Curious how well insiders are doing with their buys? Click on this link or image above to scroll the significant buys of the last year.

And what to do about the Russian Ukraine war. It will get worse and it will drag China into an ever-deepening conflict with the West and Democratic regimes. The declaration of mutual support that Russia and China published in a 5000-word memorandum entitled

Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China on the International Relations Entering a New Era and the Global Sustainable Development was reminiscent of the Axis power alignment with Germany and Japan at the onset of WWII. If we’re headed to WWW3 is that a reason to shun stocks?  Probably not as we’ll likely be all dead anyway.  One way to express a view and your support for a shift in our posture with China is to short the FXI.  Supporting the economic expansion of China will likely lead to disastrous consequences for the American world order.  I highly recommend this weekend’s podcast The Russia-China Axis from the American Foreign Policy Council and its interview with Dr. Jonathan Ward about the strategic alignment between Russia and China.

I wrote last week that bear markets have become so rare that few people are willing to call one, instead, it’s a correction, yet another buying opportunity.  It should be obvious after Friday’s pathetic close that there are more sellers of equities than buyers just about any day the market is open. That’s a bear market.

For many people, the obvious response is to buy nothing, do nothing until the bear market is over. We wish it was that easy as when some stocks have corrected as sharply as they have, down 50-70% in many cases. When they turn the upswing will be so quick and significant, violent even that there is no way of getting back in anywhere near the bottom.

What we prefer to do with our high conviction buys is to add small amounts on the way down, always questioning and testing our thesis with the simple exercise. Knowing what I know today, would I buy this stock again?

If you can’t answer this in the affirmative, you have no business owning it.  Get your head out of the sand and sell it as your position will likely get worse, not better. On the other hand, if you can honestly say yes, I’d buy it again- then do it no matter how painful it may seem.

 

 

Finviz Chart

Name: de la Serna Juan Martin
Position: VP
Transaction Date: 2022-03-09 Shares Bought: 215 Average Price Paid: $934.01 Cost: $200,812
Company: MercadoLibre Inc (MELI)
MercadoLibre hosts online commerce and payment platforms in Latin America through its subsidiaries. Its services are intended to give users the ability to buy, sell, pay for, and receive e-commerce transactions. The company’s main product is the MercadoLibre marketplace, an automated online commerce service available at mercadolibre.com that allows businesses and individuals to sell things and conduct fixed-price or auction-based sales and purchases online. It also enables registered users in MercadoLibre marketplace to list and purchase motor vehicles, vessels, aircraft, real estate, and services through online classified listings; users and advertisers to place, display, and/or text advertisements on its Web pages to promote their brands and offerings; and Internet users to browse through various products and services that are listed on its Web site and register with MercadoLibre to list, bid for, and purchase items and services. The company also offers MercadoPago, an integrated online payment solution that allows customers to send and receive payments both on and off the MercadoLibre platform.

Juan Martn de la Serna is the current President of the Mercado Libre Argentina organization, which he previously held between 2004 and 2012. He was previously the Vice President of Mercado Envios. De la Serna is a member of Mercado Libre’s founding group, having joined the company more than 20 years ago. She has worked in many capacities inside the organization, including Business Development and Head of Categories, over the years. Between 2007 and 2012 she supervised operations in 7 Latin American countries. Prior to joining Mercado Libre, he worked in the financial markets for more than 10 years.

Opinion: Often called the eBay of Latin America, MELI has been in a slump for some time now yet revenue skyrocketed in 2021 over 2020, growing   $3.97 B to $7.09 B yet 4th quarter of 2021 Reports Q4 revenue $2.1B, consensus $2.02B yet still lost $.92 versus $1.04 prior year. Reports Gross merchandise volume grew to $8B, representing an increase of 21.2% in USD and 32.2% on an FX neutral basis. Pedro Arnt, Chief Financial Officer of MercadoLibre, Inc., commented, “Last year presented us with challenges, and with those also came many more opportunities. With our teams’ resilience and focus on delivering on our strategic objectives, we have been able to overcome shifting pandemic lockdown measures, rising inflationary cost pressures and a highly competitive environment in the digital commerce space. The final outcome was a year with record results across the board, sustained strong growth in key business metrics and topline, and improving margins and operating income for a second consecutive year.”

So the bottom line on MELI is TTM P.E is 527.63 P/FCF is 113.54.  Definitely not a stock you want to own in this environment of fundamental valuation coming to the fore.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Lamba Sanjiv
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2022-03-08 Shares Bought: 3,750 Average Price Paid: $268.62 Cost: $1,007,325
Company: Linde Plc (LIN)Linde plc is a global multinational chemical company founded in Germany and, since 2018, domiciled in Ireland and headquartered in the United Kingdom. Linde is the world’s largest industrial gas company by market share and revenue. They live their mission of making their world more productive every day by providing high-quality solutions, technologies, and services that are making their customers more successful and helping to sustain and protect their planet. The company serves a variety of end markets including chemicals & refining, food & beverage, electronics, healthcare, manufacturing, and primary metals. Linde’s industrial gases are used in countless applications, from life-saving oxygen for hospitals to high-purity & specialty gases for electronics manufacturing, hydrogen for clean fuels, and much more. Linde also delivers state-of-the-art gas processing solutions to support customer expansion, efficiency improvements, and emissions reductions.

Lamba was Chief Operating Officer before being named CEO, following a stint as Executive Vice President, APAC. Lamba began his career in finance with BOC India in 1989, rising through the ranks to become Director of Finance and then Managing Director of the India company in 2001. He has worked with Linde in a variety of locations, including India, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Germany, where he was a member of the Linde AG Executive Board. Lamba holds the designation of Chartered Accountant (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India)

Opinion: DCF value is $342.65 but the PE  at 22 times 2022 earnings estimated and P/FCF 21.84 TTM numbers are quite high even after the 70 point decline in the stock. Linde because of its #1 position in many markets has commanded high valuation. On February 10th, the Company reported for the full year 2022, “the company expects adjusted diluted earnings per share to be in the range of $11.55 to $11.85, up 8% to 11% versus prior year or 10% to 13% when excluding estimated currency headwinds. Full-year capital expenditures are expected to range between $3.0 billion and $3.5 billion to support operating and growth requirements, including the $13 billion contractual sales of gas and plant backlog.”

On February 28th Linde plc announces that its board has authorized a new share repurchase program for up to $10B of its ordinary shares. The new program will follow the previous $5B share repurchase program that was authorized on January 25, 2021 and has been completed. Under the new program, Linde plc may acquire up to 15% of its currently outstanding 507M shares in the period from March 1, 2022 through and including July 31, 2024. “The purpose of the program shall be to (1) reduce the share capital; (2) meet any obligations arising from debt financial instruments that are exchangeable into equity instruments; and/or (3) meet obligations under Linde plc equity awards,” Linde said in a statement.

There is potential for an accelerated growth phase due to a hydrogen economy growing more rapidly as the world tries to wean itself off fossil fuels but we are very early in any growth phase and its largely speculative at this point, something the market is eschewing.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Woolley Kenneth M
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-07 Shares Bought: 10,500 Average Price Paid: $200.75 Cost: $2,107,875
Company: Extra Space Storage Inc (EXR)
Extra Space Storage Inc is a real estate investment trust that is self-administered and managed. Self-storage properties, or stores, are owned, operated, managed, acquired, developed, and redeveloped by the company. Self-storage operations and tenant reinsurance are two of the company’s segments. Rental operations of wholly-owned businesses are part of the self-storage operations. Reinsurance of risks linked to the loss of products stored by tenants in its stores is one of the company’s tenant reinsurance activities. Extra Space Storage LP, the Company’s operating partnership, is in charge of the company’s operations. A general partner and limited partner interest in the Company’s operational partnership are its major assets.

Kenneth M. Woolley is the founder of our Company, served as our Chairman and CEO from our formation through March 2009, and Chief Investment Officer from July 2012 to July 2013. Mr. Woolley resigned from his position as Chairman and CEO of the Company April 1, 2009, to serve a voluntary three-year mission for his church, during which time he remained as a director. Mr. Woolley has been involved in the self-storage industry since 1977. He has been directly responsible for developing over 165 properties and acquiring over 625 self-storage properties throughout the United States. Early in his career he was a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group. From 1979 to 1998, he was an Associate Professor, and later an Adjunct Associate Professor of Business Administration at Brigham Young University, where he taught undergraduate and MBA classes in Corporate Strategy and Real Estate.

Opinion: Crosscurrents, rising rates will be tough on REITs but income-producing assets with any pricing power will do well in a recession. I just cant get behind a 2.45% REIT though and have a hard time seeing what Wooley is buying.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Kern Peter M
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2022-03-07 Shares Bought: 6,000 Average Price Paid: $167.79 Cost: $1,006,747
Company: Expedia Group Inc (EXPE)
Through our worldwide platform, Expedia Group, Inc. companies fuel travel for everyone, everywhere. We help individuals experience the world in new ways and form lasting connections because we believe that travel is a force for good. We provide industry-leading technology solutions to help partners develop and succeed while also providing passengers with outstanding experiences. Expedia Services, which focuses on the company’s platform and technical strategy; Expedia Marketplace, which focuses on product and technology offerings across the organization; Expedia Brands, which houses all of our consumer brands; and Expedia for Business, which consists of business-to-business solutions and relationships across the travel ecosystem. The Expedia Group family of brands includes Expedia®, Hotels.com®, Expedia® Partner Solutions, Vrbo®, Egencia®, trivago®, Orbitz®, Travelocity®, Hotwire®, Wotif®, ebookers®, CheapTickets®, Expedia Group™ Media Solutions, Expedia Local Expert®, CarRentals.com™, and Expedia Cruises™.

Expedia Group’s Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer is Peter Kern. Since the completion of the IAC/Expedia Group spin-off, Mr. Kern has been a director of Expedia Group and has served as Vice Chairman since June 2018. Mr. Kern has held positions of leadership in both the public and commercial sectors for decades. Mr. Kern was previously the CEO of Tribune Media and the Managing Partner of private equity firm InterMedia Partners VII, LP. Mr. Kern was a Senior Managing Director and Principal at Alpine Capital LLC before joining InterMedia. Prior to Alpine Capital, Mr. Kern formed Gemini Associates in 1996 and served as its President until its merger with Alpine Capital in 2001. Prior to founding Gemini Associates, Mr. Kern was at the Home Shopping Network and Whittle Communications.

Opinion: Travel is back. I think we are all in agreement about that after being cooped up for two years due to a global pandemic. The best numbers to model after are probably pre Covid 2019 when the company traded at 28.68 PE and a P/FCF of 10.09. Deutsche Bank analyst Lee Horowitz initiated coverage of Expedia with a Buy rating and $218 price target. The market is underappreciating the power of the post-COVID travel recovery and, by extension, Expedia’s share of this “incredibly robust” demand backdrop, the analyst tells investors in a research note. Horowitz adds that if global leisure accommodations bookings are conservatively up high single digits in FY22 vs FY19, he has a “high degree of confidence” that Expedia will beat Street bookings and revenue estimates.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Lustgarten Andrew
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2022-03-04 Shares Bought: 6,000 Average Price Paid: $166 Cost: $996,000
Company: Madison Square Garden Sports Corp (MSGS)
Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. is a professional sports franchise based in New York City. It owns and operates a portfolio of assets that includes the New York Knickerbockers of the National Basketball Association and the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League, among others. The Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League and the Westchester Knicks of the NBA G League are among the Company’s other professional franchises. It owns Knicks Gaming, an NBA 2K League esports franchise, as well as a controlling stake in Counter Logic Gaming, a North American esports organization. The Company also operates professional sports team performance centers the Madison Square Garden Training Center in Greenburgh, NY, and the CLG Performance Center in Los Angeles, CA. Madison Square Garden Sports was founded on March 4, 2015, and is headquartered in New York.

Mr. Lustgarten is responsible for setting the overall business strategy and overseeing the day-to-day operations for the Company’s sports franchises, featuring the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers. In addition, the Company’s properties include two development league teams the Westchester Knicks and the Hartford Wolf Pack as well as Counter Logic Gaming, a North American esports organization, and Knicks Gaming, an NBA 2K League franchise. Mr. Lustgarten also leads efforts to advance the Company’s business, including pursuing new initiatives to enhance these sports brands, as well as identifying opportunities for growth.

