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HCG.TO: Without Any More “Cookies in the Closet” at CFF Bank, It Appears HCG is On Track to Miss Earnings Yet Again

March 14th, 2016

On some level you have to simply admire the recklessness of HCG’s management team.  After all, over the past three months, the company: 1) reported earnings that fell well short of...

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CSGP: The Core IS Slowing, While the Returns on CSGP’s Massive Advertising Investment in Rentals Remain in Doubt

February 26th, 2016

In the 45-50 minutes of prepared remarks from CSGP’s management on the company’s 4Q15 earnings conference call, it was quite clear Andy Florance and co. were hoping to accomplish the...

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NA.TO: Hope Is Not a Risk Management Strategy

February 24th, 2016

"So let's talk about oil and gas. So, earlier Marianne mentioned our intention to increase our reserves for 2016 to reflect current market fundamentals. So, at the end of 2015 for the Commercial Bank, we held a 6% allowance as part of that effort we are going to – we...

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Z/ZG: It’s Strange

February 12th, 2016

Things have been quite different in Internet TAM-land for the past 3-6 months.  Seemingly overnight investors have held companies in the space to a higher standard of operating metrics, profitability and cash flow (do not confuse the relative “higher” with the absolute “high”). In a shock...

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HCG.TO: Earnings Have Nowhere to Go but Down, Even with “Profits Before Expenses” Accounting HCG’s Core EPS Power...

February 11th, 2016

In case you were wondering what business looks like on the ground, or in this particular case the “air” in Alberta, here’s an important comment from the CEO of Westjet (Canada’s second...

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Z/ZG: Desperate Times, Desperate Measures – The Implications of Eliminating “Featured Listings” & Other Changes...

February 5th, 2016

It’s one of the more laborious, mind-numbing, and tedious exercises we have conducted on any investment idea, but it has proven to be the most revealing. Of course, we’re talking about the task...

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RON.TO: The Irrational Bid Is Alive and Well in Canada, Closing Out Short Idea with a (-49%) Loss Following Acquisition...

February 3rd, 2016

This isn’t the first time, nor will it be the last (unfortunately) that the stock of a company that we have recommended going short has been acquired. It happened with OPEN, MCRS, and now RON. ...

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DV: FTC and Dept. of Ed. Actions Confirm What We’ve Known All Along, There’s No Way DVU Has a 90% Job Placement...

January 27th, 2016

For once, it appears that DV management might has gotten something right in their “fearless” forecasting – the FTC investigation from our perspective has come to its “logical close”.  We...

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HCG.TO: OSFI Data Suggests Origination Weakness Continued in 4Q15, EPS Could Miss Consensus, Lowering Target to $16

January 20th, 2016

Well, now we know why Martin Reid abruptly changed HCG’s outlook for loan originations in 4Q15. As a reminder, just five weeks after HCG’s CEO insinuated that the company could generate origination...

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NA.TO: Taking a Closer Look at NA’s Commercial Loan Book as the Pitfalls of Recency Bias Come Front and Center;...

January 13th, 2016

Do you remember the late 1980’s and early 1990’s in Canada? It was a dark period in the country’s economic history as a combination of a collapse in crude oil prices in the mid-1980’s,...

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Upcoming Changes to Your PAA Research Account; Investment Idea Performance Update – Average Short Idea Alpha...

December 16th, 2015

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.  2015 will certainly not be remembered as an...

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DV: Buying at 20x When Trading for 4x EBITDA Might Not Be Good for Long Term IRR’s

December 15th, 2015

At DeVry Brasil, executing our game plan continues to be about adding valued acquisitions, launching new programs, marketing effectiveness and achieving operating leverage. By the way, we expect FX to moderate over the planning...

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NA.TO/HCG.TO: Four Things I Learned in the Past Week about Canadian Financial Institutions – Rhetoric vs. Reality

December 7th, 2015

We spent much of last week reading, listening, and analyzing the slew of earnings releases, financial supplements, and conference calls from the largest banks across Canada.  Had we known the results and...

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CSGP/Z: The Reality in Rentals - Awash in Leads as Incremental Spending Goes Towards Self-Branding Initiatives

November 23rd, 2015

Over the past few weeks, we conducted a survey of more than 50 rental property managers across the country.  Overall the feedback from our survey suggests that CSGP management's assertions about the company's...

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HCG.TO: Purposeful Obfuscation Continues, While Core Earnings Power Evaporates and Allowances Remain at Irresponsible...

November 5th, 2015

A company has finally surpassed the Maple Leafs as the worst run organization in Toronto… The latest development in the mortgage origination fraud scandal at HCG is both remarkable and...

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Z: You Asked for It, Now You’ve Got It – The Bull Case for Zillow Relies on the Company’s Ability to Become a...

November 4th, 2015

Where were you on that fateful day, July 28, 2014 when Zillow announced its intention to acquire Trulia in a purchase that was valued at $3.5B at that time? It was a brutal time for short sellers as...

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CSGP: Have You Noticed?

October 29th, 2015

It truly is remarkable. Quarter after quarter, CSGP management talks about phenomenal traffic gains for its flagship properties and explosive growth in bookings.  Yet, when the rhetoric melts away and questions are asking about organic or “core” revenue growth the answers are considerably...

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HCG.TO: OSFI Data Suggests HCG Earnings Could Fall Short for 3Q15; Five Key Questions That Need to Be Answered

October 21st, 2015

A few things have become clear about HCG over the past several months: Management refuses to “clear the air” surrounding the extent of the company’s involvement in and potential exposure to mortgages...

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ESI: Department of Education Letter Suggests Liquidity Woes Could Accelerate – The End Game Is Nigh

October 19th, 2015

In a letter released today, the Department of Education informed ESI that the company will be placed on a form of delayed disbursement of Title IV funds and become subject to even more stringent reporting requirements...

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Z: Is Zillow’s ARPA Growth Miracle Over? The Demise of the “MSA” in the Mortgage Channel Suggests It Could Be,...

October 16th, 2015

“By the minute I was getting paid like a hot line, Servin' rollin' fiends was calling, we was dot com, Well connected, well respected and well protected.”-          Meek Mill/Wale....

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Canadian Housing: Flashing Yellow or Red? Feedback from Our Survey of Mortgage Brokers

October 13th, 2015

On the surface everything in the Canadian housing market seems fine: home price appreciation nationally continues its unprecedented and meteoric run, housing starts remain a source of economic growth, and non-farm payrolls continue...

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Canadian Housing: The Demographic Crisis No One Seems to Talk About

October 5th, 2015

Let’s play a little game called “guess the country with a pending demographic crisis”. Here are some hints to start out with, for this country:   1) the median age has increased from 32.9 in 1990 to 40.5 in 2015, 2) the percentage of population...

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NA.TO: Surprising Capital Raise Could Spook Investors, It Might Not Be the Last…

October 1st, 2015

After the close, National Bank of Canada announced that it plans to raise $300MM through a common equity offering of 7.2MM shares at a price of $41.90. The deal is “bought” and is expected to close on 10/9/15.  Considering that much...

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DV: Drowning in a Sea of Useless Anecdotes While Critical Operating Issues Remain Unresolved, Lowering Target to $20

August 19th, 2015

Recently in one of our research notes about Zillow we wrote the following:“Investors love anecdotes about companies; they represent the “broth” in the mosaic theory “soup” we create on any...

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Z: Forget the Agent in North Dakota Spending $20K and the Growth in Agents Spending $5K/Month, Deceleration Is the Real...

August 5th, 2015

Investors love anecdotes about companies; they represent the “broth” in the mosaic theory “soup” we create on any given investment idea. Industry statistics and company specific filings...

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Z: Running Into a Wall - Growth Is Slowing and Other Key Observations from Our Survey of 400+ Real Estate Agents

August 4th, 2015

Each year, for the past six  we have conducted a survey of real estate agents across the country.  We find that the feedback from agents at the local level gives us a much more informed view of the state...

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ESI: Was That the Final Goodbye? We’ve Reached the Point of No Return – ESI Might Not Survive Beyond the Next 6-9...

July 30th, 2015

Following a conference call that sounded 50% like a deposition and 50% like an advertisement (it was 100% strange), we can’t help but wonder if this could be the last time we might here from ESI...

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HCG.TO: Amidst a Web of Deception Two Facts Are Now Clear: There Was Fraud and HCG Is Drastically Over-Earning,...

July 30th, 2015

“My pain…. Is self chosen At least so the prophet saysI could either burnOr cut off my pride and buy some timeA head full of lies is the weightTied to my waistThe river of deceit pulls downThe...

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HCG.TO: Management Desperately Tries to Spin a Narrative While the Company Increasingly Runs to Stand Still; Let’s...

July 22nd, 2015

“…the hedge funds tend not to do the due diligence. They don’t take the deeper dive and understand.”SAID NO ONE EVER.  Wait a minute, someone actually did say this and very recently.  This...

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Canadian Housing: The Pressure Point – MIC’s and Private Mortgages Have Become the Central Lynchpin Holding Up the...

July 16th, 2015

“The vulnerability associated with household indebtedness remains important and is edging higher, owing to an increase in the level of household debt and the ongoing negative impact on incomes from...

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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

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HCG.TO

SHORT

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ING.PA

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ZU

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TRLA

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MCRS

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APOL

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OPEN

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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

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$275

COCO

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HNI

SIG

RGR