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  • LQD: This Huge Bond Fund Looks Very Solid  [View article]
    According to iShares, the current equity correlation is -.04, very marginally so meaninglessly negative:

    But I don't know how you or they calculated.
    Dec 28, 2015. 02:29 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • L Brands To Experience More Success Despite Cash Flow Concerns  [View article]
    It's very unusual to operate a company with essentially zero equity. Is it to maximize share buybacks? How long has LB been operating this way?
    Aug 17, 2015. 11:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sex Sells: How Les Wexner Returned 20% Over 50 Years With This Lingerie Giant  [View article]
    One thing I don't understand: LB operates with around zero equity, very unusually. Is it to buy back as much stock as possible? How long have they had this policy?
    Aug 17, 2015. 11:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Here's Why Polaris Belongs In Your Portfolio  [View article]
    Thanks for this piece, William. If I did my numbers right, inventory turns fell to 4.75X in 2Q15 from 6X in 2Q14, a big drop. In combination with your analysis, I come to the opposite conclusion as you.
    Aug 12, 2015. 11:28 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: Michael Kors Shares Tank On Earnings Announcement As Expected  [View article]
    The key to success or failure is what happens in the core business--SSS. New store openings only at best offset terrible SSS in the short term. Also it's clear that KORS opened way too many stores too fast.

    KORS peaked at $78 in mid December and is now $42, a collapse of 46% in a little over 6 months. You owe your readers a full update and reevaluation.
    Jul 7, 2015. 03:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: Michael Kors Shares Tank On Earnings Announcement As Expected  [View article]
    FourBagger: I've been eagerly awaiting your update in light of the March Q's earnings announcement. When may we expect it?
    Jul 6, 2015. 11:19 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Here's Why I'm Buying Harley-Davidson And Selling Polaris Industries  [View article]

    "I'm not sure if you don't understand how the links work on Seeking Alpha or if you are using that as an excuse to engage in a battle of words. Every link you requested is in the original article. " No you only provided one direct link, to I searched on the other websites you cited, but can't find the text you quote. Saying that my careful questions and points constitute a "battle of words" is totally bogus. The reality is that you refused to answer any of the issues I raised.

    Since you can't and/or won't provide the links that would substantiate your negative quotes, I think you fabricated these (with the exception of I humbly submit that you did a hatchet job on PII, based on very selective info and stuff you made up. Nice try, but no cigar.
    Jun 30, 2015. 04:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Here's Why I'm Buying Harley-Davidson And Selling Polaris Industries  [View article]
    Rochelle: Thanks very much for this piece. You obviously did a lot of research.

    Before I continue let me disclose that I have never used any of the products these companies make.

    Motorcycles are lifestyle products. My guess is that people buy them in large measure because they think they're cool, and because of the image they project when they ride them. To me HOG riders are hard core bikers and well to do men over 55 who are facing midlife crises.

    You quoted a H-D press release: “In 2014, Harley-Davidson was the number-one seller of new on-road motorcycles to U.S. young adults ages 18-34, women, African-Americans, Hispanics and Caucasian men ages 35-plus for the seventh straight year. In the 601cc-plus U.S. on-road market, Harley-Davidson sold more than three times as many new motorcycles to young adults ages 18-34, more than seven times as many to women, more than five times as many to Hispanics, more than five times as many to African Americans and more than nine times as many to Caucasian men ages 35-plus as the nearest competitor. Data are based on Harley-Davidson's analysis of Polk U.S. new motorcycle registration data from IHS Automotive for CY2008-2014." NB: so HD's press release is based on their own analysis—their statements are not directly from an independent third party analytic firm. I would love to see HD disclose the market shares they arrived at and their methodology, because their claims strain credulity. First, it's hard for me to imagine that millenials think that Harleys are cool. In contrast, Indian bikes are cool. Second, there are many bike makers, mostly Japanese, that sell bikes at low price points.

    Also, I think the general perception is that HOGs are expensive. A very interesting article “Harley-Davidson’s Hurdle: Attracting Young Motorcycle Riders,” ran in the Wall St Journal June 19th.

    (Paywall.) Highlights:

    HOG's “annual unit sales peaked in 2006 and its new CEO is counting on a countercultural revival to help sales.”

    “Harley’s Street models, priced as low as $6,800, are supposed to dispel the idea that only grizzled boomers can afford a Harley—many of which sell for more than $30,000. “

    “Harley still had a commanding 51% share of the U.S. market for heavyweight motorcycles in the first quarter, but that was down from 56% a year ago and a peak of 58% in the final quarter of 2013.”

    You wrote: “In contrast, Polaris is primarily competing for the wallets of males aged 42 and over on the majority of its product lines.” Where did you get this?

