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Collectors Universe: A Scandal Waiting To Be Exposed

Jun. 06, 2019 1:00 PM ETCollectors Universe, Inc. (CLCT)108 Comments
Phillip Lyon profile picture
Phillip Lyon


  • Collectors Universe collects revenue from authenticating and grading cards, coins, and autographs.
  • It has recently been exposed on trading card forums that a lot of trimmed cards have been authenticated and graded by PSA (Collectors Universe's trading card division).
  • This is a major problem that could result in the company being liable for large losses and threaten the business model of CLCT's trading card division.

Collectors Universe (NASDAQ:CLCT) is a micro-cap stock that has been on quite a run this year. The company has reported year over year growth in revenue and earnings in the last two quarters and the stock price has almost doubled. However, the company may have a major problem that could result in the company being liable for large losses and threaten the business model of its trading card division. This segment happens to be the only part of CLCT's company that is growing. Before I discuss that issue, I will give an overview of CLCT's business.

Company Overview

Collectors Universe has two main segments: coins and trading cards/autographs. The company collects a fee to authenticate and provide grades for coins, trading cards, and autographs. The company gets revenue from other sources as well such as subscription fees for its coin and trading card collectors clubs, subscription fees for its certified coin exchange, trade show revenue, advertising revenue, and commission revenue. However, the company derives most of its money from authenticating and grading coins, trading cards, and autographs.

The coin grading division has been stagnant for several years. With the exception of 2017, coin revenue has been flat at around 42 million since 2014. Refer to the table below.

Revenue (millions)












Trading Cards and Autographs


















So far this year (9 months), the company has reported 30.5 million in revenue for coin grading, so the company will once again have a flat to down year in this segment (assuming they report another 10 million or so in Q4 2019).

The company's trading cards and autographs division has been marginally increasing

This article was written by

Phillip Lyon profile picture
Phillip Lyon is a Seeking Alpha contributor.

Analyst’s Disclosure: I am/we are short CLCT. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

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Comments (108)

Very True. I am the owner of one of these cards, and I bought it from their own company on top of it. How much worse could that be. I just sent in pictures for Authentication of about 20 cards on sale that were 2000 Tom Brady's like the article mentioned. About 80% came back as fake
HaroldRamis profile picture
75 now

great call, any more like this for us ?
HaroldRamis profile picture
notice , once again, a hit and run.

100% wrong, no update
HaroldRamis profile picture
almost 30 now

one of the worst calls all year on SA

and I called you out on it .
HaroldRamis profile picture
you lose
HaroldRamis profile picture
Big problem , they post their ideas, and when they fail , they just abandon the post and hope no one will notice
HaroldRamis profile picture
horrible call.

and I predicted it

another hit and run blogger
HaroldRamis profile picture
another article , so wrong, thats its scary

market carnage, and this guys master of the obvious bash, is making 52 week highs!!!!!
HaroldRamis profile picture
we may never hear from this guy again .
HaroldRamis profile picture
Thanks for the great long idea.

Any more ?
HaroldRamis profile picture
Will we get a comment from the blogger when this is 30 ?
HaroldRamis profile picture
They come, they bash, then they slink off, as you lose your money
HaroldRamis profile picture
so far , with bashers everywhere, shorts getting trimmed
HaroldRamis profile picture
straight UP 20% since the ill timed hit piece

yeah, theres a scandal. But if stock trading was easy, ya'll wouldn't be posting blogs, you'd be retired in Tahiti
HaroldRamis profile picture
almost 22 now and crickets from the blogger
HaroldRamis profile picture

folks that follow me know its a bad idea to fade my call.
Great video with further details about the scandal in the sports card hobby.
HaroldRamis profile picture

Nice one
HaroldRamis profile picture
Interesting, these con men get up to $5000 to grade a smelly old card ?

What a racket !
HaroldRamis profile picture
My insights are legendary.

Shorts off this article now nicely in the red
Phillip Lyon profile picture
You have an overinflated sense of your own self importance. It's laughable that the stock went up because you posted a link to the Wagner card being trimmed.
HaroldRamis profile picture
Never claimed that was the reason it went up. Paranoid ?

I called you out on posting ancient news as if you'd uncovered something timely.

Not only was the news old, but the call was ill timed.

If anything is laughable, its this post about a 10 year old problem
Colin Tedards profile picture
In the authors defense, there are several media outlets covering this issue.

NY Times (today): www.nytimes.com/...

Oregon: www.oregonlive.com/...

Forbes: www.forbes.com/...

However, the connection with the stock is a different story. And to a specific trade is even riskier. Until the submission numbers and/or warranty claims hit the tape, it’s all speculation. Bottom line are card guys are addicted and PSA is a drug. They might quit cold turkey but almost all will be addicts again soon.
HaroldRamis profile picture
looking into this, and its very old news. hardly the stuff of a short, unless you hate the stock for other reasons.

this BS has been going on for a long time

Phillip Lyon profile picture
That was one high profile card that was trimmed. The current scandal involves thousands of high end cards that are being exposed as being altered or trimmed and being authenticated. You seem to have no clue what is going on.
HaroldRamis profile picture
congrats on your clue.
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