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Events & Meeting Notes / Fairfax Lollapalooza 2018: Thank You
« Last post by NormR on Today at 08:01:33 PM »
I might be biased (and running on fumes), but I thought it was a great week for Fairfax fans!

I'm grateful for the community of value investors who come together in Toronto each year.  Thank you one and all for your kindness and generosity.  While value investors like to save like Scrooge, they're quick to lend a hand and to help others.

I like to think of Prem Watsa, the founder of the feast, as our community's Mr. Fezziwig due to his generosity of spirit. Thank you Mr. Watsa!

While I'm at it, I'd like to thank everyone who helped put the week together.  It takes a great many people to do it and I donít know even half of them.  Thank you one and all!

At the risk of embarrassing them, Iíd like to highlight just a few of the volunteers who helped to make the non-official events a reality.

A bravo to James East who organized this year's fantastic YY^X Toronto Value conference.  You might not know it, but James is responsible for having started many of the week's meetings.  Great job James!

Kudos to Trevor who provided the space for the YY^X and for his help at many of the other events.  (Get better soon!)

Three cheers for Phil who ran the very successful Ben Graham Dinner.  A fine first outing Phil!

The week was enhanced immeasurably by Rob Ruffin, who elevated the Pre-Dinner Happy Hour into something truly special.  Thank you Rob! 

Many thanks to Sanjeev Parsad (and his team) who kicked things off many years ago with his dinner.  It was a particularly good one this year!

A special thanks to Francis Chou who goes out of his way to help turn a good experience into a fantastic one.

My gratitude also goes to Jeff Stacey for his panel hosting skills, positive influence, and new status as a travel agent to the value stars.

Bravo to Dr. George whose value conference is so popular that itís bursting at the seams and for teaching the next generation about value investing.

Thanks also to the very long list of speakers at the various events and every one at Fairfax for making the week a huge success. 

Iíve probably missed a few people.  A deficit I can only blame on a lack of sleep and a couple of pints of good cheer.  Please remedy the situation by chiming in and thanking those who helped make this yearís Lollapalooza something special.

I hope to see you all next year Ė or sooner! 

As Tiny Tim says, ďGod bless us, every one.Ē 
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You have to look at turnover in context.  Some places run a model where you hire young and have lots of churn years 3-5 but almost none post year five.

Same with being a "PM". A place where lots of people make PM probably doesn't much value the title.  If you have four "PMs" on a product chances are 1-2 of them do the thinking and the rest will be marketing/admin heavy.

But at a place with one real PM (like Harris International for example) the non PMs can do a lot. Now the big issue is portability as an analyst vs as a PM, but from the firms perspective who cares.
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Investment Ideas / Re: BH - Biglari Holdings
« Last post by JRM on Today at 05:32:32 PM »
Hey all:

I went to a Steak & Shake drive through the other day, FINALLY.

There is one of these near one of my suppliers.  This is the 3rd time I tried them.

Attempt #1 was a no-go as they said the drive through window was busted.

Attempt #2 was a no-go as they said the drive through wait would be 15-20 minutes.

Attempt #3 finally worked.  I got the 2 fer $3 special.  An "All American Hamburger" and a "Mushroom & Swiss burger".  They were served reasonably promptly.  They tasted better than average fast food.

How these guys can make any money selling 2 hamburgers for $3 is beyond me...It seems price competition has gotten out of control at most fast food joints.

You might not like to know what is in your $1.50 burger patty.  When it seems too cheap for a protein-based food product, it probably is.
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General Discussion / Re: Looking for free options on Met Coal
« Last post by cashisking on Today at 05:30:11 PM »
There is $171M (~$9.6 per share) of tax assets and a public vehicle. I'm not sure if all of those DTAs are useful or that they all survive the transaction, but my guess is thats why the buyers are interested in MAR
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Investment Ideas / Re: SHLD - Sears
« Last post by doughishere on Today at 05:12:20 PM »
Eddie, I mean Eli. What are you doing pissing off Dan Rather? Dan Rather (is there a more wholesome reporter in america right now?) trashes Eddie in this Young Turks video. Bonus, he also trashes Mnuchin the movie producer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=130&v=uS50OVXYUjI
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General Discussion / Re: Looking for free options on Met Coal
« Last post by rukawa on Today at 04:59:21 PM »
I presume the buyers will finance the 53 cent cash out. No telling how many elect to cash out.

