Some links / Quality Sources

basehitinvesting on the importance-of-knowing-your-investment-boundaries

About the circle of competence, the ability to say no, Sears, Retail and Sum of Parts in Retail …

Everyone talks about circles of competence, but one of the greatest skills Buffett and Munger have is their ability to say “no” to ideas that are too difficult. Their ability to successfully stay within their boundaries (most of the time) comes from their unique combination of incredible brain power and unusual humility. Most people who are smart and ultra-driven (character traits of most successful people) have a hard time saying “no” to challenging new ideas.

alphavulture blog had a fantastic 2016 performance

Some very unusual holdings – the success speaks for itself

Conservativeincomeinvestor liked (Nov. 2016) CVS Health at 81$

Price have not moved much since then = maybe still nice?

I have actualized the Quality Sources section of Valuetradeblog. There are now more European “Gurus” like:

Bringing together Essilor and Luxottica: EssilorLuxottica

With this agreement my dream to create a major global player in the eyewear industry, fully integrated and excellent in all its parts, comes finally true. – Leonardo Del Vecchio, Chairman of Delfin and Executive Chairman of Luxottica Group

French EuroSTOXX50 Lens company Essilor and Italian company Luxottica (RayBan, Oakley) are planing to merger.  The news from the source (Essilor)

Together, Luxottica and Essilor would have, based on the companies’ 2015 results, the posted combined net revenues of more than €15 billion and combined net EBITDA of approximately €3.5 billion. Based on a preliminary analysis, the combined group is expected to progressively generate revenue and cost synergies ranging from €400 million to €600 million in the medium term and accelerating over the long term.

Luxottica’s Executive Chairman, Leonardo Del Vecchio, would serve as Executive Chairman and CEO of EssilorLuxottica. Delfin – the Luxembourg based holding company of the Del Vecchio Family – would own between 31% and 38% of the shares of EssilorLuxottica so they cleary have “skin in the game”.

Closing expected in H2 2017. The new company name will be EssilorLuxottica.


Quick and dirty valuation of EssilorLuxottica

Both companies look high quality to me so lets look what both of them could look like


I assumed growth rates like in 2016 and cost synergies in the lower range.

Essilor has a market cap. of 24.7 bn €
Luxottia have a market cap. of 26.1 bn €
That would be 50.8 bn € combined (if it would be that easy)
With an assumed Net Income of 2.1 bn in 2017 that would be a PE-ratio of ~24 not that cheap.


The transaction looks quite complicated:

The transaction would entail a strategic combination of Essilor’s and Luxottica’s businesses consisting of (i) Delfin contributing its entire stake in Luxottica (approx. 62%) to Essilor in return for newly-issued Essilor shares to be approved by the Essilor shareholders meeting, on the basis of the Exchange Ratio of 0.461 Essilor shares for 1 Luxottica share, and (ii) Essilor subsequently making a mandatory public exchange offer, in accordance with the provisions of Italian Law, to acquire all of the remaining issued and outstanding shares of Luxottica pursuant to the same Exchange Ratio and with a view to delist Luxottica’s shares.

I will look at it tomorow again, maybe there is some trick in it?





Luxottia multi year numbers


Essilor Invetors page

Essilor 2015 Results

Some links

A nice, not so old Interview with Warren Buffett in which he:
– says Wacovia, Fannie & Freddy were dead
– admires JP Morgan & Jamie Dimon
-admires the management of Coca-Cola

A nice, old speech (from 1995, quality 1970) of Warren in which he explains his investing process (link)

Bronte Capital with a nice exercise about valuing a Company (link)

Neil Woodford (UK) on 2016 and his 2017 outlook (link)

Spot the red flag – Valeant 2015

Tell me where I’m going to die, that is, so I don’t go there.
– Charlie Munger

I’m planning to make this a series*. I hope looking at the “graveyard of capital” will make my actions more cautious. This should makes me a better Investor, as we know, rule no. 1 is not to loose money.
It’s always easier in hindsight but would you invest in this company based on this report?

*Btw. other companies I later want to look at are: Enron, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Saipem, Lehman Brothers …


But let’s begin with this: Valeant in Feb 2015

Valeant 2014 Annual Report (link)

Report Date: February 25, 2015

Price then 190 US-$

Valeant Chart.PNG

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Bolloré – sum of parts

We believe the company’s stock is extremely undervalued trading at more than a 60% discount to our estimate of its intrinsic value.
– Evermore Global / semi-annual report / June 30, 2016,


Valuation / sum of parts


I used market value for Havas & Vivendi (and of course their Portfolio)

I derived Value of Transport & Logistic from MuddyWaters & Evermore reports – and tried not to be to aggressive/positive here.

I used the latest Debt numbers I could find (maybe they financed their last buy of 5% vivendi – from 15% to 20% – partly with debt), I have not calculated cash.

I used a conglomerate discount of 20%. As I see the holding structure with Vincent Bolloré as value-creating, I put back 16% for his capital allocation skills (~Vincent Bolloré CARG).

The market capitalisation is according to consorsbank now at 10,4 bn €.

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Bolloré – a special french conglomerate

Mr. Bolloré is an outstanding capital allocator, and has grown the share price and book value of BOL over the past 20 years, respectively, by 1,213% and 1,953%.
– MuddyWatersResearch

Let’s start with the first valuation of my 2017 To-Do list: French conglomerate Bolloré


As ebdem wrote in the comments, Bolloré is maybe a good choice. MuddyWaters valued it at 8.5€ in February 2015 … the stock is now around 3.50€. One point MuddyWatres made are the cross holdings which virtually reduce the shares outstanding.

If the stock really was that undervalued a share buyback (maybe in the form of more cross holdings) would definitely make sense. I will look out for that – of course there is a good chance that Mr. Bolloré knows better how to allocate capital than me 😉
Vincent Bolloré was is often named The Carl Icahn of France because of his active investment approach. Looking at the capital structure with a lot of listed subsidiaries reminds me a bit of John Malone/Liberty.

The operating business, which is very Africa, Logistics and Energy focused, did not have a good year in 2016 (3Q numbers are out). Turnover was down 10%.

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Creating a ToDo/watchlist for 2017

In this post I want to present a list of interesting stocks which I want to look at in the near future. I want to note the name and the reason why I think the stock is worth a look.

In my last post I mentioned Eddy Elfenbein and his new “Buy List Stocks”. I would put all of them on my To-Do list. I also will watch through the indices and look at the “losers” – maybe some of them are worth a look (a bad performance alone is no reason to buy a stock). The selection I did here is intuitively (no Solar, no Roll-Ups, reputation).


This are MMI’s 27 Investments for 2017. A lot of them are “reasonably priced” – he plans to increase his Admiral Group plc holding.

The biggest Index losers – screenshots

Some Screenshots from – this are the stocks of the SP500, Dow, HDAX and FTSE that have performed worst in 2016.



The List:

(Far away from perfect, to long and still in process)


Danaher / Eddy Elfenbein / frequently named quality stock

Bolloré / Ebdem, Muddy Waters*

Nike / Dow Loser

TripAdvisor / SP500 Loser (maybe just spin-off)

Regus plc / Ebdem, ProfitlichSchmidlin

CBS / 6 top ten shows

Coty / SP500 Loser / Reimann family

easyJet plc / FTSE Loser (BRK bought Airlines)

HugoBoss / DAX Loser / contra: fashion

Dt pbb / DAX loser / Valueandopportunity

Cinemark Holdings / Eddy Elfenbein

Pitney Bowes / SP500 loser / owned company previously

Moody’s / Eddy Elfenbein / owned company previously

Philip Morris Int. / poor 2016 performance


Muddy Waters:

*We value BOL shares at €8.50, which is 94.6% higher than its current price.

Extended List:

Axalta Coating Systems / Eddy Elfenbein / BRK?

Continental Building Products / Eddy Elfenbein

Ingredion / Eddy Elfenbein

Intercontinental Exchange / Eddy Elfenbein

RPM International / Eddy Elfenbein

Sherwin-Williams / Eddy Elfenbein / theconservativeincomeinvestor

JM Smucker / Eddy Elfenbein