HNA Group – WSJ 1/18/2018

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Peak Auto!

I like the title's assertation.  It has given rise to a lot of mispricings - many of which have been kind to me. Auto sales have been "peak" for the three years running and the imminent subprime auto bubble is always going to burst tomorrow.  The media, financial, and business world have beat this drum pretty consistently. … Continue reading Peak Auto!

Do Profit Margins Actually Matter?

  I often hear confusion among investors and business people equating high profit margins with high returns.  I understand the confusion.  Returns are all that matter in public markets.  Money begets money which begets money.  The faster that begetting happens, the better.  So when looking at businesses with strong historical returns, we might try to… Continue reading Do Profit Margins Actually Matter?

Naspers – Too Good to be True?

I don't understand the market value of Naspers.  I haven't for two years. Today, Naspers trades at a market value of $98.8 billion.  Naspers owns roughly 33% of Tencent. Today, Tencent has a market value of $419.5 billion.  Meaning that per the market's own pricing, Naspers owns $139.7 billion of Tencent.  Think on that for… Continue reading Naspers – Too Good to be True?

Macy’s – to $0?

Macy's is probably a dying business.  They epitomize the American big-box retailer that is under attack.  It's a business that is mostly undifferentiated from any other large department store, yet more depressingly has continued to remain so. Tery Lundgren has been the CEO here since 2004.  He has written books, received philanthropic honors from Carnegie,… Continue reading Macy’s – to $0?

Monroe, Inc. – Fallen Angels, Jockey’s, and more.

When the financial media starts using words like "carnage" to describe an industry or sector of the economy, I love it.  The auto industry has been a favorite punching bag over the past year or so - and despite the press' consistent swings and misses, they continue at it.  The industry and all connected to… Continue reading Monroe, Inc. – Fallen Angels, Jockey’s, and more.

NI Holdings, Inc. – Safe, cheap, and hopefully boring.

There exists a very fortunate error in equity databases, screens, and even SEC filings. There are businesses whose number of shares outstanding is far lower than the number shown in any of the above locations. Let's say there's this business, we'll call it HIV (hidden intrinsic value).  When I look at HIV's data on Google… Continue reading NI Holdings, Inc. – Safe, cheap, and hopefully boring.

On CEO Compensation

This is a topic I hold strong opinions about.  Until Shareholders demand the change, it won't happen.  Indexers, start paying attention and vote.  I worry that as indexing becomes more prevalent, one of the bad outcomes is consolidated voting power.  This may only get harder to change. See: Your stench will never leave us, Robert… Continue reading On CEO Compensation