QUICK BLURBS [DLTR, EQC, PYPL, RUSHA, SQ]

(1,427 words) [DLTR: 3/1/17] Respectable quarter with positive comps and margin expansion at both Dollar Tree (+2.4% ex. fx, positive comps each month) and Family Dollar (+0.2%, avg ticket +30bps, traffic down, particular strength in the West and Northeast) driving total sales to the mid of the guided range and EPS above the top-end.  As expected, […]
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[SNI] FLIP OR FLOP?

(3,373 words) In somewhat oblique, discursive fashion, this post outlines some pro and con arguments for SNI and touches on a few broader media themes.  I’ve owned this stock since last summer but reduced my stake this quarter despite the company’s strong recent fundamentals to more accurately reflect my increasing skepticism over the company’s long-term competitive advantages.  As […]

QUICK BLURBS [CBG, EXPE, KR, PCLN, ROST, TGT]

(2,306 words) [KR: 3/2] Deflation (pharmacy disinflation, greater produce deflation, offset by some grocery inflation), which accelerated slightly q/q from 1.1% to 1.3%, was the main reason 4q comps came in -0.7%.  Without inflation, comps would have been positive.  Furthermore, 35 relocated/expanded stores were pulled out of the comp base, causing a 70bps headwind to […]
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[UHAL] THOUGHTS ON CYCLICALITY

(2,207 words) I’m favorably biased towards UHAL (I wrote about the company in an investor letter that you can find here).  A friend and subscriber who’s opinion I value holds a contrary point of view, that view being UHAL is a cyclical business trading at a somewhat above average multiple on peak margins whose profits will decline […]
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QUICK BLURBS [ARII, CF, H, HD, JCP, MCO, PSA, SAM]

(2,423 words) [JCP: 2/24] Fell short of sales and gross profit goals, but some budding signs of improvement.  4q comps -0.7% (but the 2Y stack +3.4%) with positive lsd comps in during December and January.  Good results from toys (offered toys this holiday season for the first time in years) and appliances (500 showrooms with […]
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[ADNT] SELF-HELP MARGIN EXPANSION OPPORTUNITY, 4-YEAR DOUBLE

(2,165 words) In a quick blurb from last month, I flippantly wrote: “I don’t think 10x/1x EPS/BV for a moatless auto lender at or near the peak of the auto cycle is all that cheap.”  Well, how about a sorta-moaty auto supplier trading at 7x?  My sense is that auto stocks – their single digit […]
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QUICK BLURB [AIG, CAR, CBS, DISCA, DNOW, MAR, OZM]

(2,886 words) [CAR: 2/16] Americas volume -1% as: 1) CAR elected not to chase lower-priced business, 2) commercial volumes softened entering the quarter (commercial pricing was also -2%), 3) Halloween moved to a weekday, and 4) the election negatively impacted travel.  Oversupply drove Americas pricing 70bps lower during the quarter, with really competitive pricing in Florida […]
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[OAK] VALUATION ATTRACTIVE ON NORMALIZED FRE

(1,186 words) I looked at some Alternative Asset Managers (BX, KKR, CG, FIG, and OAK) a year ago as the group traded at depressed multiples and invested in OAK because I get Howard Marks’ investment philosophy (which seems to strongly imbue the organization despite Marks’ largely figure head status today) and frankly, I found the other […]
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