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Z: Look at the Listings, the Zillow Ecosystem Might Not Be What You Think It Is – the Fallacies of the Bull Case

June 30th, 2014

“You can observe a lot by watching”-          Yogi BerraAs Zillow shares climb to levels we previously never thought possible (amazingly in the absence of any material new news) we have spent...

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ESI: In a Shock to No One PEAKS Is Finally Being Consolidated, Now ESI Attempts to Thread the Needle on Financial...

June 25th, 2014

In a surprise to no one at this point, ESI disclosed in an 8-K filing yesterday that the company’s Audit Committee in concert with the SEC Office of the Chief Accountant determined that the...

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MCRS: Closing Out Short Idea with a Loss of (-41.3%), Alpha Generation of 5.8%

June 23rd, 2014

“Oracle is focused, focused like a laser on one goal over the next few years: becoming the number one company in Cloud computing's two most profitable segments: software-as-a-service, SaaS; and platform-as-a-service, PaaS.” · Larry...

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OPEN: Closing Out OPEN Short Idea With a (-19.7%) Loss, Alpha Generation of +48.7%

June 13th, 2014

It would be easy for us to simply dismiss PCLN’s proposed acquisition of OPEN for $103/share as an irrational bid and nothing more than another chilling sign of Internet bubble 2.0, but in no way would that approach improve our...

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ESI: What Is the Value of a Higher Education Company with Private Student Loan Default Rates in Excess of 75%?

May 22nd, 2014

Rather than give you our usual initial diatribe, we’re going to present you with some quotes from ESI management over the past few years...

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MCRS and OPEN: Market Share Losses and Cannibalization of TAM Are Accelerating

May 21st, 2014

Yesterday we had the opportunity to tour the floor at the National Restaurant Association’s 2014 annual conference.  We wanted to pass along some key observations from our time in the exhibit hall.  As you might imagine given our...

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WWE: A 1.7x Mark to Market Isn’t the Problem, Elevated Network Spending and Epically Poor Communication Is

May 16th, 2014

“Just when they think they have the answers, I change the questions”Roddy PiperNo quote could better encapsulate the impact that the company’s press release on the renewal of its domestic TV rights fees...

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WWE: Framing Expectations Ahead of the Domestic TV Rights Fees Announcement

May 15th, 2014

“Well that escalated quickly…”Ron Burgundy, AnchormanIn what is likely to serve merely an appetizer for the main course of volatility that WWE shares are about to dole out over the next two trading days the stock witnessed a 10% intraday...

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ESI: College Portfolio Buyer Agrees to Purchase a Real Estate Portfolio From ESI, Wait Who?

May 14th, 2014

After the close today, ESI announced that the company has reached an agreement with College Portfolio Buyer LLC for a sale leaseback transaction.  College Portfolio Buyer will purchase 24 ITT Tech locations for approximately...

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Z: Is Zillow Becoming a Pricing Story? That’s Not Necessarily a Good Thing

May 8th, 2014

Was it good enough? Time and time again that was the question we were attempting to answer in our conversations with investors after Zillow reported 1Q14 results and provided initial 2Q14 guidance yesterday.  The trading action after hours...

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OPEN: Deceleration in Cover Volume and Continued Restaurant Share Losses Pose Problems

May 2nd, 2014

In what surely has become an alarming trend for bulls on the stock, OPEN MISSED consensus revenue expectations for the fourth time in five quarters.  We cannot think of another situation where a growth company so consistently fell...

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MCRS: Three Reasons Why Investors Should Question the Quality of 3Q14 Upside – XP, Tax Rate, and Record Capitalized...

May 2nd, 2014

For the past 6-9 months we’ve been screaming from the mountain tops (or this molehill depending on your perspective) that much of MCRS’s recent revenue growth has been largely a function of...

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TRLA: What Happened Here? Where’s the Earnings Leverage? 66,700 Subs and Not Making Money…

April 29th, 2014

Make no mistake, TRLA is a stock that trades ENTIRELY off of operating metrics and relative valuation.  For now, there are enough investors willing to value the company off price/revenue multiples so long as TRLA delivers...

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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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ESI: Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures… ESI Attempts to Access the Only Source of Incremental Capital It...

April 11th, 2014

For more than a year now, we have been arguing that ESI might need to raise capital to shore up its liquidity position in light of the company’s deteriorating operating fundamentals and...

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Z: Eight (Reasons) Is Enough, Time to Get Short with a Price Objective of $55

April 8th, 2014

In the context of what has transpired in the broader Internet space over the past two weeks, Zillow shareholders have to be feeling pretty good about themselves, or at the very least quite fortunate.  After all, the 8-10% sell-off in Z...

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WWE: Expectations Gone Awry? Come for the Rights Fees, Stay for the Network

April 7th, 2014

Heading into the release of initial subscriber numbers for the WWE Network our greatest fear was that the company would have a major technical issue with the video feed during Wrestlemania.  That did not happen and for the most part, the event...

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WWE: As We Move Beyond “Proof of Concept” for the Network the Second Phase of Growth Comes Into Focus, Raising...

March 31st, 2014

Was it really only 6-months ago that WWE shares were languishing at multi-year lows and trading 100-200,000 shares a day?  My how things have changed.  In a mere 180 days, WWE shares have now...

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MCRS/ING.PA: Highlights from Southeastern Acquirers Association Conference

March 27th, 2014

Earlier this week we had the opportunity to attend the Southeastern Acquirers Association annual conference.  The event was largely attended by merchant acquirers, ISO’s, and hardware providers in the payment processing industry.  While we...

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ESI: PEAKS Losses Inform Investors as Much about the Present as the Past; Lowering Estimates Due to Reduced Starts...

March 25th, 2014

It what has become standard practice for ESI, the company filed an 8-K last Friday after the market close which delivered more unfavorable news.   If bulls are to be believed the latest development...

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MCRS: The Investor Day Was a “Schnoozer” and That’s a Good Thing for Shorts

February 21st, 2014

Stasis is MCRS’s best asset.  That’s our grand takeaway from the company’s investor day. Otherwise, we can’t help but wonder how bulls on the stock feel about the company’s growth prospects and management team.  Those who were...

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WWE: The “Mark to Market” Could Be Higher Than Previously Thought, Raising Target to $35

February 21st, 2014

We’re going to spare you any comments on WWE’s 4Q13 earnings results. If today’s stock price action is any guide, it appears investors have deemed them irrelevant.  All eyes at this point are on two things: 1) the...

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TRLA: They Had No Choice, Now Come the Tough Questions

February 14th, 2014

Well, now we know why…. In early December, TRLA announced a convertible notes offering which was eventually upsized to $200 million.  The notes convert at $35.93/share, or roughly 2% below where TRLA shares closed yesterday.  The timing of the notes offering...

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TRLA: Share Losses Have Accelerated, How Will the Company Respond?

February 12th, 2014

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 integrated with a cloud based CRM system.  How many investor...

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OPEN: As Customer Acquisition Costs Sky-Rocket and Competition Gains Momentum Investors Are Left To Ask: If Not Now,...

February 7th, 2014

Approximately three months ago we postulated that OPEN’s EPS in FY14 could actually be flat on a YOY basis. At that time, and at every point up until the company’s earnings release yesterday...

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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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ESI: In a Web of Partial Truths, Mis-statements, and False Promises, Focus on These Realities

January 30th, 2014

Really, who would trust this management team?  The current management team of ESI has been wrong on almost every front over the past 3-4 years whether it be: student start prospects, market clearing tuition levels, or actual...

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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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A Notice About a Change in Pricing for Basic Subscribers

January 18th, 2014

If you are a gold or institutional subscriber please IGNORE this message.  If you have a basic subscription(s) bundled with a gold or institutional subscription please IGNORE this message.  Your pricing will not change.Effective February 1st, 2014 the price of...

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WWE: Massive Content Monetization Is Here, Raising Target to $23

January 14th, 2014

“You‘ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology - not the other way around.”-Steve JobsIn the end, it appears the WWE Network will be nothing short of fantastic for WWE fans and the company’s stakeholders. ...

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Current Ideas

ATGE

SHORT

$15

AYI

SHORT

$108

HCG.TO

SHORT

$0

RON.TO

SHORT

$9

BIG

SHORT

$28

ESI

SHORT

$0

BGG

PAIR - LONG BGG/SHORT TTC

25%

TTC

PAIR - LONG BGG/SHORT TTC

25%

Z

SHORT

$14.00

NA.TO

SHORT

$22

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