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Jason Kaplan  

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  • Western Union - Steady Performance But Growth Nowhere In Sight
    Thu, Apr. 16 WU 23 Comments

    Summary

    • Western Union has a long history of steady operating performance.
    • However competition continues to slowly erode free-cash-flow.
    • If you are sitting on gains, I recommend selling or hedging long exposure with an options collar.
  • Magnum Hunter's Shrinking Asset Base And The Implications For Shareholders
    Fri, Mar. 27 MHR 39 Comments

    Summary

    • Magnum will be selling up to $1B in assets in the coming months, raising much needed capital to fund ongoing operations.
    • However this does nothing to solve the fundamental problems of too much debt as a result of poor capital allocation.
    • With choking amounts of interest expense, the common shares should be avoided right now and shorted if shares move higher in response to a move back to $4/MMBtu natural gas.
  • 6 Reasons Why CA Inc. Could Be Headed For A Transformational Corporate Event
    Wed, Mar. 25 CA 21 Comments

    Summary

    • The options market is signaling a major move higher for the stock.
    • There are too many related corporate events of late to ignore.
    • The company could be prepping for a transformational corporate event.
  • Walk The Runway To Profits With Wilhelmina International
    Sat, Mar. 21 WHLM Comment!

    Summary

    • Wilhelmina has racked up impressive growth numbers since going public, but there's more to come.
    • Management has a multifaceted plan to keep growing at double digit rates.
    • With a 10 percent free-cash-flow yield, the stock is cheap and should be accumulated.
  • Dex Media: More Questions Than Answers After The Earnings Call
    Thu, Mar. 19 DXM 17 Comments

    Summary

    • Management provided little in the way of guidance for important operational metrics.
    • Management did hint that performance will likely get worse before it gets better.
    • Even still, with solid execution, Dex Media could be a multi-bagger for investors.
  • Marathon Partners Goes Activist On Shutterfly
    Wed, Mar. 4 SFLY Comment!

    Summary

    • Marathon Partners fails to make headway in its private discussions with the company, decides to take its fight public.
    • Marathon should not have a problem getting its three nominees elected to the board at the annual meeting in May.
    • Significant opportunity exists for the company to lower its cost structure and improve its capital allocation, which will lead to higher shareholder returns.
  • Vintage Sweeps IEC Board Elections! CEO Already Terminated. Here Are The Key Next Steps
    Wed, Feb. 11 IEC 3 Comments

    Summary

    • The Vintage Capital led proxy fight was a success - all 7 directors nominated.
    • The new board immediately terminated the contract of the CEO - expect more personnel moves shortly.
    • The return path to growth at IEC will be long and sometimes frustrating, but keep the faith.
  • Proxy Advisors Weigh In On IEC Electronics' Battle For Board Control
    Wed, Jan. 21 IEC 3 Comments

    Summary

    • Proxy advisors recommend substantial change to the IEC Board of Directors.
    • IEC and Vintage each still recommend voting for all seven of their own nominees.
    • At a minimum, four of Vintage's nominees should be voted onto the board.
    • With four new directors elected, CEO Barry Gilbert's absolute control over the direction of IEC will finally end.
  • Buy Petroamerica Oil - A Survivor In The Junior E&P Space
    Wed, Jan. 14 PTAXF 41 Comments

    Summary

    • Petroamerica has a large net cash position, enabling it to ride out lower oil prices in the near term.
    • The company has a history of highly profitable drilling operations in Colombia.
    • The company should navigate the current storm of low oil prices just fine, setting it up for solid future growth.
  • IEC Electronics' Proxy Battle: Interesting Details Emerging
    Dec. 31, 2014 IEC 6 Comments

    Summary

    • IEC and Vintage have each filed several proxy statements in the last month.
    • The proxy filings have included more details with regard to the parties' discussions as well as the reasons for Jeff Schlarbaum parting ways with the company.
    • Vintage remains on track to take control of the Board of Directors, facilitating a change at the CEO position.
  • TravelCenters Of America - Moving Up On Declining Oil Prices
    Dec. 20, 2014 TA 10 Comments

    Summary

    • Falling wholesale gasoline prices should benefit TravelCenters to the tune of $20M in Q4.
    • This is not likely reason enough to own the stock, as margins on fuel sales remain thin.
    • Until the company stops spending more on cap. ex. and acquisitions than it takes it from operations, shareholders are at risk of further dilution.
  • Shutterfly Shareholders Could Benefit From An Activist
    Dec. 12, 2014 SFLY 1 Comment

    Summary

    • Shutterfly recently rejected takeover bid(s) and instead elected to remain independent - much to the ire of shareholders.
    • The CEO is pursuing a high cost strategy and does not have the best interest of shareholders at heart.
    • Shutterfly shareholders could greatly benefit from a vocal activist that shakes up the board and management.
  • Magnum Hunter Resources: Will It Ever Generate Positive Free Cash Flow?
    Nov. 18, 2014 MHR 32 Comments

    Summary

    • Cash from operations dwarfed by capital expenditures.
    • The funding gap is closed with equity and debt raises as well as asset sales.
    • Over the long-run this strategy is completely unsustainable and the equity should be avoided.
  • Why Dex One's New Hires Likely Points To A Balance Sheet Restructuring Forthcoming
    Nov. 6, 2014 DXM 48 Comments

    Summary

    • Dex Media announces new "dream team" of senior management.
    • Board of Directors tells new CEO to accelerate the company's transformation.
    • A sizable reduction in debt is necessary for this strategy to have a chance of succeeding.
  • On Tap At IEC: A Knock Down Drag Out Proxy Fight
    Oct. 29, 2014 IEC 11 Comments

    Summary

    • Vintage Capital filed a 13D/A with the SEC on Monday, announcing its intention to nominate its own slate of Directors to the Board.
    • If a mere 20% of shares vote with Vintage, it will likely control the Board.
    • Multiple avenues for significant value accretion to shareholders continues to exist.
  • CA Technologies - First Signs Of A Turnaround Emerging; Perfect Candidate For A LBO
    Oct. 27, 2014 CA Comment!

    Summary

    • CA has a low valuation coupled with high free-cash-flow, making it ripe for a LBO.
    • Growth in the Enterprise Solutions appears close at hand.
    • A go private deal at $31-$33 a share would be a win for shareholders.
  • Lamar Advertising - Get Paid Handsomely To Wait For Multiple Expansion
    Oct. 16, 2014 LAMR 4 Comments

    Summary

    • Lamar pays a nice 5% dividend, fully covered by free-cash-flow.
    • U.S. economic growth is a nice tailwind to Lamar's revenues.
    • REIT conversion is on track for Q4 completion.
    • Over time Lamar should trade up to a multiple more in-line with other REITs.
  • Big Changes Coming To IEC. Time To Load Up.
    Oct. 15, 2014 IEC 2 Comments

    Summary

    • Vintage Capital filed a 13D revealing 7.1% ownership and included a letter that publicly criticized management and the Board.
    • The Company is now under direct pressure to increase shareholder value.
    • A sale or an entirely new Board, management team and strategy is now highly likely within the next 12 months.
  • How Seagate Will Maintain Gross Margins And Continue To Trade Higher
    Jun. 3, 2013 STX 8 Comments
  • IEC Electronics: Absolutely, Positively A Mess And In Trouble
    May. 23, 2013 IEC 5 Comments
  • Public Relations And PCs, Not Profits, Are Microsoft's Problems
    Mar. 18, 2013 MSFT 15 Comments
  • How Apple Can Generate A Decent Return On Its Cash
    Feb. 13, 2013 AAPL 17 Comments
  • Qualcomm's Non-GAAP Earnings Should Be Ignored -- Stick With GAAP
    Feb. 1, 2013 QCOM 28 Comments
  • IEC Electronics: Time For A Change At The Top?
    Jan. 29, 2013 IEC 4 Comments
  • Ultrapetrol: What Changes I Would Like To See Southern Cross Make In 2013
    Jan. 24, 2013 ULTR 3 Comments
  • Dear Apple Board, This Is How You Defend The Share Price
    Jan. 15, 2013 AAPL 213 Comments
  • Dear Citigroup: Buybacks Don't Matter - Just Pay A Decent Dividend
    Sep. 17, 2012 C 22 Comments
  • How To Profit From Natural Gas's Wild Ride
    Editors' Pick • Aug. 28, 2012 UNL, UNG 72 Comments
  • Seagate Technology: Why The Likely End Game Is A LBO
    Aug. 16, 2012 STX 11 Comments
  • IEC Electronics: How An Asleep At The Wheel Board Of Directors Can Torpedo Shareholder Value
    Editors' Pick • Aug. 14, 2012 IEC 40 Comments
  • Ultrapetrol: A Case Study On Questionable Corporate Governance
    Jun. 15, 2012 ULTR 15 Comments
  • IEC Electronics: Lining Shareholders' Pockets Or Management's?
    Dec. 27, 2011 IEC Comment!