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James Sands

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  • Zillow-Trulia, The Future Of Real Estate [View article]

    Please define "possible clients".
    Aug 6 07:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Zillow-Trulia, The Future Of Real Estate [View article]
    I don't agree. I will never use Zillow for my mortgage, insurance, maintenance services, etc. None of these options are appealing right now, so how can we assume they will be later?

    I just bought a home recently and as I stated; Zillow did not provide accurate information ~ most blatant, homes listed for sale were already sold (in some cases a year or more ago).

    The site does note lend itself to a great user interface because of the need to place advertisements on it. The new sign-in function just makes it less appealing.

    For the market where we bought our house within the last year, we used a broker-based site for listings and a regional site instead of Zillow. Of course we occasionally used Zillow, but not for our most important parts of the process. For instance for active listings, the broker-based internal site was much more valuable and accurate.

    Zillow has scale, but it is not an effective business per se, it is just a quick and easy source to get general information. To me this company is still in the early stages of understanding their product. For me to consider their services, let alone an investment, they need dramatic improvement. Fundamentally, they will not be the one-stop source for real estate, no matter how much fluff they promote.
    Aug 6 04:52 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Zillow-Trulia, The Future Of Real Estate [View article]
    The majority of the data and information on Zillow and Trulia is inaccurate. Managing a larger conglomerate of poor data will not help the margins. People will continue to use other sites out there of which there are good ones; especially depending on your local real estate market.

    It is not possible to use Zillow solely to research properties due to their ineffective data. This is the primary reason why they acquired Trulia; and is why they will need to buy more companies. Growth by acquisition is the model.

    Better companies to own in this space such as TripAdvisor, Facebook, Google.
    Aug 6 04:10 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Markit's $4.3bn Post-IPO Valuation Will Lure More Investors [View article]
    There's a couple other public companies operating in a similar space. I don't cover these companies in detail, but it would be good to distinguish between them to frame the overall picture. Intralinks, Intercontinental Exchange, Thompson Reuters, etc.

    Not many investors are going to know Markit's business and providing an assessment of the competition would be beneficial. The company admits that their market is at risk due to low barriers for entry. Combined with the antitrust investigations, and other market risks for their business, I stopped short of getting into a diligent research effort.

    Aug 6 10:49 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Facebook Has Become The Ultimate Fanboy Stock [View article]
    I'm long @ $59.10, no where near a "best price", but I'll hold it.

    When comparing 2012 to 2013, the company went from generating $380 million in free cash flow and a 1% profit margin to generating $2.9 billion in free cash flow and a 19% profit margin. On a TTM basis, these numbers are at $3.2 billion and 24%.

    I wouldn't buy it at this level, but the long-term story is there. It's always easy to look back in time. Using this approach Google would have been a short candidate back in 2004/2005. In 2004 and 2005, Google traded between $193 and $420/share with TTM P/Es of 132 and 83 and a $114 billion EV in 2005. P/B during this time was between 18 and 13. The company is now approaching $60 billion in advertising revenue, just amazing.

    I think the long-term story for Facebook will play out similarly and the company will challenge the $50 billion revenue level at some point over the next decade.

    Just for kicks, Google Y/Y revenue growth rates were as follows:

    2003 - 233%
    2004 - 118%
    2005 - 93%
    2006 - 73%
    2007 - 57%
    2008 - 31%
    2009 - 9%
    2010 - 24%
    2011 - 29%
    2012 - 32%
    2013 - 19%


    2010 - 154%
    2011 - 88%
    2012 - 37%
    2013 - 55%
    2014 est. - 56%
    2015 est. - 34%

    Aug 4 05:38 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mobileye blasts off following IPO [View news story]

    It is important to really understand a particular industry before getting too excited. You are talking about a company generating $80 million in revenue, which is losing more money to grow its revenues. Your statement assuming that this technology will grow with the car industry from its current scale is just as silly.

    Any comment thinking about the next decade is silly, let alone the next year. Proven companies have a history of success, this company does not.
    But go for it! There is always a joker in the midst of our deck of investment cards, no matter how hard we try to avoid it. Unfortunately we don't get to get rid of it in a timely manner most often.

