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Nat Stewart

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  • Update: United-Guardian Earnings Reveal Some Weakness [View article]
    I would like to see them team up with Guthy-Renker or a similar company that has mastered marketing and selling to make a product line (or customize an existing line) that can really explode the sales.

    Just imagine what that type of plan could do to the stock price of a small company like this.
    Aug 12, 2014. 10:34 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: United-Guardian Earnings Reveal Some Weakness [View article]
    The company needs a real marketing person or team that is aggressive. They are sitting on a bunch of high potential products and in my opinion not getting the job done with regards to getting them to market adequately. As I have followed the company over the past 4 years or so, I have admired their strong products and economic returns, but grown increasingly frustrated by the fact that their seems to be a complete lack of marketing talent. There is enormous untapped potential within this company that they are not realizing.

    Regardless, the price swings are in my opinion a part of short-term market myopia. If you only buy when things look "great" you only buy when a stock is fully valued or more likely overvalued. All the short term thinkers piled in a few months ago, now they are puking their positions. A wonderful strategy for losing.
    Aug 11, 2014. 11:08 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Time To Buy Herbalife Again [View article]
    I did use Google and was surprised to not see any distributors right downtown or near my neighborhood. I figured there would at least be one. I then go to the HLF site and rather then just have me enter my zip code and be given a contact or a contact in my area, they want me to fill out a bunch of personal info. Annoying. I did note on the Yellow-pages map that it is true the clubs are not in great areas. Not sure I want to park my car in the areas where I see the clubs and potentially be mugged or have the emblem stolen, etc. Might have to buy on Ebay - however I feel I would be missing a valuable part of the HLF experience by doing that.
    Aug 7, 2014. 11:36 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is It Wrong To Take A Position In A Stock And Then Write About It On Seeking Alpha? [View article]
    I agree with the author 100%.

    On a slightly different note, My understanding is that the big firms trade ahead of their brokerage recommendations, and then "provide liquidity" when the stock pops on their recommendations. It is funny to me that this behavior is seen as "OK" when done by a firm, but not when done by an individual.

    I personally could care less if an author makes a quick trade or not, what matters to me is the quality of the information and analysis.

    By the way for those who like to make everything personal, I have only written about long term holdings and have never traded around my articles.

    I for one would like to see a detailed exposition on the topic in terms of any applicable laws or regulations. I think this would clear allot of things up.
    Aug 7, 2014. 12:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Time To Buy Herbalife Again [View article]
    Does anyone know a distributor in Chicago? I would like to sample a shake.
    Aug 6, 2014. 08:26 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • FTD Companies - An Undervalued Spin-Off [View article]
    " I'm just not convinced that FTD 'bought' Provide, or Liberty got FTD on the cheap." I agree this is not a normal acquisition, especially considering the liberty playbook that is usually used.

    Where have you seen financials on Provide? Did linta provide them? I have not hat time to look yet.

    I note the price/sales ratio provide for provide is priced at around .7, so I was thinking it is possible that it is undervalued in the transaction as well. Overall, and withholding full judgement until I see financials on provide, I think it is going likely to be very good for FTD shareholders. Linta might be a stock worth further investigation as well.
    Jul 31, 2014. 08:00 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • FTD Companies - A Free Cash Flow Monster With 50% Upside [View article]
    Interesting news today along with the decent earnings pre-announcement.

    One interesting note is that LINTA will be getting stock in the deal that that will make them by far (at 35%) the largest shareholder. If this follows the standard "liberty" playbook, after the dust settles we are likely to see massive buybacks. My guess is that this acquisition will also "reload" the pool of amortization expense.
    Jul 30, 2014. 12:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Has Herbalife Kept The Game Going For So Long? [View article]
    You could say the same thing about many of the brand name products sold at the supermarket. The "special formula" idea is mostly a marketing gimmick. There is nothing special about them, but people still pay a premium for them.
    Jul 27, 2014. 08:55 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An End To Our Relationship With Yahoo, A New Era For Equity Research [View article]
    Solutions, Some of the write-ups here are very detailed and reflect a high level of financial understanding and research acumen. Some are professional in quality and have a real, justified impact on a stock's price. These articles reflect well on the site's title, "Seeking Alpha".

    Other articles feature non-researched stocks and ideas that were put together with a quick stock screen, and a simple narrative or story. Oftentimes these articles completely miss key facts about a company (In some cases quite severe) because no real research as been done. There is nothing wrong with this second type of article. Indeed the better authors of this style are entertaining and fun to read.

    The point is the two article types are completely unrelated, and have a different audience. The first type of article might objectively be worth a large sum of money to an individual or fund looking to invest in specific companies. The second type of article will never be worth more than a few cents to an individual reader, but can be worth something if it reaches enough people.

    Some of us are just noting that it is two different markets and products without much in common.
    Jul 27, 2014. 05:04 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Has Herbalife Kept The Game Going For So Long? [View article]
    What if all the negative things about the herbalife business opportunity are well known, but people ultimately choose to participate regardless?

    It is not that far fetched.

    A substantial portion of the population knowingly use a product that slowly kills them (Tobacco). A substantial percent freely choose to travel great distances to play games that they know are rigged (casinos). People willingly play state lotto's even though the vig is often as much as 40%.

    The shorts are on a cruisade to help the poor? Great.

    I dare them to do an analysis of state lotteries - they are not called a tax on poor people for no reason.

    Here is a story: When I was in school I worked briefly at a convenience store. I felt bad for a number of the poor, hard luck people who I felt were ruining themselves financially with lottery tickets. I spoke up and did my best to explain how bad the odds were, and why they should not play. You know what? They don't give a damn. Don't want your "two cents" or mathematical explanation of the odds. Basically look at you with a look that says, "F off" or "who cares" and then ask to buy 40 more tickets.

    Bottom line: What if the people negatively impacted by the severely low odds MLM/HLF business opportunity still want the freedom to participate and make their own decisions - you know, like real grown ups?

    Regardless, the HLf product is documented to work for it's primary purpose - weight loss and weight management. Quite frankly, given the massive obesity crisis in the low income population, I would not be surprised if this real product benefit vastly dwarfs the harm created by the low odds mlm opportunity.
    Jul 26, 2014. 11:31 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An End To Our Relationship With Yahoo, A New Era For Equity Research [View article]
    Michael, your primary point, as I understand it, is that micro cap stocks below the cutoff point that you have suggested should not be eligible for awards, because they are prone to what you consider to be manipulation. I understand that concern.

    I weigh things differently. Specifically, I believe that:

    -Work should be judged on it's creative and analytical merit exclusively, and authors should strive to do their best, most accurate and truthful work possible

    -Individual investors should be accountable for their own actions, including being accountable for any lemming-like trading behavior, and should learn from their mistakes

    -It is sound policy for the site to put info for readers on liquidity issues/risks on all micro cap articles (which I understand to be current policy).

    -It is sound policy for authors who do micro cap articles to take the liquidity issue into account in their articles, and make a reasonable effort to make sure readers are informed on the issue.

    -Investors should not be shielded from potential ideas because a third party reader views it as "not appropriate" or "crap" for whatever reason (beyond quality and merit of analysis).

    -authors should not be penalized on merit-based compensation or recognition do to the personal opinions of other readers with regards to suitability, etc, which by the nature of things are individual choices and circumstances.

    Your personal opinion is that companies like CAW are crap.

    Well, not everyone agrees. Sardar Biglari, a well known value investor who some have called a "young Warren Buffett" owns about 12% of the company. The stock passed the quant screens of Rentech, arguably the most sophisticated quant hedge fund in the world.

    Bottom line: You might have an opinion, it might have some merit, but don't expect everyone to agree.
    Jul 26, 2014. 08:48 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An End To Our Relationship With Yahoo, A New Era For Equity Research [View article]
    Michael, I believe that your need to make this personal by insulting me and questioning my integrity is in violation of this sites policy. The site explicitly states that "bad faith" accusations such as your "supposedly passed the CFA exams" statement are not tolerated. It degrades the discussion and I find it insulting. If you want to make a 300/1 bet on the topic I can fax u the documentation and U can send me 2K or whatever u bet, otherwise u owe me an apology.

    There is nothing unethical about recognizing that individuals are responsible for their own actions. There is nothing inherently unethical about writing about micro cap investing ideas. There is nothing unethical about recognizing solid micro-cap articles with special recognition.

    I have made many mistakes in investing, like most, and had to suck it up and learn from it, again like most sensible people. This includes 15 years ago when I attempted to buy a micro cap on the open with a market order and was badly skewed by a price spike that immediately collapsed. I learned from that and moved on, and never made that mistake again.

    Authors have certain ethical obligations when writing articles. A properly done article on a micro-cap is not inherently manipulative. I don't know why you refuse to acknowledge this. For example in my micro-cap articles (which I write as a hobby and am unpaid) I encourage readers to use limit orders and to be patient when taking positions, if they choose to do so.

    I bother to respond because, I for one have found some really interesting micro and small cap stocks on this site. The authors of these pieces deserve recognition, just like anyone else, imo.
    Jul 26, 2014. 10:24 AM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An End To Our Relationship With Yahoo, A New Era For Equity Research [View article]
    Yes, I am serous. I get your point but I disagree. My list documented that institutions have found a way to accumulate over 1m shares. I myself have accumulated micro-cap positions over periods up to 6 months. If some lemmings jump in and top tick a price spike, that is their problem that they should learn from. I am tired of this notion that info needs to be censored because dummies refuse to take accountability for their own actions.

    One of my largest stock holdings is a micro cap that trades less than 1k shares per day (NYSEMKT:NEN). many of us like micro-cap coverage, there is nothing about micro caps and disseminating info or research on them that is inherently not legitimate.
    Jul 25, 2014. 11:42 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An End To Our Relationship With Yahoo, A New Era For Equity Research [View article]
    I disagree. Lets take your example, CAW. Lets look at it's ownership:

    Holder Shares Reported
    BIGLARI, SARDAR N/A Jul 1, 2013
    ROTHSCHILD JONATHAN E 168,510 Aug 15, 2012
    KORNHAUSER RICHARD W 5,486 May 8, 2014
    HEIT STEPHEN 2,581 Dec 7, 2012

    Top Institutional Holders
    Holder Shares % Out Value* Reported
    Renaissance Technologies, LLC 306,000 5.07 936,360 Mar 31, 2014
    Dimensional Fund Advisors LP 207,376 3.43 634,570 Mar 31, 2014
    North Star Investment Management Corp 170,432 2.82 521,521 Mar 31, 2014
    Biglari Capital Corp 776,259 12.85 2,375,352 Mar 31, 2014
    Vanguard Group, Inc. (The) 29,606 0.49 90,594 Mar 31, 2014
    CALPERS (California-Public Employees Retirement System) 24,958 0.41 76,371 Mar 31, 2014
    Wilen Investment Management Corp. 22,948 0.38 79,629 Jun 30, 2014
    Price (T.Rowe) Associates Inc 19,247 0.32 58,895 Mar 31, 2014
    Bridgeway Capital Management, Inc. 17,521 0.29 53,614 Mar 31, 2014
    BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A. 6,759 0.11 20,682 Mar 31, 2014
    In other words owned by some of the most successful institutional investors and hedge funds. If you don't like the idea, just ignore it. The micro-cap space is a legitimate area of research and idea dissemination. In fact, small and micro-cap are where most of the legitimate inefficiencies reside. When an analyst brings valid, new info to a stock, it makes sense that the price jumps. There is nothing wrong with this, it is logical!
    Jul 25, 2014. 06:56 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An End To Our Relationship With Yahoo, A New Era For Equity Research [View article]
    Sites earn a spread between traffic acquisition costs and the revenue they generate by adds. That is the general model that all "click" sites use.
    Jul 25, 2014. 04:10 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment