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Jeff Taylor  

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  • Blizzard's Layoffs Create An Opportunity To Buy [View article]
    Sure, Vivendi owns just shy of a 60% stake in ATVI, but I'm not terribly concerned for two reasons.

    First, Vivendi is facing some hard times, but as the situation stands they will still be making a profit. So with the lack of impetus for an ATVI fire sale as well as ATVI being one of their strongest assets, I think they would hesitate before relinquishing too many shares.

    Second, ATVI has a very active share buyback program. Assuming no drastic moves by Vivendi, I would expect the whole thing to, at worst, roughly balance out.

    This is not to say that there won't be dips due to Vivendi sell offs, but these dips will be short term, effectively being nothing more than a great buying opportunity.
    Mar 15, 2012. 11:09 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Blizzard's Layoffs Create An Opportunity To Buy [View article]
    Either way, ATVI itself is still in strong shape and has wrongly dropped in price. Vivendi is anticipating struggles in it's telecom business which is wholly separate from Activision Blizzard.
    Mar 5, 2012. 11:17 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Blizzard's Layoffs Create An Opportunity To Buy [View article]
    Well said.
    Mar 5, 2012. 11:11 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 4 IPOs From 2011 That Should Lose Momentum [View article]
    Some interesting ideas, though I disagree with your analysis of Zipcar (ZIP), especially concerning its ability to compete with established rental companies. Zipcar has a significant first-entry advantage that cannot be overcome as easily as you claim. Its inroads on college campuses make ZIP many peoples' first introduction to car sharing, which has led to it becoming the company that has come to define the car sharing concept. This, plus its large and growing international network of vehicles, will not be easily overcome.

    I wrote an article on this subject about a month ago ( that you may find informative.
    Mar 5, 2012. 02:22 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Zipcar's Future: After The Earnings [View article]
    A quick off the cuff calculation:

    Revenue for FY2011 was ~$240MM
    Profit margin in established regions is ~20%
    Annual profit if this margin were achieved company wide is ~$48MM
    Thus the annual EPS would be ~$1.15
    Which would make it priced at just under 12 times earnings

    In reality, revenue's average growth for the past three years has been 30% and it is will take a few years to achieve a large company-wide profit margin but, without going into too much detail, I think it is a fairly priced (perhaps under-priced) growth stock.
    Mar 3, 2012. 01:37 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Zipcar's Future: After The Earnings [View article]
    Expansion will be much more based on the culture of cities rather than their size. While there are some cities, such as Los Angeles, that are very much centered on car ownership this is not the case in most cities. And, given how easy the Zipcar business model is to scale to all sizes, it is very easy to tailor their local vehicle network to specific needs of the city.

    Basically, I think its expansion outside of its established cities will be fairly successful and non-eventful.
    Feb 29, 2012. 10:28 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Game On: 2012 Shaping Up To Be A Strong Year For Activision Blizzard [View article]
    That's a very good point, Zoid.

    And not only will the in-game auction system monetize player transactions as you describe but it serves to create a more inclusive online community which game companies are so actively pursuing nowadays (CoD: Elite, Xbox Live, PlayStation Network). These communities not only boost the sales performance of the game in question but also other similar titles.
    Feb 28, 2012. 01:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Game On: 2012 Shaping Up To Be A Strong Year For Activision Blizzard [View article]
    Thanks, I'm glad you found the article useful.

    Per usual, precise dates have not been published for the release dates, but based on prior experience we can expect Skylanders: Giants to be released in October and Call of Duty 9 in November.

    The nearest catalyst, however, is the release of Diablo III sometime in Q2.

    And as for when Blizzard's second release will be? No announcements have been made but in the past they have aimed for late November/early December.
    Feb 28, 2012. 12:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • MBAs, Gimmicks and Apple's Culture [View article]
    You've made the refutation of your argument within this article:

    You are correct in saying that it takes a visionary to revolutionize an industry. But you are also correct in saying that Hastings needs a business person to run Netflix. And you are correct in commending Zuckerberg for hiring Sandberg. And you are correct in saying that Gretzky needs the support of his team.

    These are two very different roles. The visionary dreams the product. The MBA ensures the business is run in the best possible way.

    To belittle MBA's for not being visionaries is absurd. A company needs both to successful. (Should we also criticize MBA's for not being office assistants?)

    It is common to knock the need for education - how long has the myth about Einstein failing every subject been around? - but for all the successful people you list that dropped out of college there are thousands of people that failed.

    On a separate note, I need to quote one of your closing lines: "Apple does make effective use of its capital. They just do things - everything - differently."

    You make no arguments why sitting on a pile of money is effective in this article or your other one - basically you say 'shame on you for being greedy and a rigid business school student.' Doing things differently is only a good if the method is, in fact, better. I'm not convinced that having $100B in is better, just different.
    Feb 27, 2012. 07:10 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 4 Stocks To Sell Now Before The Market Pullback [View article]
    I think you are dramatically underselling the amount of time spent in the car by the average driver. The US Census Bureau pegged the average American commute at just under 50 minutes per day. And for most drivers these are not 50 minutes of relaxation - these minutes are slow, stop-and-go traffic that is both difficult and frustrating to drive in. If SIRI can make this drive more pleasant, it has a very captive audience.

    Feb 23, 2012. 01:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Zipcar's Future - Part 3 [View article]
    As myself and others have pointed out to you, Avis on Location is not, currently, a competing business. They only work for corporate clients, only have locations in business parks, and have yet to show any sign that they wish to compete with Zipcar and begin to target city dwellers and college campuses.
    Feb 17, 2012. 06:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Zipcar's Future: After The Earnings [View article]
    Coffee is exactly what it is - it is providing a desired service in a way that becomes part of people's lives and makes them feel good about it. That the products are different is a fairly minor detail.
    Feb 17, 2012. 06:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Zipcar's Future: After The Earnings [View article]
    Take a look at some of the comments in the third article of this series ( where Zipcar is compared to Starbucks.

    There are no copyrights to prevent someone from opening a coffee shop, there is no denying that Starbucks has a significant advantage due to the strength of its image. Similarly, Zipcar's advantage will come from it's image not from any copyrights it holds.
    Feb 17, 2012. 10:47 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Zipcar's Future - Part 3 [View article]
    Currently, of the companies I examined, Hertz on Demand is the only company that allows for one way rentals - however this is only on the limited number of vehicles that it keeps at a few airports and other office-based rental centers. So for the most part, if you wish to make a one way trip, you will have to rent a car by normal means.

    There are several reasons that Zipcar does not allow one-way rentals:

    - Zipcar makes significant investment in purchasing parking spots, creating deals with colleges, and arranging free parking places with apartment managers (in the belief that having a Zipcar raises the value of an apartment). Less tangibly, but no less important, is the amount of planning that goes into finding the optimum placement for vehicles.

    - Tracking a constantly shifting network of vehicles is a logistical nightmare. How do they handle the parking charges? What if a vehicle is left in an unsafe neighborhood? What if the vehicle is parked far away from most users? If users are only allowed to return the vehicles to pre-approved parking spots, this (in an attempt to maximize the use of its spots) lends Zipcar towards creating a music chairs type situation.

    - A key incentive for Zipsters to join is that they know a car is, for example, just down the block. If one way trips are allowed, then this incentive disappears.

    - Zipcar targets people who want to run a few errands or take a day trip, not people who are moving cities or driving to a vacation spot who would take advantage of the one-way service.

    In the Earnings Call (I think - though it may have been in the 10-Q), there was mention of one-way rentals, in that it was something they were actively looking into.

    It would absolutely be a game changer, though I don't see it happening anytime soon.
    Feb 17, 2012. 10:42 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Zipcar's Future: After The Earnings [View article]
    I doubt it - whereas this time the outlook is to lose money after a profitable quarter, when Q1 earnings are released the outlook will be to earn money after an unprofitable quarter. The positive outlook should keep the price buoyant.
    Feb 15, 2012. 09:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment