Category Archives: Uncategorized

Italgas SpA (ISIN IT0005211237) – Spin-off special situation meets contrarian opportunity

Management Summary

As this turned into a pretty long post again, quickly the highlights. I do think that Italgas SpA, the recent Spin-off from SNAM SpA represents a potentially interesting special situation investment because:

  • overall sentiment towards Italy is really bad (“Renzi referendum”)
  • the Spin-off was not timed well just a day before the US election
  • the current uncertainties within Italian regulation changes further deters potential investors
  • all this is reflected in asset multiples at the very low-end for comparable regulated assets

For those reasons I initiated a 2,7% position for my portfolio for my “Special Situation” bucket.

DISCLAIMER: This is not investment advice. Please do your own research !!!!


Read more

Novo Nordisk (DK0060534915)- What now ?

When I looked at Novo Nordisk 3 months ago, I found the stock too expensive at 315 DKK/share. That was my summary back then:

What could make the stock interesting again ?

Well, that’s simple: Either a lower stock price or higher growth. Maybe management has low-balled growth ? Who knows. Maybe the market over reacts if the next quarters don’t look that good ? According to Bloomberg, analysts officially still expect double-digit earnings per share growth well into 2019. Even adjusting for share buy backs, this will be difficult to achieve based on the growth rates communicated by management.

For me, the stock would become more interesting at around 250 DKK under the current growth assumptions. I think I would also like to see more negative comments from analysts.

With the stock now trading at ~229 DKK, it is clearly necessary to revisit the stock again.

Read more

Some thoughts on index funds & market efficiency (including some empirical material)

Currently there are a lot of articles in the financial press about the perceived “fight” between active and passive asset management styles.

The passive guys make the point that on average, after fees, active funds have to underperform against the index and low-cost index funds, which is difficult to counter. On top of that, “alpha” created by large active funds is not very persistent.

From the active side, there is the argument that if there is too much money invested in index funds, market efficiency will suffer and stocks will go up and down together because not enough people are analyzing single stocks. If stocks go up and down together without reflecting fundamentals, at some point in time “good stocks” should be too cheap and bad stocks to expensive. Which then should be some easy money for any good stock picker.

Is the market already inefficient ?

This argument  reasonable at first but is there any evidence that the market is less efficient ?  Let’s look for instance at the DAX 30, the major German index. It is hard to come up with good numbers but I do think that maybe between 10-15 % of the DAX is somehow invested via index funds with a clear trend towards more index ownership.

So let’s look how the DAX constituents have performed so far this year (as of Nov. 2nd). The Dax itself ytd is down -2,8% This is the YTD performance of the constituents:

Read more

Performance Q3 2016 – Random observations


In Q3 2016, the portfolio gained by +7,5% vs. +7,7% for the benchmark (25% Eurostoxx 50, 25% Eurostoxx small 200, 30% Dax, 20% MDAX).

YTD the score is +5,9% vs. -2,5%, since inception (01.01.2011) +121,8% vs.63,5%. As always Quarter & YTD numbers are very volatile and can easily fluctuate +/- 5% on relative basis in very short time.

The detailed month-by-month table, graph and links to all the reviews can be found on the performance page.

My subjective “Peer Group” has done like this YTD:

Partners Fund TGV: +6,9%
Profitlich/Schmidlin: +0,2%
Squad European Convictions +9,3%
Ennismore European Smaller Cos +13,3%
Frankfurter Aktienfonds für Stiftungen +3,5%

The best performing shares in the portfolio in Q3 were:

Read more

Again some thoughts on Banks (Low interest rates, ECB and yes, Deutsche Bank again) – Part 1

First things first: Deutsche Bank

I had a post in February last year why investing in something like Deutsche bank is maybe not a good idea. But still, as I said in February this year, I don’t think Deutsche Bank will be the next Lehman Brothers.

However the internal Memo from John Cryan is clearly not a good sign. Not the text of the memo, but the fact that he had to send out one (again). Similar to Dick Fuld back then, Cryan blames “speculators” for the stock price drop. Interestingly he didn’t say “short sellers”. Maybe this has to do with the fact that Deutsche Bank itself has around 106 different disclosed short positions on stocks according to the Bloomberg function SPOS.

The big difference to Lehman in my opinion is liquidity.and the general market environment. As a universal bank they have much better access to (guaranteed) deposits and overall the market still looks relatively stable.

So one could ask: After losing -50%, is Deutsche Bank now a good (Value) investment ? I honestly don’t know. For me, a value investment is an investment I can actually value with a “Margin of safety”.

Read more

Book review: “Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money”


Knowing more about Bitcoin was one of the points on my personal “to do list” for this year. By chance I found this book on Amazon which looked like it would be a good starting point.

This book is written by a “real” journalist, so the style of writing and the pace of the narrative is very good.

It covers the story of Bitcoin from the very beginning, when a guy calling himself Sathoshi Nakamoto uploaded the original white paper on Bitcoin in 2008 and was met initially with very little feedback.

Read more

“Luxury update” – 4 years later (Prada, Boss)

Almost exactly 4 years ago I pondered shorting luxury stocks in 2 posts.

Part 1 – Idea Generation

Part 2- follow up

The only stock I actually shorted was Prada and I gave up 1 year later as the stock strongly went against me.

Back then, I divided (totally arbitrary) a “peer group” of luxury stocks into 2 sub groups, “tier 1” and “tier 2” brands. Let’s look how those stocks performed over the past 4 years:

Read more

« Older Entries