Flight Centre, the Australian based travel company is a company which is on 2 to do lists of mine: The Australian list as well the travel series list. By chance I discovered that there is a book about Flight Centre. I decided to kick-off the analysis with this book review as part 1 of a Flight Centre analysis.
The book covers the complete story of Flight Centre and its founders from the start in 1973 until 2013 and was written by an “insider”, a former employee who worked as head of the UK operations.
As always: this is not investment advise. Please DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH. Never trust any “stock tips” from anyone.
A few weeks ago I already mentioned that I had invested into a UK small cap company. Because of a lack of time I had to delay finishing the write-up but now I happily reveal the “UK mystery stock”:
Majesic Wine Plc is the dominant wine retailer in the UK for “medium to higher priced” wines, from 5 GBP/bottle upwards. They run a retail chain plus a commercial service for restaurants and a “fine wine” subsidiary. They recently purchased online only wine trader “Naked Wine” but we come to that later.
Charly Munger’s mantra is “Invert, always invert”. So let’s start this one with a couple of reasons why you shouldn’t buy Majestic Wine at the moment:
- BREXIT: This has potentially multiple negative impacts on Majestic. With a lower Pound, imports get more expensive plus a general potentially weak consumer climate could make things really difficult and squeeze margins and/or reduce volumes. On top of that, many of the bankers who might need to leave the City might be target customers
- The overall wine market in the UK hasn’t been growing in the last years so any growth needs to come from competitors. If Wine importers need to raise prices there is also the potential of a “substitution effect” towards other, cheaper alcoholic beverages like for instance craft beer which can be made locally.
- Current numbers do not look that good, even if one adjusts for one-offs etc. the stock is not “cheap”. The company cancelled the dividend for the current year.
- Even before the Brexit discussion, the business had weakened. The earnings peek has been the business year 2013/2014
- As everywhere in retail, online is definitely an issue for the wine trade.
Would you consider to invest into a company which at every occasion states the following:
AQ possesses no amazing patents or other security, we rely on having the best crew.
For a “Buffett/Munger” style value investor, this would be tough as there is clearly no moat or anything close and according to Buffett, the business economics always win in the long run, no matter how well a company is run.
Welcome to AQ Group, a Swedish “non moat” manufacturing company
Many value investors are of the opinion that banks are not investable. Either because they say the business is too complex or because they think banks are doomed anyway. Maybe due to the overall low valuations of banks, I get regularly requests on writing about how to value bank,s so at least some people seem to be interested. The greatest value investor of all obviously has no problems with investing into banks. Wells Fargo is the biggest position of Buffett at around 26 bn USD and he holds various other bank assets like the Bank of America Warrants.
A few days ago, a good friend recommended me to look at Handelsbanken from Sweden as an example how a well run bank should look like.