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No Mean Sum  

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  • Deteriorating Prospects For Overstock [View article]
    I agree with your article. They have had 10 years to get internet retailing right and they are on the cusp of actually making money and now they want to go smoke bit-crack in their new office.

    The Mr. Byrne implied that he consulted Warren Buffett about how to think about the capex for building the new office. Well Mr. Byrne should go re-read Mr. Buffett's shareholder letters because I'm sure the oracle wouldn't advocate for any of his managers to go on several wild-goose chases if their core business wasn't VERY HEALTHY. I hope Prem Watsa helps them realign their priorities.
    Jan 30, 2015. 09:50 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • What Went Wrong At Ocwen, And What Happens Next? [View article]
    To clarify, it is not backdating when you write and date a letter on date (A) but don't send it until a later date (B). Backdating is when you write a letter on date (B) but actually put the date of the letter as a previous date (A). The difference is slightly technical but material. Ocwen did the former which is not backdating.
    Jan 7, 2015. 09:51 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • JG Wentworth's (JGW) CEO Stewart Stockdale On Q3 2014 Results - Earnings Call Transcript [View article]
    The new CEO is certainly fluent in corporate jargon.
    Nov 13, 2014. 04:48 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: Ocwen Financial Litigation [View article]
    I too noticed the timing. It is also worth noting that these letters were not "backdated" so much as late but backdated grabs lawsky and company more press coverage.


    Still, a public bashing may be a prelude to a more public resolution involving a fine or at least another Lawsky gets his man headline.
    Oct 22, 2014. 07:37 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: Ocwen Financial Litigation [View article]
    Sorry. Long day. I'm sure you meant well.
    Oct 22, 2014. 07:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: Ocwen Financial Litigation [View article]
    Congratulations! You have successfully tooted your own horn without providing any additional information or insight!
    Oct 21, 2014. 05:23 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stanley Furniture: Inching Closer To A Turnaround [View article]
    I admit that they have done some things to move towards turning the business around but they are certainly not out of the woods yet. Taken together, their track-record and under-performance relative to their peers, makes the capital they hold more like a hostage than an asset.

    Aside from their performance, it is their history of over-promising and under-delivering combined with a foolish emphasis on growth at the expense of Net Income that really bothers me. Growth would be nice, and I understand the concept of operating leverage but as a shareholder, I don't really care about growth. I care about Owners Earnings. If they could just grow their sales at inflation and achieve a real return on equity that would be fine with me and i'm sure the market wouldn't mind either.

    HOFT has a 5% EBIT margin and a 3% Net Income margin on their case goods business. If STLY isn't there by next year, they should sell themselves to HOFT or someone else.
    Oct 16, 2014. 10:35 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Stanley Furniture: Inching Closer To A Turnaround [View article]
    Mr. Prillaman has been talking about growth for 3 years now. Well it doesn't seem like they know how to execute on that kind of a strategy so why not focus on profitability or the shareholders for a change?

    Growth is a crutch and a distraction that incapable management uses to try and distract shareholders from the abysmal record of capital allocation and current operating performance. If they want to grow something, how about growing the bottom line?

    The board should be actively seeking an aquirer. At the very maximum, management should have 1 year at most to demonstrate Real Bottom Line Profitability without wasting shareholders capital on "new growth initiatives". SG&A needs to be cut to the bone, or the board needs to cut the management itself.
    Oct 16, 2014. 09:28 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • E-Commerce Pure Play IPOs Will Shine Light On Overstock's Discount [View article]
    I really wish they would do something to improve the amount and quality of the reviews of products on their site. I realize their focus is more on home and furniture but i feel the reviews are a real competitive advantage of Amazon at this point. It is also clear that it's not just OSTK that struggles with generating quality and quantity in user reviews, other sites suffer from a paucity of consumer feedback as well. Nevertheless, as a shareholder I really wish they would devote more attention to this this aspect of their core business.
    Oct 4, 2014. 01:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stanley Furniture: Any News Is Good News [View article]
    I hope they are considering putting the company up for sale. If, for instance, HOFT were to buy them and replicate their casegoods cost structure, STLY would make an attractive bolt-on aquisition.
    Sep 10, 2014. 02:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Transformation Play; Value Micro Cap Near Its 10 Year Low [View article]
    The most relevant question would appear to be whether MGMT can reduce SG&A to the point where STLY is earning a solid ROE, and fast. If they cannot, and perhaps even if they can, putting the company up for sale may actually make the most sense for shareholders. I say this because as a stand-alone brand with outsourced manufacturing and excess cash, STLY would make an attractive bolt-on acquisition for another (larger) furniture company. To an established aquirer, STLY could be an attractive way to increase their operating leverage.
    Jun 20, 2014. 09:40 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Upcoming Earnings May Catalyze This Underfollowed Spin-Off [View article]
    The stock to me is over-sold and under-followed, so every earnings announcement is a chance to increase awareness. I had hoped that the sale of plant assets would have a more positive effect. It seems like it's going to take more than a strong performance and asset sales to get Wall St's attention in this environment. If they were to pay a dividend like similar securities I'm sure the cult of dividend investors would begin to clamor over the company. Share buybacks could also be interesting but tend to generate less attention. Overall long term investors seem well positioned but as for short term speculation the market is fickle and anything is possible.
    Feb 4, 2014. 07:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weight Watchers: A Plan At Last [View article]
    I am just beginning to look at WTW and all I can't help but be reminded of HLF at every turn. I think whatever management has said about meetings being an ineffective or out-dated delivery system must be sheer nonsense. Just look at how HLF has leveraged peoples need for community and support systems to help sell product.
    Dec 18, 2013. 01:45 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Value REITs With Questionable Alignment [View article]
    Nice writeup. Have you ever looked at NCT?
    Dec 12, 2013. 09:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Newcastle Investment: Spin-Off Machine Providing A Triple Threat [View article]
    Does anyone know what would be close public comps for NCT? Seems hard to value without being able to estimate the intrinsic value of the CDO's and other assets. So it would be nice to see if there are public companies with comparable assets and what they are yielding.
    Dec 10, 2013. 05:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
COMMENTS STATS
133 Comments
86 Likes