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alphacashy Message

alphacashy's Space » All messages

  • batbeer2 2015-01-22 14:05
    coryashpt: Hi Batbeer2,
    I was disappointed in IBM's inability to right the ship and grow revenue.  I am encouraged by the growing margins and growth in strategic
    I agree.

    Hopefully the bad is out now, leaving only the best.
    I'm a big fan of Watson. Last year at this time it was an idea, now it is a serious business.

    We shall see.
  • batbeer2 2015-01-12 14:02
    coryashpt: Hi Batbeer,

    With the demise of oil some stocks have come up on my radar.  One of which is CoreLabs.  I believe they are based in the Netherlands...an
    Hi Cory,

    Never heard of the company until now. I see that they have an office in Rotterdam which is my city. Shame on me. Often you'll see a company like this in the Netherlands for tax reasons (the pop group U2 is also Dutch, don't let anyone tell you it's Irish ;o)

    But CL actually has operations here. Good.

    The people on the BoD come from some of the finest Dutch companies and institutions. van Kempen, Clingendael, Shell.... wow.

    As to your question "why couldn't an oil major do this?"...

    Countries in Europe and Asia will typically award a contract for a field to at least three different oil majors. So you will always have Shell, BP and maybe XOM or Total active in a given geographic area. They could each set up a business unit for a given job or they outsource that function. I think that is where Schlumberger, Fugro, Bristow and for that matter MRC add value. They serve multiple clients in a given area and it saves on cost. Each of these clients could do it themselves but it would be more expensive.

    But frankly, I don't see why this would be specifically the case for "Reservoir optimisation". Then again I don't even know what that entails so I'd have to look into it a bit more.

    I'll look into this business (again, this is just what I can blurt out after five minutes of knowing about this one) If something catches my interest, I'll let you know.

  • batbeer2 2014-10-27 09:34
    coryashpt: What are the probabilities of you writing another B-M newsletter on CarboCeramics given their recent huge price decline?

    Any comments on IBM after th
    Hi Cory,

    I bought some IBM after the plunge. I short, I think they have divested a mont-losing operation which should be good for earnings going forward and I'm very optimistic about the rest of the business; particularly Watson.

    As for CRR.... I looked at it this month but I haven't yet got my head around the core advantages (if any) of the business. The ceramic proppant seems to be necessary beyond a certain depth and the recent struggles may have to do with where and how the drillers are currently drilling. Again, I don't understand it well enough to write about it but it is dead center on my radar.

  • batbeer2 2014-09-22 13:49
    coryashpt: I agree.

    BTW, I wanted to tell you your last write up on COST was your best IMHO.

    I see SIAL got bought at a nice premium today.  Woulda, Coulda, Sh

    I write to learn so hopefully the letters become a bit better over time.
    In other words, it's better to ignore me for another decade or so ;o)

  • batbeer2 2014-09-22 13:11
    coryashpt: With Carbo I think it has a lot to do with E&P operators sacrificing long term gains for short term production results and improved margins.  Dema
    Geoff has his own newsletter now. I believe he writes that together with Anh Hoang. If memory serves you can get a free copy if you mail them. I think they are looking at really obscure stuff.

    No, Geoff no longer writes for GF. Of course, he may write again in future.

    The reason I got to write the newsletter is because Geoff "retired" from GF. I know for sure he wrote the last few newsletters before I took over but he wasn't the first writer. There were others. I wasn't the forst writer so all I can do is make sure I'm the last.
    Told GF that that was my intention when I started :-)

    Chinese imports of proppant....

    If the stuff is cheap enough, the transportation will kill them. Also, I find it interesting that CRR is doing OK in China so they must have something right. I'll have to dig to find out precisely what though. The trick is to find out at what price point CRR can make a profit and keep out the competition too. I think that is precisely what they are finding out now ;o)

  • batbeer2 2014-09-22 11:26
    coryashpt: Hi Francis,
    CarboCeramics is a former BuffettMunger newsletter company.  Their shares have fallen under significant pressure lately.  They are down ov
    Hi Cory,

    The newsletter about CRR was written by Geoff Gannon (I think). It looks like his work to me.  It certainly isn't mine.

    Carbo is on my radar but I haven't yet taken a proper look (lack of time). I think there could be some barriers to entry in the local business because at a certain distance, the cost of transport exceeds the cost of production. You have these local monopolies. You have a similar dynamic with cement plants and rock pits (concrete).

    Also..... the alternative to the proppant Carbo makes is sand. Contrary to popular belief, that is not free. You have to sieve that multiple times to get a consistent product that you can use in your well. Also, you have to transport that too and it is probably heavier than the ceramic stuff.

    If and when I do come round to looking at the company I would look at the location of the production plants relative to what competitors are doing and market share on a local level. On a national level I think market share is meaningless.

    Again, I haven't looked into it to confirm/disprove these suspicions. When I do, you will be reading about it. It is certainly a company that is worth investigating and in due course I will.

    In any case I would have to explain to myself (and others) why it has been so cyclical. I know Geoff has looked at the company (don't know for sure if that particular newsletter was his though) and he wasn't expecting it to be as cyclical as it has been. I have a lot of respect for Geoff so it makes me think twice.

    Hope some of this makes sense to you.
    If you find anything worthwhile that has any bearing on the above, please let me know.

    best regards,
  • batbeer2 2014-08-23 07:42
    coryashpt: Hi Francis,

    I was very pleased with CRMT's earnings report and the tone of the conference call.  I like how management focuses on the success of the
    Hi Cory,

    I read the transcript.

    I think the fact that they are selling more and cheaper cars. More volume lower price. That is where they have an advantage and where they should stay. I think the CEO actually said they "own" that market and I think he's right.

    Also, the newer lots are doing better. I think the lots that are older than 10 years are also in larger communities. The newer lots (in the smaller communities) have greater barriers to entry. That would be an inetersting data point to to investigate though.

    Also, the lower turnover for the lot managers is good. I like the fact that they find things like that important. They didn't mention the absolute trunover though, just the percentage change. I'd like to know the absolute numbers. Maybe I should read the 10-Q and/or drop them an e-mail.

    All in all it is a very good discussion of a good quarter.
    Consider me (still) very bullish.

    kind regards,
  • batbeer2 2014-02-06 01:48
    coryashpt: Hi Francis,
    Is there a way to tease out what CRMT is spending on dealership growth versus what they would normally spend for "maintenance"?
    Hi Cory,

    That's a very good question.

    I'll answer it in this months newsletter; make my best estimate of owner earnings. If memory serves you're a premium member so you can read it there but I'll post my thoughts here as well.
  • batbeer2 2013-07-23 09:27
    coryashpt: Hi Francis.  I have another question on CRMT.  It qualified for write up on the Buffett/Munger newsletter but GuruFocus only gives it 1-star for busin
    Hi Cory,

    At the time of writing (february), CRMT had a score of 3.5 and showed up on the Buffett-Munger screen. The screener is not to be confused with the model portfolio. The fact that it showed up on the screen was what triggered me to research the company and write about it.

    Why it has a single star now is beyond me. The company has performed exactly as one would expect base on the past performance. Gurufocus tells me it's because Ebitda per share has been a bit lumpy. Why that would mess up the rating now and not in february is beyond me.

    I wouldn't rule out a bug that causes the quarterly numbers to mess up the "business predictability" rank. If I'm right, CRMT is sure to show up again on the screener come february. I'm tracking this one actively.

    Hope this makes some sense to you,
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