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2013 Investment Idea Performance Update: .657 Absolute Return “Batting Average”, AVERAGE Alpha Generation of 5.4%,...

December 31st, 2013

First and foremost we wanted to wish everyone a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year and thank you for your continued interest in our research.  While there was plenty to be pleased about from a...

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OPEN: As Opentable Loses Market Share in North America the Potential for a Minneapolis 2.0 Scenario Should Concern...

December 20th, 2013

As we approach year end it seems like a natural process for most investors to evaluate what they got right and what they were wrong about over the past 12-months.  We are no different.  While...

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WWE: The Network is Coming (Finally) – Assessing the Potential Risks and Rewards

December 5th, 2013

This time we really mean it…  After a number of false starts, misdirected rumors, and management mis-steps (we’re of the belief that at some point in the past 3-years there was the potential for a traditional network launch), it...

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ING.PA: Terminalization? Reterminalization? How About Obsolescence, Time to Get Short Ingenico

November 25th, 2013

The point of sale (POS) terminal/credit card acceptance device.  In the United States the hardware has become somewhat of an afterthought in the broader point of sale experience at best and at worst a PCI/EMV compliance...

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ESI: The PEAKS Problem – It’s Bigger than You Think

November 14th, 2013

“On the cost reduction efforts….As far as opportunities going forward there aren't a ton of opportunities right now, so we're not throwing another target out there, we're not throwing another bogey out there right now.” 10/24/13 Kevin Modany,...

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OPEN: A One Legged Growth Stool Increasingly Vulnerable to Competitive Threats

November 6th, 2013

North American diners seated per restaurant is for OPEN shareholders “the one metric to rule them all” as far as stock price action is concerned.  In 2012 when diners seated per restaurant in North America slowed, OPEN shares struggled...

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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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TRLA: Nowhere to Go But Down from Here As Traffic Growth Appears Poised to Slow and “True TAM” Penetration Becomes...

October 30th, 2013

It all sounds so intoxicating doesn’t it? To company management (and presumably bulls on the stock) Trulia is a leading rapidly growing mobile based residential real estate search platform...

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ESI: Despite the Stock Action, All Evidence Suggests the Downward Spiral in Earnings Power Could Continue

October 24th, 2013

Only in this environment might some people view an 10% move in a stock as a “relief”, but that is certainly how we feel today with ESI. That’s not to say our conviction in our short thesis has wavered in any...

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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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TRLA: A Storm Is Brewing Between Brokers and MLS’s, Assessing the Potential Collateral Damage for TRLA and Z

October 10th, 2013

“There’s something brewing here that really makes me think that the people in this room need to rethink their role.  Some of you[MLS representatives]  may be in denial. You don’t know that there’s a...

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MCRS: As MCRS Continues to Lose Share, a Sequence of Short Term Gains Could Create Longer Term Pain

September 27th, 2013

The purpose of this report is to address several critical questions surrounding MCRS and the company’s future growth prospects. In general, we would argue that most of these queries aren’t part of the general...

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WWE: Navigating the Pathway to $200MM in EBITDA, Taking Our Price Target to $19

September 18th, 2013

It’s not every day that the CEO of a publicly traded company offers us the opportunity to put him in a “hammerlock” if the company does not achieve its stated financial objectives.    WWE management has expressed an incredible...

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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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MCRS: After a Year of Zero Growth, Are Shareholders Any Better Off Than They Were 12-Months Ago? Analyzing the Marriott...

August 22nd, 2013

“Hope is a dangerous thing.  Hope can drive a man insane.”Morgan Freeman (Red), Shawshank RedemptionWe are not alone in this.  There’s no shortage of short sellers who lament the action in...

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WPO: The Irrational Bid Scenario Now Comes Into Play and Catalysts Are Limited, Closing Out Our Short Idea With a...

August 6th, 2013

This is something we obviously did not see coming, but based on the action in WPO shares over the past 6-months perhaps someone else did.  In retrospect, we should have given greater attention to...

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OPEN: Hope Increasingly Creeping Into the Bull Case

August 1st, 2013

In another market environment things might be different.  Marking the fifth time in the past three years, OPEN missed consensus revenue expectations for 2Q13.  On top of that, the company lowered guidance for FY13 substantially.  Panic? Not exactly.  Had the...

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OPEN: Acquisition of Rezbook - OPEN Dominance or More IACI Incompetence? Probably a Bit of Both, Margin Impact Could be...

August 1st, 2013

In what can only be described as a surprise to the marketplace, OPEN announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire IACI’s Rezbook. As part of the deal Urbanspoon, a leading mobile...

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TRLA: 2Q13 Had More Signposts of Our Short Thesis Then You Might Think, Desktop User Growth is Collapsing – Canary in...

August 1st, 2013

“There’s a party going on right here, a celebration to last through the years….”Kool & the GangIn retrospect it all seems so simple doesn’t it? Let’s play a short game of check this...

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ESI: Robbing Peter to Pay Paul in a Race to the Bottom

July 26th, 2013

In a vacuum, there might be legitimate cause for excitement.  After 11 consecutive quarters during which ESI reported a YOY decline in new student starts the company was finally able to identify an elixir to its enrollment woes – aggressive tuition discounting...

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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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OPEN: YELP’s Acquisition of SeatMe Could Herald the Start of a New Era in the North American ERB Space

July 19th, 2013

And so it begins….Two and a half years ago we introduced OPEN as a short idea predicated on four principal tenets: At its core, OPEN provides a “solution without a problem”.  OPEN’s ERB technology and...

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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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ESI: The Latest 90/10 Compliance Strategy/”Work Around” – Charter Schools and Free Associate’s Degrees

June 12th, 2013

In a move that received little fanfare this past February, ESI’s board of directors established a short term element to the company’s compensation policy for senior management that could be payable in...

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TRLA: All Listings Aggregators Are Not Created Equal, Time to Get Short

June 7th, 2013

It seems to happen all of the time in growth industries, particularly among small and mid-cap companies.  A leader in said growth industry goes public, creates a successful track record, which engenders investor enthusiasm about the company and...

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MCRS and OPEN: Thoughts From the NRA Show 2013 – Tablet POS Systems Continue to Come of Age as Competitive Headwinds...

May 21st, 2013

Yesterday we had the opportunity to tour the floor at the National Restaurant Association’s 2013 annual conference.  We wanted to pass along some key observations from our time in the exhibit...

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XOXO: Optionality Remains Compelling but Execution Still Needs to Improve, Raising Price Objective to $15

May 12th, 2013

For a long time we lamented the lack of “appreciation” among investors for the strength of XOXO’s key franchises, the company’s robust free cash flow prospects, and the tremendous growth potential of its...

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Z: With Few Catalysts on the Horizon, We’re Closing Out Our Long Z Idea With a 72% Gain

May 7th, 2013

Almost a year to the day from when we first introduced Z as a long idea, we’re closing it out with a 72% gain.  It’s been a wild ride to say the least.  Was it really only 6-months ago when the stock ticked $23.00 following...

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OPEN: As Sales Force Productivity Collapses a Few Critical Questions to Ponder; 10-Q Highlights and Observations

May 7th, 2013

Seriously, who wouldn’t love this business?  In 4Q12, OPEN’s growth in diners seated per restaurant collapsed, but the company had healthy net additions in restaurant clients, stability in NA cover...

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OPEN: Four Reasons Why OPEN’s Profitability Prospects in Europe Remain Grim

May 2nd, 2013

A few weeks ago we published a lengthy report which outlined some of the more troubling competitive developments for OPEN in North America. We maintain our view that the company is on the cusp of a major deceleration in many of its key...

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AYI

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$129

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BIG

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ESI

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$0

DV

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BGG

PAIR - LONG BGG/SHORT TTC

25%

TTC

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25%

XOXO

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CSGP

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