CBRE:  Using An Industry Deep Dive to Detect an Emerging Moat

November 17, 2016 Moats 8 Comments

“Future profitability of the industry will be determined by current competitive characteristics, not past ones. Many managers have been slow to recognize this. It’s not only generals that prefer to fight the last war. Most business and investment analysis also…

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OnDeck Capital (ONDK) & The Re-Engineering of Small Business Lending

January 19, 2016 Moats 5 Comments

Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, warned in his 2014 annual shareholder letter in 2015 that "Silicon Valley is coming" for banking's bread and butter. It was a pivotal moment, because traditional banks are deep-pocketed monsters with large…

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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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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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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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