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Musings on Markets's Blog

Online Teaching: Promise, Pitfalls and Potential!

July 20, 2017 Comments (0)

I am a teacher. That is how I describe myself to anyone who chooses to ask me what I do for a living. I am not a professor (sounds pedantic and pompous), definitely not an academic (how boring is that..) and don't consider myself anything more than a dilettante on almost every topic that I hold forth on. It is in pursuit of my teaching mission that I have put my regular classes online for most of the last two decades, though technology has made that sharing easier. For those of you who have...

The Dark Side of Globalization: An Update on Country Risk!

July 13, 2017 Comments (0)

The inexorable push towards globalization has stalled in the last few years, but the change it has created is irreversible. The largest companies in the world are multinationals, deriving large portions of  their revenues from outside domestic markets, and even the most inward looking investors are dependent upon global economies for their returns. As a consequence, measuring and incorporating country risk into decision making is a requirement in both corporate finance and valuation. It...

User/Subscriber Economics: Value Dynamics

July 5, 2017 Comments (0)

In my last post, I tried valuing Uber by estimating how much an existing user was worth to the company and then using that number to extrapolate to the value of all existing users and the value added by new users. As always, I got many useful comments on what I was missing, what I could do better and what could be simplified, and I thank you (really). While I could spend this entire post rehashing assumptions, I don't intend to! To me, the most useful part of valuation is not the destination,...

User/Subscriber Economics: An Alternative View of Uber's Value

June 28, 2017 Comments (0)

In the week since I posted my Uber valuation, I have received many suggestions on what I should have done differently in the valuation, with many of you arguing that I was being a over optimistic in my forecasts of total market, market share and margin improvements and some of you positing that I was too pessimistic. I don't claim to have any certitude about these numbers but the spreadsheet that I used to value Uber is an open one, and you are welcome to convert your suggestions into...

Uber's bad week: Doomsday Scenario or Business Reset?

June 21, 2017 Comments (0)

Uber just cannot seem to help itself, finding a way to get in the news, and often in ways that leave its image in tatters. You could see this pattern in full display last week, where Travis Kalanick, its founder and CEO took a leave of absence to reinvent himself as Travis 2.0, and David Bonderman, founding partner at TPG and Uber director, had to step down after making a sexist remark at a meeting with Uber employees about countering sexism. Today, Travis made his departure permanent,...

A Tale of Two Markets: Politics and Investing!

June 6, 2017 Comments (0)

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A Valeant Update: Damaged Goods or Deeply Discount Drug Company?

March 23, 2017 Comments (0)

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January 2017 Data Update 10: The Pricing Game!

March 10, 2017 Comments (0)

It's taken me a while to get here, but in this, the last of my ten posts looking at publicly traded companies globally, I look at pricing differences across regions and sectors. I laid out my rationale for looking at pricing in my most recent post on the topic, where I drew a distinction between good companies, good management and good investments, arguing that investing is about finding mismatches between reality (as driven by cash flows, growth and risk) and perception (as determined by the...

Explaining a Paradox: Why Good (Bad) Companies can be Bad (Good) Investments!

March 9, 2017 Comments (0)

In nine posts, stretched out over almost two months, I have tried to describe how companies around the world make investments, finance them and decide how much cash to return to shareholders. Along the way, I have argued that a preponderance of publicly traded companies, across all regions, have trouble generating returns on the capital invested in them that exceeds the cost of capital. I have also presented evidence that there are entire sectors and regions that are characterized by...

My Snap Story: Valuing Snap ahead of it's IPO!

February 17, 2017 Comments (0)

Five years ago, when my daughter asked me whether I had Snapchat installed on my phone, my response was “Snapwhat?". In the weeks following, she managed to convince the rest of us in the family to install the app on our phones, if for no other reason than to admire her photo taking skills. At the time, what made the app stand out was the impermanence of the photos that you shared with your circle, since they disappeared a few seconds after you viewed them, a big selling point for sharers...