    You wrote: PII's “return on equity is an impressive 65%, up from 51% in 2010.” 65% is not just impressive, but staggering! In marked contrast, HOG's ROE is 28.5%, despite the fact that PII is much less levered. PII's debt to equity is 23% while HOG's is 129%! When you add in short term debt, HD's total debt/equity ratio is an astronomical 189%(!), while total debt/equity for PII remains 23%.

    You wrote: “According to the website,, Polaris ranked fourth among site users behind Arctic Cat, Honda and Kawasaki.” But no criteria are given for how these rankings were determined, so I don't think this is useful information.

    You wrote: “At the website, the 2015 models from various manufacturers are ranked by site users. The Polaris Sportsman ranked fifth behind models from Arctic Cat, Yamaha, Honda and BRP Can-Am.” I can't find this. Could you provide the link?

    You wrote: “At the website, six models from Arctic Cat and three BRP Can-Am models received a rating of 97. The highest rating a Polaris model received was a 96.” This is very misleading. There is no significant difference between 97 and 96. What I'd like to know is how many of each manufacturer's models are over 90? Please provide the link for this as well.

    I really think you have to dig deeper than overall numerical scores and read the reviews. Another source is and ATV Rider Magazine on Facebook. From the former:

    “Until this machine [Polaris Scrambler 850] was released, Can-Am had the sport-performance utility ATV market cornered since 2008 when it first introduced us to its Renegade 800 X xc. No other company had produced a utility ATV that was ready for racing competition straight off of the showroom floor.

    At the end of the day, I posed this question to all of the riders, “If you were to spend your hard-earned money on one of these two machines, which would it be?” It was a unanimous decision for the Polaris Scrambler 850 H.O. XP LE. The suspension performance of this machine allowed everyone to aggressively ride with confidence rather than give the feeling of being strapped to a 700-pound bull. It would be nice if the Scrambler came with the fully adjustable shocks like the Renegade, but for the recreational user, the current Fox shocks are fine. Everyone also agreed that while it was the machine of choice, it was far from being perfect and could benefit from some revisions. They all felt that the brake system needed to be improved with a four-wheel disc brake system and individual brake levers on the bar. I revealed to our test team that the MSRP on the Scram- bler is $11,999, which is $1,550 less than the Can-Am Renegade 1000 X xc at $13,549; they all agreed it was a no-brainer to pick the Scrambler.”

    Another review, from “Hidden in the background behind headline-grabbing 120-horsepower Side-by-Sides and 1000cc ATVs are two machines that offer more bang for your buck than perhaps any other in our industry's history – the Polaris Sportsman 570 and Can-Am Outlander L 500. The Polaris Sportsman 570 evolved from the best-selling ATV of all time, the Sportsman 500. Polaris replaced the old 500’s engine with the Pro Star 570 in 2014, increasing its power by 22%. The new engine allowed the midsection to be slimmed by 3.25 inches, improving ergonomics. Remarkably, the base Sportsman 570 is offered at the same price as the  Sportsman 500 was back in 1996 - $6,499. BRP aggressively went after Polaris' price-point dominance with the 2015 Outlander L 450 and 500 family of ATVs. The L 500 received the proven and recently updated Rotax 500 V-Twin engine, housed in a slightly revised version of Can-Am’s Generation 2 chassis. With an extremely attractive price tag and an industry-leading five-year warranty, the Outlander L 500 was clearly a contender for the Sportsman 570’s crown as Value King.”

    In sum, the picture you paint of PII is a lot more negative than it really is.
    Jun 23, 2015. 06:39 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • TJX Companies Earns A Bullish Thesis  [View article]
    Is T.J. Maxx the best retail store in the land?
    Jun 5, 2015. 07:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • TJX Companies Earns A Bullish Thesis  [View article]
    Mad Maxx? How T.J. Maxx's unique tactics are conquering off-price retail
    Jun 5, 2015. 07:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • TJX Companies Earns A Bullish Thesis  [View article]
    Moody's: Growth of off-price retailers like T.J. Maxx, Marshall's, Ross Stores and Burlington's double that of broader US retail sector
    Jun 5, 2015. 07:09 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • TJX Companies Earns A Bullish Thesis  [View article]
    Jun 5, 2015. 02:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buck The Traders: United Rentals On Sale Now  [View article]
    Thanks, great piece!

    My problem with URI is lack of positive free cash flow, one of my most important Buy criteria. It was -$20 million last year, -$133 million in 2013 and -$648 million in 2012. Looking at EBITDA for a highly levered, capital-intensive business obscures what's really happening on a cash basis.
    Jun 3, 2015. 11:52 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Coach: Go Home Mr. Market, You're Drunk  [View article]
    Interesting price action post KORS' quarter's announcement.
    Jun 1, 2015. 10:47 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Coach: Go Home Mr. Market, You're Drunk  [View article]
    The devil is in the details.
    Jun 1, 2015. 10:47 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment