Category Archives: Quick Blurbs

[MCEM – Monarch Cement] Ash Grove Part Deux?

[MCEM – Monarch Cement] On Sept. 20, Ash Grove announced that it agreed to be acquired by its largest customer, CRH plc, a global producer of building materials cement with €27bn in sales and €3bn in EBITDA across 31 countries. [For background on Ash Grove, see these previous posts]. “While the final amount of the […]
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[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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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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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 one investor already […]
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Quick Blurbs [Equity Commonwealth, Oaktree, PPG Industries, United Continental]

[EQC – Equity Commonwealth] A few weeks ago I read Am I Being Too Subtle, authored by real estate maven Sam Zell and infused with the unquavering bluster I’ve come to expect in these business autobiographies.  I thought it was great.  I think he’s great.  Inspired by the book, I briefly revisited EQC, a US office […]
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Quick Blurbs [Ashtead, Fastenal, MSC Industrial, United Rentals, Zion Oil & Gas]

[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, […]
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Quick Blurbs [CF Industries, Signet Jewelers, Amerco]

(2,536 words) [SIG – Signet Jewelers] 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 […]

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Quick Blurbs [American Airlines, Amazon, Alphabet, Oaktree, Public Storage]

(2,596 words) [AMZN – Amazon] Per this PYMNTs article, Amazon Pay, which represents yet another instance of Amazon broadening and then tightening its grip on the e-commerce ecosystem, seems to be gaining rapid adoption.  Amazon Pay – like PayPal, Masterpass, and Visa Checkout – is a button placed on an e-retailer’s checkout page that enables quick […]

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