Opinion: There are not many ways for the public to participate in the extraordinary appreciation of sports teams.  Based on the financials put out by MSGS there is no logical way to view this in my opinion. Sports teams are grossly overvalued catering to the ego needs of billionaires, not the financial acumen of their advisors.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Glavin William Francis Jr
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-08 Shares Bought: 1,760 Average Price Paid: $141.59 Cost: $249,190
Company: LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (LPLA)
LPL Financial Holdings Inc. is a broker-dealer company. The Company provides a platform of brokerage and investment advisory services to independent financial advisors and financial advisors at financial institutions in the United States. The Company also provides support to financial advisors who are affiliated and licensed with insurance companies. The Company provides its technology and service to advisors through a technology platform that is cloud-based and Web-accessible. Its technology offerings are designed to permit its advisors to manage various aspects of their businesses. It automates time-consuming processes, such as account opening and management, document imaging, transaction execution, and account rebalancing.

Mr. Glavin served as chair of OppenheimerFunds, Inc., a global asset management firm, from 2009 until 2015, as a chief executive officer from 2009 until 2014, and as president from 2009 until 2013. OppenheimerFunds is a majority-owned subsidiary of MassMutual Financial Group, a mutual life insurance company, at which Mr. Glavin held several senior executive positions prior to joining OppenheimerFunds. He served as a co-chief operating officer of MassMutual from 2007 to 2008, executive vice president, U.S. Insurance Group of MassMutual from 2006 to 2008, president and chief executive officer of Babson Capital Management LLC, an asset management firm and a subsidiary of MassMutual, from 2005 until 2006 and chief operating officer of Babson from 2003 to 2005. Prior to joining MassMutual, Mr. Glavin was president and chief operating officer of Scudder Investments, an asset management firm, from 2000 to 2003.

Opinion: DCF is at $183.69 and the PE TTM is 27.85.   P/BV is a reasonable 7.66.   Cowen (COWN) which had insider buying recently looks like a much better buy for a brokerage firm.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Wargo J David
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-04 Shares Bought: 2,300 Average Price Paid: $132.15 Cost: $303,945
Company: Liberty Broadband Corp (LBRDA)
Charter Communications, Inc. and its subsidiaries GCI Holdings, LLC and Skyhook Holdings, Inc. are owned by Liberty Broadband Corp. GCI Holdings, Skyhook, and Charter are the company’s segments. GCI Holdings primarily serves Alaskan residents, businesses, governmental agencies, and educational and medical institutions with a variety of wireless, data, video, voice, and managed services. Skyhook offers a location determination service called Precision Location Solution. Charter is a cable company in the United States that provides residential and commercial users with a variety of entertainment, information, and communication services. Charter provides Internet, TV, mobile, and voice services to its customers on a subscription basis. GCI has been providing services to some of the world’s most distant areas and under some of the most difficult situations for nearly four decades in North America.

Since March 2015, Mr. Wargo has served as a director of Liberty Broadband Corporation. Since 1993, he has been the founder and president of Wargo & Company, Inc., a private investment firm specializing in the communications business. Mr. Wargo is a co-founder of New Mountain Capital, LLC, and was a member of the firm from 2000 to 2008. Prior to founding Wargo & Company, he worked for The Putnam Companies as a managing director and senior analyst from 1989 to 1992, Marble Arch Partners as a senior vice president and a partner from 1985 to 1989, and State Street Research and Management Company as a senior analyst, assistant director of research, and a partner from 1978 to 1985. Mr. Wargo has served on the Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings, Inc. board of directors. since August 2014. He has also served as a director of Liberty Global plc since June 2013, having previously served as a director of Liberty Global, Inc.

Opinion: I’ve thought cable assets were overvalued for a long time and the market is coming our way.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Choe Michael W
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-03 Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $122.24 Cost: $1,222,400
Company: Wayfair Inc (W)
Wayfair Inc. engages in the e-commerce business in the United States and internationally. It provides approximately twenty-two million products for the home sector under various brands. The company offers online selections of furniture, décor, housewares, and home improvement products through its sites, including Wayfair, Joss & Main, AllModern, Birch Lane, and Perigold brands. Wayfair Inc. was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Wayfair is the destination for all things home: helping everyone, anywhere create their feeling of home. From expert customer service, to the development of tools that make the shopping process easier, to carry one of the widest and deepest selections of items for every space, style, and budget, Wayfair gives everyone the power to create spaces that are just right for them. They provide true partnership to help you define your vision. They empower you to create spaces that reflect who you are, what you need, and what you value so that you and the ones you love can feel right at home. At Wayfair, Their People Principles define how they operate as individuals, teams, and a company. They are commitments that they practice and aspire to every day the North Star that they anchor on the true distillation of who they are.

Michael Choe has served as a member of our board of directors since May 2020. Mr. Choe has served as the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Charlesbank Capital Partners, an investment management firm managing over $8 billion of capital, since July 2017. Mr. Choe joined Harvard Private Capital Group, the predecessor to Charlesbank, in 1997, and was appointed as Managing Director in 2006 and President in 2014. Prior to that Mr. Choe was with McKinsey & Company, where he focused on corporate strategy work. Mr. Choe serves on the boards of several private companies.

Opinion: Wayfair has been short forever but at some price, almost anything can be a value. Wayfair was cash-flow positive only one year, 2020 that was positive since 2016. There was a ton of pandemic stimulus checks handed out and people locked up at home bought a lot of furniture and pulled forward demand. I wish I knew what Choe is seeing.  Perhaps they are going to sell out to a brick-and-mortar competitor.  It’s doubtful that the regulators would allow Amazon to buy them but Target or Walmart or even Berkshire Hathaway owned RC Wiley might be able to. It will take that to eliminate overhead and turn this online furniture behemoth profitable. At a $9.7 Billion enterprise market value, that just doesn’t seem likely.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Sexton Robert G
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2022-03-07 Shares Bought: 2,000 Average Price Paid: $116.50 Cost: $233,000
Company: Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corp (AGM)
The Federal Agricultural Mortgage Business is a stockholder-owned, federally chartered corporation that brings together private finance and government sponsorship to fulfill a public purpose. The company acts as a secondary market for a variety of loans given to rural borrowers. Farm & Ranch, USDA Guarantees, Rural Utilities, and Institutional Credit are the company’s four segments. Purchasing eligible loans directly from lenders; providing advances against eligible loans by purchasing obligations secured by those loans; securitizing assets and guaranteeing the payment of principal and interest on the resulting securities that represent interests in, or obligations secured by, pools of eligible loans; and issuing long-term standby purchase commitments (LTSPCs) for eligible loans are all examples of the Company’s secondary market activities. Under the Farm & Ranch line of business, Company provides a secondary market for mortgage loans secured by first liens on agricultural real estate.

Presently, Robert G. Sexton holds the position of President for Oslo Packing Co., President for Sexton, Inc., and President at Oslo Citrus Growers Association. Mr. Sexton is also on the board of Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corp. and McArthur Farms, Inc.

Opinion: We’re on the sidelines here.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: O’Sullivan Kieran M
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-08 Shares Bought: 5,000 Average Price Paid: $112 Cost: $560,000
Company: LCI Industries (LCII)
LCI Industries is engaged in the manufacturing and supplying, domestically and internationally a range of engineered components for the original equipment manufacturer in the recreation and transportation product markets, consisting primarily of recreational vehicles and adjacent industries. The Company’s products include steel chassis and related components; axles and suspension solutions; slide-out mechanisms and solutions; thermoformed bath, kitchen, and other products; vinyl, aluminum, and frameless windows; manual, electric, and hydraulic stabilizer and leveling systems; entry, luggage, patio, and ramp doors; furniture and mattresses; electric and manual entry steps; awnings and awning accessories; towing products; truck accessories; electronic components, and other accessories. The Company’s segments include the original equipment manufacturers segment (OEM Segment) and the aftermarket segment.

Mr. Kieran M. O’Sullivan is an Independent Director at LCI Industries, a Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer at CTS Corp. and a President & Chief Executive Officer at CTS Advanced Materials LLC. He is on the Board of Directors at LCI Industries and Lippert Components, Inc. Mr. O’Sullivan was previously employed as an Executive VP-Global Connectivity Business Unit by Continental AG. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Limerick and an MBA from the University College Dublin.

Opinion: We prefer Thor Industries and its iconic brand Airstream but the valuation is not bad and it could be a private equity buyout as the valuations in the RV sector are at extremely low multiples with healthy backlogs. The sudden surge in gasoline prices could provide headwinds but gasoline supply should eventually catch up as American E&P companies rush out to capture record-high oil prices. There is a saying in the oil industry that high prices are the cure for high prices.

 

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Maroone Michael E
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-04 Shares Bought: 25,000 Average Price Paid: $104.77 Cost: $2,619,250
Company: Carvana Co (CVNA)
Carvana Co. is a holding business that operates an e-commerce platform for the purchase of secondhand automobiles. Consumers can use the Company’s platform to research and locate a vehicle, inspect it utilizing 360-degree vehicle image technology, acquire finance and warranty coverage, purchase the vehicle, and schedule delivery or pick-up, all from the comfort of their own home or office. Customers can acquire financing, complete a purchase, and schedule delivery or pick-up online using the Company’s transaction technologies and web platform. Customers in select markets can also choose to pick up their automobiles from a vending machine. Over 266 metropolitan markets are served by its in-house distribution network.

Maroone USA’s Chief Executive Officer is Mike Maroone. He is a second-generation auto retailer, an entrepreneur, and an investor. He serves on the Cox Automotive Board of Advisors and is the primary director of Carvana. He formerly worked for AutoNation as President, Chief Operating Officer, and Board Member. Mr. Maroone is the Chair of the Florida Regional Board of Directors and a Director of the Cleveland Clinic. He is a member of the Cleveland Clinic Florida Leadership Council, as is his wife. Mr. Maroone was designated one of the industry’s 50 Visionary Dealers of All Time by Automotive News. He was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Florida Atlantic University, and he was inducted into the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame at Nova Southeastern University.

Opinion: Carvana has certainly taken the used car market by storm. It’s the recent acquisition of used car auction house Kar should provide ample inventory in a market plagued by a lack of it. Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas lowered the firm’s price target on Carvana (CVNA) to $360 from $430 and reiterates an Overweight rating on the shares, telling investors that he thinks the market is “too bearish on Carvana’s long term growth, liquidity and the rationale of the ADESA acquisition” from KAR Auction (KAR). He views Carvana as “a best-in class auto retailer,” with strong management and sufficient liquidity, whose set-up reminds him “of Tesla in 2019,” Jonas stated. The analyst, who “cannot categorically rule out” that the company could find itself in need of liquidity and would dilute shareholders, “strongly disagrees” with distressed/cross asset investors who believe this is likely, he said in a note on Carvana partially titled “More Tesla Than Peloton.”

Carvana in my opinion is a poster boy for the absurd valuations put on companies classified as disrupters. It’s as if the market forgot that disrupters need to earn money too. The stock has dropped so far and with this significant $2.6 million buy, the stock should find some short term support here.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Kahan James S
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-08 Shares Bought: 2,600 Average Price Paid: $100.10 Cost: $260,261
Company: Live Nation Entertainment Inc. (LYV)
Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. is an entertainment company, which engages in producing, marketing, and selling live concerts for artists via global concert pipe. It operates through the following segments: Concerts, Sponsorship & Advertising, and Ticketing. The Concerts segment involved in the promotion of live music events is owned or operated and in rented third-party venues. The Sponsorship and Advertising segment offers a sales force that creates and maintains relationships with sponsors through a combination of international, national, and local opportunities that allow businesses to reach customers through concerts, venues, festivals, and ticketing assets, including advertising on websites. The Ticketing segment includes selling tickets for events on behalf of clients and retains a fee or service charge for these services. The company was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Beverly Hills, CA.

James S. Kahan is on the board of Amdocs Ltd., Catch Media, Inc., Live Nation Entertainment, Inc., and Endeavor Group Holdings, Inc. He previously held the position of Senior Executive VP-Corporate Development at Bell Telephone Co., Senior Vice President-Corporate Development of SBC Communications, Inc., Engineer at Western Electric Co., Inc., and Senior Executive VP-Corporate Development at AT&T Corp.

Opinion: This is a small buy and I’m not interested.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Verhalen Andrew W
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-07 Shares Bought: 11,455 Average Price Paid: $88.59 Cost: $1,014,856
Company: Ambarella Inc (AMBA)
Ambarella, Inc. is a developer of low-power system-on-a-chip (SoC) semiconductors and provides artificial intelligence (AI) processing, advanced image signal processing, and high-resolution video compression. The company is working on AI technology that would allow edge devices to visually see their surroundings and make judgments based on data received from cameras and other sensors. Its CVflow-architecture supports a variety of computer vision algorithms, including object detection, classification and tracking, semantic and instance segmentation, image processing, stereo object detection, terrain mapping, and face recognition. The Company primarily serves human-viewing applications with video and image processors for enterprise, public infrastructure, and home applications, such as Internet protocol, security cameras, sports cameras, wearables, aerial drones, and aftermarket automotive video recorders.