And why would the buyers do that? What do they get out of it? You are telling me they are paying 8 cents more than NAV. And the Cline assets are going to result in a separate distribution. So it seems like the payout of existing shareholders kind of screws over the buyers. Why would the buyers agree to it unless either the non-Cline assets are worth significantly more than reported NAV.
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Investment Ideas / Re: BH - Biglari Holdings
« Last post by DTEJD1997 on Today at 04:44:56 PM »
Hey all:

I went to a Steak & Shake drive through the other day, FINALLY.

There is one of these near one of my suppliers.  This is the 3rd time I tried them.

Attempt #1 was a no-go as they said the drive through window was busted.

Attempt #2 was a no-go as they said the drive through wait would be 15-20 minutes.

Attempt #3 finally worked.  I got the 2 fer $3 special.  An "All American Hamburger" and a "Mushroom & Swiss burger".  They were served reasonably promptly.  They tasted better than average fast food.

How these guys can make any money selling 2 hamburgers for $3 is beyond me...It seems price competition has gotten out of control at most fast food joints.
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Investment Ideas / Re: CAOX - California Orchard Company
« Last post by Spekulatius on Today at 04:07:02 PM »
... I still have one share of VULC ( had an order in for a hundred but somehow ended up with one share LOL) ...

Off topic:

Spekulatius,

I have been there, done that and got that shirt a couple of times, too - while buying and selling illiquid Danish bank stocks. In my cases, there was a market maker screwing me for commisions. The solution was for me to enable "Fill or kill" on the orders. I don't know if that's possible for you, though.

I can do fill or kill(I think), but heard thwt it often leads to getting nothing at all. I donít mind getting one share really, since the commission with IB is only $1/ trade. Itís just mind boggling that there is somebody out there selling you one share when you bid for 100 for a stock that hasnít traded for 2 weeks before.
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Investment Ideas / Re: BH - Biglari Holdings
« Last post by Spekulatius on Today at 03:28:43 PM »
Looking forward to any updates from today's meeting. I am sure the dual -class shares resolution passed, but curious is Bigs was forthcoming about the issues with the Steak-N-Shake operations and Maxim's turnover of editors.

He should serve some goods from Mr Bigís cafe in St Tropez there, caviar, fine wine, cognac or some brews for the plebs. That is why breweries in Germany used to do too keep their disenfranchised shareholders happy even with crappy results. A hearty meal and free beer will do wonders for shareholders satisfaction.
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Investment Ideas / Re: VWS.CPH - Vestas Wind Systems A/S
« Last post by Spekulatius on Today at 03:20:06 PM »
... Iím also wondering how everyone else is treating the companyís net cash position?  On the surface, the Enterprise Value looks good because the net cash position results in an EV that is ~2.7 bEUR less than the market cap; however, the company holds 2.9 bEUR of customer prepayment liabilities on its balance sheet.  I added back the customer prepayments to the EV when estimating the purchase priceÖdoes anyone disagree with my take?

Kevin,

Partly reply, for my part, here. The cash position is needed as some kind of guarantee - as a cusion - against headwinds [<- did I really write that?] on projects in progress, proving / supporting that VWS will deliver, or pay.

Management adjusts it via the buyback program towards shareholders, if deemed fit.

The cash is mostly  customers prepayments for booked projects. This is very common in constructions business. I would look at this as restricted cash, even though technically it isnít. it leads to the company being flush when the backlog is high, but will shrink when the backlog is worked off. The idiot management from CBI in a similar management used the cash for stock buybacks and you can see where it got them.

I donít think it makes sense to d a SOMP for the manufacturing and the service business, be thr one wouldnít exis without the other IMO. The service business had 20% EBIT margins which is twice that of the manufacturing business roughly.

the overall numbers are actually a bit better than I thought and thr valuation seems reasonable. how cyclical will this business be, I have seen 50% revenue declines peak to trough in Capex business thwt seem similar to to Vestas. Servis would provide some stabilization , but itís too small to carry the company and even preventive maintenance can be come an discretionary expense when the going gets tough.

The Chinese will probably do better in 3rd or 2nd world countries than in Europe or the US - just my guess.
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