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The return of the Travel Series (9): Expedia (EXPE) – Cheaper than I thought

Disclaimer: This is not investment advise !!! Do your own research !!!!
The guy who wrote this post just lost a lot of money with his Silver Chef position. You might even consider shorting his recommendations 😉

Background:

When I looked at Expedia almost exactly one year ago as part of my 2017 Travel Series my key take negative aways were as follows:

– CEO has super high salary (90 mn USD in 2015)
– top line growth, operating profit stagnant
– expensive acquisitions in 2015/2016, number of shares and debt increased significantly
– reported growth numbers not adjusted for acquisitions in investor presentation
– lots of share options

Additionally, the stock looked expensive:

At 119 USD per share, Bloomberg tells me that they have a trailing P/E of 54, an expected 2017 P/E of 22,3 and an EV/EBITDA of ~16. This means that a lot of growth is already priced in.

As we can see in the chart, the stock became at first even more expensive before dropping back to a level of around 100 USD / share:

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Crypto Currencies – a short look at IOTA

Again the promise: This will not become a Crypto Currency blog. On the other hand I really find the topic fascinating and maybe one or the other reader finds it interesting too.

After looking at rather non-exciting ICOs like Naga Coin and Whysker, I decided to have a quick look at IOTA.

Why IOTA ?

First of all, IOTA is also based in Germany and I want to know what is going on in my home country. Secondly, I was surprised that Robert Bosch AG, the very conservative privately hold German auto supplier invested in IOTA coins a few weeks ago. Although Bosch did some stupid things in the past (like buying Ersol and Aleo Solar), it is nevertheless an interesting move.

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Kinnevik AB – Better than Buffett, Watsa, Wallenberg & Co ?

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Kinnevik is one of the more well-known “typical” Swedish investment companies. Founded in 1936 and still controlled (via A shares with multiple votes) by the 3 founding families, Stenbeck, Van Horn and Klingspor, the company now has a market cap of around 7,8 bn EUR.

Originally, farming, forestry & industrial were their main businesses but Jan Hugo Stenbeck, who unfortunately died in 2002 at the age of 59, transformed Kinnevik into a more “modern” company.

One specific feature of Stenbeck was that he didn’t only invest in listed companies but also helped to create new companies or invested in a very early stages. This is from Stenbeck’s obituary in the annual report 2002:

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Synchrony Financial (SYF) – a Spin-off that is better than its Parent GE ?

While looking at General Electric some days ago, I remembered that I had the IPO/Spin-off GE Capital Credit Cards which is now Synchrony Financial on my research list for quite some time.

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Company Background

This is from the 2016 annual report explaining how Synchrony was separated from GE:

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Trivago Update: From virtuous to vicuous circle in only 7 months ?

When I first reviewed Trivago in March this year, the company looked like an unstoppable growth machine, although much too expensive. Looking at the stock chart we can see that the stock almost doubled after my write-up but then lost 2/3 since its peak in July and now trades -40% against the IPO price 11 months ago:

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So what happened ?

In July, Trivago came out confirming their earnings guidance 2017 with +50% in sales and increasing margins. In early September, after the stock had dropped already significantly, they came out with this warning:

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