Author Topic: ADS - Alliance Data Systems  (Read 95516 times)

vince

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Re: ADS - Alliance Data Systems
« Reply #440 on: October 26, 2019, 09:46:37 AM »
sometimes being lucky is a blessing.. i thought it was cheap pre-earnings but decided not to buy.. and phew..

This management team just took what little credibility it had (which came from being Not-Ed) and flushed it down the toilet..

Didnt they raise guidance a touch last quarter? and now claim they didnt account for lower fed reserve rates.. who exactly didnt know in July that the Fed would be cutting rates..  at a minimum dont fucking raise guidance..  whats more they are still not accounting for additional rate cuts.  so when the fed cuts, they will turn around and say oh wow now we are cutting our EPS guide and piss over a potentially alright quarter, delaying by another quarter the point at which they report a clean number..  it's like they are surprised the market doesnt like a guidance cut.

You want to talk about the business and not guidance... fine lets look at receivables.

They said as late as last quarter we are comfortable with the $20B+ end-of-year figure.  not oh we had deterioration in core businesses so we are guiding down...   till very recently the messaging was.. hey we are cleaning up our portfolio of bankrupt and non-strategic portfolio's so we'll be back at mid-teens growth that we have historically delivered.. we have 'spooling of new vintages' blah blah..  now its oh we'll grow single digits near-term.  um what!!?? If your new vintages are going from $5B to $13B in <3 yrs (since she said on the call ~3.5 yrs to get to size)...  so lets be generous and say 'spooling' is going to get them 2.5B a year.. for next 2 yrs.. well on <$20B thats already 10%+ growth.. so what exactly is going on in the rest of the portfolio..   and keep in mind the guide includes new portfolio launches and smaller acquisitions...  so what are the odds we get more held for sale in the next yr or two?

Btw - Held-for-sale had a writedown this quarter too and is goign to take longer to sell... did they explain the write-down beyond mark-to-market.. like why did the market value decline. One wonders if the assets were simply not as good as they thought and the market for them is limited..



Capital allocation..
well they seem proud that they bought back $750M shares at $148...  not even sure why you would say something so stupid.. but i guess thats the risk of a newbie public co cfo.  I mean its amazing that they knew they were going to cut guidance and didnt think about the impact on the stock price of that...

LoyaltyOne - are they going to sell it or not? who knows..  they said resturcting done so ValueAct leaving but then didnt clear up the confusion around LoyaltyOne...   i get they royally mesed up the Epsilon messaging but now they've gone to the other extreme of just not saying anything after heavily hinting that they would sell it..

btw - have they articulated why they think Core earnings is relevant now that Epsilon is gone? I see them talk about why tangible ROE isnt right but they've been asked multiple times about Gaap eps..   

I think this was the only card company that didnt get asked about CECL.. i cant tell if its because the rest of the company is such a cluster- that ppl arent focused on it or if its because no one will believe what they say anyway.  my prediction is that will be the next ugly surprise.. their nonsense of no material increase due to CECL as these are short-term receivables will be so different than the rest of the market that investors will fear a reserve build is around the corner and value it as such.. or they will increase reserves more than ppl are expecting next quarter. i dont believe for a second they can have 'non-material' (since changed to 10-15% iirc)...   

great post


frank87

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Re: ADS - Alliance Data Systems
« Reply #441 on: October 26, 2019, 09:53:49 AM »
I think guidance is stupid - period. It gets people overly-focused on short-term metrics. I know many demand it and many management teams capitulate to that demand but it doesn't do any good for either investors or management. How can anyone know with any precision what next quarter's numbers would look like? You beat guidance, you look like you overachieved but if you miss, you lose credibility. Over time, even a management team that's honest and has a realistic appraisal of its business will have its fair share of quarters with missed guidance. A lot of this is just noise from the vicissitudes of business.

abitofvalue

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Re: ADS - Alliance Data Systems
« Reply #442 on: October 26, 2019, 11:49:49 AM »
On your larger generic point about guidance being stupid - i agree with you. 


As annoying as we find the guidance game, its here to stay imo. Besides, the stock reacts to buyside expectations not sellside estimates so a miss / meet is ok for headlines but where buyside is calibrated is much more important. Investors are generally pretty good at knowing management guidance philosophy so you have situations where investors start expecting a beat and raise because management is always conservative and even a beat of sellside estimates is met with share price declines.. or you have realistic management teams that give a wide range and explain the moving parts.. ADS seems to have fallen in the third group that serially overpromises..  that they still dont learn is baffling..   

I think we underestimate other investors when we think they focus on short-term metrics when we attribute big stock price movements to reactions to guidance / earnings misses..  In ADS case specifically, they just guided to single digit AR growth - i think that is much lower than many thought they could /should be able to do given their previous comments.  Also continuing problems in core portfolios are an overhang that is clearly not going away despite assurances that problem portfolios had been dealt with. Their ROE was also below their own 30% rule.. maybe a 1-time thing but given other headwinds and everything else management has been wrong about would you want to rely on their assurances that its a 30% ROE portfolio LT?  the stock reaction could just as easily be because investors are re-calibrating intrinsic value and incorporating new LT trends as it could be a reaction to lower 2019 guidance..

Given stocks trading at 7-10x earnings i dont know that the card companies are in a position to come out and say hey we wont do guidance anymore.  Most of them have moved towards giving more guidance in recent years... heck AXP just gave initial 2020 guidance in Q3 (think thats the first time they have done forward guidance like that in yrs).
 

decko

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Re: ADS - Alliance Data Systems
« Reply #443 on: October 28, 2019, 09:19:49 AM »
Do you think this is the bottom in stock price? 

AzCactus

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Re: ADS - Alliance Data Systems
« Reply #444 on: October 28, 2019, 09:24:13 AM »
Do you think this is the bottom in stock price?

If I knew that I would be filthy rich. 

decko

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Re: ADS - Alliance Data Systems
« Reply #445 on: October 31, 2019, 09:51:44 AM »
I would be too.. A year and a half ago I was between Synchrony and ADS, and eventually picked ADS thinking they were more undervalued.    SYF is up nearly 50% this year, outperforming, while ADS is down 30%.  A dramatic difference, especially in my pocket book and ego.  We are always learning and growing as investors, so feel free to give comments on where i went wrong.  I feel its a perfect example of when two horses look alike always pick the fastest (best in show).  If this is off base on the thread then please let me know. Im fairly new and want to follow guidelines.

frank87

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Re: ADS - Alliance Data Systems
« Reply #446 on: October 31, 2019, 09:57:41 AM »
I would be too.. A year and a half ago I was between Synchrony and ADS, and eventually picked ADS thinking they were more undervalued.    SYF is up nearly 50% this year, outperforming, while ADS is down 30%.  A dramatic difference, especially in my pocket book and ego.  We are always learning and growing as investors, so feel free to give comments on where i went wrong.  I feel its a perfect example of when two horses look alike always pick the fastest (best in show).  If this is off base on the thread then please let me know. Im fairly new and want to follow guidelines.

Hard to judge whether you were right or wrong by examining the stock price move of less than a year.

Spekulatius

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Re: ADS - Alliance Data Systems
« Reply #447 on: October 31, 2019, 11:41:24 AM »
I would be too.. A year and a half ago I was between Synchrony and ADS, and eventually picked ADS thinking they were more undervalued.    SYF is up nearly 50% this year, outperforming, while ADS is down 30%.  A dramatic difference, especially in my pocket book and ego.  We are always learning and growing as investors, so feel free to give comments on where i went wrong.  I feel its a perfect example of when two horses look alike always pick the fastest (best in show).  If this is off base on the thread then please let me know. Im fairly new and want to follow guidelines.

Hard to judge whether you were right or wrong by examining the stock price move of less than a year.

I agree with Decks that when in doubt, pick quality over valuation as a heuristic, unless it is a really unique situation (bottom of an economic cycle and huge valuation differential).

As for ADS vs SYC, the huge divergence in performance during the last 12 month has clearly shown who is correct or not.

Personally, my pick in this sector would be DFS and maybe I restart COF (more diversified and not a pure play CC company) again.
Life is too short for cheap beer and wine.

frank87

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Re: ADS - Alliance Data Systems
« Reply #448 on: October 31, 2019, 11:59:04 AM »
I would be too.. A year and a half ago I was between Synchrony and ADS, and eventually picked ADS thinking they were more undervalued.    SYF is up nearly 50% this year, outperforming, while ADS is down 30%.  A dramatic difference, especially in my pocket book and ego.  We are always learning and growing as investors, so feel free to give comments on where i went wrong.  I feel its a perfect example of when two horses look alike always pick the fastest (best in show).  If this is off base on the thread then please let me know. Im fairly new and want to follow guidelines.

Hard to judge whether you were right or wrong by examining the stock price move of less than a year.

I agree with Decks that when in doubt, pick quality over valuation as a heuristic, unless it is a really unique situation (bottom of an economic cycle and huge valuation differential).

As for ADS vs SYC, the huge divergence in performance during the last 12 month has clearly shown who is correct or not.

Personally, my pick in this sector would be DFS and maybe I restart COF (more diversified and not a pure play CC company) again.

How has it "clearly" shown? If you use market tickers as the ultimate judge, then weren't those who bought Bitcoin in the middle of 2017 "clearly" right  at the end of 2017?

ADS may well start growing receivables again, and perhaps at higher rates than SYF given its smaller size. What if its stock outperforms SYF's? Would that "clearly" mean that he was right?

Spekulatius

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Re: ADS - Alliance Data Systems
« Reply #449 on: October 31, 2019, 12:05:29 PM »
Quote
How has it "clearly" shown? If you use market tickers as the ultimate judge, then weren't those who bought Bitcoin in the middle of 2017 "clearly" right  at the end of 2017?

ADS may well start growing receivables again, and perhaps at higher rates than SYF given its smaller size. What if its stock outperforms SYF's? Would that "clearly" mean that he was right?

If I am losing 50% On any investment, I am clearly wrong, there no if and when. If nothing else, the timing was wrong and timing, just as well as stock selection, is a critical part of any investment process.
Life is too short for cheap beer and wine.