Missed opportunities: Osram, Praktiker, Powerland

Osram:

Good idea, bad execution is my summary for this one. The main mistake was clearly some kind of “anchoring”, because I wanted to see a price below 23 in order to buy. ANother question would be if you should, as a true value investor, do such “trades” at all.

Clearly, I am not yet convinced of Osram’s long term potential, but to me it was clear that this looked very similar to Lanxess’ first day on the stock market. A friend told me that “if you miss the limit by a few cents, then the margin of safety was too small anyway”. That is a good point. On the other hand, I think one can also add “alpha” if one does those kind of trades consequently (like the KPN trade), if the odds are in one’s favour.

I mean this is the whole idea of “special situation” investing. It might not be a pure “Margin of safety trade” each time, but if the chances are 55:45 on average instead of 50/50, over time this strategy will also produce good results.

For the time being, I will however remain on the sidelines with Osram.

Praktiker

Almost exactly a year ago after I sold the Praktiker Bond, the Insolvency now seems to be unavoidable.

Looking back, the sale at ~44% in July looked like really bad timing in the beginning:

Clearly, this was a missed opportunity as well, as the price even doubled after I sold July 2012. But after the “restructuring”, the Praktiker bond in my opinion was a pure speculation, the odds were at most 50/50 or worse. Clearly, I did not forecast the bad weather, but overall this whole affair looked just too bad. So I do not regret this missed opportunity as the fundamental decision was clearly correct.

Just as a remark: I assume that the recovery for the bond will be very low, maybe even single digit percentage points. Everything valuable has been pledged away and I don’t think they will get any fresh money into the capital structure “below” the bond.

Powerland

2 years ago, I looked at Powerland, a “German-Chinese” IPO. Already a superficial look at the company showed a lot of inconsistencies. Now it looks like that the game is over.

I am not sure why I didn’t short the company. This was clearly a case with a very big chance of being a fraud. There would have been even a second good chance when the CFO in November 2012 surprisingly left the company. So clearly a missed opportunity as I didn’t follow up on that one.

One comment

  • Regarding Powerland and Audit: Chinese Companies can at least be quite entertaining.
    Have you ever seen a company publishing “audited financial statements” and “unaudited financial statements” together in one publication, with really big differences in it?
    So did DARCO Water http://www.darcowater.com/ in their “financial updates” from May 15th. Quite entertaining. I have never seen before such an open power struggle inside a company. 🙂

    Disclaimer: That company failed too, their shares are suspended from trade since last year.

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