    Best of luck!
    Aug 3 01:02 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Mobileye blasts off following IPO [View news story]
    Did I say five years or that it is a certainty....classic example of reactive rebuttal without digesting the comment. I simply stated the basic premise driving federal level policy, and suggested that in the event it would come to fruition, this would make the above discussed company's product obsolete.

    CARB is bent on zero freight emissions in the entire state of California. Is this a realistic goal? Just ask your freight carriers, big and small. BNSF has a huge government affairs division as do many large freight companies of which, the majority of their resources go to California. But the state will continue push regardless.

    There are lawsuits over green house gas emissions being disputed in courts today regarding modeling of these circumstances out to the year 2050. We complain about how an analyst can't predict the next year of a company, yet courts are bent on spending tax payers dollars on 40-year modeling due to state laws related to GHG.

    Similarly, federal Committees have already hinted towards aggressive autonomous policies. Maybe it is cellphone technology-based, maybe it is a completely separate system within the car....

    Regardless if investors are considering a company like the one above, they should keep apprised of these events.
    Aug 2 06:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • July job gain below estimates [View news story]
    Isn't good or bad news dependent on whether you have positive or negative mindset?
    Aug 2 03:09 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mobileye blasts off following IPO [View news story]
    Despite consumer preferences, full autonomous vehicles are what federal policies are looking to push. Safety is a big concern and removing the driver from the equation is the only way to eliminate accidents. This technology is not relevant when/if this occurs.
    Aug 2 02:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mobileye blasts off following IPO [View news story]
    This is not the long-term technology of the future.....
    Aug 2 12:50 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Twitter +26.5% AH on Q2 beat, strong guidance, MAU growth [View news story]
    I just realized I gave you Facebook's definition too, here's Twitter's:

    "We define MAUs as Twitter users who logged in and accessed Twitter through our website, mobile website, desktop or mobile applications, SMS or registered third-party applications or websites in the 30-day period ending on the date of measurement. Average MAUs for a period represent the average of the MAUs at the end of each month during the period."

    Mostly the same definition.
    Jul 29 06:22 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Twitter +26.5% AH on Q2 beat, strong guidance, MAU growth [View news story]
    I am not an authority on this, but based on the language I would think not. An example would be that you log onto TripAdvisor using Facebook. This in-of-itself is not the MAU trigger. But if you engage and share information with Facebook friends via TripAdvisor, I would believe that is the trigger to be counted.

    Engagement is what Facebook considers valuable whether directly on their site, or through third-party sites.
    Jul 29 06:07 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Twitter +26.5% AH on Q2 beat, strong guidance, MAU growth [View news story]
    "Monthly Active Users (MAUs). We define a monthly active user as a registered Facebook user who logged in and visited Facebook through our website or a mobile device, used our Messenger app, or took an action to share content or activity with his or her Facebook friends or connections via a third-party website or application that is integrated with Facebook, in the last 30 days as of the date of measurement. MAUs are a measure of the size of our global active user community."

    Straight from the 10-Q filed this week.
    Jul 29 05:56 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Twitter +26.5% AH on Q2 beat, strong guidance, MAU growth [View news story]
    They are just reported how the company is analyzed...depending on the company it can be GAAP or non-GAAP....

    Unfortunately, all estimates from financial sites are based on analyst estimates.
    Jul 29 04:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Individual Investor Portfolio Update: Diversifying For Growth [View article]
    May, thanks for the link to today's upgrade.

    Pharmacyclics guided extremely conservatively at their Q1 earnings report and the stock was hammered pretty good afterward. The company is still in early commercial development and I don't think management has a solid handle on forecasting unit growth right now. With that said it would appear that their core product is picking up steam from an approval process, which was to be expected.

    Based on this it is really hard to measure how successful sales will grow in the near-term. For this reason, I expect the stock to trade in a volatile manner. I jumped in near $92/share after the Q1 report. Technically it looks like $86/share is a level that the stock recovers from. I think it is best to look for strong pull-backs for entry opportunities. Where we go from the Q2 earnings report this Thrusday is a coin flip.....

    Jul 29 01:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment