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AYI: When Mix Shift Is Your Gross Margin Expansion Story

April 1st, 2021

“Given our current gross profit margin improvement, we think that we can achieve the gross profit of above 42% for the balance of the fiscal year.” Karen Holcom, Senior VP and CFO, Acuity Brands, Inc. 3/31/21. 2Q21 Earnings Conf. Call For...

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EXPI: As Good As It Will Ever Get? Now EXPI Faces the Struggle of Trying to Become a Real Brokerage Firm

March 12th, 2021

“I think, even starting in early 2020, we really backed off the top line number of 10% gross margin for core brokerage, just because as we learned more about how all this mixes together, it would be tough to...

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OSTK: When Striving for Greatness, Never Bury the Lead

February 25th, 2021

Two weeks ago OSTK shares traded north of $110/share.  OSTK shares have declined (-35%) in just 10-trading days.  This begs one simple question: what the hell happened?  First and foremost, if you’re a longtime follower of OSTK this type of...

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TREX: Wood Pulp and Polyethylene Boards Don’t Grow to the Sky

February 23rd, 2021

TREX has an $11B+ market cap.  In a market full of excess, this singular data point has us shaking our heads day after day.  After all TREX manufactures composite decking from wood pulp and recycled plastic.  Based on the deluge of...

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TRUP: What Changed? Certainly Not TRUP’s Profitability Prospects; Marketing IRR’s Could Collapse in 2021

February 11th, 2021

What changed? That is the one question that has been plaguing us (and many other short sellers) about TRUP for the past 12-months.  What elements of TRUP’s business improved over the past year to...

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PRDO: From the Frying Pan to the Fire – New 90/10 Proposal Represents an Existential Threat to PRDO, Is This...

February 9th, 2021

“We have implemented various measures intended to reduce the percentage of our institution's cash basis revenue attributable to Title IV Program funds, including AIU’s deferred...

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ATGE: The Walden Conundrum and Other Suspect Reasoning

February 3rd, 2021

“Despite the tremendous opportunity at the Company, we have serious concerns about the ability of the Board of Directors (the “Board”) and management team to realize the Company’s true potential, allocate capital appropriately, and...

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OSTK: Accelerating the Evolution of Overstock, Raising Price Objective to $140

January 26th, 2021

“Pelion” – a huge or difficult task. “In Greek mythology, the twins Otus and Ephialtes piled Mount Pelion on Mount Ossa and both on Mount Olympus in an attempt to reach heaven and attack the gods. The word is...

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OSTK: Is Overstock the Cheapest Stock We Follow? Twenty-one Questions for 2021; Raising Price Objective to $128

January 15th, 2021

Overstock.com is a rapidly growing, profitable ecommerce platform generating significant free cash flow that also owns a promising portfolio of blockchain based technology companies.  How rare is that?...

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AYI: Squashing UV-C and Gross Margin Expansion Hopes

January 8th, 2021

“So I am increasingly confident that this [UV-C anti-germicidal lighting] is a long-term product portfolio opportunity, not a point-in-time product portfolio opportunity. None of us can quantify how much that is yet. So good news is it's a -- it appears to...

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AYI: 4Q20 Lighting Agent Survey Suggests Neither UV-C, Nor Biden Can Save the Lighting Industry

December 22nd, 2020

Below please find a link to a powerpoint presentation outlining the results of our latest survey of lighting agents across the country.  

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EXPI: As Good as It Will Ever Get? Someone Needs to Tell EXPI’s New Agents That Downline Opportunities for Passive...

November 12th, 2020

Following a quarter in which EXPI added more than 4,700 agents, generated more than $23.6B in transaction volume, and of course increased the share count by 3MM, there’s really only one...

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CWH: Camping World Shares Are Absurdly Cheap and Ten Other Things We Know for Certain

November 3rd, 2020

Eighty-one cents?! That’s all CWH gained yesterday following a quarter during which the generated 26.9% same store sales growth, delivered 740 bps of gross profit margin expansion, efficiently managed G&A costs, and beat...

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TREX: The Four Things That Matter Now That the Setup for Shorts Has Improved Dramatically

November 3rd, 2020

There are better companies whose stocks have been absolutely destroyed over the past few weeks for posting the type of upside that TREX delivered in the third quarter.  Yes, the company generated strong sales growth and...

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TRUP: All Sizzle No Steak; At Trupanion It’s Always Optics Over Operating Profit Improvement, the AFL Deal Is No...

October 30th, 2020

Each and every day for the past year, we thought we would walk into our offices in the morning to the news of a sizeable stock offering from TRUP.  After all, the company’s regulatory...

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CWH: Building the "Costco of Camping" - Our Letter to Buffett and Munger

October 13th, 2020

We sent the attached slide deck along with individual letters to Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger. This is the second time we have sent a letter to Warren Buffett. Eleven years ago, we sent a letter to Mr. Buffett to illuminate some of the...

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EXPI: When Stock Price Is Your Only Fundamental, It’s Time To Sell; Introducing EXPI as a Short Idea with a Price...

September 28th, 2020

The stock market has been extraordinarily kind to “fake it until you make it” stories that operate in large total addressable markets (TAM).  If you run a long/short book in any...

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CWH: What a Successful Launch of the “AirBnB” for the RV Space Could Mean for Camping World – An Absolute Game...

August 26th, 2020

“As we think about the possibilities of it, it wouldn't surprise me if we -- it wouldn't surprise me if we stayed away from the rental business, but we looked at alternative technology...

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ATGE: The March to Nowhere Continues; Revised Estimates

August 19th, 2020

“What I mentioned before was not so much decline in ACAMS, but our desire to see it grow a lot faster, given what we know are the opportunities…. So from our perspective, we're at an inflection point at ACAMS, growth has plateaued a...

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TRUP: Trupanion's Market Share Losses Accelerated in 2Q20

August 11th, 2020

At 9AM this morning we will present at the third Contrarian Investor Conference along with several other noteworthy investors and analysts.  You can register for the conference by clicking HERE. We wanted to pass along our slide deck on Trupanion which...

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PRDO: Is AIU Unraveling Before Our Eyes While the Walls Close in on CTU?

August 7th, 2020

“I did read the article. I thought -- again, it was -- some of the arguments, again, I felt were very outdated, and frankly, some of them are just not -- again, I don't think really applied, but that's my opinion. But regarding the...

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CWH: Camping World Is Getting Back to Its Compounding/Market Share Gain Roots, $3.00+ in EPS Is in Sight, Raising Price...

August 6th, 2020

“So we have 2 goals going forward; grow our total file size [customers] profitably, by the way; and grow the average spend per member. That is our business model, and it always has been. We did...

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TRUP: See If You Can Spot the Misleading Statements or Outright Lies, The Problem with TRUP’s Cashless Other Revenue...

August 5th, 2020

“Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting a particular way... you become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave...

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TREX: The Unsustainable Trend? TREX Is Starting to Lose Market Share Just as the Industry Ramps Capacity Meaningfully

August 4th, 2020

The strength in sales of products related to the “home” since early March truly has been something to behold. This is particularly true of items that can be used outdoors or can improve the...

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STRA: The Writing Is on the Wall as Strayer Faces Its “Minsky Moment”; Lowering Price Objective to $56

July 30th, 2020

“ Strayer's leading indicators have remained relatively stable and strong for the past 8 weeks, essentially staying well above last year's targets on a quarter-to-date basis. What portion of this...

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OSTK: The Flywheel Is Really Cranking Now and the Impact of the GSA Contract Could Be Bigger Than COVID-19; Raising...

July 30th, 2020

Overstock.com is a rapidly growing, profitable ecommerce platform generating significant free cash flow that also owns a promising portfolio of blockchain based technology companies.  How rare...

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CWH: PAA Research's Summer 2020 RV Dealer Survey - The Power of CWH's Business Model Still Remains Underappreciated,...

July 29th, 2020

We recently conducted a survey of more than 30 RV dealers across the country. The attached report includes the feedback from those dealer checks.  We think the power of CWH's business model...

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TRUP: Dead Company Walking?

July 21st, 2020

It might seem outlandish to call a company whose stock has appreciated more than 35% this year and sports a market cap of close to $1.8B as a “dead company walking”.  However, very little has changed related to TRUP over the past 2-3 months. The company remains a...

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AYI: Things Will Likely Get Considerably Worse Before They Get Better (If Ever)

June 30th, 2020

“Acuity is selling at levels below the importers.” Lighting Agent. June 2020 Even though AYI beat our EPS estimates handily in the quarter, the primary discussion surrounding the company’s business and dynamics...

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PAA Research's Summer 2020 Lighting Agent Survey: AYI's Pending Earnings Devastation - When a Secularly Challenged...

June 26th, 2020

The attached report outlines the feedback from our latest survey of lighting agents.  The economic downturn has exacerbated what already were significant secular challenges for AYI.  Sales...

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Current Ideas

OSTK

LONG

$128

EXPI

SELL/SHORT

$10

CWH

LONG

$64

PRDO

SELL/SHORT

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CM

SELL/SHORT

$50

RY

SELL/SHORT

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ARC

LONG

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AYI

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$50

STRA

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BIG

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TREX

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WWE

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XOXO

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RLGY

PAIR TRADE

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RDFN

PAIR TRADE

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BCO

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ING.PA

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$35

TRUP

SELL/SHORT

$10

CTC

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$101

ATGE

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$15

HCG.TO

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$0

RON.TO

SHORT

$9

ESI

SHORT

$0

BGG

PAIR - LONG BGG/SHORT TTC

25%

TTC

PAIR - LONG BGG/SHORT TTC

25%

Z

SHORT

$14.00

NA.TO

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$22

ZU

SHORT

$15

TRLA

SHORT

$20

MCRS

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$31

APOL

SHORT

$35

OPEN

SHORT

$30

KNL

PAIR - LONG KNL/SHORT MLHR

25%

CSGP

SHORT

$100

GCA

LONG

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IPSU

LONG

$20

MLHR

SHORT

$22

LOOP

PAIR - LONG CSGP/SHORT LOOP

40%

THQI

LONG

$35

WPO

SHORT

$275

COCO

SHORT

$0

HNI

SIG

RGR