! Tons of opportunity! but clearly the value of this burger joint isn't infinite is it? So there are prices at which this looks attractive and prices where it doesn't - based on long-term expectations of growth, profitability and expected multiples.

    A trade here is easy, an investment harder to judge.
    Jan 26, 2015. 07:33 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Audi Confirms 300-Mile Range EV, Plans To Compete With Tesla [View article]
    Competition makes a market. Apple has a ton of competition but does very well thanks to design, innovation, software and strategy.

    We have had Tesla in our IPO Candy Folio for a long time and see it as a long-term holding as long as they continue to execute.

    It's true the shares are now much more fully valued than when we added it but most of the opportunity remains in front of the industry and the company.
    Nov 21, 2014. 08:28 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Advanced Drainage Systems: Let The Share Price Drain Be Your Gain [View article]
    Very good article. Thanks for putting that together. This was such an uninteresting deal we didn't do any work on it but noticed that they had one interesting product family which is aimed more squarely at the consumer end-markets (as opposed to contractors and construction companies.) In fact I bought some of their pre-wrapped drainage pipes on Amazon to work out a better way to keep parts of my driveway from washing out. It's unlikely to move the needle much on a $1B revenue company I suppose.

    We will get banking coverage soon - I guess early September. Then of course we have the lock-up expiration to look forward to. Sounds like a decent short opportunity, hard to imagine this get's more interesting on the long side...
    Aug 12, 2014. 08:24 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I'm Doubling Down on Ford [View article]
    Ford is also doing a great job with technology in the car which will be an important aspect of our connected lives.
    Dec 2, 2010. 01:26 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Refuting A Short-Selling Solazyme Critic [View article]
    Good perspective on investing in early stage technologies. Better to spread your bets and be patient, knowing some will fail but ultimately the gains will be realized and be large.
    Oct 20, 2014. 07:59 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • TrueCar: Missed The First Double? Don't Miss The Second [View article]
    We have certainly liked TRUE since the IPO and even published a full length report on the company back when they were still private. The IPO Candy Folio has a long position in TRUE that was purchased on at the open of the IPO. This is indeed a good long-term story the stock has enjoyed a great run but there are a couple of negative factors to consider.

    First of all stock based compensation is real, at least for equity owners. It's a cost of doing business and although it will vary it does matter. Secondly we have a lockup expiration to look forward to and I'd expect there to be many shares coming to market as there is sent pent-up demand for liquidity among insiders.

    Finally the US auto market has recovered well, partly on the back of heavy incentives and low rates - both of which are fading as we enter 2015. So the overall US car market growth rate will most likely slow and this cyclical factor could put a small damper on the secular growth of $TRUE. Just something to be aware of versus expectations.

    The company is doing very well and I'd take weakness in the stock as an opportunity to accumulate more.
    Aug 28, 2014. 08:17 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Closer Look At Ruckus Wireless [View article]
    I haven't taken a look at DRWI. I did a little work on XGTI but it's a tough one to figure out. Seems like XG is mostly about IP around more efficient use of spectrum. Could work out but I'm not smart enough to know. I would point out however that R&D around this basic topic has been going on since the 1950's at least by all the big dogs in technology. So that leaves me thinking the deck is stacked a bit against them.

    In contrast GSAT owns an asset (spectrum) plus related technology and services around it so it's simpler to grasp as a business and investment.

    RKUS has to keep driving innovation and density. Google is a good partner to do that with. Now it's really all up to management there...
    Jul 11, 2014. 09:47 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mobile Iron Transcript - Big Upside If Model Plays Out [View article]
    Good discussion here. I think it's fair to say that this is a very competitive market but there are really only a handful of vendors that offer a full range of products for this. The Gartner report and ranking is at least one reasonable guide there.

    There are definitely some issues facing $MOBL and agree they need to continue to demonstrate strong top-line growth if anyone is to believe the long-term model is attainable.

    In the very short term we can expect their underwriter research departments to provide some visibility of where the growth, valuation and stock price can end up. They will be forced to discuss competitive issues as well.

    Readers here may not have seen the story about a big breech of the $MOBL solution at a big insurance company which will raise some controversy. As with most things it's hard to tell if the weakness was in the $MOBL software itself or a lower-level component of the software stack.

    Management has a lot to prove but I'd like to believe that the underwriting team has done enough work on this to validate that the underlying solution is strong enough to maintain or gain market share in what we know is a good end market.
    Jul 2, 2014. 08:57 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Angie's List Struggles, More Woes Ahead [View article]
    Angie's list seems to be getting killed somewhat by "free" which is easily implemented by Google and Yelp to name two. It's true their results are not as good in this category but guess what, their volumes mean their results get better every second. ANGI has created a walled garden and a kind of unhappy one at that. You can see by the metrics that people have to be drawn into it, they don't want to go and they don't want to stay once they are in it.

    As long as that remains true the numbers don't matter much.
    Mar 6, 2014. 03:15 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's Q1 Earnings, An Epic April Fools Prank [View article]
    Yeah but if he is naked under the iron man suit does it matter?
    Apr 26, 2013. 01:32 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fusion-io: No Longer A High Flier, But Is The Long-Term Story Intact? [View article]
    Three customers comprise 69% of revenue. Nobody, including management knows what they will do. The central question is whether the market is moving from these "early adopters" to the mainstream and if so, will it be a commodity rather than a premium market. STEC is a different company but a good lesson. You can lose your shirt here.

    It's worth doing some more work on though. Just started listening to the recent management presentations and poking around the competitive offerings.
    Feb 23, 2013. 06:12 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment