K+S: how hard will the potash downcycle bite?

K+S (SDF, listed in Germany), is a great mid-term structural short, because it is the highest-cost producer of scale in a global commodity market (potash) that is likely entering a multi-year downturn, all while being saddled with an incredibly levered balance sheet (4.5x net/6.2x adjusted) and burning cash. The sources of its uncompetitiveness are largely … Continue reading K+S: how hard will the potash downcycle bite?

Capital structure arbitrage, part deux – the curious case of Nio Inc

I have written about capital structure arbitrage - trading the stock and bonds of one company against each other if the prices don't make internal sense - previously with regard to Peabody Energy when it was about to file for bankruptcy (see here). I commented at the time that the equity price seemed insanely overvalued … Continue reading Capital structure arbitrage, part deux – the curious case of Nio Inc

Shinoken: this is what value looks like

You have to be prepared to look in some strange places to find cheap stocks these days, and one of them is small-cap Japan. This can be a pain for a number of reasons (language, filings/disclosures, liquidity, etc) but what's a guy to do? The S&P chart looks like this: Meanwhile the Topix 1000 (broad-based … Continue reading Shinoken: this is what value looks like

Is the market even semi-form efficient? The Aercap conundrum

Imagine I told you nothing about two different companies except their historical long-term earnings power (net income through the cycle; return on assets/equity %, etc) and capital structure (equity/total assets, debt/total capital, etc). I then told you they were both financial companies dependent upon access to capital markets for funding - making them somewhat comparable … Continue reading Is the market even semi-form efficient? The Aercap conundrum

Tesla: we’re going to miss you when you’re gone

(Tesla (TSLA) filed their 2Q earnings report last night, and while I really should wait until they file their 10-Q to make this more complete, I really just can't help myself.) In late January, TSLA reported an optically-impressive Q4'18 result (91k deliveries, 24% automotive gross margins, $140mm in net profits), and on the post-Q conference … Continue reading Tesla: we’re going to miss you when you’re gone

The never-ending story: Netflix and the ever-escalating cost of content

Regular readers will recall I have been following Netflix (NFLX) for many years (I wrote up some initial thoughts on this blog a few years ago), but as the service has grown from 'challenger' to 'near-ubiquitous', I find myself returning more often to the company, its growth philosophy, and the underlying existential question for any … Continue reading The never-ending story: Netflix and the ever-escalating cost of content

Tesla’s unit growth, and the art of spurious comparisons

There's a fairly fundamental concept in most retail industries: the concept of same-store sales ('like-for-like sales', 'equivalent-store sales', 'existing-store sales', etc). This is a pretty intuitive concept, but to recapitulate by example, let's say I'm a McDonald's franchisor, and last year I had 100 stores that did $100mm in revenues ($1mm/store), and sold 250k Big … Continue reading Tesla’s unit growth, and the art of spurious comparisons