I'm trading for 11 months with pretty good success. I never traded metals and forex before, just stocks. Today when gold started to consolidate at the last hour, I decided to scalp short it with a large amount, so I opened 100 lots. I haven't realised, in forex 100 (lots) doesn't mean "100 pcs", because I used to stocks and I went full retard without knowledge. Seconds later, I realised it means 10 million dollars (1 lot = 100.000, and I had 500x leverage). It moved up a bit and immediately I was down £4000. I scared as fuck and rather than closing the position quickly I hoped maybe I could close break even. The market closed, and I waited for the Asian session. The gold popped like never before, and I lost all my life savings (£55000) in less than two hours. (including the 1-hour break between sessions). If I count that I lost all my earnings as well, I lost around £85000. Here is the margin call https://imgur.com/a/XY5m4ZA https://imgur.com/a/VSgmCSs https://imgur.com/pRWl5g9 IC Markets closed my position partially in every 1-2 minutes until I shut it myself at £35. You know the rest of the story. I'm depressed, crying and shouting with myself. Yes, I know I was stupid, thanks. I just wanted to share this with you. Edit: WOW THANK YOU, GUYS! I haven't expected this, but you help me. Many of you asked the same questions, I answer it here: - I live in Europe, and we usually trade CFD's, not futures. - Currency in GBP. - As you can see, this account made on IC Markets. They not just allowing you a 500x leverage, it's the default. - You can ask me why I went against the market. Because gold is way oversold? Because I expected institutions would sell their shares before gold is hitting £2000, leaving retails hanging there. Also, as I said, I wanted to scalp, not riding the gold all the way down. If I had a loss of £100, I would close the position immediately. But when I saw the £4000, my heart is stopped, and my brain just freezes. - I went for a revenge trade with my last £2k, and I don't have to say what happened. I uninstalled the app, and I give up trading for a while. - Again, in the past months, I was cautious, I lost a significant sum in March, but I managed to recover. Made consistent gains, always with SL. This is just an example of how easy is to fuck up everything you did. - I didn't come here for some shiny digital medals. I can't tell about my losses to anyone who I know in real life. I would make a fool of myself. - Anyone who attacking me that it is a scam. Well, think what you want. I feel terrible and the last thing is to answer all the messages saying "You fucking karma whore". I don't give a shit about karma.
The Rise and Fall of AMD (then Rise): What Happened?
With AMD shares hitting a new all-time high today on the back of an earnings beat and raised guidance (as well as Intel's 7nm delay), I thought it would be an opportune time to look back on how amazing of a turnaround story this has really been given that only 7 years ago the company's future was very much in doubt. In 2013, ArsTechnica ran a profile on how AMD took on Intel in the late 90s, experienced rousing success with its Athlon and Opteron chips, before over-spending and mis-executing its way into a free fall. Back then, AMD found itself completely out-maneuvered by Intel in the desktop, laptop, and sever markets and had largely been shut out of both smartphone and tablet production. This fascinating story features some matchmaking by Bill Gates, a failed attempt by AMD to acquire Nvidia when it traded under $15 a share, and a botched integration with graphics maker ATI Technologies. Warning: the two-part article, while super interesting, is absolutely on the lengthy side. For those of you who like the quick-hitters, I've summarized the highlights below. https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/04/the-rise-and-fall-of-amd-how-an-underdog-stuck-it-to-intel/
During the 1980s, AMD was a second-source supplier for companies using Intel processors. Companies like IBM didn't want to rely solely on Intel for one of the primary components in their computers, so they licensed AMD to produce versions of Intel processors. However in 1985, Intel stopped giving AMD its designs which forced them to reverse-engineer versions of Intel parts. By 1990, Merrill Lynch had declared AMD "dead", as the smaller company couldn't keep up with Intel product releases. This would not be the last time, as its aggressive pricing throughout the first half of the 90s had left AMD in a poor financial position.
In 1994, a tiny Silicon Valley outfit named NexGen began shipping a chip that was comparable to Intel's flagship Pentium. Microsoft CEO Bill Gates had taken an interest in NexGen, in particular, its brilliant CEO, Atiq Raza. Gates suggested that Raza speak to AMD since the company owned a chip fab but needed a better product to build in it. Raza met with then-CEO Jerry Sanders, who threatened to run NexGen out of business. Upon hearing about the exchange, Gates picked up the phone, called Sanders, and convinced AMD to purchase NexGen for $615mn in 1995. Soon after, Raza, dubbed by Sanders as the "Michael Jordan of microprocessor design", helped AMD develop the K6 - a major turning point for the company.
The K6 rivaled Intel on speed and price, and its revisions led to one of AMD's most successful architectures: K7, marketed as the Athlon. Athlon received "CPU of the Year" in 1999 from ArsTechnica and helped AMD grow sales from $2.5bn in 1998 to $4.6bn by 2000. With the company having just pulled in nearly $1bn in profits, Sanders rented out San Jose's entire HP Pavilion (now the SAP Center) for a party in which he paid for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill to perform and proclaimed AMD's share price would soon hit $100.
Around this time the company started spending too much and spreading itself too thin. AMD was making most of its profit from memory, but was also dabbling in logic, microprocessors, and communication products. Sanders had also decided to build a massive fab in Germany with borrowed money. Despite this, AMD continued to find technical success. AMD utilized the Athlon to develop a similar architecture that was more useful for severs. The new product, Opteron, led to AMD capturing an estimated 25% of the server market by 2006 all the while Intel struggled to produce a chip that could compete with the performance advantages of Opteron.
While on the surface AMD seemed to be firing on all cylinders with its popular Athlon and Opteron chips, the company was a financial mess behind-the-scenes. The company announced net losses of $61mn in 2001, $1.3bn in 2002, and $274mn in 2003. The main culprit? Investments in fabs that grossly overshot initial cost estimates. Between its two locations in Germany, AMD invested roughly $4.6bn.
AMD's competitive edge with Opteron coincided with some low points for Intel that forced the company to re-imagine its architecture altogether. The result was the release of the Intel Core microarchitecture in 2006. Core enabled Intel to take back the performance crown in the PC market, and it proved more power-efficient than AMD's laptop chips right when laptops began to outsell desktops for the first time. Intel compounded the pain by strategically releasing frequent upgrades and forcing AMD to play catch-up yet again.
Though AMD's CPUs consistently improved, over time they became shut out of the high-end market once more and were relegated to compete mainly on price, mirroring the company's early struggles. As Intel churned out its best product in years, AMD began trying to swallow another company whole. In 2006, AMD saw an opportunity for the future by integrating a memory controller into the CPU. However, the company needed the graphics and chipset experience to make it happen.
The solution was to purchase Canadian graphics company ATI Technologies for $5.4bn - or roughly half of AMD's market cap. This came after AMD had approached Nvidia as its first-choice takeover target. At that time, Nvidia was trading under $15 a share. But Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia's outspoken CEO, insisted on running the combined company — a non-starter for AMD leadership. While ATI's technology was considered superior to Intel's, the integration process proved disastrous from the start. Employees from the two companies divided into green (AMD and CPU) and red (ATI and GPU) sides, prioritizing needs of their individual products, and causing major delays time and time again.
With problems executing and stagnant sales, AMD ended 2007 with more than $5bn in debt and lost $3.3bn on the year after having taken a write-down charge for its acquisition of ATI. The company was having serious difficulty affording the costs of its fab facilities, when the entire industry endured a sharp downturn in 2008 that caused the stock to plummet from $20 to $4 a share.
AMD had no choice but to spin off its foundries in 2009 (AMD spun off GlobalFoundries in 2009), weakening its competitive positioning relative to Intel. Despite efforts to engineer higher quality products, its share of the PC and sever businesses kept declining and AMD was unable to achieve meaningful share in the ultrabook and tablet segments. The low-end CPU market sent margins tumbling and increased exposure to secular declines in PC sales.
By 2013, only one singular analyst on Wall Street was bullish on the stock — which had now fallen from $8 at the start of 2012 to just around $2. Yet after a major delay with the highly anticipated "Fusion" 32nm chip, the analyst noted that there were now liquidity concerns due to the declining PC market. Even former CFO Fran Barton thought AMD had next to no future in its battle with Intel: "...the game's been played."
Flash-forward to today and AMD just delivered its highest CPU revenue in over 12 years, has taken CPU market share for 11 straight quarters, and currently enjoys double-digit server processor market share. Whether you're an investor or not, bullish or bearish, that is one hell of a comeback. Hats off to Lisa Su and the entire AMD team.
Richard Dobatse, a Navy medic in San Diego, dabbled infrequently in stock trading. But his behavior changed in 2017 when he signed up for Robinhood, a trading app that made buying and selling stocks simple and seemingly free. Mr. Dobatse, now 32, said he had been charmed by Robinhood’s one-click trading, easy access to complex investment products, and features like falling confetti and emoji-filled phone notifications that made it feel like a game. After funding his account with $15,000 in credit card advances, he began spending more time on the app. As he repeatedly lost money, Mr. Dobatse took out two $30,000 home equity loans so he could buy and sell more speculative stocks and options, hoping to pay off his debts. His account value shot above $1 million this year — but almost all of that recently disappeared. This week, his balance was $6,956. “When he is doing his trading, he won’t want to eat,” said his wife, Tashika Dobatse, with whom he has three children. “He would have nightmares.” Millions of young Americans have begun investing in recent years through Robinhood, which was founded in 2013 with a sales pitch of no trading fees or account minimums. The ease of trading has turned it into a cultural phenomenon and a Silicon Valley darling, with the start-up climbing to an $8.3 billion valuation. It has been one of the tech industry’s biggest growth stories in the recent market turmoil. But at least part of Robinhood’s success appears to have been built on a Silicon Valley playbook of behavioral nudges and push notifications, which has drawn inexperienced investors into the riskiest trading, according to an analysis of industry data and legal filings, as well as interviews with nine current and former Robinhood employees and more than a dozen customers. And the more that customers engaged in such behavior, the better it was for the company, the data shows. Thanks for reading The Times. Subscribe to The Times More than at any other retail brokerage firm, Robinhood’s users trade the riskiest products and at the fastest pace, according to an analysis of new filings from nine brokerage firms by the research firm Alphacution for The New York Times. In the first three months of 2020, Robinhood users traded nine times as many shares as E-Trade customers, and 40 times as many shares as Charles Schwab customers, per dollar in the average customer account in the most recent quarter. They also bought and sold 88 times as many risky options contracts as Schwab customers, relative to the average account size, according to the analysis. The more often small investors trade stocks, the worse their returns are likely to be, studies have shown. The returns are even worse when they get involved with options, research has found. This kind of trading, where a few minutes can mean the difference between winning and losing, was particularly hazardous on Robinhood because the firm has experienced an unusual number of technology issues, public records show. Some Robinhood employees, who declined to be identified for fear of retaliation, said the company failed to provide adequate guardrails and technology to support its customers. Those dangers came into focus last month when Alex Kearns, 20, a college student in Nebraska, killed himself after he logged into the app and saw that his balance had dropped to negative $730,000. The figure was high partly because of some incomplete trades. “There was no intention to be assigned this much and take this much risk,” Mr. Kearns wrote in his suicide note, which a family member posted on Twitter. Like Mr. Kearns, Robinhood’s average customer is young and lacks investing know-how. The average age is 31, the company said, and half of its customers had never invested before. Some have visited Robinhood’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., in recent years to confront the staff about their losses, said four employees who witnessed the incidents. This year, they said, the start-up installed bulletproof glass at the front entrance. “They encourage people to go from training wheels to driving motorcycles,” Scott Smith, who tracks brokerage firms at the financial consulting firm Cerulli, said of Robinhood. “Over the long term, it’s like trying to beat the casino.” At the core of Robinhood’s business is an incentive to encourage more trading. It does not charge fees for trading, but it is still paid more if its customers trade more. That’s because it makes money through a complex practice known as “payment for order flow.” Each time a Robinhood customer trades, Wall Street firms actually buy or sell the shares and determine what price the customer gets. These firms pay Robinhood for the right to do this, because they then engage in a form of arbitrage by trying to buy or sell the stock for a profit over what they give the Robinhood customer. This practice is not new, and retail brokers such as E-Trade and Schwab also do it. But Robinhood makes significantly more than they do for each stock share and options contract sent to the professional trading firms, the filings show. For each share of stock traded, Robinhood made four to 15 times more than Schwab in the most recent quarter, according to the filings. In total, Robinhood got $18,955 from the trading firms for every dollar in the average customer account, while Schwab made $195, the Alphacution analysis shows. Industry experts said this was most likely because the trading firms believed they could score the easiest profits from Robinhood customers. Vlad Tenev, a founder and co-chief executive of Robinhood, said in an interview that even with some of its customers losing money, young Americans risked greater losses by not investing in stocks at all. Not participating in the markets “ultimately contributed to the sort of the massive inequalities that we’re seeing in society,” he said. Mr. Tenev said only 12 percent of the traders active on Robinhood each month used options, which allow people to bet on where the price of a specific stock will be on a specific day and multiply that by 100. He said the company had added educational content on how to invest safely. He declined to comment on why Robinhood makes more than its competitors from the Wall Street firms. The company also declined to comment on Mr. Dobatse or provide data on its customers’ performance. Robinhood does not force people to trade, of course. But its success at getting them do so has been highlighted internally. In June, the actor Ashton Kutcher, who has invested in Robinhood, attended one of the company’s weekly staff meetings on Zoom and celebrated its success by comparing it to gambling websites, said three people who were on the call. Mr. Kutcher said in a statement that his comment “was not intended to be a comparison of business models nor the experience Robinhood provides its customers” and that it referred “to the current growth metrics.” He added that he was “absolutely not insinuating that Robinhood was a gambling platform.” ImageRobinhood’s co-founders and co-chief executives, Baiju Bhatt, left, and Vlad Tenev, created the company to make investing accessible to everyone. Robinhood’s co-founders and co-chief executives, Baiju Bhatt, left, and Vlad Tenev, created the company to make investing accessible to everyone.Credit...via Reuters Robinhood was founded by Mr. Tenev and Baiju Bhatt, two children of immigrants who met at Stanford University in 2005. After teaming up on several ventures, including a high-speed trading firm, they were inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement to create a company that would make finance more accessible, they said. They named the start-up Robinhood after the English outlaw who stole from the rich and gave to the poor. Robinhood eliminated trading fees while most brokerage firms charged $10 or more for a trade. It also added features to make investing more like a game. New members were given a free share of stock, but only after they scratched off images that looked like a lottery ticket. The app is simple to use. The home screen has a list of trendy stocks. If a customer touches one of them, a green button pops up with the word “trade,” skipping many of the steps that other firms require. Robinhood initially offered only stock trading. Over time, it added options trading and margin loans, which make it possible to turbocharge investment gains — and to supersize losses. The app advertises options with the tagline “quick, straightforward & free.” Customers who want to trade options answer just a few multiple-choice questions. Beginners are legally barred from trading options, but those who click that they have no investing experience are coached by the app on how to change the answer to “not much” experience. Then people can immediately begin trading. Before Robinhood added options trading in 2017, Mr. Bhatt scoffed at the idea that the company was letting investors take uninformed risks. “The best thing we can say to those people is ‘Just do it,’” he told Business Insider at the time. In May, Robinhood said it had 13 million accounts, up from 10 million at the end of 2019. Schwab said it had 12.7 million brokerage accounts in its latest filings; E-Trade reported 5.5 million. That growth has kept the money flowing in from venture capitalists. Sequoia Capital and New Enterprise Associates are among those that have poured $1.3 billion into Robinhood. In May, the company received a fresh $280 million. “Robinhood has made the financial markets accessible to the masses and, in turn, revolutionized the decades-old brokerage industry,” Andrew Reed, a partner at Sequoia, said after last month’s fund-raising. Image Robinhood shows users that its options trading is free of commissions. Robinhood shows users that its options trading is free of commissions. Mr. Tenev has said Robinhood has invested in the best technology in the industry. But the risks of trading through the app have been compounded by its tech glitches. In 2018, Robinhood released software that accidentally reversed the direction of options trades, giving customers the opposite outcome from what they expected. Last year, it mistakenly allowed people to borrow infinite money to multiply their bets, leading to some enormous gains and losses. Robinhood’s website has also gone down more often than those of its rivals — 47 times since March for Robinhood and 10 times for Schwab — according to a Times analysis of data from Downdetector.com, which tracks website reliability. In March, the site was down for almost two days, just as stock prices were gyrating because of the coronavirus pandemic. Robinhood’s customers were unable to make trades to blunt the damage to their accounts. Four Robinhood employees, who declined to be identified, said the outage was rooted in issues with the company’s phone app and servers. They said the start-up had underinvested in technology and moved too quickly rather than carefully. Mr. Tenev said he could not talk about the outage beyond a company blog post that said it was “not acceptable.” Robinhood had recently made new technology investments, he said. Plaintiffs who have sued over the outage said Robinhood had done little to respond to their losses. Unlike other brokers, the company has no phone number for customers to call. Mr. Dobatse suffered his biggest losses in the March outage — $860,000, his records show. Robinhood did not respond to his emails, he said, adding that he planned to take his case to financial regulators for arbitration. “They make it so easy for people that don’t know anything about stocks,” he said. “Then you go there and you start to lose money.”
Long Thesis - Progyny - 100% upside - High-growth, profitable company is the only differentiated provider in a large, growing, and underserved market. PGNY’s high-touch, seamless offering helps them stand out against large insurance carriers.
Link to my research report on PGNY Summary High-growth, profitable company is the only differentiated provider in a large, growing, and underserved market. PGNY’s high-touch, seamless offering helps them stand out against large insurance carriers. Covid-19 has shown the importance of benefits for employees and will continue to be the key differentiator for those thinking of changing jobs. According to RMANJ (Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey), 68% of people would switch jobs for fertility benefits. For employers, Progyny reduces costs by including the latest cutting-edge technology in one packaged price, thereby lowering the risk of multiples and increasing the likelihood of pregnancy, keeping employees happy with an integrated, data-driven, concierge service partnering with a selective group of fertility doctors. Upside potential is 2x current price in the next 18 months. Overview Progyny Inc. (Nasdaq: PGNY), “PGNY” or the “Company”, based in New York, NY, is the leading independent fertility and family building benefits manager. Progyny serves as a value-add benefits manager sold to employers who want to improve their benefits coverage and retain and attract the best employees. Progyny offers a comprehensive solution and is truly disrupting the fertility industry. There is no standard fertility cycle, but the below is a good approximation of possible workflows: https://preview.redd.it/7aip8pna9zi51.png?width=941&format=png&auto=webp&s=7ef868a67eae10534bac254ab58fb3d4295aef37
Patient is referred to fertility center for evaluation for Assisted Reproductive Technology (“ART”) procedures, including in-vitro fertilization (“IVF “) and intrauterine insemination (“IUI”). Both can be aided by pharmaceuticals that stimulate egg production in the female patient. IVF involves the fertilization of the egg and sperm in the lab, while IUI is direct injection of the sperm sample into the uterus. Often, IUI is done first as it is less expensive. As success rates of IVF have increased, IUI utilization will likely fall.
Sperm washing is the separation of the sperm from the semen sample for embryo creation, and it enhances the freezing capacity of the sperm. Typically, a wash solution is added to the sample and then a centrifuge is used to undergo separation. This is done in both IUI and IVF.
Some OB/GYN platforms are pursuing vertical integration and offering fertility services directly. The OB would need to be credentialed at the lab / procedure center.
Specialty pharmacy arranges delivery of temperature sensitive Rx. Drug regimens include ovarian stimulation to increase the number of eggs or hormone manipulation to better time fertility cycles, among others.
Oocyte retrieval / aspiration is done under deep-sedation anesthesia in a procedure room, typically in the attached IVF lab. Transfer cycle implantation is done using ultrasound guidance without anesthesia. (Anecdotally, we have been told that only REIs can perform an egg retrieval. We have not been able to validate this).
Many clinics house frozen embryos on-site, while some clinics contract with 3rd parties to manage the process. During an IVF cycle, embryos are created from all available eggs. Single-embryo transfer (“SET”) is becoming the norm, which means that multiple embryos are then cryopreserved to use in the future. A fertility preservation cycle ends here with a female storing eggs for long-term usage (e.g. a woman in her young 20s deciding to freeze her eggs for starting a family later).
Common nomenclature refers to an IVF cycle or an IVF cycle with Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (“ICSI”). From a technical perspective, ICSI and IVF are different forms of embryo fertilization within an ART cycle.
ART clinics are frequently offering ancillary services such as embryo / egg adoption or surrogacy services. More frequently, there are independent companies that help with the adoption process and finding surrogates.
ART procedures are broken into two different types of cycles: a banking cycle is the process by which eggs are gathered, embryos are created and then transferred to cryopreservation. A transfer cycle is typically the transfer of a thawed embryo to the female for potential pregnancy. If a pregnancy does not occur, another transfer cycle ensues. Many REIs are moving towards a banking cycle, freezing all embryos, then transfer cycles until embryos are exhausted or a birth occurs. If a birth occurs with the first embryo, patients can keep their embryos for future pregnancy attempts, donate the embryos to a donation center, or request the destruction of the embryos.
The Company started as Auxogen Biosciences, an egg-freezing provider before changing business models to focus on providing a full-range of fertility benefits. In 2016, they launched with their first 5 employer clients and 110,000 members. As of June 30, 2020, the Company provided benefits to 134 employers and ~2.2 million members, year over year growth of 63%. 134 employers is less than 2% of the total addressable market of “approximately 8,000 self-insured employers in the United States (excluding quasi-governmental entities, such as universities and school systems, and labor unions) who have a minimum of 1,000 employees and represent approximately 69 million potential covered lives in total. Our current member base of 2.1 million represents only 3% of our total market opportunity.” The utilization rate for all Progyny members was less than 1% in 2019, offering significant leverageable upside as the topic of fertility becomes less taboo.
Fertility has historically been a process fraught one-sided knowledge, even more so than the typical physician procedure. Despite the increased availability of information on the internet, women who undergo fertility treatments have often described the experience as “byzantine” and “chaotic”. Outdated treatment models without the latest technology (or the latest tech offered as expensive a la carte options) continue to be the norm at traditional insurance providers as well as clinics that do not accept insurance. Progyny’s differentiated approach, including a high-touch concierge level of service for patients and data-driven decision making at the clinical level, has led to an NPS of 72 for fertility benefits and 80 for the integrated, optional pharmacy benefit. Typically, fertility benefits offered by large insurance carriers are add-ons to existing coverage subject to a lifetime maximum while simultaneously requiring physicians to try IUI 3 – 6 times before authorizing IVF. The success rate of IUI, also known as artificial insemination, is typically less than 10%, even when performed with medication. As mentioned in Progyny’s IPO “A patient with mandated fertility step therapy protocol may be required to undergo three to six cycles of IUI, which has an average success rate range of 5% to 15%, takes place over three to six months and can cost up to $4,000 per cycle (or an aggregate of approximately $12,000 to $24,000), according to FertilityIQ. Multiple rounds of mandated IUI is likely to exhaust the patient's lifetime dollar maximum fertility benefits and waste valuable time before more effective IVF treatment can be begun.” Success Rates for IVF IVF success rates vary greatly by age but were 49% on average for women younger than 35. The graph below shows success rates by all clinics by age group for those that did at least 10 cycles in the specific age group. As an example, for those in the ages 35 – 37, out of 456 available clinics, 425 performed at least 10 cycles with a median success rate of 39.7%. https://preview.redd.it/d2l5dtw89zi51.png?width=4990&format=png&auto=webp&s=5ff2ab9948b94419558a27ac861d4e498dce6713 Progyny’s Smart Cycle is the proprietary method the company has chosen as a “currency” for fertility benefits. As opposed to a traditional fee-for-service model with step-up methods, employers may choose to provide between 2 and unlimited Smart Cycles to employees. This enables employees to choose the provider’s best method. Included in the Smart Cycle, and another indicator of the Company’s forward-thinking methodology, are treatment options that deliver better outcomes (PGS, ICSI, multiple embryo freezing with future implantations). https://preview.redd.it/np577a389zi51.png?width=734&format=png&auto=webp&s=c061a2b24c8515890ba204479b4677893dabf755 As detailed in the chart above, a patient could undergo an IVF cycle that freezes all embryos (3/4 of a Smart Cycle), then transfer 5 frozen embryos (1/4 cycle each; each transfer would occur at peak ovulation, which would take at least 5 months) and use only 2 Smart Cycles. Alternatively, if the patient froze all embryos and got pregnant on the first embryo transfer, they would only use one cycle. Before advances in vitrification (freezing), patients could not be sure that an embryo created in the lab and frozen for later use would be viable, so using only one embryo at a time seemed wasteful. Now, as freezing technology has advanced, undergoing one pharmaceutical regime, one oocyte collection procedure, creating as many embryos as possible, and then transferring one embryo back into the uterus while freezing the rest provides the highest ROI. If the first transferred embryo fails to implant or otherwise does not lead to a baby, the patient can simply thaw the next embryo and try implantation again next month. Included in each Smart Cycle is pre-implantation genetic sequencing (“PGS”) on all available embryos and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (“ICSI”). PGS uses next-generation sequencing technology to determine the viability and sex of the embryo while ICSI is a process whereby a sperm is directly inserted into the egg to start fertilization, rather than allowing the sperm to penetrate the egg naturally. ICSI has a slightly higher rate of successful fertilization (as opposed to simply leaving the egg and sperm in the petri dish). Because Progyny’s experience is denominated in cycles of care, not simply dollars, patients and doctors can focus on what procedures offer the best return. 30% of the Company’s existing network of doctors do not accept insurance of any kind, other than Progyny, which speaks to the value that is provided to doctors and employers. For patients not looking to get pregnant, Progyny offers egg freezing as well. Progyny started as an egg-freezing manager, which allows a woman to preserve her fertility and manage her biological clock. As mentioned previously, pregnancy outcomes vary significantly and align closely with the age of the egg. Egg freezing is designed to allow a woman to save her younger eggs until she is ready to start a family. From an employer’s perspective, keeping younger women in the work force for longer is a cost savings. Vitrification technology has improved significantly since “Freeze your eggs, Free Your Career” was the headline on Bloomberg Businesweek in 2014, but we still don’t yet know the pregnancy rates for women who froze their eggs 5 years ago, but early results are promising and on par with IVF rates for women of similar ages now. From a female perspective, the egg freezing process is not an easy one. The patient is still required to inject themselves with stimulation drugs and the egg retrieval process is the same as in the IVF process (under sedation). The same number of days out of work are required. Using the SmartCycle benefit above as an example, the egg freezing process would require ½ of a Smart Cycle. The annual payment required to the clinic is typically included in the benefits package but may require out-of-pocket expenses covered by the employee. Contrary to popular belief, IVF pregnancies do not have a higher rate of multiples (twins, triplets, etc.), rather in order to reduce out of pocket costs, REIs have transferred multiple embryos to the patient, in the hopes of achieving a pregnancy. If you have struggled for years to get pregnant, and the doctor is suggesting that transferring 3 embryos at once is your best chance at success, you are unlikely to complain, nor are you likely to selectively eliminate an implanted embryo because you now have twins. There are several factors that are making it more likely / acceptable to transfer one embryo at a time, enabling Progyny’s success. https://preview.redd.it/48vk9gc69zi51.png?width=953&format=png&auto=webp&s=2c75a2771a1dd9a079074331b317451f076725ca From the Company: “According to a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology that analyzed the total costs of care over 400,000 deliveries between 2005 and 2010, as adjusted for inflation, the maternity and perinatal healthcare costs attributable to a set of twins are approximately $150,000 on average, more than four times the comparable costs attributable to singleton births of approximately $35,000, and often exceed this average. In the case of triplets, the costs escalate significantly and average $560,000, sometimes extending upwards of $1.0 million.” “Progyny's selective network of high-quality fertility specialists consistently demonstrate a strong adherence to best practices with a substantially higher single embryo transfer rate. As a result, our members experience significantly fewer pregnancies with multiples (e.g., twins or triplets). Multiples are associated with a higher probability of adverse medical conditions for the mother and babies, and as a byproduct, significantly escalate the costs for employers. Our IVF multiples rate is 3.6% compared to the national average of 16.1%. A lower multiples rate is the primary means to achieving lower high-risk maternity and NICU expenses for our clients.” An educated and supported patient leads to better outcomes. Each patient gets a patient care advocate who interacts with a patient, on average, 15x during their usage of fertility benefits - before treatment, during treatment and post-pregnancy. The Company provides phone-based clinical education and support seven days a week and the Company’s proprietary “UnPack It” call allows patients to speak to a licensed pharmacy clinician who describes the medications included in the package (which contains an average of 20 items per cycle), provides instruction on proper medication administration, and ensures that cycles start on time. The Company’s single medication authorization and delivery led to no missed or delayed cycles in 2018. Previous conference calls have made note of the fact that the Company would like to purchase their own specialty pharmacy and own every aspect of that interaction, which should provide a lift to gross margins. This would allow PGNY to manage both the medication and the treatment, leading to decreased cost of fertility drugs. Under larger carrier programs, carriers manage access to treatment, but PBM manages access to medications, which can lead to a delay in cycle commencement. Progyny Rx can only be added to the Progyny fertility benefits solution (not offered without subscription to base fertility benefits) and offers patients a potentially lower cost fertility drug benefit, while streamlining what is often a frustrating part of the consumer experience. The Progyny Rx solution reduces dispensing and delivery times and eliminates the possibility that a cycle does not start on time due to a specialty pharmacy not delivering medication. Progyny bills employers for fertility medication as it is dispensed in accordance with the individual Smart Cycle contract. Progyny Rx was introduced in 2018 and represented only 5% of total revenue in 2018. By June 30, 2020, Progyny Rx represented 28% of total revenue and increased 15% y/y. The growth rate should slow and move more in line with the fertility benefits solution as the existing customer base adds it to their package. Progyny Rx can save employers 5% on spend for typical carrier fertility benefits or 21% of the drug spend. Prior authorization is not required, and the pre-screened network of specialty pharmacies can deliver within 48 hours. Additionally, PGNY has 1-year contracts, as opposed to 3 – 5 years like standard PBMs, but with guaranteed minimums, allowing them to purchase at discounts and pass part of the savings on to employers – another reason the attachment rate is so high. Large, Underpenetrated Addressable Market Total cycle counts are increasing (below, in 000s), including both freezing cycles and intended-pregnancy cycles. Acceleration in cycle volume is likely driven by a declining birth rate as women wait later in life to start a family, resulting in reduced fertility, as well as the number of non-traditional (LGBT and single parents). Conservatively, we believe cycles can double in the next 8 years, a 7% CAGR. https://preview.redd.it/y6y7jb559zi51.png?width=943&format=png&auto=webp&s=6cc5cdde7c6583d8e943d2675ad3b6ae85f818de Progyny believes its addressable market is the $6.7B spent on infertility treatments in 2017, but these numbers could easily understate the available market and potential patients as over 50% of people in the US who are diagnosed as infertile do not seek treatment. Additionally, according to the Company, 35% of its covered universe did not previously have fertility benefits in place previously, meaning there is a growing population of people who are now considering their fertility options. According to Willis Towers, Watson, ~ 55% of employers offered fertility benefits in 2018. A quick review of CDC stats and FertilityIQ shows a significant disparity in outcomes and emotions for those who are seeking treatment. While technology in the embryo lab is improving rapidly and success rates between clinics should be converging, there continue to be significant outliers. Clinics that follow what are now generally accepted procedures (follicle stimulating hormones, a 5-day incubation period and PGS to determine embryo viability) have seen success rates of at least 40%. There continue to be several providers that offer a mini-IVF cycle or natural IVF cycle. Designed to appeal to cost conscious cash payors, the on average $5,000 costs, is simply IVF without prescription drugs or any add-ons such as PGS. However, the success rates are on par with IUI and there is an abundance of patients over 40 using the service, where the success rates are already low. Additionally, success stories at these clinics frequently align with what is perceived as the worst parts of the process: One clinic offering a natural cycle IVF has a rating at FertilityIQ of ~8.0 with 60% of people strongly recommending it. This clinic performed 2,000 cycles in 2018 (the most recently available data from the CDC), making it one of the top 10 most active fertility center in the US. Their success rate for women under 35 was 23%, as opposed to the national average of 50% for all clinics. For women over 43, the average success rate for the most active 40 clinics in this demographic was 5.0% this clinics success rate was 0.4%. The lower success rate is likely due to the lack of pre-cycle drugs and PGS, but the success rate and the average rating is hard to understand. Part of this could be to the customer service provided by the clinic, or the perceived benefit of having to go into the office less often for check-ups when not doing a medication driven cycle. . Reviews from other clinics with high average customer ratings, but low success rates include: - “start of a journey that consisted of multiple IUI’s with numerous medications, but they were not successful.” - After an IVF retrieval, the couple had two viable embryos, both were transferred the next month” - “The couple started with a series of IUI treatments, three in total that were not successful.” - “After a fresh transfer of two embryos, again another unsuccessful cycle”. - “He suggested transferring 2 due to higher implantation rates, but there is increased rate of twins “ Valuation https://preview.redd.it/tqcykjm39zi51.png?width=6358&format=png&auto=webp&s=b63fd53c054ac5cbacaf9ccc734c7e73f0ea3c32 Progyny’s comps have typically been other high-growth companies that went public in the last two years: 1Life Healthcare (ONEM), Accolade (ACCD), Health Catalyst (HCAT), Health Equity (HQY), Livongo (LVGO), Phreesia (PHR), as well as Teladoc (TDOC). Despite revenue growth that outpaces these companies, PGNY’s revenue multiple of 4.4x 2021E revenue is a 40% discount to the peer group median. PNGY’s lower gross margin is likely limiting the multiple. However, Progyny is the one of the few profitable companies in this group and the only one with realistic EBTIDA margins. SG&A leverage is the most likely driver of increased EBITDA and can be achieved by utilizing data to improve clinical outcomes in the future, but primarily by increased productive of the sales reps, including larger employer wins and larger employee utilization. Perhaps the best direct comp is Bright Horizons (BFAM). BFAM offers childcare as a healthcare benefit where employees can use pre-tax dollars to pay for childcare. BFAM offers both onsite childcare centers built to the employer’s specification (owned by the employer and operated by BFAM), as well as shared-site locations that are open to the public and back-up sitter services. Currently, PGNY is trading at 4.4x 2021E Revenue, in-line with BFAM’s 4.3x multiple. I would argue that PGNY should trade significantly higher given the asset-lite business model and higher ROIC. Recent Results Post Covid-19, fertility treatments came back faster than anticipated, combined with disciplined operations, PGNY drove revenue and EBITDA above 2Q2020 consensus estimates. Utilization is still below historical levels, but management’s visibility led to excellent FY21 revenue estimates (consensus is around $555M, a y/y increase of 62%. 2Q2020 revenue increased 15% to $64.6M, and EBITDA increased 18% to $6.5M, primarily driven by SBC as the 15% revenue was not enough to leverage the additional G&A people hired in the last 18 months. The end of the quarter as fertility docs opened their offices back up for remote visits saw better operating margin. Despite the shutdown in fertility clinics during COVID-19, Progyny was able to successfully add several clients. “The significant majority of the clinics in our network chose to adhere to ASRMs guidelines, and our volume of fertility treatments and dispensing of the related medications declined significantly over the latter part of the quarter. . . Through the end of March and into the first half of April, we saw significant reductions in the utilization of the benefit by our members down to as low as 15%, when compared to the early part of Q1 were 15% of what we consider to be normal levels. In April, the New York Department of Health declared that fertility is an essential health service and stated that clinics have the authority to treat their patients and perform procedures during the pandemic. Then on April 24, ASRM updated its guidelines which were reaffirmed on May 11, advising that practices could reopen for all procedures so long as it could be done in a measured way that is safe for patients and staff.” Revenue increased by $33.8 million, 72% in 1Q2020. This increase is primarily due to a $19.0 million, or 47% increase, in revenue from fertility benefits. Additionally, the Company experienced a $14.8 million or 216% increase in revenue from specialty pharmacy. Revenue growth was due to the increase in the number of clients and covered lives. Progyny Rx revenue growth outpaced the fertility benefits revenue since Progyny Rx went live with only a select number of clients on January 1, 2018 and has continued to add both new and existing fertility benefit solution clients since its initial launch. Competition The only true competition is the large insurance companies, but, as mentioned previously, they are not delivering care the same way. WINFertility is the largest manager of fertility insurance benefits on behalf of Anthem, Aetna and Cigna and are not directly involved in the delivery of care. Carrot is a Silicon Valley startup that recently raised $24M in a Series B with several brand name customers (StitchFix, Slack) where they focus on negotiating discounts at fertility clinics for their customers, who then use after-tax dollars from their employers. Risks to Thesis Though there is risk a large carrier may switch to a model similar to Progyny’s, I believe it is unlikely given the established relationships with REIs at the clinic level, the difficulty of managing a more selective network of providers, and the lack of interest shown previously in eliminating the IUI. It is more likely a carrier would acquire Progyny first.
5G is the next mobile technology standard, and is driven by our insatiable appetite to stream more content, faster and connect everything we own to the internet. As a result the market is expected to grow at almost 100% each year for the next 5 years, making it a great place to park your cash if you can find the right company to invest in. Ciena are a telecoms networking company based in Maryland, they employ 6,500 staff, 2,700 of which are R&D specialists, they have 2,000 patents, 1,500 customers operating out of 65 offices in 35 countries. 5G will require heavy investments in network infrastructure to handle the huge volumes of bandwidth, and with the growing sanctions against Huewai, this should open up significantly more business opportunities for Ciena (and they know it).
In the past 10 years Ciena’s share price has seen an average growth of 12.27% a year which is great, but in the past 3 years that’s more than doubled to 26.51% a year outpacing other major telecoms players T-Mobile, Ericsson, Verizon, AT&T and Nokia, demand for this stock is seriously ramping up. In the past 10 years their top line has seen growth of around 13.45% a year outpacing Crowncastle International, Skyworks and Nvidia In the past 5 years they’ve grown their bottom line by a whopping 28.26% each year, almost tripling that last year 78.79% which is just insane, and destroys competitors Vuzix, Apple and Broadcom In the past 5 years they’ve grown their free cash flow by a staggering 42.10%, more than doubling that in the last year by 84.34%, and beating Rogers, Qualcomm and Nokia. In the past 5 years they’ve grown their book value by 65.34% which is just mental, these guys have an appetite for acquiring assets that is unmatched in the industry and beat Verizon, Analog Devices and T-Mobile
Management, Margins and Balance Sheet
Last year Ciena saw a a return on invested capital of 14.78%, a return on equity of 14.71% and an ROA of 8.36% These numbers are growing and all of them (with the exception of ROA) are above the 10% number I’m looking for, I can forgive the ROA being a little below 10% as that number has been gaining serious momentum over the past 5 years. The management team have been doing a sterling job of finding good investment opportunities to get returns that I would like to see on my own investments. They have a monster gross margin at 44.53% which isn’t actually that typical for a networking company and more than doubles the 20% number I’m looking for and it’s been increasing over the past 3 years. The operating margin is good at 11.57% and just inches ahead of the 10% I’m looking for and has been increasing over the past 3 years. But the real success story here is that net margin at 8.78% which is almost double what I want to see in a stock, and is the most accurate indicator of a companies profit, and it’s come a long way since the 4.16% days of 2017. Ceina have almost no debt with a D/E ratio 0.34 and they in the past 12 months they earned enough in EBITDA to cover the interest on that debt by 10 times, in lamens terms they are managing that debt very well. They have a hell of lot of cash versus the next 12 months of liabilities, almost 3 times the amount I want to see in a company at 1.20%, and they own a bunch of stuff that they can use as collateral should they want to open extended lines of credit.
Future Growth and Price
In the short term Ciena is expected to see some mammoth growth at 37.40% this year, and in the long term that mammoth growth is set to continue as it expands its operations and market share in Data Center Interconnectivity, Optical Networking and Purpose Built Modular DCI, as over the next 5 years they are expected to grow at a rate of 23.20% a year which is far more than the double digit growth I want to see. At the time of writing CIEN is trading with a PE of 29.11 and a PEG of… get this, 0.91. Honestly anywhere between $60 and $65 dollars is a good entry point as in my opinion, but today it's trading well below that at $59.14 which makes this stock an absolute steal. Let me know if you agree/disagree, but I see a very healthy future for Ciena and have started to add it to my portfolio.
[Comic Books/Batman] A Death in the Family, or: How DC Comics Let a Phone Vote Kill Robin.
DC Comics has published literally thousands of Batman comics in the character's eighty-odd years of existence, but few are more infamous than A Death in the Family, when DC let fans decide whether Jason Todd, the second character to use the identity of Robin, lived or died. An apology in advance: many primary sources for this drama have been lost to the annals of history: this was the 1980s, the Internet wasn't really a thing yet, so fan discussion around comics mostly took place in Usenet newsgroups and comic book letter columns, both of which are very difficult to find archives of today. I've reconstructed the story as best as I can, but I wish I could find more quotes from fans at the time. Also, SPOILER WARNING. There are unmarked spoilers for Batman comics from the 1980s below this line. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Who was Jason Todd?
Jason Todd was a character introduced in 1983's Batman #357 by writer Gerry Conway and artist Don Newton and under the auspices of editor Len Wein, as a replacement for Dick Grayson as Robin. Grayson had outgrown the pixie boots and scaly shorts of the Robin identity, and graduated to his own identity as Nightwing, over in The New Teen Titans. But Conway felt that Batman still needed a Robin, so Todd was born:
Gerry Conway (writer, Batman and Detective Comics, 1981-1983): I always felt that Batman worked really well with a sidekick like Robin. My interest in the character was the version of Batman as a detective, the version of Batman as a guardian of Gotham. This was prior, I believe, to the deep-dive into the “dark knight” kind of concept of Batman, so, for that end, the idea of a younger sidekick who could bring out a little more levity in the character seemed useful. But Dick Grayson as a character had grown into a young adult and was integral to the Teen Titans series, and had his own life and his own storylines that were developing separately from Batman, and [he] couldn’t really play that secondary role that I was interested in exploring. 
Todd was introduced as the son of two acrobats who had been murdered by Batman's enemy Killer Croc, in a striking similarity to Dick Grayson's origin written forty years prior. Todd would officially become the new Robin in Batman #368, published February 1984, and would continue to go on adventures (written by Conway and then by Doug Moench) with Batman until 1986's Batman #400. During this period, he's probably best remembered for a. being involved in a custody battle between Batman and a vampire, and b. getting the drop on Mongul in the classic Superman story "For the Man Who Has Everything" by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons. But then the Crisis happened, and everything changed for Jason.
You don't have a comic book company for almost fifty years without running into some hurdles along the way, especially where characters and continuity are concerned. In 1954, psychologist Frederick Wertham published Seduction of the Innocent, a book asserting that comic books were harming the children of the day, causing them to turn into delinquents. As a result, the bustling superhero genre of comics at the time slowed to a crawl, with most of DC's (then known as National Periodical Publications) characters, such as the Green Lantern and the Flash, ceasing publication and being replaced with comics about talking animals, romance stories, and giant alien monsters. Just a few short years later, in October 1956, creators Robert Kangher and Carmine Infantino would introduce a new version of the Flash in Showcase #4, and the Silver Age of comics had begun. Eventually, the Golden Age Flash was reintroduced, and it was established that the Silver Age characters resided on Earth-One, while the Golden Age characters were from Earth-Two. Everything was fine and dandy, until DC decided things had become too confusing and that they needed to kill their multiverse. In 1986, DC published one of the very first comic crossover events - Crisis on Infinite Earths, an earth-shattering story that pitted almost every hero in company history against the threat of the Anti-Monitor. The outcome was that all the characters and stories from Earth-One, Earth-Two, and several other alternate Earths that had appeared over the years were consolidated into a single, streamlined universe, and with that came changes for several other characters, Jason Todd among them.
The New Jason Todd
After Crisis, new blood was in the Batman editorial offices. Former Batman writer Denny O'Neil had taken over as editor of the Batman family of titles, and he had a different opinion on Robin than that of Wein and Conway before him.
O’Neil: There was a time right before I took over as Batman editor when he seemed to be much closer to a family man, much closer to a nice guy. He seemed to have a love life and he seemed to be very paternal towards Robin. My version is a lot nastier than that. He has a lot more edge to him. 
In keeping with the desire for a darker, edgier Dark Knight (it was the 1980s, after all), this version of Batman debuted without a Robin by his side. Dick Grayson was still Nightwing, but Jason Todd was nowhere to be seen. This darker interpretation of Batman was only solidified once Frank Miller put his touch on the franchise with "Batman: Year One" in Batman #404-407, and the standalone graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns, the impact of which cannot be understated.
The Dark Knight Returns was a pivotal moment in the formation of what we would consider a recognizably “modern” incarnation of Batman, someone who is brooding and dark, a loner who isolates himself from society to obsessively carry out his one man crusade by any brutally violent means necessary. It was also an important milestone for comics a medium when it landed on top of the Young Adult Hardcover New York Times bestsellers list—a feat it only qualified for thanks to its release as a trade paperback in bookstores. For the first time, mainstream audiences were zeroing in on Batman, and not because of a popular TV show or serialized movies, but because of a comic book. 2
Immediately following "Year One," O'Neil asked writer Max Allan Collins to reintroduce Jason Todd as Robin into the continuity, in a storyline titled "Batman: The New Adventures" starting in Batman #408. The new Todd was a delinquent orphan, caught by Batman when he tried to steal the tires from the Batmobile and taken in and trained to be the new Robin. At first, the change was controversial among the fandom, especially given the wildly contrasting takes between Mike W. Barr's softer portrayal of the Dynamic Duo in Detective Comics and the harsher portrayal from creators such as Collins, Jim Aparo, and Jim Starlin (best known now as the creator of Thanos) in Batman. But nobody was clamoring for his death yet, and the intensity of debates around the new Jason Todd, fought out through comic book letter columns, were milder in comparison to those around whether there should be a yellow oval on the Batsuit or not.  Over the next few years, fan hatred for Jason began to grow, as the new incarnation of the character was not only a replacement for a highly beloved character, but also had a lot of anger issues to sort through. But then came the boiling point - Batman #424, written by Starlin and pencilled by Mark Bright, released October 1988. In that story, Todd confronts Felipe, son of a South American diplomat who was heavily involved in the cocaine trade. Batman reasons that, because Felipe has diplomatic immunity, there's nothing he can do to stop him, but Todd thinks otherwise. Felipe falls from a skyscraper to his death, leaving Batman to wonder: "did Felipe fall... Or was he pushed?" (Starlin, for what it was worth, hated Todd from the get-go, and specifically wrote this story to play to the controversy:
Starlin: In the one Batman issue I wrote with Robin featured, I had him do something underhanded, as I recall. Denny had told me that the character was very unpopular with fans, so I decided to play on that dislike. 
He had also tried to have Todd killed beforehand, of AIDS:
Well, I always thought that the whole idea of a kid side-kick was sheer insanity. So when I started writing Batman, I immediately started lobbying to kill off Robin. At one point DC had this AIDS book they wanted to do. They sent around memos to everybody saying “What character do you think we should, you know, have him get AIDS and do this dramatic thing” and they never ended up doing this project. I kept sending them things saying “Oh, do Robin! Do Robin!” And Denny O’Neill said “We can’t kill Robin off”. 
A Death in the Family
By 1988, though, O'Neil had changed his tune. Alan Moore and Brian Bolland's The Killing Joke had left longtime supporting character Batgirl crippled and confined to a wheelchair, to major praise from fans and critics alike, and there was blood in the water. Sales for Batman were at levels not seen for over a decade thanks to the works of Miller and Moore, Tim Burton's Batman feature film was on the horizon, far removed from the camp aesthetic of Adam West and Burt Ward and entirely Robin-free, and fan hatred for Todd was at an all-time high.
Jenette Kahn (publisher, DC Comics, 1976-1989; president, 1981-2003; editor-in-chief, 1989-2003) : Many of our readers were unhappy with Jason Todd. We weren’t certain why or how widespread the discontent was, but we wanted to address it. Rather than autocratically write Jason out of the comics and bring in a new Robin, we thought we’d let our readers weigh in. 
O'Neil and his team of editors brainstormed how they could remove Jason from the story, and the answer was clear: kill him, just as Starlin had suggested time and time again. Recalling the success of a 1982 Saturday Night Livesketch in which Eddie Murphy let viewers vote via phone on whether he would cook or spare a live lobester, O'Neil proposed a similar system to Kahn, who loved the idea. So, A Death in the Family began in Batman #426, written by Starlin and illustrated by Jim Aparo. When Jason receives word that his missing mother is alive, he follows a set of leads across the world to find her, only to discover that she was being blackmailed by the Joker. Jason's mother hands him over to the Clown Prince of Crime, and that's how Batman #427 ends. On the back cover of that issue, DC ran a full-page ad, proclaiming: "Robin Will Die Because the Joker Wants Revenge, But You Can Prevent It With a Telephone Call" and giving two 1-900 numbers: one to call to save Jason, and one to kill him. Two versions of issue #428 were written and drawn. One where Jason lived, and another, where he died. Both went into a drawer in O'Neil's desk, and the fans would choose which one would ever see the light of day. The fans went rabid. One letter, published in Batman #428, read as follows:
"Dear Denny, I heard some of what you are planning for "A Death In the Family" story line, including the phone-in number wrinkle, and I don't want to take any chances whatsoever. Kill him. Your pal, Rich Kreiner."
From 9:00 in the morning on Thursday, September 15, 1988 until 8:00 in the evening on Friday, September 16, fans could call in to either of the two numbers for fifty cents a call and cast their vote. In the end, the votes were tallied: 5,271 voted for Todd to survive, and 5,343 voted for him to die. By a margin of 72 votes, Robin died in the pages of Batman #428, beaten to death with a crowbar by the Joker. The image of Batman cradling Robin's dead body became immediately iconic.
Fan reaction to the story was mixed, despite the seeming fervor for Todd's death and the blood that was on their hands. The letters pages for Batman #430 (1, 2) show a mixture of celebration over Jason's death, remorse over individuals' decisions to vote for death, and hope that Robin's absence would lead to more mature Batman stories in the future. However, every issue of A Death in the Family was a best-seller, and a collected edition was rushed out in early December of 1988, only a week after the final issue in the arc was released to stores. But now that the fan feeding frenzy was (mostly) over, the media feeding frenzy had begun. You don't just kill Robin and get away with it without media attention. USA Today and Reuters ran articles on the story, and DC was besieged with interview requests from radio and TV stations.
O’Neil: I spent three days doing nothing but talking on the radio. I thought it would get us some ink here and there and maybe a couple of radio interviews. I had no idea—nor did anyone else—it would have the effect it did. Peggy [May], our publicity person, finally just said, “Stop, no more, we can’t do anymore,” or I would probably still be talking. She also nixed any television appearances. At the time, I wondered about that but now I am very glad she did, because there was a nasty backlash and I came to be very grateful that people could not associate my face with the guy who killed Robin. 
Internally at DC, there were suspicions that the vote had been rigged in some fashion.
O'Neil: "I heard it was one guy, who programmed his computer to dial the thumbs down number every ninety seconds for eight hours, who made the difference." 
But regardless of whether it was or not, Jason Todd was dead, and he would remain dead for as long as O'Neil stayed at DC - long enough for the phrase to be coined: "nobody in comics stays dead except for Uncle Ben, Bucky, and Jason Todd." But he wouldn't remain dead forever.
Jason would be succeeded by a new Robin, less than a year after his death. In a crossover storyline between Batman and New Titans written by Marv Wolfman and illustrated by George Perez and Jim Aparo, entitled "A Lonely Place of Dying", the character of Tim Drake would be introduced. Unlike Todd and Grayson before him, Drake would challenge the assumptions made about the character of Robin - he figured out Batman's secret identity on his own, and deduced that Batman needed a Robin by his side, to ensure he wouldn't take unneeded risks. Gone were the short pants of yesteryear - Drake wore a full-body suit with an armored cape, and was more of a detective than a fighter. He debuted to mixed reactions, although fans soon grew to love him under the pen of Chuck Dixon, who would be one of the major architects of Batman in the 1990s. Todd would get a second chance at life seventeen years later. In 2005, writer Judd Winick wrote the storyline "Under the Hood," published in Batman #635-641, 645-650, and Annual #25. There, it's revealed that Todd returned to life thanks to an alternate version of Superboy punching reality (it's comics, don't ask) and the aid of R'as al Ghul's Lazarus Pits, and donned the identity of the crime lord the Red Hood in his quest for revenge against the Joker. Todd, as the Red Hood, persists as a popular character today, a lasting symbol of Batman's failure, as he operates as a pragmatic vigilante, willing to take risks Batman isn't. More recently, in July 2020, DC announced a Death in the Family animated interactive feature film in the vein of Black Mirror's "Bandersnatch" - again, viewers can choose whether Todd lives or dies, among other options. Edit: fixed a typo.
I am not from a finance background ( I am in IT) but in past I have tried my luck in stock and crypto trading. Much of it was based on FOMO I would say . I also did read a book on Day trading by Andrew Aziz which covered candlesticks, abcd pattern etc. I feel like day trading is not my cup of tea and I want something by fundamentals. I was told that The intelligent investor book is one of the best out there but considering its soo old I am not sure if this is the right book now. I know what is a margin account, how to buy sell with limits, options trading, StockTwits, finviz, Norbert gambit. Pretty much very basic but I trying to say I understand this. Had joined some discord channels where I used to see day traders making big money but never had the courage to practically do that kind of stuff. I am a tech person, can anyone recommend books based on fundamentals and share stories of success if you have been through all this. Also if someone would like to share invite link to other discord channels that would be really helpful.
News Heading into Friday July 31st 2020 NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT YOLO THE VARIOUS TICKERS WITHOUT DOING RESEARCH. THE TIME STAMPS ON THE FOLLOWING ARTICLES MAY BE LATER THAN OTHERS ON THE WEB. THE CREATOR OF THIS THREAD COMPILED THE FOLLOWING IN A QUICK MANNER AND DOES NOT ATTEST TO THE VERACITY OF THE INFORMATION BELOW. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR VETTING YOUR OWN SOURCES AND DOING YOUR OWN DD.
32 Stocks Moving In Thursday's After-Hours Session
Nokia ($4.45) posts surprise second-quarter profit jump ahead of CEO change. Nokia EPS beats by €0.03 on strong margin expansion. Misses on revenue. (Breaking Overnight)
LKCO ($0.83) Announces a New Round of Financing (Odd because they priced it at $3.00 per share). (Breaking Overnight)
ASX ($5.12) ASE Technology EPS beats by $0.03 (Breaking Overnight)
TLSA ($12.25) Tiziana Announces Submission of Patent Application on Use of Foralumab, the Only Fully Human Anti-CD3 Monoclonal Antibody, to Enhance Success of CAR-T Therapy (Breaking Ovenight)
TENB Tenable Announces Pricing of Public Offering of Common Stock by Selling Stockholders (Breaking Overnight)
VSTA Vasta Platform Limited Announces Pricing of Initial Public Offering (Breaking Overnight)
HPE: Transition to As-a-Service and Path to All-Time Highs
COVID-induced demand pressures for enterprise hardware and recent execution issues have HPE shares trading at 4-year lows and down 41% YTD. However, HPE-as-a-Service strategy starting to show real momentum. Combined with advancements in edge-to-cloud infrastructure offerings, HPE among best values in large cap tech for investors looking to gain exposure to edge networking, distributed computing, and remote working trends. Here's why: Background What is HPE exactly? It is a question that HPE itself has found difficult to answer in the five years since splitting off from the original Hewlett Packard (HPQ). At the time of the split, HPE was more or less described as everything but the PCs and printers. It was a lot of hardware, software, services, but without a clear strategy on how to win in the age of the cloud. As other companies from the PC era, like Microsoft, Dell, and Intel, effectively pivoted their businesses to compete in the cloud and data center, HPE experienced a combination of false starts, missteps, and inconsistent execution. Following its most recent quarterly report in May, an earnings miss coupled with a new cost-cutting initiative sent shares down 10%. And the company now trades at levels not seen since early 2016. With HPE trading at less than 7x forward earnings, markets seem to be pricing in a low probability of a turnaround. However, despite difficulties in gaining traction as a standalone company, it may not be time to give up on HPE just yet. Revenue misses in six consecutive quarters and fears over another round of restructuring are distracting from early signs of success in HPE’s transformation to an as-a-service company. With the mega cap and hyper-growth tech trade looking a little overheated on a valuation basis, HPE could present an attractive way to gain exposure to multiple long-term technology trends – namely edge networking, distributed computing, and remote work – while also benefiting from a stabilization and recovery in enterprise hardware IT spend once the COVID-19 induced headwinds subside. Summary
Previous company pivots failed to position the company to succeed in the cloud era
Near-term, HPE remains subject to enterprise hardware demand pressures due to COVID-19
Past execution issues, inconsistent earnings, and multiple restructuring efforts are overshadowing momentum developing under HPE-as-a-Service strategy
Once enterprise hardware spend rebounds, HPE likely to show material improvements in financial performance and execution
HPE 3.0 is poised to expand margins, provide greater revenue stability, and grow earnings power on the back of major trends in networking, computing, and work
Assigning HPE a three-year price target of $35
HPE 1.0 and 2.0: How We Got Here HPE 1.0 When HPE was still part of the combined HPE-HPQ, the company had attempted to carve out share in the public cloud and was unsuccessful. Having shuttered that business in 2015, HPE sought to position itself as a more focused and agile end-to-end infrastructure solutions company. This was the strategic rationale behind the decision to merge its enterprise services division with CSC in 2017. The resulting DXC Technology became a pure-play IT services and consulting company. HPE then sold the majority of its enterprise software, database, and analytics offerings to UK-based Micro Focus. HPE 2.0 Around the time of the spin-merger with Micro Focus, HPE revealed its “HPE Next” strategy to fundamentally redesign the company over a three-year period. Although HPE stated its desire to streamline operations, optimize manufacturing, and improve its go-to-market approach, HPE Next was mostly workforce optimizations, or in other words: layoffs. HPE Next did contribute to improvements in EPS numbers from 1Q18 to 4Q19, but following a modest increase in revenue over the first four quarters under the plan, sales have been stagnant or lower in each of the subsequent reports. 2Q20 Earnings As part of HPE’s 2Q20 earnings release, the company announced yet another restructuring plan aimed at conserving capital, flexibility, and liquidity given the uncertainty surrounding the global pandemic. The cost-cutting calls for at least $1bn in targeted gross savings by 2022. Together with a 15% decline in revenues year-over-year when holding for currency fluctuations, analysts were quick to issue six downgrades. These numbers do not tell the whole story though. In the face of a tough pricing environment for hardware, gross margins were stable at 32% compared to last year. And several critical business segments showed signs of relative strength in light of the broader market context. HPE’s big data solutions grew 61% year-over-year, with storage services from the Nimble business unit jumping 20%. HPE’s edge networking segment that houses HPE Aruba only saw declines of 2%. And HPE’s flagship as-a-service offering, HPE GreenLake, saw its annual revenue run rate increase 17% to $520mn. HPE GreenLake is now the company’s best performing business according to CEO Antonio Neri. When considering HPE exited the quarter with a $1.5bn backlog, or 2x historical levels, it’s very likely that procurements were delayed or rescheduled rather than canceled. Because of this, once IT departments have greater visibility into the crisis, HPE should be poised to see a sharp recovery in its hardware-focused reporting segments. HPE 3.0: HPE-as-a-Service After years of difficulties defining its value proposition in the new computing landscape, HPE appears to have developed a distinct approach to leverage its networking, computing, storage, and software capabilities and bundle them into a fully integrated edge-to-cloud platform. The strategy, HPE-as-a-Service, aims to offer every single HPE product on a pay-per-use subscription basis by 2022. The company’s new IT equipment and services package, HPE GreenLake, takes a range of products selected by the customer and provides a simplified management console and on-demand toolkit for the entire hybrid cloud setup. As HPE further transitions towards the as-a-service model, HPE GreenLake, as well as its advancements in edge networking and performance computing, could lead to greater market share in multiple segments of hybrid IT spend. HPE GreenLake As enterprise IT becomes increasingly hybrid – i.e. a mixture of on-premise and off-premise computing power – organizations have seen management of these systems become more siloed. As a result, companies are seeing greater demands on their IT staff, inconsistent user experiences or application performance, or lower visibility or risk control across networks. HPE GreenLake is a bundled-service offering that enables customers to select only the capabilities that they need and to deploy them faster, with less management, and at a lower CAPEX risk. Through its metering features, GreenLake makes it much easier for companies to scale computing resources up or down, thereby enhancing flexibility while also allowing IT teams to offload management of hybrid cloud resources to HPE’s operations center. Once customers sign up for HPE GreenLake, they select from 15 cloud services like machine learning, virtual machines, big data, networking, storage, or compute. HPE promises to have the chosen services delivered and operational within 14 days. And GreenLake runs on top of existing Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure cloud computing environments, making the transition seamless. According to HPE, GreenLake reduces time-to-market for IT deployments by 75%, reduces CAPEX by 40% once in-use, and delivers 147% return on investment and total payback within 12 months. Improving deployment efficiencies not only conserves staffing resources and expands business productivity, it reduces the need for companies to invest in IT infrastructure before they are ready. Because HPE GreenLake is pay-per-use, customers can prevent overprovisioning of resources and eliminate expenses associated with technology refreshes, all the while ensuring adequate posture to accommodate usage spikes when on-premise compute is not sufficient. Customer satisfaction for GreenLake is extremely high, with HPE reporting 99% retention rate for contract customers currently subscribed to the platform. The Edge, Distributed Computing, and Remote Work Even though COVID-19 sparked some near-term challenges for enterprise hardware demand, the pandemic has also accelerated much longer-term trends related to computing and working – trends that should benefit HPE. As companies increasingly leverage computing power at the edge, and as work becomes more and more distributed and remote, the comprehensive end-to-end edge networking platform developed by HPE Aruba and recently-acquired Silver Peak could lead to share gains in multiple end markets projected to grow for the rest of the decade. According to Cisco, by 2025, 75 billion devices will be connected to the internet. Between the combination of IoT and the growing number of user devices consuming larger amounts of content digitally, the global datasphere is forecasted to roughly triple by then. And at that time 75% of enterprise-generated data is expected to be processed at the edge. In a widely distributed computing environment with exponentially greater data loads, it will become even more vital for IT purchasers to invest in and maintain the right set of networking tools to compete in the future. HPE Aruba HPE Aruba provides a range of wired and wireless data center and edge networking solutions, including Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 products, access points and gateways, as well as network switches for both data center and edge locations. Although HPE Aruba has pushed into SD-WAN, historically its business has been driven by WAN and WLAN hardware and services. A WAN, or wide-area network (WAN) is a collection of local-area networks (LANs) or other networks that communicate with one another. A WAN is essentially a network of networks (like a much smaller internet). WLAN is simply a wireless LAN that connects computers and network devices wirelessly. While the enterprise WLAN market actually fell 2.2% year over year in Q1 2020 due to COVID-19, WLAN is forecasted to grow at over 20% annually the next five years on the back of technology refreshes associated with the new Wi-Fi 6 standard (enterprise WLAN was a $1.3bn market in Q1) and increased adoption of Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices. And HPE Aruba is currently the #2 leader in market share at 14.4% after Cisco at 45.7%. Perhaps where HPE Aruba is set to deliver the strongest results over the long-term, though, is in its newly announced edge networking architecture called the Edge Services Platform (ESP). Aruba ESP is the industry’s first AI-powered platform designed to unify, automate, and secure edge networking. Aruba ESP leverages artificial intelligence to simplify IT operations management as well as accelerate and automate troubleshooting in distributed IT environments. With built-in Zero Trust Security, ESP secures all access across your network. And the platform also provides unified infrastructure so that WLAN, LAN, and SD-WAN resources can be singularly monitored and optimized across branch, campus, remote, and data center locations. This is important because the promise of the edge is in the ability to more rapidly acquire real-time data so that it can be more quickly analyzed and acted upon. By deploying integrated networking and analytics at the edge, Aruba ESP can enable businesses to optimize process efficiency, boost security, and increase reliability. This capability removes the previous need to send data to a remote data center location or third-party company for analytics. Silver Peak HPE’s acquisition of Silver Peak is a great strategic investment to further build out its integrated edge product portfolio. With the strength of HPE Aruba in WAN/WLAN, HPE will soon be able to offer market-leading SD-WAN solutions alongside its AI-powered intelligent edge platform, making for a very compelling and comprehensive product suite for enterprise customers. SD-WAN, or software-define WAN, uses software to replicate (virtualize) functionalities that traditionally were housed within hardware. What this allows for is functions to then be remotely monitored and controlled. It makes network management simpler, bolsters security, and enables much more efficient network routing. Despite being one of the few remaining independent SD-WAN players, Silver Peak has carved out a spot near the top of the market. The company counts over 1,500 customer deployments for its Unity EdgeConnect™ SD-WAN edge platform, and Silver Peak is consistently among the five largest vendors with over 7% market share in a field that includes heavyweights such as Cisco and VMware. The SD-WAN sector hit $1.9bn in 2019, but industry estimates expect it to reach $8bn by 2025 – delivering compounded annual growth of nearly 35%. Having been named by Gartner as one of two leaders (alongside Cisco) in its SD-WAN magic quadrant for two consecutive years, a combined HPE Aruba-Silver Peak solution is primed to capture even more market share for enterprise customers would like to pursue a multi-vendor strategy or diversify away from over-reliance on Cisco. The Path to Gaining Share in Computing Composable Infrastructure HPE’s software-define infrastructure innovations extend to computing as well, namely with HPE Synergy which started shipping in early 2017. HPE Synergy is a new category of computing infrastructure designed to bridge non-cloud-native and cloud‐native applications. Non-cloud-native applications are applications that exist with persistent storage and usually have a fixed number of network connections. This contrasts with cloud-native applications which are designed for a cloud environment. As much as services are being shifted to the cloud, for some companies, applications have existed in non-native states for so long that it could be risky and costly to move to the cloud or could require significant time and resource planning. This is where composable infrastructure and HPE Synergy steps in. Composable infrastructure treats compute, storage, and network devices as pools of resources that can be tactically provisioned as needed depending on the requirements of distinct workloads. It can be instantly flexed to meet the needs of any application or any workload, and it is ideal for a hybrid cloud environment. DellEMC released its version of a modular composable server halfway through 2018, and a startup named Liqid is also in the space. Past studies have put average server utilization rates between 15-35% because typical server designs have fixed amount of resources provisioned against disparate application needs. In a study commissioned by HPE, enterprise data center respondents reported that only 45% of infrastructure was provisioned most of the time, leaving over half of a company’s valuable computing resources unused. Although converged and hyperconverged infrastructure also combine computing, networking, and storage, only composable infrastructure is not preconfigured for specific workloads. On top of that, composable is more scalable than hyperconverged which can be limited to 20-30 nodes. HPE Synergy thus greatly reduces dedicated IT staff time to deploy servers or install firmware, increases productivity, and lowers procurement and operating costs. HPE Synergy is estimated to deliver three-to-one return-on-investment for IT customers over a five-year period. With composable infrastructure projected to follow hyperconverged systems and hit nearly $5bn in sales by 2023, Synergy could provide HPE yet another competitive product advantage to carve out share in a healthier IT hardware procurement environment. HPE Cray Supercomputers and Big Data In addition to traditional IT infrastructure, product advancements in high performance computing also have HPE positioned to gain new customer wins and develop the reporting segment into a larger contributor to the top line over time. Although the term supercomputing has been around for a few years, for many it continues to be an abstract or futuristic concept without tangible applications for today. But as tens of billions of internet-connected machines come online over the next decade, the amount of structured and unstructured data being generated will become that much harder to translate into valuable or actionable insights. That is why supercomputing can play a major role in solving the most data-intensive challenges facing corporations and governments worldwide. The US and China have been engaged in heavy competition in recent years to create faster and faster supercomputers, and other countries like Japan are also starting to get involved. Currently supercomputers are used in the fields of life sciences, genomics, manufacturing, weather, and nuclear science. However, in the age of IoT and zettabyte-scale datasets, much more powerful computers will be necessary to fully take advantage of big data analytics and artificial intelligent capabilities. The fastest exascale-class supercomputer in the world today is an HPE Cray supercomputer named El Capitan. The system, which will be delivered to the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory by 2023, is 10x faster than the runner-up. This market is still extremely nascent, and supercomputing is only a portion of the 9% of HPE revenues generated by the High Performance Compute & Mission Critical Systems (HPC MCS) segment’s. But as the market becomes more mature, HPE GreenLake will provide a stronger ability to cross-sell supercomputing products to very large-scale organizations – a major advantage for HPE Cray compared to when it was a standalone company. Conclusion Recent weakness in HPE shares following Q2 earnings have largely priced-in near-term risks associated with COVID-induced demand pressures for enterprise hardware solutions. With shares down 41% YTD, the company is trading at 6.63X forward earnings and 0.44x sales. These multiples are both among the lowest levels relative to other large cap IT hardware peers such as Dell (10.99 forward P/E), Cisco (13.81 forward P/E), or IBM (11.16 forward P/E). Despite difficulty formulating an effective cloud strategy in the years following the split from HP, HPE has multiple growth drivers with exposure to critical long-term computing, networking, and working trends. As HPE further develops its business into a fully service-based, pay-per-use model, revenue and earnings should become increasingly stable and less subject to near-term demand shocks as has been seen so far in 2020. Although management’s cost saving plan announced in May was poorly received by the markets, strong sales visibility by virtue of the $1.5bn quarterly contract backlog means that HPE’s struggles will likely be short-term. Combined with cost reductions, as enterprise hardware spending picks back up, the company should experience gross margin improvements, earnings growth, and multiple expansion. Together with the more targeted approach as an edge-to-cloud infrastructure service provider, HPE currently presents one of the best values in large cap tech for investors looking to gain exposure to edge networking, distributed computing, and remote working trends over the next 5-10 years. You can find me on Twitter@BlackjacketCowhere I write about emerging technologies and long-term market trends. Thanks for reading!
Due Diligence: Toromont Industries Ltd. - Building Together For An Exciting Future
Hi, This is my first attempt at writing a DD report. I hope it makes sense. Just a few cautionary words:
Grammar (and English in general) is not a skill of mine. There will be a few parts that you might have to decipher, good luck.
I tried not to provide too much commentary and stick to the facts. I know you are spending your valuable time reading this and you probably don't want to listen to some random guy on the internet pontificate.
For those of you who are easily offended/triggered, can't take a joke, or sarcasm isn't your taste, DO NOT click the spoilers.
Lastly, the following is just my findings, by no means is it a representation of all the information out there. It is just the baseline for me to have confidence in becoming an owner of the Company. Do your own due diligence or talk to a financial advisor to find what is best for you and your financial situation. Happy reading!
Over the last 5 years the stock price has more than doubled.
Toromont dominates market share over everything east of Manitoba in Canada.
Customer base is heavily diversified, giving the Company many opportunities to expand into multiple industries.
Dividend has increased for 31 consecutive years. It has been paid for 52 consecutive years
The management team is extremely knowledgeable and have a good track record
Toromont Industries Ltd. (TSE:TIH) provides specialized equipment in Canada and the United States. The Company operates two business segments: The Equipment Group and CIMCO. The Equipment Group supplies specialized mobile equipment and industrial engines for Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT). Customers for this business segment vary from infrastructure contractors, residential and commercial contractors, mining companies, forestry companies, pulp and paper producers, general contractors, utilities, municipalities, marine companies, waste handling companies, and agricultural enterprises. CIMCO offers design, engineering, fabrication, and installation of industrial and recreational refrigeration systems. The Company was founded in 1961 and operates out of Concord, Ontario. As at December 31, 2019, Toromont employed over 6,500 people in more than 150 locations across central/eastern Canada and the upper eastern United States. The primary objective of the Company is to build shareholder value through sustainable and profitable growth, supported by a strong financial foundation.
Description of the 2 Main Business Segments
The Equipment Group includes the following 6 business units:
Toromont CAT:one of the world’s largest Caterpillar dealerships which supplies, rents, and provides product support services for specialized mobile equipment and industrial engines
Battlefield Equipment Rentals:supplies and rents specialized mobile equipment as well as specialty supplies and tools.
Toromont Material Handling:supplies, rents, and provides product support services for material handling lift trucks
AgWest:an agricultural equipment and solutions dealer representing AGCO, CLAAS and other manufacturers’ products
SITECH:provides Trimble Inc (NASDAQ:TRMB technology products and services. Trimble is a SaaS company that provides positioning, modeling, connectivity, and data analytics software which enable customers to improve productivity, quality, safety, and sustainability. Target industries: land survey, construction, agriculture, transportation, telecommunications, asset tracking, mapping, railways, utilities, mobile resource management, and government.)
Toromont Energy:supplies, constructs, and operates high efficiency power plants up to 50 MW, using Caterpillar's leading power generation technologies. Toromont Energy operates plants that supply energy to hospitals, district energy systems, and industrial processes.
Performance in this segment mainly depends on the activity in several industries: road building and other infrastructure-related activities, mining, residential and commercial construction, power generation, aggregates, waste management, steel, forestry, and agriculture.
Revenues are driven by the sale, rental, and servicing of mobile equipment for Caterpillar and other manufacturers to the industries listed above.
In addition, Toromont is the MaK engine dealer for the Eastern seaboard of the United States, from Maine to Virginia.
MaK engine is a marine diesel engine manufactured by Caterpillar
CIMCO is a market leader in the design, engineering, fabrication, installation and after-sale support of refrigeration systems
Performance in this segment is dependent on the activity in several industries: beverage and food processing, cold storage, food distribution, mining, and recreational ice rinks.
CIMCO has manufacturing facilities in Canada and the United States and sells its solutions globally.
CIMCO services the ice rinks of 23 out of 31 NHL teams. So if you are watching a game and the ice is shitty, you know who to blame… the Ice Girls, obviously.
For those of you who live in the GTA and have skated on The Barbara Ann Scott Ice Trail at College Park, the trail was created using CIMCO proprietary CO2 refrigeration technology.
CEO, Scott J. Medhurst has been with the company since 1988. He was appointed President of Toromont CAT in 2004 and he came into his current position as President and CEO in 2012. He is a graduate of Toromont’s Management Trainee Program. CFO, Mike McMillan joined the executive team in March of 2020. His predecessor, Paul Jewer is retiring this year and has been working with McMillan during the transition period. VP and COO, Michael Chuddy has been with Toromont since 1995. On average, leaders have 29 years of business experience and have served at Toromont for 19 years. Seeing long tenures, good stock performance, excellent business planning and execution is usually a sign of strong leadership. In addition, insiders hold more than 3% (~$175 million) of the company’s outstanding shares. Medhurst owns more than 170 thousand shares, Chuddy owns just under 100 thousand shares and the former CEO and current Independent Chairman of Board of Directors, Robert Ogilvie owns more than 2 million shares, making him the 4th largest stockholder. High insider ownership typically signals confidence in a company's prospects. Compare this to Toromont’s main Canadian competitor, Finning, where insiders own less than 0.4% ($12 million) of the company (this number varies depending on where you look, I just took the highest one I found). Recently insiders have been selling stock (Figure 1). I cannot speak to the reasons why insiders are selling but the remaining position owned by the insider is sizable and demonstrates that the executive still has confidence in the company. Some of the reasons insiders sell are: they don't believe in the company’s future, they need money for personal use, they are rebalancing their portfolio, among others. Figure 1: Buy and selling activity of insiders (the data is from MarketBeat, so take that for what it's worth). On a somewhat unrelated but still related note, 50% of Toromont employees are also shareholders.
Toromont has five growth strategies (expand markets, strengthen product support, broaden product offerings, invest in resources, and maintain a strong financial position). I chose to focus on the following two strategies, as they seemed most prevalent.
Toromont serves a wide variety of end markets: mining, road building, power generation, infrastructure, agriculture, and refrigeration. This allows for many opportunities for growth while staying true to their core competency. Further expansion into new markets doesn't require Toromont to build a whole new business model or learn the intricacies of the new industry because their products stays the same. Thus, the main concern is the application/selection of the products for the customer.
Expansion is generally incremental. Each business unit focuses on market share growth and when the right opportunity presents itself, geographic expansion is archived through acquisitions.
Strengthening Product Support
In an industry where price competition is high, product support activities represent opportunities to develop closer relationships with customers and differentiate Toromont’s product and service offering from competitors. After-market support is an integral part of the customer's decision-making process when purchasing equipment.
Product support revenues are more consistent and profitable.
Growth Through Acquisition
Rapid growth in this industry is generally driven through acquisitions. Toromont has gone through multiple acquisitions since the 90’s:
Acquisition of the Battlefield Equipment Rentals in 1996
Toromont grew Battlefield from one location to 82 locations
Acquisition of two privately held agricultural dealerships in Manitoba to form AgWest Equipment Ltd
Acquisition of Hewitt Group of companies in Q3 2017 for a total consideration of $1.0177 billion
$917.7 million cash ($750 million of which was finances through unsecured debt) plus the issuance of 2.25 million Toromont shares (equating to $100 million based on the 10 day average share price)
Acquisition of Hewitt Group of companies This acquisition allowed Toromont to make headway into the Quebec, Western Labrador, and Maritime markets, as Hewitt was the authorized Caterpillar dealer of these regions. Hewitt was also the Caterpillar lift truck dealer of Quebec and most of Ontario and the MaK marine engine dealer for Québec, the Maritimes, and the Eastern seaboard of the United States (from Maine to Virginia). Toromont had total assets of $1.51 billion before the acquisition, the acquisition added $1.024 billion in assets, nearly doubling the balance sheet (look at Figure 2 for more details about the acquisition). Figure 2: (all numbers are in thousands) The final allocation of the purchase price was as of Dec 31, 2018, Note 25 of 2018 Annual Report. $1.024 billion was added to the Toromont’s B/S Large acquisitions like this one can be the downfall of a company. Here are some of the risks highlighted by management at the time of the acquisition:
Potential for liabilities assumed in the acquisition to exceed our estimates or for material undiscovered liabilities in the Hewitt Business
Changes in consumer and business confidence as a result of the change in ownership
Potential for third parties to terminate or alter their agreements or relationships with Toromont as a result of the acquisition
Whether the operations, systems, management, and cultures of Hewitt and Toromont can be integrated in an efficient and effective manner
In 2018, the Company started and successfully completed the integration of the Maritime dealerships acquired through Hewitt under Toromont’s decentralized branch model (bottom up approach). Under a decentralized model, regional leadership make business decisions based on local conditions, rather than taking top down mandates. A bottom up approach is an advantage in businesses like Toromont where the customer mix can vary vastly from region to region. It allows for decision-making that is better aligned with customemarket needs and more attuned to the key performance indicators used to manage the business. In 2019, the integration of the decentralized branch model was implemented in Quebec after its success in Atlantic Canada in 2018. Successful integration of Hewitt into the Toromont family shows the depth of industry and business knowledge possessed by the management team. Being able to maintain inherited customer relationships and ensure low turnover is no easy feat. Many companies have completely botched these kinds of acquisitions. One that comes to mind is Sobeys (the second largest food retailer in Canada) acquiring Safeway for $5.8 billion. Three years later, they wrote off $2.9 billion as a loss because they did not anticipate the differences in consumer habits in Western Canada vs Eastern Canada, among other oversights. The result of the acquisition and Hewitt’s integration with Toromont’s existing business produced a 39% increase in EPS in 2018 and 14% increase in 2019.
Toromont pays a quarterly dividend and has historically targeted a dividend rate that approximates 30 - 40% of trailing earnings from continuing operations. In February 2020 the Board of Directors increased the quarterly dividend by 14.8% to $0.31 per share. This marked the 31st consecutive year of increasing dividends and 52nd consecutive year of making a dividend payment. The five-year dividend-growth rate is 12.09%. Table 1: Information about the last eight dividends
Risks/Threats and Mitigation
Dependency on Caterpillar Inc. It goes without saying that Toromont’s future is heavily dependent on Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT). For those who don't know, Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives. It has a market cap in excess of $68 billion. All purchases made by Toromont must be made from Caterpillar. This agreement has been standing since 1993 and can be terminated by either side with 90 days notice. Given that the vast majority of Toromont’s inventory is Caterpillar products, Caterpillar’s brand strength and market acceptance are essential factors for Toromont’s continued success. I would say that the probability of either of these being damaged to an unrecoverable point are low, but at the beginning of this year, I would have said the probability of the world coming to a complete stop was very low too and look at what happened. Anything is possible. The reason this is a major consideration is because it's a going concern issue. Going conference is an accounting term for a company that has the resources needed to continue operating indefinitely until it provides evidence to the contrary. This term also refers to a company's ability to make enough money to stay afloat or to avoid bankruptcy. If there was irrevocable damage to Caterpillar’s brand, Toromont is no longer a going concern, meaning the company would most likely be going bankrupt or liquidating assets. The whole Company might not go under because the CIMCO, SITECH, and AgWest business units would survive but, essentially ~80% of the business would be liquidated. In addition to the morbid scenario I laid out above, Toromont is also dependent on Caterpillar for timely supply of equipment and parts. There is no assurance that Caterpillar will continue to supply its products in the quantities and time frames required by Toromont’s customers. So if there is supply chain shock, like the one we just saw, there is the chance that Toromont will not have access to sufficient inventory to meet demand. Which in turn would lead to the loss of revenue or even to the permanent loss of customers. Again, both of these threats have low a probability of occurring but either could single handedly cripple Toromont’s business. As of now, Caterpillar continues to dominate a large market share (~38% as per Gurufocus) in the industry against large competitors like John Deere, CNH Industrial, Cummins, and others. Caterpillar's stock has been on a slow decline for a couple years but that is due to reasons beyond the ones that directly concern Toromont’s day-to-day operations. I would say if you don't believe in Caterpillar’s continued market share dominance, investing in Toromont is probably not for you. Shortage of Skilled Workers Shortage of skilled tradesmen represents a pinch point for industry growth. Demographic trends are reducing the number of individuals entering the trades, thus making access to skilled individuals more difficult. Additionally, the company has several remote locations which makes attracting and retaining skilled individuals more difficult. The lack of such workers in Canada has caused Toromont to become more assertive and thoughtful in their recruitment efforts. To combat this threat, Toromont has/is:
Recruited 303 technicians to achieve growth targets
Created 208 student apprenticeship programs
Working with 19 vocational institutions in Toronto to teach about best practices and introduce the Company as a future employer to students
As a result of these initiatives and others, Toromont saw their workforce grow by ~8% 2019. Growing the workforce is one of the primary building blocks for future growth. Cyclical Business Cycle Toromont’s business is cyclical due to its customers' businesses being cyclical. This affects factors such as exchange rates, commodity/precious metal pricing, interest rates, and most importantly, inventory management. To mitigate this issue, management has put more focus on increasing revenues from product support activities as they are more profitable than the equipment supply business and less volatile. Environmental Regulations Affecting Customers Toromont’s customers are subject to significant and ever-increasing environmental legislation and regulation. This leads to 2 impacts:
Technical difficulty in meeting environmental requirements in product design -> increased costs
Reduction in business activity of Toromont’s customers in environmentally sensitive areas -> reduced revenues
Threats such as these come with a business of this type. As an investor in Toromont, you can't do much to mitigate these kinds of threats because it's out of your hands. Oil and gas, mining, forestry, and infrastructure projects are major drivers of the Canadian economy, so I think there will always be opportunity for Toromont to make money, regardless of government action. Impact of COVID19 While the company had been declared as an essential service in all jurisdictions that it operates in, Q1 2019 results were lower as a function of COVID19 reducing activity in many sectors that Toromont services. Decline in mining and construction projects lead to a decrease in demand for Toromont products in the latter part of the quarter. Revenues were trending for 5-7% growth for the quarter before the effects of COVID19 were felt. Management cannot provide any guidance on how to evaluate the impact of COVID19 on future financial results. They are focusing on ensuring the continued safety of employees and working with customers and the jurisdiction they operate in to evaluate appropriate activity levels on a daily/weekly basis. Lastly, management is keeping a close eye on how this crisis has led to an increase in A/R delinquencies and financial hardship for customers. The Executive Team and the Board of Directors have taken a voluntary compensation reduction. Wage increase freezes and temporary layoffs have been implanted on a selective basis. Management believes that expanding product offerings and services, strong financial position, and disciplined operating culture positions the Company well for continued growth in the long term. Competition Toromont competes with a large number of international, national, regional, and local suppliers. Although price competition can be strong, there are a number of factors that have enhanced Toromont’s ability to compete:
Range and quality of products and services
Ability to meet sophisticated customer requirements
Distribution capabilities including number and proximity of locations
Financing through CAT Finance
Main Competitor in Canada: Finning International Inc.
Finning International Inc. (TSE:FTT) is the world's largest Caterpillar dealer that sells, rents and provides parts and service for equipment and engines to customers across diverse industries, including mining, construction, petroleum, forestry and a wide range of power systems applications. Finning was founded in 1933 and is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada.
Toromont Industries Ltd
Finning International Inc.
Number of Employees
Trailing P/E Ratio
Places of Operations
Manitoba, Ontario, Québec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland & Labrador, most of Nunavut, and the Northeastern United States
British Columbia, Yukon, Alberta, Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories, a portion of Nunavut, UK, Ireland, Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile
Table 2: A quick comparison between Toromont and Finning. I am sure there are some people looking at this table and thinking Finning looks rather promising based on the metrics shown, especially in comparison to Toromont. Finning’s dividend yield, P/E, and price/book look more attractive. Their top line is 2x. Not to mention it operates worldwide and is the only distributor in the UK, while Toromont only operates in half of Canada.>! Before you go off thinking “I need to use my HELOC to buy some Finning,” as some people on this subreddit are prone to do, ask yourself: do you see any cause for concern in the metrics listed above? !< One glaring question I have is: why is Finning trading at half of Toromont’s market cap given that it operates internationally and has twice the number of employees and revenues of Toromont?
Q1 2020 Financial Results
Figure 3: Q1 2020 Income Statement Overall operating income, net earnings, and EPS all decreased even though Toromont saw an increase in revenue for the quarter compared to Q1 of 2019.
All of these decreases were contributed to COVID19, as the pandemic lead to increases in costs
Historically, Q1 has always been Toromont’s weakest quarter. Q1 accounts for ~20% of yearly earnings and is consistently the least profitable quarter. Toromont’s profit margin generally ranges from 5%-9% progressively increasing into the later half of the year. This is good news for investors with the thesis that the economy will return to "somewhat normal" in the latter half of this year. The majority of the earnings for 2020 are still on the table for Toromont to earn. If current conditions persist, or there is a second wave and lockdown later in the year, we will most likely see a regression in Toromont’s growth to last year’s levels or even lower. Assuming the world does return to “normal,” many of Toromont’s customers (especially in mining and construction) may try to catch up for lost time with increases to their operational activity, leading to an increase in Toromont’s sales for the remainder of the year. Of course this is a major assumption but it’s a possibility. Below is a comparison of the last eight quarters. You can see the clear cyclical nature of their business. Figure 4: Last eight quarters of earnings
Sources of Liquidity
Toromont has access to a $500 million revolving credit facility, maturing in October 2022
On April 17 2020 they secured an additional $250 million as a one year syndicate facility
Cash increased by 22.6 million for the quarter
Cash from operations increased 13% Q1 2020 compared to Q1 2019
The company also drew $100 million from their revolving credit facility
$4 million dollars of stocks were repurchased during Q1 2020
Given their access to $750.0 million dollars of credit and cash on hand equaling $388.2 million, the Company should have sufficient liquidity to operate if COVID19 and its aftermath persist for an extended period of time.
Analysis of Debt Historically, Toromont has had very low debt levels. The spike in late 2017 was due to the acquisition of Hewitt. Management paid off the debt aggressively in 2018. At the end of December 2019 Toromont had $650 million of debt maturing between 2025 and 2027. As a result of COVID19 the company has taken on more debt. This additional access to debt accounts of the slight uptick in historical debt in 2020 (Figure 5). Figure 5: Toromont’s historical debt, equity, and cash The long-term debt to capitalization ratio is a variation of the traditional debt-to-equity ratio. The long-total debt to capitalization ratio is a solvency measure that shows the proportion of debt a company uses to finance its assets, relative to the amount of equity used for the same purpose. A higher ratio means that a company is highly leveraged, which generally carries a higher risk of insolvency with it. The debt-to-equity ratio is at 47% and debt-to-capitalization ratio is 32%, Toromont has $388 million in cash that could be used to pay down debt by nearly 50% and bring the net debt-to-equity to 23% and net debt-to-capitalization to 18%. As mentioned before, management is holding on to cash to insure sufficient liquidity during these times. The implication of these ratios is that Toromont does not take on large amounts of debt to finance growth. Instead the Company leverages shareholders equity to drive growth. For comparison, Finning has a debt-to-equity ratio of ~100% (it differs between WSJ, 99%, and Yahoo Finance, 101%). The nominal amount of their total debt is ~$2.2 billion, which gives them a long-term debt to capitalization ratio 62%. Finning carries $260 million in cash. Figure 6: Toromont’s debt-to-capitalization and debt-to-equity ratios Profitability Ratios Return on equity (also known as return on net assets) measures how effectively management is using a company’s assets to create profits. Toromont’s return on equity is generally around 20%. Go to Figure 6 to look at the ROE for the last 4 years. In comparison, Finning has had a ROE of ~11% for the last three years, about 3% in 2016 and a negative ROE in 2015 (as per Morningstar). Return on capital employed (ROCE) tries to find the return relative to the total capital employed in the business (both debt & equity less short-term liabilities). Toromont’s ROCE (ttm) for March 31 2020 was 22%. This means for every dollar employed in the business 22 cents were earned in EBIT (earnings before interest and tax). Finning had a ROCE of 11% as of December 2019. Liquidity Ratios Working capital is the amount of cash and other current assets a business has available after all its current liabilities are accounted for. In the last ten years, Toromont’s working capital has fluctuated between 1.6 at its lowest (2018) to 2.8 at its highest (2016). At the end of 2019 it was at 1.8. Meaning current liabilities equate to 60% of current assets. Interest coverage ratio is used to determine how easily a company can pay their interest expenses on outstanding debt. Toromont has an interest coverage ratio 15x (as per WSJ). Finning on the other hand is at 4x. At this point I feel like I'm just beating up on Finning. For those of you who made it this far, I have to admit something to you. This whole post is just a facade to ask you a question that has never been asked on this subreddit before: Should I buy BPY.UN? It keeps going down and I'm worried if I buy it, it will keep going down and I'll lose money. I don't want to lose money. Although if you go through my post history, you'll see I've been looking at/buying penny stocks.
Key Performance Measures
Below is a chart with key financial measures for the last four years. A few things I want to highlight:
Toromont had large capital expenditure last year (most of it went to increasing inventory) so they have the choice to keep capital expenditure down this year and preserve cash
From the start of 2018 (aka end of 2017) to the end of 2018 Toromont stock was down about 3% while the TSX Composite was down more 12% and S&P was down 7%. This stock has a history of out performance not only on the upside but also on the downside. I'll go into a bit more detail in the next section.
I don't do technical analysis. To those who do, good luck to you because let's be real, you'll need it. This section is just to get an idea of past performance and evaluate the opportunity cost of investing in Toromont compared to a competitor or a board based index fund. I thought it would be easier to look at pictures as opposed to reading a bunch of numbers off a table. For the sake of not creating a picture album of screenshots, I just looked at charts for the last 5 years. If you're interested in looking at different time intervals you can do so on google finance.
Toromont Industries Ltd v. Finning International Inc.
Figure 8: Five year price chart of TIH v. FTT These are the only two Caterpillar distributors on the TSX, making them direct comparisons. If I was looking for exposure to this industry, I would be choosing between these two companies (on the TSX anyways). There isn't really much to evaluate here. It's like they saying: “A picture is a thousand words,” or in this case, it's 128%. If you have time, go look at the graph from August 1996 to now. I can safely say it hasn't been much of a competition. Toromont has outperformed by ~2500% in stock price appreciation alone. If you're a glass half full kind of person, I guess you could look at this disparity as Finning having enormous upside. LOL
Toromont Industries Ltd v. S&P 500 Index
Figure 9: Five year price chart of TIH v. VFV If I'm not buying individual stocks, I’m buying the S&P 500 and to a lesser extent a Nasdaq index fund. This gives me a second look at the opportunity cost of my money. The story is not as bad as the Finning comparison. If you had bought $100 dollars of Toromont stock 5 years ago, it would have turned into $207 today, whereas the same $100 dollars in VFV would have became $157. Just a quick aside, you can see the volatility in Toromont’s stock is much higher compared to the VFV. VFV has a relatively smooth trend upwards while Toromont trends upwards in a jagged path. This is the risk of single stocks, they move up and down more erratically, leading inventors who don't have a grasp of the business or conviction in their pick to panic sell or post countless times on Reddit asking why their stocks keep going down. “I bought the stock last week and it's done 3% already, do you guys think it’s going bankrupt? I thought stonks only go up???”
Toromont Industries Ltd v. S&P/TSX Capped Industrials Index
Figure 10: Five year price chart of TIH v. ^TTIN The S&P/TSX Capped Industrials Index isn't my favourite comparison for Toromont because its constituents cover many industries ranging from waste management (WCN), to railways (CNCP), to Airlines (AC, lol, had to mention it. I miss the days when there were double digits posts about AC. I wonder where those people have gone, because I can tell you where AC stock has gone... absolutely nowhere). Regardless, I used TTIN because I deemed it a better comparison to Toromont than the entire TSX. The story is on par with the other two comparisons. Toromont’s out performance is significant. I just threw this bonus chart in here because when I saw it, I was like BRUHHH (insert John Wall meme)… It's completely unsustainable but that's impressive given the vast differences between the two.
Toromont Industries Ltd v. NASDAQ-100
Figure 11: Five year price chart of TIH v. ZQQ Now, of course, past performance does not dictate future results and all that good stuff, but it really gets you thinking about how the rewards disproportionately favours winners compared to the overall market. People are generally happy getting market returns (i.e. the just buy VGRO people) but being able to pick even a few winners really pays. This reminds me of the Warren Buffet quote: “diversification is protection against ignorance.” The context of the quote is that if you are able to study a few industries in great depth and acquire a wealth of knowledge, you can see returns astronomically higher than those who diversify across the board market. The problem then becomes you put yourself at risk of having all your eggs in one basket. Look at what's happening with Wirecard in Europe right now. This is why the real skill in investing is managing risk.
Analyst Price Targets and Estimates
The prince targets set for by analysts range from $63-$81. The average price target is ~$72, with the majority of targets within the 70-$71 range. Given the current price of $65.66, there is a ~10% upside. These price targets haven't changed much due to COVID19 even though revenues and EPS forecasts have been downgraded for 2020. The consensus estimate on 2020 revenues is $3.36 billion, down from the actual revenues of $3.69 billion in 2019 and the consensus EPS for 2020 is $3.01 down from actual EPS of $3.52 for 2019 and $3.10 for 2018. The fact that revenues and EPS forecasts have been downgraded, yet price targets remain untouched, for the most part, indicates that the effects of COVID19 are expected to be short-lived. Figure 12: Earnings and estimate ranges for Toromont. Note: EPS numbers in this graphic are diluted EPS numbers.
Multiples Assuming P/E ratio stays the same as it has been for the last 12 months (~19x) and EPS goes down to ~$3.00 (as per analyst consensus), the implied price would be $57. Using the last 12 months of revenues, the EV-to-Revenues ratio is at 1.56x. Assuming that ratio stays the same and with revenues estimated to be ~$3.36 billion, enterprise value (EV) comes out to $5.2416 billion. Using Q1 2020 figures for shares outstanding (82.015 million), cash ($388.182 million), and debt ($745.703 million), the implied price for a share is $58.94*. \Note: Enterprise Value is equal to market cap plus total debt minus cash.) Dividend Discount Model The dividend discount model (DDM) is a method of valuing a company's stock price based on the theory that its stock is worth the sum of all of its future dividend payments, discounted back to their present value. The average dividend growth rate is 12% for the last 5 years is 12%. There is no way Toromont can increase the dividend at this pace in the long term, thus, I chose a long term dividend growth rate of 5%. This is the assumed rate in perpetuity. The required rate of return will equal WACC, 6.85% (averaged from 2019 Annual Report). The dividend over the last year is $1.16 (two payments of $0.27 in 2019 and two payments of $0.31 for 2020). The fair value equals $65.84. Figure 13: DDM calculation.
There is no doubt that Toromont trades at a large premium. The current P/E is 19x and the CAPE ratio (Shiller P/E) is 26x. The fair value of the Company as per Morningstar research is in the mid $60 range. Based on all valuations I did and analyst price targets, I would start buying in the high $50 range or maybe the very low $60 range, but my belief in the company has to do with long term thematic trends and how the Company operates, rather than today's price. Although I have to admit, the price does look more attractive now than it did in the beginning of June when the stock hit new all time highs. It seems like the only companies hitting new all time highs these days are tech companies, so it's refreshing to find a non-tech company achieving the same feat. Toromont is not going to double next year or the year after that. It is a relatively low margin business, with slow growth and a cyclical business cycle. I like that the Company has strong financials, low debt, and good management. They don't take shortcuts or unwarranted risk. Future growth will mostly be driven through acquisition, but management is cautious with acquisitions and don't overextend themselves. One of the biggest problems Finning has been facing for the last couple years is political and social turmoil in South American countries which is affecting their mining clients and thus affecting revenues/margins. The Q2 earnings are reported on July 22 202. We should have a clearer picture on the prospects of the Company from management. Hopefully we have a better idea of the COVID19 situation by then too. Regardless, I think the company is in a position where its services will always be in demand so short term fluctuations are not something that shake my confidence in this pick.
Limitations and Further Areas of Research
By no means is this an exhaustive due diligence report. This is enough for me to feel confident in the business and its trajectory. Limitations/further areas of the research include:
Looking into the growth of each sector Toromont services and extrapolating that growth to calculate Toromont’s future growth opportunity.
As per IBIS Research the heavy equipment rental market in Canada is ~$8.3 billion. It grew 1.1% yearly for the last 5 years.
The US market is estimated to be $47 billion, with an average growth of 2% for the last 5 years
Sorry but I couldn't get my hands on future projections as each report is $750
More research into competitors
I chose to include Finning only for simplicity’s sake. But there are many other competitors like:
United Rentals (NYSE:URI) provides similar services to Toromont/Finning in 49 U.S. states, 10 Canadian provinces, Puerto Rico and four European countries. The only thing being they aren't distributors for Caterpillar.
Rocky Mountain Dealerships Inc (TSE:RME) sells, leases, and provides product and warranty support for agriculture and industrial equipment in Western Canada
Holt Cat, N C Machinery, Ziegler CAT (none of these companies are publicly traded)
Further analysis can be done on the B/S and accounting treatments.
The effects of automation in the industry
Distributors in the US have started working with industrial automation companies to provide autonomous construction equipment on rent to contractors
Sunstate Equipment Co.'s partnership with Built Robotics
I was not able to do a discounted cash flow, which would be critical to finding the intrinsic value for Toromont and having true confidence in the company and its trajectory.
Further analysis of CIMCO and prospects of future growth
Based of the financials, CIMCO seemed like a small part of the business, which is why I mainly focused on the Caterpillar dealership side
These are not all the limitations or areas of further research, they are just the glaring one that came to mind. >! I know I took a few shots at people in this post. It's all in good jest. If you're offended well.... maybe you should be. I don't know, you have to figure that out on your own or you could make a post on Reddit asking random people on the internet whether you should be offended or not. !< Remember I'm not an expert, I'm just a random guy on the internet.
I am long Toromont. This information is not financial advice. Please do your own research and/or talk to a financial advisor. All data provided is current prior to the market opening on June 29, 2020. Inconsistencies in data can be due to many reasons, the foremost being that data was spruced from multiple different websites.
Repost of u/Cpt_Tsundere_Sharks 's post about the unfulfilled martial fantasy
First off, a request to the mods: Can you not delete the post so that people can read what the post was about since it had a lot of content Other than that, u/Cpt_Tsundere_Sharks post:
For a long time now, I have been playing almost exclusively martial characters, very rarely if ever playing full spellcaster classes. Some people would say that this is boring, that I should expand my horizons, do other things, but part of the reason I play so many martials is that the ultimate warrior is my ideal power fantasy. I don't care for the wizard who can bend space and time or the druid who can turn themselves into a dragon or the cleric who has learned to become the very avatar of their god on this mortal plane. These things do not interest me, they are not the representation of the kind of character I would want to become at the height of their power in a fantasy setting. No, my power fantasy is the man who can take on the world through martial prowess alone. To be a character who has become so skilled with his blade, so mighty with the wielding of weapons, that he is considered an army unto himself. A terror that carves its way through the battlefield, bolstering the morale of his allies and crushing the enemies that stand before him with unstoppable force. But, therein lies the problem. This is not possible for martial characters in Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition. Now, let's back up a bit and get some context first. Please bear with me, this is probably going to be a long post. A conversation that I regularly participate in the comments of this subreddit one where I feel martial characters are underpowered in comparison to spellcasting classes. Many would disagree by saying something along the lines of this: "Spellcasters are versatile with low hit points while martial characters are tanky with good single target damage. That's the trade off." The idea is that it is fair that a wizard can cast Fireball to hit multiple targets at once because eventually the Fighter can learn to make 4 attacks in one turn and use all of them to absolutely wail on one guy. AoE damage vs. Single Target damage. And for a while, I agreed with this notion. It's only recently that I've come to realize that even if this is true, it's still unfair. There are situations that can represent a challenge without access to magic that simultaneously can be handwaved with magic. Stealth can be trivialized through Pass Without a Trace or higher level castings of Invisibility. Uncross-able divides can be crossed with Dimension Door or Arcane Gate or even just a simple Misty Step. A person can be convinced to do something with a casting of Suggestion or forced to do something with Dominate Person. These are the things that magic is capable of accomplishing. And this capacity to be useful in a myriad of circumstances is one of the great draws of being able to cast magic. However, it's considered to be a fair trade that martial characters are not good/completely incapable of accomplishing such things simply because they are good at being able to hit things. Not even things, but a singular thing. Single target damage. Only Fighters get more than two attacks per Action, so getting mobbed by a large number of enemies at once is very bad for any martial character that is not a Fighter, and only marginally less bad if you are a Fighter. The problem of course is simply that they aren't capable of hitting them all at once. The martial's current role in a party is that they are supposed to be the ones who deal a large amount of damage to the boss enemy on their turn. The Barbarian uses their Reckless attack to roll 4d20 and try to get a Brutal Critical on the Demogorgon, the Fighter uses their Action Surge to try and hit the Adult Red Dragon 8 times, the Paladin uses all of their highest level spell slots to Divine Smite Acererak for 7d8 Radiant Damage. Lots of damage, but only on the single enemy. I find this to be unfair as a trade off for two primary reasons: It feels bad to be only good at fighting single enemies. All of these martial examples are not likely to be good at skill checks. Good at what they're good at, sure, but most characters will only end up with between 4 and 6 proficiencies unless they're a Rogue or take the Skilled Feat. And in all of these cases, the optimal stat distribution causes them to not be naturally good at other things as well. Barbarians are very multi-ability-dependent, needing high Strength and Constitution but then also needing Dexterity to bump up their AC, each being prioritized in that order. That means the other three mental stats will become worse. Fighters also tend to prioritize Strength and Constitution (if you're playing the classic archetype) and most Paladins do the same with Charisma being a tertiary stat since it is their spellcasting. So with all of them prioritizing Strength and Constitution, there is only a single skill (Athletics) between those two abilities. Even if you play a Dexterity Fighter, you're only getting good at 3 skills. As opposed to a Wizard or a Druid or a Cleric who put their points into their main stat and become decent at 5 skills as a result. Whether martial or spellcaster, all of these classes get 2 proficiencies to start. But by nature spellcasters will be skilled at more things than the martials will be because their main stats are better for more things. So it feels like being a martial makes you only good at fighting single enemies while spellcasters get to be good at fighting multiple enemies, getting over impassable obstacles, and many different kinds of skill checks. Which brings me to my second reason. Spellcasters are actually just as good or better at single target damage than martial characters. The average damage for a failed save on Meteor Swarm is about 50% more than the average damage for 8 successful hits with a greatsword as a Fighter using Action Surge. Meteor Swarm: 20d6(rolls of 3)+20d6(rolls of 4) = 140 8 Greatsword Attacks with 20 Strength: 16d6(rolls of 3 and 4) + 40 = 96 "But that's a 9th level spell vs Action Surge. Of course the 9th level spell is more powerful." Let's compare instead a mid level Wizard vs a mid level Barbarian using the Comprehensive Damage Per Round Calculator. Wizard lvl 12 First round animate object as a 6th lvl spell vs. ac 17 - dmg output 48.3 Second and third round animate object + 2 castings of Cone of Cold - dmg output 78.3*2 Total damage for a lvl 12 wizard in 3 rounds: 204.9 Barbarian lvl 12 Human barbarian, 20 str, PaM, GWM, a +1 glaive vs. ac 17 +5 to hit (10-5 from GWM) First round bonus action rage and 2 reckless attacks 1d10+1(Glaive)+5(str)+3(rage)+10(GWM) - dmg output 36.3 Second and third round glaive attack and bonus action attack with the end. - dmg output 52.1*2 Total damage for a lvl 12 barbarian in 3 rounds: 140.5 As you can see, the Wizard handily outstrips the Barbarian. And we even gave the Barbarian a magic item and feats that time. Spellcasting classes are capable of outputting just as much or more single target damage as a martial class. The argument that is often made after this is that a martial class can continue to output this throughout the course of a day whereas a spellcaster has to use many resources that they can only get back later, but I contest this by saying most people don't have that many encounters per day and that while a martial can sustain this damage over the course of several rounds, most encounters will not last long that long anyways. All the enemies will be dead before a martial can stack up enough hits to match what the spellcaster has already done. Even if we do assume multiple rests and encounters over a day, the Wizard can use Arcane Recovery to get back the 6th level spell slot they just used. So they're still probably just fine for the next encounter. So for those two reasons, I present the case that martials truly are left in the dust by spellcasters in almost every regard. That's the context for this. But this isn't just me crying because I'm a power gamer who wants to be OP. More than just the mathematics of it, I feel that there is a power fantasy is left almost entirely unfulfilled for martial characters. What is it that makes warrior characters in movies and stories stand out, look cool, and feel powerful? What does Captain America do? https://youtu.be/oRwFd1G6_U4?t=42 What does The Punisher do? https://youtu.be/01SYT5MPsHw?t=28 What does The Bride in Kill Bill do? https://youtu.be/a3aFv8IQb4s?t=319 Neo and Trinity do? https://youtu.be/NgAmX8GRwDw?t=57 Aragorn? (the most classic of all fantasy warrior archetypes) https://youtu.be/wSgeEH-Zwbk?t=3 Thor? (yes, even though he uses magic I still argue he's a martial character because of the way that he primarily engages in physical combat) https://youtu.be/-mHaq88BAV4?t=131 Ip Man? https://youtu.be/Kv9ygN2B8WU?t=97 John Wick? https://youtu.be/SamAItb8L58?t=86 Or John Wick? https://youtu.be/0L9SzBANF0w?t=264 Or what about John Wick? https://youtu.be/ElZ9y6l9KhI A common theme with all of these characters is that they can fight many opponents at once and still win. Whether outnumbered by a handful or outnumbered by a hundred, they make a real contest out of something that would and should make instant losers out of anybody else. When they do it by themselves, they're badass. When they do it in the middle of a battlefield, their martial prowess inspires the common soldiers around them. This is all part of the fantasy of being a powerful non-magic fighting character. I put in John Wick three times because the whole draw of his character is that he's so hyper-competent at killing that he can take down entire organizations of enemies by himself. Even in a world of assassins and professional killers, they consider him their Boogeyman. And this character was so popular it spawned a franchise that thusfar has made more than $500 million dollars at the box office. But the part where he has a 1v1 with the bad guy is not what makes us like him. It's arguably the most underwhelming part of the first John Wick movie. Being able to fight many enemies is often cooler than fighting a single skilled enemy. https://youtu.be/WAwl1mprHZI?t=153 Take this clip from the movie Hero as a prime example that shows both ends of the spectrum. In the first half of the scene, two people are fighting their way through a literal army on their own and winning. In the second half of the scene, there is a duel between two swordmasters. And while the duel exhibits great skill, it is not the more impressive half of the scene. To put it another way, the thing that makes you think Broken Sword is skilled is not that he duels the Emperor. Rather, it's the other way around. You believe that the Emperor is skilled because he is capable of fighting Broken Sword, a man who just cut his way through an entire army with the help of only one other person. https://youtu.be/fLxSRdnGucA The pinnacle of a martial character's "cool factor" is not the ability to be able to participate in skilled single combat against someone of equal skill, but to be outnumbered so dramatically that there should be no chance of winning, and yet they can and do anyways. The odds and logic of the situation tell you that it is impossible. But they accomplish the impossible with nothing but the swiftness of their sword. Now, don't get me wrong, one on one fights definitely are cool. But what can take an entire scene to establish that competence can be established in seconds using a battle in which the hero is heavily outnumbered. They are cool in different ways, one being naturally more drawn out than the other, but it's important to have both. If you're only limited to one or the other but not both, that kind of sucks. https://youtu.be/xT66YPk0Q5w?t=190 https://youtu.be/jx9Phl04VSQ?t=905 Back to D&D, it is not possible to be this kind of character as a martial. Firstly, due to the mathematics and action economy of the system, it is always more efficient to put all of your damage onto a single target because it's hard to spread out. Secondly because you are limited in the number of attacks you can make, that puts a hard limit on the number of enemies you can kill per turn. 20th level Fighter with 4 attacks? Barring specific subclass abilities or feats, it's literally impossible to exceed killing that number of enemies. Even with feats, you only max out at 5 attacks (using the bonus action attack from Great Weapon Master) on your turn without using Action Surge. If you are outnumbered 100 to 1, how long do you think a 20th level martial character could last? Say you're a 20th level Fighter against 100 Goblins, no Great Weapon Master feat. Assuming you hit with 100% accuracy and kill every one of them in one shot and use both of your Action Surges, it will take you 23 turns to kill them all. And for each one of your turns, they can also make their turn, surrounding you on all sides and attacking you 8 times a turn in response. For ease of calculation, if you had 18 AC wearing non-magical plate armor, Mob Combat rules (found on DMG page 250) assume you are statistically likely to take 12 damage per turn. 252 damage (using average damage) over 21 turns of keeping you surrounded. If you have enemies that aren't CR 1/4 against a 20th level character, say 100 CR 1/2 Thugs, they could make two attacks each, that turns into 16 times per turn and that turns into 30 damage per turn. 630 damage over 21 turns. If the Fighter had 20 Constitution and maximum health rolls (10 on a d10) at every level, they would have 300 hit points. They would barely survive against the goblins. They would not survive against the thugs. That's not even including the possibility of being attacked from range with shortbows and crossbows and such. Eventually, you will lose. And it won't even really be close. We think these characters should be capable of surviving situations like these, after all at 20th level any Fighter should be a legendary character based on their prowess and skill. But the way the game works, they just aren't capable of surviving. What is the power fantasy of a spellcaster? To be so powerful that they can bend reality to their will? To cast magics that affect the very fabric of existence? Could a 20th level spellcaster survive a 1 v 100? Quite handily I think actually. How about a 1 v 1000? Well, given that Meteor Swarm allows you to make explosions of 40d6 damage in a 40 foot radius in 4 different locations, you could actually hit 900 creatures at once if they were all bunched up enough (each meteor can hit 225 creatures at peak efficiency). Turn that down to a 1 v 100 real quick. Mathematically, it's entirely possible simply because they can deal enough damage at a fast enough rate combined with the myriad of spells they can use for damage mitigation (Shield, Blade Ward, Blink, Stoneskin, Mirror Image, Blur, etc.) Many might argue that this is fair, as it is unrealistic for a single person to be able to fight 100 people at once without magic and win. That could never happen in real life. But then I would counter with this: Aren't we playing Dungeons and Dragons? Is it realistic for someone to be able to pull meteors out of orbit with their mind? Or open up gates to other dimensions because they figured out how to tear holes in reality? Or to have discovered a word that is so powerful, so forbidden, that simply speaking it can cause another person to drop dead on the spot? Or to raise an undead army of skeletons? Why does realism become the limit for a Fighter when the Wizard's entire existence is predicated on breaking the rules of our reality? Almost any spellcaster's power fantasy can come true. If you want to be someone who causes explosions on the battlefield, you can do that. If you want to be someone who turns illusions into reality, you can do that. If you want to be a seer who prophesies the future, you can do that. If you want to take over the world with thousands of full powered spellcasting clones of yourself, you can even do that. You are more limited by your own imagination and creativity than the actual rules of the game. But the simple fantasy of "I want to be able to fight a bunch of guys at once" is out of reach of the martial character, despite the fact that it's supposed to be the primary thing they're good at. To summarize and conclude, I am of the opinion that the most common image of a skilled fantasy warrior is exemplified in their ability to fight a large number of enemies at once or in quick succession, not their ability to handily defeat a single opponent. The biggest design flaw and biggest disappointment for martial characters is their inability to fulfill this fantasy. Their single target damage is mechanically what they are known for, but I think what martial players like me really want more than anything is to be able to fight many enemies at once. I believe one of the ultimate power fantasies for a martial character is to be able to fearlessly charge forward into any number of enemies with full confidence of victory until a suitable challenger approaches. If Dungeons and Dragons is a game of wish fulfillment, the wishes of martial players like me cannot be fulfilled as it is currently designed. https://youtu.be/qLJMDDxt408?t=25 I've been looking at old playtest packets for 5th edition and I found out some interesting things. The 11th level Hunter Ranger feature, Multiattack used to be something that any martial character had a choice to take at some point. Whirlwind Attack was available to be learned by Fighters and Monks, and Volley was on the list of Fighter maneuvers that could be learned. It seems to me that the reason that martial characters are so subpar in comparison now is that they were watered down across the board, mechanics that used to be able to be used by many are currently sequestered into individual subclasses. Now, to be clear, I'm not really looking for a "solution" to this problem. At least not as far as 5th edition is concerned. The issues are too fundamental, too rooted in the core of the system to solve without an egregious amount of homebrewing. But I did want to put this out there as a topic of discussion to see if others in the community find validity in my idea. Is the problem of "linear fighters vs quadratic wizards" just an issue of efficiency, versatility, and mathematics? Or is the true problem that martial characters lack the ability to fulfill what is probably one of the core wishes of people who want to be warriors in fantasy settings? edits: many typos I spotted after the fact -_- Edit 2: There's a lot of common responses I keep seeing pop up here that I want to address here in the main post. "This is a game of resource management, you should just have more encounters per day to balance it out!" First of all, this isn't something that a player can do themselves. This is entirely dependent on a DM and it's much more work for them to do so and be accommodating. They have to balance every encounter. It isn't as simple as just "having more encounters." Someone has to do that work. Second of all, I mentioned this, but at a certain point it just becomes a slog when you're being constantly worn down every day just to give enough time for turtle martials to catch up to rabbit spellcasters. I don't know about you, but even as a martial, I wouldn't have fun doing this all the time. Third of all, it completely ignores the point of my post. I don't care about being able to mathematically catch up to the wizard over the course of a day, I want to feel badass in my own right and I want to be able to do it whenever I want. It doesn't matter that a Wizard can cast Meteor Swarm once per day and I can use Action Surge once/twice per short rest. The point is that I use it and I'm done. And until I get that next short rest, I'm just as weak as a Wizard. Fighters can "recover" more quickly than spellcasters, but in the actual encounter? In the actual fight? They have less resources that they can burn through more quickly than spellcasters. This is the crux of the problem here. Without rests, there is nothing that makes a Fighter better than a Wizard. Anything I can do, he can do better, 🎶 he can do anything better than me. 🎶 It's basically the same thing as saying a Wizard can finish a marathon with their spells but then they'll be really tired when they're done. You can finish the marathon too if you take a few hour long rests along the way. Why can't I just finish the marathon with my own strength? Am I at least faster at sprinting the hundred meter dash? No, the Wizard is faster at that too, but you'll be able to do another hundred meter dash in an hour or so. He still can too, he'll just be marginally slower than you. Do you see the problem with this argument yet? "Martial characters should be getting magic items to make them better and then they'll be as good as spellcasters." But spellcasters don't need magic items. This only supports the argument that martial classes are handicapped in comparison to spellcasters. It's essentially saying that spellcasters can stand on their own but martial classes need a magic item wheelchair to be able to keep up. Do you see the problem here? Why is it too much to ask that martial classes can stand at the same level as spellcasters through just their own class features? "Cleave is a really good tool." And I agree. But last time I asked my DM, he said no. Maybe I'll get to ask him again, but I respect his rulings because he's my friend and I respect him. "It sounds like the 5th edition system is not for you. You should try something else, like Pathfinder 2e!" I would if I could but my group seems happy playing 5th edition. As much as this post is a huge complaint rant, not everything is about me. And I won't DM a Pathfinder game because frankly, I'm not good at DMing. I think other people have less fun when I'm behind the screen and I think I have less fun when I'm behind the screen. I wish it weren't the case, but it seems to be the one I'm stuck with. I just don't have a mind made for DMing.
Please be civil in the comments and follow the rules.
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