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Behind The Idea

English, Finance, 1 season, 104 episodes, 3 days, 15 hours, 26 minutes
On Behind The Idea, Seeking Alpha editors Mike Taylor and Daniel Shvartsman take a closer look at an investment idea published on Seeking Alpha to see what makes for compelling investing analysis. We look at what’s happening with the underlying company, what the author’s case is, how well s/he made that case, and what we can learn from this investment story. We also bring on the authors, top investors, and industry analysts or experts to explore the case further. We hope the breakdowns and discussions are is both timely and evergreen, educational and entertaining for investors.
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Behind The Idea #100: The Alphies 2.0

We couldn't wait to get to our year-end review on Behind the Idea, so we're sharing it before your Thanksgiving week travel. It's our 100th episode, and the last episode of our Gone till November special series, a more introspective quartet of episodes. We also discuss on the podcast one other reason why we've released this early. Topics Covered 3:00 minute mark - The Alphies - categories 4:15 - Favorite guest 12:15 - Favorite story 27:00 - Most interesting idea 35:16 - Most surprising stock performance 41:15 - Least surprising stock performance 46:30 - Best performers 49:15 - Listener awards
11/27/20191 hour, 3 minutes, 32 seconds
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Behind The Idea #99: Why I'm A Bad Investor

Over the last two weeks, Mike and Daniel have pitched respective long ideas. This week, we looked backward at mistakes we've made in our investing careers. The theory goes that your investing mistakes also amount to your investing tuition, and that true wisdom is learning from others' mistakes, rather than your own. I can only hope there's something for you as listeners to learn from our mistakes, as broken down on today's podcast. The investments in question date to 2016 and 2017. Mike went long on Gilead Sciences (GILD) based on their scientific prowess and low multiple, and even as his thesis sailed on him with Gilead's acquisition of Kite Biopharma, he couldn't find the exit door. Daniel went long Uniti Group (UNIT), even having concerns about its failure to cover its dividend and what the huge yield portended, let alone the binary risk that was introduced into the stock. We hope there are lessons to be learned from our mistakes. Topics Covered 4:00 - Mike's bad choice - Gilead Sciences (GILD) 6:00 - What was compelling about GILD? 10:45 - At the time of purchase, did you have any concerns? 14:30 - How did the investment play out? 18:30 - When did you realize it wasn't working? 25:00 - What are the lessons learned? 28:00 - Daniel's bad choice - Uniti Group (UNIT) 29:30 - What was your thesis? 38:00 - Specific downside concerns 41:00 - When did you realize it wasn't going well? 55:30 - What lessons did you learn?
11/19/20191 hour, 1 minute, 54 seconds
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Behind The Idea #98: Varian's Moat May Be Worth The Price

We continue our special November series. Mike shares his long thesis for Varian Medical Systems, an industry leader in oncology treatment devices that has a lot of attractive business aspects, though it's valuation is also challenging. Daniel tries to probe the thesis for any gaps, but the moat here seems quite strong. Topics Covered 5:00 minute mark - Introduction to Varian Medical Systems and the business case 12:40 - How much does it matter that there are two revenue lines in the income statement? Oncology vs. Proton and Product vs. Service 19:30 - Any reason to think they are transforming more to a service business?  24:30 - Market and customer relationship strategy... moat around business. 31:00 - Is a throughput based model something to be concerned about? 36:00 - Valuation 53:30 - The under the radar aspect of VAR.
11/12/201959 minutes, 40 seconds
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Behind The Idea #97: Stitch Fix As A Growth Fit

We kick off a special November series where we stop breaking down other people's ideas and try to dissect our own. Daniel shares his long idea on Stitch Fix, a fast-growing e-commerce clothing company that also will have to face a lot of competitors and skeptics as it tries to scale to profitability. Mike plays devil's advocate to interrogate the thesis. Topics Covered 3:30 minute mark - SFIX thesis 6:00 - What do you like about SFIX? 11:00 - Actual experience with Stitch Fix 20:00 - Business model 25:00 - Growth prospects of retail clothing market SFIX is operation in 31:00 - Where does SFIX fit in the market of fragmenting consumer preferences? 34:30 - How does SFIX handle inventory management? 37:00 - Is SFIX's customized really a big advantage over other retailers? 46:00 - How much choice do consumers really have? 52:00 - Valuation discussion
11/5/20191 hour, 3 minutes, 52 seconds
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Behind The Idea #96: Teladoc And The Modern Growth Story

There are three sorts of stories we've gravitated towards in the past 95 episodes of Behind the Idea: Value traps and/or value plays, the sorts of junk we might invest in. Examples: (CARS), AT&T (T), Dell (DELL), Kelloggs (K) from the short side. Growth stories that break our value-oriented brains. Examples: Amazon (AMZN), Shopify (SHOP), Crowdstrike (CRWD), Lyft (LYFT), PagerDuty (PD) from the short side. Battleground stories or news stories. Examples: Boeing (BA), PG&E (PCG), Chipotle (CMG), Trupanion (TRUP). This week we cover Teladoc (TDOC), which falls squarely in categories 2 and 3. The company is a fast grower on the top line, but it's yet to crack break even profitability metrics. We've published many short ideas on the company on Seeking Alpha, but we recently published a PRO+ top idea by Value Alpha that takes the long side. As with many of these stories, there are both exciting things going on and questions raised that deserve a closer look. We break down the long case, and then we raise our questions. Beyond assessing the Teladoc story itself, we also get into what we look for in growth stories like this, and what it means to invest in an execution based story. Topics Covered 3:00 - Assessing the long case 8:15 - Market leadership and the total addressable market story 13:45 - Teladoc's revenue model and Value Alpha's valuation model. 19:00 - Pricing vs. valuation rears its head 22:00 - Teladoc's industry position and is it a real moat? 27:45 - Valuation arbitrage and the messiness in the story 31:00 - What about the short case? 36:30 - The significance of the 'execution-based' story 40:00 - The reliance on acquisitions and the trends in visit fees.
10/29/201946 minutes, 44 seconds
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Behind The Idea #95: Smoking Out The Altria Bull Case W/Atlas Research

On this week’s Behind the Idea, we jump right into the long case for a beloved dividend company and notorious corporate name, Altria, ticker symbol MO. We speak with Atlas Research about his bull case for Altria as a stock that will beat the S&P 500. There are the recent concerns around vaping, the break-up of the Philip Morris merger, and the ESG angles and squeamishness around owning a cigarette stock. Depending on your predilection, that’s either a recipe to stay away or the very reason to buy. Atlas is on the long side and makes the case as we grill him on this week’s Behind the Idea. Topics Covered2:45 minute mark – reviewing the past few years for MO and the bull case8:15 – The obvious value story, but is it…too obvious?11:45 – Looming liabilities for Juul?15:15 – Looking at the Phillip Morris merger18:15 – The ESG angle21:45 – Addiction driven models24:15 -The MSA’s legacy28:15 – What role does cannabis play for Altria?34:15 – The economics and regulatory outlook for vaping38:15 – Summing up the investment case40:45 – The classic sin stock story 
10/22/201945 minutes, 3 seconds
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Behind The Idea #94: The Activating AT&T Signal

Activists come with a reputation, and few have as big a reputation as Elliott Management. AT&T (T) also comes with a reputation. The two come to ahead with Elliott Management's recent letter advocating AT&T refocus on core businesses. The letter is very compelling on where AT&T went astray, and a little more predictable on what they should do next. But at a 10x forward PE, there's not much that needs to go right. So does Elliott's argument make sense? Are AT&T shares worth turning on? We discuss this week on Behind the Idea. Topics Covered 3:15 minute mark - Elliott Management's takedown of AT&T8:00 - Basic summary of Elliott's prescription9:15 - Key graphics/charts from the letter13:00 - The value/special situations investor funnybone16:45 - Underownership of AT&T - lack of confidence, also an opportunity?21:45 - Why the loss of DirecTV and Time Warner execs is so alarming26:45 - How much of this ground has been covered before?30:00 - Elliott's Activating AT&T plan 36:00 - Reactions to the road map46:00 - Final risks for investors to keep in mind
10/15/201951 minutes, 21 seconds
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Behind The Idea #93: Ligand's Shots On Goal Target

Ligand Pharmaceuticals has been both a strong performer over the past decade and a target of short sellers for some time. The stock has struggled over the last 18 months, though, and Seeking Alpha author 8 Diamonds Advisors feels that the stock has become a strong buy again. The thesis rests on the company's shots on goal approach and its more diversified model. We discuss whether this holds up and what that means for investors. Topics covered:  3:15 - Key elements of 8 Diamonds Advisor's thesis and understanding the company's products 6:15 - "Shots on goal" - what does that mean and how does it work? 15:45 - The challenges in analyzing the business model 19:45 - Management's place in the thesis 24:15 - What's gone on the past few years? 26:45 - The short theses over the year 35:45 - The Promacta divestment and a share buyback (?!)
10/8/201947 minutes, 18 seconds
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Behind The Idea #92: Finding The Range For Range Resources

Not that price is truth, but the price chart for Range Resources over the past five years is really ugly. But the company has long been a favorite of Seeking Alpha authors. We try to pick apart this bearish market consensus vs. bullish author sentiment with an idea from KCI Research Ltd. on the company and why its valuation is too cheap to ignore. 
10/1/201947 minutes, 51 seconds
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Behind The Idea #91: Hill International With Tim Heitman (Bonus Episode)

Tim Heitman of Investing 501 joins us to discuss his Hill International thesis. He likes the stock as a turnaround story and on growing gross profits, as well as some accounting quirks that may be hiding the opportunity from the market. 
9/27/201950 minutes, 52 seconds
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The Investing Edge Trailer: Talking Scorpio Tankers' Opportunity And Netflix's Big Challenge

This trailer previews our initial two shows on our newest podcast channel, The Investing Edge, from Value Investor's Edge Live hosted by J Mintzmyer, and The Razor's Edge, hosted by Daniel Shvartsman and Akram's Razor. Our excerpt for Value Investor's Edge Live is from our first episode, where J Mintzmyer speaks with Robert Bugbee of Scorpio Tankers about the company's comfortable cash position and the pending catalyst of IMO 2020. Our excerpt from The Razor's Edge is from the first episode, which covers Disney, Netlfix, and the streaming universe. Daniel Shvartsman asks Akram's Razor about whether Netflix can solve a budding challenge - too much content on the service. The Investing Edge is a podcast channel on Seeking Alpha that features shows from different Seeking Alpha authors, with a focus on their unique investing style. Authors will speak with CEOs and industry experts, break down key market stories and topics, and share insights on how they research new investments. The first two shows on The Investing Edge are: Value Investor's Edge Live, hosted by J Mintzmyer of Value Investor's Edge. The show will feature J's conversations with publicly traded shipping company CEOs, sector experts, and fellow deep value investors about their companies and investing approaches. The Razor's Edge, hosted by SA podcast host Daniel Shvartsman and Seeking Alpha author Akram's Razor of The Razor's Edge.    
9/26/20199 minutes, 49 seconds
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Behind The Idea #90: Bluegreen's Attractive Location

Safety in Value, a Seeking Alpha Marketplace author, joins us to discuss his Bluegreen Vacations thesis. He likes the stock as it trades below its previous deal price, and likes the underlying business as well. We discuss those elements, the risks to parent company BBX Capital's bid, and, because we couldn't resist, how this fits into Joel Greenblatt's investing philosophy.
9/24/201934 minutes, 13 seconds
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Behind The Idea #89: You Can Be A Stock Market Genius, Pt. 4

Through three episodes to this point on Joel Greenblatt's You Can Be A Stock Market Genius, Mike and I have discussed what we like about his famous special situation investing strategies, and what doesn't work. We've also shared our enthusiasm for the light touch he applies to his writing, and the way he doesn't appear to take himself too seriously. Chapters 7 and 8 bring that feeling home. Chapter 7 because it shares how Greenblatt advises his readers to do the actual research, and one component is to borrow ideas from other investors. It's an obvious concept when you think about it, but it also suggests a touch of humility that plays out throughout the book. We look at Greenblatt's sources and favorite books to understand the rest of the book better. Then, Chapter 8 is the shortest chapter, and it underlines Greenblatt's entire philosophy as I understand it. Basically, investing and growing your money can give you time and options later on. When active vs. passive remains a hotly contested topic, and when nobody is satisfied with even a 10+ year bull market, it's worth remembering that you should invest if you enjoy it, and the goal is to buy you time to do the things you want to do with the people you want to do them with, and nothing more or less. We discuss the philosophy and the minutiae on our concluding episode about Greenblatt's book. Topics Covered 3:40 minute mark - The highlights of Chapter 7 8:40 - Coattail riding in today's market 18:40 - Thoughts about sources listed in the book and their relevance 22 years later. 21:00 - Reviewing Greenblatt's favorite books 27:00 - The philosophy: money is time. Do we buy? 35:30 - Final dad jokes and notes from the book.
9/17/201938 minutes, 57 seconds
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Behind The Idea # 88: Signing Up For The Gym Group With Jorge Robles (Bonus Episode)

Investors looking for value stock investing opportunities with catalysts ahead will be interested in Jorge Robles' perspective on UK low-cost gym operator Gym Group. The company has a reasonable competitive position, a misunderstood path to profitability, and an attractive free cash flow yield. Mike and Jorge explore the catalysts to realize the stock's value, competition within the industry, the impact of private equity ownership on companies, and the role Brexit might play in weightlifter behavior. 
9/13/201935 minutes, 21 seconds
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Behind The Idea #87: You Can Be A Stock Market Genius, Pt. 3

Chapters 5 and 6 of You Can Be A Stock Market Genius find our hero and author, Joel Greenblatt, walking on the wild side, as he looks at bankruptcies, LEAPs, restructurings, and other 'odder' corners of the market. Bankruptcies and similar topics in these chapters share some of the classic special situation traits of spin-offs and the like, but they also extend to a messier area of the market. So what holds together? We discuss that as well as some of the lessons Greenblatt drops in these chapters.
9/10/201947 minutes, 10 seconds
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Behind The Idea #86: You Can Be A Stock Market Genius, Pt. 2

We continue our discussion of Joel Greenblatt's classic book, You Can Be A Stock Market Genius, with a focus on chapters 3 and 4.Chapters 3 and 4 of the book are the ones everyone remembers, especially re: spin-offs. The principles Greenblatt lays out - shareholder mismatch, the opportunity to find overlooked ideas, the chance to do close reading - all seem to be relevant today, and yet spin-offs don't seem to be as attractive a category. We break that down as well as risk arbitrage and merger securities.
9/3/20191 hour, 4 minutes, 50 seconds
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Behind The Idea #85: You Can Be A Stock Market Genius, Part 1

We are big fans of Joel Greenblatt and his book, You Can Be A Stock Market Genius. We decided to break it down to see how it applies to today’s market, what key lessons are, what the best quotes from the book are, and our favorite Joel Greenblatt dad jokes. We start with chapters 1 and two, which lay out Greenblatt's mindset for investing. Topics Covered 3:30 minute mark - Breaking Down Chapter 1 - The Greenblatt Mantra 7:30 - The individual investor advantage 14:30 - The efficiency of the markets 17:45 - Chapter 2 and the persistence of Greenblatt's approach 24:30 - Different investing styles for the individual investor 28:30 - Whither the value factor? 35:30 - Key quotes and jokes
8/27/201945 minutes, 19 seconds
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Behind The Idea #84: Bluegreen And The Busted Bid

Bluegreen Vacations (BXG) is a timeshare developer in a curious situation - its majority owner pulled a bid for the minority of the company due to a since resolved lawsuit, but the shares trade well below the previous offer. Timeshares draw their own questions, and the market has been more volatile since the bid was pulled. We discuss the idea and what that could mean for shareholders and special situations investors going forward. Topics covered: 5:00 minute mark - Overview of the busted merger arbitrage story. 8:45 - The timeshare industry and the underlying ups and downs therein 16:30 - Working down the income statement 20:00 - Breaking the Bass Pro Shops lawsuit down 23:00 - Manhattan club, time shares in NYC 31:30 - How does sales operation of a time share work? 33:30 - Time share business model and why does BBX Capital need to pay a big premium?
8/20/201947 minutes, 18 seconds
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Behind The Idea #83: Paradigm Shifts, Gold, And You

Two things we usually don't do on Behind the Idea are talk about big picture macro-economic ideas, and delve into asset classes outside of stocks. We've focused on individual investing ideas through the vast majority of our episodes over the last 18 months, and that's where we've made our bones. But Mike Taylor rejoins the podcast this week after paternity leave (congrats Mike!) and he's jazzed up about Ray Dalio's recent argument that a paradigm shift is coming. So jazzed up that he invested in GLD, GDX, and GDXJ itself, based on Dalio's article. Gold leads to a lot of psychological analysis and self-consideration, and to considering the philosophical basis for an investing strategy. Without spoiling it, I have the more skeptical, 'what is behind the results that gold has achieved it in the past' orientation, while Mike has the more instrumental, 'gold has proven to be a ballast to many a portfolio, so why not' approach. Topics covered: 2:30 minute mark - Introduction to Ray Dalio and his recent article 5:45 - What stands out in the argument 11:30 - Whether these shifts can really explain the market's direction over the decades 16:30 - The trade-off between higher pricing and lower future returns 26:30 - Discussion of "gold bugs" and the historical reasons for owning gold. 31:30 - What makes gold the way it is? 37:30 - The difference between owning gold and indexing (or is there one?) 50:30 - Why will this time not be different?  
8/13/201959 minutes, 49 seconds
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Behind The Idea #82: Picking Through Pharma Pressures, With Ed Silverman

We speak with Ed Silverman, a longtime follower of the industry who has run the blog Pharmalot for over a decade. Now on StatNews, he joins us to share his insight on the industry and the pressures its facing, and to follow up on our discussion on Walgreens from two weeks ago to see how these pressures might affect the company.
8/6/201931 minutes, 36 seconds
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Behind The Idea #81: Dell's Crown Jewel, With Thomas Lott

Sum of the parts stories. Legacy PC makers. Investing with Michael Dell. Those are three things that, over the past decade, have caused investors heartburn. Thomas Lott published a top idea last week that comes out tomorrow on Dell which combines each of those elements. The combination of the legacy Dell business, its acquired EMC business, and the 80.6% stake in VMWare makes for a compelling value, he argues. And yet, he's not the first to make that argument, and DELL has languished meanwhile.
7/30/201943 minutes, 53 seconds
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Behind The Idea #80: Walking Through The Walgreens Bull Case

Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) operates at the intersection of health care and retail. While it appears safer than many retailers, its performance has been familiarly poor. We look at the work of Trapping Value, who has been following the company for nearly two years with a focus on the bullish opportunity. We look at the changing thesis, the reimbursement pressures Walgreens faces, the pressures it's had holding on in face of a changing climate, and whether a low multiple makes up for that.
7/23/201941 minutes, 46 seconds
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Behind The Idea #79: Checking Under Cars.Com's Hood With Cliff Banks (CARS) drew a surprising deal of interest from the Seeking Alpha community, which made it clear that we hadn't dug deeply enough. So we're revisiting it with one of the commenters on that article, CBanks40, a.k.a Cliff Banks. President and founder of the Banks Report, an online report focused on the auto retail industry, he has a lot of experience following CARS and had a lot to say on the company.
7/16/201950 minutes, 4 seconds
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Behind The Idea #78: SaaS on SaaS With Akram's Razor, Pt. 2

This episode of Behind the Idea continues the interview I conducted with Akram's Razor, author of The Razor's Edge and longtime tech investor and Seeking Alpha author. We have the show notes below, and you can check out part one for background. Part one drilled in more to the PagerDuty (PD) short thesis, including why Atlassian (TEAM) has put a target on its smaller competitor, and what the limits are to PagerDuty's model and strategy.
7/9/201939 minutes, 45 seconds
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Behind The Idea #77: SaaS on SaaS And The PagerDuty Short

We speak with longtime Seeking Alpha author and tech investor Akram's Razor about the software as a service (SAAS) sector and how it is changing with everybody already a believer in the cloud and subscription models. We focus on PagerDuty and the newly public company's tough competitive landscape, and why Atlassian may be twisting the screws on it.
7/2/201951 minutes, 23 seconds
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Introducing Let's Talk ETFs: 'Aha' ETF Moments With ExponentialETFs' Phil Bak

On this sneak peek episode of Let’s Talk ETFs, Seeking Alpha’s newest podcast dedicated to the burgeoning ETF space, host Jonathan Liss is joined by ExponentialsETFs CEO Phil Bak, to discuss Phil’s ‘aha’ ETF moment, after which he was hooked on ETFs for good. Tune in every Wednesday starting July 10 for full-length episodes of Let’s Talk ETFs. Subscribe now to make sure you don’t miss a single episode
7/2/20196 minutes, 24 seconds
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Behind The Idea #76: CrowdStrike And The Crowded Market

We've seen as big a rush of IPOs as there has been in some time. CrowdStrike appears to be one of the more impressive ones, though it's also fully valued. The company claims to have a better model for cybersecurity, involving more of an end-to-end service that is adapted to the cloud. We try to understand whether the company's moat is knowable for a non-tech expert, and how we might inform ourselves of that as general investors.
6/25/201952 minutes, 15 seconds
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Introducing: Let’s Talk ETFs

Let’s Talk ETFs is Seeking Alpha’s newest podcast. Each week, a different guest and host Jonathan Liss will take an in-depth look at a particular aspect of the rapidly evolving Exchange-Traded Fund space with a focus on how investors can best utilize ETFs to reach their investing goals. In addition, Let’s Talk ETFs will catch you up on all the most important ETF news including new fund launches and closures, top performers, and other notable ETF investing news from the previous week
6/20/20191 minute, 44 seconds
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Behind The Idea #75:'s Value Running Out Of Gas

We break down a short idea from Seeking Alpha contributor BOOX Research on this week's Behind the Idea. The stock? (CARS), a legacy media company spun off and trying to make it in a competitive web-driven world. The multiple is low, but is it low enough?
6/18/201949 minutes, 14 seconds
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Behind The Idea #74: Looking For 3M's Growth With Michael Boyd

We return to discussing 3M Company (3M) with Michael Boyd, Seeking Alpha author and owner of Industrial Insights on the Seeking Alpha Marketplace. He was bearish about the company as of April, so we wanted to get his take on what led the company to this point, how they could change his mind, and what he is watching for going forward.
6/11/201937 minutes, 43 seconds
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Behind The Idea #73: Simon Property Group Vs. The Market

Mall and retail real estate investment trusts (REITs) don't on the surface seem like a likely battleground for investors on Seeking Alpha. They are a relatively obscure sector of the market, one layer abstracted from the underlying retail business. And the business of owning real estate and lending it out to retail companies seems boring enough. We talk about Simon Property Group (SPG) this week, and break down the intrigue around these companies.
6/4/201953 minutes, 27 seconds
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Behind The Idea #72: MMM And The Growth Trap

What's going on with 3M Company? The Q1 earnings report led to the company's worst month in at least a decade, and concerns over its future growth prospects. SA author Michael Boyd argued that this was overdue, and that there are more fundamental issues going on. Does that make sense? We review the company's recent challenges, its history of innovation, and its dividend-oriented investor base to try to find some answers.
5/29/201937 minutes, 50 seconds
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Behind The Idea #71: Starbucks' Fading Buzz

Starbucks is one of the great American growth stories of the last 25-50 years. That story is starting to slow, and Seeking Alpha author Atlas Research argues that the stock is a short as management denies the reality. We break down the author's argument and whether the story - declining traffic, management mis-incentives, increasing competition - checks out, and if so, what that means for the stock.
5/21/201956 minutes, 48 seconds
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Behind The Idea #70: Kinder Morgan And DCF 2.0

We take a last bite at the apple with another discussion on Kinder Morgan. Seeking Alpha author Dividend Streamer, who has focused on Kinder Morgan in his Seeking Alpha time, discusses how he carves up the company's cash flow and what he sees as the company's enduring advantages.
5/14/20191 hour, 9 minutes, 21 seconds
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Behind The Idea #69: Kinder Morgan Learns Its Lesson With Kirk Spano

Our first podcast on Kinder Morgan (KMI) two weeks ago was not super well-received, so we brought on one of our critics, Seeking Alpha author and current KMI bull Kirk Spano, to discuss the company further. We get into some of the criticisms we had of the company - its use of non-GAAP metrics and the underrating of its commodity pricing exposure - as well as some of the criticisms readers had of us. Kirk also lays out his bull case for the company.
5/7/20191 hour, 20 minutes, 5 seconds
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Behind The Idea # 68: Trupanion's Tricky Spot

Trupanion sparks bulls' and bears' passions even as it takes care of our cats and dogs. We bring on The CrickAnt, a Seeking Alpha author who focuses on insurance companies, to break down Trupanion's positioning and the particularities of the insurance industry. He highlights the biggest challenge the company faces - the need to gain market share while also increasing its bottom line.
4/30/201936 minutes, 37 seconds
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Behind The Idea #67: Kinder Morgan And Doing The Same Thing Twice

Kinder Morgan (KMI), one of the unsung market stories of this decade, is on the comeback trail. We look at recent coverage on the stock as well as a company presentation from March and notice a few familiar themes that remind us of 2013 or 2014, before the crash in the stock happened. Have investors learned their lesson from last time around, and has the company?
4/23/20191 hour, 19 seconds
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Behind The Idea #66: Categorizing The Trupanion Bull And Bear Cases

You either get having pets or you don't. The same can be said for the Trupanion (TRUP) bull and bear cases - the true believers are able to produce pages of compelling research making their case either way, unable to sway one another. We start with a bearish article which picks apart the bull case as a way into the stock. We look at what the right category for Trupanion is, whether its effect on the petcare world will be positive in the end, and where that leaves the company and the stock.
4/16/201950 minutes, 37 seconds
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Behind The Idea #65: Boeing From The Cockpit

We round out our Boeing 737 MAX 8 related coverage by speaking to a pilot. Mike interviews his friend Matt, who flies for a US airline. He shares his insights on the mechanics of flying and what might go wrong, and so what investors might want to watch for as the 737 MAX investigations continue. He also breaks down the difference between Airbus and Boeing, which really comes down to a stance on how to best insure safety.
4/12/201944 minutes, 7 seconds
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Behind The Idea #64: Talking Boeing's 737 MAX 8 Issues W/Madhu Unnikrishnan

Boeing continues to grab headlines as the hows and whys of the recent Ethiopian Air crash are dissected by various authorities. Madhu Unnikrishnan, editor of Skift Airline Weekly, joins Mike Taylor and shares his views on the development of the 737 MAX 8, what is reasonable to expect from the review process, and how big of an impact these events might have on the company.
4/9/201936 minutes, 49 seconds
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Behind The Idea #63: Boeing's Changed Trajectory

Boeing (BA) is in the news for all the wrong reasons. In light of the Ethiopian Airlines crash, businesses, travelers, and governments have raised concerns and doubts about the company, and its strong moat and ongoing rise as a business has fallen into doubt as a result. Investors have been trying to work out the impact this might have on the stock. We discuss whether Boeing's moat is as strong as it seems, whether its ex ante valuation made sense, and where the stock might head from here.
4/2/201954 minutes, 56 seconds
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Behind the Idea #62: Lyft Driving Onto The Market's Map

Big IPOs attract attention as investments and also for what they mean in the economy at large. Lyft isn't the biggest IPO expected, but as a preview to Uber and as a company in its own right, it raises a lot of questions. We discuss whether there's a value to the company and a moat that will give it a competitive edge over the years to come.
3/26/20191 hour, 1 minute, 8 seconds
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Behind the Idea # 61: JD's Accounting Issues Persist, With Mithra Forensic Research

We take our third look at (JD) by speaking with Mithra Forensic Research, an analyst who wrote a bearish piece on the company in May that seemed to play out. We discuss whether the company's accounting issues - delayed payments and financing-fueled revenue growth - have abated, why China companies often show up in short-sellers sights, and what to make of JD's investments in other Chinese companies.
3/19/201951 minutes, 51 seconds
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Introducing The Cannabis Investing Podcast

The cannabis sector has had a ton of interest in the markets over the last few years as it struggles towards legitimacy and normalcy. We saw this on Behind the Idea when covering Canopy Growth in October and when covering Aphria and its controversial acquisitions in December. With that in mind, here's a preview of the newest Seeking Alpha podcast, The Cannabis Investing Podcast. This podcast will speak with industry experts and analysts to see where this sector might go. Check it out!
3/18/20193 minutes, 36 seconds
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Behind The Idea #60: Outlining JD.Com's Advantages With Lester Goh

