QUICK BLURBS [Ashtead, FAST, MSM, URI, ZN]

[ZN – Zion Oil and Gas] Heard about this stock on a podcast; I doubt you can find borrow.  What is it?  Oh, just your run-of-the-mill ~$240mn+ market cap Nasdaq-listed oil and gas concern whose drilling activity is guided, nay, “inspired” by the Old Testament.  Here’s an excerpt from the company’s 2016 10K: Zion’s vision, […]
To access this content, you must purchase a subscription, or log in if you are a subscriber.

[ASHG] CHEAP STOCK OR VALUE TRAP?

“People always think more about how new ground can be broken than they think about how existing institutions can be sustained or existing facilities can be maintained.  It leads to a constant trap where we underinvest in old things, then old things disappoint us, then we feel a need for new things, then to satisfy […]
To access this content, you must purchase a subscription, or log in if you are a subscriber.

[AMZN] EXPLANATIONS MATTER

 “Theories are nets cast to catch what we call ‘the world’: to rationalize, to explain, and to master it.” The Logic of Scientific Discovery, Karl Popper I wrote about AMZN on the scuttleblurb blog earlier this year (I get deeper into the weeds in that post.  Check it out).  Mounting saccharine coverage on Google, Amazon, […]

[INTU] KIND OF INTO IT

(4,382 words) It seems not too long ago, business arrangements between application providers were called partnerships….now they carry distended labels like platforms or ecosystems.  Platforms come in various guises.  Some, like eBay or AirBnB, don’t create products for direct consumption, but instead provide the connective tissue for various constituents of the platform to connect, taking a […]
To access this content, you must purchase a subscription, or log in if you are a subscriber.

[VRSK] HIGH QUALITY CASH COW, LIMITED REINVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES

(2,414 words) When evaluating the competitive advantage of a data-based analytics business, three important questions come to mind: 1) Is the data proprietary? 2) Are the insights from the data critical? and 3) Does the data fuel a product feedback loop? Verisk began its operations in 1971 as Insurance Services Offices (ISO), a non-profit enterprise started […]

[SHW] VALUATION LOOKS STRETCHED

(2,600 words) If you’re unfamiliar with the architectural coatings sector, you might be surprised to know that selling paint can be a good business…and no one sells it more profitably in North America than SHW, whose market share gains have come from both the multi-decade shift from “Do-It-Yourself” (DIY) to professional paint jobs and a […]

QUICK BLURBS [CF, SIG, UHAL]

(2,536 words) [SIG] I have zero interest in this stock, but sometimes it’s fun to reminisce on missed calls.  About a year ago, a friend who manages a long/short fund was considering shorting SIG and asked for my opinion.  I said I thought it was a bad idea.  At the time, the stock was ~$110. […]
To access this content, you must purchase a subscription, or log in if you are a subscriber.

[CBG] GOOD BIZ, EXPENSIVE ON NORMALIZED EARNINGS

(2,377 words) CBG is a fine company but to claim that it is reasonably cycle-resilient post-GWS acquisition is an exaggeration.  Deriving 70% of fee revenue from contractual and purportedly recurring sources will not meaningfully cushion profits in the event of a commercial real estate swoon. From its roots as a regional commercial real estate broker founded in the aftermath of […]
To access this content, you must purchase a subscription, or log in if you are a subscriber.
Posted in CBG  |  Tagged