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  • 4 Reasons Weatherford Could Be A Great Short Play [View article]
    Excellent work. More pain to come in oil patch
    Jul 22, 2015. 03:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kinder Morgan's Fair Value: $29 Per Share [View article]
    One of the few sensible comments in this incredibly long string of hyperbole and bashing.

    I don't have a position in KMI either long or short, but aside from the obvious issues with the valuation and credit metrics that ErnieMac raises, the name would be more interesting to do serious due dili on if everyone hated it. Instead, we have a herd of hero worshipers and faith investors. Some have done significant homework on the company, but many have not. I think there are a lot of easier names in which to invest today.
    Jul 5, 2015. 10:28 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Vasco An Old Tech Short In The Cybersecurity Bubble [View article]
    You all need to get real. Everyone talks their book. It is inconsistent and naive to say that writers who are long a stock are lauded for "conviction" but a writer who is short "lacks credibility."

    Either side can be right, or wrong. The appropriate evaluation is whether the writer did his/her best to present factual research, supplemented by reasonable personal opinion.

    Since you did not bother to read the article, you obviously have no idea whether this author did his homework or not. So if the stock goes down, you missed an opportunity to see the other side of the story. If it goes up, then this author was wrong and will suffer accordingly. That is what investing is all about.

    I personally think this was a well-researched article and BTW, I have no long or short position in VDSI, in fact I never heard of the company until reading this article.
    Jul 2, 2015. 09:52 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Consumer Confidence? Depends On Your Income [View article]
    Consumer confidence is a contrarian indicator re: when to buy/sell the equity market.
    So the higher it goes, the more cautious one should be about being aggressive
    in owning stocks. Note that the most attractive entry levels were when confidence was dismal, e. g. 1974, 1990-91, 2009 and so on. The current level is
    not an extreme yet, so the market could muddle on for an indefinite time longer, but for now, regard it as a yellow flag.
    Apr 3, 2015. 09:09 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Comparing America's Next 3 Auto Parts Companies [View article]
    The valuation metrics for ALSN are skewed to the high side b/c GAAP
    accounting appropriately deducts amortization. However, the better way
    to evaluate ALSN is using cash earnings. On this basis the stock is very
    cheap, b/c high D&A from the recap and minimal cash taxes and low maintenance CAPX as well as high operating margins produce very attractive free cash flow.
    Mar 25, 2015. 08:03 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Herbalife Misleads Distributors Around The World About Its Compensation Plan... And By How Much [View article]
    This is one of the best summaries of the HLF scheme I have seen yet. Hard to figure why the Obama admin is not more interested in attacking this "unfair income distribution structure"........ but wait, maybe the 1% at the top of the HLF pyramid are also big campaign donors to the hypocritical liberal crowd (?)
    Mar 5, 2015. 04:01 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Forced Selling Of AmTrust Likely [View article]
    If SA gives awards for irrelevant nonsense and lack of responsiveness to what is a very serious article, then this string of comments ought to be in contention
    Jan 14, 2015. 09:36 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Oil Fiasco Could Benefit Top Restructuring Advisors [View article]
    This comment makes absolutely no sense. Legg Mason is an asset manager, not a M&A advisor.

    Lazard has been around since 1848. I think that takes them out of the "clown" category. The stock is very reasonably valued at 14.5X forward with a 2.4% dividend yield, and is worth a look.

    I don't know Moelis, but Blackstone is a very prominent manager, has been in business since 1985, ticker BX is an enterprise w/ a $20 bil. market cap, I think that also removes them from the "clown" bracket.

    Mr. Goh has written a solid article with great data. Since the typical oil price retreat is 18 - 24 months in duration, there will indeed be significant distressed asset events.

    Disclosure: Long LAZ common stock
    Jan 3, 2015. 09:54 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gilead Sciences - Investigating Earnings Predictability [View article]
    A lot of these comments are baloney. Some are good. The article is good. But raises the question(s) of what does decades of historical research tell us about forward estimates? Here are some findings from over the years:

    1- The error rate in aggregate bottoms - up sell side forward estimates is usually quite high. It is also remarkably high for the subset of 1/ Major turning points in the economy, positive or negative and 2/ Companies enjoying a major step-function change in earning power, e.g. such as when Smithkline came out w/ Tagamet (back in the Dark Ages)

    2- "Anchoring" is a proven effect in estimates on individual companies

    3- "Herding" is another proven effect - however, on GILD we don't have herding, we have dispersion. As some comments suggested, the way to deal with this is to just focus on the really good analysts.

    4- Bullish analysts (e. g. buy ratings) don't like to print what they really believe. They much prefer to play the "beat & raise" game.

    5- Analysts are inherently conservative and don't like to print big numbers even if the model - in this case, market size, market penetration, and possible pricing scenario - leads to high end or outside high end estimate.

    6- For companies that give "guidance", analysts typically stay very close to that guidance. Very few have the courage to move far away from guidance unless they have a specific agenda they are trying to adhere to.

    7- Analysts are typically not compensated on accuracy of out-year earnings estimates. Their employer does not consider it important, so why should they bother to do their best?
    Nov 30, 2014. 09:40 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • MYOS Corp.: A Little-Known Nutrients Company In Dire Need Of Its Own Life Support, 50%+ Downside [View article]
    An outstanding piece of research, one of the best I have read in a while. Wish the mkt cap was 280 instead of 28, but if it were, the company would be selling more product (!)
    Nov 25, 2014. 07:32 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Nordstrom Makes A Good Luxury Play [View article]
    Not sure which version of Yahoo Finance you are looking at, but mine shows
    modest 1% to 2% sales growth at DDS, M next year, not the 7% declines
    you published.
    Nov 8, 2014. 08:56 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Be Careful Betting On More Upside For Dillard's [View article]
    Agree totally w/ your fundamental opinion. That said, to offer a small counter point: Mgt. has $400 mm per year of free cash flow to invest or squander as they choose........their decision has been to plow a lot of it back into share buybacks. They do not seem to very price sensitive on this either, even though they bought zero shares in latest quarter. The effect has been to 1/ Create an illusion of earnings per share growth and 2/ To create a stock which has "price momentum". Unfortunately, many stock market players do not get beyond these two "criteria" (!) when looking at a stock, and this has helped to hold it up.

    DDS is a no-growth retailer losing market share in a sector with excess capacity and not much pricing power. So you are correct, 16X is not the right multiple to pay for this business. But it may stay afloat until a better catalyst comes along, namely that day somewhere in the future when interest rates actually start rising. At some level, consumers will feel the pressure of higher rates and eventually we might even get a flat yield curve, the precursor to an inverted curve. Then DDS will be toast, but for now, "Yellen Fuel" floats a lot of rusty boats.
    Sep 19, 2014. 04:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Norwegian Cruise Line - After The Enthusiasm Following The Prestige Deal, Is There Appeal? [View article]
    Thx for this article, very well balanced and factual.
    Sep 4, 2014. 10:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Lumber Liquidators: A Potential Winner [View article]
    Re: installation, actually LL has added a "consultation" service to assist in oversight of the logistics of installation. They booked $2.5MM in rev 1st 9 mo. of 2013. Not sure how this is marketed to the customer, whether it is bundled or a sep line item.....but that is a lot of rev in the first year. I have not done a LL store check, so just speaking from what I read.

    I am skeptical about this could easily lead to over charging the customer and add to LL's rep for being horrible on customer satisfaction.

    Company name is not the only thing that is negative..........go to the website and check out the color scheme and formatting......reminds me of a store front in a part of town that is mostly populated by pawn shops, tattoo parlors and liquor stores.

    Lastly, don't forget the Chairman's leasing deals for some of the co. real estate. That too is old fashioned and I thought went out 20 yrs ago when public companies realized that the appearance of good corp governance might actually be important.......

    All that said, this stock has a lot of surface attributes that long-only growth managers using
    OPM (other people's money) look for, such as store expansion all internally funded, strong SS comps, rising margins, etc. etc. That means, the stock will work until they miss a quarter or until we have an actual recession which impacts consumer spending.

    It is on my list of names to short at some point when a crack is more visible, but for now I am staying away.
    Feb 14, 2014. 03:09 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tempur Sealy: The Ultimate High Risk, High Reward Investment [View article]
    SCSS and CONN are not comparable. The target demographic is much different. SCSS is aiming at solid middle class, age 34 to say 55, with a differentiated product.

    CONN is doing well b/c it is selling to lower income strata and ~80% of transactions are done using CONN internal credit which is under written to subprime FICO scores.

    There are two conceptual ways to think about this. First, the ACA is arguably pounding on middle class consumers via massive hikes in insurance premiums, while median real disposable incomes are stagnant. Now the ACA is also impacting lower income people, but compared to higher incomes. the lower demographic gets more direct subsidy from the "entitlement state" ( e. g. earned income tax credit, food stamps, etc. etc.) So for now at least, the CONN's customer is relatively better off. And Obama's goal is to continue this trend, by squeezing the middle class via fees, taxes, and so forth (yes I know, he references the "rich 2%" in speeches, but his policies are just as deadly to the much larger middle class). His goal is to flatten the income and wealth distribution curve, and guess who is in the fat part of that curve?

    2nd'ly, credit availability is currently in its wide-open, reach-for-risk expansion phase, and this condition will continue and perhaps even become more ebullient in 2014. As long as this is the case, CONN can cruise along. When the credit cycle starts to tighten, I would not care to own CONN, as I think it is an inherently poor business model, but for now it is being shielded by the factors mentioned above.

    TPX, I dunno, I don't have insight. SCSS, a very good financial model in terms of return on investment......if they can get the marketing plan straightened out, the stock is a compelling value in here. But for the moment, they are struggling.
    Jan 16, 2014. 12:15 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment