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COCO: Closing Out COCO Short Idea with 99.9% Gain, 176.1% Alpha Generation

February 17th, 2015

COCO shares were delisted from the NASDAQ today.  We are closing out our COCO short idea with a 99.9% ABSOLUTE gain and 176.1% alpha generation.  It is our goal to identify short ideas that have 100% absolute return potential.  Obviously,...

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ESI: The COCO Student Loan Forgiveness Precedent Is Not a Good One for ESI

February 3rd, 2015

ESI shares traded up 20%+ today in reaction to the completion of COCO's asset sale to ECMC and the announcement that loan forgiveness on COCO's Genesis loan program will be 40% of principal.  There are some that want to interpret the 40%...

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For-Profit EDU: A Few Thoughts on Obama’s Free Community College Initiative

January 9th, 2015

Sorry we didn't pass along some feedback sooner, but we wanted to share a few key data points and thoughts on Obama's proposal to make community college free for students that maintain a 2.5 GPA.  The program is largely modeled on one...

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For-Profit EDU: The Career College Crisis of Summer 2014; Checks Suggest Continued Weakness in Fundamentals – Where...

July 28th, 2014

“The cheaters usually get caught--just never soon enough. Plenty more heads will roll.” Anonymous executive in the for-profit education space Given our longstanding bearish stance on...

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For-Profit EDU: Don’t Expect to See Any “Greenshoots” In the Space This Spring

April 23rd, 2014

Here we are on the eve of another earning season in the for-profit education space and it appears that all of the challenging trends the group faced for the Winter term still remained firmly entrenched during the Spring enrollment...

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COCO: The Reasons Why We Think COCO Could Have a Significant Liquidity Crisis over the Next 6-12 Months

February 5th, 2014

In many respects, we are stunned that COCO shares did not trade down more today.  Let’s consider what “new” information we learned as a result of the company’s earnings release: 1) starts trends are...

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For-Profit EDU: The Hope for Hope Trade Could Be Coming To an End as Winter Term Enrollment Results Bring a Cold Dose...

January 29th, 2014

The for-profit postsecondary education sector has been a “contrarian’s delight” for the better part of 12-months.  Initially what started as a long trade predicated on overly bearish sentiment...

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COCO: What Will Happen First? Evaluating Key Catalysts as the Company’s Options Appear More and More Limited

November 5th, 2013

Tick, tick, tick…..  From where we sit, it certainly feels like the walls are closing in on COCO as the company’s weak enrollment results, shrinking EBITDA generation, tenuous liquidity position, and...

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For-Profit EDU: The Stocks Have Been Telling Us For the Past 6-Months That the Fall Term Enrollment Intake Would...

October 22nd, 2013

“It’s real the pain you feel, you trust, you must confess Is someone getting the best, the best, the best of you?”-          Foo FightersOften wrong, never in doubt…. If we could use...

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COCO: Hanging on By a Thread While the Challenges Continue to Mount

August 29th, 2013

We watched the stock price action in COCO over the past two weeks with considerable befuddlement and consternation. After all, the stock rallied more than 25% following the announcement that the Department of Education had preliminarily sided with the...

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For-Profit EDU: Just When You Think You Have All of the Answers, We Change the Questions; Feedback from Privately Held...

July 24th, 2013

“And you all know how the story go….Not bad meaning bad but bad meaning good…”-          Run-DMCWith all due respect to Monsieurs Simmons, McDaniels, and Mizell we doubt that they...

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For-Profit EDU: Has a New Legal Precedent Been Established For Institutions? A Recent CECO Case Warrants Closer...

June 19th, 2013

Earlier this week, the American Arbitration Association ruled on a dispute between a former student of CECO’s California School of Culinary Arts (since rebranded the Le Cordon Bleu College of...

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COCO: With $200MM Left to Go, Things Could Be Coming to a Head

January 31st, 2013

Despite all of the levers the company has pulled (cohort default rate “management”, asset sales, off-loading student loan credit risk temporarily, sale lease backs) over the past two years, it finally appears that COCO is starting to run out of...

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COCO: The Games Continue…. The Three Most Important Questions for COCO Stakeholders Now

October 31st, 2012

In some respects, given all that has happened over the past 2-3 years in the for-profit postsecondary education space it’s hard to imagine that COCO is still hanging around.  After all, in an era when brand, price, and return...

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For-Profit EDU: Checks with Privately Held Institutions Suggest We’re On the Cusp of Yet Another Round of Meaningful...

October 15th, 2012

On Tuesday, October 16th APOL will kick-start the earnings season in the for-profit postsecondary education sector.  Investor expectations for the company’s results, particularly surrounding new...

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COCO: Another Log on the “Regulatory Fire”

September 18th, 2012

“The investment thesis for us is pretty straightforward, as I said earlier, career-oriented, that's a big deal to us. I mean, we're teaching students how to become prepared for their first job. Not only do we teach them and get them through the process, we also spend a...

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COCO: All Available Levers Pulled, The Focus Should Increasingly Turn to COCO’s Liquidity and Leverage

August 20th, 2012

After gapping down earlier in the morning, COCO shares rallied over the course of the day to end down only 1% following 4Q12 results and management commentary that should create significant cause for concern among...

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For-Profit EDU: Checks with Privately Held Institutions Suggest Trends Are Not Getting Better; Be Wary of the 150%...

July 24th, 2012

Make no mistake, as we navigate earnings season in the for-profit education space over the next 2-3 weeks, the poor operating results from DeVry will look like an accurate gauge of the operating...

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For-Profit EDU: The CFPB Frames the Private Student Lending Industry

July 20th, 2012

Early this morning, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its long awaited report on the Private Student Loan (PSL) industry.  The report provides a broad overview of the characteristics of the private student loan market for the...

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My Interview in Barron's

July 1st, 2012

In case you missed it, I recently had the opportunity to speak with Leslie Norton of Barron's about PAA Research, our approach to idea generation, and some of our latest thoughts on for-profit education, payment processing and OPEN, Z, BGG, and TTC.  You can find the full interview HERE.

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For-Profit EDU: Another Log on the Fire? The Pell Grant Party Might Be Over

June 20th, 2012

There is little doubt that the for-profit postsecondary education sector has been under siege for the past 2-3 years.  Most stocks in the space are trading at or near their 52-week lows and at valuations most investors and management teams in...

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For-Profit EDU: As Some Try to Celebrate “Less Worse” Metrics, Starts Deteriorate and a Fundamental Inflection...

April 24th, 2012

Today the 1Q12 earnings season in the for-profit postsecondary education sector kicks off in earnest.  Thus far, many of the 12 issues that we thought would matter most this year have weighed...

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COCO: What is COCO Doing Wrong?

February 1st, 2012

It seems like an outlandish question to ask on a day when COCO shares have gapped up a draw-dropping 30% in response to a modest earnings beat that was almost entirely driven by lower bad-debt expense and a 2Q12 enrollment intake that was inline with expectations.  However, we think...

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For-Profit EDU: Will Winter Term/4Q11 Results Represent an Inflection Point for the Industry? Checks with Private...

January 25th, 2012

Yesterday we published a lengthy report that outlined the 12 issues that we think will have the greatest impact on the enrollment, revenue, EPS and stock sentiment of the publicly traded for-profit...

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For-Profit EDU: As the Focus Turns To “Brand and Price”, The 12 Issues That Will Matter Most in For-Profit...

January 24th, 2012

Perhaps it happens every year, but the relative outperformance of last year’s losers compared to the prior year’s winners has been particularly pronounced thus far in 2012.  The 25 worst...

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Current Ideas

AYI

SHORT

$129

RON.TO

SHORT

$9

BIG

SHORT

$28

ESI

SHORT

$0

DV

SHORT

$15

BGG

PAIR - LONG BGG/SHORT TTC

25%

TTC

PAIR - LONG BGG/SHORT TTC

25%

Z

SHORT

$14.00

NA.TO

SHORT

$22

HCG.TO

SHORT

$20

ING.PA

SHORT

$35

ZU

SHORT

$15

TRLA

SHORT

$20

MCRS

SHORT

$31

APOL

SHORT

$35

OPEN

SHORT

$30

BCO

LONG

$35

WWE

LONG

$25

KNL

PAIR - LONG KNL/SHORT MLHR

25%

XOXO

LONG

$20

CSGP

SHORT

$100

GCA

LONG

$8

IPSU

LONG

$20

MLHR

SHORT

$22

ARC

LONG

$12.50

LOOP

PAIR - LONG CSGP/SHORT LOOP

40%

THQI

LONG

$35

WPO

SHORT

$275

COCO

SHORT

$0

HNI

SIG

RGR