It's easy to take shortcuts in investing and to make conclusions based on patterns, trends, or what the consensus is or isn't. It's something we talk about on Behind the Idea a lot. Lester Goh has gone well beyond the headlines and basic analysis in his work on, and he shares the reasons he is bullish in the e-commerce titan despite its rough year. We get into the details, the headline thoughts, and why investing in Chinese companies really isn't that different than anywhere else.
3/12/20191 hour, 18 minutes, 43 seconds
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Behind The Idea #59: The Risk Of Davita's Deal Breaking With Ethan Watkins

Bulls and bears for a given stock are often depicted as pitted directly against one another, but oftentimes bulls and bears agree on most parts of a stock. It can be that the interpretation on one or two key details changes the whole outlook for a stock. We discuss DaVita Healthcare for a third time, this time with Ethan Watkins, who is betting against the stock. We hit on themes shared with our discussion with last week's bull, but with a different bend and conclusion.
3/5/201957 minutes, 34 seconds
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Behind the Idea #58: Davita's Moat And Pricing With Michael Knipp

Healthcare is difficult as an industry unto itself, as a political issue, and as an area to invest in. We revisit Davita Healthcare by speaking with a bull who argued that we were missing pieces from the puzzle last time we covered the story. And as we discuss, it becomes clear that the messiness around healthcare may be with us for a while, and one way or another it may create opportunities for anybody who can understand it fully.
2/26/201941 minutes, 36 seconds
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Behind the Idea #57: PG&E Faces Looming Liabilities & Political Theater W/Alexandra Scaggs

We take one more look at the developing story around PG&E. Barron's writer Alexandra Scaggs joins Behind the Idea to discuss the moving parts, including the latest boost to the shares from a Citigroup research note. We also discuss the gaps in modern markets around climate change and flood insurance, the political influence that might come to bear, and whether the claims bill is going to overwhelm everything else.
2/22/201936 minutes, 7 seconds
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Behind The Idea #56: The Forces Behind PG&E's Bankruptcy With WYCO Researcher

Since we spoke about PG&E a few weeks ago, the company has filed for bankruptcy and the stock has basically doubled. Those are usually not successive acts in a one-month period, so what's going on? We ask WYCO Researcher, a Seeking Alpha author and expert on bankruptcy proceedings, to walk us through the PCG's fall, the recent stock price rise, and why there's still a lot of money to be lost for shareholders (in his view).
2/19/201940 minutes, 1 second
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Behind the Idea #55: Shorting The Nasdaq, A Trading Diary In One Act

It's a special edition of Behind the Idea, as we're talking about our own book. Specifically, Mike's position in the ProShares Short QQQ ETF (PSQ), an inverse ETF for the Nasdaq 100 (QQQ). A short-term oriented, ETF position based on a technical/momentum strategy: it seems like an anathema to the typical Behind the Idea fare. But there's a method to Mike's madness, and we try to pick it apart.
2/12/201958 minutes, 57 seconds
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Behind The Idea #54: JD.Com And Pricing In Headline Risk

JD.Com is a value investor favorite and the 'hip' China play. Except that it had a terrible 2018, selling off more than 50% amidst China-U.S. trade negotiations and an accusation of rape against CEO and founder Richard Liu (charges not pursued). Seeking Alpha author Long Hill Road Capital argues that the company has hidden value and that the headline noise will fade. We take a closer look to see if there is value in JD's shares at this point.
2/5/201951 minutes, 29 seconds
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Behind The Idea #53: PG&E And The Lost Safety Of Utilities

A fast-moving story attracts traders, professionals who can sift through the noise for opportunities, and people with a high risk tolerance. Utility companies attract investors with low-risk tolerances eager for defensive positions and steady income. So where does that leave Pacific General & Electric, PG&E (PCG)? Hard to say. We break it down and look at what the broader lessons are for investors.
1/29/201946 minutes, 8 seconds
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Behind the Idea #52: Bank Of America And The Yield Curve

Banks are opaque, thorny, and full of questions. They are also popular investments. Seeking Alpha author Eric Basmajian argues that banks are going to face a tough 2019, with Bank of America as a leading example. But the company's Q4 earnings report was well received. So what's going on? Behind the Idea tries to peel apart the layers and understand the company's prospects.
1/22/201950 minutes, 46 seconds
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Behind The Idea #51: DaVita's Murky Economics

DaVita Inc has achieved a rare dual feat - be a staple in Berkshire Hathaway's portfolio and be a target of John Oliver's criticisms. The kidney dialysis provider exemplifies the murky ecosystem of healthcare providers and payments. Does that make it a short? We break down a recent article by Ethan Watkins to see if we can better understand this situation.
1/15/201950 minutes, 44 seconds
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Behind The Idea #50: Match Group And The Investor Love Story

Match Group is a dating conglomerate, owners of OKCupid, Match, a majority share of Hinge, PlentyofFish, OurTime, Meetic, and most of all, Tinder. The company is also a favorite pitch of investors. Is it just because there are a lot of 20 and 30-something investors out there or people who like to make jokes about dating, or is there a deeper story? We look at a Detroit Bear long idea on the company to understand the stickiness of the Tinder experience and what that means for the stock.
1/8/201951 minutes, 52 seconds
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Behind The Idea #49: The Inaugural Alphies And 2018 Wrap-Up

2018 is reaching the finish line, and thus will end the first year of Behind the Idea (and maybe the post crisis bull market?). To celebrate, we're having the first ever Alphies celebration, as Mike Taylor and Daniel Shvartsman work through their favorite guest, the biggest surprises from the ideas they covered, and the most predictable outcomes.
12/18/20181 hour, 10 minutes, 8 seconds
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Behind the Idea #48: View From The Short Side - Kase Learning Shorting Conference Recap

We wrap up our Kase Learning Shorting Conference coverage by reviewing the conference. We hit our favorite short ideas, our favorite presentations, key themes, and questions over the aims of investing and short selling and the future of the market.
12/11/201859 minutes, 44 seconds
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Behind The Idea #47: Ebix's Roll-up Strategy And The Unwind With Mads Thamsborg

This is the second episode of our Kase Learning Shorting conference coverage. Ebix has been a battleground for much of the decade, and also a big winner for bulls. Mads Thamsborg of Bodenholm Capital joins Behind the Idea to share his case for why the second fact is going to change. A leveraged balance sheet, a roll-up story unwinding, and accounting red flags? Makes for a classic short case and a classic Behind the Idea discussion.
12/4/201827 minutes, 31 seconds
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Behind The Idea #46: Aphria's Acquisitions Too Hazy? With Gabriele Grego & Nate Anderson

We kick off our Kase Learning Shorting Conference coverage with a joint interview of Gabriele Grego of Quintessential Capital and Nate Anderson of Hindenburg Investment Research. They followed the trail of Aphria's recent acquisition binge, and what they found raised more questions and concerns. Mike Taylor talked with them about how they did their work and what they learned along the way.
12/3/201839 minutes, 30 seconds
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Behind The Idea #45: Amazon's Path To Physical Retail Dominance With Priya Anand

We've made it to the end of our Amazon miniseries. To bring things home, we talk with Priya Anand of The Information. She tells us about what she's seeing from Amazon's competition and potential regulators and what that might mean for the company. We build on a few of the same threads from previous podcasts, like Amazon's sterling reputation and know-no-bounds business approach, but break into some new ground on the physical store front and other areas.
11/27/201843 minutes, 25 seconds
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Behind The Idea #44: Aswath Damodaran On Amazon's Limits

