Blackbaud: A Wonderful Little Niche

September 26, 2013 Moats 3 Comments

This is the first of what I hope will be a series of articles on the software industry.  Why?  Quite simply, the software industry possesses very attractive economics.  The first company we will look at is Blackbaud, Inc. (BLKB). Blackbaud…

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The Hershey Company and the Power of Brands

September 10, 2013 Moats 13 Comments

One of the major precepts behind this blog is that we can learn the most about how profits are created by studying profitable companies and figuring out their business models.  We can then think about how they might apply elsewhere. …

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A Closer Look at Weight Watchers (WTW)

August 21, 2013 Moats 27 Comments

Well-known value investing blogger Geoff Gannon recently announced a significant investment in Weight Watchers (“WTW” or the “Company”).  Mr. Gannon’s remarks on this investment have been brief so it is not entirely clear what his thesis is.  However, he seems…

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A Memo to Jeff Bezos Re: the Washington Post

August 8, 2013 Moats 4 Comments

John Chew over at CSInvesting.com recently challenged his readers to advise Jeff Bezos on his purchase of the Washington Post and numerous local newspapers from the Washington Post Company (WPO).  We decided to take the bait.  What follows is our…

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Measuring the Moat

July 27, 2013 Moats 1 Comment

Michael Mauboussin has updated his paper "Measuring the Moat."  Therevised paper can be found here.  In an earlier post, we had linked to a website that includes the 2002 version of this paper.  Its exciting to get it updated.  More…

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Tilson Comments on Avis and Hertz

July 20, 2013 Moats 6 Comments

In an interview with the Motley Fool, investor Whitney Tilson commented on the evolving car rental industry: Brendan: You're bullish on both Hertz (NYSE: HTZ) and on Avis (NASDAQ: CAR). Whitney: Yes. Brendan: You actually said the auto rental industry right…

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Introducing the Punchcard Investing Watchlist

July 18, 2013 Moats, Process 2 Comments

The Punchcard Investing Watch List has been initiated and can be found here.  It includes the first 3 moat companies we have looked at.  The four factors refer to the four factors Buffett and Munger use to evaluation companies.  Buffett…

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Part II – Hertz (HTZ) – Rational Pricing Discipline?

July 15, 2013 Moats 5 Comments

In Part I, we took a look at a potential emerging moat in the consumer truck rental industry, Amerco (UHAL).  Today, we take a look at another potential emerging moat in the consumer car rental , Hertz (HTZ).[1] The consumer…

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What Would You Pay For These Businesses?

July 10, 2013 Moats 1 Comment

We are big fans of this occasional series in the New York Times: HVAC Case Study Long Haul Trucking Case Study IT Company Case Study In the articles, the author takes a look at actual small, closely held businesses that…

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Disney’s Theme Park Moat

July 6, 2013 Moats 0 Comments

I recently received the following tweet: https://twitter.com/ejburnside/status/353325124281311232 It reminded me of the wide moat Disney's theme parks have.  Here is an article on how Disney works to widen their moat: At Disney Parks, a Bracelet Meant to Build Loyalty (and…

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