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WWE: 1.3MM Subs With Lackluster Creative? Wrestlemania Could Mark the Beginning of a Creative Upturn

March 30th, 2015

Today wrestling fans across the country are rejoicing over what many have deemed “the best Wrestlemania ever”.  Following months of complaining from WWE’s legion of vociferous fans on social media and various...

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Z: Five Questions We’re Thinking about This Week, Including: Do Internet Leads in Real Estate Convert at Less than 1%?

March 23rd, 2015

2015 is shaping up to be an incredibly challenging year for Zillow.  The ground is shifting rapidly in the residential real estate space as legacy brokerage firms and media companies (think News...

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NA.TO/HCG.TO/RON.TO: The Canadian Housing Market - Dancing on the Edge of a Razor Blade, Time to Get Short – FULL...

March 13th, 2015

This report is a follow up to our note published 3/10/15 in which we introduced Home Capital Group (HCG.TO), National Bank of Canada (NA.TO), and Rona Inc. (RON.TO) as short ideas.“Get busy with...

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NA.TO/HCG.TO/RON.TO: The Canadian Housing Market - Dancing on the Edge of a Razor Blade, Time to Get Short

March 10th, 2015

“Get busy with the facts, No zodiacs or almanacs, No maniacs in polyester slacks, Just the facts…. The small gets big, It’s a rig…. You better run homeboy, A fact’s a fact… Roll the...

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Z: Trulia 10-K Observations – Rapid Deceleration in Growth Is the Headline

March 2nd, 2015

This morning Trulia filed its 2014 10-K.  As you might remember, on the conference call discussing Zillow’s 4Q14 earnings and the closing of the acquisition management was unwilling to provide much detail on Trulia’s 4Q14 financial...

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Z: Pricing Looks to be the Lever of Last Resort; Plenty of Potential Negative Catalysts on the Horizon

February 18th, 2015

As long time followers of PAA Research know, we have a fair amount of experience dealing with heavily shorted stocks.  This is not our first rodeo with a stock that experiences a vicious rally that seems to have been...

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TRLA: Closing Out TRLA Short Idea with (-62.3%) Loss, 0.1% Alpha Generation, Z Remains Our Top Short Idea

February 17th, 2015

We are closing out our TRLA short idea with a (-62.3%) loss following the company's acquisition by Zillow.  Many, if not most elements of our short thesis on TRLA did indeed play out: in almost every way the...

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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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CSGP: Throwing the Marketing Gauntlet Down in Rentals Could Have Negative Implications for Everyone, Including CSGP and...

February 17th, 2015

“So hold on tight, with all your might… Cause MC's [market caps] crumble when we rumble… Cause in this battle, I’m takin no prisoners, I’m slayin MC's right on the...

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ZU: It Really Was Blue Nile Redux, Closing out ZU Short Idea with a 55.9% Gain, 64.6% Alpha Generation

February 13th, 2015

Approximately 6-months ago we introduced ZU as a short idea. At that time our thesis was as follows: Zulily’s TAM is HUGELY overstated. Bulls make the case that the markets in which Zulily participates generated...

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DV: In the Real World, It Sure Looks Like DV’s Operational Challenges Are Just Getting Started, Six Reasons to Stay...

February 6th, 2015

We were very eager to hear DV management’s commentary on the 2Q15 earnings call following a quarter in which almost every single enrollment metric and financial detail seemed to validate our short...

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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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Z/TRLA: Beware the “tions” of 2015, Especially Those Related to Project Upstream

January 29th, 2015

“I’m wide awake. I’m wide awake. Wide awake. I’m not sleeping. Oh, no, no, no….. If I could, you know I would. If I could, I would. Let it go….” U2, “Bad”, The Unforgettable Fire In this wonderful song...

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WWE: Now With 1MM Subs the Network Once Again Becomes a “Free Call Option” Even As the Core Business Remains...

January 27th, 2015

Admittedly we walked into our offices Monday morning wondering if shares of WWE would come under pressure following a negative response from a vocal, but apparently small subsection of the...

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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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2014 Investment Idea Performance Update: AVERAGE Alpha Generation per Idea since Inception of 4.1%, 28.8% AVERAGE Alpha...

December 31st, 2014

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.  2014 will be remembered as a Dickens-esque year at...

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Reminder: Please Take the PAA Research 2014 Client Survey

December 12th, 2014

As you know, we love to conduct surveys. We're interested in learning more about how our clients utilize our service and ways in which we can improve the research offering and enhance client satisfaction.  Please click on the link below to take the survey....

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ZU: Does ZU Have an Inventory Problem? 40,000+ SKU’s of “Ready to Ship” Items Might Be Sitting in Their...

December 11th, 2014

“We operate a minimal inventory, intermediary model where we typically take customer orders before we purchase inventory from our vendors”-          ZU S-1 filing 11/13/13Much like NILE...

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Please Take the 2014 PAA Research Client Survey!

December 9th, 2014

As you know, we love to conduct surveys. We're interested in learning more about how our clients utilize our service and ways in which we can improve the research offering and enhance client satisfaction.  Please click on the link below to take the survey.  It should...

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ESI: The Lender of Last Resort Comes a Knockin’; The Stock RALLIES 30%+ Even As Bankruptcy Risk Increases, Follow the...

December 5th, 2014

“On November 17, 2014, we obtained a commitment from Cerberus Business Finance, LLC to provide us with a new $100 million senior secured term loan facility”-          ESI 2Q14 10-Q...

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DV: “History Doesn’t Repeat Itself, but It Often Rhymes”; DV’s Golden Goose Is About to Get Squeezed, Time to...

November 20th, 2014

This oft quoted aphorism (incorrectly attributed to Twain) represents one of the greatest truisms for any seasoned investor: the ability to identify trends and map them to historical patterns is a...

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Z: You Know About the 4Q14 Outlook, Here’s What Should Concern You More – This Company is More Levered to Traffic...

November 6th, 2014

“That was a mistake….Look deep, Josh. It’s there.  It’s moves away, but it’s there.  You’ve got him….. Don’t move until you see it.” Ben Kingsley, Searching for Bobby...

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ZU: Deceleration Takes Root amidst Growing Signs of Customer Fatigue, Taking Target to $15

November 4th, 2014

Approximately two months ago we introduced ZU as a short idea.  As a reminder here’s the original elements of our short thesis:Cracks have started to emerge recently, but we think revenue, gross margin, and profitability...

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Z/CSGP: Can Rentals Save the Zillow Narrative? Don’t Count On It; CSGP Increasingly Looks Like a “Leap of...

October 31st, 2014

“…the long-term opportunity for Rentals, we look at competitors in the rental space kind of pure play what they call ILSs or Internet Listing Sites, Internet Listing Services and we see a couple...

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WWE: Concerns Surrounding Network Churn Overshadow What Should Be the Bigger Story – OIBDA and Cash Flow

October 30th, 2014

Heading into WWE’s 3Q14 earnings release here’s what we said about how the stock might react to the Network subscriber number (all else being equal):“Here’s how we think the stock COULD trade based on a...

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WWE: Framing Expectations Heading Into 3Q14 Earnings; The Bar Has Been Lowered More Than You Might Think

October 28th, 2014

In the context of the volatility in WWE shares thus far this year, the 20% trading range for the stock over the past three months can only be described as tranquil.  Perhaps more importantly the relative amount of...

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ESI: A Temporary Reprieve from, but Likely Not a Full Resolution of the Company’s Liquidity Woes

October 17th, 2014

There’s a well-known adage in this business that the “highs are never as high as the lows are low”.  No truer statement could be made about our feelings on our short call on ESI today even with ESI shares down 72%...

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ESI: All That Matters Are Starts and Cash, Both of Which Appear to Be In Increasingly Short Supply; ESI Needs to Raise...

October 16th, 2014

From our perspective, the long awaited filing of ESI’s 2013 10-K was as notable for what was NOT in the document as for what was.  After all, at this stage the only two data points that truly...

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ESI: A Liquidity Crisis Has Arrived (Finally), As Regulatory and Litigation Tail Risk Looms Large, Taking Price Target...

September 19th, 2014

For several years now we have argued that ESI needed to raise capital to position the company to meet its contingent liabilities related to guarantee payments on private student loan portfolios and...

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Z: Cuts to Featured Listings for Premier Agents Suggest Zillow’s Advertising Inventory Problems Could Be Escalating...

September 5th, 2014

Approximately two months ago we published a report backed by a review of more than 2,000 listings in 50+ markets on Zillow (“Z: Look at the Listings, the Zillow Ecosystem Might Not Be What You...

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Current Ideas

CTC

SHORT

$101

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