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Author Archives: scuttleblurb

[CSGP] CoStar

One way to make money is to start with transactions and monetize the data exhaust. Intercontinental Exchange disseminates data from the trading activity on its exchanges. Amazon’s ad business relies on first party data spawned by e-commerce. CoStar instead made the less common reverse commute, brute force curating commercial real estate data and then building […]

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thoughts on Guidewire, Wizz Air, and Upwork

Today I want to talk about 3 stocks I own that have gotten smashed this year: Guidewire (-48%), Wizz Air (-66%), and Upwork (-60%). Guidewire (GWRE) I’ve written about Guidewire before (here and here). To recap: with 40% of policies are still processed on mainframes, the P&C insurance industry is long overdue for an upgrade. […]

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[OKTA, W] back to reality

A stock provokes different reactions depending on how much it is down. When the stock of a once-lauded company sells off by 30%-40%, some investors see an attractive buying opportunity. But when it draws down 70%+, they no longer see a broken stock; they assume a broken company. Stock price drives narrative and I’m wondering […]

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IAC and MGM

There was a time, not too long ago, when an investor could treat IAC as a collection of binary early stage bets anchored by a few more mature and profitable entities. To most, IAC’s 12% passive minority stake in MGM, acquired near the COVID lows, was a weird one-off opportunistic gambit that could be marked […]

[URI] United Rentals

I. United Rentals rents equipment that customers use to build and maintain commercial structures – office buildings, refineries, bridges, roads, etc. This includes general construction equipment, things like bulldozers, backhoes and excavators that dig and move dirt and rubble on construction sites… Source: Equipmentshare aerial work platforms – scissor and boom lifts – that carry […]

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[TXN] Texas Instruments

I. I was first introduced to Texas Instruments by my dearest high school friend: Only years later would I learn that this wonder was but a thin product sliver within the TI complex, lumped in the stagnant “Other” catch-all segment that today accounts for just 5% of profits, with the other 95% coming from analog […]

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[UMG, WMG] record labels and the music industry: opportunities and challenges

I. Every few years, this graphic from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), reproduced by Matthew Ball, makes the rounds: It shows how a 15-year decline in recorded music revenue, precipitated by the cannibalistic effect of free downloads, is being reversed by the rise of subscription fees from digital streaming providers (DSPs). As I […]

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[ODFL] Old Dominion and less-than-truckload

Let’s say a parts supplier needs to get a full trailer of parts from its facility in Boston, MA to an OEM manufacturing plant in Los Angeles, CA. One way to do this would be to hire a full truckload (FTL or just TL) carrier, most of them owner-operators with 1 to 5 trucks in […]

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