Author Topic: ADS - Alliance Data Systems  (Read 78109 times)

abitofvalue

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Re: ADS - Alliance Data Systems
« Reply #380 on: August 23, 2019, 06:55:33 AM »

I wonder if they’ve been overly aggressive in what they offer these new brands to offset the declining brands.  This from a Floor and Decor investor conference about a year ago certainly sounds like that may be the case:

Our credit sales, since I've been here, have grown at a much faster rate than our overall sales. We had a great partner. We actually just recently changed partners in May. That's been a huge benefit for us. The cost is about 1/4 of what we were paying before, so there's a slightly lower tender cost, and they're a really good marketing company. We switched to a company called Alliance Data Systems, or ADS, and they've been a great partner with us so far. So on the consumer side, we've had great success, and we think we've selected a partner now that's going to make us even better. And we've seen early signs of our average ticket, average credit line approvals, average spend, and again, it's only been a couple of months now, but we've seen those all tick up nicely relative to how it was going with our previous partner.

Not sure what you really mean - typically when ADS signs a new retailer, they offer them a full marketing package as part of the deal which is likely the source of cost savings that they're talking about. That, or Floor & Decor could have had a cobranded card program before ADS which is typically much more expensive due to the network fees.

I'm not really sure what you mean when you say you wonder if they're being overly aggressive in what they're offering?

Well I recall one of Walmarts issues with Synchrony was that they weren’t approving enough cards and not issuing enough credit.  The retailer obviously wants very loose credit policies since they get paid for store purchases up front and the credit risk is on the credit provider.  So I view it as a potential red flag when your new credit provider sees a big tick up in their average credit line approvals.  Could be an indication that they are lending more than another informed party thought was prudent.

yup.  Think Children's Place also has made comments about how ADS pays them a higher amount.  ADS also makes analyzing credit challenging by not following industry standard disclosure on the credit side (no FICO breakdown as an example). Maybe the leadership switch will prompt better disclosure too.

One thing i notice is more of ADS' new deals are co-brand deals. IIRC, they used to have a 100% private label portfolio but some of the newer deals are true co-brands. Does anyone know if they have the same dual-card features as SYF? If not, why? 


frank87

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Re: ADS - Alliance Data Systems
« Reply #381 on: August 23, 2019, 06:59:58 AM »

I wonder if they’ve been overly aggressive in what they offer these new brands to offset the declining brands.  This from a Floor and Decor investor conference about a year ago certainly sounds like that may be the case:

Our credit sales, since I've been here, have grown at a much faster rate than our overall sales. We had a great partner. We actually just recently changed partners in May. That's been a huge benefit for us. The cost is about 1/4 of what we were paying before, so there's a slightly lower tender cost, and they're a really good marketing company. We switched to a company called Alliance Data Systems, or ADS, and they've been a great partner with us so far. So on the consumer side, we've had great success, and we think we've selected a partner now that's going to make us even better. And we've seen early signs of our average ticket, average credit line approvals, average spend, and again, it's only been a couple of months now, but we've seen those all tick up nicely relative to how it was going with our previous partner.

Not sure what you really mean - typically when ADS signs a new retailer, they offer them a full marketing package as part of the deal which is likely the source of cost savings that they're talking about. That, or Floor & Decor could have had a cobranded card program before ADS which is typically much more expensive due to the network fees.

I'm not really sure what you mean when you say you wonder if they're being overly aggressive in what they're offering?

Well I recall one of Walmarts issues with Synchrony was that they weren’t approving enough cards and not issuing enough credit.  The retailer obviously wants very loose credit policies since they get paid for store purchases up front and the credit risk is on the credit provider.  So I view it as a potential red flag when your new credit provider sees a big tick up in their average credit line approvals.  Could be an indication that they are lending more than another informed party thought was prudent.

Pretty much all the private label card companies approve nearly all who apply. They manage credit risk by limiting card balances.

vince

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Re: ADS - Alliance Data Systems
« Reply #382 on: August 24, 2019, 01:59:05 PM »
but have been doing a decent job signing new brands that have higher and more robust growth profiles - Houzz, Sephora, Burlington, Carter's, etc have all been signed in the last 6 months or so and will spin up over the next few years.

I wonder if they’ve been overly aggressive in what they offer these new brands to offset the declining brands.  This from a Floor and Decor investor conference about a year ago certainly sounds like that may be the case:

Our credit sales, since I've been here, have grown at a much faster rate than our overall sales. We had a great partner. We actually just recently changed partners in May. That's been a huge benefit for us. The cost is about 1/4 of what we were paying before, so there's a slightly lower tender cost, and they're a really good marketing company. We switched to a company called Alliance Data Systems, or ADS, and they've been a great partner with us so far. So on the consumer side, we've had great success, and we think we've selected a partner now that's going to make us even better. And we've seen early signs of our average ticket, average credit line approvals, average spend, and again, it's only been a couple of months now, but we've seen those all tick up nicely relative to how it was going with our previous partner.

I can see your concern here but I actually like this disclosure.  What could be better than having a recent signing publicly disclose that there is an IMMEDIATE improvement to their sales and attribute that to ADS.  I think everyone knows that these signings boost sales for the retailer but getting those incrementally positive results from a retailer that previously had a similar relationship with another entity is a much stronger indicator of the quality of ADS's services. 

decko

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Re: ADS - Alliance Data Systems
« Reply #383 on: August 26, 2019, 10:11:51 AM »
From what I've read it is difficult to pinpoint the exact success of the new signups, so im curious to hear some opinion on future net income numbers( i understand they would be guesses, so keep it conservative if you venture this question).  Outstanding shares will be 47 million or less, after the dutch buyback.  If they are able to bounce back this fall (revenue/NI) and 2020, is it fair to say they'll reach the 900 million to 1 billion in net income?  If so, we are looking at 19.1 to 21.2 EPS at a 8 mulitple thats 152$ and 169$. Not exactly  what I've had in the mind the past year and a half, but it seems at the current price ADS is cheap.  However, melting ice cycles always look cheap as they dwindle.  I think the recent sell-off has a lot to do with the fear of a reccesion, but what is the worse case scenario for this company going forward?  Maybe im just trying to gauge the possibility of permanent capital loss.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2019, 10:13:30 AM by decko »

KCLarkin

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Re: ADS - Alliance Data Systems
« Reply #384 on: August 26, 2019, 10:28:21 AM »
I haven’t run the numbers but as a worse case, do SOTP with card business set to 1X tangible book value and other businesses set at a reasonable (low) multiple. Stock is only cheap if company can maintain current level of receivables at very high ROE. This won’t be easy as legacy retailers suffer and new ones ramp up.

The high ROE means this stock has significant downside.

frank87

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Re: ADS - Alliance Data Systems
« Reply #385 on: August 26, 2019, 12:40:01 PM »

The high ROE means this stock has significant downside.

Not sure whether this makes any sense. Visa has infinite ROEs on a negative tangible book value, but I don't think anyone really questions its future.

What matters is the company's moat and its ability to sustain high levels of returns.

adhital

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Re: ADS - Alliance Data Systems
« Reply #386 on: August 26, 2019, 05:19:23 PM »
Back in 2007, Blackstone offered to pay 20 times, then EPS of ~$4, for this business and now we’re in doubt if it’s worth ~6 times 2019 EPS or if it’s even a going concern? All while, they are projecting, 2019 EOY target $20B receivable. Buying back share aggressively. Close to 25% receivable yield, net adjusted Q2 2019 EBIDTA margin of over 20%, mid teen growth guidance on these new verticals receivables and market is offering it for ~5 times Net Adj EBITDA margin and 16% earning yield. Very interesting…

KCLarkin

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Re: ADS - Alliance Data Systems
« Reply #387 on: August 27, 2019, 09:25:06 AM »
Back in 2007, Blackstone offered to pay 20 times, then EPS of ~$4, for this business and now we’re in doubt if it’s worth ~6 times 2019 EPS or if it’s even a going concern? All while, they are projecting, 2019 EOY target $20B receivable. Buying back share aggressively. Close to 25% receivable yield, net adjusted Q2 2019 EBIDTA margin of over 20%, mid teen growth guidance on these new verticals receivables and market is offering it for ~5 times Net Adj EBITDA margin and 16% earning yield. Very interesting…

The fact that it is trading at these levels (and continues to drop), suggests that the Market doubts that current earnings are sustainable. And the narrative is going to fit the current market price. Sometimes the market is right. Sometimes it is not (see AXP circa 2016).

It still seems like a no-brainer to me, but the situation is pretty dynamic. ADS needs to ramp up new vintages faster than its legacy retailers die. Right now, it is treading water. Those who have a large allocation need to acknowledge the risk that this is a value trap.

Valueact and Greenberg dumping at these levels does not inspire confidence.

undervalued

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Re: ADS - Alliance Data Systems
« Reply #388 on: August 27, 2019, 10:00:57 AM »
Back in 2007, Blackstone offered to pay 20 times, then EPS of ~$4, for this business and now we’re in doubt if it’s worth ~6 times 2019 EPS or if it’s even a going concern? All while, they are projecting, 2019 EOY target $20B receivable. Buying back share aggressively. Close to 25% receivable yield, net adjusted Q2 2019 EBIDTA margin of over 20%, mid teen growth guidance on these new verticals receivables and market is offering it for ~5 times Net Adj EBITDA margin and 16% earning yield. Very interesting…

The fact that it is trading at these levels (and continues to drop), suggests that the Market doubts that current earnings are sustainable. And the narrative is going to fit the current market price. Sometimes the market is right. Sometimes it is not (see AXP circa 2016).

It still seems like a no-brainer to me, but the situation is pretty dynamic. ADS needs to ramp up new vintages faster than its legacy retailers die. Right now, it is treading water. Those who have a large allocation need to acknowledge the risk that this is a value trap.

Valueact and Greenberg dumping at these levels does not inspire confidence.

I think Valueact converted their shares to Preferred.
Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it. - Will Rogers

frank87

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Re: ADS - Alliance Data Systems
« Reply #389 on: August 27, 2019, 10:03:32 AM »
I think the real question that needs to be asked is whether this company adds value to the retailer in ways that the retailer cannot otherwise achieve cost-effectively on its own. If it does, then the company will continue to grow. To me, the value proposition boils down to a few things:

1) Credit availability - just having a credit card gets consumers spending more and retailers can't offer that. Other banks can, of course, but apparently many of these accounts aren't large enough to really matter for the larger peers.

2) Detailed data drawn from a closed-loop private card network - this is about all the SKU level data that ADS gets via a closed loop network of a private-label credit card. It has proven to drive incremental sales but I wonder whether the retailer can achieve the same thing by issuing a loyalty card that gets routinely replenished via a general purpose credit card (ala Starbucks).

3) Building out a loyalty program specific to the retailer that rewards repeat consumption. This kind of goes back to point #2 ... perhaps most of these smaller retailers find ADS's solution to be more cost effective than developing one themselves. Why invest heavily yourself into a program when you can outsource it to a proven vendor with scale?