Our Amazon miniseries rolls on to part three, as Professor Aswath Damodaran joins Behind the Idea to explain why he went short Amazon in September, and what he's learned from covering the company. He approaches Amazon with the utmost of respect, but notes that all growth stories hit a limit at some point. We hit on the accounting, the ulcers that result from shorting Amazon, and how to find the best way to value a company.
11/20/201842 minutes, 27 seconds
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Behind The Idea #43: Picking Apart Value Investing's Slump With Whitney Tilson

Whitney Tilson is the founder of Kase Learning and was the founder and portfolio manager of Kase Capital. What led him to leave the asset management game to go into teaching others? That's where we start our special interview with him, but it goes far beyond that as we discuss the fate of long/short value investing, the problems with having too much success too early, and why shortselling is worth studying even if it might not be the best strategy for most investors.
11/16/20181 hour, 10 minutes, 59 seconds
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Behind The Idea #42: Breaking Down Amazon's Financials W/Marc Pentacoff

We're continuing to look at Amazon with Part 2 of our miniseries on the company. We bring on Marc Pentacoff, a Seeking Alpha editor and financial analysis wizard, to dissect Amazon's financial statements. How does their world-beating success translate to their numbers? How do we know it's still day 1 at Amazon? How should value investors look at these? We break it down.
11/13/20181 hour, 12 minutes, 1 second
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Behind The Idea #41: Talking Amazon With Brad Stone, Author Of The Everything Store

We kick off our miniseries on Amazon with a discussion with Brad Stone, author of The Everything Store, the book about Amazon. Stone gives us his perspective on the pending HQ2 decision, Amazon's continual growth, and what makes it all work (hint: it rhymes with Leff Tezos). It helps us get at two of our key questions about the company: is their key man risk for Amazon, and is the company at risk of being too big to fail? We discuss.
11/6/201839 minutes, 37 seconds
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Behind The Idea #40: Better Than Beer? Revisiting Canopy Growth Corporation With Darren McCammon

It takes creativity to invest in pot stocks at this stage. Valuation isn't there, so you have to imagine the growth ahead, think about how to identify a winner that not everyone else has, and prepare for the ups and downs that are sure to come. We talk with Darren McCammon, who has already been investing in the industry for several years - including in ebbu, Canopy Growth Corporation's latest purchase - about Canopy and the marijuana industry as a whole.
10/30/201857 minutes, 22 seconds
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Behind The Idea #39: General Motors' Road Ahead W/Blue Pacific & Phoebe Wall Howard

We revisit GM to further dig into Blue Pacific's bearish view on the company and the industry. We also speak with Phoebe Wall Howard of the Detroit Free Press to see what people inside the industry are saying. It doesn't paint the rosiest picture in the world for investors, but it certainly makes for interesting study.
10/23/20181 hour, 15 minutes, 16 seconds
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Behind The Idea #38: Luck, Sparkling Water, And Lacroix

Our first podcast on National Beverage Corp - owner of Lacroix sparkling water, FIZZ - left us unquenched. So we brought on Vince Martin, Seeking Alpha author, to go into the ups and downs of the bull case and this one of a kind story. Then we invited Rachel Arthur of Beverage Daily to give us more perspective on what's going on in the industry at large. It leaves a question of how much luck National Beverage Corp had in riding the sparkling water, and whether or not shareholders should care.
10/16/20181 hour, 5 minutes, 39 seconds
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Behind The Idea #37: Amazon In And Through Bezos's Looking Glass

It's easy to take for granted how unconventional Jeff Bezos is, but his approach to Amazon's business is worth a closer look. We do a close read of the 2017 shareholder letter he published this April to see if we can better understand the company as a business and as an investment. This also is a prequel for our miniseries on Amazon to come this November. As might be expected, there's a lot to discuss.
10/9/20181 hour, 17 minutes, 3 seconds
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Behind The Idea #36: Breaking Down Canopy Growth And The Burgeoning Marijuana Industry

Set aside the recent price action on pot stocks, and a fact still remains - the marijuana industry looks more and more legitimate. But is that the same as it being worth investing in? And what sort of industry is marijuana going to be? We take a couple articles on Canopy Growth Corporation and see if we can part the smoke to find out what might be in the company's future.
10/2/201856 minutes, 22 seconds
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Behind The Idea #35: Are We Sure General Motors Is A Good Value?

Does a relatively overvalued company mean its peers are cheap? Do peak cycle share buybacks create or destroy value? Is General Motors really all that cheap? Seeking Alpha author Blue Pacific raises concerns about the legacy auto giant, and we dissect them to see what's left for shareholders.
9/25/201853 minutes, 32 seconds
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Behind The Idea #34: The FIZZ, The Noise, And The Brand

National Beverage is the maker of Lacroix and both one of the most enduring growth stories on the current market and one of the quirkiest. What to make about the short seller accusations, the CEO's bold statements, and the fact that we're investing in flavored water? We discuss a few recent bullish arguments and see how much Lacroix's story fizzes. Topics covered: 2:40 - Breaking down National Beverage's business 8:45 - The bullish beats - a takeover? consistent growth? ignore tariffs-depressed gross margin
9/18/201859 minutes, 11 seconds
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Behind The Idea #33: Understanding Alibaba w/Anne Stevenson-Yang and Julian Lin

Questions have been asked about Alibaba long before news broke that Jack Ma might be leaving soon. We got in on the question-asking game, as we quizzed Alibaba bear Anne Stevenson-Yang about what the short case around the company really is, and Alibaba bull Julian Lin about the reasons to stay long. There was more overlap in the two discussions than we expected. Topics covered: Interview with Anne Stevenson-Yang from 2:15-33:15 3:00 minute mark - Why do Alibaba’s different businesses go together?
9/11/20181 hour, 30 minutes, 24 seconds
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Behind The Idea, #32: Can Einhorn's Insurance Idea Be Understood?

Insurance companies can be hard to understand. Brighthouse Financial, a newly spun off company, has attracted both bulls and bears in its short public career. Ranjit Thomas recently wrote a Seeking Alpha article expressing skepticism about famed value investor David Einhorn's position in the company wouldn't work, leading Einhorn to respond with a few comments. What is the story here and is there a way to grasp BHF's business model? We take a shot at it. Topics covered: 2:30 - Starting off - what does BHF d
9/4/201847 minutes, 3 seconds
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Behind The Idea #31: Going The Full Pitch On Man U With Katie Baker And Alex Kivali

This week's Behind the Idea goes back to the football pitch to discuss Manchester United. The Ringer's Katie Baker joins us to talk about the changing nature of fandom, the growth and cycle of soccer in the US, and the distortions that might exist in pricing a sports company. Then Seeking Alpha's Alex Kivali explains his case in the company, the growth MANU can see abroad, and the difference between US and UK fandom. Topics covered: W/Katie Baker 4:00 – Women’s world cup as high water mark in US interes
8/28/20181 hour, 20 minutes, 18 seconds
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Behind The Idea #30: Ralph Lauren On The Rack With Berna Barshay

Ralph Lauren has been getting a lot of credit for its turnaround from the market, but what if that's premature? We dive into the topic with Berna Barshay of Viola Capital Management, to hear why she's short RL, what her research process and edge is like, and what she thinks about sharing her first public idea experience. Topics covered: 1:45 - How does Ralph Lauren's Q1 fit into the short thesis, and the focus on US wholesale and comparable numbers? 7:15 - What is the way out of Ralph Lauren's chicken/egg
8/21/20181 hour, 5 minutes, 57 seconds
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Behind The Idea #29: The Rest Of The Disney Story w/Derek Thompson and Brian Langis

Disney's story is one of the more interesting long-running sagas on today's market. We discuss the company's fate and pending transformation with Seeking Alpha author Brian Langis (the 2-minute mark) and with The Atlantic's Derek Thompson (the 50-minute mark) to figure out whether Disney might be able to cross into streaming. Topics Covered: 2:00 - Reviewing Brian's thesis and the new hope for Disney 7:45 - What are you watching for in the transition to streaming? When does the tipping point come? 16:00 - H
8/14/20181 hour, 31 minutes, 25 seconds
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Behind The Idea #28: Quoth The Raven on Gold, Punk, and DIY Investing

Quoth the Raven joins Mike Taylor of Behind the Idea to talk about his thesis on gold, a topic that can often leave cash flow focused investors scratching their heads. While Mike and Quoth don't agree on everything, they do discuss two key points - the importance of an independent and skeptical perspective in investing, and the risk of becoming too proud of your thinking. The podcast also covers QTR's background as an investor and how he developed his unique perspective, as well as how he maintains to this
8/7/20181 hour, 10 minutes, 50 seconds
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Behind The Idea #27: Alibaba: What You See Is All There Is?

Seeking Alpha author Julian Lin made the bull case for Alibaba, arguing it's growing and unbeatable in its markets ( Alibaba is China's champion, and it like many China companies has drawn questions about the true numbers of its business. So we dive in to see whether there's more to Alibaba than meets the eye, or whether the growth story has legs. Topics covered 2:30 – Reviewing the article thesis – easy on the hot takes, but
7/31/201854 minutes, 44 seconds
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Behind The Idea #26: Shopping Around The Shopify Story W/Guests

We revisit Shopify from all angles to see what the investment case is both for longs and shorts. We had From Growth To Value (Long) and Ramy Taraboulsi, CFA and Jan Barta (each Short) talk up their views on the stock and their case. While the narratives don't always intersect, we hope the different perspectives helps investors better consider Shopify and other battleground stocks. Topics covered: Introduction – 1:25 3:45-46:00 – From Growth To Value 4:00 – How does the Growth investing mindset fit
7/24/20182 hours, 5 minutes, 48 seconds
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Behind The Idea #25: Manchester United And The Business Of Sport

The World Cup is over, but the Premier League is around the corner. And Manchester United trades on the market every day. Just because the club often wins doesn't mean it's a winning investment. We review a recent article by Alex Kivali - - to see what upside there is in the club and whether good times loom for investors. Topics covered: 4:00 minute mark – A recap of Manchester United's story so far 8:00 – MANU’s international op
7/17/201859 minutes, 3 seconds
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Behind The Idea #24: Royal Caribbean With Paul Brady And Spring Mill Research

We're getting back on the boat this week. Last week's episode about Royal Caribbean and the viability of cruising hit a nerve, and we wanted to explore further. Paul Brady of Conde Nast Traveler joins us to talk about the benefits of the new Silverseas deal and the surge in cruise popularity, and William Mack, CFA, of Spring Mill Research explains why the deal concerns him, and why he likes cruise lines as well even this late in the cycle. A double interview episode! Topics covered - Paul Brady from 1:15-4
7/10/20181 hour, 7 minutes, 59 seconds
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Behind The Idea #23: Dealing Into Rough Waters For Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean (RCL) was sailing along smoothly until it decided to make an expensive purchase. Are rougher waters ahead, or will this pass quickly? We look at the nature of the deal, of cruises, and of consumerism in the 21st century, based on an article by Spring Mill Research. Topics covered: 3:30 minute mark – snapshot of the Spring Mill Research thesis, or how RCL isn’t learning their lesson 6:30– What is there to say about this deal? 15:00 – The prospects for the cruise business in general, i
7/3/201845 minutes, 2 seconds
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Behind The Idea #22: Ralph Lauren, Fashion, And Timing

So much in life is about timing. The same goes for short ideas. We review a recent pitch by Berna Barshay of Viola Capital Management, LLC that argues that Ralph Lauren's chic look is passé with younger shoppers, and that the stock's recent rise is unearned. Is it a question of the right fashion or the right timing? We discuss. Topics covered: 2:55 minute mark - Recapping the short thesis - sales in the off-price channel and loss of millennial foothold. 6:30 - Looking closer at the generational issue for R
6/26/201842 minutes, 44 seconds
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Behind The Idea #21: The Right Pattern For Shopify

Shopify - the next major web platform or an overhyped tech company? We review a couple recent articles - both bull and bear - and see where the different sides get it right or wrong. Topics Covered Quick recap of Shopify - 2:00 minute mark Mike's experience with Shopify as a potential competitor - 4:00 Is Shopify making a land grab, and how does the multi-sided platform compare to a network effect - 9:00  The side hustle secular trend (or is it?) - 13:45 The bear case - competition, reliance on Facebook,
6/19/201850 minutes, 42 seconds
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Behind The Idea # 20: Kerrisdale Capital On Shorts, Funky Data, And Activism

Kerrisdale Capital joins us on Behind the Idea to go over some of their recent short ideas and the current state of the market, as a follow-up to our review of their Proteostasis idea (episode #9). Sahm Adrangi and co make their case and explain why shorts can also get it wrong. Topics covered - Proteostasis (3:00 minute mark), St. Joe's (17:50), QuinStreet and the adtech problem (29:00), the state of activist shorting and the hedge fund business (34:30).
6/12/201848 minutes, 39 seconds
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Behind The Idea # 19: Disney And The Power Of Stories

Disney is the king of story telling, but the market hasn't been buying what the company is selling. Brian Langis recently told a story - - for how Disney will not only survive cord-cutting but thrive. Is a happy ending coming for shareholders? We discuss. Topics covered: 2:00 minute mark - What do we know about Disney already?  7:50 - The strategic outlook for Disney, and the opportunity Brian Langis sees 14:15 - Everybody's worried about canniba
6/5/201845 minutes, 42 seconds
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Behind The Idea #18: How Delta Is Gaining Ground With Paul Brady

Conde Nast Traveler Articles Editor Paul Brady joins Behind The Idea this week to follow up on our Delta discussion (episode #15). We discuss the state of the industry and the limits on capacity, and how Delta is trying to gain distance from its competitors. Topics covered: 2:00 minute mark - Delta’s focus cities and offering full scheduling options 5:25 - Capacity constraints and where that leaves fliers and airlines 9:25 - What are the risks and drawbacks to being at full capacity? 14:25 - What is Delt
5/29/201832 minutes, 13 seconds
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Behind The Idea # 17: Kellogg's Serial Decline And What Matters

Does anyone eat cereal anymore? And what can Kellogg do about it? That's the topic of this week's Behind the Idea, as we take Prescience Point's short idea - - and see what really matters for Kellogg going forward. Topics covered: 2:00 – Setting the table for the consumer packaged good industry and the general Prescience Point thesis  4:50 – Assessing the decline of cereal, and Mike puts on his Peter L
5/22/201850 minutes, 40 seconds
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Behind The Idea # 16: Aswath Damodaran Talks Facebook, Valuation, And Stories

Professor Aswath Damodaran joins Behind the Idea this week to discuss Facebook as a follow-up to our episode reviewing his article (BTI #12). He also sheds light on his investing philosophy, why he dislikes the Dean of Valuation moniker, and the importance of faith and testing your faith in investing. Topics covered: Why the 'Dean of Valuation' is a terrifying title - 1:10 minute mark Recapping Damodaran's Facebook (FB) thesis - 2:00 How do you deal with the risk to Facebook's dominance? - 3:45 The piece W
5/15/201849 minutes, 29 seconds
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Behind The Idea #15: Delta Making Moves In An Oligopoly

The airline industry has changed. How do the remaining big players separate themselves from one another? Tim Dunn detailed Delta's focus city strategy in a recent article - - which shows one approach. We look at whether management's story checks out and what it means for investors to consider an oligopoly. Topics covered:  What’s going on in this thesis and with the focus city model? (1:30 minute mark) Decon
5/8/201828 minutes, 29 seconds
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Behind The Idea #14: Landmark and Beating The High Yield Trap

Landmark's model came under scrutiny in an article by new SA contributor Alacran Investments ( A lot of high-yield models may come up for scrutiny as the interest rate cycle turns. What does that mean for income investors? We look at how to avoid the high yield trap this week. Topics covered: What is Landmark's model, exactly? (1:45 minute mark) Definition of terms - MLPs vs. REITs vs. triple-net-leases (4:10) Mike explain
5/1/201845 minutes, 46 seconds
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Behind the Idea # 13: Cracking The Book Open On Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble: Value trap or value play? We take a research report from Westpeak Research Association - - as a launchpad to consider the bookseller's future and what that means for investors. Topics covered: Looking at Westpeak's Research (1:45 minute mark) The tradeoffs between a research report and an actionable long/short idea (5:00) Inverting this article to find the short case (12:20) But look at that value! (19:00) T
4/24/201845 minutes, 34 seconds
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Behind the Idea #12: Facebook And How To Update Your Facts

When the facts change on a stock that 'everybody knows', how do you change your mind? Professor Aswath Damodaran wrote an article about why Facebook is worth considering - - and provided a framework for how someone could update their views on a company. We take a look at that framework to see how it can be an example for investors, and where it might fall short. Topics covered: A summary of the professor's thesis and our three top
4/17/201850 minutes, 5 seconds
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Behind The Idea #11: Google - Quality, But At What Price?

Google is a great company. Is it a good investment? How much should you pay up for quality? That's the topic of this week's Behind The Idea, as we look at David Trainer's argument - - that the recent dip is a buying opportunity. Topics covered include: The ups and downs of the buy the dips strategy (1:20) The quality of Google as a company (8:15) Potential threats to Google's moat (13:00) Risks David Trainer brings up and whether a
4/10/201851 minutes, 7 seconds
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Behind The Idea #10: What's Going On With General Electric?

General Electric has fallen on hard times, to the point where the mere rumor that Warren Buffett could get involved has perked up the stock. What happened, and what happens next? Mike and Daniel take an article by WG Investment Research on the good, the bad, and the ugly with GE and see whether there's anything redeeming in the company's prospects or shares. Topics discussed on this episode: The backdrop of GE's situation (1:55 minute mark) Buffett's interest and the principle of coattail riding (3:00) Cove
4/3/201850 minutes, 44 seconds
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Behind The Idea #9: Proteostasis, Or How Clinical Data Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

Data is accepted as hard currency in this day and age, but can it always be believed? We look at Kerrisdale Capital Management's short idea on Proteostasis and the different ways they and other investors have looked at the data for PTI's key phase II trial. Topics covered - Proteostasis background and biotech company name portmanteaus* (1:40 minute mark); Breaking down Kerrisdale's argument, centering on the placebo group (7:00); Venturing into biotech as a non-scientist (12:25); The need for capital in bio
3/26/201844 minutes, 8 seconds
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Behind The Idea #8: Thor And The Cycle: An Investing Fable

Investing in a cyclical stock at peak earnings can lead to a bumpy ride. What road will Thor Industries follow? We speak with DoctoRx ( about his thesis on the RV maker and why he thinks the bull case has miles in front of it. Topics covered: How to deal with THO's cyclical nature? (2:45 minute mark); Looking at the RV cycle specifically (4:55); What about oil prices and rising rates? (9:40); Millennials as RV Buyers (12:15); Tariffs as a he
3/20/201841 minutes, 37 seconds
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Behind The Idea #7: Halcón Resources Learning To Fly

Has anything changed for oil companies, and for Halcón Resources specifically? That's the topic of this week's Behind The Idea, as we look at Laurentian Research's three-part series - - to see if the shale-oil company can turn it around. Items covered (with times in the podcast in parentheses) - Halcón's background (1:25), Laurentian Research's case (2:40), How to value HK's land (5:25), The true base rate and second-
3/12/201840 minutes, 35 seconds
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Behind The Idea # 6: The Tile Shop Hits The Floor

Everyone loves a comeback story, but do they actually work in investing? Behind The Idea looks at Michael Rogus's argument ( that The Tile Shop can turn things around, as well as why retail turnarounds can be such a graveyard for investors. Topics covered: A review of TTS's unhappy 2017 (1:30) Breaking down Rogus's TTS article (4:30) The elephant in the room (Amazon (AMZN)) and a potential fence against it (14:40) Are the gross margins su
3/5/201840 minutes, 47 seconds
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Behind The Idea #5: Gilead's Hunt And The Crispr Crapshoot

Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) garner headlines and lead to big returns for the right investors, but they can often be a bit of a crapshoot, especially in the Pharmaceutical industry. SA author Biosci Capital Partners makes the case in two articles that Crispr Therapeutics, a pioneer of gene editing technologies, might be a target for Gilead Sciences. Behind The Idea breaks down the case and discusses how to deal with the hope of a big payout and the risk that it won't happen.
2/26/201840 minutes, 52 seconds
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Behind The Idea #4: Everybody's A Burrito Expert

Everybody's a burrito expert, which makes it a lot harder to have an edge. That makes investors susceptible to their own psychological biases. Behind The Idea looks at debut Seeking Alpha author Stephen Moseley's thesis on the market's overreaction to reports about Chipotle's food safety, and how our biases keep us from seeing the story straight:
2/19/201842 minutes, 46 seconds
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Behind The Idea #3: Teva's Tribulations

Teva Pharmaceuticals, the Israeli generic pharmaceutical giant, has fallen on hard times recently. But does that mean they actually have the government over a barrel? Seeking Alpha's Behind The Idea looks at Christiana Friedman's case for why Teva is a heads you win tails you don't win investment.
2/14/201834 minutes, 8 seconds
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Behind The Idea #2: Papa Don't Preach

John Schnatter, the eponymous Chairman of Papa John's, stepped into the political quagmire of NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem, and subsequently stepped down from the CEO role. An opportunity for investors? Seeking Alpha's Behind the Idea looks at Akram's Razor's case for Papa John's to go private -
1/30/201835 minutes, 23 seconds
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Behind The Idea #1: WATT's Electrifying News

Seeking Alpha editors Mike Taylor and Daniel Shvartsman go behind the idea to discuss Amit Ghate's thesis on controversial tech company Energous(WATT). The small tech company announced big news - FCC approval for one of their technological designs - shortly before the end of 2017 and the stock's price more than tripled overnight. Amit Ghate argued that the company was playing investors in his article: We look at how hype manifests
1/26/201837 minutes, 58 seconds