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  • Overstock.com: 10x Upside Potential [View article]
    1. While the size of his stake is indeed a deterrent to many, it doesn't preclude an investor from building a sizable position of his own. It is very, very hard for a board to ignore an investor who is trying to work with the board/management to improve the company when he/she owns 15% or even 5% (or less) of the stock.

    2. Our motto is "Caveat Emptor," so the idea is always to make sure the risks are well known and understood. Our initial and second, and third (and so on) thought was the same as yours, but the more work we did, the more we ran the #'s, we were pretty surprised to see that even with Byrne doing whatever it is that he does - besides try to run an internet retailer - the company can still succeed despite him, just by growing with the industry. This is not to say he can't muck it up more - he can - but if he takes it to that level that only makes an activist's case to remove him as CEO far stronger (and were it to come to that, a captive board will, when their butts' are on the line, eventually put self-interest ahead of loyalty).

    3. We do not manage money; we are an investment research and consulting shop. That was the idea from the start; we aren't here to talk our book and/or pump and dump. We present our analysis, you decide what to do with it. As the beginning of the presentation shows, more often than not, we've been correct, in a lasting fashion, long and short, across industries and market caps. That being said, if you'd like to seed me with $50+ million so I can start a hedge fund, I will gladly take you up on your offer.

    You are correct, of course. Byrne is a brat, the Veruca Salt of executives. He wants it both ways; to be CEO and director of a public company, but run solely according to him. For too long he has been allowed to abuse public shareholders, none of whom has stepped up and held him to account. His decisions are, and have been for quite some time, a rampant violation of his fiduciary duties to all shareholders, and the heretofore absentee board has been and continues to enable him. They're like parents who give their kid candy to shut them up, then wonder why they're bouncing off the walls.

    The weird - and I really want to stress that - thing is, when we did the analysis, Byrne would really have to mess things up worse than he has so far for the company not to still succeed despite him. Frankly, I think if he really went off the reservation like that, though, the board could be fairly easily convinced their reputation and cushy directorships are worth more than their misplaced loyalty to him is.
    Nov 21, 2014. 01:15 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Overstock.com: 10x Upside Potential [View article]
    Never say never my friend.
    Nov 21, 2014. 01:02 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Overstock.com: 10x Upside Potential [View article]
    I'd generally agree with Mike here. Was talking with my mom/sister recently about it and neither has been inside a WalMart seriously for about a decade, despite there being two withing half hour's drive. Mom spoke quite highly of the OSTK shopping experience and was shocked when I told her about the issues we see with how the company is run; the customer base is, for the most part, about as loyal/happy with the experience as you'll find in the business so far as I can tell.
    Nov 21, 2014. 01:01 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Overstock.com: 10x Upside Potential [View article]
    This is a good, balanced, well-constructed comment.
    Nov 21, 2014. 12:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Unilife: When A 'Growth' Pure-Play Isn't A Smart Play [View article]
    Congrats!
    Nov 21, 2014. 12:57 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Overstock.com: 10x Upside Potential [View article]
    It really hinges on two things:

    1. Despite Byrne's nonsense, so long as he doesn't throw all the $ at bitcoin (big ?), if the company rides the industry wave, it should succeed, despite Byrne.

    2. There is an opportunity for an activist. The board doesn't do a damn thing, and my guess is they'd sooner let an activist put a new director or three on the board than have to defend against a hostile shareholder/put their board seats in jeopardy.
    Nov 20, 2014. 12:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bulls Vs. Bears: A Review Of Sentiment And Value Of Staples [View article]
    Good post. I'm not so sure looking at historical or even current #'s means much given the restructuring, even if we can get a decent sense of what the company will (should?) look like when all is said and done (whenever that is). I will say I'm a bit shocked their GM only dropped 30bps (27.1->26.8) q3 over same last year. I don't see the really high margin stuff selling very well now, and not getting better any time soon, if ever.
    I wish they broke out North America online & stores separately as that'd really help figure out the online question.
    Also of note and not discussed to the extent I'd expect is the international operations, which seem like a good idea conceptually, except for the fact that the North America segments have 4.4% and 6.8% margins so far this year (7.7% and 7.4% this past Q), international is losing 1.4% for the year and basically break-even this quarter. Just looking quick makes one wonder if they can't spruce up the biz, get it on the upswing, and sell it off to focus on NA (probably doesn't make sense to sell it low).

    Thoughts?
    Nov 20, 2014. 12:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Unilife Releases OrbiMed Loan Covenants: Is Default Imminent? [View article]
    You can hurl accusations but you cannot ignore the facts; the covenants were amended because UNIS was on the brink of breaching them. There is NO other reason to amend them. None.
    Oct 10, 2014. 10:44 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Unilife Releases OrbiMed Loan Covenants: Is Default Imminent? [View article]
    It isn't fear mongering, especially when the projections about not meeting covenants were accurate, as evidenced by OribMed dropping the revenue covenant to $20mm from $40mm for CY2014 and advancing the next draw earlier than planned.
    Oct 9, 2014. 01:48 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Unilife Releases OrbiMed Loan Covenants: Is Default Imminent? [View article]
    We do not own or trade shares. We have never done so. Read the disclosures.
    Oct 9, 2014. 01:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Unilife Releases OrbiMed Loan Covenants: Is Default Imminent? [View article]
    Re-read the disclosure. No position ever.
    Oct 9, 2014. 01:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Unilife Releases OrbiMed Loan Covenants: Is Default Imminent? [View article]
    You'll see the final decision from the SEC regarding UNIS Confidential Treatment Request came out yesterday. I had requested all of the Credit, Royalty, etc documents to be filed without anything redacted (as you can see in the SEC letters). It seems to me that the SEC said "Hey, investors need to see the loan covenants, that isn't commercially sensitive information!" to which UNIS really couldn't fight, and thus, while UNIS got to keep the remainder of the document(s) redacted or absent, the SEC made them file the financial covenants, I suspect, since we brought it up.
    Oct 2, 2014. 02:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Unilife Releases OrbiMed Loan Covenants: Is Default Imminent? [View article]
    Where are you getting $15-17.5mm in unpaid milestone payments due in CY 2014 from btw?
    Oct 2, 2014. 11:32 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Unilife Releases OrbiMed Loan Covenants: Is Default Imminent? [View article]
    I think that trade may work out pretty well. Pretty silly that RVP has been bringing in $ for a long time while UNIS has diluted shareholders and made unfulfilled promises, no?

    While the UNIS products (particularly syringes) are nice, I think they're over-engineered for what the market needs/wants. Talk to doctors/nurses/hospital employees; needlestick injuries (etc) are not a big concern despite all the noise it causes. When a company is selling millions (tens, hundreds) of a prefilled dose/year, the marginal cost of a UNIS syringe v. a more basic syringe doesn't seem worth it, but crazier things have happened I guess.
    Oct 2, 2014. 11:07 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Unilife Releases OrbiMed Loan Covenants: Is Default Imminent? [View article]
    They are, as you say, "close" to cash from customers, but I'm not 100% certain they have/will definitively hit those milestones, let alone bring in enough additional to get to $40mm. We'll see what happens. If they pull it off I'll be surprised but don't mind being wrong; I have nothing against this co besides it's been heretofore managed in a questionable manner and shareholders have been treated like crap.
    Oct 2, 2014. 11:02 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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207 Comments
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