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Jonathan Verenger

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  • Bubble Stage Of This Bull Market May Be Nigh [View article]
    If everyone is bearish then what does that tell you? Read most of the comments here and ask yourself what side the majority is on.
    Sep 29, 2014. 06:18 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Shanghai Agents Rise Up Against SouFun [View article]
    So are you saying the parent is ok with individual franchises boycotting them?
    Aug 6, 2014. 11:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Shanghai Agents Rise Up Against SouFun [View article]
    I'm sure you saw this but it looks like LEJU may be winning listing business from SouFun (NYSE:SFUN). Just saw this news on Stocktwits...the weakness in all of these online RE companies today may be attributed to the following:

    Check out the names of the first two listed above:
    "The brokerages, led by Centaline Property Agency, Century 21 Real Estate and Shanghai Deovolente Realty, accused New York-listed Soufun of going back on its word when it introduced new ancillary charges that effectively negate a discount it promised in June in a reconciliation agreement."

    Here's LEJU's news from 2 weeks ago:
    " today announced that it has signed strategic agreements with over 100 secondary brokerage agencies in 17 key cities in China, including four secondary brokerage agency alliance groups in Hangzhou, Qingdao, Chongqing and Xi'an. The participating brokerage agencies include 5i5j, Centaline, Century 21 China Real Estate, Home Link, and My Top Home, among others. "

    Looks like Century 21 and Centaline are two potential defections. SFUN did $200 Million in listing revenues last year so this could be a nice development for LEJU if they're willing to play soft ball.

    The fact is, though, in the bigger picture the trend is toward online. And if LEJU is partnered with Tencent, Baidu, Sina, and soon to be Zillow, odds are they will be the biggest winner (and EJ by derivative). I think its important to ask why Zillow chose to do an exclusive partnership with LEJU and why Tencent took a 15% stake in LEJU
    Aug 6, 2014. 11:00 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Quiet Period Expiration For ServiceMaster Global IPO Serves Up A Great Buying Opportunity [View article]
    What about things like revenues and profits?
    Jul 16, 2014. 11:44 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Chinese Investors Shrug Off Property Downturn, Cheer SouFun [View article]
    This is eerily similar to Zillow back in late 2012. They were growing like a weed yet people were expecting another housing downturn. It wouldn't matter one bit even if it would have happened because the secular trend toward online was (and still is) in its infancy. Also like the fear of a slowdown hurting Z / MA back in 2008/9. People were missing the major tailwinds benefiting those companies.
    Jul 14, 2014. 04:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Chinese Investors Shrug Off Property Downturn, Cheer SouFun [View article]
    The bigger Question more likely is what is more important: a slowdown in housing or a 1% online penetration rate with most developers moving a lot of spending online?
    Jul 11, 2014. 01:35 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • SouFun: 65% Upside On Great Growth And Far-Fetched Fear [View article]
    Here's some more info on LEJU for you fellas:
    Shares outstanding: 133.53 Million = $1.494 Billion Market Cap
    Tencent owns 16% of shares
    EJ owns 75% of shares
    Roughly 11 Million shares in float, 1 Million of which owned by Fidelity

    Sales rose about 100% last quarter. They are basically the Zillow of China. If fact, they have an exclusive partnership with Zillow launching this summer:

    They have listings that have coupons for home buyers to use toward the purchase of a home. In addition to this they generate listing fees and advertising fees. 33,872 coupons were redeemed in Q1 for a total of $49.7 Million (about $1,467 per coupon). If you annualize this, the run rate is about 135k coupons redeemed. The housing market (new and existing) in China is roughly 4-5X the US. I can't get an exact figure but that's an estimate. The US market is roughly 5.8 Million new and existing annually. So let's say 4X the US market or 23 Million homes. That means the coupons redeemed equates to a penetration rate of about 0.58%. The number of coupons redeemed was up 167% this past quarter. I don't know what the upside is but if you think it's 5% then you can see why there's massive upside in this business. Gross margins are around 85% and net margins will expand exponentially as they reduce the spending on building out their website and network. You could make an argument that they get to $1.5 Billion in coupon sales, at 85% margins, yields $1.24 Billion in gross profit. Back out double their current SG&A and you get $750 Million in net income. Keep in mind I have excluded the listings revenues and the advertising revenues, both of which should add at least $200 Million in revenues within 2 years.

    Vs a market cap of $1.5 Billion right now.

    The company has big backers / partnerships in Tencent, Zillow, Baidu, and Sina. This has a lot of potential and will be interesting to see how it plays out. I kind of think this could be a BITA/CTRP/VIPS type investment. Very interesting one here. I prefer them over SFUN just because my understanding is they're more web 1.0. Plus why else would Zillow / Baidu / Sina partner with them?
    Jul 2, 2014. 06:17 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • My Favorite Solar Energy Stock: SunPower Corporation [View article]
    that struck me as odd too
    Jun 10, 2014. 01:43 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Aflac An Ugly Duckling Or A Beautiful Swan? [View article]
    Since pretty much everyone is in agreement that Japan sucks and is dragging down AFL, what if Japan undergoes a revival? I know, I know, its impossible. But let's just play devil's advocate here:

    GDP growth was about 6% in Q1 2014.
    Potential corporate tax cuts are looming.
    Many Japanese ADRs have been performing very well.

    Methinks there's a little too much groupthink on the downsides of AFL. With valuation near all time lows despite solid bottom line growth since the last time it traded in the $60's in 2007/8, its downside seems very limited to me.
    Jun 9, 2014. 11:31 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Yelp Ever Justify Its Ridiculous Valuation? [View article]
    Remember if it was EXTREMELY overvalued last week it's GARGANTUANLY overvalued this week!
    May 29, 2014. 03:59 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Yelp Ever Justify Its Ridiculous Valuation? [View article]
    yikes. therapy is always an option :)
    May 28, 2014. 11:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Yelp Ever Justify Its Ridiculous Valuation? [View article]
    Facebook is a potential competitor, no doubt. However, they have been competing with YELP for a while without being able to slow them down. The issue probably has to do with what people use each company for. Do they go to Facebook to review businesses or do they go there to connect with friends and see photos? Its an interesting debate but I think the purpose is different for each business. If you remember when FB introduced Graph Search in Jan 2013, YELP dropped to the low $20's on competition fears. There was also a lot of debate about GOOG being in the crosshairs of FB if FB ever offered search. Again, people don't go to FB to search for things. Likewise, Google Plus was supposed to kill FB. Until it didnt.

    GOOG could be a significant competitor but YELP has been competing with them for 9 years and has become really a much more trusted service by consumers. Per the recent Piper Jaffray report yesterday, 25% of Google "Reviews" contain no text, which is really of no help to consumers. Additionally, GOOG has to consider the impact on its search results by revamping its pages with reviews, coupon ads, etc. The beauty of GOOG was always the simplicity of its engine. Changing their results pages significantly could alter users perception of their business. And there's also the who topic of losing focus on what made them so successful as they continue to try to juggle so many different things.

    I would be a little more concerned being a GRPN or OPEN shareholder as YELP is encroaching on their areas with their deals and SeatMe offerings, both of which are pretty obvious ancillary services that improve the local search function for consumers. Given that you're already on the YELP app and have found a restaurant that you want to go to, why would you then go to an opentable app to make a reservation when you can do it with YELP? Same goes with a coupon vs Groupon. And eventually YELP will allow you to pay for most services like spa reservations / coupons etc on their platform, increasing their potential transaction fees.

    It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out. I personally like YELP and Z the most in the Apps/mobile business longer term as I think they have huge potential market opportunities. I wrote about Z a while ago ( and still feel the same way about it. I also wrote about the power of having large networks and I think YELP fits this model perfectly (
    May 23, 2014. 06:03 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Yelp Ever Justify Its Ridiculous Valuation? [View article]
    Disgruntled business owners with bad ratings is my guess.
    Steve Jobs had a different take. I'll side with him.
    May 23, 2014. 05:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Yelp Ever Justify Its Ridiculous Valuation? [View article]
    C'mon you're gonna have to spend a little time doing research. Just a little.

    You do know that YELP did $25 Million in revenues in 2009 at the time they got a $500 Million buyout off from GOOG right (ie. 20X price to sales vs 12-13 right now)? Like I said I don't expect a buyout. YELP is aware of the opportunity ahead of them.
    May 23, 2014. 03:57 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Yelp Ever Justify Its Ridiculous Valuation? [View article]
    Jacob - Please help me with a few things:
    (1) Why are you applying the same growth rate to the bottom line as the top line after they turn a profit? See trajectory for PCLN, eBAY, Z, and others in their turn from negative to positive earnings and compare.
    (2) What is the addressable market for YELP?
    (3) What comparative advantages / disadvantages does YELP have over FB / GOOG in the local advertising market? Does a focused website have advantage over others?
    (4) What is the growth in paying business accounts? How does that compare to the addressable market?
    (5) What would financials look like after the addressable market has matured and ad spend as a % of total revenues drops?
    (6) Comparisons to Yellow Pages, Opentable, and Groupon would help since YELP appears to be disrupting all 3 of these businesses. How did their financials look in terms of SG&A as a total of revenues, gross margins, etc?

    I'm sure you can appreciate this; prospective investors could use a little more than just an opinion based article whose sole intent appears to just be to increase pageviews.
    May 23, 2014. 03:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment