Thinking Big About Small Companies

A Tree Falls in the Forest, A Canadian Company Reports a Great Profit

November 11th, 2014 | Posted by Torin in GLN - (Comments Off)

Neither is heard, apparently. I say this because last week Glentel reported a third quarter profit that far surpassed any reasonable expectation, and yet the stock has barely budged. Glentel’s Canadian business, suffering under a recent regulatory change that caused many Canadian consumers to delay handset purchases and upgrades, generated EBITDA that was 55% greater … Read more

Glentel Part 6: Normalized Earnings, Valuation, M&A, Risks, Conclusion

August 12th, 2014 | Posted by Torin in GLN - (Comments Off)

Normalized Earnings I think we can finally start putting it all together and see where we come out. Here are my estimates, in broad strokes, for the next 2.5 years: The red numbers are hard inputs by me; everything else is either a formula or historical fact. The final figures differ very slightly from some … Read more

Glentel Part 5: Australia

August 12th, 2014 | Posted by Torin in GLN - (Comments Off)

Like most mobile markets, Australia’s is an oligopoly: Telstra sells its phones exclusively through stores that it operates itself. Historically, the other carriers have sold their phones partially through resellers, with Allphones being Australia’s largest such reseller. In 2013, however, Optus (which owns both the Optus and Virgin Mobile brands) elected to pull its phones … Read more

Glentel Part 4: The Canadian Wireless Code of Conduct

August 7th, 2014 | Posted by Torin in GLN - (Comments Off)

The Canadian cell phone market is an oligopoly, with Rogers (34% market share), Bell (28.5% market share), and Telus (28.5%) together controlling 91% of the Canadian wireless market. In Canada the average monthly cell/data bill (“ARPU”) is around $58, which is amongst the highest in the world. Canadian regulators are unhappy about this situation. Recently … Read more

Glentel Part 3: How the Businesses Work

August 6th, 2014 | Posted by Torin in GLN - (Comments Off)

The table below provides a high-level overview of Glentel’s four segments. The figures for the Canadian segment show store-level economics prior to the changed Canadian wireless laws and also prior to the opening of the 127 Target stores.  This table shows the basic financials for these segments. The final metric, EBITDA per store, is the … Read more

Glentel Part 2: The Problems Facing The Company

August 5th, 2014 | Posted by Torin in GLN - (Comments Off)

It seems germane to start with an overview of how Glentel got to where it is today. For a brief moment, Glentel was actually a favorite among micro-cap value managers. Guy Gottfried, portfolio manager of Rational Investors and previously an analyst at value giant Fairholme, pitched the company at the Value Investing Congress in 2013, … Read more

Glentel Part 1: Introduction

August 5th, 2014 | Posted by Torin in GLN - (Comments Off)

Monte Sol and its affiliates own Glentel shares. In the future Monte Sol and its affiliates may reduce or increase their investments in Glentel depending on changes in share price or business performance. Monte Sol and its affiliates have no obligation to disclose any future transactions in Glentel shares. The analysis presented here is the … Read more

Thoughts on Margin of Safety

February 5th, 2014 | Posted by Torin in Investing - (Comments Off)

Warren Buffett has said that the three most important words in investing are “margin of safety”. The term is quite common, and anyone who has done even a modicum of investment reading is familiar with it. But what does it mean? What should it mean? The common understanding of the term is simple: an investor … Read more

NTS: Still Cheap

October 22nd, 2013 | Posted by Torin in NTS - (Comments Off)

That title is a play on a previous post. NTS actually got a lot less cheap yesterday, when the company announced that it has agreed to be acquired for $2.00 per share. NTS shares traded up 23% on the news, to a $1.95/$1.96 spread. I have advocated a $3.00 per-share value for NTS elsewhere in these pages, … Read more

Zedi Part 8 – The Conclusion: Contemplating the Recovery Scenarios

October 10th, 2013 | Posted by Torin in ZED - (Comments Off)

This about does it for Zedi. I want to show one last chart: For me, it is impossible to look at this chart and not think “gosh, what would happen if the natural gas market actually improved?” I am going to streamline the analysis as much as possible. Forget estimating revenue and profit by segment … Read more