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  • AIG Was Broke [View article]
    if there was no bailout, AIG would have filed Chapter 11 (or 7). Shareholders would have received zero. If you waited for a shareholder vote, there wouldn't have been time for a bailout and shareholders would have also received zero. Equity holders don't have much of a choice in these circumstances.

    also, in reply to gymbo - they couldn't run AIG through bankruptcy, because then they wouldn't have been able to do a stealth bailout of goldman's CDS positions which showed huge paper profits with AIG as counterparty.
    Sep 30, 2014. 04:47 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EMC Corporation Annual Stock Valuation [View article]
    EMC has $7 Bn in LT Investments. While classified as "long-term" for accounting purposes so they don't have to flow mark-to-market through their income statement, it is in very liquid securities and could be almost instantly liquidated. Including this in current assets would push the current asset ratio >2 and make EMC pass your enterprising investor test.

    Sometimes it helps to read & understand the financial statements instead of doing things completely robotically & quantitatively.
    Sep 19, 2014. 08:08 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Amira Nature Foods: Only In America (Under The JOBS Act) [View article]
    i haven't really been paying much attention to the markets for the last 15 months. how did this short call work out for you?
    Sep 10, 2014. 01:18 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ignore The Haters On Zoe's Kitchen [View article]
    i'm not a hater or a lover. i'm an analyst and a realist.

    chipotle & Panera basically had to invent the fast casual concept as they ramped up. they solved the business model. zoe's today is already benefiting from all those innovations & best practices discovered over the past 10 years.

    zoes management said their _mature_ stores are comping low single digits, so do the math and tell me how many years until they get anywhere close to the $AUV of chipotle or Panera?
    Sep 7, 2014. 08:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Time To Revisit eBay And The 'Story' [View article]
    actually, it's a bit more complicated. ebay took the tax accounting hit but they don't take the cash tax hit until they actually spend the money. in theory they could reverse their decision, spend the money overseas, not pay taxes and reverse the accounting charge.
    Sep 6, 2014. 04:53 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: eBay - Apple Knocking On PayPal's Door [View article]
    paypal has almost 0 in mobile - so how exactly does this compete with them?

    if paypal is one of apples options, seems like a positive for them, not a negative.
    Sep 6, 2014. 04:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Zoe's Kitchen - Caution Ahead As The Company Still Has A Lot To Prove [View article]
    CMG's unit-level numbers are way better than ZOES on every measure both in absolute levels and YoY improvement (such as SSS & restaurant EBITDA margin improvement) over already far superior absolute levels (like $AUV and restaurant contribution margin).
    Aug 30, 2014. 09:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: eBay - The PayPal Spin-Off Is Resurfacing [View article]
    you should look into previous attempts of the above-listed companies to compete with PayPal (like Google Wallet). There's been literally 1-2 such attempts every year for the past 10 years and yet PayPal market share continues to march higher and still not close to full penetration. If it was that easy why were previous such attempts to compete w/ PayPal unsuccessful and what's different this time? Oh, and the underlying market is secularly growing at 15% per year - that's not a small tailwind.

    good point on the revenue dis-synergies of PayPal+EBay - I hadn't thought of that.

    btw, Venmo/Braintree/PayPal one-touch mobile payments looks pretty interesting & unique.
    Aug 22, 2014. 08:45 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: MGT Technology's Q2 Earnings - Owning Up To The Worst Call Of My Career [View article]
    First of all, I appreciate anybody who's honest & humble enough to own up to their mistakes. That is very rare on this site, even though nobody has a secret sauce. Even the best investors make tons of mistakes over their careers.

    I always treated MGT as a call option. I put a very tiny amount of capital into it and if it worked - great multi-bagger. If not, rip it up like a lottery ticket. Down about 75% on what was already a tiny amount of capital I'm not really in a rush to sell. I will probably give it until the end of the year before I sell (tax loss harvesting). Still have a free option until then in case something good miraculously happens.
    Aug 20, 2014. 08:44 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: Amazon Further Commoditizes Payments Industry; Negative For eBay [View article]
    do vendors want to market Amazon, their biggest competitor, at the point of sale? there's a reason Amazon's fees might be lower - free advertising to potential customers (who are currently buying away from Amazon).
    Aug 13, 2014. 03:28 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • eBay: A Short Idea On PayPal's Upcoming Woes [View article]
    I'm sure every single trader had at least one good call sometime in the last 6 months too. that doesn't mean squat about the future of EBAY.

    in all seriousness, nice call on DDD. but it was priced for perfection. valuation was in the stratosphere.

    not so with EBAY. it's priced at the market multiple with far above market growth. and you have the activism & aggressive share repurchase. lots of smart HFs have been buying. good luck.
    Aug 1, 2014. 12:36 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • eBay: A Short Idea On PayPal's Upcoming Woes [View article]
    all of the above potential competitors have attempt to compete 1-2 times per year and all have failed over the last decade. why is this time different?

    It's not that easy to setup relationships with 10s of thousands of vendors to get them to put a PayPal button on the checkout page. It took PayPal a decade and they are not done penetrating yet.

    Also, there is zero percent chance an ecommerce company puts an AmazonPay button on the checkout page (reminding the consumer who the vendor's biggest competitor is).

    ecommerce is growing 15%+ per year and PayPal has been growing faster... none of the data says that has shown any signs of slowing - saying otherwise is pure speculation.
    Aug 1, 2014. 12:32 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Zoe's Kitchen Keeps Serving Up Humble Pie To Those Who Doubt [View article]
    the private equity owners were willing to dilute their ownership by half at $15 back in April. we'll see if they believe in ZOES at this valuation (more than double) after they come off lockup in October.
    Jun 24, 2014. 04:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EMC: Solid Value In A Fairly Valued Market [View article]
    It's actually $10 Bn net cash (~20% of market cap) if you include the publcly traded liquid investment securities classified as long-term assets.
    May 29, 2014. 02:37 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • NTELOS - Don't Fall For The Yield, Sprint Contract A Risk With 50% Downside Potential In Share Price And Dividend Cut Likely [View article]
    "best possible outcome" and the stock is only a few % higher than when this article came out.

    It could have been much worse for the stock price if the rate cut was slightly bigger...

    btw, skibimamex said 6 months ago that NTLS would be at $30 if Sprint extends the SNA, so that didn't turn out to the most awesome prediction either.
    May 23, 2014. 09:08 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment