VIC Idea Summaries

Below are summaries of ideas posted on Value Investors Club. VIC is great! … but noisy. The summaries below are supposed to help sift through that noise.

Around 2-5 new investment ideas appear on VIC daily. Some are really good and some are posted just to meet membership quotas. Initially, these are for members only, but all move to the public domain after 45 days. That’s when summaries will appear here and on Twitter.

Is the 45 days delay on VIC post-opening for the public a big issue? Not at all – only a very limited number of VIC write-ups actually move the markets right away. Usually, the articles age really well, with critical pushback and additional insights in the comments section.

Market cap and share price is indicated at the time of posting the summary with comparison to price at VIC publication.

July 5, 2022

Rexel (RXEEY), mcap=$4.6bn, price $14.69 vs $18.74

Global distributor of electrical products. Sells 55% to Europe, 35% to NA, and 10% to Asia. The business benefits from the secular shift to electrification and is expected to grow above its historic low-single-digit rate. Activists brought new management in 2016 and subsequently, the company invested heavily in digitalization and improved customer retention. Preferred supplier due to good service and availability rather than the lowest price. A fragmented industry where smaller competitors are unable to keep up investments with the likes of RXEEY. Further industry consolidation should drive margin improvement from 5% to 6%.
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July 4, 2022

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), mcap=$2.2bn, price $12.25 vs $18.74

Crypto fund at 31% discount to NAV aiming to convert to ETF. If successful, this would immediately close the discount. The application was initially denied by SEC due to the lack of 'real' exchange on which the underlying assets (mainly Bitcoin and Ethereum) trade. GBTC argues its underlying assets are hardly different from Bitcoin futures. The fund is soliciting people to write to SEC to petition for allowing the conversion. SEC will make a final ruling again on July 6th. Hedging available vai Bitcoin futures.
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July 4, 2022

Euroseas (ESEA), mcap=$168m, price $23.00 vs $26.04

Operator of feeder and post-panamax container ships. The vast majority of its vessels are under contract providing cashflow visibility through 2024. Conservative SOTP valuation results in significant upside from contracted cashflows, newly ordered vessels at 50%+ discount and scrapping of other vessels. Loosing money from $26/share would require inane assumptions.
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July 4, 2022

Industrial Logistics Properties Trust (ILPT), mcap=$930m, $14.22 vs $13.97

A cheap logistics-focused REIT with properties with assets in Hawaii and mainland U.S at 9.4% yield. High quality assets under long term leases - distribution centers of the likes of FDX, AMZN and RH. Externally managed by (in)famous RMR. Recently completed a very large acquisition (80% of today's TEV) and significantly levered up the company. Since ILPT was able to find JV partner for the deal, it is unlikely they overpaid.
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July 4, 2022

Adient (ADNT), mcap=$2.85bn, price $30.02 vs $32.19

A play on post-covid recovery in automotive industry. The largest supplier globally of automotive seating. A mediocre business - capial-inefficient widget maker forced to absorb pricing pressures - but one with overly punitive present valuation. Company expected to re-rate upon return of volumes to pre-covid levels as well as succesful streamlining and restruturing effors driving core earnings to mid-cycle (or better) levels.
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July 4, 2022

Local Bounti (LOCL), mcap=$304m, price $3.23 vs $5.20

Indoor farming SPAC, that is riddled with related party transactions and that has just spent 100% of SPAC cash to acquire a no-growth leafy greens supplier to the likes of WMT, TGT, KR and ATCI for $120m or 12x gross profit. LOCL original de-SPAC business will do under $2m and booker $8.5m loss in Q1'22. all of this for $550m market cap. Expensive borrow, however lock-up just expired. Another SPAC from the same sponsor DMS trades for $1.66.
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July 3, 2022

Redbox Entertainment (RDBX), mcap=$277m, price $6.11 vs $3.73

Bet on short squeeze to deflate. RDBX is undegoing a takeunder at $0.63/share with no minority shareholder approval required and limied/zero equity value if the transaction fails. Shares trade at multiples of the offer price due to limited float and the resulting short squeeze. Expensive/not available borrow.
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July 3, 2022

Bluerock Homes Trust (BHOM) – BRG Spinco Pitch

Multi-family REIT getting acquired by BX at $24.25/share + 1 spin-co share of single-family assets BHOM. BHOM NAV stands at $5.6 (at 9.7% cap rate) vs $2 per share implied cost. BHOM peers trade at much lower 4% cap rates. Spin-off will be taxable.
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July 2, 2022

Potbelly (PBPB), mcap=$144m, price $4.99 vs $5.50

Owner and franchisor of Potbelly Sandwich Shop undergoing business transformation to a more franchised model (currently 90% owned). Has been COVID recovery laggard due to heavy presence in the Chicago Business District. The base case rests on the new CEO (former COO at $WEN) delivering on the strategic plan of refranchising 25% units in 3 years, reaching $1.3m AUV (vs $1m now) with 16% margins (vs 15% for 2021) and growing units 10% annually.
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July 1, 2022

OneSpan (OSPN), mcap=$480m, price $12 vs $11

Small cap SaaS providing authentification solutions for financial institutions. Decline in legacy business has been masking 30%+ growth on the digital signature side. In addition, a shift from permanent to term licenses has further muted topline growth, despite ARR growing at a healthy 20%+ with 115%+ net retention. New CEO (hired after former management was pushed out by activists in 2021) with track record of revitalizing security software business and comp incentive to reach $30/share or sell te company.
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July 1, 2022

Hammond Power Solutions (HPS-A.TO), mcap=C$179m, price C$15.48 vs C$14.87

A cheap canadian manufacturer of dry transformers for industrial power applications - "kleenex" of transformers, especially in public infrastructure projects. Leveraged to benefit from industrial infrastructure build-out and electricity grid upgrades in North America. Recent quarters have been incredibly successful and the trend is expected to continue. Operating since 1920 and profitable every years since going public in 2005. Capital light with longer term 15% ROIC. 7.5% CAGR since 2017. Insiders own 31%
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June 30, 2022

Charge Enterprises (CRGE) short, mcap=$884m, price $4.58 vs $4.67

Bear thesis – about $80 million of fairly ordinary-looking acquisitions over 2 years, now valued at $1bn+. CRGE positions itself as a growth business in the EV charging station, however, most revenue is from declining low-margin telecom M&A. Negligible revenue from the actual charging stations. Pro forma revenues are shrinking, no profits. The company has a history of chasing various fads (Internet of Value, CBD, and cannabis markets) and is run promotional management. Risks: expensive borrow, recent investments from reputable shops.
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June 30, 2022

AdaptHealth (AHCO), mcap=$2.5bn, price $18.51 vs $16.60

Semi-busted rollup of home medical equipment products with questionable ROIC from the acquisitions. Author argues that the business acquired in 2020 are actually good and grow nicely - shortfall in growth stems from businesses owned prior to 2020 M&A spree as well as from fixable operational issues of fast expansion. Potential for further M&A with 15% ROIC.
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June 29, 2022

Apartment Investment and Management (AIV), mcap=$954m, price $6.25 vs $5.82

Multi-family REIT with Class A properties in Boston, NY, Miami, etc. - markets with high barriers to construction and very high construction costs. Demand for rentals in these markets expected to continue to increase ahead of supply. Further tailwinds from higher mortgage rates and resumption of immigration.
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June 29, 2022

SpringWorks Therapeutics (SWTX) short, mcap=$1.3bn, price $25.32 vs $39.19

A bet that P3 study of the drug previously abandoned by PFE will fail. Result announcement expected in Q2'22 after years of delay, which have rendered the statistical powering assumptions meaningless.
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June 27, 2022

Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding (BHVN), mcap=$10.2bn, price $143 vs $140

Merger arb in PFE acquisition of BHVN. Aside from 4% spread to cash consideration, investors ascribe zero value to newco shares to be received in the merger. Regulatory and financing risks are de minimus. Merger to close in early 2023.
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June 27, 2022

Landstar System (LSTR) short, mcap=$5.5bn, price $148 vs $157

Highly cyclical trucking broker operating on Covid driven peak economics. Historically high spot trucking rates created windfall for $LSTR. The next Covid winner to experience a rapid deterioration in its earnings as industry economics normalize. Antiquated trucking broker model adds further longer term concerns.
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June 26, 2022

Allfunds Group (ALLFG.AS), mcap=€4.7bn, price €7.53 vs €7.56

Leading mutual fund distribution platform in Europe. Tecurring revenue business model with strong network effects and scale benefits. Track record of double digit growth with less than 10% of adressable market penetrated. Growth set to continue as mutual fund distribution shifts from captive channels to pletforms like ALLFG. Recent 50% sell-off driven by temporary industry environment factors.
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June 26, 2022

Plains All American Pipeline (PAA), mcap=$6.9bn, price $9.92 vs $10.32

Macro oil and political bet that Permian basin will run out of effective takeaway capacity by YE24 due to ressurgence in US oil production, resulting inland oil differentials. Midstream MLP $PAA is well positioned to benefit from this, with half of EBITDA derived from Permian pipelines.
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June 25, 2022

Charter Communications (CHTR), mcap=$77.7bn, price $463 vs $470

Charter is the 2nd largest internet provider in the U.S. Charter can continue adding internet subscribers despite challenges from fiber and fixed wireless. EBITDA marins are expected to continue expanding further as video subscribers drop and wireless MVNO offerings scale up.
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June 24, 2022

Perimeter Solutions (PRM), mcap=$1.9bn, price $11.50 vs $8.00

Industry leader in fire retardant chemicals used in forest fires. Previous SPAC with all star board. Industry very attractive as fire ratardant is a 'must have' product, entry barriers are high and product is a small portion of overall value chain. Given capital allocators involved, embedded optionality from future M&A.
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June 24, 2022

HDFC Bank (HDB), mcap=$103bn, price $55.65 vs $52.00

Indian bank with 20% EPS CAGR since 2012 and similarly high gowth in loan book and deposits, far ahead of the Indian banking industry credit growth. 11% market share. Merger with the parent expected to generate additional synergies.
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June 23, 2022

Coursera (COUR), mcap=$2.2bn, price $15.58 vs $17.00

Provider of online education courses facing multiple headwinds. Highly competitive industry with low barriers to entry. Real FCF/earnings losses are widening from pressures of (1) costly constant refresh/update on content, (2) increasing customer acquisition costs, (3) increased scrutiny by enterprise customers on learning spend, (4) fade-out of COVID demand spike. Scuttlebut suggestss peer $UDMY with a unique marketplace model is much better positioned.
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June 23, 2022

Silver Spike Investment (SSIC), mcap=$51m, price $8.17 vs $8.85

Buying $1 for $0.65. Recently IPOed externally managed BDC with focus on cannabis industry. Trades at 35% discount to NAV, comprised almost 100% of cash. Perfect timing - raised fresh funds for invesment when the cannabis industry $MSOS is down 70%. External manager owns 72% of shares (largest investor in IPO). In better times 1.25x P/NAV can be expected.
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June 22, 2022

Weibo (WB), mcap=$5.5bn, price $22.91 vs $20.80

Chinese version of $TWTR. High growth business with 35% FCF margins. Low valuation of 4xEBIT more than accounts for a lot of negatives/sentiment. Unique asset at <1/10th of $TWTR's EV. Sold off in line with the rest of the Chinese internet stocks. Owned 45% by Sina and 30% by $BABA. Newly announced buyback program for almost half of the float.
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June 22, 2022

Lightspeed Commerce (LSPD), mcap=$3.4bn, price $22.28 vs $19.66

Cloud-base PoS terminals and software to SMB restaurants and retailers. Long growth run-away from SMBs replasing legacy PoS systems. Expected to be one of the winners in the industry, especially in international markets with limited competition. Trades significantly below peers despite posting 50-70% organic growth. Long-term FCF margins expected in 30%+ in 5 years and 50% in 10 years.
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June 22, 2022

Avalara (AVLR), mcap=$6.2bn, price $70.80 vs $77.00

Tax compliance SaaS. Dominant in US mid-market segment. Sharetaker with high retention and long-term 20% CAGR growth prospects. Further upside from enterprise and int. businesses. Shares are down due to a general sell-off in growth stocks and e-comm worries.
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June 22, 2022

Capri Holdings (CPRI), mcap=$6.4bn, price $44.87 vs $44.98

Owner of Versace, Michael Kors, and Jimmy Choo brands. Trades as a subpar retailer at 6x NTM PE. Belongs in the luxury retailer category with LVMH and should garner a much higher multiple. Luxury accounts for 35% of sales with the remaining 65% being 'affordable luxury'. Excellent execution by management with a demonstrated ability to navigate through challenging times. Stock is expected to quadruple in two years.
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June 22, 2022

Spirit Airlines (SAVE), mcap=$2.5bn, price $22.97 vs $20.88

Traded below unaffected price with two merger offers. ULCC offer at 1.91 shares + $2.13 cash (3% spread). JBLU offer at $33 in cash (60% spread). Mgmt reluctant to engage with JBLU stating risks DOJ approval. Limited downside if both mergers fail.
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June 22, 2022

Kontoor Brands (KTB), mcap=$1.8bn, price $32.62 vs $40.80

Global jeans brands Wrangler and Lee. Underinvested by the previous parent, which treated KTB as a cash cow only. Spinned-off three years ago. New management brought clear performance improvements. Expected margin improvement over the next few years. Trades at 8.6x '22 EPS and 4.5% dividend yield. Little risk of permanent capital loss. Potential take-out target.
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June 18, 2022

Pair trade: UPWK long and FVRR short

Market misunderstands the differences in medium-term margin structures of both businesses. FVRR take rate is already 2x higher vs UPWK. FVRR's future SG&A needs to build out the Business segment are understated. UPWK has already invested into the sales force required to attract larger accounts. UPWK is expected to inflect over the next 36 months. Author is generally bullish on the long-term potential of outsourced freelance work.
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June 18, 2022

First Horizon (FHN), mcap=$11.4bn, price $21.22 vs $22.25

Large-cap bank merger with 18% spread. Getting acquired by TD at $25/share. Expected closing in early 2023, similar recent mergers took 6-13 months to close. Regulatory approval/delay is a key risk. Merger would create the 6th largest U.S. bank.
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June 18, 2022

Sonos (SONO), mcap=$2.4bn, price $19.07 vs $23.35

Seller of audio products for home entertainment. COVID beneficiary that has seen significant demand pull-forward, especially in high-margin products. Business expected to revert to pre-COVID levels, but so far trades at a premium to hist. valuations. Management's guidance for FY'22 is still optimistic, but back-end loaded. Expected to miss 2022 guidance. Insiders aggressively selling stock.
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June 18, 2022

The Walt Disney (DIS), mcap=$172bn, price $94.34 vs $113.50

Disney is in the early innings of transitioning away from pure production towards a hybrid production/distribution model with the launch of Disney+. Structurally attractive business able to monetize a vast entertainment IP portfolio through diverse channels. DTC business is expected to double revenues by 2024 driving material uplift to company-wide profitability vs being a loss-making segment today.
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June 18, 2022

Quipt Home Medical (QIPT), mcap=$161m, price $4.8 vs $4.32

Provider of in-home respiratory devices and consumables. Growing fast through roll-up strategy. Similar roll-up peer Apria was just acquired at 7x EBITDA vs 4x 2023 for QIPT. Razor and blades business model, with consumables accounting for 28% of sales.
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June 18, 2022

Catalent (CTLT), mcap=$18.4bn, price $102.51 vs $90.56

Contract manufacturer for biopharma. Reliable industry partner with strong competitive positioning and track record of FDA compliance. Recent investments in cell and gene therapies will propel growth for 10+ years. Business is getting more weighted towards higher margin and faster-growing biologicals. 28-39% IRR over the next 3-4 years.
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June 16, 2022

Full Truck Alliance (YMM), mcap=$8.9bn, price $8 vs $6

China's largest digital freight platform with an 80% market share. 1.5m shippers and 3.5m monthly truckers. Unjustifiably sold off together with the rest of the Chinese internet names. Healthy growth prospects in a huge market. $4bn net cash vs $5.5bn mcap.
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June 16, 2022

Athira Pharma (ATHA), mcap=$310m, price $8.22 vs $10.29

Biopharma with pending Phase 2 results for one of its drugs is expected shortly. If positive - 10x return. Proprietary DD on the likelihood of success. Involvement of activists with a lower cost basis. Could have exited profitably instead of starting a proxy fight.
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June 16, 2022

AppHarvest (APPH), mcap=$300m, price $2.97 vs $4.11

Structurally unprofitable greenhouse builder. Went public through a SPAC with very aggressive projections. These have already been cut in half but remain too aggressive. No scale benefits as unit economics of facilities don't work. Cash burn over next two years equal to current market cap. Expected significant dilution from new capital required to fund operations. Eventual bankruptcy.
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June 16, 2022

SurgePays (SURG), mcap=$60m, price $4.93 vs $3.33

Microcap MVNO sells broadband to low-income HH through govt subsidized program. Attractive unit econs. Transitioning from losses to profits with increased scale. Growing at 130% and forecasted to deliver bottom-line profits this year. The CEO owns 40%.
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June 16, 2022

Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust (WHLRD), mcap=$13m, price $13.59 vs $14.00

REIT preferreds trading at a 60% discount to liquidation value. Puttable by holders on Sep'23. Preferreds are in the money at a 6.5% cap rate. The company might attempt to tender for Series D preferreds before Sep'23 Otherwise, holders will convert to common.
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June 14, 2022

MSC Industrial Direct (MSM), mcap=$4.4bn, price $79.2 vs $82.86

Leader in fragmented industry positioned to continue increasing market share and improve margins. Trades at a steep discount to peers. Distributor servicing maintenance and repair industry in N.A. About 2m SKUs, 80% focused on heavy manufacturing. Closely exposed to the industrial production cycle. Expected to benefit from onshoring and customers' desire to reduce supply chain risk.
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June 14, 2022

ZoomInfo Technologies (ZI), mcap=$12.5bn, price $31.05 vs $47.50

Enterprise software provider with a go-to-market platform for sales reps. Sports accelerating 50%+ growth with no peers at scale. ZI multiple has come down from 26x ARR to 15x today Author believes current ZI growth rates are durable due to: (1) secular trend of sales org transitioning to data-driven selling (2) high net revenue retention (3) strong growth of high value and international accounts (4) no remotely comparable peers.
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June 14, 2022

PubMatic (PBM), mcap=$1.3bn, price $17.51 vs $23.6

Sell-side advertising platform enabling publishers to monetize ad space inventory. Reasonably valued at 15x EBITDA given 30%+ historic growth and 25% forward growth. Continues to gain market share. Strong GMs in the 70%+ range indicate pricing power.
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June 14, 2022

Knorr Bremse (KBX), mcap=9.6bn eur, price eur59.0 vs eur68.3

Manufacturer of braking systems for rail and commercial vehicles. Trades at lowest 8x fwd. EBITDA since 2018 IPO, below peers as well as recent transactions. Strong FCF generator through the cycle with 30%-45% in aftermarket/services sales. Newly appointed Chairman and to be appointed CEO are expected to revitalize the company. Rumors of a strategic break-up if shares continue to languish. Thiele family owns 59% of shares.
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June 13, 2022

The Liberty Braves (BATRK), mcap=$1.4bn, price $25.43 vs $25.33

Tracking stock for Liberty's ownership of Atlanta Braves. A bet on the number of billionaires going up while the number of major sports teams in the U.S (that these billionaires want to own as trophies) remains fixed. This is expected to drive the sports team valuations only up. Trades under 20x EV/OBITDA with a hidden asset in the form of developed land worth a quarter of today's market cap.
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June 13, 2022

The TJX Companies (TJX), mcap=$69bn, price $59 vs $63

Established compounder selling at a market multiple. Leading off-price apparel retailer with 4.7k stores and 25% ROIC. 10% expected growth with unit count projected to increase +30% over the longer term. The business is seemingly immune to AMZN and e-tailer competition.
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June 13, 2022

Olaplex Holdings (OLPX), mcap=$9.9bn, price $15.24 vs $14.20

DTC haircare brand in hyper-growth mode (+112% in '21 and exp. +34% in '22), yet trading below more stagnant and far larger peers. 80% GM and 60%+ EBITDA margins mainly due to reliance on social media rather than paid media. Market concerns over the durability of growth and sustainability of high margins are driving comparably lower valuation - the author believes both are sustainable. Stock is down 50% since its IPO in Fall'21.
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June 13, 2022

Callaway Golf (ELY), mcap=$4bn, price $21.85 vs $22.38

Manufacturer of golf equipment/apparel and owner of TopGolf. Legacy equipment business now only 38% of revenues and the main upside comes from TopGolf. The value of TopGolf is obscured as the business was acquired during Covid (at $2.5bn) and investors have limited understanding of the concept. TopGolf has a long growth runaway due to gamified golfing experience. ELY Unit count is projected to increase from 70 today to 400+ at 40% cash on cash returns. CEO has a history of under-promising and over-delivering. 
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June 13, 2022

Camping World Holdings (CWH), mcap=$1.1bn, price $26.77 vs $25.18

Largest RV dealer at 5.7x normalized mid-cycle FCF. Strong track record of revenue and EBITDA growth. FCF per share is expected to grow at 20% CAGR over the next 5-6 years. The market underestimates the long-term prospects of the business by overly focusing on the ST post-covid effects. The company continues to grow across all segments: RV dealership, aftermarket, and RV insurance business. Additionally, CWH is investing in P2P RV rental and used RV sale platforms, which provide further optionality and growth potential.
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