Live Nation Entertainment: An Unregulated Monopoly?

March 5, 2015 Moats 43 Comments

Full Disclosure:  I own shares of Live Nation Entertainment (LYV) In early 1982, a comedian turned lawyer turned CEO named Fred Rosen was looking for a strategy for taking on a powerful company called Ticketron.  Rosen’s young company, Ticketmaster, was…

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Conn’s (CONN): A Retailer Targeting the Subprime Segment

January 22, 2015 Moats 5 Comments

“Our confidence is shattered,” said Laura Champine, an analyst with Canaccord Genuity Corp., with regard to Conn's. Such quotes get our pulse racing.  When Wall Street gives up and throws in the towel, we make money. What prompted such a dramatic…

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Interactive Brokers Group (IBKR)

December 10, 2014 Moats 25 Comments

[slideshare id=42564705&doc=ibkr-141210075211-conversion-gate01]   [polldaddy poll=8513536]

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C.H. Robinson and Two-Sided Markets

October 31, 2014 Moats 28 Comments

Regular readers will notice that this is the first post in quite some time.  Thank you for all your emails asking where I had disappeared to.  I will now return to writing again regularly.  I hope you enjoy it.  As…

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Do Financial Services Companies Have Moats? Part II, American Express

January 2, 2014 Moats 12 Comments

In Part I, we looked at Nicholas Financial, a microcap subprime auto lender.  We saw evidence of a moat based on nothing more than temperament, restraint and a rational approach to credit risk.  Today, we look at a much larger…

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Pulse Seismic: A Wide Moat Company Drowning in Cash

November 27, 2013 Moats 9 Comments

“One metric catches people. We prefer businesses that drown in cash. An example of a different business is construction equipment. You work hard all year and there is your profit sitting in the yard. We avoid businesses like that. We…

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Update on Weight Watchers International, Inc. (WTW)

November 7, 2013 Moats 4 Comments

 I usually don’t pay much attention to quarterly earnings releases, but I received the following email from a reader: Curious as to your thoughts on WTW's release. Here are mine: -I was expecting meeting attendance and revenues to fall. This…

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Do Financial Services Companies Have Moats? Part I – Nicholas Financial (NICK)

November 6, 2013 Moats 11 Comments

“Charlie and I have been surprised at how much profitability banks have, given that it seems like a commodity business.” -          Warren Buffett, Meeting with students from Vanderbilt University, January 28, 2005 In contrast to consumer brands where the moat…

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RPX and the Broken Patent Market

October 11, 2013 Moats 6 Comments

A reader recently suggested I take a look at RPX Corporation (RPXC).  Coincidentally, the next day, Union Square Research Group tweeted out a link to an article about their biggest competitor.  After that, I decided I had to take a…

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Investing As A Career

October 3, 2013 Moats 3 Comments

As some of you know, my day job is working as a tax attorney for a large multinational corporation.  But, I eat, sleep and drink value investing.  I think that passion comes through in my writing.  I have decided that…

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