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Author Archives: scuttleblurb

[FAST – Fastenal] Notes from CFO Convo; [ASHG – Ash Grove] Constructive Cement Pricing, Stock Is Cheap

[FAST – Fastenal] Fastenal’s dense branch network affords scale advantages in distribution and service relative to Grainger, which has 2.5x Fastenal’s sales but only ~1/10 its branches and ~1/7 its field employees.  Local market density is especially important because fasteners, which comprise nearly 40% of the company’s sales and a greater proportion of gross profits, is […]

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[ELLI – Ellie Mae] SaaS With Class…But Still Too Expensive

Several weeks ago, the stock of Ellie Mae, a SaaS that automates the grueling task of underwriting residential mortgages, got hammered when the company reported revenue weakness on lower than expected industry refinancing volumes and longer than expected ramp times for larger enterprise customers, prompting management to dramatically cut its full year revenue growth guidance […]

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[MCO – Moody’s] The Self-Reinforcing Standards Moat

Moody’s is a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations (NRSROs), a title bestowed by the SEC on a handful of credit rating agencies, the top 3 of whom act as an oligopoly in the US debt ratings gambit.  As you well know, Moody’s (and S&P and Fitch) fell into disrepute during the last financial crisis when […]

[GBX – Greenbrier] Valuation Update

Greenbrier and Trinity (TRN) act as a duopoly in the North American railcar industry, together accounting for nearly 80% of total backlog, with both players taking market share over the last decade (GBX: 13% in September 2006 -> 33% today; TRN: 36% -> 44%; ARII: 21% -> 6%).  Needless to say, the railcar manufacturing and […]

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Quick Blurbs [MSCI, Paypal, S&P Global]

[SPGI – S&P Global, MSCI – MSCI Inc.] New indices are created every day as passive strategies flourish and investors invent ways to track exposures across asset classes, geographies, sectors, and market caps.  They are stamped with the imprimatur of a well-known provider, validated with fresh pools of capital, and before long, become indispensable benchmarks or […]

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[DOOR – Masonite Intl] Reasonable Valuation, So-So Moat

[DOOR – Masonite Intl] This stock got smoked last week post-earnings.  DOOR is now back to where it was at the start of 2014, when the company was generating less than half the pre-tax cash profits it does today. If you’re unfamiliar, Masonite and Jen-Weld (JELD) are vertically integrated duopolists in the US residential interior door manufacturing […]

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Quick Blurbs [SAP, Tripadvisor]

[TRIP – Tripadvisor] This stock had a few crazy trading days last week, opening down 8% before closing up 2.5% on the first full trading day post-earning and then rallying again days later, apparently sparked by rustlings of a take-out [TRIP’s chairman Greg Maffei stoked such hopes a few months ago].  At least opposes this hypothetical […]

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[TRIP – Tripadvisor] Good Asset, Fumbled Monetization Strategy

For many years prior to 2012, Tripadvisor was accused of “over-monetizing” its site, bombarding visitors with “pop-up” windows that redirected visitors to the sites of its OTA and hotel ad partners.  In late 2012/early 2013, TRIP began replacing the antiquated pop-up model with in-line meta (so visitors could compare rates across different OTA and hotel […]

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