Seeking Alpha
View as an RSS Feed

Stephane Manos  

View Stephane Manos' Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • SS&C Technologies: Advent Acquisition A Game Changer [View article]
    Great article and great read!

    I agree with your statements, I think Bill Stone knows how much ADVENT is worth inside his organization and is underplaying synergies and EBITDA upside. LONG SS&C, what a great special situation!
    Feb 9, 2015. 03:28 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is TripAdvisor Becoming A Big Threat To OTAs? [View article]
    If you listen CEO speak and the reason they needed to do instant booking it is very logical. They rolled out Instant Booking on their mobile platform before anything as being sent from one page to the other on mobile devices is not a good experience at all.

    Jan 8, 2015. 04:36 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is TripAdvisor Becoming A Big Threat To OTAs? [View article]
    Great article, I am curious how do they determine that 10% of Tripadvisor traffic clicks through to OTA to do their booking.

    From my personnal usage experience, I always click on the OTA websites, not always booking but always to check out the website and the prices on the website.

    Can you point where this is found please ? I am long TRIP but investing via LTRPA.
    Dec 17, 2014. 04:53 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: Starz Acquisition [View article]
    Management has always made it clear they believe STARZ would make more sense in a bigger media company. I was expecting an acquisition announcement in 2015 but end of 2014 makes it a nice surprise.

    STARZ will be more valuable in a year from now. They are starting to have respectable series with Outlander and Black Sails. Power also has some potential. They still have not done any significant digital deals with their content. They have not monetized the SVOD rights they have on the SONY content. Albright and Co still have some levers to pull. A 45-50$ buyout price in December would be a nice welcomed surprise.
    Nov 24, 2014. 10:18 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ashford Inc.: Should You Join Insiders In Their Aggressive Share Capture Of The Spin-Off? [View article]
    Very impressive research, very thoroughly done! Great work! My group and I just finished speaking to the CFO Derek Eubanks he confirmed the following:

    1) 3.1 M fully diluted shares would be worst case scenario and highly unlikely.
    A) Monty Bennett Deferred Compensation package equates to 18.4 M worth of AINC stock, so an extra 184K shares at say 100$ current dollar price, this is not issued yet, and not timeframe was given.

    B) He could not disclose info on the 420K incentive plan and how they plan on distributing it and when but we assume a full 420K

    So our model factors about 2.6 M shares fully diluted and could change if AINC price goes higher.

    2) Cash is about 30-40 M using working capital and cash at hand.

    3) AIM will raise private capital and run as a hedge fund. They have been managing internal money the past years and they will raise external private money. They could potentially do a 2/20 standard model but not sure yet.

    4) They could have an appetite for sponsoring non-traded REITS and have looked at this over the past year.

    5) AHP and AHT have already looked in EUROPE for deals and AINC would also have an appetite for European asset management

    Overall positive call and seems like a very flexible, dynamic and promising platform. My group and I's view is they currently have about 6 B AUM (AHT, AHP, preferred and Debt) and are valued at about 250 M MKT CAP. A company like NSAM manages about 20 B in assets and are valued at 4 B in MKT CAP. NSAM seems like they have more growth possibilities right now, they have less hair on it and they have nice presentations that guide investors and use CAD in their presentations and press releases. If AINC directs the investor community properly and make AINC more investor friendly, can they be a 500 M MKT Cap company? Perhaps a 1 B? Let us see how this story unfolds.

    Nov 19, 2014. 05:36 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Knowles: Warning Creates Renewed Disappointment Among Investors [View article]
    Good update on the company. I looked at Knowles before they spun off from Dover but stayed clear mainly because they were closing some plants and going through a restructure. I found the company tried selling itself too hard during the company presentations once they got spun off.
    I will also stay on the sidelines and see what the report in the earnings call.

    Oct 11, 2014. 04:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Constellation Software Rights: A Low Risk - High Reward Special Situation [View article]
    Hi EP,

    The actual debentures will begin trading on the TSX and on the OTC beginning November 1.

    Sep 15, 2014. 10:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Paragon Offshore: A Spin-Off With Minimum 40% Upside Potential [View article]
    Very nice article!

    I also think PGN is undervalued right now, given they have 42 rigs and they produce so much EBITDA.

    For the peers, don't you think HERCULES Offshore and DIAMOND offshore are better comparables? Rowan has higher specification jackups according to their website:
    Rowan Companies plc is a global provider of international and domestic contract drilling services in the ultra-deepwater and shallow water jack-up market with a fleet of 34 offshore drilling units, including four ultra-deepwater drillships, two of which are currently under construction, and 30 jack-up rigs, 19 of which are rated high-specification. The Company's fleet is located worldwide, including West Africa, the Middle East, the North Sea, Trinidad, Egypt, Southeast Asia and the Gulf of Mexico.

    Higher specification jack ups tend to command higher day rates. PARAGON only has standard specification jack ups, hence will command lower day rates (~100,000 USD/Day). Companies with newer more modern fleets tend to trade at higher valuations.
    Aug 21, 2014. 02:58 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Noble Corp.: Complete Fleet Analysis After Paragon Offshore Spin-Off And Commentary [View article]
    Maybe this helps:
    NE (parent) = NE-W (stub) + PGN-W (stub)
    8.28 B mkt cap = 7.245 B mkt cap + 1.056 B mkt cap

    May have a small arbitrage opportunity as the stubs are trading slightly higher standalone than within Noble Corp.

    What is your opinion on the management? CEO Stilley has tons of experience in offshore drilling but he did lead Seahawk Drilling into Bankruptcy few years back. Any thoughts?
    Jul 21, 2014. 06:37 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Demand Media: Titanic Will Hit The Iceberg [View article]
    I enjoyed your articles on Demand!

    I was surprised to see the declining EBITDA margins of the registrar business as well so decided to contact IR. They have always been in the low 30s and they have been in the low to mid 20s as of late.

    Management responded by saying they have recently signed some big "wholesale deals" ( which is now 23% of their wholesale business and which has 800K domains with them). The wholesale business has much lower margins so this contributes to their overall EBITDA decline. They are not able to upsell them WHO IS protect and email services. They also have to split the domain revenue - registry expenses with their affiliate partner.

    So definitely the Rightside business is less good than it was a few year back since they have less higher margin Retail business. The high margin PPC aftermarket business is pretty much dead so this hurts their business as well as you mentioned.

    I use Enom registry services and I have been getting bombarded with .ninja and .social emails for 2 months now. If this higher margin Registry business does well for them, this could be big for the stock. I do not know how successful these new gTLDs will be. It seems that they are important for ICANN as they have been very organized in putting them out and releasing them.

    I think this should be included in any Rightside analysis.

    Jul 14, 2014. 11:02 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Replenishing The Pantry [View article]
    I also see the upside in Pantry but it is hard for me to invest in this "turnaround". It seems like it will last way too long.

    The main difference between Pantry and the rest of the Cstores is this:
    Cstores are able to get great inside store sales margin because they compete on convenience. They are able to get away charging 10-20-30 even 40% more for certain in-store items because of the convenience it offers the clients. Most people do not mind paying 40cents more on a 3$ item if it is a corner store. It saves them time driving and time in store.

    Pantry does not compete on convenience. Many of their stores/fuel pumps on are Highways/I95s and in tourist areas (Orlando, Gulf, etc). I find the business they operate in depends more on economic factors than convenience.

    If they can create a portfolio with decent Cstore locations, have a good Kangaroo/Kangaroo Express brand, increase their Merch %, work on better fuel %, have a CEO that will actually stay on board for 3-5 years see the plan work out, work on a good prepared food offering which is extremely difficult and competitive - then perhaps they can compete against the top competitors eventually (Circle K, CST, 7eleven, Caseys)

    Jul 10, 2014. 04:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Washington Prime: Prime Dividend, Prime Balance Sheet And Prime Upside Potential [View article]
    Great Read!

    What originally drew me to this story is CEO Mark Ogden. He has a tremendous track record for improving the performance ratios of companies and has had tremendous exits throughout his career!

    Align him with Simon and Sokolov and it makes for a very interesting story!
    Jul 1, 2014. 10:40 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Let Me Sway You Over [View article]
    I think RESI wants to delay REO rentals as long as possible. CEO Ashish mentions it takes about 2 years from the NPL purchase for them to start getting REO rental from the properties they will start renting out. So we still have a few quarters before we get a true number/performance for their rental portfolio performance. 14 rented homes is incredibly low though.

    They want to do as much REFI and Short sell as possible via Hubzu in the meantime and issue dividends (which also helps AAMC). Ultimately they will be faced to rent these homes out though and yes, they will be compared with SBY and SWAY and we will see if this model works.
    Jun 18, 2014. 03:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Let Me Sway You Over [View article]
    I played RESI last year and always told myself I would get out when they start renting the houses. Single Family Home rentals is not a proven business and many people are skeptical it can not work at large scale (Sam Zell , Warren Buffet).

    Silver Bay has a SFH home portfolio and they do trade below book. Mainly because it is an unproven business. They buy their SFH portfolio via auctions hence they usually end up paying more for the home VS Resi who buys NPLs at 35% discount I believe to value.

    To say that SWAY is a more a experienced business is true if you compare it to SFH rentals. But believe me, when it comes to curing NPLs, doing refinances, keeping home owners in homes, evicting and short selling the homes, and possibly renting the homes - Bill Erbey is the king. He has been doing this all of his life and has perfected all the processes. He has been preparing for this moment all of this life.

    I will keep on watching SWAY and Sternlicht , they just announced they are raising more debt this week. Very interesting spinoff.
    Jun 18, 2014. 01:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • TripAdvisor Has Much Higher To Go [View article]
    I love companies that are ran by its founder! Steve Kaufer runs the company and they have great capital allocators controlling the company with Maffei and Malone.
    Feb 3, 2014. 06:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment