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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Hibbett Sports: A Bricks-and-Mortar Winner in Retail?

August 12, 2016 Moats 2 Comments

In 1996, the Wall Street Journal wrote its first article on online competition for travel agents.  “For more than a year,” the newspaper reported, “airlines have been trying to cut their payments to travel agents, who account for 80% of…

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Winmark & The Evolving Retail Industry

July 13, 2016 Moats 1 Comment

 “Retailing is a tough, tough business, partly because your competitors are always attempting and very frequently successfully attempting to copy anything you do that's working. And so the world keeps moving. It's hard to establish a permanent moat that your…

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Charter:  John Malone’s Return to The US Cable Industry

September 4, 2015 Moats 10 Comments

“It’s the law of nature. Big bubbles get bigger, small bubbles disappear — it’s surface tension, the law of physics; and in business it’s scale economics. It had to happen.” -John Malone For twenty-four years, from 1973 to 1996, Malone…

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Discovery Communications & the Uncertain Future of Pay-TV

July 15, 2015 Moats 11 Comments

For years, even as the Internet razed much of the profits at newspapers, magazines, books, and music labels, cable-TV networks kept making big money. More recently, as consumers shifted their viewing time from live television to various on-demand options, anxiety…

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Why Did John Malone Invest in Lions Gate?

June 2, 2015 Moats 15 Comments

Just like making movies. God help us if we think we can pick winners and losers when it comes to making movies. Even the good guys don’t know how to do that. There are certain fields, in my experience, that…

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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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See’s Candy – The Prototype of the Wide Moat Company

July 2, 2013 Moats 6 Comments

Buffett often holds out See’s Candy as the prototype of the wide moat company.  What lessons can be learned from this case study? Background See’s Candy manufactures, distributes and sells high quality candy through retail outlets.  These retail locations are…

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