Andrew W. Verhalen is the Lead Independent Director of Ambarella Inc. Mr. Verhalen has been a member of our Board since January 2004. Mr. Verhalen has served as a General Partner of Matrix Partners, a venture capital firm, since 1992. He currently serves on the board of directors of several private technology companies in which Matrix Partners has invested and has served in the past on six public technology company boards of directors. Mr. Verhalen worked for 3Com Corporation from July 1986 to November 1991 before joining Matrix Partners. For three years, he was the Vice President and General Manager of the Network Adapter Division, and for two years, he was the Director or Vice President of Marketing. Mr. Verhalen worked for Intel Corporation in different marketing and strategic planning responsibilities from July 1981 to July 1986.

Opinion: Ambarella was an early leader in the vision semiconductor market. It stumbled badly in the last quarter reporting Reports Q4 revenue $90.2M, consensus $90.16M but more importantly missing earnings reporting EPS (25c) versus a consensus $.42.  I don’t know how the numbers could be so off but the challenge with AMBA is that like many of the Silicon Valley cohorts they report adjusted earnings to fudge for the enormous stock-based compensation. Based on adjusted EPS the quarter looked fine. It seems thought that the market is coming to view things more like Warren Buffett who has been railing about adjusted EPS and stock-based compensation as a real expense not to be discounted.  GAAP earnings seem to be the thing that counts now and as the market revalues growth.

 


Finviz Chart

Name: Fisher Daniel William
Position: President
Transaction Date: 2022-03-10 Shares Bought: 7,000 Average Price Paid: $85.86 Cost: $601,002
Company: Ball Corp. (BLL)

Name: Sapp Betty J
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-10 Shares Bought: 1,362 Average Price Paid: $85.55 Cost: $116,519
Company: Ball Corp. (BLL)
Ball Corporation is an American company headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado. It is best known for its early production of glass jars, lids, and related products used for home canning. Since its founding in Buffalo, New York, in 1880, when it was known as the Wooden Jacket Can Company, the Ball company has expanded and diversified into other business ventures, including aerospace technology. It eventually became the world’s largest manufacturer of recyclable metal beverage and food containers. The Ball brothers renamed their business the Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Company, incorporated in 1886. Its headquarters, as well as its glass and metal manufacturing operations, were relocated to Muncie, Indiana, by 1889. The business was renamed the Ball Brothers Company in 1922 and the Ball Corporation in 1969. It became a publicly traded stock company on the New York Stock Exchange in 1973. Ball left the home canning business in 1993 by spinning off a former subsidiary (Alltrista) into a free-standing company, which renamed itself Jarden Corporation. As part of the spin-off, Jarden is licensed to use the Ball registered trademark on its line of home-canning products. Today, the Ball brand mason jars and home canning supplies belong to Newell Brands.

Daniel William Fisher serves as Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer – Global Beverage Packaging of the Company. Fisher joined Ball in 2010 as vice president, finance, North American metal beverage operations. Since 2014, he has served as president, Beverage Packaging North andCentral America, where he has led growth initiatives, increased profitability and EVA dollar generation.

Betty J. Sapp is the Company’s Independent Director. Ms. Sapp joined the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), a combined Department of Defense-Intelligence Community institution, in 1997 and was named the NRO’s first female head in 2012. Ms. Sapp departed in June 2019 after serving as the NRO’s 18th director. Ms. Sapp formerly worked in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence as the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Portfolio, Programs, and Resources. She also worked for several years at the Central Intelligence Agency after serving in the US Air Force for the majority of her career. Ms. Sapp worked at the NRO and in the US government in a range of strategic leadership capacities. Ms. Sapp was named Principal Deputy Director of the NRO in 2009.

Opinion: I mentioned this one before. There has been consistent insider buying but I really don’t understand the metal can recycling business and the aircraft side of it. Perhaps there is going to be a spin-off coming to simplify the company.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Reeg Thomas
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2022-03-08 Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $71.38 Cost: $713,755
Company: Caesars Entertainment Inc (CZR)

Caesars Entertainment, Inc. is the largest casino-entertainment company in the United States, as well as one of the most varied casino-entertainment companies in the world. Caesars Entertainment, Inc. has grown through the creation of new resorts, expansions, and acquisitions since its founding in 1937 in Reno, Nevada. The Caesars®, Harrah’s®, Horseshoe®, and Eldorado® brands are used primarily by Caesars Entertainment, Inc.’s properties. Caesars Entertainment, Inc. provides a wide range of gaming, entertainment, and hospitality options, as well as one-of-a-kind destinations and a comprehensive range of mobile and online gaming and sports betting options. The Company focuses on establishing value with its guests through a unique blend of exceptional service, operational excellence, and technology leadership, all of which are related to its industry-leading Caesars Rewards loyalty program. Caesars is committed to its employees, suppliers, communities, and the environment through its PEOPLE PLANET PLAY framework.

Caesars Entertainment’s Chief Executive Officer is Thomas R. Reeg. Since January 2019, he has been the Chief Executive Officer of Eldorado Resorts, Inc., where he was key in the acquisition of Caesars Entertainment Corporation in 2020. Mr. Reeg has been President of Eldorado Resorts, Inc. since September 2014, when he was also named to the Board of Directors of the company. Since March 2016, he has also served as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Reeg first became involved with the company in 2007, when he joined the Eldorado Resorts LLC Board of Managers. Recognized and respected as a leading industry strategist, Mr. Reeg was instrumental in negotiating, structuring, and financing the Company’s growth strategy, including its acquisition of Eldorado Shreveport in 2005, its merger with MTR Resorts in 2014, and its subsequent accretive acquisitions, including the 2017 acquisition of Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc., the acquisition of Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, Illinois and the acquisition of Tropicana Entertainment in 2018

Opinion:   According to Barron’s article, Legal sports gambling has now spread to 30 states and Washington, D.C.-home to more than 130 million, the author notes. In the four years that it has been legal, both the amount of money bet on sports and the amount counted as revenue by gambling companies have risen nearly 1,000%, to $57 billion and $4.3 billion, respectively, according to the American Gaming Association, or AGA. Yet the business is still in its infancy in the U.S., as a handful of companies fight for position, flooding newly opened states with ads to grab customers, the publication adds. DraftKings (DKNG), MGM Resorts International (MGM), Flutter Entertainment ‘s (PDYPY) FanDuel, and Caesars Entertainment (CZR) have collectively grabbed 80% market share, though others like Penn National Gaming (PENN) and Bally ‘s (BALY) are also in the mix.

On February 23rd, Stifel analyst Steven Wieczynski lowered the firm’s price target on Caesars to $120 from $138 after the company reported Q4 results, but keeps a Buy rating on the shares, which he argues “seem massively undervalued at current levels.” He believes the “evidence continues to mount” that Caesars’ management team can ultimately scale the online betting business in a capital efficient manner while he also believes the growth profile of the company’s brick and mortar business “remains underappreciated,” Wieczynski tells investors. Caesars is still “one of the best names to own in the regional gaming space,” added the analyst.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Kaplan Beth J
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-07 Shares Bought: 1,430 Average Price Paid: $69.63 Cost: $99,567
Company: Crocs Inc (CROX)
Crocs, Inc., is a Colorado maker of unique clogs that became extremely popular in the early 2000s with both men and women. The inexpensive shoes rely on a proprietary closed-cell resin material called Croslite to produce a lightweight, slip-resistant, odor-resistant, non-marking sole. The material also softens with body heat, thus molding the shoe to the foot of the wearer and providing a comfortable fit. Originally intended for use on boats and in other outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and gardening, Crocs has also found a market with working people who spend a lot of time in their feet, such as health care and restaurant workers. Moreover, Crocs, generally considered an ugly shoe, has attracted the attention of celebrities, thereby making them fashionable. The shoe features a removable back strap available in 20 colors. In some circles, essentially younger girls, these straps are traded among wearers to provide a different look. Because of their broad appeal, Crocs are available through numerous distribution channels: traditional footwear retailers, sporting goods and outdoor retailers, department stores, uniform suppliers, specialty food retailers, gift shops, health and beauty stores, and catalogs. In addition to the United States, Crocs are sold in more than 40 countries. Beyond its signature clogs, Crocs has taken steps to extend its brand to include clothing, hats, sunglasses, gardening kneepads, and other products. The company maintains manufacturing facilities in Canada, Italy, Mexico, and China. Crocs is a public company listed on the NASDAQ.

Ms. Kaplan joins Crocs’ board with more than three decades of experience in leadership, merchandising, e-commerce, retail, and consumer marketing. She is currently a managing member of Axcel Partners, LLC, a consumer-facing early stage and growth company that she invests in. Ms. Kaplan is now a director of the Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP) and the Howard Hughes Corporation, in addition to Axcel Partners, LLC (NYSE: HHC). She also works at Rent The Runway, Framebridge, Care/of, and Leesa Sleep as a director and advisor. Ms. Kaplan has previously held positions as President and Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer for major multinational consumer businesses.

Opinion: Crox is cheap and we are buyers here. It’s also a likely private equity take-out candidate at these levels.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Grossman D Keith
Position: CEO & Chairman
Transaction Date: 2022-03-08 Shares Bought: 3,200 Average Price Paid: $63.59 Cost: $203,488
Company: Nevro Corp. (NVRO)
Nevro Corp., a medical device company, provides products for patients suffering from chronic pain in the United States and internationally. The company develops and commercializes the Senza spinal cord stimulation system, an evidence-based neuromodulation platform for the treatment of chronic pain, as well as Senza II and Senza Omnia systems. In addition, the company provides HF10 Therapy, which delivers neuromodulation solutions for treating chronic pain based on available clinical evidence. It sells its products through its direct sales force, and a network of sales agents and independent distributors. The company was incorporated in 2006 and is headquartered in Redwood City, California. While traditional spinal cord stimulation (SCS) has been around for over 30 years, Nevro created a disruption by offering a next-generation approach called 10 kHz Therapy, the most studied therapy in the market, that provides patients with significant pain relief and no paresthesia. They recognize the growing importance of ESG to their stakeholders: customers, patients, shareholders, employees, suppliers, and communities. They are committed to operating their business as a responsible corporate citizen and strengthening the trust their stakeholders place in them.

In March of this year, Keith Grossman was chosen CEO and President of Nevro. Mr. Grossman has worked in the medical device industry for over 30 years. He most recently served as President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director of Thoratec Corporation, which was sold to St. Jude Medical in 2015 for the second time. Prior to joining Thoratec, he was President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director of Conceptus, a women’s health medical device firm that was eventually acquired by Bayer Healthcare. Prior to joining Conceptus, Mr. Grossman was a member of the healthcare investment team at TPG, a private equity firm. Mr. Grossman currently serves as Vice Chairman of Alcon, Inc., and Chairman of Outset Medical, Inc. and previously served as a member of the Board of directors of Intuitive Surgical, Inc., Kyphon, Inc., ViewRay, Inc., Zeltiq, Inc, and a number of privately held medical device companies.

Opinion: These STEM devices have only about a 60% success rate with pain relief. That’s not a very high number and I wouldn’t touch this.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Riley Bryant R
Position: CEO Chairman 10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2022-03-09 Shares Bought: 30,000 Average Price Paid: $62.83 Cost: $1,884,981
Company: B. Riley Financial Inc. (RILY)
B. Riley Financial, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides collaborative financial services and solutions in North America, Australia, and Europe. The Capital Markets segment offers a range of investment banking, corporate finance, consulting, financial advisory, research, securities lending, wealth management, and sales and trading services to corporate, institutional, and high net worth clients. This segment also provides merger and acquisitions, restructuring advisory, initial and secondary public offerings, and institutional private placements services; asset management services; manages various private and public funds for institutional and individual investors; and trades in equity securities. The Auction and Liquidation Segment offers retail store liquidation, and wholesale and industrial assets disposition services. The Financial Consulting segment provides bankruptcy, financial advisory, forensic accounting, litigation support, real estate consulting, and valuation and appraisal services. The Principal Investments – United Online and magicJack segment provides consumer subscription services consisting of Internet access services and devices under the NetZero and Juno brands, as well as voice over IP cloud-based technology and communication services.

Bryant R. Riley has served as Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of B. Riley Financial since June 2014 and July 2018, respectively, and as a director since August 2009. He also previously served as our Chief Executive Officer from June 2014 to July 2018. In addition, Riley served as the Chairman of B. Riley & Co., LLC since founding the stock brokerage firm in 1997 until its combination with FBR Capital Markets & Co., LLC in 2017; Chief Executive Officer of B. Riley & Co., LLC from 1997 to 2006; Chairman of B. Riley Principal Merger Corp. from April 2019 to February 2020, at which time it had completed its business combination with Alta Equipment Group, Inc.

Opinion: I don’ know what they are doing over there but Bryan Riley sure loves it. He has bought a ton of their stock. LIke I said, I like COWN at current bargain basement levels.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Hamm Harold
Position: Director 10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2022-03-07 Shares Bought: 336,844 Average Price Paid: $59.27 Cost: $19,965,579
Company: Continental Resources Inc. (CLR)
Continental Resources (NYSE: CLR) is a Top 10 independent oil producer in the U.S. Lower 48 and a leader in America’s energy renaissance. Based in Oklahoma City, Continental is the largest leaseholder and one of the largest producers in the nation’s premier oil field, the Bakken of North Dakota and Montana. The Company also has leading positions in Oklahoma, including its SCOOP Woodford and SCOOP Springer discoveries and the STACK and Northwest Cana plays. With a focus on the exploration and production of oil, Continental has unlocked the technology and resources vital to American energy independence and our nation’s leadership in the new world oil market. Continental Resources, Inc. explores for, develops, and produces crude oil and natural gas primarily in the north, south, and east regions of the United States. The company sells its crude oil and natural gas production to energy marketing companies, crude oil refining companies, and natural gas gathering and processing companies. As of December 31, 2020, its proved reserves were 1,104 million barrels of crude oil equivalent with proved developed reserves of 627 MMBoe.

Growing up in rural Oklahoma, Mr. Hamm went to work in the oil fields as a teenager and established Continental Resources in 1967 at the age of 21. He built a grassroots startup into an NYSE-traded, Top 10 oil producer in the U.S. Lower 48. As a voice for America’s oil and natural gas industry and as the leader of one of America’s top E&P companies, he has helped to make America energy independent. Mr.Hamm also co-founded and serves as Chairman of the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance, which aims to preserve the millions of jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity and tax revenues generated by onshore drilling and production activities within the United States.

Opinion: I don’t know where Harold Hamm finds all the money to continually buy his stock but he’s been right more than wrong with the latest surge in the price of oil and is looking pretty good as landlord of the Bakken, one of the nations premier oil fields.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: McLennan Hamish
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-07 Shares Bought: 18,000 Average Price Paid: $58.63 Cost: $1,055,358
Company: Scientific Games Corp (SGMS)
Scientific Games is a leader in the design, manufacture, and distribution of premium gaming content and machines, setting new industry standards and leading the way in the design, manufacturing, and distribution of creative content and technology. This innovation and leadership is based on a thorough awareness of player and casino demand and preferences, as well as substantial industry knowledge and proven market research methods. The cutting-edge series of gaming cabinets from Scientific Games is the outcome of extensive research and development. The cabinets are equipped with cutting-edge technology, are designed with the operator in mind, and are designed to increase player appeal and engagement to new heights. One of the reasons Scientific Games’ cabinets are so popular is their vast cross-brand adaptability, which allows them to easily accommodate numerous content streams. Because of this, operators have full access to one of the gaming world’s largest game libraries featuring titles from Bally, WMS and Shuffle Master that showcase some of the world’s hottest entertainment brands.

In the year 2020, Hamish McLennan joined the Scientific Games board of directors. Mr. McLennan is the Chairman of REA Group Limited and HT&E Limited, a media and entertainment firm with radio, digital, and outdoor businesses, as well as the Deputy Chairman of Magellan Financial Group, both of which are listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. Mr. McLennan is also the Chairman of Rugby Australia Limited, Australia’s governing body for rugby union, and a director of Claim Central Consolidated, a global provider of digital claims solutions. Mr. McLennan is a seasoned media and marketing leader who formerly led Network Ten Holdings as Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Opinion: 5 YR Compounded Annual Growth Rate is -1.1%. What’s there to like here?

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Buffett Warren E
Position: 10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2022-03-09 Shares Bought: 27,107,389 Average Price Paid: $56.60 Cost: $1,534,168,236
Company: Occidental Petroleum Corp (OXY)
Occidental Petroleum Corporation is an energy company. The Company conducts oil and gas exploration and production activities in the United States, the Middle East, and Africa. Within the United States, it has operations in Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado, as well as offshore operations in the Gulf of Mexico. The Company’s business segments include Oil and Gas, chemicals, Midstream, and Marketing. The Oil and Gas segment explores, develops and produces oil and condensate, natural gas liquids (NGL), and natural gas. The Chemical segment manufactures and markets basic chemicals and vinyls. The Midstream and Marketing segment purchases, markets, gathers, processes, transports, and stores oil, condensate, NGL, natural gas, carbon dioxide (CO2) and power. It also trades around its assets, including transportation and storage capacity, and invests in entities that conduct similar activities. The Midstream and Marketing segment purchases, markets, gathers, processes, transports, and stores oil, condensate, NGL, natural gas, carbon dioxide (CO2) and power. It also trades around its assets, including transportation and storage capacity, and invests in entities that conduct similar activities.

Warren Buffett, the full name Warren Edward Buffett, is an American businessman and philanthropist who was born on August 30, 1930, in Omaha, Nebraska, United States. He is widely regarded as the most successful investor of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, having defied prevailing investment trends to amass a personal fortune of more than $100 billion. Buffett, also known as the “Oracle of Omaha,” was the son of Nebraska Congressman Howard Homan Buffett. He studied with Benjamin Graham at the Columbia University School of Business after graduating from the University of Nebraska with a B.S. in 1950.

Opinion: Is Buffet going to buy all of OXY? That’s a possibility when you see him buying at multi-year highs.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Isaacman Jared
Position: CEO Chairman 10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2022-03-07 Shares Bought: 82,000 Average Price Paid: $49.40 Cost: $4,050,439
Company: Shift4 Payments Inc (FOUR)
Shift4 Payments Inc is a company that specialises in payment processing and technology. The Company’s payment platform offers end-to-end payment processing for a variety of payment types, merchant acquiring, omni-channel gateway, software integrations, integrated and mobile point of sale (POS) solutions, security and risk management solutions, and reporting and analytical tools, among other things. Shift4Shop, Lighthouse, Integrated Point-of-Sale (iPOS), Mobile POS, and Marketplace are some of the company’s technology offerings. Customer involvement, social media management, online reputation management, scheduling and product pricing, as well as reporting and analytics, are all available through Shift4Shop, a cloud-based suite of business intelligence solutions. Its iPOS system offers pre-loaded software suites and integrated payment functions on purpose-built POS workstations.

In 1999, Isaacman was among the vanguard of companies enabling e-commerce with new payment solutions, equipping more businesses to accept credit cards. In turn, Shift4 gained insights into consumer spending habits and other useful information — for instance, in how the COVID-19 pandemic affected hospitality and dining, as approximately one-third of hotels and restaurants in the US use the company’s platform. Those sectors were hit particularly hard in 2020, so Isaacman founded the Shift4 Cares Program, providing significant relief to the company’s customers.

Opinion: I don’t think I’d like my CEO to be paling around with Elon Musk and Space X. Who’s running the shop at Shift4 Payments if Jared is training for space missions. Certainly, it’s more exciting than payment processing. I get that but I want someone like Musk sleeping on the shop floor to make his production numbers rather than someone hanging out in space.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Johnson David William
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-07 Shares Bought: 5,150 Average Price Paid: $48.49 Cost: $249,724
Company: Hilton Grand Vacations Inc (HGV)
Hilton Grand Vacations Inc is a United States-based global timeshare company, which operates as hotels, rooming houses, camps, and other lodging places. The company provides vacation ownership options while bringing services and benefits to club members and visitors and also operates a system of br. It provides cherished vacation memories and new beginnings as an independent public company. The Company manages and operates two innovative club membership programs: Hilton Grand Vacations Club and The Hilton Club, which provide exchange, leisure travel, and reservation services to its Club members. It has been developing and operating a distinguished collection of upscale vacation ownership properties in prime locations in the United States, Europe, and throughout the Asia Pacific region. It is a fully owned subsidiary of Hilton. The Company properties and units are concentrated in California, Chicago, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Las Vegas, New York, South Carolina, Utah, and Washington D.C.

Mr. Johnson is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Horizon Capital Partners LLC, a McKinney, Texas-based commercial, residential, and mixed-use land purchase and development firm. Mr. Johnson developed Aimbridge Hospitality and served as its CEO from 2003 until 2021 before joining Horizon Capital. He formerly worked with Wyndham International for 17 years, most recently as the President of Wyndham Hotels, as well as various senior-level operations, sales, and marketing positions. Mr. Johnson is a member of the Chairman’s Circle and the USTA’s CEO Roundtable on the board of the United States Travel Association (USTA). Mr. Johnson has served on the boards of Strategic Hotels and Gaylord Entertainment in the past.

Opinion: Travel is definitely back. You see that with Expedia CEO buying stock as well but HGV financials suck.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Denny Michael B
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-07 Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $45.28 Cost: $452,800
Company: Federal Financial Bankshares Inc (FFIN)
First Banking Bankshares, Inc. is a holding company for financial institutions. Commercial banking is conducted by the Company through its subsidiaries. First Financial Bank, National Association, Abilene, Texas; First Technology Services, Inc., Abilene, Texas; First Financial Trust & Asset Management Company, National Association, Abilene, Texas; First Financial Investments, Inc., Abilene, Texas; First Financial Insurance Agency, Inc., Abilene, Texas; First Financial Investments, Inc., Abilene, Texas; First Financial Investments, Inc., Abilene, Texas; First Financial Investments, Inc., Abilene, Texas Loans to enterprises, professionals, people, and farm and ranch operations in the key trade areas served by its subsidiary bank make up its portfolio. Through its subsidiaries, it also provides trust and wealth management services. Through its trust company, it offers personal trust services, which include wealth management, the administration of estates, testamentary trusts, revocable and irrevocable trusts, and agency accounts.

Michael B. Denny is the Company’s Independent Director. He has worked with Batjer and Associates, Inc. for almost 40 years and is the owner and president of the company, which is the largest mechanical contractor in the Abilene area. He is also a partner and vice president of Batjer Services, LLC. He holds a finance degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He has served on a number of Abilene non-profit boards, including the Abilene Industrial Foundation.

Opinion:  Two Texas state domiciled banks this week see insider buying. Clearly, the renewed life in oil and gas is a shot in the arm of the Texas economy and thus its banks.  The regional bank index has pulled back from its January highs and may be showing signs of a bounce.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Bolin Pat S
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-08 Shares Bought: 13,158 Average Price Paid: $38 Cost: $500,004
Company: Veritex Holdings Inc. (VBTX)

Name: Acosta Arcilia
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-08 Shares Bought: 26,316 Average Price Paid: $38 Cost: $1,000,008
Company: Veritex Holdings Inc. (VBTX)
Veritex Holdings, Inc. is a holding company for financial institutions. The Company provides relationship-driven commercial banking products and services targeted to satisfy the needs of small to medium-sized businesses and professionals through its subsidiary, Veritex Community Bank, a Texas state-chartered bank. Its business model is based on community banking. Individual and business customers can use the Bank’s services, which include commercial and retail loans, as well as checking and savings account options. It provides access to account balances, online transfers, online bill payment, and electronic delivery of customer statements, as well as automated teller machines, mobile banking, and postal and personal appointment banking. Debit cards, night depository, direct deposit, cashier’s checks, and letters of credit are all available. The Company offers an array of commercial treasury management services.

Pat S. Bolin joined our Board of Directors in March 2011 after we acquired Fidelity Bank of Dallas. Mr. Bolin is the Executive Chairman of the Eagle Oil & Gas Co. board of directors, a private independent oil and gas firm based in Dallas that he started in 1976. In 1973, Mr. Bolin started working for Mitchell Energy Corp. as a landman. Mr. Bolin now serves on the boards of directors of Fidelity Bank and its holding company, FB Bancshares, Inc. in Wichita Falls, Texas.

Ms. Acosta has held board-level positions with some of Texas’ most successful corporations. From 2013 until it was acquired in 2019, Ms. Acosta served as a member of the Board of Directors of Legacy Texas Financial Group, N.A., a bank holding company with an asset size of $9Billion. She currently serves on the Boards of Vistra Corporation and Magnolia Oil & Gas Corporation. Previously, she has served on the Boards of TPG Pace Energy Holdings Corporation, ONE Gas, Incorporated, and more than 10 years at Energy Future Holdings Corporation.

Opinion: It’s a bank and based on these sizeable buys, the directors like it.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Kamin Peter
Position: Director
Transaction Date: $34.09 Shares Bought: 44,000 Average Price Paid: $34.09 Cost: $1,499,800
Company: IAA Inc (IAA)
IAA, Inc. is a digital marketplace connecting vehicle buyers and sellers. The Company operates through two segments: the United States and International. Its platform facilitates the marketing and sale of total loss, damaged and low-value vehicles for a spectrum of sellers. It serves a buyer base and a spectrum of sellers, including insurance companies, dealerships, fleet leases, rental car companies, and charitable organizations. Its solutions provide buyers with the vehicles they need to, among other things, fulfill their vehicle rebuild requirements, replacement part inventory, or scrap demand. It provides buyers with multiple bidding/buying digital channels, vehicle merchandising, evaluation services, and online bidding tools, for the overall purchasing experience. It has approximately 200 facilities throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Headquartered near Chicago in Westchester, Illinois, IAA has nearly 4,000 employees and more than 200 facilities throughout the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom. IAA serves a global buyer base – located throughout over 170 countries – and a full spectrum of sellers, including insurers, dealerships, fleet lease, rental car companies, and charitable organizations. Buyers have access to multiple digital bidding and buying channels, innovative vehicle merchandising, and efficient evaluation services, enhancing the overall purchasing experience. IAA offers sellers a comprehensive suite of services aimed at maximizing vehicle value, reducing administrative costs, shortening selling cycle time, and delivering the highest economic returns.

Founder of Peak Investment LP, ValueAct Capital Management LP, ValueAct Capital Management LLC, and 3K LP, Peter H. Kamin is an entrepreneur and businessperson who has been at the helm of 5 different companies and currently occupies the position of Chairman for Calloway’s Nursery, Inc., Chairman at Tile Shop Holdings, Inc. and Chairman of Rand Worldwide, Inc. Peter H. Kamin is also Director & Managing Partner at 3K LP and on the board of 8 other companies.

Opinion: Kamin likes this stock and it deserves a deeper dive.  Value trap or value?  With the rise in used car prices, insurance companies are not as quick to total a crashed vehicle as they might have been before the recent supply constraint-driven auto shortage.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Dutkowsky Robert M
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-07 Shares Bought: 31,000 Average Price Paid: $32.91 Cost: $1,020,210
Company: US Foods Holding Corp (USFD)
US Foods Holding Corp. is a food firm that also distributes food to restaurants. The Company operates in one business segment through its subsidiary, US Foods, Inc., which markets and distributes fresh, frozen, and dry food and non-food products to foodservice customers in the United States. Customers include single and multi-unit restaurants owned by individuals, regional concepts, national restaurant chains, hospitals, nursing homes, hotels and motels, country clubs, government and military organizations, colleges and universities, and retail outlets. About 400,000 fresh, frozen, and dry food stock-keeping units, as well as non-food items, are available from the company’s 6,000 suppliers. The company operates a distribution network of about 70 locations. The Company’s product categories include meats and seafood, dry grocery products, refrigerated and frozen grocery products, dairy, and beverage products.

Since February 2022, Mr. Dutkowsky has served as our non-executive Chairman of the Board and as a director since January 2017. From 2018 to 2020, he was Executive Chairman of Tech Data Corporation, a technology distributor, and from 2006 to 2018, he was Chief Executive Officer of Tech Data. Mr. Dutkowsky served as President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Egenera, Inc., a software company, from 2004 to 2006, President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of J.D. Edwards & Co., Inc., a software company, from 2002 to 2004, and President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of GenRad, Inc., an electronic equipment manufacturer, from 2000 to 2006. He also served as both Executive Vice President, Markets and Channels from 1997 to 1999 and President, Data General in 1999, at EMC Corporation, a data storage manufacturer. He began his career at IBM, a technology company, where he served in several senior management positions. Mr. Dutkowsky serves on the board of directors of Pitney Bowes Inc., Raymond James Financial, Inc., and The Hershey Company.

Opinion: If you’re like me and have been eating out a lot lately, you see how busy restaurants are. How could this not carry over to a main food supplier? If food inflation is good for Kroger and grocery stores, why would it not serve restaurant suppliers in a similar manner?  Not to mention that this is the most interesting battleground stock for the week?  USFD is under a full fledge war between activist investor Sachem Head Capital who is trying to take the company over.  KKR also owns 10%.  Can you say private equity?

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Hawks Randall
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-09 Shares Bought: 6,695 Average Price Paid: $29.82 Cost: $199,645
Company: Shotspotter Inc. (SSTI)
ShotSpotter Inc. is a Newark, California-based company known for its gunfire locator technology, sold to law enforcement. It is traded on NASDAQ under SSTI and began in 1996. ShotSpotter, Inc. provides precision-policing and security solutions for law enforcement and security personnel in the United States, South Africa, and the Bahamas. Its solutions include ShotSpotter Respond, a public safety solution, which serves cities and municipalities to identify, locate, and deter gun violence by incorporating a real-time gunshot detection system into their policing systems; and ShotSpotter Connect, a patrol management software to help plan directed patrols and tactics for crime deterrence. The company also provides ShotSpotter SecureCampus and ShotSpotter SiteSecure that helps the law enforcement and security personnel serving universities, corporate campuses, big-box retail, malls, and key infrastructure or transportation centers to mitigate risk and enhance security by notifying authorities of an outdoor gunfire incident and saving minutes for first responders to arrive. In addition, it offers ShotSpotter Investigate, a cloud-based investigative platform to help law enforcement agencies modernize every phase of an investigation and accelerate casework with easy-to-use software tools. Further, it provides ShotSpotter Labs, a technology to adapt and extend commercial technology to address significant wildlife and environmental issues. The company sells its solutions through its direct sales teams.

Since 2006, Randall Hawks, Jr. has been a member of our board of directors. Since June 2005, Mr. Hawks has been a partner with Claremont Creek Ventures, a venture capital firm. Mr. Hawks served as the Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and Director of Identix Incorporated, an identity protection firm, from 1984 to 2000. Mr. Hawks has also worked for Captiva Software Corp., Texas Instruments, ITT Information Systems, and AT&T Paradyne in top management capacities. EcoATM, SmartZip, Inapac, Invivodata, Flytecomm, View Central, and Be Here are among the companies on which he has sat on the board of directors. Mr. Hawks holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Arkansas.

Opinion: I like the company and the product but still think it’s too niche of a business. We’re watching closely to see if it can expand its foothold like Axon Enterprises (AXON).

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Bailey Brian D
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-08 Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $27.43 Cost: $274,292
Company: Bandwidth Inc (BAND) from their 10k A global communications transformation is underway, and we believe Bandwidth is at the center. Our mission is to develop and deliver the power to communicate. Through the Bandwidth platform, we enable innovative organizations—from startup app developers to the world’s largest enterprises—to engage their end-users and deliver exceptional experiences everywhere people live, learn, work and play. Backed by our global network of more than 60 countries reaching over 90 percent of global gross domestic product (“GDP”), innovative enterprises use Bandwidth’s Application Programming Interfaces (“APIs”) to easily embed voice, messaging and emergency services capabilities into software and applications. Bandwidth was the first CPaaS provider to offer a robust selection of APIs built on our own network. Our award-winning support teams help businesses around the world solve complex communications challenges every day.

Our business benefits from multiple global megatrends, including the enterprise migration to the cloud, the adoption of Contact Center as a Service platforms, the need to be able to work from anywhere, the reinvention of customer experience and the growth in messaging and video applications to engage directly with consumers. We believe these megatrends, which have created sizable total addressable markets, are secular, long-lasting and still early in the adoption curve.
With the combination of our software APIs and our global network, we believe the Bandwidth platform is well-positioned to deliver mission-critical communications for the enterprise. In fact, Bandwidth powers all the 2021 GartnerⓇ Magic Quadrant Leaders in Unified Communications as a Service (“UcaaS”), Contact Center as a Service (“CcaaS”) and Meeting Solutions.
Our long-term vision is to continue strengthening this position as the key enabling platform for communications transformation. We will seek to do this in three ways: (1) by cross-selling and up-selling within our existing customers as they benefit from our global footprint and powerful APIs to automate and scale their cloud communications platforms; (2) by focusing on enterprise growth to become the best platform for large enterprises seeking best-of-breed communications solutions for their tech stack and (3) to win in the Software and Applications space by becoming the best global platform for large app developers focused on digital engagements that revolutionize the enterprise customer experience. These three strategies are the foundation of the durable business we are seeking to build

 

Since February 2013, Brian D. Bailey has been a director of Bandwidth. Mr. Bailey is a Co-founder and Managing Partner of Carmichael Partners, a Charlotte-based private investment firm. He worked in private equity at The Carlyle Group in Washington, Forstmann Little & Co. in New York, and Carousel Capital in Charlotte before founding Carmichael Partners. Mr. Bailey previously worked in investment banking at Bowles Hollowell Conner & Co. in Charlotte and CS First Boston in New York, as well as in government roles in Washington, including Special Assistant to the President in the Office of the White House Chief of Staff and Director of Strategic Planning and Policy at the United States Small Business Administration. Mr. Bailey currently serves on the boards of Bandwidth, Bluerock Residential Growth REIT, Republic Wireless, and the TDF Foundation. He has previously served on the boards of a number of private, public and nonprofit organizations.

Opinion: Although relatively modest insiders are buying Bandwidth. It’s just not the kind of name that can work here. They need to turn GAAP profitable NOW>

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Kenner Andrew
Position: VP
Transaction Date: 2022-03-08 Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $26.34 Cost: $263,400
Company: Westlake Chemical Partners LP (WLKP)
Westlake Chemical Partners LP is incorporated in the state of Delaware. Westlake Chemical Partners LP is primarily in the business of industrial organic chemicals. For financial reporting, their fiscal year ends on December 31st. This page includes all SEC registration details as well as a list of all documents (S-1, Prospectus, Current Reports, 8-K, 10K, Annual Reports) filed by Westlake Chemical Partners LP. Westlake Chemical Partners LP is a part of the chemical industry in the United States. Through its operating interests in Westlake Chemical OpCo LP, it acquires ethylene production facilities, which primarily convert ethane into ethylene. OpCo sells ethylene and its co-products such as propylene, crude butadiene, pyrolysis gasoline, and hydrogen to Westlake and other customers located in the United States.

Mr. Kenner has over 20 years of experience in engineering, operations, and manufacturing leadership, most recently serving as Vice President and General Manager of Valero Energy Corporation’s Delaware City Refinery, and previously leading similar operations in Houston and Texas City, TX. Mr. Kenner graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

Opinion: I don’t have an opinion here. If you want a 7.9% yield on an MLP then it looks good. They seem to be covering their dividend reasonably well.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Baldwin Trevor
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2022-03-09 Shares Bought: 13,117 Average Price Paid: $25.41 Cost: $333,368
Company: BRP Group Inc. (BRP)
BRP Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: BRP) is a fast-growing independent insurance distribution organization that provides customers with specialized insurance and risk management insights and solutions, allowing them to focus on their purpose, passion, and goals. They are innovating the industry by taking a holistic and tailored approach to risk management, insurance, and employee benefits, and support their clients, Colleagues, Insurance Company Partners, and communities through the deployment of vanguard resources and capital to drive their growth. BRP represents over 500,000 clients across the United States and internationally.

Baldwin Risk Partners’ Chief Executive Officer is Trevor Baldwin. Trevor joined the business in 2009 as a Commercial Risk Advisor, particularly working with healthcare and private equity customers. Over time, he rose through the ranks to become the Managing Director of the firm’s Commercial Risk Management Group, then President and CEO of BRP. Trevor has experience investing in and working with businesses to help them achieve their objectives. Trevor formerly worked at HealthEdge Investment Partners, LLC, a private equity firm, before joining Baldwin Risk Partners. Trevor split his time at HealthEdge between aiding in the implementation of new transactions and working with portfolio firms on operational improvements.

Opinion: I can’t see this one. Too much going on to invest in obscure names right now.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Gafford Derrek Lane
Position: CFO
Transaction Date: 2022-03-08 Shares Bought: 15,000 Average Price Paid: $25.21 Cost: $378,150
Company: TrueBlue Inc. (TBI)
In the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico, TrueBlue, Inc. and its subsidiaries provide specialized workforce solutions. PeopleReady, people management, and PeopleScout are the three segments that it operates under. In the construction, manufacturing, and logistics, warehousing and distribution, waste and recycling, energy, retail, hospitality, and general labor industries, the PeopleReady division provides contingent staffing solutions for blue-collar, on-demand, and skilled workers. Contingent labor and outsourced industrial workforce solutions are provided by the people management segment. Under the Staff Management, SIMOS Insourcing Solutions, and Centerline Drivers brands, this segment also provides on-site management and recruitment for the contingent industrial workforce of manufacturing, warehouse, and distribution facilities, as well as recruitment and management of contingent and dedicated commercial drivers for the transportation and distribution industries. PeopleScout administers customers’ contingent labor programs, including vendor selection, performance management, compliance monitoring, and risk management, and offers permanent employee recruitment process outsourcing services. Labor Ready, Inc. was the company’s previous name until December 2007, when it changed to TrueBlue, Inc.

Derrek L. Gafford has been the Company’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since 2006, following stints as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from 2005 and Vice President of Finance and Accounting from 2004. Mr. Gafford is a Certified Public Accountant who joined the company as Vice President and Treasurer in 2002. Mr. Gafford had various finance positions with Albertsons and Deloitte & Touche prior to joining the Company, including Chief Financial Officer for Metropolitan Markets, a supermarket retailer, from 2001 to 2002.

Opinion: True Blue is modestly priced but has had no growth in the last 5 years.

 

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Naemura David H
Position: CFO
Transaction Date: 2022-03-07 Shares Bought: 8,500 Average Price Paid: $22.85 Cost: $194,234
Company: Vontier corp (VNT)
Vontier Corporation is a manufacturer of industrial technologies. In the mobility infrastructure market, the company provides technical equipment, components, software, and services for production, repair, and service. Environmental sensors, fueling equipment, field payment hardware, remote management and workflow software, vehicle tracking and fleet management, software solutions for traffic light control, and vehicle mechanics and technicians’ equipment are among the products offered by the company. Retail and commercial fuelling operators, commercial vehicle repair enterprises, municipal governments, public safety entities, and fleet owners/operators are all customers for the company’s products and services. It provides a variety of mobility technology, including retail/commercial fueling, telematics, and smart city solutions. its diagnostics and repair technologies products include vehicle repair and wheel-service equipment.

David H. Naemura is Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer & Senior VP at Vontier Corp. In the past, Mr. Naemura occupied the position of Group Chief Financial Officer at Danaher Corp., Chief Financial Officer of Gates Global, Inc., and Chief Financial Officer of Gates Industrial Corp. Plc. David H. Naemura received an undergraduate degree from Oregon State University.

Opinion:  Vontier is basically a conglomerate with a lot of independent divisions.  Most of this growth has been debt-funded and the current total debt to equity ratio is 454. Although cash flow is healthy debt binged growth doesn’t do well in an economic downturn.  We are watching this name as valuation is compelling.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Coughlin Stephen
Position: CFO
Transaction Date: 2022-03-04 Shares Bought: 47,000 Average Price Paid: $21.30 Cost: $1,001,100
Company: Aes Corp. (AES)
The AES Corporation is a Fortune 500 company that generates and distributes electrical power. AES is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, and is one of the world’s leading power companies, generating and distributing electric power in 15 countries and employing 10,500 people worldwide. The company was initially a consulting firm; it became AES Corporation, which went public in 1991. The AES Corporation operates as a diversified power generation and utility company. It owns and/or operates power plants to generate and sell power to customers, such as utilities, industrial users, and other intermediaries. The company also owns and/or operates utilities to generate or purchase, distribute, transmit, and sell electricity to end-user customers in the residential, commercial, industrial, and governmental sectors; and generates and sells electricity on the wholesale market. It uses a range of fuels and technologies to generate electricity, including natural gas, coal, pet coke, diesel, and oil, as well as renewables, such as hydro, solar, wind, energy storage, biomass, and landfill gas. The company owns and/or operates a generation portfolio of approximately 30,308 megawatts. It has operations in the United States, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia. The AES Corporation was incorporated in 1981 and is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia.

Stephen plays an integral role in developing AES’ strategic plans that have simplified our equity story and have boosted the company to be ranked among the top renewable developers in the world. He is a strategic and financial advisor to the AES board and contributes to a broad range of corporate governance activities, including mergers and acquisitions, maintaining a risk management framework, investing in new technologies, and communicating with investors.

Opinion:  We’ve written numerous times about how we believe we are moving into a golden age of electricity growth and consumption due to the digitization of the world and the electrification of the transportation fleet.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Nada Hany M
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-08 Shares Bought: 50,000 Average Price Paid: $17.45 Cost: $872,500
Company: DraftKings Inc. (DKNG)
DraftKings Inc. is a digital sports entertainment and gaming company created to fuel the competitive spirit of sports fans with products that range across the daily fantasy, regulated gaming, and digital media. Headquartered in Boston, and launched in 2012 by Jason Robins, Matt Kalish, and Paul Liberman, DraftKings is the only U.S.-based vertically integrated sports betting operator. DraftKings is a multi-channel provider of sports betting and gaming technologies, powering sports and gaming entertainment for operators in 17 countries. DraftKings’ Sportsbook is live with mobile and/or retail betting operations in the United States pursuant to regulations in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming. DraftKings’ daily fantasy sports product is available in 7 countries internationally with 15 distinct sports categories. DraftKings is the official daily fantasy partner of the NFL, MLB, NASCAR, PGA TOUR, and UFC as well as an authorized gaming operator of the NBA and MLB, an official sports betting partner of the NFL, an official betting operator of PGA TOUR, and the official betting operator of UFC. DraftKings also owns Vegas Sports Information Network, Inc. (VSiN), a multi-platform broadcast and content company.

Hany M. Nada, a venture capitalist, co-founded ACME Capital in January 2019 and is one of the firm’s partners. Mr. Nada co-founded GGV Capital LLC, a venture capital firm, in 2000 and served as a Managing Director from 2000 to October 2016 and as a Venture Partner from November 2016 to October 2018. Mr. Nada was a Managing Director and Senior Research Analyst at Piper Sandler & Co. Piper Jaffray & Co, an investment banking business that specialized in Internet software and e-infrastructure, prior to co-founding GGV. Mr. Nada currently serves as a member of the board of directors of several companies, including Glu Mobile, in which he sits on the audit committee, compensation committee and strategy committee; ArchByte; and DraftKings, and was previously on the board of directors of Vocera Communications, Inc. and Tudou, both publicly traded companies.

Opinion: DraftKing represents a huge amorphous opportunity on the legalization of sports betting. The problem is that many players want in and are determined to fight for market share in an existential death match driving down profits for all. I foresee a similar Darwinian struggle in the EV market.  For the time being, I’m inclined to be on the sidelines as shorting the stock at these super depressed levels could be treacherous on any hint of a market share war subsiding.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Sahai Sandeep
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2022-03-07 Shares Bought: 14,280 Average Price Paid: $17.37 Cost: $248,065
Company: Clearwater Analytics Holdings Inc (CWAN)
Clearwater Analytics Holdings, Inc. is a provider of software as a service (SaaS)-based investment portfolio accounting, reporting, and reconciliation services for institutional investors at thousands of organizations. Clearwater aggregates reconcile, and reports on more than $ 5.5 trillion in assets across thousands of accounts daily. The Company’s platform provides its clients with a single consolidated and transparent view of investment data and analytics. Its clients include corporate treasuries, insurance companies, investment managers, banks, governments, and other institutional investors both in the United States and worldwide. For more than a decade, we have leveraged web-based software and world-class client service to help clients such as American Family Insurance, Arch Capital, C.V. Starr & Co., Cisco, Facebook, Oracle, Selective Insurance, Sirius Group, Sompo International, Starbucks, WellCare Health Plans, Wilton Re, and many others, streamline their investment and accounting operations.

Since July 2018, Sandeep Sahai has been the Chief Executive Officer of Clearwater Analytics and a Director since September 2016. He spent four years as the CEO of Solmark, an investment partnership, and four years as an Operating Partner at Welsh, Carson, Anderson, and Stowe before joining Clearwater. Sandeep served in a number of key leadership positions at Headstrong from 2004 to 2011, including President and CEO. Headstrong is a leading solution and managed services supplier to prominent financial institutions around the world. He served as Senior Vice President of IT Solutions and Capital Markets at Genpact until 2014, after the company was acquired by Genpact in 2011. Sandeep was previously the CEO of SkanSoft and a founder and partner of the consulting business TechSpan. He also worked at HCL Group. He also held directorships at AIM Software (Austria) from 2015 to 2019, Simeio Solutions from 2015 to 2020, and Magic Software from 2014 to 2018.

Opinion: Clearwater belongs to the IPO class of later 2021. This is a class destined to be underperformers as they got out before the great reevaluation started to occur. They are close to GAAP profitiability but I just don’t see this as a big growth story.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: McCranie J Daniel
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-08 Shares Bought: 20,000 Average Price Paid: $14.57 Cost: $291,422
Company: Enovix Corp (ENVX)
Name: Rust Harrold J
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2022-03-08 Shares Bought: 3,500 Average Price Paid: $14.50 Cost: $50,750
Company: Enovix Corp (ENVX)
Enovix Corporation, formerly Rodgers Silicon Valley Acquisition Corp, is a company that designs, develops, and manufactures lithium-ion batteries with a silicon anode. Consumer electronics makers have received prototype batteries that the company produced and supplied. Custom three-dimensional (3D) silicon lithium-ion batteries are being developed by the company for wearable, mobile computer, and communication device applications. EX-1, a company that creates energy-density batteries for wearables and mobile communications devices, is one of the company’s products. It tested a prototype version of EX-1, known as EX-0.9, at energy densities suitable for mobile communications devices. In addition, the company is working with car manufacturers to develop battery technology for the electric vehicle (EV) market.

Daniel McCranie joined our board of directors in July 2021. He has held 10 board positions in the semiconductor industry and is currently chairman of NextGen Power Systems. McCranie has served as the chairman of ON Semiconductor, chairman of Freescale Semiconductor, chairman of Actel Corp., chairman of Virage Logic, and chairman of SEEQ Technology. He has also served on the boards of Cypress Semiconductor, Mentor Graphics, California Microdevices, and ASTT Corp. During his career as an operating executive, McCranie served as executive vice president of sales & marketing at Harris Corporation and as executive vice president of sales & marketing at Cypress Semiconductor. He also served as the CEO of SEEQ Technology and Virage Logic. McCranie holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

Since co-founding Enovix in 2007, Harrold Rust has served as the company’s chief executive officer. He is in charge of developing and implementing an innovative battery business model that incorporates new technology, design, and manufacturing methods. Prior to joining Enovix, Harrold served as vice president of operations at FormFactor, a company that specializes in the design and manufacture of patented 3D MEMS contact technology for semiconductor wafer testing. He oversaw operations from research and development to pilot production and high-volume manufacture during his 5-year tenure. Harrold spent 17 years in operations management at IBM’s thin-film disk-drive head operations in San Jose, CA, prior to joining FormFactor.

Opinion:  Early stage non revenue companies will not work in this market. Avoid.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Devore Cary
Position: COO
Transaction Date: 2022-03-07 Shares Bought: 7,225 Average Price Paid: $13.83 Cost: $96,527
Company: Utz Brands Inc. (UTZ)$99,896

Name: Kataria Ajay
Position: CFO
Transaction Date: 2022-03-07 Shares Bought: 7,000 Average Price Paid: $13.79 Cost: $96,527
Company: Utz Brands Inc. (UTZ)

Name: Lissette Dylan
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2022-03-07 Shares Bought: 7,374 Average Price Paid: $13.77 Cost: $101,540
Company: Utz Brands Inc. (UTZ)

Name: Altmeyer John W
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-07 Shares Bought: 5,000 Average Price Paid: $13.77 Cost: $68,844
Company: Utz Brands Inc. (UTZ)

Name: Fernandez Antonio F
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-07 Shares Bought: 25,700 Average Price Paid: $13.76 Cost: $353,691
Company: Utz Brands Inc. (UTZ)
Utz Brands, Inc. is a snacking food manufacturer, marketer, and distributor in the United States. Salty snacks, such as potato chips, pretzels, cheese snacks, veggie snacks, pork skins, pub/party mixes, and other snacks, are among the company’s goods. Through its distribution network, the company also sells third-party branded products. Power Brands and Foundation Brands are two of the company’s brands. Utz, ON THE BORDER, Good Health, Boulder Canyon, Zapp’s, Hawaiian, Golden Flake pork skins, TGIF, Herdez, and TORTIYAHS! are among the Power Brands. Regional snacking brands such as Golden Flake (excluding hog skins), Tim’s Cascade, Snyder of Berlin, Dirty, Kitchen Cooked, Bachman, and Jax are among the Foundation Brands. It operates fifteen facilities located in Pennsylvania, Alabama, Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Washington. Its products are distributed to grocery, mass, club, convenience, drug, and other retailers.

In October 2021, Cary Devore was promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Devore works across the organisation to assist promote revenue growth, productivity, and operational excellence in this newly created job. He also oversees the Project Management Office, which handles the implementation of value creation and acquisition integration efforts, as well as the Company’s strategic corporate initiatives such as mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, and mergers and acquisitions. Since July 2019, Mr. Devore has served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Utz. Mr. Devore joined Utz in November 2016 as the lead representative of a minority private equity investor on the Utz Members’ Board of Managers, where he worked alongside Dylan Lissette to drive the Company’s acquisition and value creation efforts. In July 2019, he was promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

In October 2021, Ajay Kataria was named Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. In his new post as Chief Financial Officer, he will be in charge of Accounting, Tax, and Investor Relations, as well as the business partner teams and Information Technology department that he previously handled. Mr. Kataria joined Utz in 2017 and previously worked as the company’s Executive Vice President of Finance and Accounting, a position he held until July of this year. Mr. Kataria joined Utz as Senior Vice President of Finance and Treasury in July 2017 to support the company’s financial planning, analytics, and business transformation efforts, and in July 2019 he was promoted to Executive Vice President.

Since January 2013, Dylan B. Lissette has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of Utz. Since September 2016, Mr. Lissette has also been the sole manager of Utz. In addition, Mr. Lissette has been a member of the Utz Members’ Board of Managers since June 2004. From January 2011 to January 2013, Mr. Lissette worked as Chief Operating Officer, and from January 2008 to January 2011, he served as Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Mr. Lissette joined Utz in 1995 and has worked for the company in a variety of capacities, including Retail Sales Manager, Key Account Director, and Director of Marketing.

GAF Commercial Roofing, a Standard Industries firm and North America’s largest roofing and waterproofing producer, recently selected John W. Altmeyer as Executive Chairman. In his new post, John is in charge of creating and implementing a multi-year plan aimed at making GAF the market leader in commercial roofing. John was President and Chief Executive Officer of Carlisle Construction Materials, a division of Carlisle Companies Incorporated, from 1997 until 2018. Carlisle Construction Materials primarily manufactures and sells rubber and thermoplastic roofing systems, as well as other roofing-related goods for commercial and residential structures. Mr. Altmeyer also has served as a Member of the Board of Directors of EMCOR Group, Inc, a mechanical and electrical construction, industrial and energy infrastructure and facilities services company, since 2014.

AFF Advisors, LLC, a private advisory firm, currently employs Antonio Fernandez as its President. From 2011 to 2016, he was the Executive Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer of Pinnacle Foods, Inc., where he was in charge of the company’s end-to-end supply chain as well as the company’s food quality, safety, and productivity programs. Following Kraft’s acquisition of Cadbury, plc in 2010, Mr. Fernandez served as Senior Vice President Operational Excellence at Kraft Foods, Inc. until joining Pinnacle in 2011. From 1998 until 2010, Mr. Fernandez worked for Cadbury, where he held several top management positions, including Chief Supply Chain Officer from 2008 to 2010. Proctor & Gamble Co, PepsiCo, Inc., and PepsiCo, Inc. were among his early employers, where he worked in manufacturing, procurement, engineering, logistics, and consulting.

Opinion:  Companies that have gone public through a SPAC face a tough investor climate as they don’t have a secure underlying shareholder base. They basically are hamstrung by the supply of stock for sale as SPAC investors are basically short-term financial players ready to get out and keep their money moving to the next deal where they have a lopsided advantage.

 

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Noto Anthony
Position: CEO
Transaction Date: 2022-03-04 Shares Bought: 15,000 Average Price Paid: $9.96 Cost: $149,459
Company: SoFi Technologies Inc. (SOFI)
SoFi Technologies, Inc. is a corporation that specialises in digital personal finance. Members can borrow, save, spend, invest, and protect their money through the Company. To offer products to members and suit their financial needs, the Company has built a financial services platform. Lending, Financial Services, and Technology Platform are the three business segments of SoFi. Its Lending division offers a variety of loan options, including school loans, personal loans, and house loans. SoFi Money, SoFi Invest, SoFi Credit Card, and SoFi Relay are among the company’s financial services offerings, which include cash management and investing services. Its Technology Platform provides Clearing Brokerage Services and Technology Platform Services. SoFi ‘s mobile application is available on iOS and Android. The Company also maintains SoFi Bank’s community bank business and footprint, including its three physical branches in Sacramento, Live Oak, and Yuba City, California.

Anthony is the CEO of SoFi and a board member of the company. Prior to joining SoFi, he was the company’s chief operating officer since November 2016, and its chief financial officer since joining in July 2014. Prior to joining Twitter, Anthony worked at Goldman Sachs for over four years as the co-head of global TMT investment banking. He joined Goldman Sachs in 1999 and served as the head of communications media and Internet equity research until being promoted to partner in 2004. Anthony spent almost three years as the National Football League’s chief financial officer before returning to Goldman.

Opinion: The CEO  has made four similar-sized purchases of SOFI.  SoFi has come down so much in value that it is tempting even though not profitable. At some point, a traditional financial player may find it more agreeable to buy versus build SoFi’s vision of a one-stop financial hub.  At over $10 billion enterprise value I doubt any entrenched financial players will make a run at SoFi until they see real traction in the business model.  A one-stop financial shopping mall is not a new concept.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: von Bretten Gordon
Position: CTO
Transaction Date: 2022-03-08 Shares Bought: 38,776 Average Price Paid: $7.80 Cost: $302,370
Company: COTY Inc. (COTY)
Coty Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture, marketing, distribution, and sale of beauty products worldwide. The company provides prestige fragrances, skincare, and color cosmetics products through prestige retailers, including perfumeries, department stores, e-retailers, direct-to-consumer websites, and duty-free shops under the Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Bottega Veneta, Calvin Klein, Cavalli, Chloe, Davidoff, Escada, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Jil Sander, Joop!, Kylie Jenner, Lacoste, Lancaster, Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu, Nikos, philosophy, Kim Kardashian West, and Tiffany & Co. brands. It also offers mass color cosmetics, fragrance, skincare, and body care products primarily through hypermarkets, supermarkets, drug stores, pharmacies, mid-tier department stores, traditional food and drug retailers, and e-commerce retailers under the Adidas, Beckham, Biocolor, Bozzano, Bourjois, Bruno Banani, CoverGirl, Jovan, Max Factor, Mexx, Monange, Nautica, Paixao, Rimmel, Risque, Sally Hansen, Stetson, and 007 James Bond brands. Coty Inc. also sells its products through third-party distributors to approximately 150 countries and territories. The company was founded in 1904 and is based in New York, New York. Coty Inc. is a subsidiary of Cottage Holdco B.V.

Gordon is in charge of Coty’s entire transformation effort, which includes strategy, growth, and efficiency. The program aims to accelerate the company’s transformation, which began in July of this year. Gordon has over 25 years of expertise in creating value and improving performance, having previously held various leadership positions. Prior to this, Gordon was part of the senior management team at KlöcknerPentaplast, where he drove significant performance improvement, and focused on performance improvement and restructuring, as a management consultant with AlixPartners and A.T. Kearney.

Opinion:  Insiders have been taking a shot at Coty for several years but have not made any money yet other than trading a narrow channel.  This looks more like a mandatroy corporate ownership program than an opportunistic buy.  Many companies require their key employees to own a certain multiple of salary in stock over time.

 

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Kiedaisch Gary Alan
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-04 Shares Bought: 30,000 Average Price Paid: $6.94 Cost: $208,237
Company: Purple Innovation Inc. (PRPL)
Purple Innovation is ranked #1 in Customer Satisfaction with a bed in a box of mattresses by J.D. Power, including best in support and comfort! They’re a one-of-a-kind innovation brand that is on a mission to meaningfully improve lives by helping Every Body get the comfort they deserve and the support they need. Their premium comfort innovation products start in the bedroom and extend beyond to provide optimal comfort everywhere you go. With a variety of mattresses, bedding, bases, seat cushions, dog beds, and more, Purple is quickly becoming the iconic color of true comfort, true innovation, and truly feeling great. While most new mattress companies only focus on just a simpler mattress buying experience with the same foam mattresses, Purple is committed to simply making a better mattress. The only mattress with the Purple Grid™, Purple is instantly soft where you want it and firm where you need it – all at once. It’s the comfort you crave, the support your back needs. Plus, 1,500+ open airways help dissipate body heat rather than trapping it, so you don’t sleep hot.

Gary A. Kiedaisch is a businessman who has served on the boards of Purple Innovation LLC and Purple Innovation, Inc. Gary A. Kiedaisch is a businessman who has served as the CEO of seven different firms. Mr. Kiedaisch has previously served as Executive Chairman of BigMouth, Inc., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Igloo Products Corp., Chairman of Tender Corp., Chief Executive Officer of Bolle, Inc., Chief Executive Officer of Bauer Hockey, Inc., Chief Executive Officer of Mt. Mansfield Co., Inc., and President & Chief Executive Officer of The Coleman Co., Inc.

Opinion: Purple had a small positive cash flow in the last quarter. I think for the stock to respond positively this positive cash flow needs to continue to grow and be consistent.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Hopfield Jessica
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-10 Shares Bought: 80,000 Average Price Paid: $6.28 Cost: $502,400
Company: Berkeley Lights Inc. (BLI)
Berkeley Lights is a leading Digital Cell Biology company focused on enabling and accelerating the rapid development and commercialization of biotherapeutics and other cell-based products for our customers. The Berkeley Lights Platform captures deep phenotypic, functional and genotypic information for thousands of single cells in parallel and can also deliver the live biology customers desire in the form of the best cells. Their platform is a fully integrated, end-to-end solution, comprising proprietary consumables, including their OptoSelect chips and reagent kits, advanced automation systems, and application software. They developed the Berkeley Lights Platform to provide the most advanced environment for rapid functional characterization of single cells at scale, the goal of which is to establish an industry standard for their customers throughout their cell-based product value chain. Their mission is to accelerate the use of cell-based products by providing researchers access to the Berkeley Lights Platform to find the best cells in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods.

Dr. Hopfield is a well-respected and successful industry veteran, and we are delighted to have her join our Board,” stated Berkeley Lights CEO Eric Hobbs, Ph.D. “Dr. Hopfield brings to Berkeley Lights valuable strategic insight and a strong focus on performance to drive our unrivalled ability to understand cell biology in important fields such as cell therapy, antibody discovery, synthetic biology, and more, with more than two decades of medical device, biotech, and pharmaceutical experience. We are certain that her enthusiasm for collaborating with businesses to bring new ideas to market will make her an invaluable asset to the Board, the Company, and our shareholders.

Opinion: How low can Berkely LIghts go?  The stock is down from $110 trading at $6.28.  With an enterprise value of just $214 M can a scientific instrument company like a Danaher or Thermo Electron just buy BLI and stem the cash burn? At this point, that’s the investment thesis.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Dattilo Thomas A
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-04 Shares Bought: 50,000 Average Price Paid: $5.20 Cost: $260,000
Company: Canoo Inc. (GOEV)
Canoo Inc., a mobility technology company, designs, engineers, develops and manufactures electric vehicles for commercial and consumer markets in the United States. The company offers B2B delivery vehicles, multi-purpose delivery vehicles, and lifestyle vehicles using skateboard architecture technology. It intends to serve small businesses, independent contractors, service technicians, retailers, corporations, logistics companies, fleet managers, and others. Canoo’s mission is to bring EVs to everyone. The company has developed breakthrough electric vehicles that are reinventing the automotive landscape with bold innovations in design, pioneering technologies, and a unique business model that spans all owners in the full lifecycle of the vehicle. Distinguished by its experienced team from leading technology and automotive companies – Canoo has designed a modular electric platform purpose-built to deliver maximum vehicle interior space that is customizable across all owners in the vehicle lifecycle to support a wide range of vehicle applications for consumers and businesses. Canoo has offices in California and Texas, Michigan, and Minnesota.

Mr. Thomas A. Dattilo is an Independent Director at Canoo, Inc. and an Independent Director at L3Harris Technologies, Inc. He is on the Board of Directors at Canoo, Inc., Poltrona Frau SpA, L3Harris Technologies, Inc., and RxDino LLC. Mr. Dattilo was previously employed as a Chairman by The Portfolio Group, Inc., an Independent Director by Solera Holdings, Inc., an Independent Director by Harris Corp., a Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer by Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., a President-Sealing Products Group by Dana Corp., a Chairman by MAPI, Inc., and a Chairman by The Rubber Manufacturers Association. He also served on the board at Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. IV, Haworth, Inc., and Alberto-Culver LLC /Old. He received his undergraduate degree from The Ohio State University and a graduate degree from the University of Toledo (Ohio).

Opinion: Another EV startup born from a SPAC. Canoo is one of a number of electric vehicle startups that went public by merging with a SPAC over the last year. These mergers provided a different path for these startups to go public than a traditional IPO. But since these mergers are regulated differently, it wound up giving startups more leeway in regards to their business projections. In April, the SEC said it would start taking a closer look at this discrepancy to make sure that investors weren’t being misled. Canoo received its notice from the SEC on April 29th.  This one is a race against the clock before the money runs out. Perhaps an established auto manufacturer will take them over. That’s the bet

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Kilts James M
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-04 Shares Bought: 100,000 Average Price Paid: $5.63 Cost: $563,379
Company: Advantage Solutions Inc (ADV)
Advantage Solutions is a leading provider of consumer products and retail companies with outsourced sales and marketing solutions. Headquarter sales, retail merchandising, in-store and online sampling, digital commerce, omnichannel marketing, retail media, and other data and technology-driven services enable brands and retailers of all sizes to get items into the hands of consumers, wherever they buy. It assists clients in selling more while spending less as a trusted partner and problem solver. They have offices around North America and strategic investments in chosen regions in Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe through which they serve the global needs of multinational, regional, and local manufacturers. They are headquartered in Irvine, California.

With more than 40 years of experience heading a variety of firms and iconic brands, James M. Kilts is a known consumer industry leader. Kilts is a co-founder of Centerview Capital Consumer, which was established in 2006. He is the chairman of The Simply Good Foods Company’s board of directors, as well as a member of the boards of directors of Pfizer Inc. and Unifi Inc., where he has served since 2016

Opinion:  I can’t tell you what this company does so I’m not getting into any more depth on this one.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Walrath Michael
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-10 Shares Bought: 50,000 Average Price Paid: $5.60 Cost: $280,000
Company: Yext Inc. (YEXT)

Name: Richardson Julie
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-10 Shares Bought: 35,000 Average Price Paid: $5.54 Cost: $193,820
Company: Yext Inc. (YEXT)
Yext, Inc. is a software development business that is still in its early stages of development. It provides a cloud-based digital knowledge platform that enables businesses to manage their digital knowledge in the cloud, including financial information, resources, and resource performance, on a consolidated basis, and sync it with other apps like Apple Maps, Bing, Cortana, Facebook, Google, Google Maps, Instagram, Siri, and Yelp. It offers a subscription-based Yext Knowledge Engine bundle that includes access to Listings, Pages, Reviews, and other services. Customers can control their digital presence, including their location and other related attributes published on third-party applications, using the Listing feature. The Pages feature allows customers to establish landing pages on their own websites and to manage digital content on those sites, including calls to action. The Reviews presence enables customers to encourage and facilitate reviews from end consumers. The company was founded by Howard Lerman, Brent Metz, and Brian Distelburger in 2006 and is headquartered in New York.

Michael Walrath is the Company’s Independent Chairman of the Board. From January 2003 until its acquisition by Yahoo! in 2007, Mr. Walrath was the Founder and CEO of Right Media, an online advertising company. Mr. Walrath is a director on the boards of many private software and media companies. Mr. Walrath holds a B.A. in English from the University of Richmond. Our Board of Directors has determined that Mr. Walrath’s extensive experience as an entrepreneur in the technology and advertising industries, as well as his experience leading and advising high-growth companies, makes him a qualified member of our Board of Directors.

Ms. Richardson has held the positions of Vice Chairman-Investment Banking at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Vice Chairman at JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA (Investment Management) (a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co.), Partner & Head-New York Office at Providence Equity Partners LLC and Managing Director & Partner at Providence Equity Partners VI LLC (a subsidiary of Providence Equity Partners LLC), MD-Media & Communications Investment Banking at Merrill Lynch & Co., MD-Media & Communications Investment

Opinion: This sounded like a scam business from the beginning and the stock market seems to agree with that. This is small perfunctory director buy and would not read much into it.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Lore Marc E
Position: 10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2022-03-04 Shares Bought: 746,183 Average Price Paid: $3.02 Cost: $2,253,115
Company: Archer Aviation Inc. (ACHR)
Archer is an aerospace company building an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft focused on improving mobility in cities. The company’s mission is to advance the benefits of sustainable air mobility. Archer is designing, manufacturing, and operating a fully electric aircraft that can carry four passengers for 60 miles at speeds of up to 150mph while producing minimal noise. Archer’s team is based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Archer’s mission is to advance the benefits of sustainable air mobility. With headquarters in Palo Alto, California, Archer is creating the world’s first electric airline that moves people throughout cities in a quick, safe, sustainable, and cost-effective manner. As the world’s only vertically integrated airline company, Archer’s world-class team focuses on vertically integrating key enabling technologies, including aircraft design, electric powertrain, and flight control software to revolutionize air travel.

Marc was previously the Chief Operating Officer of Wizkids, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Topps Company, Inc., and a leading game manufacturer. Before joining Wizkids, Marc was the co-founder and CEO of The Pit, Inc., an Internet market-making collectible company constructed as an alternative to eBay. The Pit, Inc. was successfully sold to the then publicly traded Topps Company in 2001. Lore is the lead investor in Archer Aviation, an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) company focused on advancing the benefits of sustainable air mobility. In February 2021, Archer announced Lore would be investing an additional $10 million as the company announced their $1 billion purchase order from United Airlines and a SPAC.

Opinion: Marc Lore continues to invest heavily in his eVTOL groundbreaking company. There are a handful of these companies that will start flying in 2024. We don’t know who will be the winners but they will be disruptive.

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Bruckheimer Jerome Leon
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-07 Shares Bought: 101,215 Average Price Paid: $2.46 Cost: $248,989
Company: Skillz Inc. (SKLZ)
Skillz is the leading mobile games platform that connects players in fair, fun, and meaningful competition. The Skillz platform helps developers build multi-million dollar franchises by enabling social competition in their games. Leveraging its patented technology, Skillz hosts billions of casual esports tournaments for millions of mobile players worldwide and distributes millions in prizes each month. The company is headquartered in San Francisco and backed by leading venture capitalists, media companies, and professional sports leagues and franchises. Skillz has earned recognition as one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, CNBC’s Disruptor 50, Forbes’ Next Billion-Dollar Startups, and the #1 fastest-growing company in America on the Inc. 5000. Skillz is built on the foundation that fair competition should be accessible to everyone. Skillz is pioneering the future of interactive entertainment in an increasingly digital era by connecting the world’s 2.6 billion mobile gamers through a highly engaging, competitive experience on their mission to make gaming better for both players and developers.

Jerry Bruckheimer has been an independent director of Skillz since February 2021. Mr. Bruckheimer has more than 40 years of experience as a film and television producer and a deep track record of success across the entertainment spectrum. His films collectively have grossed more than $18 billion. Mr. Bruckheimer is the founder and chief executive officer of Jerry Bruckheimer, Inc., Jerry Bruckheimer Television, Inc. and Film Visions, Inc. He is also the co-founder of and an investor in the National Hockey League franchise Seattle Kraken. In 2007, Mr. Bruckheimer served on the board of directors for privately-held ZeniMax, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2020 for $7.5 billion. Mr. Bruckheimer’s long standing experience in the entertainment industry coupled with his experience as a director of a successful interactive gaming company make him a valued member of the Board.

Opinion: Skillz insiders continue to buy this 3rd rate mobile phone gaming company.  Skilz was also part of the great SPAC kill. Some of these SPAC names will ultimately work but you have to have great products or services to overcome the weak hands of the investor shareholder base. Skilz has neither.  But don’t take my word for it. The company has a Virtual Investor Day to be held on March 15 at 11 am. Webcast Link

 

Finviz Chart

Name: Kadre Manuel
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2022-03-04 Shares Bought: 200,000 Average Price Paid: $2.10 Cost: $419,000
Company: Bright Health Group Inc (BHG)
Bright Health Group, Inc. is a healthcare organization that is collaborating with its care partners to create a national, integrated system of care. NeueHealth and Bright HealthCare are the two reportable segments of the company. Integrated Care Delivery, Bright Health Network, and Value Services Organization are just a few of the ways NeueHealth is involved in local, individualized care delivery. Through 28 managed and associated primary care clinics, NeueHealth provides virtual and in-person clinical care to almost 75,000 patients. Through its Value Services Organization, NeueHealth also oversees the treatment of around 33 clinics. External payors, training policy administration systems, and direct-to-government programs are among NeueHealth’s clients. Bright HealthCare provides individualized solutions to help consumers fit into Bright Health’s alignment model. Bright HealthCare delivers Medicare and commercial health plan products to approximately 623,000 consumers in 14 states and 99 markets.

Manny is the board of directors of Bright Health Group, Inc.’s lead independent director. He has been Chairman and CEO of MBB Auto Organization since 2012, a premium luxury retail automobile group with a number of stores in the Northeast and Texas. Manny was the CEO of Gold Coast Caribbean Importers, LLC from July 2009 until 2014, before joining MBB Auto Group. From 1995 to July 2009, he worked for a number of automobile, beverage, and consumer products companies in markets across the United States and the Caribbean, holding positions such as President, Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary. Manny also serves as Chairman of the Board of Republic Services, Inc. and serves on the boards of directors of The Home Depot, Inc., Mednax Services, Inc., and as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of Miami.

Opinion: Insiders keep buying but the selling is relentless. It didn’t help that the last quarter’s medical loss ratio was atrocious.  This is one of many this year that has shaken my conviction in insider buying acumen. When coupled with a SPAC its worthless.


 

Follow us on Twitter for real-time insider buying alerts at https://twitter.com/theinsidersfund


Insiders sell the stock for many reasons, but they generally buy for just one – to make money. You’ve always heard the best information is inside information.  Everyone who has any experience at all in the stock market pays close attention to what insiders are doing.  After all, who knows a business better than the people running it?  Officers, directors, and 10% owners are required to inform the public through a Form 4 Filing any transaction, buy, sell, exercise, or any other with 48 hours of doing so. This info is available for free from the SEC’s Web site, Edgar, although we subscribe to SECForm4  as they provide a way to manage and make sense of the vast realms of data. I’ve tried a lot of vendors. SECForm4 is one of the smaller ones but I like supporting Frank. He is not arrogant. He’s helpful and has great prices. He also trades on his own data so I like people that eat what they kill.

“Typos Modus Operandi” if you can’t figure out what I meant
you shouldn’t be reading my emails anyway. In other words, the typos are free.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            n

We publish a subscription newsletter called The Insiders Report.  We offer a free 30-day trial so you have nothing to lose by trying it out. Be sure to carefully read the TERMS OF SERVICE.

Another source for insider buying and selling and much more is FinViz Elite. FinViz stands for financial visualization and they do an amazing job of providing reams of data and the tools to help you get to the bottom of it, the information that helps me make informed decisions and probable outcomes. I’ve been using their site for years and it only gets better over time.

This is as close to “insider information” that an ordinary investor is likely to see- and it’s entirely legal. 

BEWARE– Following insiders can be hazardous to your financial health. It’s just one piece of the investor’s due diligence. The Insiders Fund blog informs you of the purchases that count.  As a rule, we only look at material amounts of money as anything less could just be window dressing.

The bar is different from selling because the natural state of management is to be sellers. This is because most companies provide significant amounts of management compensation packages as stock and options. Therefore, with selling, we analyze for unusual patterns, such as insiders selling 25 percent or more of their holdings or multiple insiders selling near 52-week lows. Another red flag is large planned sale programs that start without warning. Unfortunately, the public information disclosure requirements about these programs referred to as Rule 10b5-1 is horrendously poor. Also planned sales that just pop up out of nowhere are basically sales and are seeking cover under the Sarbanes Oxley corporate welfare clause. I also generally ignore 10 percent shareholders as they tend to be OPM (other people’s money) and perhaps not the smart money we are trying to read the tea leaves on.

Of course, insiders can also be wrong about their Company’s prospects. Don’t let anyone fool you into believing they never make mistakes.  Do your own analysis. They can easily be wrong about, and in many cases, maybe most cases have no more idea what the future may hold than you or me. In short, you can lose money following them.  We have and we curse aloud, what were they thinking!

We like Fly on the Wall for keeping up with what events might be happening, analysts comment, and whatever else could be moving the stock.  Dow Jones news service is an essential tool but many services pick up their feed like they do Bloomberg. For quick financial analysis, it’s hard to beat Old School Value.

No one tracks and understands insider behavior better than us. We’ve been doing it religiously since 2001 when I quit being an insider myself and devoted myself full time to managing my personal investments. Needless to say, past good fortune is no guarantee of future success. We may own positions, long or short, in any of these names and are under no obligation to disclose that. We welcome your comments on our analysis.

This blog is solely for educational purposes and the author’s own amusement.  Investing with The Insiders Fund is for qualified investors and by Prospectus only. Nothing herein should be construed otherwise.  THE INSIDERS FUND invests in companies at or near prices that management has been willing to invest significant amounts of their own money in.  If you would like to hear more about how you can get involved with the Insiders Fund, please schedule some time on my calendar. 

Prosperous Trading,

Harvey Sax

The Insiders Fund was the 4th best long-short equity fund in the world in 2019