AMETEK was birthed out of failure. After its predecessor, Manhattan Electric Supply Company, a supplier of electrical switches, telegraph sets, alarm clocks, flashlights and other novel gizmos of the late 19th/early 20th century, declared bankruptcy in 1930, months after the market crash, shareholders created a new company from the ashes. The newly formed American Machine […]

[TDY] Teledyne

Many investors have come to know of Teledyne through Warren Buffett, who in John Train’s 1980 classic The Money Masters, declared the company’s co-founder, Henry Singleton, as having “the best operating and capital deployment record in American business”. Buffett’s seal of approval spawned a vast collection of fawning articles and books about the unconventional engineer, […]

why Cintas wins

Please check out my annual interview with @LibertyRPF, where I offer some thoughts on investing and provide an update on the business of scuttleblurb. If you’re looking for an eclectic mix of content related to investing, technology, art, and science, I recommend subscribing to Liberty’s newsletter, Liberty’s Highlights. It’s one of my favorites. And if […]

[MTCH] Match Group

Online dating has easy parallels to other online social experiences that if taken too seriously can lead to dubious outcomes. A dating app is like social media in that there are lots of people broadcasting themselves, making connections, and seeking validation. You might “like” a photo on Instagram as you might right-swipe on a photo […]

Consumer credit bureaus and FICO

Each of the 3 major US consumer credit bureaus (CCBs) – Equifax, Experian, and Transunion – are an agglomeration of regional credit agencies, some dating back to the early 1800s. That a once fragmented industry consolidated into oligopoly is a natural consequence of the benefits that come from pooling data: a lender will go with […]

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[UHAL] U-Haul

U-Haul is a weird company. It rents moving equipment and self-storage space but also sells annuities. It boasts a ubiquitous brand synonymous with do-it-yourself moving that until recently was buried beneath the non-descript banner of its parent company, Amerco. It runs the 4th largest self-storage operation in the US by square footage but is rarely […]

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[DLTR] Dollar Tree

(this should be read as a companion piece to the Dollar General post from a few weeks ago). Like Dollar General and Wal-Mart, Dollar Tree traces its origins to variety stores in the Southeast. In 1963 K.R. Perry, a barber and Ben Franklin variety store franchisee, opened the K&K Five and Ten in Ward’s Corner, […]

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