Banks’ Cyber Attacks up 4x in 4 Years, Spending to grow at least 12%/yr for Next 5 Years

Cyber security has become one of the most important issues in this year’s election, with the leak of hacked emails and the potential for electronic vote tampering commanding the spotlight in recent months. WikiLeaks, foreign hackers, and cyberwarfare have influenced the national conversation and the campaigns. In the first presidential debate, both candidates stressed that cyber security is a top priority for the next President of the United States.

These types of politically-motivated hacks  – such as those that plagued the DNC and the email accounts of Clinton campaign staffers – are generally ‘state sponsored Information security breaches’ designed to give the attacker a political or military advantage. A different sort of hack is carried out by non-state ‘independent hackers’ whose purpose is usually financial gain, or occasionally political protest.

Read More

Mosaic Quick Take: the 35% Downside in $GRUB in one chart

With Amazon Restaurants expanding in NYC (with free delivery) and Facebook getting into food ordering, it is a wonder that the likes of Fortune continue to write pieces applauding headline growth. It is easier to report on the past than to weigh the future but that is all that actual investors do. Investment into delivery infrastructure is far outside GrubHub’s core competency and the long-term margin impact is weighing on the stock today. We present their real operator metrics as viewed on Mosaic without further commentary.

AT&T is Doing What???

We have written about cord cutting in the past, and the continued defensive theme is that cable/FIOS and media are converging with cable buying media. AT&T announced a deal to acquire Time Warner (TWX) for $107.50 per share. The next question to ask is why is the stock trading for ~$87.50 today. Can I make $20/share by buying TWX? Let’s evaluate that more closely by using Sentieo’s Doc Search for the merger agreement. See below for the results.

Read More

Guest Post: The Current State of the Residential Solar Market $SCTY $SPWR $VSLR $RUN $SUNE

Guest Post courtesy of happy Sentieo client and resident (pardon the pun) solar expert Benjamin Herskowitz of Dividend Solar.

Solar is a reality

Residential Solar Market Landscape

The current state of the residential solar market consists of a fragmented and generally disordered web of solar industry participants. These include solar-photovoltaic (“PV”) system component manufacturers, PV system installers, and customer acquisition-focused sales companies. Additionally, there are a variety of financers catering to power purchase agreements (“PPAs”), leases, and loans, and an array of ancillary businesses related to software ecosystems, PV asset management, data analysis, system monitoring, supply-chain logistics, and more. Through this post I hope to describe the residential solar market in its current state and help fellow investors gain additional color on the industry that they might not get elsewhere. Given the fragmentation mentioned above in addition to the nascence of the industry in general, data integrity is rather difficult to achieve. In an attempt to transform the aforementioned disorder into organized chaos, I’ll first talk about the industry at large before diving deeper into the industry’s different types of players. Finally, I’ll discuss the recent Verengo Solar bankruptcy in the context of this post’s themes. As a global note, my experience has been predominantly in residential solar and thus my thoughts on the solar industry at large have been formed through that lens.

Read More

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Equity Analysts

7 Habits Up Front

  1. Be Proactive: Optimize Your Coverage Universe and Expand Your Circle of Influence
  2. Begin With The End In Mind: Don’t Miss the Macro for the Micro or the Structural for the Near-Term
  3. Put First Things First: Maintain A Catalyst Calendar and Do The Work Well Ahead
  4. Think Win-Win: Giving More Than You Take in meeting Sellside, Management, and Industry Contacts
  5. Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood: Take Notes, then Use Visuals Often
  6. Synergize: Synthesize Your Information and Debate It With Your Team
  7. Sharpen The Saw: Research New Techniques

Why Make Effectiveness A Habit?

We at Sentieo care a lot about helping Equity Analysts do their job better. That’s pretty much all we do. It’s not just an efficiency argument, that Equity Analysts are expensive and as a population have limited time to cover a large range of stocks in depth. As former buy-siders ourselves, we know what it’s like to continually grind away at an established process that sometimes, to put it bluntly, just isn’t working. As managers of Equity Analysts, we have also felt the struggle of “quality control” beyond boiling the investment process down to rote form filling and box checking. We surveyed the Sentieo community and from our interactions with hundreds of analysts decided to put together broad takeaways. If it helps just one analyst get more effective, we will have done our job.

although we may never be this good

Read More